Saturday, November 25, 2006

News From Iraq - Translated from Arabic Media In Iraq.

Woman and wounded baby baquba

Here's a round up of what Iraqis are hearing and reading tonight.

The 2 big stories are:

  1. The Baghdad curfew
  2. The Iranian offer to treat Sadr city bombing victims.
Baghdad Curfew
Starting 6a.m. tomorrow the curfew will be lifted for pedestrians only at present it is planned to lift the curfew fully on Monday morning.
Iran's Hospitalisation Offer
Here's part of the health ministry statement:

"The Iranian ambassador in Baghdad has contacted the Department of Health in the Ministry of Health and expressed his country's readiness to treat the Sadr City wounded in hospital in Tehran."
"the process of transporting the wounded will begin tomorrow, Sunday."

[This is a very big deal indeed. They'll be treated free. At present there's no free treatment in Iraq for anyone. - markfromireland]

The body of a young man was found in the Karama neighbourhood (East Mosul.) A young woman was shot in the afternoon. wounding a woman in Mosul. Source - Brigadier Abdul Karim Khalaf al-Jabouri to Voices of Iraq
An army officer - Jassim Ahmed Saleh, was shot by a sniper in west Mosul. His condition is said to be serious.
A police checkpoint came under mortar fire - no casualties reported.
Salah al-Din:
A soldier was shot in Ad Duluiyah (near Tikrit).
a police officer holding the rank of major was kidnapped together with three civilians north of Samarra.
A barrage of six 60-mm mortar shells was fired last night in Abu al-Khasib (20 kilometers south of Basra) to four landed in the main square which injured five civilians.
The British installation near Basra governorate building was mortared . Some civilian I haven't been able to get figures. That installation is attacked with monotonous regularity. I'm surprisedit's even being reported.
Babil (Babylon)
bomb explosion north of Hilla (about 50km). Two Iraqi soldiers wounded. The bombing was the signal for a gunfire attack.
Aziziyah (Kut) Wasit
Clashes occurred five p.m. Baghdad time today in the town of Aziziyah (90 km north of Kut) between Iraqi security forces and a group of unidentified gunmen. No details of casualties yet. The report says that the police in Aziziyah weren't contactable.
Al-Anbar - Fallujah
A Marines sniper deployed on the rooves of buildings in hand Amiriyat al-Fallujah (about 20 km south of the city) shot an elderly man who died of his wounds. There is no indication that he was anything other than an innocent civilian.
A suicide car bomber attacked an American patrol, east of Fallujah today Saturday 25/11/2006 killing four civilians and wounding eight others, including children. He was targeting an American patrol that had just finished a raid on houses in east Fallujah.
Al-Anbar - Hit
Eyewitnesses reported to Aswataliraq that armed men attacked before noon today, a military bridge at the town of Hit in Anbar province. The confrontation lasted about 15 minutes. no reports of casualties. Interestingly they were armed with precision rifles as well as machine guns.
There've been a lot of "incidents in Hit lately - mfi.
Baghdad: - abduction
Armed men kidnapped 12 Iraqi citizens living in Western Baghdad yesterday evening. They demanded a US$40,000 ransom for their release.

[That's a big jump until a few weeks ago the standard ransom was US$30,000 - markfromireland ]
According to witnesses some of whom were relatives of the hostages the kidnappers were traveling in government cars and wearing the uniform of the Iraqi National Guard.

[Surprise surprise - markfromireland ]
Najaf - kidnap gang
According to Aswataliraq the gang that's been operating in Al-Ansar, Najaf, kidnapping women for sale in "neighbouring countries" suffered a major setback. Police stormed a house and arrested several of them - all the accused are from Al-Azhar. The accused include Hassan Jawad Kadhim Algelaui and his wife.
Kirkuk: failed bombing
Two men were killed as they tried to plant a bomb according to Colonel Yadkar Muhammad of the police in Kirkuk.
[Their colleagues who blew themselves to smithereens in Kirkuk on Monday trying the same thing still haven't been identified chiefly because the pieces were so small. - mfi]


  • Al Sabah al Jadid newspaper - Baghdad
  • Al Taakhi newspaper - Baghdad
  • Hawlati newspaper - Al Sulaimaniyah
  • Al Mannarah newspaper - Basrah
  • Radio Annas - Baghdad

Translated by: markfromireland

Reports from western media:

Reuters AlertNet - Turkey and Jordan warn against Iraq's partition:

AMMAN, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Iraq's neighbours, Turkey and Jordan, warned on Saturday that the partition of the country would take the sectarian bloodshed to new levels and plunge the whole region into chaos.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Jordanian counterpart Marouf Bakheet told reporters at the end of talks in Amman that the partition of Iraq was unacceptable.

"We cannot accept the partition of Iraq and the partition of Iraq into three parts will increase the intensity of the civil war..." Erdogan said.

Ankara fears that the sectarian violence could rip Iraq apart and is anxious about the advent of a Kurdish state in northern Iraq which could fan separatism among its own Kurds.

Erdogan said he would discuss the situation in Iraq with U.S. President George W. Bush at the NATO summit in Riga next week, adding that Bush's crisis talks later in the week in Amman with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki may help contain the violence.

"We attach a lot of importance on the talks in Amman," he said.

Sectarian violence has surged since the February bombing of a major Shi'ite shrine. Maliki's six-month old government has struggled to contain the bloodshed despite a major crackdown in the capital and a series of national reconciliation initiatives.

Jordan's Bakheet warned the partition of Iraq would have far-reaching consequences on the region's stability.

"The partition of Iraq means a slide to the abyss. Its flames will reach everyone, not just Iraqis and it will have a dangerous impact on the stability of the region and especially Iraq's neighbours," he said.
Reuters AlertNet - Iraqi cleric avoids demands of Shi'ite rival:

Iraqi cleric avoids demands of Shi'ite rival

25 Nov 2006 13:50:52 GMT

Source: Reuters

CAIRO, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Iraqi Sunni Muslim cleric Harith al-Dari sidestepped on Saturday an invitation to give his followers specific orders not to kill Shi'ite Muslims.

Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said on Friday that Dari and other Sunni leaders must issue religious rulings, or fatwas, to fellow minority Sunnis forbidding the killing of Shi'ites or membership of the al Qaeda group.

If Dari meets that and other conditions, Sadr said he would oppose the arrest warrant which the Iraqi government issued against Dari last week on suspicion of links to violence.

But Dari, who arrived in Cairo from Syria this week, said he refused to make a distinction between Sunnis and Shi'ites.

Speaking at a news conference in Cairo, he said: "We have condemned from the first months the killing of Iraqis ... whether they were Arabs or Kurds, Muslims or non-Muslims, without going into details."

He gave a list of occasions when his organisation, the Muslim Clerics Association, has issued specific condemnations of killings and resolutions it had voted for.

Dari blamed both the United States and successive Iraqi governments for the collapse of law and order in Iraq after the U.S. invasion of 2003.

"The occupation administration is a failed administration, a stupid administration which can be summed up by saying that it has destroyed Iraq, state, people, institutions and resources.

"Its political operations have brought it today to a dead end.. It has brought Iraq to the edge of the abyss. The political process, under its various titles, took it from bad to worse, from failure to greater failure,"

he added.

Dari appealed to Arab governments to withdraw their recognition from the Iraqi government. "I call on the Arab states and Egypt to stand up to this biased government, this sectarian government...this government which exploits sectarianism".

Reuters AlertNet - Gunmen massacre Shi'ite family in Iraq village:

BAQUBA, Iraq, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Iraqi police found the bodies of 21 men and boys from an extended Shi'ite family on Saturday hours after they were abducted from a mainly Sunni Arab village northeast of Baghdad, security sources said.

The victims in Shamafiya, a village just outside the town of Balad Ruz, 70 km (45 miles) northeast of the capital in violent Diyala province, ranged in age from 12 upward.

Residents and a security source said the apparently sectarian attack involved gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms who took the al-Saadi family late on Friday before killing them and dumping their bodies nearby. The bodies were found blindfolded, each corpse with gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

The attack on the family may have had a sectarian motive as the religiously-mixed province of Diyala is rife with sectarian killings between Shi'ites and Sunnis. But sometimes tribal feuds and gangsters driven by profit also account for some violence.

