Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Threat Made BY Abdul Aziz al-Hakim

Working for Reuters as an Iraqi in Baghdad - The Editor responds - Reuters Blogs:
[I have only copied the questions the link above takes you to his answers I have also put links to three resources relevant to his answers immediately this entry below - Laith]

Working for Reuters as an Iraqi in Baghdad - The Editor responds November 2nd, 2006, filed by Paul Holmes

I am now into my final few days visiting our news operation in Baghdad and wanted to answer readers’ questions before I leave. I’ve grouped my responses into topics. We’ve translated the reader feedback into Arabic for those Iraqi colleagues whose English is basic. They will be heartened by the many expressions of support for their work.

JOURNALIST SAFETY

Q. “11 handicap” wanted to know what it takes to ensure physical and emotional wellbeing in a war zone like Iraq. “k.taylor” asked how the families of our Iraqi journalists cope with the constant worry of whether they are safe.

LIFE IN THE REUTERS COMPOUND

Q. “Paul DeMartino” wondered whether there were any non-journalists at our compound and how much security is provided by some external agency. “Mike Arkus” says I should put my money where my mouth is and hopes we pay all staff, regardless of nationality, an equal salary.

GATHERING THE NEWS

Q. “Paul H. Lasky” is eager to know whether we publish news from insurgents and vet journalists for links to terrorism. “linda l sabourin” asks whether the news Iraqis get is filtered by the U.S.-led coalition. “Ben Lipstein” wonders how often Reuters uses Iraqi news outlets as sources and which ones are the most credible. “Nic” is uncertain whether what he reads is propaganda or news and asks why there aren’t any images of dead soldiers. “takoyaki” wants to know what non-American journalists think of U.S. media coverage of Iraq. “Jed” would love to see footage of planes making corkscrew dive landings at Baghdad airport but wonders whether filming them is censored.

THE SITUATION IN IRAQ
Q. “Nic Fulton” asks how our Iraqi staff see things turning out and “Jon Allan” wants to know if the U.S. should leave the country. I mentioned in my blog that Iraqis, regardless of religious or ethnic background, feel able to mingle at Reuters without seeing each other as potentially hostile. That led “Roelf Renkema” to ask whether that meant such gatherings cannot happen elsewhere in Iraq. “Stephen” wants to know why people are allowed to carry assault rifles in Iraq.

REUTERS – IS IT REALLY FREE FROM BIAS?

Q. “Whodunit”, “Roy Hastings” and “Jim Patterson” all challenge my statements that Reuters prides itself on fairness, accuracy and freedom from bias. “Whodunit” refers to an incident in August when a blog in the United States reported that a photograph of the aftermath of an Israeli air raid in Beirut had been altered using Photoshop software so that there appeared to be more smoke. “Ben Lipstein” also wants to know if we give our Iraqi photographers access to Photoshop.
Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma:
Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma · 1 (800) 332 · 0565 · info@dartcenter.org
Dept of Communication · 102 Communications Bldg. · Box 353740 · University of Washington · Seattle, WA 98195-3740 (USA)
IRAQ: Journalists in Danger:
JOURNALISTS KILLED ON DUTY: 88*

Here is a statistical analysis of journalists killed in Iraq since hostilities began in March 2003, as compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists. CPJ considers a journalist to be killed on duty if the person died as a result of a hostile action—such as reprisal for his or her work, or crossfire while carrying out a dangerous assignment.
Reporters sans frontières:
Reporters Without Borders is an association officially recognised as serving the public interest

More than a third of the world’s people live in countries where there is no press freedom. Reporters Without Borders works constantly to restore their right to be informed. Fourty-two media professionals lost their lives in 2003 for doing what they were paid to do — keeping us informed. Today, more than 130 journalists around the world are in prison simply for doing their job. In Nepal, Eritrea and China, they can spend years in jail just for using the "wrong" word or photo. Reporters Without Borders believes imprisoning or killing a journalist is like eliminating a key witness and threatens everyone’s right to be informed. It has been fighting such practices for more than 18 years.

