Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Governor Of Maysan Is UPSET!

The governor of Maysan has had an upsetting experience. But first some other news from Iraq translated (as always in this series) from the Independent Arabic news service Aswat Al-Iraq:

Baghdad-America
The American army announced today, Saturday, that an American soldier was killed during a military operation in Al-Anbar governorate.

The killing of the soldier brings the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq according to American official data since the invasion, led by the United States against Iraq in March 2003 to 2886 troops.

Basra-security

One person killed another injured in two incidents. The dead man was shot by a British soldier. According to Karim Zeidi the dead man was shot in Karma (15 km northof Basra proper).

The road to Baghdad was blocked for 8 hours. A guard at the British compound was shot.

Sulaymaniyah

The security forces arrested three people suspected of involvement in bombings. The security forces commander stated to Aswataliraq that the suspects confessed and to have found explosives.

Baquba (East of)
A sweep by US and green zone government troops led to 43 people were arrested, they are suspected of being in the resistance. The green zone government spokesman claimed to Aswataliraq that some of the detainees had dual citizenship.

The Americans have announced yet another one of their "massive security sweeps" of Baquba. As usual they say it's based on accurate intelligence. And also as usual they complain that the resistance activities "destabilise economic growth in the city. "

This is puzzling. Are they upset that the local McDonalds franchise in the city isn't making enough to bribe the regional Haliburton rep or what?

Sulaymaniyah
The long planned athletics institute has opened. (A computer training institute opened last week -mfi)

Baghdad Bombing Casualties Toll increased.

Youth injured in today's thriple bombingIt's now 51 dead and 90 wounded from the three bomb attack carried out earlier today.

Salah al-Din (Tikrit)
Five green zone government troops travelling in an unmarked car were killed in an attack by gunmen.

Salah al-Din (Ad Duluiyah)
American patrol attacked. No reports of casualties.

Kirkuk
Two separate bomb attacks on patrolling by green zone government (in reality pesh) in Kirkuk. No reports of casualties one police car blown up.

Khalis (near Baquba)
Two civilians shot dead in their car by unknown gunmen.

Baghdad Mortar attack near Malik bin Anas Mosque

Three people killed 6 wounded all of whom were members of the same family.
NB 1: At the time of the attack a conference chaired by Adnan Al-Dulaimi and attended by residents and both Sunni and Shia clergy to discuss how to protect the neighbourhood from attack and prevent ethnic cleansing was taking place in the Mosque.
NB 2:Shell fragments collected from the scene bore manufacturing dates from 2006.
Last month the dead man walking Nuri Al-Maliki "ordered" the "Iraqi" forces and their foreign overlords to identify the places from which missiles were fired and thus "put an end to this phenomenon which has become a source of real concern to the majority of the people of the city of Baghdad." The man has a gift for understatement if nothing else -mfi.

Mosul
Two attacks three police killed in bombing. An agricultural contractor shot and killed.

Babil
A young man (25 years old) was shot and killed as he was planting a bomb by the side of the Jarf al-Sakhr road. The body hasn't been handed over yet according to Aswataliraq's informant.

Baghdad-Maliki - Japan
The dead man walking Nuri Al-Maliki had a meeting with the Japanese ambassador. He praised the now long departed Japanese troops. The Japanese ambassador said Japanese firms were looking forward to lots of juicy contracts. The report doesn't say if the dead man walking Nuri Al-Maliki asked for political asylum in Tokyo on the basis that there's no way in hell the Syrians will give it to him again. No matter how nicely the Americans ask them when the Americans finally realise that they'd better start to make nice the Syrians ain't gonna give 'im asylum. To the best of my knowledge and belief the Syrian Ba'aath party aren't a charitable organisation dedicated to providing retirement homes for people who promote American interests. To the best of the Syrian Ba'aath party's knowledge and belief the Syrian Ba'aath party aren't a charitable organisation dedicated to providing retirement homes for people who promote American interests.

Maysan
The border crossing protection force haven't been paid for four months. 300 of them held a "peaceful and civilised" protest by dint of barging in the governor's office and telling him the were upset. He told them he was upset too.

Now let's see they're employed by interior ministry. Which is run by SCIRI which runs a lot of death squads. Which costs a lot of money. (Even if you do get it direct from the American embassy.) So there's an entire force unpaid for four months. They and their entire extended families are now really rather annoyed. They're ones who are responsible for trying to stop weapons coming into the country. It seems a bit stupi........ and a bit counterprocucti ..... Oh hang on this is the American occupation we're talking about.

Ah well at least we know for sure they'll vote Sadrist next time. - mfi
Sources: The media institutions contributing at present are:

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

markfromireland

Lessons? Vietnam, Indonesia, and Iraq

I. Wallerstein, 198, "Lessons? Vietnam, Indonesia, and Iraq":
Commentary No. 198, Dec. 1, 2006
"Lessons? Vietnam, Indonesia, and Iraq"

George W. Bush has just visited Vietnam and Indonesia. He himself and the press in general used the occasion to reflect on the "lessons" from the Vietnam war, meaning what were its implications for U.S. policy in Iraq. It might have been more useful to reflect on the lessons from Indonesia, and the differing receptions Bush got in the two countries.

Vietnam is today one of the few countries in the world where the U.S. Secret Service will allow Bush to travel in a public motorcade. When Bush was there, he said that the Vietnam war should teach the United States patience. In a quote that every news service picked up, he added: "We'll succeed unless we quit."

Only George W. Bush could have said that the lesson he drew from Vietnam about Iraq is that the United States will succeed unless it quits. For, as even he should know, the United States did quit in Vietnam. Was Bush's comment supposed to be a denunciation of Richard Nixon for having quit, for not having had the patience to win? Or was it just a witless restatement of his stay-the-course line in Iraq, despite what happened in Vietnam?

What are the most obvious lessons to be drawn from the long war in Vietnam? One is that the United States was defeated by a small nation that could not begin to match its strength in military hardware. The second is that the long war with Vietnam tore the American people apart and sapped in important ways the long-term economic strength of the United States. The third is that, despite all that or maybe precisely because Vietnam defeated the United States, Vietnam today is one of the most friendly countries in the world to the United States, indeed one of the few friendly countries.

The ostensible reason the United States fought in Vietnam was to oppose Communism and to make sure that there was no "domino effect" of Communism in Southeast Asia. Well, the Communist Party still rules Vietnam today, and they are actually friendly to the United States. And there was no domino effect. So, why did the United States sacrifice all those lives and financial resources? Maybe it would have made more sense not to have gotten involved in the first place.

President Bush proceeded to Indonesia, where he spent a few hours, holed up in a government palace. No motorcades - too dangerous; no staying even one night - too dangerous. So let us review U.S. policy in Indonesia. There, unlike Vietnam, the U.S. intervention was "successful." The CIA helped arrange the overthrow of Sukarno, a leader of the world's "non-aligned" powers - someone the United States felt was too friendly to the Soviet Union. In his place, a rightwing general, Suharto, became the ruler. He promptly engaged in a mass slaughter of the Indonesian Communist Party, the largest in the world outside the states where the Communist Party was the government.

Indonesia is also the state with the largest Muslim population in the world. Indonesian Islam has been, by world standards, of a quite "moderate" variety. But after the fall of the secular government of Sukarno, the Indonesian government has felt the need to take account of the political views of Muslim parties. And in Indonesia there has been the "domino" effect that never occurred in Vietnam. Only the domino effect came from the U.S. policy in Iraq. The United States is seen these days by many, possibly most, Indonesian Muslims as an enemy of Islam, and they are very angry. Had there been a motorcade in Jakarta, it probably would have been stoned. So the Secret Service nixed it.

So, what lessons should we draw? In 2006, one of the world's few remaining Communist governments is a friend, relatively speaking, of the United States. And the country where we arranged to wipe out the Communist Party is a country in which it is physically dangerous for the U.S. president to set foot.