Reuters AlertNet - FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Nov 25:

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Nov 2
Reuters AlertNet - REFILE-CHRONOLOGY-The deadliest bomb attacks in Iraq:

The deadliest bomb attacks in Iraq
25 Nov 2006 12:35:48 GMT
Source: Reuters

  1. Nov 25 (Reuters) - Fearful Iraqis spent sleepless nights guarding their homes and asking who would be next after gunmen burned mosques and houses in a Sunni enclave following the worst bomb attack since the U.S. invasion.
  2. Here is a list of some of the deadliest bomb attacks in Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003:
  3. Aug 19, 2003 - A truck bomb wrecks U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, killing 22 people, including U.N. envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.
  4. Aug 29, 2003 - A car bomb kills at least 83 people, including top Shi'ite Muslim leader Ayatollah Mohammed Baqer al-Hakim, at the Imam Ali mosque in Najaf.
  5. Feb 1, 2004 - 117 people are killed when two suicide bombers blew themselves up in Arbil at the offices of the two main Kurdish factions in northern Iraq.
  6. Feb 10, 2004 - Suicide car bomb rips through a police station in Iskandariya, south of Baghdad, killing 53.
  7. Feb 11, 2004 - Suicide car bomb explodes at an Iraqi army recruitment centre in Baghdad, killing 47.
  8. March 2, 2004 - 171 people are killed in twin attacks in Baghdad and Kerbala.
  9. Dec 19, 2004 - A suicide car bomb blast in Najaf, 300 yards (metres) from the Imam Ali shrine, kills 52 and wounds 140.
  10. Feb 28, 2005 - A suicide car bomb attack in Hilla, south of Baghdad, kills 125 people and wounds 130. It was postwar Iraq's worst single blast.
  11. July 16, 2005 - A suicide bomber in a fuel truck near a Shi'ite mosque in the town of Mussayib, near Kerbala, kills 98.
  12. Sept 14, 2005 - A suicide bomber kills 114 people and wounds 156 in a Shi'ite district of Baghdad.
  13. Sept 29, 2005 - 98 people are killed in three coordinated car bomb attacks in the mixed Shi'ite and Sunni town of Balad.
  14. Nov 18, 2005 - At least 74 people are killed and 150 wounded when suicide bombers blew themselves up inside two Shi'ite mosques in Khanaqin.
  15. Jan 5, 2006 - Two suicide bombers kill over 120 people and wound more than 200 in the cities of Kerbala and Ramadi. Fifty-three were killed and 148 wounded in Kerbala and 70 killed and 65 wounded in Ramadi.
  16. July 1, 2006 - A car bomb attack at a crowded market in Sadr city, a Shi'ite district of eastern Baghdad, kills 62 and wounds 114. The Supporters of the Sunni People, a previously unknown Iraqi Sunni Muslim group claim responsibility.
  17. July 18, 2006 - Fifty-nine people are killed by a suicide bomb in Kufa, near Najaf in an attack claimed by al Qaeda.
  18. Aug 10, 2006 - Thirty-five people are killed and 90 injured by bomb blasts near the Imam Ali shrine in southern city of Najaf. The Jamaat Jund al-Sahaba (Soldiers of the Prophet's Companions) group claim responsibility.
  19. Nov 23, 2006 - Six car bombs in different parts of the Sadr City neighbourhood of Baghdad kill 202 people. A further 250 people are wounded.

Fortunately we keep its feathers numbered

Saturday morning quick blog roundup:

Should the United States Send more Troops to Iraq or Start the Withdrawal? - Atlantic Review - Analysis of Transatlantic Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy:
Should the United States Send more Troops to Iraq or Start the Withdrawal?

Posted by Joerg W in US Foreign Policy on Friday, November 24. 2006
David V. emailed:

Here's a thought that you may want to write about: why not try democracy in Iraq? 70% of all Iraqis want American troops to leave immediately, and at least the same percentage of Americans feel the same way. Why not follow the will of the people? Yet it appears likely that Bush will follow McCain's proposal and put 20-40 thousand more troops in.

Systems of representative democracy are usually considered better than direct democracy. Besides, Tony Blankley warns in RealClearPolitics (via DMK) against bending to popular pressure:

Expedient Washington politicians, take note: Your public is fickle. They may cheer your decision today to get out of Iraq but vote you out of office tomorrow when they don't like the results. Much of the world (and a fair portion of the American public) may hate us today for our alleged arrogance. But they will spit out our name with contempt through time if we permit to be released the whirlwind that will follow our exit.

I have heard it said (by conservatives and Republicans, as well as others) that "if the Iraqis just want to murder each other, we should let them. We offered them freedom, and they didn't want it." If our decision on Iraq was only about Iraq, that argument might be persuasive.

But if, as it is hard to imagine otherwise, our departure from Iraq yields civil war, chaos, warlordism and terrorist safe havens -- it is very likely that Iran will lurch in to harvest their advantages, Turkey will send in its army to stop an independent Kurdistan, and Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the other Sunni states will be sucked in to fend off Shi'a Iran's hegemony. In that nightmare maelstrom the 20 million barrels a day of oil shipped from the Persian Gulf -- and the world economy with it -- will be in daily risk of being cut off. Nor is that all. Al Qaeda and other terrorists are already gloating that they have whipped the "cowardly Americans" in Iraq.

In Should We Stay or Should We Go Now?, David Swanson summarizes Anthony Arnove's book "Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal." One of the more convincing points is "4. The United States is not preventing civil war in Iraq. This is the same myth the British spread in 1920, when they didn't want to stop occupying Iraq."
David V. elaborated his call for immediate withdrawal in his blog post "The Haditha Massacre".

Do you agree with the Clash song: "Should I stay or should I go now? / If I go there will be trouble / An' if I stay it will be double"? Or is it the other way around, i.e. more trouble if the U.S. troops leave Iraq fairly soon? And what should Germany do regarding Iraq?

(Atlantic review is very much a pro-establishment place. They describe themselves thus: A Press Digest on Transatlantic Affairs edited by three German Fulbright Alumni.) It's a further example of the decay of American influence especially amongst its key allies that they're publishing this

Shakespeare's Sister:
Okay, first of all, they need to stop talking about “the Iraqi people” as if the Shiite and Sunni militia members aren’t Iraqis. Some of them may not be, but most of them are. Such a misstatement of reality helps facilitate the administration’s oft-cited flypaper theory to define “the Iraqi people” in contradistinction to militias, thereby subtly reinforcing the claim that terrorists are pouring into Iraq from the outside, as opposed to being created within Iraq’s borders by a variety of pressures, not least of which being our occupying presence. It’s an obscenely mendacious habit of Team Bush to frame nationals who do their will as “the X people”—when Bush gives a speech on the Federal Marriage Amendment, he says “the American people” want marriage to be between a man and woman, as if the LGBT community and its allies aren’t actually “American people.” The same thing’s going on here. Some Iraqi people certainly do have hopes for a peaceful and stable nation. Some clearly have hopes to exploit the chaotic morass we recreated to fight a centuries-old sectarian war. And some just want us the hell out of there and think that using bombs is the best way to accomplish that goal. They’re all Iraqi people—not just the ones who aren’t making our little nation-building endeavor not quite as easy as was foolishly predicted.

Secondly, this constant reference to “senseless violence” is illustrative of a deeply immature reluctance to speak about this war in a grown-up way. The violence is not senseless; it does indeed have a rationale and a purpose—which, of course, Team Bush plainly knows, since they inevitably follow up their accusations of senselessness by substituting the only explanation for the violence acceptable to them. The violence is “aimed at undermining the Iraqi people’s hopes for a peaceful and stable Iraq.” Any other explanation is intolerable to them (as it might begin to suggest a catastrophic policy failure), and is therefore not to be seriously examined.

I saved the best 'til last if you read nothing else today make sure you read all of this and not just the "teaser" I've posted here:

missing links:
Superficiality of the US debate suggests a worse catastrophe could be coming
Al-Hayat printed yesterday (Thursday November 23) an opinion piece whose argument goes like this:

Everyone recognizes that the Iraq policy was based on lies (AlQaeda, WMD and so on), but what is now under discussion is merely how to extricate the troops, and not the formation of a policy freed from those lies.

In fact there is another swindle going on, namely that lying and lawbreaking of the type that the Bush administration indulged in is nothing more than what you can see in the Dirty Harry pictures where the heroic detective breaks the law in order to catch the criminal. (In this case, in order to replace dictatorship with democracy).

Not only that. As befits a great nation with an intellectual infrastructure, the lies are anchored to a quasi-scientific set of arguments. (Terrorists are bred and thrive mainly because they live under dictatorial regimes, etcetera) . Naturally there isn't any point in refuting these assumptions and arguments, because their proponents don't let reality bother them. We know that AlQaeda came to Iraq with the occupation and achieved unprecedented expansion thereafter, but that doesn't matter.


Site News:

Finally before I head out for Saturday morning shopping some good news and a sample of Iraqi wit. Laith who posts here suffered a domestic accident of the Baghdadi type during the week. -  Part of a mortar shell hit his generator. When I got up this morning there was an email from him in my inbox  saying that it was now fixed and that he'll be posting late next week as scheduled. (God, blogger, and his internet connection permitting.)

