'Attacks against Shia in Iraq directly linked to situation Syria'
John Wight has written for newspapers and websites across the world, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. He is also a regular commentator on RT and BBC Radio. He wrote a memoir of the five years he spent in Hollywood, where he worked in the movie industry prior to becoming a full time and activist and organizer with the US antiwar movement post-9/11. The book is titled Dreams That Die and is published by Zero Books. John is currently working on a book exploring the role of the West in the Arab Spring. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnWight1
RT:It looks like deadly attacks happen in Iraq almost every day. From your point of view, are their security forces able to do anything?
John Wight: Clearly not. At this stage it is important to put this into a wider context. This follows on, these terrific attacks in Bagdad follow on from the double suicide-bombing at the Iranian embassy in Beirut yesterday [on Tuesday], this is a part of the original struggle launched by Sunni fundamentalists, or Salafists, or Takfiries, whatever you want to call them, and turning the entire region into a killing field, opening a way to launching it back to the 7th century. So the upsurge in violence in Iraq against Shia communities is directly linked to what is going on in Syria.
RT: The government is blaming Sunni, Al-Qaeda linked extremists for the attacks. So knowing their enemy, why aren't they able to fight it?
JW: Well, the borders are poor, the place is in complete chaos and they have to keep control of the borders, there is clearly the ability of these barbarians, it is what they are, to move forward. They have been helped in this regard by such states as Turkey and of course Saudi Arabia, their main backer. And of course the West has played a great role in this. I mean with regard to Iraq specifically, the anti-war movement in Europe and the United States predicted that this is precisely what would happen if the US and the UK went into Iraq as they did in 2003. But the entire region is in complete chaos because of this regional conflict, as I see it, and it is difficult for security forces in Iraq and Syria to keep a lid on these things. That’s why it’s important that the West puts pressure on the position of its allies to stop fighting and to turn to the negotiation table not just to isolate these Sunni fundamentalists. They have no place in the future of the region.
RT:And Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has called for Washington's help to curb the violence recently, will US assistance help to put an end to the bloodshed, to the violence?
JW: The only way the US could assist the process is to put pressure on Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states to stop funding and arming these fundamentalists. But of course Saudi Arabia is ruled by a clutch of Sunni fundamentalists itself and this is a part of the original struggle with the objective of isolating Iran. So the US is playing a game, it has also an interest in isolating Iran but it’s being led by the nose at this point by this unholy alliance comprising the Saudi autocracy, the Gulf states and Israel, who are interested in attacking Iran and bringing it down. This creates a huge instability that is not in the interest of the West because they need to get access to the oil and to maintain some semblance of stability in the region that is clearly lurching towards an abyss that we saw in the Gulf, Afghanistan, in the early 90s after the fall of Kabul 1992.
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