Will the U.S. president who visits Iraq in twenty years get the kind of reception George W. Bush got in Vietnam, or the kind Bush got in Indonesia?

by Immanuel Wallerstein

Voices of Iraq: Iraq-Women ( Feature)

Aswataliraq had a feature in Arabic today about Iraqi women and how the war started by the Americans against the Iraqi people affects women. I went to the mosque and telephoned them and they told me it would be in English later. Here it is:


Iraq-Women ( Feature) :: Aswat al Iraq :: Aswat al Iraq:
Voices of Iraq: Iraq-Women ( Feature)
Posted by: saleem on Saturday, December 02, 2006 - 01:24 PM
Iraq-Women ( Feature)
Iraqi women fear involvement in civil war
By Maha Muhammad

Baghdad, Dec 2, (VOI) – Amidst bombings followed by shootings in the capital Baghdad and while Iraqis confine themselves within their homes, fear-haunted Iraqi women keep on wondering whether it is a civil war.
Iraqi women were left to bear most of the burdens of wars afflicting their country and cost them a dear price.
They had some optimism about a breakthrough looming in the horizon, but they were dead wrong. Matters grew more dangerous and more complicated that many now believe the symptoms of civil war are taking their toll on an already moribund Iraq.
"We never imagined that the situation would be so tough. When I was watching news about the civil war in Lebanon on TV, I wondered how the people of one nation fight one another. Unfortunately, we are now standing at the doorstep of a civil war, if it is not burning us already," Ms. Maryam Yassin, an employee in the dissolved ministry of information, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).
Ms. Sumaya Khaled who recently lost a son in clashes in western Baghdad, said in a poignant voice "my eldest son was killed in the Iran war and I lost my second son Naji in clashes that erupted in our neighborhood."
Naji was killed by a stray bullet while he was passing by.
"Do the parties involved in fighting recognize how many innocents foot the bill?" Ms. Khaled said, wondering "for how long the innocent Iraqis will remain the prime losers in wars they have nothing to do with."
Ms. Sajida Khudhayr, retired headmistress of a school for girls, said "this war had been flagrantly pre-planned."
"The (civil) war, which had started with the Samarra incidents ( where two Shiite shrines were blown up in February), will burn everything in its way unless we do something. As time goes by, we would be able to see the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis that is going to be caused by this war," Ms. Khudhayr said.
She said the Iraqis are teetering on the edge of a bottomless pit and if they failed to save themselves, there would be no hope left for them.
"Neither the occupation forces nor the Iraqi forces, which up to their ears in internal disputes, would save the Iraqis," Ms. Khudhayr added.
She wondered whether it was best for the Iraqis to leave their homes for other areas due to sectarian reasons, or whether they should leave the country altogether.
For 70-year-old Um Uqail, leaving the war-scarred Arab nation would be a brilliant idea in these circumstances.
"The past days were so hard. I was ready to sell whatever I own just to get my children out to any neighboring country. They actually went to Syria," said Um Uqail with a touch of sadness overwhelming her wrinkled face.
"Iraqi women were doomed to continue experiencing injustice as if what they have already been through was not enough. Now they have to live with the loss of their boys or girls in wars we are ashamed to call sectarian," the sad Iraqi mother complained.
"When we had to fight in the past, we were defending our lands and honor, but today we would be fighting ourselves in a fiery war that is going to leave no one safe.
Huda al-Shawi, a feminist who opted for fleeing the strife-stricken country for neighboring Jordan, told VOI by telephone from Amman that matters were going from bad to worse.
"I am scared of all that is happening. Our life in Iraq is anything but possible, particularly in certain hot friction points. No day passes without scores of harmless Iraqi fatalities. After my father was killed late last year while he was returning to Baghdad, I had no option but to leave Iraq," Shawi said.
"I am not the only one who feels so scared," Shawi added.



Zeynab

Jaish al-Islami Statement

There's a lot of excitement about the Jaish al-Islami statement:
alquds alarabi:
الجيش الاسلامي يدعو السنة لخوض معركة مصير ضد الشيعة
01/12/2006
دبي ـ اف ب: دعا الجيش الاسلامي في العراق، وهو من ابرز فصائل المتمردين في البلاد، في شريط مسجل بث امس علي الانترنت، السنة في بغداد الي خوض معركة مصير ضد الميليشيات الشيعية.
وقال المتحدث باسم الجيش الاسلامي في العراق علي النعيمي ايها الأحبة في بغداد، كونوا من الطائفة التي شرفها الله من هذه الامة بشرف الجهاد (...) ان البلاد بلادكم والارض ارضكم وبغداد مدينتكم ومدينة آبائكم فلا تتركوها للغرباء يتمكنون فيها ويطردونكم منها فانها معركة مصير، اما ان نكون او لا نكون
The above is a report from Al Quds Al Arabi from the Jaish Al Islami declaring an existential struggle against the Shia in Iraq. The below is the report from Aswataliraq.

الانبار - الاسلامي :: Aswat al Iraq :: Aswat al Iraq:
اصوات العراق: الانبار - الاسلامي
كتب: maher في يوم الجمعة, 01 ديسمبر, 2006 - 04:18 PM BT
بيان : الجيش الاسلامي في الانبار ينضم لـ (الدولة الاسلامية في العراق)
من محسن حاتم
هيت-( أصوات العراق)
ذكر بيان وزعه مسلحون مجهولون اليوم الجمعة في هيت أن ما يعرف باسم الجيش الاسلامي في محافظة الانبار يعلن انضمامه الى ما يسمى بـ (الدولة الاسلامية في العراق) والتي أعلن عنها في عدد من المحافظات العراقية قبل أكثر من شهر.
وقال شهود عيان لوكالة أنباء ( أصوات العراق) المستقلة في مدينة هيت إن بيانات وزعها مسلحون وصفوا أنفسهم بأنهم تابعون للجيش الاسلامي في العراق أوضحت أن الجيش الاسلامي في العراق يعلن انضمامه الى الدولة الاسلامية التي أسسها ( أبو حمزة المهاجر).
وأضاف البيان أن " الجيش الاسلامي في العراق يعلن مبايعته للمهاجر في السراء والضراء وفي الرخاء والشدة."
وقال البيان إن " العمليات التي سيقوم بها الجيش الاسلامي من الان ضد قوات الاحتلال الامريكي ستكون تحت اسم الدولة الاسلامية في العراق."
يذكر أن بيانا قد صدر أواخر شهر تشرين أول أكتوبر الماضي من قبل ما يعرف بمجلس شورى المجاهدين في محافظة الانبار أعلن فيه تشكيل الدولة الاسلامية في كل من الانبار وديالى وصلاح الدين ونينوى ومناطق شمال الكوت وشمال الحلة وبغداد.
وكانت العديد من التظاهرات قد خرجت في بعض المدن السنية مؤيدة لإعلان (الدولة الاسلامية).
ح ن
The Aswataliraq report is fairly laconic and has appeared on board after board after board. Let's deal with the report first. According to the report the Islamic Army in Al Anbar announced its accession to the "so-called" (Islamic state in Iraq), that was announced [proclaimed] in a number of governorates [ Anbar, Diyala, Salahuddin, Ninevah and Kut areas north and north-Hillah and Baghdad] by the Mujahideen Shura Council last October. Please note that "so called" are Aswataliraq's words. The statement included this:
"the operations of the Islamic Army from now against the American occupation forces will be under the name of an Islamic state in Iraq."
Lots of people me amongst them have been scurrying round trying to find the original statement. Badger whose work I respect thinks the nearest candidate is this interview posted in August on the IAI website:الجيش الإسلامي في العراق . His posting Big resistance group appears to react negatively to the US-Sunni alliance is well worth reading but I'm not convinced that that's the statement in question. The interview itself is fairly typical "near/far enemy" stuff and early on promotes the (false) view that Jihad is one of the pillars. The IAI are very adroit news and propaganda managers. I don't see them making the sort of effort that the report in Aswataliraq connotes they made for that interview. I could well be wrong but it just doesn't smell right. I think there's some other statement floating round.

A few other points to bear in mind as you read Badger's very good posting:
  • The IAI are intensely nationalistic. It's not surprising that they emphasise detestation of the Iranians. I doubt there's a family in those provinces who didn't lose members during the Iraq - Iran war. I doubt there's a person alive in those governorates who hasn't heard from someone who experienced it first hand what sort of treatment Iraqi POWs got meted out to them. Playing upon those resentments is just good politics.
  • Ditto their contempt for the Ba'ath for them secularists are by definition traitors to Islam, if they're traitors to Islam then by definition they're traitors to everything else as well.
  • Neither the interview or this new declaration, if it is a new declaration, represents a shift. It strikes me as a very typical declaration of war against the "near enemy" or in this case "enemies" entirely consistent with a "Qutbain" outlook. But given the social composition of the group the sectarianism strikes me as incidental. I wouldn't go as far as to say that it's pro-forma but it strikes me as being pretty close to it.
  • The implications of that are very interesting, very obvious, - and bode ill for the occupation.
markfromireland

Saturday Early Morning Miscellany

Al Jazeera English - Middle East:
Ahmadinejad wants US out of Iraq

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, has again called on the US to get out of Iraq.

