Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Lifting The Lid Off The Iraq Mosque Dome Debacle ...

26 February 2006

Lifting The Lid Off The Iraq Mosque Dome Debacle ...

Forced to the flamin' floor, fast - with only the faintest flick of that fabled feather duster -- that's what we were this morning [virtualy speaking of course], when the pair of us paid our daily visit to peruse the blog pages of Wolcott.

Especially, since several hours earlier we'd been engaged in rather heated international, online discussion regarding the top recently being blown right off much more than a mere mosque in Iraq. And maybe more to the point, we'd wondered [much more than aloud] who the hell had been low down dirty enough, to have dunnit.

Now enter Wolcott and scroll south to 'Shattered Dome,' to see some more.

Shattered Dome

Posted by James Wolcott

Here's what I don't get about the Golden Dome mosque bombing. That, once overtaken, the guards were tied up.

That eats up the clock when you're in a hurry and it spares lives, not exactly the M.O. of Al Qaeda, which tends to be more throat-cuttingly swift and savage. Al Qaeda and its affiliates are also not shy about claiming bragging rights for their crimes and atrocities, yet no one so far has taken awful credit for this desecration.

Most odd ......

Hmmm. Hardly anything thing there we'd want to argue with - although, to we two old ombres, 'odd' appears almost an understatement in this incidence.

However, J.W. then proceeded to point the pair of us, along with thousands more of his faithful followers, in the direction of Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches.

But before you bugger off from here to there, here's one of our traditional teasers.

The horrific attack which destroyed much of the Golden Mosque generated sectarian outrage which led to attacks on over 50 Sunni mosques. Many Sunni mosques in Baghdad were shot, burnt, or taken over. Three Imams were killed, along with scores of others in widespread violence.

This is what was shown by western corporate media.

As quickly as these horrible events began, they were called to an end and replaced by acts of solidarity between Sunni and Shia across Iraq.

This, however, was not shown by western corporate media.

“It was not the Sunnis who attacked the shrine of Imam Al-Hadi, God’s peace be upon him, but rather the occupation [forces] and Ba’athists…God damn them. We should not attack Sunni mosques. I ordered Al-Mahdi Army to protect the Shi’i and Sunni shrines.”

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, urged Iraqi Shia not to seek revenge against Sunni Muslims, saying there were definite plots “to force the Shia to attack the mosques and other properties respected by the Sunni. Any measure to contribute to that direction is helping the enemies of Islam and is forbidden by
sharia.”Instead, he blamed the intelligence services of the U.S. and Israel for being behind the bombs at the Golden Mosque.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated that those who committed the attack on the Golden Mosque “have only one motive: to create a violent sedition between the Sunnis and the Shiites in order to derail the Iraqi rising democracy from its path.”

Well said Mr. Blair, particularly when we keep in mind the fact that less than a year ago in Basra, two undercover British SAS soldiers were detained by Iraqi security forces whilst traveling in a car full of bombs and remote detonators.
Hmmm, yet again. And that's our own understatement for the day.

Before we forget, it's only fair to say that our own suspicions, discussions and conclusions as explained at the outset, finally ended with both This Old Brit and his dear Dr Watson wannabe Richard, agreeing unanimously.

We had previously put together all the puzzle pieces -- and quite correctly, we claim. All the clues were already there of course. Just as they are right now, peppered about this page, in pictures. But for the benefit of any still struggling to see 'the big picture' we'll simply say what lays below, then leave you to sort it out for yourself.

So, let's list our own cryptic little pics, kind of like like crossword clues. Okay?

U.K. -- S.A.S -- ( S.B.S ?)
U.S.A. -- Black Ops -- ( Seals? C.I.A.?)
Israel -- MOSSAD -- ( I.D.F.? )

And for our parting shot -cum- last clue -- did you ever read that other old Brit Agatha Christie's book [or see the film] 'Murder On The Orient Express'? You know, that's the one with the truly terrific twist in the tale -- the one with the super-surprise ending.

