Wednesday, September 21, 2005

British bombs in Basra

I find myself increasingly becoming the old fogey of the conspiracy field. While the youngsters continue to come up with new and exciting conspiracies, xymphora slowly deteriorates into a lousy debunking blog. Witness the latest revelations from Basra. To summarize, two British soldiers, disguised as Arabs and with a car full of explosives, somehow find themselves in a contretemps with an Iraqi policeman, shoot him dead, are arrested by local authorities, refuse to explain what they were doing, end up in detention, and finally become the subject of negotiations between the British and Iraqis concerning their release, 'negotiations' apparently meaning to the British driving up to the prison with tanks and knocking the walls down (a fact which the British finally, but grudgingly, admitted), causing a riot which results in civilian deaths and the escape of other prisoners (and the soldiers weren't even in the prison!). Everybody has come to the obvious conclusion that this is the first documented proof of the fact that much of the sectarian violence in Iraq is the work of coalition agents provocateurs, attempting to cause a civil war in Iraq. While I have no doubt that this intentional process is going on elsewhere in Iraq (and largely to fit the Israeli agenda, described here many times before, of breaking the country up into small, unthreatening statelets, with the additional motive of leading to the new Israeli ally, the Shi'ite Empire, to counter the largely Sunni opposition to Israeli imperial plans), I doubt that the Basra case is an example of it. There seems to be another conspiracy afoot.

The British have made a big deal of how much better they are than the Americans at shouldering the 'white man's burden' of policing their portion of Iraq. Of course, the Americans are so arrogant, culturally insensitive, and generally stupid, it is not difficult to do a better job. As well, the South is easier to police just because it is majority Shi'ite, and not interested in causing trouble for the central government. Nevertheless, it is true that the British have done a much better job than the Americans, and have some right to feel superior. And yet, just recently, everything has gone sideways. Here is the timeline:

  1. In the early Spring, British officials anticipated that British troops would soon be withdrawing from Iraq.

  2. In July, plans are leaked of a British plan to withdraw almost all British troops from Iraq (sending some of them to Afghanistan). This withdrawal would have started next month. Almost immediately, the deaths of British contractors is said to 'threaten' these plans.

  3. In early August, journalist Steven Vincent, who worked for the New York Times, is found murdered outside of Basra. He had been shot and was found with his hands bound. Days before his death, he "had written an Op-Ed piece for The Times in which he criticized British security forces for failing to act against the Shiite militias' growing power in the local police force." It's unlikely, even given the ubiquity of the internet, that local militias would be on top of very recently published New York Times Op-Eds (although Vincent had written previously on the matter).

  4. Normally quiescent Basra starts to become dangerous for British troops, and three are actually killed. While there has been a constant series of British deaths in Iraq, these most recent deaths seem to cause a new type of overreaction. On Sunday, September 18, the British arrest local leaders Sheik Ahmed Majid Farttusi and Sayyid Sajjad, arrests that almost certainly will lead to more trouble (Juan Cole has the timeline).

  5. The British plans to withdraw are indefinitely cancelled, as conditions have worsened.

  6. The two British soldiers are arrested near a protest arranged against the arrest of Sheik Ahmed Majid Farttusi, and rescued with a completely unnecessary, show of lethal violence.

  7. Journalist Fakher Haider, who also worked for the New York Times, is found murdered on the same day as the British soldiers were arrested. He also had his hands bound and was shot. He had been taken away for 'questioning' by people claiming to be Iraqi police, a claim backed up by the fact they arrived in a police car (!). He "had recently reported on the growing friction and violence among Basra's rival Shiite militias, which are widely believed to have infiltrated the police." Now there are two murdered journalists in Basra, each of whom wrote about the growing power of Shi'ite militias in Basra (scuttlebutt that Steven Vincent's murder was related to his relationship with his Iraqi female translator seems to be disproved by the nature of the second murder). Local militia leaders would almost certainly have been unaware of the writings of these journalists (and you have to wonder why they would care if they did know). Somebody wants to remove Western journalists with good local contacts from Basra.

What I see here is an attempt to sabotage the British withdrawal, and the murders of both journalists may well be associated with this.

Creating sectarian violence doesn't really make sense in Basra, as the Zionist planners intend to keep the South whole, and part of the Shi'ite Empire. Causing trouble in Basra will only mess up those plans. On the other hand, setting a bomb off in Basra would have continued the campaign, started right after the announcement of withdrawal was made, to ensure that the British troops cannot be withdrawn from the South. Who benefits from non-withdrawal?:

  1. the Americans, who would have been all alone in their battle against Islam once the British left;

  2. elements in the British military, who so rarely get to be in a real war these days, are probably loathe having to go back to more endless marching drills in the rain (or, at best, in Afghanistan);

  3. the international cadre of war financiers, who still derive considerable income from the British presence in Iraq; and

  4. Tony Blair, who works for the financiers and has this extremely weird relationship with the United States (he seems to be under the misapprehension that he is Prime Minister of the United States).

I think there is a conspiracy here, but not necessarily the obvious one.