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera's Darren Jordon on Friday, Ahmadinejad said that Iraqis should govern themselves without any interference and blamed the US for stirring up divisions between Iraq's Shia, Sunnis and Kurds.

His comments came a day after the US president met with Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, urging him to crack down on Shia militias blamed for sectarian violence.

Ahmadinejad was in Doha, Qatar, where he was attending the opening ceremony for the Asian Games.

Rising tensions
When asked if he ever envisioned himself discussing Iraq with the US and if there was anything he wanted from the Americans, Ahmadinejad said: "We don’t want anything from America, just leave the Iraqis alone."

"They know how to govern themselves and provide their own security. The problem is with the presence of the US. Let them leave and the Iraqis will be fine."

He accused Washington of exacerbating tensions between Iraq's deeply divided communities, saying it is "afraid of an independent Iraq".

"The problem is with the presence of the US. Let them leave and the Iraqis will be fine."

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
"We know that the Americans and the Britons want to leave Iraq ... But they want to leave a scorched earth for the Iraqi people," he said.

"They have started doing things like creating sedition among Iraqis - Sunnis and Shia, Kurds and Shia."

Ahmadinejad also said supporters of the Lebanese opposition led by Hezbollah, which is believed to have links with Iran, had a right to demonstrate against the government.

"In a land of democracy it is natural for people to voice their opinions, after all the government has to serve their people," he said.

[snip]
Al Jazeera English - Middle East:
Why the West needs Ahmadinejad
By Rageh Omaar in Tehran

A year is a long time in Iranian politics.
Twelve months ago, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, was branded a hardliner by Washington - a religious zealot, and a direct threat to Israel.

Now he is seen as essential to helping George Bush and Tony Blair out of the policy disaster in Iraq.

What is it about him and his government that the American president and British prime minister got so wrong?

Austere leader

Ahmedinejad lectured at a prestigious university in Tehran, teaching civil engineering.

He is still technically a member of the faculty. His office remains untouched, should he wish to return.

You would know that it was Dr Ahmadinejad's office only by its austerity and religious symbols.

Students and colleagues, even those who do not agree with his politics, say they respect him.

Ahmadinejad represents a crucial break in Iranian politics – he is the first post-revolutionary who is not a cleric, he fought in the Iran-Iraq war, and crucially he is seen as not being corrupt.

If the West has underestimated his government's influence in Iraq and the region, they have also exaggerated his vulnerability here in Iran.

So it is hardly surprising that most ordinary Iranians are not hugely interested in Tony Blair's comments on Iraq, especially as he has said Iran would have to give up its nuclear enrichment programme before any talks – something every Iranian leader has said will not happen.

People here feel that when it comes to Iraq and even Lebanon and Afghanistan, Britain and the US need them, not the other way round.

What they want to know is what benefits does Iran get for such assistance?

Full text of President Ahmadinejad's message to American people (FULL TEXT - I) - Irna:
Full text of President Ahmadinejad's message to American people (FULL TEXT - II) - Irna:
Full text of President Ahmadinejad's message to American people (FULL TEXT - III) - Irna:
Full text of President Ahmadinejad's message to American people (FULL TEXT - IV) - Irna:
Ayat. Khatami says US should get out of Iraq - Irna:
Ayat. Khatami says US should get out of Iraq Tehran, Dec 1, IRNA Iran-US-Khatami
Substitute Friday prayers leader of Tehran Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said here Friday that Americans have no other option but leaving Iraq.

"It would be more to your interest to leave Iraq today than tomorrow; Iraq's occupation is not an easy-to-swallow loaf," said Ayatollah Khatami in his second sermon to this week's Friday prayers congregation.

Ayatollah Khatami also held the US responsible for insecurity in Iraq.

"We are unfortunately witnessing very painful days in Iraq; there is growing insecurity (in Iraq) due to the wrong policies of the US in the region; they (the occupiers) want to win bread through insecurity."
He said insecurity has gone to such an extent that the US President George W. Bush failed to visit Iraq and chose Jordan as venue of his meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

The cleric also ruled out rumors that Iran has a role in insecurity in Iraq.

"The claim that Iran has a role in insecurity in Iraq is a sort of blame game. After having a bad dream, Americans bring to power another dictator like Saddam in Iraq.

"If Americans want their wish to come true, they should immediately leave Iraq; the Americans are trapped in a quagmire in Iraq, having no way to return or proceed."
Ayatollah Khatami also blamed Americans for fanning the Sunni-Shiite conflict.

"Americans are playing blame games to provoke the Shiite-Sunni war and they have hidden themselves behind. Unfortunately some press in the region, too, add fuels to the flame, trying to fan insecurity." The cleric then cautioned those caring for Islam that the US is the main enemy of Islam.

"The US is siding neither Shiites nor Sunnis and these people want to remain in the region through such mischiefs," announced Ayatollah Khatami.
Cleric hails president's "praiseworthy" letter to Americans - Irna:
Cleric hails president's "praiseworthy" letter to Americans Tehran, Dec 1, IRNA Iran-US-Khatami

Substitute Friday prayers leader of Tehran Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said on Friday that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's letter to the American people is "praiseworthy and valuable."
"The letter is in principle and spirit referring to the fact that we have never been at odds with the American people, rather with the US dictators," said Ayatollah Khatami in his second sermon to large groups of worshipers in this week's Friday prayers congregation at Tehran University campus.

He noted, "Wherever we step in, we see traces of ambitions and adventurism of (the US President George W.) Bush and of genocide in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Lebanon."
He said fair individuals are subjects of President Ahmadinejad's letter to the American people.

"The letter addresses conscience of the fair individuals who live in the US; the letter tells the people how long they wish to tolerate injustice and tyranny; this letter carries this message to the US people: that's a shame for you to be ruled by a government that is supporting the worst kind of terrorism, i.e. the
state-terrorism of Zionists; it is a shame for the US people whose president receives protests and slogans, chanted against him, wherever he goes to; how long the US people are willing to tolerate such a humiliation?" he questioned.

Quoting a segment of president Ahmadinejad's letter, in which the chief executive had said, "Governments come to power to serve nations," Ayatollah Khatami said no nation would be ready to let its government support tyrants.

The US government has been forerunner of support for violators of Palestinians' rights in defiance of the US public opinion, announced Ayatollah Khatami.

He also referred to Israel's agreement to Gaza truce, saying, This shows resistance of nations."
He hoped that Hizbollah would peacefully contribute to coming to power of a national unity government in Lebanon.
Al Jazeera English - Middle East:
Sharp rise in Iraq civilian deaths
Civilian casualties in Iraq have gone up by 44 per cent in November compared with October, official data from the Iraqi interior ministry has shown.

The revelation came amid a gun battle between Iraqi troops backed by US attack helicopters and fighters for several hours in central Baghdad on Friday.

Iraqi interior ministry data showed 1,850 civilian deaths in Iraq in the month of November, matching a a 45 per cent rise in the number of civilian deaths tallied by Reuters.

The violence has its epicentre in Baghdad, despite thousands of US troops being poured into the Iraqi capital.

Gun battle

Iraqi troops backed by US attack helicopters fought fighters for several hours in central Baghdad on Friday.

Two Apache helicopters firing anti-missile flares swooped over Fadhil neighbourhood, a Sunni stronghold in one of the oldest parts of the capital, amid the slow thump of heavy machinegun fire, witnesses said.

On the ground, US and Iraqi troops, raiding the area's narrow alleyways clashed with armed men who killed one Iraqi soldier and wounded five, an interior ministry official said.

The defence ministry said 43 people were detained and a house was found that appeared to be a field hospital of those fighting US and Iraqi forces.

The US military said Friday's operation in Fadhil by the 9th Iraqi Army Division and US soldiers was aimed at "capturing and denying a safe haven to terrorist forces".

"The targets of these raids are believed to be regularly killing innocent Iraqis and have an active campaign designed to disrupt the peace and stability of the region," it said.

A resident, Abu Omar al-Qaisi, said Iraqi troops and armed men in civilian clothes entered the area at dawn, causing clashes in which several people were killed. He said he helped carry eight bodies into a local mosque.

US forces earlier carried out raids in and around Baghdad, killing two suspected al-Qaeda fighters and detaining 27, the military said in a statement.
Gulfnews: Seeking Sunni help in Iraq:
Published: 02/12/2006 12:00 AM (UAE) Seeking Sunni help in Iraq By Manal Alafrangi, Staff Writer

The US administration doesn't want any involvement from Syria or Iran but it has decided, in desperation at the ever worsening situation, that it needs to engage with Iraq's most powerful neighbours.