 His explanation of how he and his eldest son repaired it deserves to go down in history as as classic of Iraqi wit and I've copied and pasted it below for posterity:

"Fortunately we keep its feathers numbered for just such an emergency. :-)


More AP Rubbish

Spot the lie. The ridiculous lie.

Print Story: More U.S. troops dying in Anbar province on Yahoo! News:
More U.S. troops dying in Anbar province

By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer 5 minutes ago

In the three months since thousands of U.S. forces poured into Baghdad to quash escalating violence, far more American troops have died in Iraq's volatile western Anbar province than in the capital city.

More than two-thirds of the 245 U.S. casualties between Aug. 7, the start of the Baghdad offensive, and Nov. 7 occurred outside Baghdad — which military leaders have called the "center of gravity" of Iraq, and the key to success in the war. Four in 10 deaths over those three months have been in Anbar province, a Sunni insurgency stronghold where U.S. Marines have largely taken the lead.

Marines, who comprise only about 15 percent of the 141,000 U.S. forces currently in Iraq, accounted for nearly 28 percent of the fatalities over the three-month period.


"Baghdad is the center of gravity for Iraq. We must get it right in Baghdad," Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the time. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld added, "Most of the violence occurs within 30 kilometers of Baghdad."

In terms of actual U.S. casualties, the opposite was true.


Little more than a week ago, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, Gen. John Abizaid, acknowledged that the Sunni-dominated Anbar province was still not under control. Yet, military officials and Rumsfeld have often asserted that most of the violence in Iraq has been near Baghdad, and that the military effort must be centered there.

The problems in Anbar prompted U.S. military officials last week to move more than 2,200 additional Marines to the western province in a short-term effort to shore up U.S. combat power there.


Overall, the U.S. Army — which has roughly 108,000 soldiers in Iraq — has borne the brunt of the deaths throughout the war, including 163 of the 245 deaths the AP looked at during the three-month period. There were 68 Marines killed during that time, along with seven Navy members and six in the Air Force, and one was unknown.

The most prevalent cause of death has remained the same across the country. Roadside bombs and other improvised explosive devices caused about 40 percent of the casualties, while another 13 percent were caused by small arms fire or snipers and 33 percent by unspecified combat incidents. Other causes of death included vehicle and helicopter crashes and non-combat incidents.

The high rate of Marine deaths is due in part to the fact that most are performing combat duties in the dangerous Anbar region. While the Army has a much larger presence in Iraq, some soldiers are serving in support roles or working in the headquarters units and are not doing combat duty.

Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, said this week that the decision to send more troops to Anbar is an effort to take advantage of "some of the momentum that is taking place. ... It is reinforcing success based on what we see the tribes doing."

Did you spot it? If you've ever served in an army any army I'll bet you spotted it immediately. Let's do a little rewrite. Let's change just one weasel word:

The high rate of Marine deaths is due in part to the fact that most are performing combat duties in the dangerous Anbar region. While the Army has a much larger presence in Iraq, some most soldiers are serving in support roles or working in the headquarters units and are not doing combat duty.


US helicopter fires on Iraqi funeral party

Reuters AlertNet - US helicopter fires on Iraqi funeral party-ministry:
US helicopter fires on Iraqi funeral party-ministry
24 Nov 2006 17:37:33 GMT
Source: Reuters

BAGHDAD, Nov 24 (Reuters) - A U.S. helicopter fired on a funeral party in Baghdad, one of dozens taking place after Thursday's devastating bombings in Sadr City, in response to ritual shooting, the Iraqi Interior Ministry said.

A ministry official said two people were wounded in Friday's air strike, which came after mourners fired into the air.

Earlier, some residents and a Shi'ite lawmaker reported clashes between gunmen and U.S.-led forces in Sadr City, a stronghold of the Mehdi Army militia in the Iraqi capital.

A U.S. military spokesman said he could not comment on specific operations but U.S. forces were helping Iraqi army and police enforce a curfew imposed after the Sadr City attacks on Thursday which killed more than 200 people.
How to win friends and influence people - American Army style. US Army helicopters prevented ambulances from getting into or leaving Sadr city after the bombings. Not content with that they're now firing on the funerals.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!!



UPDATE "Carried Out With American Blessing" - Nasser al-Sa'edi -

This posting is an update to the preceding posting "Carried Out With American Blessing" dealing with the Sadr city coordianted bombing attacks.

The casualty toll for the Sadr City is now confirmed as more than 200 dead and more than 250 wounded. many of the wounded are not expected to live. That toll is confirmed by several sources but originated with Mohammed al-Askari. It has also now been confirmed that immediately after the bombings Iraqi troops loyal to the green zone government blocked access to Sadr city and prevented ambulances from coming in and leaving. Those troops were supported by US helicopters.

mfi 00:47 24/11/2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Health Ministry-Attack

There's really not much to be said about this. You're well capable of working out why a ministry under Sadrist control came under attack. The health ministry complex is in central Baghdad.That area is under green zone government Ministry of Defense contro. Which is to say that it's under SCIRI control.

The attack lasted for three hours.

Deputy health minister Ammar al-Assafar was kidnapped on Monday last deputy health minister Hakim al-Zamili escaped an assassination bid on Monday.

The attack was very well coordinated it was very well planned it consisted of a concerted mortar barrage followed by in the region of 100 gunmen storming the complex. Snipers covered their attack and shot at people trying to escape the complex..

In broad daylight in Bab al-Mu’adham for crying out loud 100 masked gunmen were able to storm a major ministry complex with in the region of 2,000 people inside. To get to Bab al-Mu’adham you have to go through checkpoint after checkpoint after checkpoint. And that's not including the checkpoints in Bab al-Mu’adham itself

They had help - they had a lot of help.


"Carried Out With American Blessing" - Nasser al-Sa'edi

sadr city bombings sequenceI'll deal with the early morning slaughter by American troops of day labourers in Sadr city first. They shot and killed 4 they wounded eight. That was in al-Fallah street. As usual the Americans aren't saying anything except that the minibus should have stopped. As usual they're covering up the fact that they opened fire on unarmed civilians. My colleague Ali's posting immediately below covers this incident.

Add that to the recent air strike by Americans against unarmed civilians that killed three adults and a baby and wounded 17 other civilians sufficiently badly to require hospitable and you get a very clear idea of exactly how murderous the Americans are in Iraq. Nor do they confine their murderousness to Baghdad.

I recently wondered whether they stupid and evil or evil and stupid. I now know the answer. Their behaviour is stupidly evil. Spare me the misty-eyed stuff about how they're brave boys and doing the best they can. Spare me the misty-eyed stuff about how mostly they're honourable. The "honourable" ones make the war crimes possible. They're just as culpable as the ones actually doing the slaughter.

The bombing attack on Sadr city

This was a very well coordinated and sophisticated series of attacks. A massive amount of explosives were needed. In the region of ½ metric tonne per bombing.

The toll from these coordinated bombing attacks on Sadr city is still rising. It's fairly clear how the attacks were carried out. There were four consecutive car bombs plus two others and the bombings were coordinated with a mortar barrage:

  1. A car bomb at al-Modhaffar square - that's one of them main entrances to Sadr City.
  2. A car bombing of al-Habiba.
  3. A car bombing of Jameela.
  4. A car bombing of al-Jodar.
  5. Coordinated mortar fire - coordinated with the bombings.
  6. A fifth bomb that nobody seems to know much about.
  7. The sixth bomber was intercepted while en route.

The markets that were attacked would have been Al-Sadrayn Square, Al-Hay market, and (I think) the "55." I can't work out why that last one would have been so busy today.

Maliki's "government" imposed a curfew to start at 20:00 hours local time - so it's been going for around and hour as I type this.

"Carried Out With American Blessing"

Nasser al-Sa'edi who is a member of the parliament for the area has openly accused American troops of clearing the way for armed groups to enter the district to attack civilians. Given their recent record you'll find very few Iraqis who'll disagree with. Come to that, given their record I don't disagree with him either.

Other Baghdad Attacks

  1. Suicide bomber - palestine street - 2 police 3 civilians.
  2. Nahda (central) roadside bomb -6 civilians.
  3. al-Bayia’ (southwest Baghdad) - 4 iraqi soldiers.

I'll try to update this as more comes in.

Oh while I think of it because I get asked this so often. The three hospitals that would have borne the brunt today are:

  1. Imam Ali hospital.
  2. al-Hakim hospital.
  3. al-Sadra

al-Kindi hospital in central Baghdad would have taken the "overflow"

Go with the health ministry figure in any reports you read. They match the statements coming from the hospitals. The casualties are going to rise further. Because:.

  1. People are still literally picking up fragments of human being off the streets.
  2. Many of the wounded are in very serious condition.
  3. There is a critical short of blood and plasma products. — Particularly in Sadr city.



