Iraq Press Roundup

By HIBA DAWOOD, UPI Correspondent  |  April 1, 2008 at 11:54 AM
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Shebab Al Iraq newspaper carried an editorial Monday with the title "The war among Shiites."

In it, the newspaper highlighted the infighting in Basra and Baghdad, which is "not a war between the Iraqi government and the Sadrist gangs, but rather a battle of fate between these gangs and other Shiite parties allied with Shiite alliances."

The editorial said Iraq is not any part of the current war in Basra and Baghdad because the state hasn't existed since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. It said Saddam wasn't sectarian, but used sectarianism to take control of the country, and he used to reflect a social fact but never called it by name.

"It was difficult, according to the U.S. administration's view, to build a state on the wreck of a government that emptied Iraq by shedding blood and oppressing political powers," it said of Saddam's government.

It said the United States gathered exiled Iraqi political leaders in an attempt to fill the space left after Saddam. The paper also said the new political powers' ideologies contradict the past government's beliefs as they are sectarian, against Saddam's secularism.

Political powers in Iraq are more loyal to regional governments that supported them, it said.

"The Iraqi Shiites have turned to serve the Iranian security and political interests; the Kurds serve the Israeli and American interests while the Sunnis are loyal to Saudis who gave them political and financial support," it said.

It said the U.S. administration gathered this inconsistent and combustible group of powers and put them in one place to form "the state" of Iraq.

"The problem here is with the Shiite components, including the Sadrists who, during Saddam's government had to agree with his policies, now receive financial support, training and weapons from Iran."

The paper said Moqtada Sadr resides in Iran, a country that foments unrest in Iraq.

"What gathers the Shiite political Islamic elements together is their ambition to build a sectarian component supported by Iran, yet these elements compete among themselves," the paper said.

It said though clashes are expected between the United States and Iran, it is unlikely the United States could get more troops to send to Iran in addition to the troops in Iran and Afghanistan. It said Iran isn't likely to expose its infrastructure to the risk of destruction.

"Iran and the U.S. have been using Iraq as a mediator serving both sides' interests. … While Iran assures the U.S. that they are not going to use their weapons against Israel and the West, the U.S. would guarantee the latter's presence in the Arab Gulf to play the role of a policeman who dominates the region's policies," the paper said.

It said Iran connected all the Shiite components in Iraq by supporting the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council's Badr Forces militia, building a good relationship with the Dawa Party, and training and arming the Mahdi Army militia.

It said all Shiite parties want to dominate the southern part of Iraq, a plan that doesn't make a difference to Iran as long as they are all loyal to Iran.

"It is for Iran's benefit the infighting that is taking place in Baghdad and southern cities of Iraq."

Shebab Al Iraq concluded the battles occurring in Iraq today are among the enemies of Iraq who are the agents of the Iranians.

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