There is a vague attempt by the administration to sell the notion that Syria is now being drawn in but the US is being disingenuous. It wasn't long ago that America regularly accused the Syrians of not policing the border and allowing "Islamic" militants into Iraq. At the same time, Americans and Iraqis placed no soldiers on the border until the winter of 2005. In other words, all the time Donald Rumsfeld was complaining about the border, he refused to move in enough troops to even attempt to secure it.

Iraq's violence is based on home grown insurgency (a reaction to occupation) and not foreign backed fighters. The Sunni insurgency in Iraq has developed it's own momentum. It can't be switched off by Damascus. The insurgents and assorted extremists in Iraq are far beyond the control of the Syians; they're not Hezbollah.

Iran is much more complicated because it is much more involved in Iraq. There seems little doubt it sends in cash and political support with actual agents working in most major cities. That is not the same as saying the Iranians want an unstable Iraq - they just want to back the people in control, who are the Shiites. The Americans simply must engage with Iran because Iran can put some real pressure on the Shiite side to come to political agreements with their Sunni opposite numbers. But there is disingenuity here too; the most powerful Shiite faction in Iraq are the Sadrists and they are nationalists. They have contacts with Iran but are not "pro-Iranian".

What the US is doing instead is relying on Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan (which is politically weak) to carry out their future policies in the troubled region. Last week, President George W. Bush visited King Abdullah of Jordan to discuss Iraq with Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki. The week before that, Vice-President Dick Cheney met with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz. On Wednesday, security advisor to the Saudi government Nawaf Obaid said his country will intervene to prevent Iranian-backed Shiite militias from massacring Iraqi Sunnis once the US begins pulling out.

The Saudis will do this using money, weapons or oil power. So they will help "protect" the Sunnis from the Shiites and doubtless, the Iranians will continue to "protect" the Shiites from the Sunnis. Everyone will be protected, just like the innocents are protected by the Americans now, and no one will be safe. Welcome to the regional war.

These US meetings beg the question: will the US carry its future policies strictly along sectarian lines? That is, given the Iranian nuclear issue, is the US securing a strong coalition with its Sunni allies to prepare for an attack on Iran? This would be a reaction to what Jordan's King Abdullah called a Shiite crescent in the region; a term he coined more a year and a half ago.

Logic of violence

It seems the US administration is scrambling to devise some kind of a strategy to "win" in Iraq. During a press conference in Vietnam, Bush said the US needs to remain committed to the war until victory has been achieved. He added "History has a long march to it ... we tend to want there to be instant success in the world, and the task in Iraq is going to take a while. Therefore we'll succeed ... unless we quit." His logic is the logic of violence.

What's misunderstood is the fact that there can be no victory strategy in Iraq. But indeed there was some "victory": the US succeeded in destroying Iraq, inciting sectarian and regional hatred and essentially starting a civil war. That is the US's victory, if not legacy in Iraq.

There is nothing the Americans can do to "win". As James Baker said, there are no good choices left in Iraq, only bad and less bad. What the US should do is start pulling the troops out in a timetabled fashion. The claim that these troops are there to stop a civil war from erupting is completely false with more than 100 corpses coming out of Iraq each day. According to a UN report released last week, 3,709 Iraqi civilians died in October - the highest number since the invasion began.

The violence keeps escalating and so long as the occupying troops are there, "insurgents" will keep fighting. In short, the various factions in Iraq are forming a complex web of mutual interests and disinterests which has got the Americans (and British) utterly bewildered and out of their depth. The occupiers know they have lost any semblance of control in Iraq, and that Iraq has become a very dangerous place; it could become a genuine safe haven for terrorists, as the Americans once warned.

The US administration is still very reluctant to engage with Syria and Iran and be "blackmailed" as it would say by the latter over nuclear weapons. The meeting in Jordan was nothing but a PR exercise- with the Americans saying all options are open when, in fact, they are not.
Random House to publish Iraq group report | Reuters.com:
NEW YORK, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Random House will publish the Iraq Study Group Report in book form on Wednesday, in the hope that the bipartisan policy recommendation can repeat the success of an official report on the Sept. 11 attacks.

[as if anyone with an iota of sense believes that this group of American imperialists will come up with anything worthwhile. - mfi]
Print Story: U.S. rethinking Iraqi unification goal on Yahoo! News:
U.S. rethinking Iraqi unification goal
By ANNE GEARAN, AP Diplomatic Writer1 hour, 19 minutes ago

The Bush administration is re-evaluating its efforts to unite Iraq's fractious sectarian and political factions in an attempt to preserve U.S. options in Iraq no matter what happens, officials familiar with an internal administration review of Iraq policy said Friday.

A senior U.S. official said that as part of that examination, the administration has debated whether to abandon U.S. efforts to bring Sunni insurgents into the political process to stabilize Iraq and instead leave that outreach to the majority Shiites and Iraq's third major group, the Kurds. No decision has been made.

[snip]

The administration also does not plan to alter its strategy of isolating adversaries Iran and Syria, despite mounting pressure to enlist those influential Middle East nations in a diplomatic push to stabilize Iraq, officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the internal review is still under way.

Leaders of the internal administration review presented their incomplete conclusions to Bush on Sunday. A final report is expected in about two weeks and will reflect the views of senior officials at the State Department, White House National Security Council, Pentagon and other agencies.

The group's work parallels that of a congressionally chartered bipartisan commission whose recommendations are due next week. The commission, known as the Iraq Study Group, will recommend engaging Iran and Syria as part of a larger group and perhaps one-on-one, officials familiar with the panel's findings have said.

The Iraq Study Group, headed by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., will also recommend gradually phasing out the mission of U.S. troops in Iraq from combat to training and supporting Iraqi units. However, the report due Wednesday sets no timetable, according to officials familiar with the group's deliberations.

Expanding on previous reports that the commission would urge troop withdrawals beginning early next year, a U.S. official said the report also recommends a "conditions-based" goal of completing combat troop withdrawals by early 2008. That is short of a firm timetable, and would leave in place troops needed to train and support the Iraqis.

The commander of coalition forces in northern Iraq said Friday that four Iraqi army divisions in his area will be put under Baghdad's control by next March.

"I can certainly see great opportunity to reduce the amount of combat forces on the ground" in the north "and turn more responsibility over to Iraqi security forces," Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon told Pentagon reporters in a videoconference from his headquarters near Tikrit.

Some U.S. commanders in Iraq already are shifting some troops from combat to support roles while giving the Iraqi Defense Ministry more control over Iraq troops.

Bush repeatedly has rejected a wholesale troop withdrawal or what he calls artificial deadlines. There are about 140,000 American troops are in Iraq.

Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are to meet Monday in Washington with Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, one of Iraq's most powerful Shiite politicians, in a bid to find a new approach. One official said the president will meet in Washington in January with a Sunni leader — Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi.
Then there's this contemptible garbage from American Senator Biden Democrat (Gentler Kinder Let's Let Them Kill Each Other and Their Neighbours Too That Way We Get To Steal Everything Faction) In his own words (or maybe not in his own words he's got something of a record of plagiarism) - mfi

Senator Joe Biden's Unite Our States:
OP-ED: The Minimum Necessary

By Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Or maybe not he's stolen other people's stuff and tried to pass it off as his own before) November 19, 2006

As the Baker-Hamilton commission deliberates recommendations for Iraq, it faces a tremendous opportunity and responsibility. The opportunity is to help generate for the president and Congress a bipartisan way forward. The responsibility is to make the hard choices that are required to turn our Iraq policy around. If it fails to make those choices, its efforts will be in vain.

Our current policy in Iraq is a failure. We are past the point of an open-ended commitment. We are past the point of adding more troops. We are past the point of vague policy prescriptions. It is not an answer just to stay. Nor is it an answer -- though it may become a necessity -- just to go with no concern for what follows. The fundamental question we must answer is whether, as we begin to leave Iraq, there are still concrete steps we can take to avoid leaving chaos behind.

Six months ago Les Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, and I proposed a detailed answer to that question, which can be found at http://www.planforiraq.com. We had two fundamental premises: first, that the main challenge in Iraq is sectarian strife, for which there is no military solution; second, that putting all of our chips on building a strong central government cannot pay off because there is no trust within or of the government and no capacity on the part of the government to deliver basic services to the Iraqi people.

We argued instead for a strong federal system, as provided for in the Iraqi constitution, that gives its main groups breathing room in regions while preserving a central government to deal with truly common concerns; a fair sharing of oil revenue to make those regions economically viable; a jobs program to deny the militia new recruits; and a major diplomatic effort to secure support for a political settlement from Iraq's neighbors.