Kuna site|Story page|Daily loss of life in Iraq triple that during war ...11/29/2006:
Daily loss of life in Iraq triple that during war in Lebanon - UN official
MIL-IRAQ-UN-EGELAND
Daily loss of life in Iraq triple that during war in Lebanon - UN official

(with photos) GENEVA, Nov 29 (KUNA) -- In his last press conference in Geneva before he steps down in two weeks from his position as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Jan Egeland said that Iraq has become infinitely worse in terms of loss of life. "One hundred or more dead people every day and night is an outrage, I know of no other place on Earth where so many people are killed, massacred and tortured to death as in Iraq," he added..........

.Kuna site|Story page|ICRC strongly condemns killing of civilians in Ira...11/30/2006:
ICRC strongly condemns killing of civilians in Iraq
MIL-IRAQ-ICRC-CASUALTIES
ICRC strongly condemns killing of civilians in Iraq

GENEVA, Nov 30 (KUNA) -- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) condemned strongly Tuesday deliberate daily attacks against civilians in Iraq.

Speaking in Geneva, the ICRC head of operations for the Middle East and North Africa, Georges Comninos, said that regardless of the complexity of the issues at stake in the Iraqi conflict, it is unacceptable and contrary to the most basic principles of humanity and law to target persons not participating in the hostilities. "The ICRC has constantly reminded all parties to the conflict of their obligations under international humanitarian law, in particular the obligation not to attack the civilian population or civilian infrastructure. Both State and non-State actors are bound by these rules," he added. According to the ICRC hundreds have died in recent days as a result of direct attacks against civilians.

Car bombs, shootings, abductions and killings have become commonplace. Bodies lie in the streets, often maimed and unidentified. "We are deeply shocked by these daily attacks, often followed by blind acts of revenge and characterized by an appalling lack of respect for human dignity. Attacks against civilians, more than any other act, fuel the spiral of violence", said Karl Mattli, head of the ICRC delegation in Iraq.

The ICRC once again called upon all parties to the conflict to respect the rules of international humanitarian law and to spare civilians and civilian property. In addition, it urged all those who can make use of their moral and political influence on the ground to call for respect for human life and dignity. (end) hn.
World Crises | Reuters.co.uk:
ICRC says near accord with Iraq on detainee visits
Thu 30 Nov 2006 14:38:10 GMT


(Adds background, quotes)

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, Nov 30 (Reuters) - The International Committee of the Red Cross is close to an agreement with Iraqi authorities to allow its officials to visit prisoners held at Iraqi-run detention centres, where Sunnis allege inmates are tortured.

The ICRC regularly visits 14,000 prisoners in Iraq, including 12,000 held by U.S. and British forces, and 2,000 held by Kurdish authorities in the north of the country.

The humanitarian agency has been seeking access to all Iraqi-run prisons, including those under the Shi'ite-led Interior Ministry, accused by Sunni Arabs of operating torture centres and dungeons holding Sunni detainees.
World Crises | Reuters.co.uk:
Bush praises Maliki, rules out Iraq partition
Thu 30 Nov 2006 10:28:01 GMT

(Recasts, adds quotes)

By Tabassum Zakaria

AMMAN, Nov 30 (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush praised Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as the "right guy" for Iraq on Thursday and said he agreed with Maliki that partitioning the country would only increase violence.

Bush's show of support came after U.S. officials insisted the Iraqi leader was not offended by a critical White House memo and had not snubbed Bush in Amman on Wednesday when the two had been expected to hold an initial meeting.

