Machiavelli or Paranoia ?

Something is bothering me. Actually a few things are bothering me, but am not sure where to begin...

It might be an attack of political paranoia, the DSM must really start including this “mental disorder” as it is epidemic in the Arab World, but not only in this part of the world...

But as the joke goes- just because am paranoid, doesn’t mean that they're not out there to get me.

And I believe the Arab people have been had. In particular the Iraqis and the Palestinians.

This paranoia attack has been triggered by three things, seemingly unrelated...

The first one was a “detail” I read in an article regarding Mullah Atari, also known as Muqtada Al-Sadr. The second was also triggered by another article I read regarding Hamas. And the third, triggered by the latest from Syria.

So let me start with the first, as it is nagging me. Mullah Atari is indeed a “nagging” issue for most relatively sane Iraqis, and in particular Iraqi women, and with me topping the list.

In the al- Jazeera article, Mullah Atari- the driller, said Sadr city is now like Gaza.

Interesting analogy from the driller of the Palestinians in Iraq, and definitely an interesting analogy when Muqtada didn’t mention the word Palestine not even once in his famous interview with the bland, in awe, Ghassan Ben Jeddu a few weeks ago.

Suddenly Gaza comes to his mind. Might the “struggles” be similar ? The reader wonders and concludes - supported by a list of abundant articles - that this might indeed be the case, hence confirming their own beliefs that Mullah Atari is indeed a patriotic, anti-American resistance force, standing for the “liberation” of Iraq from the US.


M.Al-Sadr also accused the Iraqi government of being "too close" to the Americans. And he adds "The occupation has made us target of its planes, tanks, air strikes and snipers. Without our SUPPORT this government would not have been formed..."But with its alliance with the occupier [the Iraqi government] is not independent and sovereign as we would like it to be."

Notice the wording. "TOO close". Too close to the Americans and drifting away from? From Iran, of course. This puppet government was born and raised in Iran after all.

Drifting away from a particular group/influence/interest within the Iranian government.

And that group is the hardliners, i.e Ahmadinejad and his followers. In other words, Al-Maliki by turning a temporary blind eye to the Sahwa (Arab Sunnis), and getting closer to the Americans has committed something akin to adultery. In other words, he is spending more time in the American bed than in the Iranian/Ahmadinejad bed. And Khomeini’s ghost is not too pleased with that imbalanced affair.

My political paranoia led me to dig a little deeper and pushed me to read more news coming from Iran. And to my surprise (not really), Ahmadinejad is currently involved in a huge domestic crisis with what he calls the “corrupt reformists”, referring to the Rafsandjani/Khatemi group.

This latter have been handing Ahmadinejad some pretty heavy criticisisms regarding his domestic policies, the over 20% inflation rate and other economic moves that are taking the country towards an internal abyss. This also led Ahmadinejad’s economic advisor to step down from office a few days ago.

This internal Iranian "war" is a real one. It is worth mentioning that the Khatemi/Rafsandajani group are the ones who have been calling for a rapprochement with the West, in particular the U.S.

So I thought to myself, could it be that besides the local Iraqi politics, such as the provincial elections and the power struggle for influence and power, could it be that the current Intra-Shiite conflict be a reflection of internal Iranian domestic politics ? Could it be that the Hakeem of the SCII and Al-Maliki opted for the Rafsandjani/Khatemi camp as opposed to the Ahmadinejadi one? And could it be that Muqtada Al-Sadr is Ahmadinejad's personal card against Maliki & Co for getting "TOO CLOSE" to the Americans?

I think so.

Overall, this would not make a great difference inside of Iraq and in particular in the South. The South will be divided between Iran and the US for sure. But it does make a difference within domestic Iranian politics between the hardliners and the reformists. In other words between a purist undiluted version of Khomeinism and one that is still Khomeinist but slightly more adaptable and realistic.

However for us, as Iraqis, the end result is very much the same. We are stuck with a sectarian fascist government put by the U.S. occupier. It’s only a question of degrees not of fundamentals.

Another thing that caught my attention is the bit of news that Muqtada is still in Iran contrary to popular belief. And that the notorious sectarian Al-Jaafari (who was PM before Maliki and is known for his sectarian policies- issued from the same fetid pond of sectarian political Shiism, like Al-Maliki, Rubaie, Al-Hakeem and Sadr -always keep in mind it’s about degrees not fundamentals) is currently in Iran.