Doing all those things would enable most of our troops to leave Iraq by the end of 2007, with a small residual force to contend with concentrations of terrorists.

Baker-Hamilton need not embrace the details of our plan. But to win broad support, it must contend with three points central to our plan and to the prescriptions of most senior Democratic leaders.

First, Baker-Hamilton must tackle the issue of U.S. troop deployments. Most Democrats believe we should begin the phased redeployment of our troops in the coming months but not set a hard deadline for their withdrawal. We would refocus the mission of those who remain on counterterrorism, training, logistics and force protection.

The best way to get the Iraqis to concentrate on making the hard political decisions and compromises is to make clear to them that the presence of our troops in their present large numbers is not open-ended. Even if it made strategic sense to keep 145,000 troops in Iraq beyond next year, we could not do so without doing real damage to the volunteer military: sending soldiers back on third and fourth tours, extending deployment times from 12 to 18 months, ending the practice of a year at home between deployments, fully mobilizing the Guard and Reserves, and returning demobilized soldiers to Iraq through a back-door draft.

Second, Baker-Hamilton must propose a clear political road map for Iraq. Democrats agree that as we redeploy we must exert maximum pressure on the Iraqis for a sustainable political settlement that deals with federalism, sharing oil revenue and the militias. Redeployment alone is not a plan -- it is a means to help bring about the political settlement needed if we are to avoid a full-blown civil war and regional conflict.

Third, Baker-Hamilton must speak to the engagement of Iraq's neighbors. Democrats would convene an international conference and stand up an oversight group of major countries to support a political settlement in Iraq -- or, if chaos ensues anyway, to help contain its fallout within Iraq. There can be no sustainable peace in Iraq without the support of its neighbors, including Iran, Syria and Turkey. All major Iraqi factions should be included in the conference -- and, as at the Dayton Conference for Bosnia, we should keep them there until all agree to a way forward.

At the same time, simply convening a conference is not enough. We need a clear plan for our troops, a political strategy for Iraq and a mechanism like the oversight group to hold the neighbors to their commitments.

If the Baker-Hamilton commission addresses these three issues in detail, it can meet Americans' growing expectations. It also can help inform the critical debate on Iraq that I intend to hold in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in close collaboration with my Republican counterpart, Sen. Richard Lugar. These intensive and extensive hearings will put a light on what options remain for America to start bringing our troops home without trading a dictator for chaos.
Senator Joe Biden’s Unite Our States : Blog » Blog Archive » Biden Awaits Iraq Study Group Report: “The Most Important Point Is The Need For A Strategy To Build A Sustainable Political Settlement”:
Biden Awaits Iraq Study Group Report: “The Most Important Point Is The Need For A Strategy To Build A Sustainable Political Settlement”

Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) issued a response to news of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group’s report, from the U.S. Senate website Nov 29, statement in its entirety, below:

“I look forward to the release of the Iraq Study Group’s report on December 6th, and I will reserve full judgment until I see it. But if today’s news reports are correct, I’m concerned the Iraq Study Group may miss the most important point: the need for a strategy to build a sustainable political settlement in Iraq.

“Bringing the neighbors in and starting to get our troops out are necessary, but not sufficient. We need to give each of Iraq’s major groups a way to pursue their interests peacefully.

It would be a fatal mistake to believe we can do that solely by building up a strong central government. That policy has been tried and it has failed because there is no trust within the government, no trust of the government by the people and no capacity on the part of the government to deliver benefits to Iraqis.
See also previous postings on Biden's dishonest and racist garbage:
markfromireland 06:38 02/12/2006

What is the life of an Iraqi Worth?

مصير الجيش العراقي !! عدد القراء : 107 . في اجتماعاته المغلقة يشتكي نوري المالكي، والقائد العام للقوات المسلحة العراقية من تلكؤ الأمريكيين من رفع كفاءة الجيش العراقي وعدم تسليحه التسليح الكافي، إذ لا يزال الأمريكيون يقدمون الأسلحة التي تُنتج في دول أوربا الشرقية ذات الأصناف القديمة التي تقل كفاءتها بعدة مراحل عن الأسلحة الأمريكية، وحتى عن الأسلحة الروسية التي تطورت كثيراً، ولا يزال الأمريكيون أيضاً يشترون الأسلحة الروسية القديمة من الدول الأوربية الشرقية التي تحاول التخلص من هذه الأسلحة ضمن برنامج تحديث التسلح في جيوشها ضمن خطط توحيد التسلح في دول الاتحاد الأوربي. وقد وجدت الشركات الأمريكية التي دخلت في مناقصات تزويد الجيش العراقي الذي تحاول أمريكا إنشاءه في العراق (كنزاً) في هذه الأسلحة القديمة التي يعدها الخبراء خردة تخلصت منها مخازن جيوش أوربا الشرقية لتباع بأسعار متدنية يقايضها المقاولون الأمريكيون بمبالغ كبيرة تستقطع من الموازنات الضخمة المخصصة لإنشاء الجيش العراقي الحديث. وهكذا لم تحصل التشكيلات الجديدة في الجيش العراقي ولا تشكيلات الشرطة إلا على أسلحة قديمة يتندر العراقيون ويسخرون منها، حيث تمتلك المقاومة العراقية والمليشيات والجماعات المسلحة التي تحارب هذا الجيش أسلحة أكثر تطوراً وبعضها لا يوجد حتى عند كثير من القوات الاجنبية المحتلة التي تشارك القوات الأمريكية. ويعتقد المراقبون للشأن العراقي أن الأمريكيين بالإضافة إلى عمليات الفساد التي تشوب مناقصات تزويد الجيش العراقي بالأسلحة ووجدت فيها الشركات الأمريكية والسياسيون العراقيون الذين أسندت إليهم ملفات شراء الأسلحة مجالاً خصباً للإثراء غير النظيف، إضافة إلى ذلك يعتقدون أن الأمريكيين لا يريدون إنشاء جيش عراقي قوي لعدة أسباب منها محلية وأخرى إقليمية.. ولهذا فإن الجيش العراقي مقرر له ألا يتجاوز عدد أفراده الخمسين ألف جندي. فالأسباب المحلية: يتخوف الأمريكيون من أن يكون الجيش تحت هيمنة وسيطرة طائفة عراقية واحدة مما يعطي هذه الطائفة قوة ضاربة تفرض عن طريقها خياراتها السياسية. أما الأسباب الإقليمية، فالأمريكيون لا يريدون تكرار تجربة وجود جيش عراقي قوي جداً يتعدى حاجة العراق مما يجعله يشكل تهديداً لدول الجوار مثلما كان في عهد النظام السابق. الآن وبعد تزايد الأصوات في واشنطن بضرورة جدولة خروج الجيش الأمريكي من العراق، بدأت الأحاديث تتزايد هي الأخرى بضرورة إعداد جيش يستطيع أن يغطي الفراغ الذي سيتركه انسحاب الجيش الأمريكي، وهذا لن يتم في ظل الإعداد الضعيف والتسلح الأضعف لما يسمى بالجيش العراقي الحديث. ولهذا أيضاً تتحدث التقارير عن ضرورة إحياء الجيش العراقي القديم على أن يكون بعيداً عن التسييس وعن هيمنة الطائفة الواحدة من خلال تقاسم قوى الحضور والقيادة بين السنة والشيعة والأكراد، وهي معادلة صعبة لا يمكن أن تتحقق في ظل فترة زمنية قصيرة هي عمر بقاء القوات الأمريكية التي تفكر بالخروج من المستنقع العراقي بعد تزايد خسائرها وقتلاها.
Nothing to the American crusaders our lives are worth nothing. Long live the resistance.
Zeynab

Friday, December 01, 2006

Quick Round-Up (Mostly Western) Friday

Reuters AlertNet - Iraq data shows 44 pct Nov leap in civilian dead:
Iraq data shows 44 pct Nov leap in civilian dead
01 Dec 2006 13:29:18 GMT

BAGHDAD, Dec 1 (Reuters) - The number of Iraqi civilians killed in violence appears to have leapt by 44 percent in November from an already record level the previous month, data from Iraqi Interior Ministry officials showed on Friday.

The increase, to 1,850 deaths, was closely matched by a 45 percent leap in the number of civilian deaths tallied by Reuters from individual incident reports provided by Iraqi officials. The ministry figure is more than three times the equivalent in January, before this year's surge in sectarian killing.
Reuters AlertNet - FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Dec 1:
FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, Dec 1
01 Dec 2006 17:53:36 GMT

Dec 1 (Reuters) - Following are security developments in Iraq as of 1700 GMT on Friday.

*indicates new or updated entry.

