Wednesday, November 24, 2004

U.S. inspired assassinations in Iraq?

In her important article on the privatization and looting of Iraq, “Baghdad Year Zero,” Naomi Klein presents information that might suggest U.S. involvement in targeted assassinations in Iraq (see below.)

A NY Post story (11.24.2004, GIS BLITZ 'DEATH TRIANGLE) on the Iraq war, noted that two Sunni clerics who have called for a boycott of the elections have been gunned down.

Masked gunmen shot to death a Sunni cleric yesterday in the second such attack against a member of the influential Association of Muslim Scholars, which has called for a boycott of the national elections.

The cleric, Sheik Ghalib Ali al-Zuhairi, was killed as he left a mosque after dawn prayers in the town of Muqdadiyah, 60 miles north of Baghdad, police said.

His assassination occurred a day after another prominent Sunni cleric was killed in the northern city of Mosul — Sheik Faidh Mohamed Amin al-Faidhi, who was the brother of the association's spokesman.

from Naomi Klein, "Baghdad Year Zero"
Harpers, Sept 24, 2004

Incident #1
> Bremer had found his legal loophole: There would be a
> window -- seven months -- when the occupation was
> officially over but before general elections were
> scheduled to take place. Within this window, the Hague
> and Geneva Conventions' bans on privatization would no
> longer apply, but Bremer's own laws, thanks to Article
> 26, would stand. During these seven months, foreign
> investors could come to Iraq and sign forty-year
> contracts to buy up Iraqi assets. If a future elected
> Iraqi government decided to change the rules, investors
> could sue for compensation.

> But Bremer had a formidable opponent: Grand Ayatollah
> Ali al Sistani, the most senior Shia cleric in Iraq. al
> Sistani tried to block Bremer's plan at every turn,
> calling for immediate direct elections and for the
> constitution to be written after those elections, not
> before. Both demands, if met, would have closed
> Bremer's privatization window. Then, on March 2, with
> the Shia members of the Governing Council refusing to
> sign the interim constitution, five bombs exploded in
> front of mosques in Karbala and Baghdad, killing close
> to 200 worshipers. General John Abizaid, the top U.S.
> commander in Iraq, warned that the country was on the
> verge of civil war. Frightened by this prospect, al
> Sistani backed down and the Shia politicians signed the
> interim constitution. It was a familiar story: the
> shock of a violent attack paved the way for more shock
> therapy.

But on the way out of the gates, a young
> security guard handed my translator a note. He wanted
> us to meet him after work at a nearby restaurant, "to
> find out what is really going on with privatization."
> His name was Mahmud, and he was a twenty-five-year-old
> with a neat beard and big black eyes. (For his safety,
> I have omitted his last name.) His story began in July,
> a few weeks after Bremer's privatization announcement.
> The company's manager, on his way to work, was shot to
> death. Press reports speculated that the manager was
> murdered because he was in favor of privatizing the
> plant, but Mahmud was convinced that he was killed
> because he opposed the plan. "He would never have sold
> the factories like the Americans want. That's why they
> killed him."


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