Remember? It turned out -- they ALL damned well dunnit.


Anonymous graniab said...

Good piece Richard - yes we are all asking 'who dun it'? BTW Mark has done some stellar work at his site 'splaining the background and ongoing debate. I hope he rewards himself with a good cup of tea - as opposed to the tea I drink - it's the water you know - I haven't had a decent cup of tea in over a decade!

12:39 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, you guys are good. Holy Crap! We're (all) the bad guys. D.K.

1:24 am  
Blogger St!ff M!ttens said...

The problem I have with laying the blame on a US/UK/Israel plot is that it seems to be working. That just doesn't sound like our usual modus operandi.

Some more good discussion on this topic is here:

here's another good resource:

and, as always, Juan Cole has lots to report:

4:22 am  
Anonymous Rex said...

Yes and no from me friends.
Yes I think this is a good piece - some real food for thought.

No I don't have much trouble accepting the idea, because we know it's no secret that US and are UK are, and we know US and Israel couldn't have closer ties, and we know all three have vested interests here. And we know all have secret/special ops/forces.

So all in all, I'd say that if they weren't using their combined "abilties" - I would be amazed. That's not to say I don't think all three are [and have been for years] directly and jointly to blame for 90% and more of the M.E. problems, wars, conflicts, deaths, etc.

12:43 pm  
Anonymous Rex said...

Duh!!! Sorry!!

Should read - we know US and UK are "allies".

12:46 pm  
Blogger markfromireland said...

For the Record - The Israelis are running like wildfire through Kurdistan. Who do you think is providing all that counter insurgency training to the Kurdish militas that we don't hear about?

As Grania says I've been blogging about Samarra but not at blogger over at my other blog that I use for more in depth and categorised articles:

- Richard's already visited and said nice things :-)

Here's a sample of what Iraqis think (this guy is Shia):

“My brothers this is no coincidence consider that in the space of a few days we have:

1. The Danish cartoons.
2. More photos of the evil the crusaders do in and are still doing in Abu Ghraib.
3. We have the British army assaulting Muslim children.
4. We have an “incident” at the jail. [I don’t know what incident this was but everyone else seemed to and this comment got lots of agreement. - mfi ]
5. Our brother Shiite’s mosques in Pakistan have been bombed just yesterday.
6. Just yesterday the massacre of Shiites and now;
7. This most heinous act of desecration.

No reasonable person can believe that any of these acts are random, they were all planned and co-ordinated by the Americans and the Danes and the English to plunge us to war so they can continue to rape our land.”

and this guy:

“No Muslim would do this, this came from a crusader’s mind.”

and there's this:

“This was AMERICANS their soldiers are either nigger savages or white crusader filth from their sewers in their South. They are evil and stupid to think they could get away with this.

If I go into my home and find my baby dead with a knife in its back, my wife with her throat slashed and a lunatic escaped from the asylum covered in blood laughing at me. Then I must conclude that it is he who who has slain my wife and my child.



I'm doing a long posting on "whodunnit" or to be more accurate I'm asking Machiavelli's question "Who Benefits"

2:36 pm  
Blogger Gert said...

Well, I'll be the sceptic again, I guess.

I don't see how the US/UK/Israel are to benefit from this, but I CAN see who would benefit from blaming the Coalition.

The idea that Muslims would never blow up a mosque is rather an illusion to me: the opposing factions are capable of anything.

3:39 pm  
Blogger Reverend X said...

Yep, I doubt any Muslim would target a Mosque. That whole "Don't piss god off" thing I guess.
BTW, Richard, I just finished a video. I know you are in the Anti-War group so if it will help, grab it.