*MOSUL - Fourteen labourers kidnapped from a farm near Sinjar, northwest of Mosul, on Thursday have been found dead in a wheatfield, a local official said on Friday.

*BAGHDAD - Police said they found 20 bodies in different parts of Baghdad on Friday.

*MAHMUDIYA - Three mortar rounds hit a residential area in Mahmudiya south of Baghdad, killing one person and wounding four, police said.

*RASHIDIYA - Mortar rounds hit a residential area of Rashidiya north of Baghdad, killing four and wounding three.

BAGHDAD - U.S. forces killed two suspected insurgents and detained 27 others in raids in towns north and south of Baghdad, the U.S. army said.

SAMAWA - At least two policemen and one civilian were killed and 31 wounded, including three policemen, in clashes between Mehdi Army fighters and police in Samawa, 270 km (168 miles) south of Baghdad, on Thursday. Police said the clashes continued on Friday.

BAGHDAD - A car bomb exploded in northern Baghdad, killing two people and wounding 13, police said.

*BAGHDAD - Clashes erupted between gunmen and the Iraqi army in central Baghdad in which one soldier was killed and nine people wounded, the Interior Ministry said. The Defence Ministry said 43 people had been captured and weapons seized.

KIRKUK - A suicide car bomber targeted a U.S. patrol, killing two civilians and wounding four in the northern city of Kirkuk, police and hospital sources said.

LATIFIYA - A roadside bomb exploded near a minibus, killing one person and wounding four in Latifiya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, on Thursday evening, police said.

BAGHDAD - At least three people were killed and 22 wounded when a car bomb blasted a crowded pet market in central Baghdad, police sources said.

BAGHDAD - A security detainee died on Thursday at Camp Cropper, a detention facility at Baghdad airport, from what appeared to be natural causes, the U.S. military said in a statement.

BAGHDAD - U.S. ground and air forces killed 14 insurgents and wounded two after they attacked their convoy with machinegun fire in southwest of Samarra 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad on Thursday, the U.S. military said in a statement.

BAGHDAD - A U.S. soldier was killed in combat in Baghdad on Thursday, the U.S. military said in a statement.

SAMAWA - Seven mortar rounds hit a residential neighbourhood in Samawa 270 km (168 miles) south of Baghdad, on Thursday, killing two people and wounding 13, police said.

JURF AL-SAKHAR - A roadside bomb exploded near a police patrol, killing one civilian and wounding three in the town of Jurf al-Sakhar 85 km (53 miles) south of Baghdad on Thursday, police said.
Agenzia Giornalistica Italia - News In English:
IRAQ: D'ALEMA, STRATEGY NEEDED WHICH WILL NOT ISOLATE THE WEST
(AGI) - Shuneh (Jordan), Dec. 1 - Speaking at the "Forum for the future" underway in Shuneh, Italian foreign minister Massimo D'Alema said that the West risks to remain isolated if its strategy for the stabilization of Iraq turns out to be wrong. D'Alema appealed to the cooperation of the other countries in the region, including Syria and Iran. "It is important" the foreign minister said at the end of a meting with Condoleezza Rice, "to have a strategy that will not isolate the west, while involving all the countries in the region, whether they are Shiites or Sunnis". Speaking to Italian journalists yesterday, Iraqi foreign minister Hoyshar Zebari stressed the importance of a dialogue with both Damascus and Teheran starting in Baghdad without excluding the initiatives of the western powers involved in the region. "Syria and Iran" D'Alema added, "require different approaches": the dialogue is conditional on the recognition by Damascus of the court tasked with shedding light on the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri and the clarification of Teheran's intentions with regard to its nuclear programme". (AGI) -
LEBANON: UNITY GOVERNMENT CURE FOR CURRENT ILLS, EX-MINISTER SAYS:
LEBANON: UNITY GOVERNMENT CURE FOR CURRENT ILLS, EX-MINISTER SAYS

Beirut, 1 Dec. (AKI) - A former Lebanese minister affiliated to the Hezbollah movement which is leading calls for Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to resign, says the only way bring stability is a government of national unity containing both pro- and anti-Syrian parties. "If Lebanon's ruling class were to satisfy the demands of the population and were to understand it no longer has a popular nor a constitutional mandate, it would form a government of national unity that would allow Lebanon to emerge from the current political crisis," Muhammad Fanish said in a interview with Adnkronos International (AKI).

Just over a fortnight ago Fanish quit as energy and water resources minister - an exit he made with five other Hezbollah affiliated cabinet members.

On Friday, tens of thousands of people turned out in Beirut to protest against Siniora's government, part of a "mass action" campaign launched by Hezbollah which Fanish said would continue "until the opposition's demands for the creation of a government of national unity are met."

Besides the street demonstrations, Hezbollah has not specified what other form "mass action" may take. Fanish said the Siniora government and its main supporters - the so-called "14 March" anti-Syrian forces that formed in the wake of the 2005 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri - would be responsible "for what could happen during the protests at a social, economic and security level".

Fanish also denied reports of a behind-the-scenes meeting between the government and the opposition forces to begin negotiations on resolving the current impasse.

"The opposition rejects any normalisation that does not entail the formation of a government of nationaly unity reflecting the views and the trust of the people," he told AKI.

Asked if Siniora's demise could mean an end to the Western support Lebanon has received, Fanish said such aid "does not serve the interests of Lebanon, but only of the political class."

"Washington wants to divides Lebanon and the Lebanese," he said accusing the United States of supporting Israel's military offensive Hezbollah in July-August.

"The war against Lebanon was decided by the Americans and carried out by the Israeli army," he said.

Fanish also described as a "diversionary tactic", the anti-Syrian forces' accusation that Hezbollah and the pro-Syrian parties are hampering attempts to have suspects arrested in connection with Hariri's killing - including several fomer top secuirty officials - tried before an international tribunal.

"Only once a government of national unity is created can all these questions such as the international tribunal, and the presidency be resolved on the basis of consensus and the real interests of the country," he said also referring to the anti-Syrian demands that Lebanon's pro-Syrian Emile Lahoud resign.

Situation Reports: Iraq, UNHCR update on the Iraq situation, Contributions: Iraq, UNHCR update on the Iraq situation:
UNHCR update on the Iraq situation


Current Situation

Iraq is haemorrhaging. The humanitarian crisis which the international community had feared in 2003 is now unfolding. The massive displacement has emerged quietly and without fanfare but the numbers affected are in excess of what many agencies had predicted in 2003.

Since the February 2006 Samarra bombings UNHCR, as Cluster Coordinator for displaced groups inside Iraq (1), estimates some 425,000 Iraqis to have been recently displaced (2). In addition, some two to three thousand Iraqis are leaving per day (3) via neighbouring countries as the extent of the tragedy becomes obvious.

UNHCR estimates that there are at least 1.6 million Iraqis internally displaced with at least another 1.6 – 1.8 million(4) in neighbouring states. The figures in the immediate neighbouring countries are still imprecise but UNHCR estimates that there are some 700,000 Iraqis in Jordan, 500,000 – 600,000 in Syria, 100,000 in Egypt, 20,000 to 40,000 in Lebanon, 54,000 in Iran and tens of thousands more within the region and further a field. Beyond the mass exodus, which has already occurred, population movements show no sign of abating. The needs of IDPs, returnees, refugees and their host communities are dramatic and to a large extent unmet.

The new waves of sectarian violence and the deteriorating humanitarian situation have equally affected the refugee communities – some 50,000 - inside Iraq. Some of them, such as the Palestinians, Syrians and Iranian refugees, have been targeted in deliberate discrimination and attacks by local communities. It is necessary, as part of a comprehensive protection framework, to ensure their immediate survival and emergency needs, while pursuing more vigorously durable solutions inside and outside of Iraq. The situation is more critical as was demonstrated on 19 October with the murder of five Palestinians and the eviction of thousands more over the last few months.(5)

Population of concern in Iraq
Refugees in Iraq (Palestinian, Syrian, Iranian,
Turkish, Sudanese, etc.)
50,000
Returnees in Iraq (2003-2006)
300,000
IDPs in Iraq (6)
(# of new IDPs Oct'06)
1,600,000
(425,000)
Stateless (Bidouns, etc.)
130,000
Iraqis in the region (7)
Jordan
500,000 – 700,000
Syria
500,000
Lebanon
25,000 – 40,000
Iran
54,000
Egypt
100,000

UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies are reporting a rapid deterioration in the well-being of those displaced both internally and in neighbouring states. Initial coping mechanisms of those displaced and the host communities have been depleted as displacement has taken on a more permanent character. Added to the daily violence is an increasing mortality rate, which is a consequence of the rapidly deteriorating health and social infrastructures. Hundreds of thousands of other Iraqis who are "teetering" on the edge of displacement and who have waited to see an improvement in the situation inside Iraq may also soon be pushed into displacement.