The casualty toll for the Sadr City is now confirmed as more than 200 dead and more than 250 wounded. many of the wounded are not expected to live. That toll is confirmed by several sources but originated with Mohammed al-Askari. It has also now been confirmed that immediately after the bombings Iraqi troops loyal to the green zone government blocked access to Sadr city and prevented ambulances from coming in and leaving. Those troops were supported by US helicopters.

mfi 00:47 24/11/2006

Delayed For Their Thanksgiving Party! The Horror!! The Shame!!!

Today the Americans launched their fourth raid on Sadr city in six days. As with everything to do with the Americans Sadr city some unimportant sand niggers Iraqis who only understand force were introduced to force by the American invaders. This time the American introduction killed 4 unimportant sand niggers Iraqis and wounded eight unimportant sand niggers Iraqis. The dead and wounded unimportant sand niggers Iraqis were rushed to hospital by other unimportant sand niggers Iraqis and were mourned by other unimportant sand niggers Iraqis. The spokesman for the Master Race U.S. military spokesman Colonel Christopher Garver said that it was all the fault of the unimportant sand nigger Iraqi driving the minibus taking the other unimportant sand niggers Iraqis to work.

Yes of course! It was all that unimportant sand nigger's Iraqi's fault!!!

You see if you're an unimportant sand nigger Iraqi driving in a badly lit street and members of the master race American soldiers start shooting at you your natural reaction should be to stop so that the poor harried over-worked members of the master race American soldiers can kill you and the other unimportant sand niggers Iraqis. Because you're only an unimportant sand nigger and they are members of the master race American soldiers and they don't want to be late for their Thanksgiving party.

thanksgiving green zone preparations

On behalf of all unimportant sand niggers Iraqis I would like to apologise to those members of the master race American soldiers for the inconvenience that they suffered today so shamefully caused them by an uppity sand nigger Iraqi.


Ali (an unimportant and not even slightly uppity uppity sand nigger Iraqi who knows his place.)

IRAQ: Neglected nurses fight their own war

IRAQ: Neglected nurses fight their own war

Click here to enlarge image

Nurses are often the forgotten heroes of wars and conflicts.

BAGHDAD, 19 Nov 2006 (IRIN) - Nissrin Muhammad, 36, sees death every day and worries how her children would survive if she were killed. The only means this widowed mother-of-five has to support her family is to continue working in the dangerous and deteriorating conditions of a public hospital in the capital, Baghdad.

Nissrin works 13 hours a day to feed her children. Spending her days tending to sick and bullet-ridden bodies, she is increasingly worried that the day will come when she will be the one lying on the operating table.

“I love to help people. I graduated in nursing with the aim of helping to save lives but in the past two years, we are losing more [lives] than improving health conditions,” Nissrin said. “I am stressed and sometimes I go into an empty room behind the hospital’s cafeteria to cry and alleviate the tension that I am living under.”

Iraq is suffering a dearth of nurses. Those who could afford to have already fled to neighbouring countries. Those with working husbands stay at home, afraid of the escalating violence. But the rest must soldier on in their fight against fear and poverty.

“They are our main support. Without their work, doctors cannot do their job because nurses are the ones who maintain the lives of patients after the medical diagnosis. Losing their work means losing lives,” said Dr Yehia al-Mawin, senior official at the Ministry of Health’s strategy department. He added that women represent 80 percent of all nurses.

More than 160 nurses have been murdered since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and more than 400 wounded, according to al-Mawin. In addition, he said thousands had fled the country or were forced to leave their work after receiving threats from insurgents and militia fighters.

Meagre salary

Nissrin said she feels like a warrior herself. With a salary of US $150 a month, she struggles to make ends meet.

“Our salary [nurses’] was always one of the worst in the country but families used to give us extra money when we delivered their children, or when patients had successful operations or treatments. But today, even this extra benefit has disappeared,” Nissrin told IRIN.

“People are getting poorer and cannot afford to [give nurses money]. Often, the [patients’] family does not have money even to buy medicines,” she said.

On the one day off she has each week, she goes in search of food to buy. Most of the shops in her neighbourhood are closed because of ongoing sectarian violence, so she has to walk to another district, and take more risks in the process, to get food. With her meagre salary, she said a typical meal might be some rice, beans and a carrot.

Meat was too expensive, she said, and she had stopped eating it anyway because it reminded her of dead bodies. “After what I see in the hospital with the victims of attacks, it is hard to imagine eating something like that,” she said.

Nissrin starts work at 7am. At lunchtime, she takes a two-hour break to pick her sons up from school, warm up some food for them and then go back to the hospital.

“I prepare the food every night after I return from hospital at 10pm. I check if the children did their homework, clean the house and sleep like a rock,” she said.

If her children fall ill, Nissrin asks a neighbour to help look after them. Once, when they were particularly sick, she asked her boss if she could take time off to tend to them. “He just said that two lives were not more important than the hundreds that come into the hospital on a daily basis in need of my services,” she said.

Weak and disheartened

When she feels weak and disheartened, she pulls out a photo of her children and reminds herself why she endures what she does. She dreams of a day when nurses will be respected and appreciated for what they do. “Sometimes I feel indignation that even with millions of people depending on our work, they still see us as a lowly profession and treat us badly,” she said.

With more than 150 patients to look after on a typical day, Nissrin has the additional burden of having to accept physical and verbal abuse from angry patients, or their friends and relatives, demanding immediate treatment. This sometimes amounts to punches in the face or worse.

“In the most recent incident, a husband of a patient broke a glass over my head because his wife urinated and I was late changing her. I tried to explain that 50 injured patients had just arrived in the hospital and we were just three [nurses] helping the doctors. He told me that I was useless and beat me,” Nessrin said.



Singing “the devil’s music” will get you killed

IRAQ: Singing “the devil’s music” will get you killed

BAGHDAD, 23 Nov 2006 (IRIN) - Youssef Jabry, 32, is a singer who loves western music. He sings for a living in parties, weddings and all sorts of gatherings. But what was once a dream job has become a nightmare with the rise of Islamic extremists who say western music is unreligious and must be prohibited.

Six months ago, Jabry´s brother, Muhammad, who was also a singer, was killed by such extremists.

“They broke into our house shouting his name loudly. They carried him off and a week later we found his decapitated body with a note saying that this was the destiny of those who sing American words,’ Jabry said.

“He was 20 and had many dreams. He was a happy boy whose life was ended by those who twist Islamic law according to their own ideology and change it according to what suits them,’ he added.

Jabry, who is a well-known singer in Iraq, has fond memories of his brother and weeps whenever he mentions him. But now, Jabry is the sole breadwinner in the family. His father is too old to work, his mother is a housewife and he supports his two younger brothers through university.

“I cannot leave Iraq because my parents are sick and I cannot leave them alone. There is no future in Iraq for a singer unless he starts to sing religious songs,’ he said.

“But I will try to make some extra money and take my family to Jordan or Syria. There at least I can sing without fear and be near my family. I know I need much more time to save this money, but I know I can do it - even if I have to sing western songs secretly in small parties,’ he added.

Jabry has been warned directly of the consequences of singing the wrong songs.

“They [the extremists] came to me in a marriage party while I was singing and told me that I cannot sing the music of the devil and if I continued I was going to be killed. Since then, I only sing Arabic songs. People still insist that I sing western songs but I cannot put my life at risk,’ Jabry said, adding that he has to be very careful about which Arabic songs he sings too, as some are deemed by the extremists to be too western.

Jabry said that he has lost hundreds of dollars in the 10 months since he was threatened. “I need to sing because it is my job and the only thing I know how to do exceptionally. But with such restrictions on what can be sung, plus the security problems, people are not having many parties any more and the ones I´m lucky enough to sing at are paying very badly,’ Jabry said.

Jabry fondly remembers the “good days’ during former president Saddam Hussein´s time when his voice was heard in many parties. “Once I sang to Saddam at his birthday party and got good money for it because he liked my voice. Today, the only thing I get for singing in English is a threat or a bullet as payment,’ he said.

Like Jabry, dozens of other singers in Iraq are suffering at the hands of extremists and are struggling to make a living with the general decrease in demand for singers.

The Iraqi Artist´s Association (IAA) said that nearly 80 percent of the singers during Saddam´s era have fled the country and that at least 75 singers had been killed since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Jabry said the way things are going in Iraq, he would not be surprised if he were to become another statistic to add to the IAA´s tally. “Maybe I am going to be near him [his brother] very soon and the only thing I´m sorry about is leaving my family without support,’ Jabry said.

But he also holds onto dreams of a better day. “I dream of the day that I will take a microphone and sing again with my heart and not with my mind. I dream of the day that I will look in people´s eyes while I sing and they will be happy and satisfied - and not scared that at any point an extremist could break into the party and shoot everyone dead because they are hearing the ‘devil´s song´,’ he said.



