the March 2nd Massacres of Shiite Muslims
Plotted by the Bush Administration!

March 3rd 2004
Japan Revolutionary Communist League (Revolutionary Marxist Faction)

Powerful bombs exploded suddenly in the midst of the Shiite holy Ashura rituals, indiscriminately killing more than two hundred people in the sacred city of Karbala and in Kazimiyah, Baghdad, on March 2nd, 2004. For these religious ceremonies, held after an interval of fifteen years, over two million Shiite believers had gathered from all over the country of Iraq and abroad.

On the very same day, in Quetta, Pakistan, gunshots and bombs killed over forty Shiites during another event of Ashura.

We, the Japan Revolutionary Communist League (Revolutionary Marxist Faction), declare that these bloody massacres of Shiites, executed simultaneously in Iraq and Pakistan, were nothing but an imperialist state conspiracy, organized by the Bush administration to prevent, at any cost, the Iraqi Shiites (60% of the country's population) from seizing power by demanding direct elections. US imperialists carried out these mass murders to divide the Iraqi people by instigating sectarian conflict between Shiites and Sunnis, while undermining the strength of the former.

We also judge that the incident in Pakistan was choreographed by the same perpetrators of conspiracies to give all those incidents the appearance of 'international terror' by members of al-Qaeda.

We reveal to the whole world that these acts of carnage are the barbarity of the century, committed by US imperialists to wriggle out of their total bankruptcy in the military occupation of Iraq and in Bush's strategy of asymmetrical war based on American unilateralism. Burning with anger, we denounce this state terrorism by the Bush administration!


The Bush administration is circulating a story that these incidents were committed by al-Qaeda terrorists. This very act of spreading a groundless rumour betrays the fact that the brains behind this crime are none but these imperialist rulers.

In actuality, the leaders of al-Qaeda immediately issued a statement and denied responsibility: 'The American troops have committed a massacre. We, and with Allah as our witness, say we are innocent of this act and of anything that will drive the Shiites away. The mujahideen will not do anything that will harm the Iraqi people, except for a just cause. We only target American Crusaders and their lackeys, the Iraqi police.' (The reported letter dated March 2nd, signed by the 'Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades (al-Qaeda)'.)

Nevertheless, the US powerholders blustered. 'It has hallmarks, in my opinion, of an attack orchestrated by a man named al-Zarqawi', said Dick Cheney. US Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy chief of US operations in Iraq, also attributed the attacks to al-Qaeda. That the vice-president of a country should have named a suspect instantly without any investigation into it! What is this, if not evidence of conspiracy organized by that state? And in reality, according to Al-Jazeera, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a 'travelling jihadist', has been dead for four months.

The second evidence of US-plotted mass murder is the fact that on February 28th, three days before the incident, leading Shiite and Sunni clerics held a joint meeting to urge that the opportunity of holy Ashura be seized to 'to stand up to attempts to pit them against one another'. Those massacres were carried out on the last day of this religious festival, when it reached its climax.

How can it be possible for Muslims to indiscriminately slaughter believers right in the middle of their holy rituals at sacred places?

The Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars issued a statement immediately after the incident: 'We doubt that the attackers were Muslims. Anybody who kills innocent souls during this occasion is not related to Islam.'

Iraq's most influential Shiite religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, also urged his followers 'not to be provoked into a civil war by an attempt to ignite sectarianism'. His spokesman positively said, 'We place the responsibility on the occupation forces, both directly [Exactly!] and indirectly.

Thirdly, the incidents took place in the midst of tight security measures that were enforced by the occupation forces prior to the events, under the pretext of 'guarding against terror'. Supposedly, they consciously restricted traffic so that their special squads could secretly set remote-control devices around the mosques.

Despite the fact that Polish forces expressed their view that trench mortars were used, the US forces announced right after the incidents that the attackers had coordinated various measures, including suicide bombs, time bombs, car-borne and other planted or remote-control bombs, and mortars. Some eyewitness accounts reported, however, that, although it looked like a suicide bombing, they found planted bombs exploding behind suicide bombers. The fact that the US forces released the above-mentioned announcement immediately after the incidents proves in itself that they are desperately trying to give the incidents the appearance of a 'crime by Muslim guerrillas'.


The mass murder of Shiites on the day of Ashura is a crucial conspiracy, perpetrated - presumably on the basis of the manipulation of private military companies (PMCs) by the CIA - by the Bush administration, which is now cornered into a dead end.

The US-made plan for the 'transfer of sovereignty', in fact a plan for a US puppet government, was rejected by the Iraqi Shiite leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who has issued a religious order demanding 'direct elections for the representatives of the Iraqi people'. A historic religious festival, attended by his followers numbering more than two million Shiites, including pilgrims from Iran, would have surely reminded US imperialists of the nightmare of the Iranian revolution in 1979 led by Ayatollah Khomeini. That is why Bush ventured to carry out the major conspiracy on March 2nd to block the Shiites, now seeking to establish a Shiite-led government by taking advantage of the US policy for the 'transfer of sovereignty', extending their sphere of influence.

Since the beginning of the year, the Bush administration had been making thoroughgoing preparations to carry out massacres of Shiites and lay the blame on Sunni groups linked to al-Qaeda.

The following incidents must be seen as premeditated murders (or attempts) plotted by the CIA or PMCs: gunshots that attempted to assassinate the Grand Ayatollah (February 5th), and truck-borne bombs that exploded at a police station in Iskandaria, killing nearly 50 police applicants (February 10th), followed by the explosion of car-bombs on the next day (February 11th) at a recruiting centre for the Iraqi national army in Baghdad, taking the lives of 46 people (both of which caused no American injuries, with no group announcing involvement). And on February 26th, a Sunni cleric named Sheikh Thamer Suleiman al-Zari was assassinated.