The recent fighting in Baquba and Balad has led to more Iraqi families being forced to move a second time after they had already fled from Baghdad. In addition to the ethnic and sectarian re-engineering, recent inter-sectarian fighting in the south of Iraq illustrates that even if Shi'ia and Sunnis moved to homogeneous areas, they still risk secondary displacement.

If Iraqis cannot find protection and assistance from the daily cycle of violence and revenge killings within Iraq, or in neighbouring states, they will increasingly look further a field. While neighbouring states have been relatively welcoming to the vast majority of Iraqis (8) tolerance is growing thin and it is likely that regional governments will become increasingly restrictive with regard to entry, stay and access to social services. In the last month Jordan has made it more difficult for Iraqi children to access public schools due to their limited capacities (which has lead to a burden on private schools). UNHCR has also been informed that Syria might be contemplating reducing the entry permit from six to three months.

Where facilities are available the targeting of professionals such as doctors (9), teachers, computer technicians and even bakers has meant that the skills required to provide basic services are becoming more and more scarce. It is estimated that at least 40 percent of Iraq's professional class has left since 2003 (10). It is hardly surprising therefore that Sweden, for example, has recorded over the last twelve months a four-fold increase in Iraqi asylum applications. The impact of the escalating displacement unless addressed immediately will unfortunately have a long-term impact on the ability of Iraq to recover when stability returns to the country.

Ingredients for more difficulties and challenges for countries in the region to shelter and protect Iraqis are evident. This may lead to possible social unrest and even more significant secondary movements to Europe and other parts of the world. It is therefore critical for the international community to respond urgently to alleviate some of the social costs of the hundreds of thousands of increasingly vulnerable Iraqis in Iraq and the region.

Map: Iraq situation map (as of Oct 2006)

Footnotes

(1) Cluster F (Refugees, IDPs & Durable Solutions) in Iraq consists of UNHCR (lead agency), IOM (deputy), UNAMI, UNOPS, UNICEF, UN-HABITAT, WHO, UNEP, ILO, UNIDO, WFP, UNDP, OHCHR and FAO.

(2) Based on estimates by Iraq's Ministry of Displacement & Migration (MoDM), the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and Cluster F partners.

(3) UNHCR field monitoring reports/Syrian authorities.

(4) This is generally considered on the conservative side, with a number of commentators estimating that there are 1,000,000 Iraqis just in Jordan.

(5) Palestinian media sources report 655 attacks with 165 Palestinians killed. Source:www.imemc.org/content/view/22187/1

(6) IDP estimated figures are not static and change by the day as the situation unfolds.

(7) Based on estimates by the government, UNHCR and other UN agencies in each country.

(8) Access for refugee groups such as Palestinians, Iranians etc has been much more restrictive with hundreds trapped at the border between Iraq, Syria and Jordan – or located in camps just inside the border at Ruwayshid and El Hol.

(9) Brookings Institute Iraq Index indicates that 2,500 physicians have been murdered since 2003. This is approximate to the total number killed in the 2006 Israel – Lebanon conflict.

(10) Ibid
IRIN Middle East | Middle East | IRAQ | IRAQ: Um Khalid, Iraq “Men here believe they are immune to the disease” | HIV AIDS | News Items:
IRAQ: Um Khalid, Iraq “Men here believe they are immune to the disease”

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

BAGHDAD, 30 Nov 2006 (IRIN/PLUSNEWS) - Iraq has traditionally had one of the lowest incidences of HIV/AIDS in the Middle East. This started to slowly change after the US-led invasion in 2003 brought hundreds of foreigners into the country, opening the doors for the spread of the virus, health workers say.

The Baghdad-based AIDS Research Centre said that new cases are appearing monthly and with the current chaos in the public health services, patients might suffer severely with the lack of appropriate medicines.
Backing Iraq war 'my biggest political mistake,' says ex-minister - Irna:
Backing Iraq war 'my biggest political mistake,' says ex-minister
London, Dec 1, IRNA

UK Meacher-Iraq War
One of Prime Minister Tony Blair's former cabinet ministers admitted Friday that his biggest political mistake was voting for British troops to support the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Supporting the Iraq war in the Commons three years ago was the "biggest error of judgment of my political life," former Environment Secretary Michael Meacher said Friday.

"Like millions of others, I now bitterly resent that a prime minister could use such a farrago of lies and manipulation to deceive us and to take the nation to war so dishonestly," Meacher said.

His candid admission, made on the Guardian's Comment is Free website, was being linked with his potential candidacy to replace Prime Minister Tony Blair as Labour leader when he steps down from power next year.

The 67-year old veteran MP is reportedly battling with his left-wing colleague John McDonnell to stand in an eventual election on a similar platform aimed at returning Britain's ruling party back to its working-class roots based on socialist principles.

McDonnell, who has already declared his candidacy, has already pledged to withdraw British troops from both Iraq and Afghanistan in the forlorn hope of replacing Blair as prime minister.

The Guardian said that Meacher was one of a number of likely Labour leadership and deputy leadership candidates being pressed to admit that the war has proved to be a mistake.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, the clear favourite to replace Blair, has continued to express his support for the government's Iraq war policy.

But last month, former Home Secretary David Blunkett revealed in his published diaries that the prime minister threatened to sack Brown unless he offered his unequivocal public support for the Iraq war in the final five days before the 2003 invasion.
KAVKAZ CENTER:
Over 10 US Invaders Annihilated in Iraq
Publication time: Today at 18:50 Djokhar time

On Thursday afternoon, an Iraqi Mujahideen bomb exploded by a US armored vehicle on al-Jaliy Street in the middle of Hit, 165km northwest of Baghdad. The high-explosive bomb targeted a US Humvee as it passed along the unpaved dirt road known as al-Jali Street. The blast flipped the armored vehicle upside down and set it ablaze, as parts of the vehicle went flying around the area. In addition to destroying the armored vehicle, the powerful bomb also killed four American troops inside.

An Iraqi Mujahideen bomb exploded by a US foot patrol in southern al-Hadithah, 236km northwest of Baghdad on Thursday morning. The bomb that had been planted by a side street in the as-Subhani area of southern al-Hadithah went off by a US foot patrol, killing three American troops and wounding several more.

Fighting took place between Mujahideen and US occupation troops in the city of al-Fallujah on Wednesday evening. The battle took place between 12 Mujahideen and US troops in the middle of ath-Tharthar street. It began when a Resistance fighter fired an SPG-9 rocket at a US military position on the street, scoring a direct hit.

An Iraqi Resistance bomb exploded by a US military patrol in the city of ‘Anah, about 300km northwest of Baghdad. The bomb that had been planted on the earthen shoulders of a road went of by a US foot patrol on Wednesday. The explosion killed three American soldiers and wounded several more.

A Mujahideen bomb that had been planted near the Fourth Market in the middle of ‘Anah blew up by an American foot patrol, killing one US soldier and wounding others, some of them severely.

On Thursday afternoon, Iraqi Mujahideen mounted a rocket attack on a US sniper position in eastern ar-Ramadi, about 110km west of Baghdad. They fired S5K rockets at a house that US snipers have taken over as a post for themselves near the as-Sufiyah area of eastern ar-Ramadi. A large part of the house was destroyed. After the initial rocket attack, another Muhahideen unit armed with medium machine guns and rockets attacked the post, totally destroying it and killing or wounded at least seven US troops inside.

An Iraqi Mujahideen bomb exploded by a US military column south of Kirkuk on the road to Bayji on Wednesday evening. The bomb that had been planted near the village of as-Safrah on the road from Kirkuk to Bayji went off by a passing US column. The blast completely destroyed a Humvee, killing or wounding all the Americans aboard it, the Al Basrah reported.
KC
KAVKAZ CENTER:
Are the 70,000 Pentagon Mercs in Iraq killing Shias, Sunnis?
Publication time: 28 November 2006, 12:27

The kidnapping of four American security contractors earlier this month in Iraq revived allegations that U.S. private security companies are involved in the current bloodshed in Iraq. Iraq war is not just fought by occupation armies and resistance fighters- private firms, consisting of gun-wielding ex-soldiers, are also involved.

Could some of the Pentagon's hired Mercenaries be the real perpetrators of the daily bombings and assassinations of Sunnis and Shias in Iraq?

Is the current disaster taking place in the war-torn country part of a wider plot to provoke a U.S./Israeli planned civil war that will dismember Iraq?