IRIN  Singing “the devil’s music” will get you killed

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

One Of Next Month's Statistics

YArmouk hospital she died moments laterAccording to the UN at least 3,709 Iraqi civilians were killed in October. They died because of the corrupt, illegal, and racist occupation of Iraq by America and her allies.

This poor woman photographed today in Baghdad's al-Yarmouk hospital is one of next month's statistics. She died a few moments after this photograph was taken. The man beside her was calling for help. It arrived - but too late.

Mission accomplished - I hope my American readership is fucking proud of itself.


Government-backed militias killed comedian

الشرقية: ميليشيات ذات صلة بالحكومة اغتالت الفنان وليد

بغداد – الزمان : شيع في بغداد اليوم جثمان الشهيد وليد حسن جعاز المخرج في قناة الشرقية الذي اغتيل من قبل عصابات الاجرام المنظم اول امس في منطقة اليرموك غربي بغداد. وكانت عناصر مارقة من عصابات الاجرام المنظم التابعة لاحدى المليشيات ذات الصلة بالحكومة قد راقبت الشهيد اياما عدة كما راقبت زملائه لدى وصولهم الى مقر العمل او مغادرتهم له.

وقدمت عناصر هذه المليشيات من منطقتي البياع والوشاش بناءا على تعليمات من مسؤولهم الاعلى لاستهداف العاملين في قناة الشرقية.

وهاجمت زمرة من هذه المليشيات اثنين من العاملين في قناة الشرقية صباح يوم الاحد الماضي هما مدير البرامج واحد ابرز المعدين والمقدمين فيها غير ان يقظة الحراس وتصديهم للمهاجمين افشل محاولة الاختطاف والاغتيال وارغم المليشيا المهاجمة على ان تهرب من المنطقة وتعود ادراجها.غير ان الجهة التي ارسلت اولئك القتلة قررت في اليوم الثاني استهداف الشهيد وليد حسن جعاز بعد ان راقبته لايام عدة لدى دخوله الى مقر العمل وخروجه منه وحاولت في البداية اختطافه بان وضع داخل في سيارة سوداء اللون في محاولة لنقله بعيدا عن منطقة اليرموك غير ان الشهيد قاومهم وتمكن من الافلات منهم بعيدا عن السيارة فاطلقوا النار عليه واودعوا في جسده الطاهر اربع رصاصات حاقدة.

ان قناة الشرقية التي تحمل هذه المليشيا ذات النفوذ السياسي في الحكومة مسؤولية الجريمة النكراء تود ان تكشف انها نقلت الى السيد وزير الداخلية العراقي التهديدات التي وصلت الى القناة على مدى الاسابيع القليلة الماضية وذلك في الرسالة التي بعثتها الى الوزير بتاريخ الرابع عشر من الشهر الحالي وطالبته توفير الحماية لمقر الشرقية بعد ورود معلومات مؤكدة عن نية احدى المليشيات مهاجمة القناة واختطاف العاملين فيها غير ان وزارة الداخلية لم تتخذ اي اجراءات حتى وقعت عمليتان متتاليتان صباح يومي الاحد والاثنين واستشهاد الفنان وليد حسن جعاز.

وتحمل قناة الشرقية الاشخاص الذين حرضوا ضدها المسؤولية الاخلاقية والقانونية عن جريمة اغتيال الشهيد وليد حسن جعاز ومحاولات الاختطاف التي تعرض لها عاملون اخرون.

وكان ستون عنصرا من افراد الشرطة قد طوقوا القناة بعد الساعة الثامنة من مساء يوم الخامس من الشهر الحالي وطلبوا من العاملين الخروج من المبنى وتسليم انفسهم قبل ان تصل قوة اخرى من الشرطة من جهة اخرى لتوقف عملية الاقتحام واعتقال العاملين وجرى اعلام وزير الداخلية وكبار مساعديه بتلك الواقعة فورا كما جرى اعلام مسؤولين اخرين في الدولة بما جرى ولم تحصل القناة على تفسير واضح لعملية الترهيب التي تعرض لها مقرها في بغداد من دون سبب.

واذ تكشف الشرقية جزءا من المعلومات التي تتعلق بملاحقة الاعلام الحر واستهداف رموزه وصولا الى اغتيال الشهيد وليد حسن جعاز فانها تعاهد مشاهديها على ان تستمر في العمل جريئة قوية شجاعة ولن تغير من منهجها الوطني المستقل ولن تخضع الا لما يحبه الشعب غير آبهة بالقتلة والفاسدين.

هذا وقد نقل جثمان الشهيد وليد حسن جعاز الى مدينةالنجف الاشرف ليوارى الثرى وسط حزن الاوساط الفنية والثقافية والاعلامية لما يتعرض له المثقفون والاعلاميون في العراق من عمليات قتل منظم .

وكانت مدينة الناصرية جنوبي العراق ومسقط رأس الشهيد قد شهدت يوم امس تشييعا رمزيا لجنازة الفنان الراحل وليد حسن جعاز شارك فيه فنانون ومثقفون واعلاميون عبروا عن استنكارهم الشديد لما يتعرض له رجال الكلمة الحرة والفن الهادف من استهداف من قبل مليشيات القتل والاجرام.وساد الحزن مدينة الناصرية بعد اغتيال ابنها الشهيد وليد حسن جعاز وعبروا مواطنو المدينة من خلال اتصالاتهم عن عميق حزنهم وغضبهم لما يتعرض له ابناء الاعلام الوطني الحر المستقل.


Government-backed militias killed comedian
Azzaman in English:Azzaman, November 22, 2006

A militia group linked to the government is leading a campaign of intimidation and murder against reporters and employees of Azzaman and its sister media outlets.

On Monday, al-Shariqiya, the television network which is part of Azzaman Group, lost its star comedian who made Iraqis laugh at their corrupt politicians, the U.S. occupiers as well as the insurgents.

This murderous militia group is targeting Azzaman and its sister outlets as part of a campaign to forced them to leave the country.

Azzaman has lost numerous reporters and employees amid threats from government officials to close its television down.

The newspaper has reliable information that the comedian, whose program Caricature was watched by millions of Iraqis, was under surveillance for several days by these militias.

This militia group is spreading a reign of terror not only in Baghdad but in many other places in the country and now has orders from its leaders to silence Azzaman.

A day before Hassan was assassinated armed men from the same militia faction attacked two senior officials in al-Sharqiya with the aiming of having them kidnapped.

The attempt failed when these officials´ bodyguards confronted the kidnappers and forced them to flee.

They attacked Hashem on his way to work and wanted to kidnap him. He initially managed to flee, but the gunmen opened fire on him. Four bullets pierced his body and he died instantly.

Azzaman and al-Sharqiya are under threat. The group wrote to the minister of interior on November 14 asking for protection making it clear that the threats were serious.\their

The ministry took no measures at all and instead it sent a police force to al-Sharqiya office in Baghdad. The force encircled the building and asked the employees to surrender.

No explanation was given for the move which resulted in the arrest of several employees.

Al-Sharqiya, which is now the most watched television in Iraq, vows not to yield to intimidation and the killing of Hassan will spur it to stick to its independence and editorial stance no matter what

The big news of this story is that they're openly accusing the government. Al Zaman is pretty much the "Times" of Baghdad. It's very much the voice of the establishment. Good thing they're based in both Baghdad and London.