There is also talk of forming a new government. Possibly a new alliance between Muqtada Al-Sadr and Al-Jaafari? Now, that will fall much better in line with the hardliners of Ahmadinejad’s aspirations than the Maliki who is getting “too close” to the Americans.

Overall, these latest tactics and discourses of Muqtada aka Mullah Atari, remind me of Nasrallah’s Hezbollah. The humanitarian work, the charity(for shiites only) the engaging in the political process and simultaneously holding the gun...for one big difference, Nasrallah is more intelligent than Muqtada, or should I say less stupid...

OK, you might be wondering what has that got to do with Hamas, Carter and Gaza ?

I’m getting there, bear my paranoia for a little while, will you ?

We all know that Ahmadinejad’s Iran supports Hamas, not because the Iranians have a particular love for the Palestinians or for the ARAB Palestinian cause (I think the Palestinian Iraqi experience is enough to dispel that myth) but because the Palestinian cause is a handy pawn to use – not so much against Israel, but against the Arab governments, depicting and revealing their impotence and treacherousness.

Moreover it serves another double purpose. First to show the so-called “principled” Iranian stand, which is quite easy, since Iran is one country in comparison to a disunited conglomerate of Arab countries with different political agendas. And, secondly it serves the purpose of discrediting any IDEA or political struggle based on Pan-Arabism. A notion which is automatically and unconsciously associated with the Arab masses.

Hence Iran, having figured out the Arab “street's“ weakness, was able to rally around itself the Arab masses under the banner of “anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism” whilst obliging like a good mistress in occupied Baghdad with the exact same men it denounces...

You need to understand these nuances, if you are to understand the dynamics by which current day Iran operates. Saddam Hussein understood it very well. It does take brains you know.

Back to Hamas.

Today, after Carter’s mediation, intervention, visit-- call it what you wish, Hamas spokesman said that it is ready to have a truce with Israel, provided this latter withdraws to the 67 borders, and I quote:

Mashaal says Hamas would accept a Palestinian state limited to the lands Israel seized in 1967 — an implicit acceptance that Israel would exist alongside that state.But Mashaal says the group would never outright formally recognize Israel.”

Now, I, the simpleton that I am, I don’t see where Mashaal and Arafat differ. Arafat accepted the 67 borders, and the notion of a Palestinian state alongside that of Israel. The only difference is that Arafat engaged in some peace accords with Israel.

I don’t want to get enmeshed in political quibblings over legalities and political philosophical notions on the meaning of “state existence”. But one thing that strikes me as bloody obvious is that an implicit acceptance of a state next to Israel and a truce, means a recognition of the state of Israel.

But that is not my main point. The point I really wanted to make, or more the parallel I wanted to draw, having been “inspired” by Muqtada Al-Sadr politicking, is -- can it be that that the current PA who deposed Arafat through murder, be likened to the current Maliki puppet government ? And can the current Hamas be likened to the current Sadr ? In other words, can it be that Hamas’s objections to Abbas and Co were/are that this latter was getting “too close” to the US/Israel - to the disliking of Ahmadinejad’s Iran ?

So from my simpleton’s perspective, I wonder, what was all this Hamas resistance about ?

What was this division in the heart of the Palestinian cause/movement, where you have the PA, Hamas, the Israeli Palestinians, and the Palestinian refugees each forming a different identity, under the one and same Israeli Zionist Occupation ?

Is that not reminiscent of the current Iraqi scene ?

Now let me be objective here, I am not blaming it ALL on Iran, the PA with its shameless striptease to the Zionists encouraged that too. But still, the parallels are striking in my opinion...or is just my political paranoia ?

Let them hammer away at Sadr City and Gaza’s innocents, so Iran’s Ahmadinejad and Israel can have their final say or accord ?

Israel may not agree to Hamas’s terms, but if it needed to strike a deal with Iran, it would consider it...after all they do have a common enemy “ Ayrabs, Aghabs, A’raaaab”,like the Americans, Israelis and Iranians pronounce it.

If I were Israel, I’d more worried about the potential of Arabism of the millions of Arabs (who had a Saddam Hussein and a Nasser for examples) than a few millions of isolated Iranians in an Arab sea. And Iran knows that. Hence its political Shi'ism marketed under the heading of anti-Zionism and anti–Americanism, hoping to embrace the “Arab masses”, through its various proxies in the region. Embracing through sectarian divisions that ironically serve the Israeli Zionistic interests.

If I were Israel, I would also make sure to keep dividing those Arab ”bastards” along sectarian and ethnic lines, so they can never rise to be a coherent WHOLE.
And what better ally can I have but Iran(A) and down the line Turkey(B), if plan A fails...