4:40 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark of Eire, re: your #4 point above ... they may have been referring to the prison riots this weekend in Polichartki Prison in Afghanistan which supposedly mainly holds Al Queada inmates. I saw a brief AP story telling of violent rioting & prisoners taking over the wing with women & children. Why women & children are there, did not say. But I can guess why the prisoners did not want them under "our" control. D.K.

5:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I despise Blair but I honestly believe he's sorry he ever made his promise & offered an open to cheque to Bush right after 9/11/

He was too young and inexperienced a natinal leader - never mind world statesman.

I think he'll regret what he let himself [and the rest of we Brits] in for, till his dying day.

I also think he's virtualy being "blackmailed" by the US to stick with it -- whatever. Just like the unblievably spineless Dems in the US. There's so much "dirt" behind most of them that' they're easily kept in their place too.

Remember Bush's poppy was not only a president - who learned all the ropes [inside out] - he was also an ex head of the CIA. He knew EVERYTHING there was to know, and is still reported to regularly [as is customary for an ex president]. He made good use of all this by setting up his sons to run Texas [George] and Jeb [Florida] - then George to run the whole caboodle - at least 'in name'. And they aren't finished yet either. You wait and see.

It's a dynysty now. Nearly a royal family. Busch Rule.

5:38 pm  
Blogger markfromireland said...

" Anonymous said...
Mark of Eire, re: your #4 point above

That's a quote from me at the time - I was live blogging and translating from Arabic.

That "incident" (don't you love that lovely neutral word) was prisoners being hauled out of a Jail in Iraq (Basra) and murdered.

6:00 pm  
Blogger St!ff M!ttens said...

Gert, doesn't the US benefit in the sense that more civil unrest in the region provides them a plausible excuse to maintain a military presence? And if that is so, then Israel could benefit from having military allies mobilized in the region and the UK might just be going along because, well... in for a penny, in for a pound.

On the other hand, determining who benefits the most, is a good rule of thumb for detecting who is most likely responsible, but it doesn't really account for the possibility of incompetence. What if the guilty party simply had the wrong idea about how this would play out. On the other, other hand, that sort of sounds like Bushco's M.O., doesn't it?

On the other, other, other hand, I sometimes wonder if the neocons really believed the coalition would be greeted as liberators and that the Iraqi oil industry would pay for the whole affair, etc. Maybe they new all along what a fiasco this would be but for some reason known only to them it was the most desirable course of action anyway.

It's a complicated onion and I'm beginning to get sick of the stink of it (and I love onions!).

6:09 pm  
Blogger Reverend X said...

Stiff Mittens,
Honestly I do not think this is the end the Neo-Cons are working towards. It is just one step along the way. Every month Iraq slips more out of control. The incompetence and mistakes are well beyond anything that could come from the stupidest of people. It has to be intentional. The Chaos they are creating will eventually spread through out the Middle east, Asia and Europe. They are in position to lock down 2/3 of the US. "We fight them there so we don't have to fight them here." makes a lot more sense if you switch the pronouns implying US Military and Terrorists. A few more Sh-aw-k invasions (Iran and Syria) and the destabilization will be nearly unstoppable. Then, if they have either sold themselves to the only Super power left or figured out some way to neutralize China instantly (H5n1 or more likely the Spanish Flu of 1918 which they recreated not to long ago)... They get everything they've ever wanted. Total Global Dominance for the foreseeable future. Significant world population downsizing, with only the strongest surviving the Holy Wars. Good slave stock weakened enough for enslavement.
Israel goes along, not seeing beyond the final solution to their Arab problem. By the time they realize the double cross, it's too late for them. Bush is the flag bearer of "write yourself into Revelations". He exhibits every symptom of Apocalyptic Christian Faith and he's never read the book that tells you who not to be. He will never notice that the characters in position and doing what he's doing are on the wrong side of the story.

Then again, maybe I'm just being paranoid... Anybody seen the Pope recently?

7:52 pm  
Blogger markfromireland said...

I can't speak for Gert. But AFAIC Stiffmittens what you've just said is intuitively plausible.