الموصل - مشرحة

رحلة بين الأموات في مشرحة الموصل
من ابراهيم ذنون
الموصل -(أصوات العراق)
لا أحد يرغب بزيارة هذا المكان.لكننا زرناه!. رائحة الموت تنبعث من ثلاجات صفت فيها جثث القتلى , يتجمد شعورك بالحياة وانت تتخيل ان تكون رقما في تعداد جثث الغد ... ترى كيف سيستقبلك مشرحي الطب العدلي وانت جثة لاحراك لها؟.
هاهم يضحكون معك وانت على قيد الحياة تتجاذبون أطراف أحاديث شتى فيها السار والمحزن, لكن ماذا سيكون شعورهم عندما يستقبلونك وانت ملفوف بكيس من النايلون الاسود؟.
تبدو بناية الطب العدلي وهي احدى دوائر رئاسة صحة نينوى قد عمرت حديثا, حيث عبد طريقها وجرى تحديث لاثاثها , واعيد طلاء جدرانها , كما اضيفت لها ثلاجات لتستوعب اعدادا اضافية لجثث مجهولة ومعلومة،مقطعة وسليمة،مشوهة وطبيعية ،مقيدة وحرة ..جثث من مختلف الاشكال والاعمار تجمعهم ثلاجة , يشتركون بامتلاكهم لبطاقة معلومات موحدة دونت عليها مواصفات من امتلك تلك البطاقة كالجنس .الطول . العمر . العلامات الفارقة. كالوشم او الشامة . .سبب الوفاة . حالتها عند الاستلام . تاريخ الاستلام . بالاضافة الى الرقم ..هناك جثث تبحث عن ذويها،وهناك من ينتظر ذويها وصولها!. تشعر بقشعريرة تسري في اوصال جسدك وانت تشاهدها وتنتقل ببصرك حيث مشرط المشّرح يبحث في خفاياها عن مجهول ليسجل بالنهاية في مربع صغير عن سبب خروجها من هذه الحياة، ثم في دقائق يخيط المشّرح هذه الجثة ليستلم جثة اخرى, ولاينظر الى ساعته ليعرف موعد انتهاء دوامه، بل ينظر على العدد المتبقي لديه من الجثث.
بدأ مدير المشرحة حديثه لوكالة أنباء (أصوات العراق) المستقلة عن معاناة الأطباء العدليين في العراق اكثر من حديثه عن معاناة دائرته، فقال"منذ 36 عاما وانا امارس دوري كطبيب عدلي في محافظة نينوى وكعضو في مجلس معهد الطب العدلي في القطر . لا احبذ ان يختص ولدي في هذا المجال لسلبياته . فقد اغفلت عنه عين المسؤول ولم تنصفه وترفع من رواتبه، فهو الطبيب الوحيد الذي لا يملك عيادة خاصة تعين مواردها على سد مستلزماته الحياتيه , وتساويه بما يأخذ أطباء باقي الاختصاصات."
وتابع " وعليه لا أحبذ الطلبة الجدد الدخول في هذا الاختصاص بالرغم من حاجة القطر اليه , فلاتوجد دماء جديده في هذا المجال والكادر قليل جدا."
اما طبيب المشّرحة والذي رفض ذكر اسمه خوفا من اتهامه بسرقة اعضاء الجثث فقال" ان من المعاناة التي تعترض عملنا هي جهل ذوي المتوفي بعدم رغبتهم بتشريح الجثث خوفا من فقدان اعضاء الجثة كالقلب او الكلى على حد قولهم."
وتحدث ايضا عن قساوة قانون الطب العدلي بقوله " للطب العدلي قانون قاس،منه سحب يد الطبيب اذا اكتفى بالتشخيص الظاهري ولم يشرح الجثة,فمثلا رجل توفي بحادث دهس ادى الى خروج دماغه من رأسه ،اما باقي اعضاء جسده تبقى سليمه , قانون الطب العدلي في العراق يوجب عليك تشريح كامل للجثة بينما لاتشرح الجثة في دول الخليج المجاورة الا بقرار اميري."
وأضاف المشّرح" نعاني ايضا من عدم التقدم في هذا المجال، فالعالم المتحضر يستخدم مايسمى بالحامض النووي، وهناك اختصاص حديث يسمى باختصاص العلوم الطبية العدلية والتي يفحص عن طريقها الملابس والشعر والسائل المنوي ، اما في محافظة نينوى فنحن نضطر الى ارسال الامعاء في حالة الاشتباه بالموت تسمما الى بغداد في سيارة اسعاف ونستلم النتيجة بعد شهرين ، وهذا بحد ذاته يؤخر من كشف الحقائق, كذلك لدينا مشاكل في تضارب القوانين فوزارة الصحة ترسل لنا خطابات من الوقفين السني والشيعي بتحريم تشريح الجثة، كما وترسل لنا تعليمات بضرورة تشريح الجثة."
خالد عبد الامير احد الموظفين الاداريين في المشرحة قال لـ (اصوات العراق) " الجثث المجهولة نسلمها للبلدية لتدفنها بعد شهرين من العثور عليها, ولكن الان الثلاجات لاتستوعب بقاء الجثث لمدة شهرين، وذلك لكثرة وصول جثث يومية ,وعليه نقوم بتصوير الجثث وحفظ الصور لعرضها على ذوي المفقودين."
وعن الحوادث المروعة التى مرت عليه خلال عمله في المشرحة، قال عبدالأمير" من الحوادث المروعة التي سجلتها مشرحة الموصل هي انقلاب باص لنقل طلبة احدى الكليات فى جامعة الموصل فى ثمانينات القرن المنصرم وذهب ضحيته 22 طالبا جامعيا."
غرفة التشريح عبارة عن صالة باردة صفت الجثث فيها على اسرة معدنية بانتظار مشرط
نذير نزيه.
ونذير مشّرح في الخامسة والثلاثين من عمره، بشوش ضحوك، لكن لا يتمنى احد ان يرقد بين يديه، قال "منذ عام 1991 وانا اعمل في تشريح الجثث ،مايتعبني هو زخم العمل وانفعالات ذوي المقتولين والتي لايستطيعون السيطرة على اعصابهم فيبدأون بتحطيم محتويات المشرحة وسيارات الاطباء ..ففي احدى الايام انفعل احد المواطنين عندما شاهد جثة اخيه فبدأ باطلاق النار داخل المشرحة مما اضطرنا للاختباء, وفي حالة مماثلة كسر ذوي القتيل باب الثلاجة وانابيب الماء وزجاج النوافذ ,لكننا نقدر مشاعرهم ."
وعن الحالات المؤلمة التي مرت عليه .. قال نذير" من الامور التي تؤلمني هي وصول كتل اللحم بدون وجه، حينها نضعها في اكياس خاصه ولا نصورها بل ندفنها في الحال ,كما أن هناك جثثا تؤلم الناظر اليها ."
نذير يجمع بين متناقضين، فهو طيب القلب عطوف رقيق الى ابعد الحدود، وفي نفس الوقت تراه جلد وقاس في حركاته مع الجثة، فهو يمسك بالمشرط بيد قوية ولاتهتز ويضعها في بداية الصدر ويمررها طوليا حتى نهايه البطن.
وعن الوقت الذي يستغرقه تشريح الجثة قال نذير" لايأخذ مني عملي هذا اكثر من ربع ساعة لكل جثة في الظروف الاعتيادية، اما في ظروف الموت الغامضة فقد ابحث عن المجهول لاكثر من ساعتين."
وعن اصعب المواقف قال" تشريح جثة ابن عمي القريب الى قلبي ونفسي كانت من اصعب المواقف التي مرت علي , فقد سقط من السطح وكان علي تشريحه لاكتشف سبب الوفاة، وجثة رضيعتي الي لقت مصرعها في حادث سيارة وتهشم رأسها فقط.. اخلاق المهنة تحتم علي تشريحها، وقد شرحتها وخيطت جثتها وانا مشرح فقط ثم وضعت الجثة في الثلاجة وخرجت من المشرحة وانا ابكي بكاء اخ فقد شقيقتة."
للمشرحة خمس ثلاجات تتسع كل ثلاجة لعدد معلوم ولكن هذا العدد يضرب في خمسة عندما تتكدس فيها الجثث لتتحول الطاقة الاستيعابية الى رقم لايصدقه العقل . عندها ستظهر مشاكل تبريد الجثث، فالثلاجة لا تتحمل . والرائحة لاتطاق . يتبادر لذهنك سؤال.. كيف يستطيع نذير وخورشيد وقيس العمل في هذا المكان .
خورشيد سلطان جمعة (مشّرح - 40 عاما) قال "في بعض الايام وبسبب زخم العمل لا اخلع كفوفي لانها كنز، فالمستلزمات شحيحة جدا , بالرغم من ان جمعيات الهلال الاحمر وبعض المنظمات تساعدنا بالمستلزمات الضرورية كالكفوف والصداري واكياس النايلون , كما تنقصنا مواد التعقيم ."
ويضيف خورشيد نوع آخر من المشاكل" مشاكلنا الصعبة مع مجهولى الهوية وخاصة من المسلحين الذين يطالب ذويهم بجثثهم في حين تتحفظ الشرطة عليها لاجراءات امنية . "
وتابع حديثه " فحص جثة المرأة المقتولة يختلف , فعلينا تثبيت بعض المعلومات التي تفيد في الكشف عن القاتل , كواقعة الزنا او الاغتصاب او غيرها ."
خورشيد يتذكر حادثة لازالت عالقه في ذهنه "من الحوادث التي لازالت راسخة في الذاكرة هي نجاح طفل بعمر 10 سنوات في التعرف على جثة خاله القتيل في حين اغمي على ثمانية رجال كانوا بصحبته عند اقترابهم من ثلاجة المشرحة .
أضاف "من المفارقات الغريبة هي عثوري على مبالغ ضخمة من العملة الامريكية وانا اشرح جثة ، ولاكثر من مرة ،حيث يكون المتوفي قد وضعها في كيس وشدها حول خصره او جعلها في حافظة بخيوط ولبسها حول رقبته."
قيس عبد الله (مشرح - 42 عاما) قال " مايؤلمني وانا اقوم بعملي هو مشاهدتي لعراقيين يقتلون بلا ذنب سوى لدين اعتنقوه او لقومية عشيرتهم او لاسم لازمهم منذ نصف قرن ,, اتألم وانا اشاهد شبابا ورجالا نساء واطفالا يذهبون ضحايا المفخخات والعبوات , اتألم وانا اجمع بيدي اشلاء وكتل لحم محروقة او متفسخة لاضعها بكيس واسلمها للبلدية لتدفنها لتنهي بذلك رحلة انسان مع الحياة انتهت وهو غير راغب بهذه النهاية المؤلمة تاركا ورائه اطفالا ونساء يبكون غيابه دون ان يعرفون بان مصيره انتهى بكيس نايلون اسود."
وتابع عبد الله حديثه "معدل مايصل الى المشرحة يوميا 15جثة، ولكن ليس بالضروري ان تكون جميعها من ضحايا العمليات المسلحة ،فهناك المسموم والمنتحر والمحروق والمدهوس ولكن في جميع الاحوال نعامل جثثهم بلا تمييز."
محطتنا التالية هي بعض موظفي الخدمة في المشرحة ممن يسعون لكسب ثواب بتجهيز هذه الجثث بتغسيلها وتكفينها.
عبد الكريم احمد (عامل خدمة 56 - عاما) قال"يحصل اتفاق بين ذوي القتيل من ميسوري الحال وبيننا على تجهيزه قبل دفنه مقابل مبلغ معين , ونجهز القتيل من العوائل متوسطي الحال مجانا كنوع من الثواب ، اما سعر التابوت والكفن فيبلغ تقريبا مابين 30 -35 دولارا ، اجور تجهيز منتسبي الشرطة تدفعها مديرية الشرطة وليس ذوي الشرطي. "
ويطرح المشّرح احمد كامل نوع آخر من المعاناة للعاملين في المشرحة وهي رفض الفتيات من الاقتران بهم، وقال ساخرا" لو لم تكن ابنة عمي هي زوجتي وقد اهداها والدها لوالدي حين ولادتها لكنت اعزب لغاية هذه اللحظة ، لانه لا احد يرغب بالاقتران مع العاملين في هذا المجال، حتى ابن طبيب مشرحتنا ذو الست سنوات اجاب معلمته التي سألته عن اختصاص والده بأنه طبيب امراض جلدية ، كما ان اولاد الجيران يمتنعون عن اللعب مع اولادي اذا عرفوا مكان عملي وذلك بسبب النظرة الضيقة للمجتمع لهذه المهنة."
ويبقى الانتظار خارج المشرحة رهيبا .. ام اسعد التي فقدت ولدها منذ اسبوعين قالت "اصبح الموت سهلا، ولكن الصعب هو العثور على الجثة , فانا انتظر يوميا الجثث التي تصل المشرحة . لقد ايقنت بقتله، ولكن املي هو العثور على جثته، وان يكون صحيحا غير مقطع."
ابو عبد القادر رجل في الستين من عمره، جلس على احد درجات سلالم الطب العدلي يتكىء على عصا خشبية، كان رث الثياب مقوس الظهر، خطفت ابنته عندما كانت تسير بجانبه، قال لـ (اصوات العراق) وهو يبكي بحرارة" لقد خطفوا ابنتي من بين يدي , ابنتي هند البالغة من العمر 15 عاما كانت تأخذ بيدي لتعبرني الشارع حيث المضمد ليزرقني حقنتي اليومية .. وقبل انتهاء عبور الشارع مرت سيارة وفيها اربع شباب نزل اثنان منهم وسحبا يد هند من يدي بسرعة مذهلة وخطفاها في لمح البصر ..وراحت البنت ...لقد ماتت امها حسرة وكمدا وانا ابات واصحو في المشرحة اريد ابنتي ..واخوانها تركوا دراستهم واعمالهم ويبحثون عنها منذ اربعة اشهر."
حامد صالح ، رجل في اواسط الاربعين، خرج من بوابة المشرحة وهو يضرب يدا بيد، شارد الذهن، إنتبه لوجودنا عندما تعثرت قدماه، واراد ان يسقط، قال" لم اعرفه ..انه هو ..لا ليس هو .. فهذا وجهه مشوه واخي وجهه جميل.. لكن الخاتم الموضوع في الامانات نفس الخاتم .. انا في حيره.. هل انصب عزاء ؟ ام هناك امل برجوعه؟ لقد انفجرت مفخخة بالقرب من كليته منذ اسبوع ولم يعد لحد الان .. نعم هناك مفقودين اثر الانفجار ..ولكن عقلي لايصدق ان بقايا الهيكل العظمي المكسو بقليل من اللحم المحروق والمتهريء هو اخي ناظم الشاب ذو العشرين ربيعا...سأجن ..لم اعد احتمل ..لا ..اخي سيعود سيعود. "
ع ب