Now the third piece of news, another trigger for my political “paranoid delusions”,

“Syria's president has confirmed exchanging messages with Israel through an unnamed third party, saying that both sides are exploring the possibility of resuming peace negotiations.”

Syria is part of the "Axis of Evil" according to the U.S. Yet Syria obliged in Gulf War 1, when its soldiers were on the frontlines “liberating” Kuwait. Moreover, Syria has very amicable ties with Iran and Hezbollah and...the Maliki government.

So what’s the deal here?

Will Syria forfeit its amicable ties with Iran in exchange for the Golan heights and a peace treaty with Israel and leave Iran out, alone in the cold ?

Or will Syria through its power plays in Lebanon, force the Israelis to reckon with Syria and Iran as part of the deal ?

I am not quite sure which camp Syria will opt for. The Arab camp or the Alawite/Shiite camp with Iran.

Syria holds more cards than anyone cares to believe.

In parallel in Lebanon, two Phalangists were killed by the Lebanese Aoun/Hezbollah opposition. Not that I care much for the Phalangists of Lebanon, but just by coincidence the elections for a Lebanese President has been postponed again for the 100th time.

Is everyone buying time to figure out what the deal between US/Israel and Iran is ?
Is everyone buying time so either one can finally pronounce themselves out in the open ?

Meanwhile, " a cousin of Saddam Hussein known as "Chemical Ali" has been hospitalized after a hunger strike to protest his treatment during a complex legal and political fight that has delayed his death sentence for months, a defense lawyer said Monday..." Treatment under the US /Iran collaborative in Iraq.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi and the Palestinian ARAB PEOPLE are paying the Machiavellian price of the wheelings and dealings of their in abstentia “Princes”.

N.B: I need to make one thing very clear. I am AGAINST any strike on Iran and the Iranian people. After all, I am a good ARAB (and Muslim) neighbor. Just thought I'd mention it.
Another N.B: I'd rather write about love and perfumes...than sticking/stinking politics.

Painting : Iraqi artist, Qassem Naji


KM said…
You would be a very good person to write a novel Layla. You can put alot of passion into it and you have a way with words. You have that talent and it is a powerful asset.
Anonymous said…
Simpleton my backside :-)

You have the sharpest eye, most sophisticated analytic brain and the most seductive language skills in the virtual sphere, why the Big F don't you enter the real-life political arena and become an activist pasionaria of the double anti-Zionist and anti-Khomeinist struggle ?

No man seems to be up to replace the Martyred President at the head and in the heart of the Pan-Arab movement, maybe only a woman could...

Zabiba c'est toi.
Angel said…
Hi Layla,

So what’s the deal here?

The deal is you're being screwed upside down, sideways, every which way.

Which ever way, you lose.

NB Have not been able to publish comments, for some reason.
Cecilio Morales said…
Very interesting and complex scenario. I'm not sure I see all the connections.

Certainly, it's unclear how Gaza fits in.

Also, I don't see Hamas as being particularly compromising -- not that they should be. But asking for Israel to withdraw to its 1967 borders is tantamount to saying "we won't negotiate." Why not just say it plainly? There's way too much intricate double-talk. I realize it's partly cultural, but it means that energies get dissipated on side issues.
KM said…
I posted way too much yesterday and I will minimize my comments.

I do not know much about the internal politics of the Mideast nor other parts of the World.

But I am confident this 'war on terror' is not what it is trying to be pulled of to be; claiming Iraq is a 'front' in the war on terror.

What I do know ( parts, and very informative parts at that ) is that the United States government and their operatives, both foreign & domestic are HEAVILY involved in illegal activities on a routine, business as usual basis.

The so called 'war on drugs'..a complete sham and a farse.

This is a 5th video from a total of 8. The man spekaing is a former CIA contractor / officer. Listen to him and any Americans reading this..especially you and most especially if you continue to claim that what the United Stes does is 'good' and promotes 'democracy, moral values and has free elections'.

Videos 5 thur 8 are good in showing the above but of course beginning at video 1 is better to get the complete picture of what this ex - CIA man is saying.

The Number 1 asset in Iraq is oil. In Central America it was ( and IS ) cocaine. The name of the game, according to him, is to nuetralize. With United States knwolwedge of the highest levels, cocaine was (probably still is including Afghanistan) being flown into Arkansas, United States.