["Bush praises Maliki," - Maliki telephones Iraq 30 seconds later to order his burial shroud - Laith]
Azzaman in English:
Anti-U.S. rebels dominate Baquba By Mohamed Hameeed Azzaman, November 29, 2006

Fierce clashes are taking place in the city of Baquba, the capital of Diyala Province.
U.S. troops are reported to have deployed helicopter gunships and tanks to help contain attacks by rebels.
Life has come to a standstill in the restive city, northeast of Baghdad, and most parts of the province.
Both U.S. and Iraqi troops are said to have failed in attempts to restore order.
Conditions are reported to have worsened following the withdrawal of Iraqi police forces present in the city.
One provincial source told the newspaper that U.S. invasion troops were “vetting” the police due massive infiltration by sectarian factions.
The source said “hundreds” of police officers deployed in the province have resigned when rebels intensified attacks on their stations, patrols and check points.
“There are now no police officers in Baquba. Iraqi army and U.S. troops are trying to replace them,” the source said.
The rebels have barricaded themselves at the main entrances, ambushing advancing U.S. troops.
An ambush inside the city’s old quarter led to the wounding of two U.S. marines, one of them seriously, residents said.

Two Iraqis were killed in the ambush, they added
Azzaman in English:
Armed vigilantes roam Baghdad streets Azzaman, November 29, 2006

In the absence of government or U.S. control, various Iraqi militias operating in Baghdad have taken law enforcement into their own hands. Armed men totting machine guns and rocket propelled grenades roam the streets amid fears of reprisals from rival sectarian groups.

In the mixed Yarmouk district, armed men keep an eye on strangers and search cars and vehicles. Amid an upsurge in kidnapping and assassinations, other quarters are following suit.
In most areas gunmen and militias are in control and if the government forces or police are present they usually join the militia ranks.

Analysts closely watching the country’s extremely volatile situation say Iraqi police forces on which the U.S. invaders invested huge resources are so tainted that many quarters would refuse to have them.
“One can say the Iraqi police force is almost non-functional,” one analyst said.

Yarmouk is a district mainly inhabited by members of Iraqi intelligentsia and residents say scores of its doctors, university professors, engineers and former army officers have been killed since the U.S. invasion.Saadoun Dhafer says the district, despite its mosaic of Shiites, Sunnis and Christians, used to be a success story of coexistence before the coming of U.S. invaders.

“We never had any sort of clash or conflict on the basis of sectarian, ethnic or religions belonging before.
“The district is now in the throes of chaos and turbulence amid mounting insecurity and violence,” he said.

Ali al-Khazraji said at least 10 people have been killed inside the district in the past two weeks and many families have received threats to leave the area.

Nasreen Abed said Yarmouk’s elders established the vigilante groups when it became certain that the neither the government nor American troops could fill “the security vacuum.”
The Threat Made BY Abdul Aziz al-Hakim

[A Christian might say that I left the best until the last. This is not the best it is the worst. I have found for you the English version of it. - What Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, did was to make a threat (publicly). His threat was that if Iraq were to be engulfed in civil war that the Sunni Muslims would be the losers. There is a full report in Arabic hereئ it is clear to all of us in Iraq that the puppet regimes such as Jordan, Egypt, Saudi, Kuwait, are running to be first in the line to obey their American masters. They fear now that the war in Iraq waged against us by the Americans will cause them to lose their thrones and therefore their American money and American weapons. The root of their fear is that a huge ingoing of desperate Iraqis fleeing the war they supported to the lands that they "rule" on behalf of their American masters will overthrow them. May God destroy them. Laith]

Jordan-Hakim :: Aswat al Iraq :: Aswat al Iraq:
Voices of Iraq: Jordan-Hakim
كتب: nadioshka في يوم الأربعاء, 29 نوفمبر, 2006 - 04:32 PM BT
Jordan-Hakim
King Abdullah meets SCIRI's Hakim
Amman, Nov 29, (VOI) – King Abdullah of Jordan held talks in Amman on Wednesday with Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, head of the Shiite umbrella Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) to discuss developments in Iraq.
"There is no going back in Iraq. We are looking for the support of the Arab world," the Jordanian news agency quoted Hakim as saying.
"It is in the interest of Arabs not to distance themselves from Iraq. They have to understand the nature of the country's circumstances," he added.
"The biggest loser in a sectarian war would be our Sunni brothers," he said.
The Jordanian monarch warned during the meeting of sectarian strife and expressed his country's support for efforts to end violence in Iraq.
Laith

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