That's exactly who benefit most - so long as you accept that they want to be there and have no intention of leaving except to their bases on Iraqi soil.

7:57 pm  
Blogger Confessions of a Malamute said...

The only group that could have pulled this off was the yanks. It took hours and hours to set the charges in that mosque. Helpfully the americans blocked off the streets to help this happen. This is typical of them. Get the locals fighting among themselves and they’re not gonna be fighting the yanks. The questions has to be asked: Who benefits and who had the ability to pull it off. Certainly not the Iraqi's. america on the other hand does. As for their lies about being in Iraq to keep order blah blah blah... yanki go home. All you've done since this wave of violence started is cower in your forts. Truth About Iraqis has some good writing about what's going on. Check my blog for Sat Feb 25th for more Iraqi blogs. What is going on in Iraq is typical of what americans do when they invade. Hold BS “elections” to install paid off puppets, divide and conquer/murder outright the locals, and leave them to live in squalor. Then they wonder why they're so hated. The world needs to be made safe FROM american “democracy”.

8:07 am  
Anonymous E-R said...

Shit! Sometimes I am soooo thick. The curfew! That's why they imposed the curfew.They wanted everyone out of the way to set things up unhindered.

Now they've done their dirty work the curfew's lifted, the criminals and REAL terrorists from outside Iraq are starting their killings again. The US have retreated to barrack fortesses to let the slaughter continue.

Thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, you fellahs. Now I "get it" - and how!

12:09 pm  
Anonymous Rosemary said...

This piece is most helpful, Richard. And the comments and links they provide are helpful too.

I feel like I am getting a genuine perspective that is actually making sense.

Glad to see Dahr Jamail's report and link. He reports regularly on FlashPoints radio broadcasts.

How arrogant of the neocons to believe they could totally isolate the U.S. from honest world news! But they came awfully close.

12:25 pm  
Blogger Gert said...

Sorry, but I can't see that level of cynicism being beneficial to the US. Much better for the neocons to reach some stability in Iraq and have a nice new client state with some nice American bases and a good dollop of dependency of the regime on Washington for just about everything. Something like the Shah's Iran (1953 - 1979). That way their presence in the ME is once again increased and Iran surrounded, "just in case".

But that requires some semblance of stability, not the continued mayhem as we're seeing today.

I'll eat my hat if I'm wrong (edible hat shops, anyone?)

3:52 pm  
Blogger St!ff M!ttens said...

Okay, but consider this: in 1964, LBJ and RFK discussed the possile escalation of the VietNam conflict. Part of their reasoning for wanting to escalate was that it was clear that the South VietNamese army was not up to the task of taking on the VietCong (not unlike the Iraqi army being unable to handle the insurgency on their own). But they were concerned about too much debate in congress and too much public outcry (Johnson specifically recalled Korea and the public divide on that issue). The Gulf of Tonkin incident gave Johnson the excuse he needed for escalation.

The bombing of the Askariyah shrine in Samarra coupled with the uproar over the Danish cartoon protests seem to be precipitating both sectarian violence and more pronounced anti-western feelings. Maybe this is the way the neocons are hoping to draw France and Germany into the fray on the coalition side.

Now it may be true that the neocons want to develop a nice, relatively stable, client state (clearly that's what this was all about from the get go), but a diplomatic path to that end seems to be getting more and more remote with each passing day. Even William F. Buckley is saying that the mission has failed.

Now I'm not saying that Reverend X's dark and apocalyptic vision is the gospel truth, but there is something to Rev's sermon. The neocons are not about living in peace and harmony, they are about acquiring power and dominance.

6:25 pm  
Blogger St!ff M!ttens said...

PS - "something like the Shah's Iran" is exactly what many of the Iraqi players in the diplomatic process are trying to thwart. That's why that process is failing, because the US will accept nothing less and most Iraqis will accept nothing of the kind (don't forget, Saddam was a US client at first. I'm sure the Iraqis haven't forgotten).

