.An email from a friend:
"What is certain from the information we have
(see the different 'official' versions of this massacre then scroll to under the two pictures for the eye-witness story
) is that processions of Arab shiite tribes were walking (as part of the Ashoora tradition) to Najaf: The Hawatim and The Khazael. Both tribes are known for their Arab national and patriotic positions. Khazael for example had played an important role in supporting Iraq's position toward Palastine in 1948.
Had they the intention to attack the Hawza symbols in Najaf? I cannot be affirmative but there is a story from inside iraq saying that they have demanded that all Iranians in the Hawza are to leave Najaf.
Were they Mahdists? This may be a simple propaganda to isolate them among other shiites and in the eyes of the outside world.
In any event, this massacre is of great significance.
First: There were many indications and information that the Hakim-Maliki-Sistani alliance is becoming very isolated among the Arab shiite tribes and cities throught central and southern Iraq. For a while, Saddr
(in Arabic) was an alternative but since he participated in the elections, returned recently to rejoin the parliment after demanding a scheduled withdrawal of occupation forces while his followers participate in wide spread attacks against the sunnis, he is losing his influence among Iraqi shiites. Iraqi nationalism is stronger than sectarianism.
Secondly: The use of lethal force by the Americans, like what they did in in Falluja, against important Arab tribes will spread the anti American anti Iranian resistance. The myth of the shiites being united behind Sistani is finished. More and more of Arab shiites will join the resistance.
The occupation and its puppets have nothing to offer the Iraqi people but blood, death, lies and destruction.
Abdul Ilah Albayaty" January 31, 2007
ـ"وقالت المصادر ان عشيرة آل خزعل تدخلت لمؤازرة الحواتمة الذين تعرضوا لاطلاق نار من عناصر الشرطة وبعض المليشيات المنظمة استناداً الي معلومات مسبقة عن انطلاق الموكب من الديوانية حاملاً شعارات الرفض الكامل لوجود عملاء ايران . وأضافت ان جهات عراقية معينة استدعت القوات الامريكية لقصف المواكب الحسينية علي انها من فلول القاعدة او ضمن تنظيم المهدوية المزعوم . من جانبها نفت طائفة المهدية في العراق ان يكون لها علاقة مع جند السماء التي اقحم اسمها في الحدث بتدبير حكومي فيما قال اتباع الإمام أحمد حسن اليمني رئيس الطائفة الذي يصف نفسه بانه مبعوث المهدي المنتظر ان حركتهم سلمية ولا ترتبط بجند السماء في وقت عزلت الحكومة العراقية جرحي معارك النجف في المستشفيات وترفض اي لقاء للصحافيين معهم مما زاد من الشكوك في ادعاءات المسؤولين حول هوية جند السماء"ـ
ـ30 كانون الثاني 2007
"A picture is beginning to emerge of a clash between an Iraqi Shia tribe on a pilgrimage to Najaf and an Iraqi army checkpoint that led the US to intervene with devastating effect. The involvement of Ahmed al-Hassani (also known as Abu Kamar), who believed himself to be the coming Mahdi, or Messiah, appears to have been accidental."US 'victory' against cult leader was 'massacre'
, January 31, 2007
"Many southern Shia Arabs do not follow Iranian-born cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. They believe the religious leadership should be kept in the hands of Arab clerics. Al-Hatami and al-Khazaali are two major tribes that do not follow Sistani. Tribal members from both believe the attack was launched by the central government of Baghdad to stifle growing Shia-Sunni unity in the area. "Our convoy was close to the al-Hatami convoy on the way to Najaf when we heard the massive shooting, and so we ran to help them because our tribe and theirs are bound with a strong alliance," a 45-year-old man who asked to be referred to as Ahmed told IPS.
.... Officials claimed that Iraqi security forces had obtained intelligence information from two detained men that had led the Iraqi Scorpion commando squad to prepare for an attack. The intelligence claimed obviously had little impact on how events unfolded."
"The modus operandi was clear: Shi'ites supported by Iran (the current Iraqi government) screaming "al-Qaeda!" and used the Pentagon to kill Arab nationalist Shi'ites. In this scenario, everything in Iraq that is not SCIRI or Da'wa is bundled into the "terrorist" bag. This pattern is bound to be replicated before, during and after the US surge.
What is certain is that the Maliki-Hakim alliance will continue to deploy its US-trained Iraqi army and police in further massacres, advised by the dreaded Scorpion commando squad, which is funded by US dollars, and responding to the head of Iraqi intelligence. In this sense, the Najaf massacre is also a classic case of the "Salvador option" in its Iraqified version: or how the lessons of Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s are useful for the "New Middle East".
.Questions do come to mind: - How can more than 300 'terrorists' assemble and remain hidden in a field near Najaf for so long, and are then suddenly discovered and obliterated? - If they are claimed to be such well-trained militants, how come the Iraqi police and military casualties are so low in comparison with near 260 dead 'terrorists'?- If they were indeed mere tribesmen marching that day in Ashoora, did they not hang somebody last month for just a similar massacre that occured in Dujail twenty years ago?
(Except that the massacring of marchers and the destruction of fields of palm groves is now done by very brave American pilots who are on a turkey hunt with their high-tech bombs shouting Yaa Hoo!!, or cowering American soldiers behind their shield of 'Iraqi' policemen, soldiers and the CIA-paid members of the Scorpion Death Brigade (SWAT Team) of Shahwani's - see bottom right picture in the link- 'Intelligence Bureau')
Alleged 'Jund Al-Samaa’ leader (Ahmed Hassan Al-Basri)