That is what's being said in Young Pelton's upcoming book "Licensed To Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror"

Pelton, a journalist, filmmaker, and explorer who authored The World's Most Dangerous Places, Come Back Alive, The Adventurist, and Three Worlds Gone Mad, suggests that there are more than 70,000 armed men working as security contractors in Iraq to back the U.S. military as the U.S. begins to draw down troops.

What backs Pelton's revelations and shocking facts he discovered about the world of military contractors is what Nick Bicanic and Jason Bourque uncover in their "Shadow Company" documentary that unveils the origins and destinations of these modern-day guns for hire.

Who are these security contractors? What do they do? Why do they do it? Bicanic's documentary answers these questions.

Shadow Company highlights the danger of allowing profit-motivated firms to get into the business of war.

Those individuals, those modern-day mercenaries, are changing the face of modern warfare while their world has remained mystery to those at home.

The U.S. believes in using private sector in all facets of its so-called "War on Terror"; resorting to contractors to back its military, giving them a license to kill- their services available to the highest bidder.

Click Here to view the trailer from "Shadow Company", the investigative documentary that reveals the truth about the thousands of private soldiers operating in Iraq and all over the world.
markfromireland

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

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

In Which The Gorilla Corrects A Basic Error

Informed Comment:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Will Bush Rehabilitate the Baathists?

Al-Zaman [in Arabic] is under the impression that Bush's talks with al-Maliki in Amman will aim in part at politically rehabilitating members of the Baath Party. The "Debaathification Commission" of Ahmad Chalabi (who anyway lives in London) will be abolished, it says. Discussions will be held with the neo-Baathist leadership (grouped politically as the al-`Awdah or Return Party) of the armed resistance. The resistance cells will be offered amnesty if they come in from the cold. Their enemies, the Mahdi Army and the Badr Corps, among the Shiites will be dissolved. And Sheikh Harith al-Dhari, in Amman, will be deployed to make these contacts and concessions, along with reaching out presumably to the Salafi Sunni revivalists, as well.

I am paraphasing the article even though I don't think it sounds plausible. Al-Dhari, a wanted man, is calling on the Arab League to turn against the al-Maliki government. Though Jordanian King Abdullah II is said by al-Hayat to be conducting a furious round of meetings with expatriate Iraqis in Jordan, including al-Dhari, in preparation for Bush's summit on Wednesday. [Link below in Arabic].

And Nuri al-Maliki, head of the al-Da`wa al-Islamiyah Party (Islamic Call [Shiite]) will make all those concessions to the Baathists over his own dead body. (Remember he is already being stoned when he goes to Sadr City; what do you think the Shiite masses will do to him if he kisses and makes up with the remnants of the Baath officer corps?)

Wrong completely wrong. Al-Maliki does not head the Dawa. Al-Jafaari does. That's right the same Al-Jaffaari that the USA forced out of office.

markfromireland

What I Am Going To Do On Friday

As Iraq Deteriorates, Iraqis Get More Blame - washingtonpost.com:

As Iraq Deteriorates, Iraqis Get More Blame

U.S. Officials, Lawmakers Change Tone

By Thomas E. Ricks and Robin Wright Washington Post Staff Writers Wednesday, November 29, 2006; A01

From troops on the ground to members of Congress, Americans increasingly blame the continuing violence and destruction in Iraq on the people most affected by it: the Iraqis.

Even Democrats who have criticized the Bush administration's conduct of the occupation say the people and government of Iraq are not doing enough to rebuild their society. The White House is putting pressure on the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and members of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group have debated how much to blame Iraqis for not performing civic duties.

This marks a shift in tone from earlier debate about the responsibility of the United States to restore order after the 2003 invasion, and it seemed to gain currency in October, when sectarian violence surged. Some see the talk of blame as the beginning of the end of U.S. involvement.

[snip]

For example, a Nov. 15 meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee turned into a festival of bipartisan Iraqi-bashing."We should put the responsibility for Iraq's future squarely where it belongs -- on the Iraqis," began Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), the committee's next chairman. "We cannot save the Iraqis from themselves." He has advocated announcing that U.S. troops are going to withdraw as a way of pressuring Iraqi politicians to find compromises.Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) followed by noting: "People in South Carolina come up to me in increasing numbers and suggest that no matter what we do in Iraq, the Iraqis are incapable of solving their own problems through the political process and will resort to violence, and we need to get the hell out of there.""We all want them to succeed," agreed Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.). "We all want them to be able to stabilize their country with the assistance that we've provided them." But, he added, "too often they seem unable or unwilling to do that."

[snip]

It isn't just politicians who have decided that the problem with Iraq is the Iraqis. In the military establishment, said Joseph J. Collins, a professor at the National Defense University, "there is lots of disappointment in the performance of Iraqi officials of all stripes."

Thomas Donnelly, a hawkish defense expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said he considers blame a legitimate issue. "Ultimately, just like success rests with the Iraqis, so does failure," he said. "We've made a lot of mistakes, but we've paid a huge price to give the Iraqis a chance at a decent future."

The blame game has also been playing out somewhat divisively within the secretive Iraq Study Group. The bipartisan commission, led by former secretary of state James A. Baker III and former congressman Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.), is deliberating policy recommendations to put forward next month.

"I'm tired of nit-picking over how we should bully the Iraqis into becoming better citizens of their own country," former CIA Middle East expert Ray Close wrote in an e-mail to the other advisers to the study group.

[snip]

The long-term effect of blaming Iraqis also could be poisonous, said Juan Cole, a University of Michigan specialist in Middle Eastern issues. He predicted that it will "infuriate the Iraqis and worsen further the future relationship of the two countries."

[snip]

During a surprise visit to Baghdad on Oct. 5, Rice said with uncharacteristic bluntness that the security situation was not helped by "political inaction."

The Bush administration hoped the long-delayed formation of a government, which took about five months after the Dec. 15 election last year, would produce more initiative by Baghdad. But the security and political situation continued to deteriorate, so the administration increased the pressure on Maliki's government. Over the past three months, U.S. officials and foreign diplomats said, senior U.S. military and administration officials visiting Baghdad have conveyed the same message: Get on with it.

"Our role is not to resolve those issues for them," Rice told reporters last month after pressing Maliki to be bolder about disbanding militias and reconciling sectarian differences. "They are going to have to resolve those issues among themselves."

Blaming Iraqis for the woeful situation disregards recent history, some experts argue. Phebe Marr, an Iraq expert and adviser to the Iraq Study Group, calculates that because of policy missteps and other errors, the United States bears about 60 percent of the blame. "You can't say, 'We did this and the Iraqis didn't rise to the occasion,' " she said. "There's enough blame to go around."

How typically American!

  • Starvation of an entire people.
  • Stop cancer medicine coming into the country so that more of our children can die.
  • Stop food coming into the country.
  • Stop water cleansing equipment coming into the country.
  • Bomb the country.
  • Invade it.
  • Loot it.
  • Loot it again in case you missed anything the last time.
  • Arm train and pay death squads to do even more of your filthy perverted work for you.
  • Shoot pregnant women in their belly as they go into labour and are being rushed into hospital to give birth. That way you get to kill two of the dirty sand niggers (who only understand force and Americans must introduce them to it) for the price of one.
  • Bomb innocent children in their own homes.
  • Take innocent and crippled old men. Murder them then throw a shovel beside the murdered body and say he was guilty.
  • Rape an innocent child. Do you think she was the only Iraqi child raped by the perverted scum in uniform you sent to my country?

    (Murder her family in her hearing before you rape the child of course.) She after all is only a sand nigger who only understands force and must be introduced to it.

  • Then you and your fellowship of American soldiers can introduce her personally to force by holding her down and violently forcing your penises into her body.
  • Once you have done that set fire to her.
  • Finally the most important step of all. Blame her and her people for everything you have done to them. Because they are only dirty sand niggers who only understand force and it the duty of the American people as civilised human beings to introduce them to force.

"Ana Iraki" "I am Iraqi" and on Friday when I preach at the Mosque I am going to read my translation of this article in its entirety to the congregation.

Then I am going to preach.

I am going to preach on this article because my congregation and I are only dirty sand niggers who only understand force and must be introduced to it by Americans. I am going to preach on this article because my congregation and I must be made to understand that we are to blame for the calamity that Americans have visited upon our children. I am going to preach on this article because my congregation and I are only dirty sand niggers who only understand force and we must take the blame for being disgusting enough to exist.

I am also going to send a copy of this article together with my translation to every other clergyman I know that they may do likewise.

Laith