The US authorities have contemptibly been spreading sensational propaganda to create an impression that all these were perpetrated by members of al-Qaeda according to their 'terrorist plan'.

On February 9th, US officials in Iraq intimated that they had intercepted 'a letter written by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi requesting Osama bin Laden to help terrorist activities in Iraq'. Then, right after the two incidents of February 10th and 11th, they published the 'text' of the letter: 'We have narrowed our enemy to four groups: Americans, Kurds, the Iraqi troops and police as tools of the occupier, and the Shiites.' 'We need to bring the Shiites into the battle because it is the only way to prolong the duration of the fight between the infidels and us.' 'As for the Shiites, we will undertake suicide operations and use car bombs to harm them.'

The CPA spokesman exaggeratedly characterized it as 'a detailed blueprint for terror in Iraq', putting a bounty of as much as $10 million on al-Zarqawi's head.

Ostentatiously displaying this letter, the occupation authorities are insisting again that al-Qaeda was involved in the carnage of March 2nd.

It is evident, however, that this letter is a complete fabrication by the hands of the occupation forces. Even the single example of Osama bin Laden's call, issued at the beginning of the year, illustrates this. In this statement, he called on 'all honest people who are concerned about the present situation, such as the ulema, leaders, dignitaries and merchants, to get together and meet c to prepare to repulse the raids of the Crusaders, which started in Iraq'. It is utterly inconceivable that members of al-Qaeda set Shiites up as targets.

The so-called al-Zarqawi letter is, precisely, undeniable evidence that the perpetrators of the massacres are US imperialists; the supposed writer of the letter had died four months earlier.


The Bush administration is now on the edge of a precipice in every respect.

The Iraqi Muslim people's resistance against the CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) and the GCI (Governing Council of Iraq), supported by anti-US, anti-occupation guerrilla battles fought by Arab volunteers, has begun to assume the aspect of an extensive popular uprising. The attack by over 70 armed fighters on the police station in Fallujah on February 14th is an example.

Bush's plan to set up a puppet government (November 15th, 2003) through the so-called transfer of sovereignty from the occupation authority (CPA) to Iraqis, in an attempt to conceal the bankruptcy of this administration in its occupation of Iraq, has completely run aground. On top of that, George W. Bush is meeting with severe criticism about his own scandals that are being exposed in succession, starting from his lies about the 'threat of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction' to his bugging of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and UN chief weapon inspector Hans Blix (in cahoots with Tony Blair). He is now expected to be defeated in the coming Presidential election by the Democratic candidate John Kerry.

Cast into this helpless, isolated situation, President Bush is beginning, on the one hand, to implore Kofi Annan, whom he had previously rebuffed, to persuade the Iraqi Shiites out of their demands for early direct elections so that they may be postponed until after the Presidential election. On the other hand, behind this imploring, he is engineering plots to undermine the influence of the Iraqi Shiites and instigate religious conflict between Shiites and Sunnis. By so doing, the Bush administration is attempting to somehow rebuild its failed military occupation of Iraq so that it can block the Iraqi people's resistance against the occupation forces.

By instigating conflict between religious sects, between tribes, it is desperately attempting to prevent the seizure of political power in Iraq by the Shiites, thus groping for measures to set up a puppet government under its control - measures including an idealistic plan posed by the GCI to reorganize Iraq into a federation of three or five divided areas. Against the CPA and the GCI, Shiites are adopting the strategy of patiently waiting for a good opportunity.

The Bush administration is stuck in the mire of bankruptcy in its military occupation of Iraq. Because of this critical situation, it has to continue bloody conspiracies targeting Shiites (such as one on August 29th, 2003) to cobble up its puppet government.

As a matter of fact, it is reported that US intelligence agencies have smuggled mercenaries gathered from all parts of the world - including the apartheid assassins of South Africa - into Iraq and have them engage in secret operations, together with PMCs. It is also reported that some 3000 elements trained in Israel have been sent to Iraq and are now undertaking terrorist activities in various districts.

Remember the plotted assassination of Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim (chairman of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) and eighty-odd Muslims in Najaf on August 29th, 2003. Remember also the deliberate killing of two Japanese diplomats, carried out by American troops under the guise of a Muslim guerrilla attack, near Tikrit on November 29th, 2003 - to cut off the retreat of the Koizumi Government, then indecisive about the dispatch of Japanese troops to Iraq.

US imperialists, having committed bloody conspiracies in succession, with the catchphrase 'Eliminate the obstacle!', to try to retrieve themselves from their predicament, have finally stepped forward on the road to barbarous massacres of Muslims.

Workers and students all over the world!

In the name of 'freedom, democracy and Jesus Christ', and today, behind the signboard of 'reconstruction assistance' even with the mobilization of the United Nations, the Bush administration has committed terrible carnage against Muslims. Deliver a fatal blow to the terrorist state America with the anger of the working class!

The Koizumi Government has become an accomplice in the occupation of Iraq, together with the US forces and the CPA. It has thus advanced into a 'war on terrorism', and is now openly scheming to revise the war-renouncing Constitution of Japan. We must fight to overthrow this neo-fascist government.

After the incident of March 2nd, Iraqi Muslims rose in anti-US demonstrations, under the slogan 'No Shias. No Sunnis. We are, have been and always will be brothers!'

Now is the time to stir up the flames of struggles against Bush's strategy of asymmetrical war in Iraq, in solidarity with those Muslim people who are advancing towards their final victory against US imperialism and its occupation, on the basis of proletarian internationalism!

Photos below: Zengakuren students
protesting against the US embassy in Tokyo (March 5th)

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