Ami Nir who was then the "counter - terrorism counselor to Israel's Simon Perez" was a player as well as American Oliver North and then Vice President George H.W. Bush.
Oliver North was involved in the Iran - Contra ilegal activities. Much of the current US president's team is of that same era. Many of whom were determined to be felons ( committed a Federal Crime ) and were later pardoned by the United States government for their crimes.
Bill Clinton was then Governor of the state of Arkansaa I believe.

YET, we here talk of "justice" and "America being a nation of laws" coming from George W.

They may be out to "nuetralize" Iran and bring them into "alignment" as they have done in so many places around the World.
Anonymous said…
Articles like this one exposing the Iranian power game in the Arab East via the treacherous so-called nationalist proxies in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon etc. should be translated into Arabic and rammed down the throats of the sleep-walking, unconsciously self-prostituting Arab masses in the schools, universities and at all levels of the Media information system.

Thank you for being a candle in the darkness.
WAS said…
Great insight into the Iranian enigma -- much needed in the blogosphere!

al-Sadr's reference to Gaza had to do with the partitioning strategy the US is employing for Sadr City (and Falljah and Baghdad etc etc etc) along the Israeli model--keep the neighborhoods separated by concrete, have checkpoints for any access to a wider world, suppress any economic activity to starve the insurrective beast, bomb from the air at will. Keeping the rebels separated and sectarian is consdered "best practices" in current Arab anti-insurgency doctrine.

I see it also seems to be working--at least in its goal of enforcing powerlessness. You ought to check into the prior work of John Negroponte in Central America. He did the same thing in the Shiite "cleansing" of Sunni areas-encourage the bloodletting with assassinations, money, arms and tactics so rebel groups couldn't find common cause. Then the US used money to divide Sunnis to fight "al-Qaida", and then used air support to divide Shiite militias based on their acquiecence in their plan for a highly milatarized, pro-Israel Iraq with de-facto US oil control.

The real challenge, for Iraqis as for any peoples facing occupation, is to find common cause despite these tactics--for as in Kafka's "Before the Law" the occupier has already lost, he just needs the occupied to claim victory.
Anonymous said…
This is some seriously paranoid stuff. Most americans, probably including most of the senate and the president. Don't even know that Iranians aren't Arab.
KM said…
Are Swedes Africans? Are Germans Italianos,etc? Good point anonymous. DId we crawl from the seas? Were we created? Are their jin aboungst us? What seperates good from evil?

"what is this Life that pulls me far away ?"
Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday Layla!!!
Anonymous said…
Hey Layla,

I have a challenge for you. Find a couple of US soldiers who have time to answer 15 minutes of questions for your blog.

- Would he be OK with $60 billion per year, direct to Iraqi construction companies, for 5 years to rebuild Iraq. This would cost him $200 extra taxes per year.

- Does the US owe Iraq reconstruction aid for the mistakes it made between 2003 and 2006?

- Is the insurgency the Iraqis fault, AQI, Iran or US fault?

- Does he think it is better to make Iraq divided Shia/Sunni/Kurd or to encourage Iraqi Nationalism? Why?

- Is it OK with him if China gets oil contracts and the US gets none?

- Who he thinks is worse - AQI, Sadr, or Baathists? Can any be negotiated with?

- Should Iraq repay the US? Does Iraq owe the US Oil?

- Do they think Iran has been helpful?

- Tell a story about good Iraqi people you met. Tell about bad ones you met.

I bet you most soldiers answers would surprise you and you would question whether Iran and the US are in bed. You would also question if blind hatred of Americans makes sense. You would question...

Greg from USA
Anonymous said…
I'd rather you just write about love and perfumes, so I can be dismissed from these torturous walks through the labyrinths of your mind and mazes of Mid East politics. And this blog will be of my list immediately after you've switched to love and perfumes, as it will be unbearably-sickeningly sweet. Too much palm essence, and no freshness!
And I'll give you 3 guesses; a preacher, one who should go to hell, a forgotten fallen leaf?
Anonymous said…
there are a lot of twists and turns in the post.

numero uno, you aren't crazy at all.

here are some things i noticed

"TOO close". Too close to the Americans and drifting away from? From Iran, of course. This puppet government was born and raised in Iran after all. was reminded of Dr. I. al-Shammari's words.

Iran and the US are Muta’a partners (temporary marriage) and outside of Iraq there is a cold war going on between them.

just like any marriage, power playing over who gets the most attention.