الموصل - مشرحة

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

None Of This Is News

murdered by American death squadThe young man whose body you are looking at was violently removed from his home in Ramadi last Sunday night. His captors were a mix of armed foreigners from the USA and their collaborators from Iraq. The term used for such groupings is "Death Squad." The American army in Iraq openly acts as a death squad.

No doubt there will be the usual denials, denials not even meant to deceive. "Pro forma" denials. No doubt there will be the usual attempts to smear the victim. It may even be true that he was a member of the resistance to the imperial American rape of his home and his people. It may well be that he had had the temerity to resist the brutal racist rape of his home and his people by taking up arms to deter and punish the American army that is so busily engaged in raping his home and his people. What of it?

If the Americans were truly interested in bringing peace to Ramadi, to Iraq, he would not have been first tortured, then murdered, and his violated corpse dumped as a warning to the uppity sand niggers Arabs.

What is important is that the imperial army of rapists hauled him from his home violated his humanity and then murdered him.

The next time you hear an American talk of "freedom," the next time you hear an American talk of "democracy," the next time you hear an American talk of how terrible the death squads are remember something. The most violent and brutal death squads of all are the ones bought, and paid for, and trained, by the Americans and when they can't do the job they get their American buddies to help them catch their victims.

You should remember something else. A people and their army who behave like this abroad invariably bring this criminal and brutish behaviour home and turn it against their own people. It is not only revolutions that eat their own.


Monday, November 20, 2006

اصوات العراق

Logo AswatalIraqAswataliraq (Voices of Iraq) is two years old today. It's the first place we check for news of Iraq. It's independent, thoroughly professional, and does it's best to be impartial. They cover not only security and political events but such vital matters as the cost of fool and of fuel.

Here's what, with their usual truthfulness and modesty, they have to say about themselves:

Aswat al-Iraq (Voices of Iraq) - the independent news agency

Aswat al-Iraq is an independent Iraqi news agency with contributions from a network of Iraqi correspondents spread throughout the country and from three independent Iraqi newspapers.

The agency began publishing in Arabic on 21 November 2004 and now provides services in Arabic, Kurdish and English through its website aswataliraq

The agency strives to produce balanced coverage of Iraqi developments in politics, culture, business, sport and civil societ. It works to be wherever the news is. But speed will not be its only goal; it aims in addition to speed at impartiality, accuracy and the use of a variety of reliable sources.

To the very best of its ability, the agency will avoid bias and will look at reality from a variety of perspectives, reporting both sides of the story and reflecting Iraq with all its political, ethnic and religious diversity, producing accurate news reporting, investigation, analysis and photography.

The agency is working to open constructive relationships with Iraq media organisations of all tendencies and with Arab and international media.

Aswat al-Iraq will strive to be a centre for training young Iraqi journalists and media technicians, as well as instilling professional skills, accuracy and impartiality in its own reporters and editors.

The agency is managed by a Board of Directors, all of them Iraqi, and an Editorial Committee composed of:

Editor in Chief: Zuhair al-Jezairy

Managing Editor: Abdul-Sattar al-Baidani

Editorial Secretary: Husain Mohammed Ajeel

We open our doors to all the media, dedicating ourselves to the idea that criticism is the best way to develop.

The team here at "guides" extend our congratulations and thanks and wish you "happy birthday"

Eid Milad Sa'eed!

Abbas, Ahmad, Ali, Ali (al-Basrawi), Anthony, Declan, Dubhaltach, Erdla, Fatima, Gerard, Hassan, Hussayn, Laith, Mark, Omar, Tony, Padhraic, Sagib, Thalit, Yassir, Zeynab.

Update: Fixed link - our thanks to reader Badger for pointing out the problem

Jameelah Market Bombing

Jameelah Market Bombing aftermath

I've written about Jameelah Market before. Today it was bombed again. The photograph above is of the aftermath. Mercifully the casualty toll was relatively small. "Only" three people were killed and "only" five people were sufficiently badly wounded to require hospitalisation.  That doesn't mean that the aftermath wasn't grim. It was grim - as the photogaph of one of the residents picking up pieces of dead human being for decent disposal shows.


