Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi is Dead
I don't know if the imam is right but it's plausible.
Inteview by Le Monde's reporter Michel Bôle-Richard with Sheikh Jawad al-Khalessi, the Shi’ite imam of the al-Kazemiya Mosque in Baghdad and dean of its religious school. He is in Paris en route to the St. Edigio Ecumenical Council in Lyons.
Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi has declared “total war” on Shi’ites and on Wednesday, September 14th, perpetrated Baghdad’s bloodiest massacre. What do you think of this statement?
In think that Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi is no longer alive. It’s merely an invention of the occupiers of our country to divide the people. Al-Zarqawi was killed in northern Iraq at the start of the war when he was with Ansar al-Islam in Kurdistan. His family in Jordan held a memorial ceremony for him. Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi is a ploy used by the Americans as an excuse to continue the occupation. It’s a pretext to stay in Iraq.
But why a declaration of total war on Shi’ites?
To create sympathy for the occupation forces. In that way the Shi’ites will feel compelled to rally around the Americans instead of joining the resistance in the South. There are some Shi’ites who do participate in the insurgency in the south, as we’ve seen from the recent bombings in Basrah.
But there was an announcement that the security of Najaf has been entrusted to Iraqi forces and that this was going to occur in other cities in the South.
It is not true. The announcement was made for the consumption of the media. In fact, Iraqi forces do not control the situation and the occupation forces remain on periphery ready to intervene in case of problems.
The newly-adoped Constution will be submitted to national referendum on October 15th. What is your opinion?
It’s a hastily written and adopted text to suit the agenda of the United States. It does not reflect the hopes of the Iraqi people, who are more concerned with day-to-day survival rather than security. The draft was concocted inside the Green Zone in Baghdad under the tutlage of the American ambassador. As a British expert said, The Constitution can be compared to arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as the ship is going down.
Will the Constitutional referendum be a success, like the January 30th elections?
Personally, I’m calling for a boycott but if our fellow citizens want to vote “no” we will not condemn that. In any case, George Bush has already prepared a statement declaring that the process has been a success and that progress along the road to democracy has been made. But what is it going to change in Iraq?
What is the position of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani on the Constitutional referendum?
He hasn’t yet taken a position. Those who are promoting the process will try to use that to induce the population to vote. He could say “yes” or he could say nothing at all. He supported the January 30th elections, but the Iraqi people haven’t reaped any benefit and promises were not kept. Corruption is everywhere. Even the reconstruction budget hasn’t been drawn up.
And Ibrahim al-Jaafari is a bad prime minister, just like he is a bad doctor. He’s not like France’s General Pétain, who at least was a good soldier before he became a bad politician.
So in your opinion, what needs to be done to save Iraq?
First: a schedule for the pullout of foreign troops. Second: Put national agencies under the supervision of the United Nations in the service of our country instead of the politicians. Third: Hold a national dialog followed by an election under international supervision. If the occupation continues, the situation will just get worse and more and more Iraqis will join the resistance.