This report from Radio Sawa quotes Omar al-Jubori the head of the human rights office in the Iraqi Islamic Party as saying that Harith al-Dhari, secretary of the association of Muslim scholars was "responsible for 50% of the blood of Sunni Iraqis who were killed in Iraq".
In his statement Mr. Jubori said that Sunni political and religious leaderships were wrong when they prohibited Sunni men from enlisting in the Iraqi police and army (Arabic audio available).
I realize that most of you do not know Arabic so I'm going to pick excerpts from that statement, in a part I found interesting Mr. Jubori said:
Sunni political powers now demand that American troops remain in Iraq for some time…the American forces represent a balancing element between the people and the security forces that are not balanced in their sectarian composition…the Americans should work on correcting this imbalance.
Harith al-Dhari is responsible for 50% of Sunni deaths in Iraq, the Americans are responsible for 25% and the Shia militias are responsible for the other 25% and this is something that most Sunnis admit…
I kind of agree with the above statement but in somewhat a different way; it is probably correct that al-Dhari and his gangs were responsible directly for 50% of Sunni deaths but they are equally responsible for the other 50% but rather indirectly.
Ever since Saddam was toppled the al-Dhari's association was involved in most of the violence in Iraq in more than one way; they allied with Ba'athists, Saddamists and foreign terrorists and provided them with shelter and support. They preached hatred and sectarianism and provoked violence that we saw in the form of attacks in various regions in Iraq that killed thousands of Iraqis.
That's the direct way, the indirect way on the other and is that the violence they stirred left the US military with no choice but to attack at some cities and those attacks left a lot of collateral damage including the deaths of many Iraqis who were trapped in the crossfire of those battles like what happened in Fallujah or Ramadi or Mosul. Those civilians were mostly Sunni and al-Dhari is to blame for their death.
And when Dhari and his allies send their gangs to massacre civilians in mixed or Shia neighborhoods in Iraq they had also invited angry militias to take revenge and murder similar numbers of mostly Sunni civilians.
Same applies to Shia militias who I also want to hold accountable for civilian deaths among Shia civilians in almost the same manner. When Sadr fought the US military in Najaf or Baghdad he was responsible for the collateral casualties among civilians and whenever he sent his militias or death squads to snatch people off the street and shoot them in cold blood he had also invited Sunni extremists like Dhari to send their gangs to kill more or less an equal number of Shia civilians.
What I want to say is that it's good to finally see Sunni political parties renounce the doings of fellow Sunnis who took the far end of extremism And I'd so much like to see Shia political parties do the same and renounce Sadr and whatever other violent factions within the Shia community.
See, addressing the bad elements is the key to having good plans but in contrast with that you read reports such as this one from the Daily Telegraph (via Pajamas) that talks about some Iraqi politicians considering plans to partition Baghdad into a Sunni west and Shia east. That idea is totally unacceptable and is not inline with the reconciliation plan some of them ironically support. What these politicians are saying is equal to saying that people of different sects should reconcile but at the same time they should not come near districts of other sects!
And what about the million Shia who live in the west, or the million Sunni who live in the east? Does it make sense at all to tell them to simply relocate because the government and the coalition cannot or don't want to put in enough effort to stop the fanatics form slaughtering them?
What makes sense in my opinion is to neutralize the gangs that commit atrocities on both sides and that's the only plan we should have and implement if we still want to keep Iraq in one piece.
Relocating civilians will be a humanitarian catastrophe and cannot solve the real problem because unless troublemakers are defeated or neutralized they will keep causing troubles no matter how many partitions are in place.
Although late, it was a bit of a relief to see Iraqi and US commanders planning to move more troops into the Baghdad area (also via Pajamas).
I was thinking the other day that military priorities of the US and Iraqi forces need to be reorganized according to the challenges imposed by the intentions of the bad guys to take over Baghdad. I mean why does the US keeps thousands of combat troops in relatively less turbulent areas that are of much less strategic value to the bigger picture!?
This redistribution of forces should've been considered months ago.