Point Counterpoint

American politician to American people:

McCain, a front-running GOP presidential hopeful for 2008, said the U.S. must send an overwhelming number of troops to stabilize Iraq or face more attacks in the region and possibly on American soil.


Iraqi people to American people:

We have nothing left to lose but you do — Bring 'em on


It Was The Ghost Of Empires Past Directing The Future

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: Even when our foreign policy is benevolent, it appears condescending and exploitative
In many ways, I am a captive of my history, as Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are of theirs
Published: 20 November 2006

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown take up the white man's burden, one in Pakistan, the other in Iraq. How they sacrifice and suffer for the righteous cause only to be knocked down by ungrateful natives abroad and at home.

Hymn for today: sing and hum and honour these worthy descendants of the glorious British Empire:

Onward Christian Soldiers!
On to heathen lands!
Prayer-books in your pockets!
Rifles in your hands!
Take the glorious tidings
Where trade can be won
Spread the peaceful gospel -
With a Maxim gun.

(The 19th-century Liberal MP and radical journalist Henry Labouchere wrote this parody of the traditional triumphalist hymn.)

There I go again, being destructively and cruelly cynical, typical of generations of hacks who can see no good in our elected leaders and their visionary purpose. (With some remarkably loyal exceptions of course.)

Upon touchdown in Iraq, Gordon, looking ultra-masculine in body armour, declaimed with gravitas as he does. He hinted that withdrawal is nigh - within a few months, even - and went on to make generous promises of post-withdrawal aid (£100m) when Iraq is "'running its own affairs". There we have it, confirmation that the Government believes it is time to cut and run, a surrender to anti-war campaigners who want our troops to leave before things get even worse for the Iraqis.

On the same day, Tony was sorting out Pakistan, using that well tested combo of bribes and clever deals. He is doubling the aid to the country and instructs them to use the money to infuse "enlightened moderation" through the land and see to it that propagandist religious madrasas are replaced with good, state education. (Such a pity he can't apply the same common sense to British education policies, but I digress.) That is exactly what we need, diplomatic interventions to help Muslim states revitalise Islam worthy of its peaceful name before it was politicised and corrupted by Ayatollah Khomeni, the Taliban and now al-Qa'ida.

I should be applauding Mr Number One man and Mr Number Two, as Borat would probably describe them. But a noisy buzz has started up in my head, an irritation that has now expanded into full blown rage.

Pacing and swearing, I mutter: there they go again, dictating to the non-Western world as if they own it by right. They trash, bleed and loot Iraq, never apologise, and still grab control of its future. In Pakistan our leaders presume that swarthies will do their bidding because they are easily bought and frightened into submission. The family is quite, quite weary of my recurrent anti-colonial eruptions, and they try to distract me and fail. Saturday is ruined because I can't let go. Even the excitement of The X-Factor fails to dispel the fumes of fury.

My excuse is that in many ways I am a captive of my history, as Blair and Brown are of theirs. Long after hubristic European nations were made to hand back occupied lands and retreat into their small continent, the feeling remained, as it does when a limb is amputated. Those of us who were subjects also harbour the old emotions, and are prone to bristle and chafe when old imperial fantasies surface and new imperial projects are planned. It is in the DNA of collective memory on both sides.

There have always been freethinkers who can break out and question the consensus, but they are rare and getting rarer. Millions of Europeans opposed the war on Iraq, but yet the spirit of European supremacy is alive and busy.

It was best described by William Gladstone when responding to the arrogant Lord Palmerston, who praised and emulated Roman imperialism. Such a Roman, said Gladstone, "was a member of the privileged caste: he belonged to a conquering race, to a nation that held all others bound down by the strong arm of power. For him there was an exceptional system of law; for him principles were to be asserted, and by him rights were to be enjoyed, that were denied to the rest of the world."

You see it everywhere. Or I do, anyway. Consider the churlish, almost offended reactions to the first al-Jazeera English broadcasts this week. For months previously, media folk had been predicting chaos and calamity. Some couldn't at all understand why David Frost or Raageh Omar and other big British TV names would choose to work for the infamous, Eastern station. Money was their only explanation.

The launch was smooth, and was soon followed by a brilliant scoop - in a moment of carelessness, Blair appeared to agree with Frost that Iraq is a disaster. What did our wise media watchers have to say about the impressive start to a station watched and trusted by millions?

Mark Lawson spoke for most and most eloquently. He criticised al-Jazeera for ignoring our Queen's speech and giving time to Gaza and Israel; he was irked that we had to endure the weather prospects in Arabia, and then came to this extraordinary conclusion: "the natural viewer for al-Jazeera will be a creature rare in Britain and almost non-existent in America, someone desperate for submersion in other cultures to the exclusion of their own." Is he serious? Does he really believe the cultures of Britain and the US are still wholly Anglo-Saxon, or are politics and culture still perceived through an old colonial lens even by very excellent liberals?

Although the surging economic might of India and China impresses and terrifies the West, the latter cannot excise its heritage of colonial entitlement. You can't take a step these days without meeting India and China enthusiasts. The other day I was talking to a young woman - only 28, sharp as anything, cool Britannia personified, works for a think tank. She was off to India, then China and was just so, so excited about it.

A while into the conversation she swerved into a cul-de-sac. I paraphrase and distil: "You know we've got to get in there and make sure we don't fall behind. I'm not that worried to be honest. They are great copiers but haven't a clue when it comes to real innovation. I think it's cultural, they can't think for themselves. We always have. I know its not PC, but that's why the West has been so dominant. Think if we play our cards right - get serious about patent enforcement, they will find it hard to beat us, but we need to be in there keeping an eye and some control."

There is a perfectly healthy competitive position that one can take on the changing international economic scene. National interests will always collide with shared global aspirations. But this was something else, it was the ghost of empires past directing the future. And it is everywhere. Or is it my own haunting ghost of imperial subjugation? You tell me.


Al Jazeera Story On Resistance Fighters

Iraq's Islamic army defends Baghdad
Hoda Abdel-Hamid in Iraq

Born out of occupation, the soldiers of the Islamic Army, a Sunni organisation, pride themselves on being Iraqis, and say that their main aim is to expell foreign influences from Iraq, reports Hoda Abdel-Hamid, Aljazeera's correspondent in Iraq.

Three years on since the invasion and the fighters are still waging a relentless campaign against the US troops. The campaign is carried out in and around Baghdad, but is mainly focused in Al-Anbar, an area the coalition forces are still unable to control despite several military operations.

Known to many as insurgents, or terrorists, the fighters prefer to describe themselves as a national resistance movement and guarantee that there are no foreign fighters in their ranks.

Ibrahim Al Shamary, a spokesman for the Islamic army in Iraq, talked of the problems he sees Iraq facing today.

In an exclusive interview he told Al Jazeera: "There are two occupations in Iraq. Iran on one side through the militias which they control and through direct involvement with the National guard and the intelligence services, that causes the killing and destruction of the sunnis.

"And then there is the american occupation which destroys the Iraqi people."

The world came to know the group through grizzly videos of kidnappings and attacks on foreign and Iraqi troops, a powerfull intimidation tool that led many foreign businesses to leave Iraq.

Reconstruction has since slowed down and many foreign troops have pulled out.

These fighters say they are protecting Iraqis from the brutality of a foreign occupation.

Al Shamary said: "The occupation is hiding lots of crimes; when they leave, the world will see the full picture."

With the current chaos in Iraq, there is no shortage of recruits and within two weeks a new group of fighters is ready to pick up arms to defend their country.

New recruits train in the art of war among the palmgroves on the outskirts of Baghdad. During the two week intensive course in guerilla warfare they learn the art of ambushes, kidnappings [with the help of local residents] and tactical instructions to hit american helicopters, rescue operations and heavy artillery assaults.

"The fighters sacrifice their lives to protect the people,"Al Shamary said.

Source: Al Jazeera Emphasis added

Related: AFP report on Peninsula Online

Iraq militant group tells fighters to attack govt
Web posted at: 11/19/2006 8:12:24
Source ::: AFP

DUBAI • The Islamic Army in Iraq, one of the country's main Sunni extremist groups, called on its fighters to strike at the government of Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki after it launched a probe into a leading Sunni cleric, according to an Internet statement posted yesterday.

Iraqi state television reported last week that the government had ordered the arrest of cleric Harith Sulaiman Al Dhari for "inciting sectarian violence", but a government spokesman said later that only a criminal investigation had been opened into his activities. Dhari has been criticised after telling Al Arabiya news channel that Sunnis in Iraq were being marginalised, and for his criticism of Maliki, a Shiite.

Western readers should note that although this particular group is Sunni the so-called divide is not as important as westerners like to think it is. Most Iraqis consider the American invaders to be the greatest threat to them and do not care who it is who fights them so long as those fighters kill Americans and their allies. This is what happens when your army behaves like Hulegu.