This internal Iranian "war" is a real one. It is worth mentioning that the Khatemi/Rafsandajani group are the ones who have been calling for a rapprochement with the West, in particular the U.S.

this i would like to know more about because it does seem fairly clear to me there are conflicting alliances in iran lending support to different sometimes conflicting actors in iraq. i know so little about iran, but i have been seriously thinking about this exactly myself. when i then read this following it set the hair up in the back of my neck because how could it not be...

could it be that besides the local Iraqi politics, such as the provincial elections and the power struggle for influence and power, could it be that the current Intra-Shiite conflict be a reflection of internal Iranian domestic politics ?

as for anyway of judging who's on who's side ("could it be that Muqtada Al-Sadr is Ahmadinejad's personal card against Maliki & Co ") i don't know enough about iranian politics, but wish i did.

that is just the tip of the iceburg from my responses of when i first read this yesterday for i had come fresh off reading about jafari in iran, sadr getting 'put out' or however they worded it..

as for my iran/palestinian thoughts..i will come back later for the motivation i see. remember, keep you friends close, your enemies closer.

Anonymous said…
Oh, annie, please don't come back, we hate to keep our enemies closer!
Layla Anwar said…
Hello everyone,

Sorry been too busy writing away, and will try to respond to each one of you, asap.

Thanks and Regards.
Layla Anwar said…
KM, well thank you. I am not sure anyone wants to read another novel though.
Layla Anwar said…
in awe,

Am not terribly comfortable with such praise, not sure I merit it either, and I do blush you know.
But many thanks for your kind words.
Layla Anwar said…
Hi Angel,

I guess Iraqis are being screwed, yes.
I don't know why you couldn't publish your comments.
Layla Anwar said…

Why Carter as a mediator now ? In politics nothing comes out of nothing. Besides, no one can maintain a permanent state of war.
Hamas will negotiate and so will the Israelis. But there are other players, notably Iran (and Syria and Hezbollah), See the dots now ?
Layla Anwar said…

Hello and thank you !
Layla Anwar said…
william a.sigler,

Great comment and nice poetry too!
Layla Anwar said…
Forgotten fallen leaf,

I need to be inspired by Love first, perfumes abound though.
Layla Anwar said…

You intelligently linked some of the IR points with the current Iranian/Sadr - of what looks like an enigma to the lay person. Good job.
Anonymous said…
Allright, then make me a potion that has Hope,Love,Peace,Friendship,A lot of Hard Work and A Lot of Sweat,Honesty,Tenderness,Care,Unity,Fun,Dance,Spontaneity,and whatever you may wish to add, but please leave civilization out off the magic potion in the sealed bottle,I'd rather stink like a native from the four winds!
Forgotten fallen leaf
Anonymous said…
Forgotten fallen leaf

Check paradise please.
Anonymous said…
I have to agree with Sigler in regards to the Bushits attempt to divide up Iraq as they attempted and eventually failed in Central America.

In regards to Layla's theory, I think she might be on the right track in regards to the internal Iranian politics but she is probably not right about the export of those politics to Iraq.

The fighting in Iraq started after Cheney's recent visit to the region and is probably only of tactical significance. The Bushits are fearful of losing their rear guard and supply route and ending up as Dien Bien Phu and have decided to have the fight now as opposed to when they are potentially involved in a front guard assault and suddenly find themselves logistically cut off. Obviously they love the fact that more Iraqis are killing more other Iraqis in stead of confronting them, not realizing that at the end of the day, the blame will always be laid at their feet.

I also have to agree with Greg from USA in regards to the motives of the average US soldier. They are highly demoralized and really do not want to be there but are seduced by false promises and once there are forced to act in inhumane ways. This does not however absolve them of individual responsibility.

We need to communicate better and more to the point. The occupation needs to end through all necessary means. The Iraqi people need to be recompensated. The refugees need to be repatriated in a safe fashion and those who are guilty of the Iraqi Genocide, regardless of their background, religion, nationality, affiliation need to be prosecuted and punished. The same goes for the Palestinian occupation.

I pray that the 100 year war that started in 1917 will one day end and that we are left alone at last to go about our own business.
Anonymous said…
Amir,you pray well beyond 1915!
Karl Marx was never right! Remember, he claimed Turkey would start World War III, you know why, cause Karl Marx is a traitor, a blood sucker! Karl Marx was never right! He wishes that Turkey's unions and Turkish people get into a fight tomorrow, the 1st of May, Heheheheehe! Karl Marks, suck on it!
Remember, Ding Ming Dynasty had to0 build the Chinese Wall!!!!
KARL MARKS WAS NEVER RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Of cours that goes along to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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