6:36 pm  
Blogger J.UL1R4 said...

Wow great post Richard, sadly these days it seems nothing can or should be taken at face value.

There was also P2OG, which included a manifesto of "stimulating reactions", it is said against 'terrorists' and 'rogue states', but let's face it such a doctrine be arbitrarily extended or interpreted in any direction.

As some have pointed out here, it's uh..not exactly like the is no precident for this kind of thing, sadly there is and history seems to be scattered with covert provacations and false flag ops designed to cause all sorts of terrible events.

8:42 pm  
Blogger Reverend X said...

Just for the record- When I speculate, I speculate big. I am fairly certain that reality lies somewhere between failed (not actually tried) diplomacy and an Armageddon Jones. Just thought I'd toss out the worst case scenario, so in the highly unlikely event of it happening, I at least get some props as I die.

8:46 pm  
Blogger St!ff M!ttens said...

"so in the highly unlikely event of it happening, I at least get some props as I die."

Amen, brother. Nothing eases the pain of armageddon like a smug, I-told-you-so smile.


9:54 pm  
Blogger Reverend X said...

It's the little things in life, err death, you know. They make it all worth it.

1:53 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

excerpts from
The Smoking Gun

By Mike Whitney

02/27/06 "ICH" -- -- The AFP is reporting that the bombing of the Golden Domed Mosque “was the work of specialists” and that the “placing of explosives must have taken at least 12 hours.”

Construction Minister Jassem Mohammed Jaafar said, “Holes were dug into the mausoleum’s four main pillars and packed with explosives. Then charges were connected together and linked to another charge placed just under the dome. The wires were then linked to a detonator which was triggered at a distance.”

Clearly, the bombing was not carried out by rogue elements in the disparate Iraqi resistance. This is the work of highly-trained saboteurs and bomb-experts who were executing a precision-demolition to incite sectarian violence. The blast bears all the hallmarks of a covert Intelligence-agency operation.


The AFP’s report is consistent with earlier accounts provided by a Baghdad blogger who demonstrates that the destruction of the mosque was a “controlled demolition” which required considerable time and professional expertise. The photographs of the nearby, but untouched, minarets provide a shocking example of the bomber’s skill.

Eyewitness accounts have appeared on various web sites claiming that there were “unusual activities” taking place at the mosque the night before the bombing. One witness reported that he heard their “cars the whole night until the next morning”. Another witness who lives near to the mosque says that at 8:30 that evening he was told “to stay in your shop and don’t leave the area” while Iraqi National Guard and American troops “patrolled the area until the next morning”. At 6:30 AM the American troops left.

At 6:40 the first explosion went off.

6:32 am  
Blogger markfromireland said...

Yep, I doubt any Muslim would target a Mosque. That whole "Don't piss god off" thing I guess.

I have to contradict this. Mosque bombings by sectarian extremists are unfortunately far from unknown. For example the ongoing campaign of Shi´i mosques in Baluchistan.

3:18 pm  
Blogger Gert said...

"The AFP’s report is consistent with earlier accounts provided by a Baghdad blogger who demonstrates that the destruction of the mosque was a “controlled demolition” which required considerable time and professional expertise. The photographs of the nearby, but untouched, minarets provide a shocking example of the bomber’s skill."

Skill or incompetence?

3:44 pm  
Blogger markfromireland said...

"Skill or incompetence"

Skill Gert definitely skill - I used to be a bomb disposal officer - If you look at the various photos especially the ones from inside looking up you'll see that the blast path was really rather precisely controlled.

Whoever set those charges knew their stuff.

2:31 pm  
Blogger Gert said...

Fair enough!

2:51 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Wow. What a fact-fest. And no one can ever say that discussion or debate is ever stifled here. Nor is there ever anything but civility when any [mainly minor, here] differences arise.

3:39 pm  

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