Alive In Baghdad Surging Around the House

Surging Around the House - 02.12.2007

jb - 02/12/2007 18:13:41

The new recruits are too young, most of them have left school, they are acting like bad boys not soldiers, it’s just a funny game.

Dave - 02/13/2007 05:30:25

This, apart from general objections, makes an Iraq with an American presence a non-option. Moreover, all this abuse will haunt the US for time to come.

Carol Lake Wales Fl - 02/13/2007 15:00:06

I am ashamed and ask for forgiveness

Adam - 02/13/2007 23:47:59

This is a terrible tradjedy, but it seems to me that soldiers would not raid these houses without some sort of reason. I don’t understand what good it would do to nearly destroy those houses and detain those men while simply “searching for sunnis involved in violence”. It seems as there is more to the this sotry. However I also understand that it is beyond the scope of Alive in Baghdad to investigate these things, as the stated purpose is to show the life of Iraqis.
I also think it should be said that in a war against insurgents that are decentralized and make no distiction to indicate themselves from normal citizens, unfortunatly, some innocent civilians will be caught in the crossfire, I only hope and pray that as few citizens as possible will be involved.
Above all I hope that the number of innocents being arrested or killed is small and that the US can be forgiven and progress can be made to the point of a self govorning and stable Iraq.

Daniel - 02/14/2007 07:29:01

I don’t speak the language, or understand Iraqi culture, however the boys body language seems strange to me when they ask him if they stole money. I would be interested to see if anyone else felt this.

Deemy - 02/14/2007 15:53:27

Well Danial, i am an Iraqi, also i can relate to what you meant.I can understand that the boy said a colloquial phrase which means ” they stole all what we have , they left us penniless.” It’s a tragic thing to him yet the boy’s shyness possibly while talking to camera explains his body language .

freddie - 02/14/2007 20:38:59

Jesus, Where do I start?
jb, “…just a funny game.”? Somehow I missed the humor.
My Iraqi friend translated this video and while I don’t know the language or understand the culture, I am human…that’s all that counts to me.
carol, The mere act of ASKING speaks volumes. I hope you (we) get it.

Abdul ameer - 02/15/2007 00:17:21

Oh GOD, let your wrath be upon Bush and his followers, Amen.
Don’t worry mom, the heroes of the armed resistance revenging for all of us every day. Don’t forget them when you pray. May God bless you with patience and peace till you see your son again and tell him to go and fight to prevent this happen again.

Arvin Hill - 02/15/2007 02:34:07

“Free” people who - whether actively or passively - unleash mass murder and untold human suffering are unworthy of forgiveness.

Whether such gross violations of basic human decency are the result of one’s actions or refusal to act is irrelevant.

As George W. Bush and Friends continue feeding human beings into the War Machine without consequence, one need only look at the United States Congress - with its empty political posturing and ridiculous non-binding resolutions - to understand the astounding cowardice, indifference and antipathy of the American people.

The consequences of allowing a delusional homicidal maniac in the White House will be many and severe for generations. Our seemingly infinite tolerance of lies, oppression and death has sealed America’s fate.

John - 02/16/2007 23:43:40

I dont know if the producer notice it or not ,but he should change the describtion of the subtitle to
“Live ,From Sunnies To you”.
All the videos I’ve seen cover the story from the sunny side & nothing else , I thing the producer should notice that, & if he already know that & doing nothing about it ,then I dont think he is being fair to all Iraqies because the sunnies only cover 35% of iraqi population & I think another reason this is happing is because the News corrosponded is Sunni,(Esam Rasheed) & he only cares about his people, There are good sunny people but the (Wahabies) Extreme radical Muslims comes from , so the houses that the american raided could be housing Sunni Extremes insurgents, so I hope the producer will try to be more balance in the future.

Abdul ameer - 02/18/2007 02:51:12

To John,
Well Mr. John, would you tell us how did you know all this? How did you know that all these people (producer…etc.) are sunnies??? Are you an expert in Iraqi ethnic names??? By the way, by reading my comments (above) plus many other comments written by Iraqis all around this web site, you’ll be able to tell (by just reading the names of the writers if you are that expert) that they are shiets, some body like me can easily tell.
I am shiet by the way, I am from Al Dywania in the south (if you interested in knowing). Stop this propaganda, stop trying to give the impression that only sunnies are opposing and fighting the evil occupiers, by doing this, you are suggesting that only suunies are patriots and “men enough” to defend our country and I consider this an insult.

john - 02/18/2007 18:16:56

Show me a video posted that talks about the shiate holidays, is there any ? show me a video about a family in Sadar city & talks about their suffering,is there any ? most of the videos talk about the sunnies in Adamiyah city.
Yes , Im an expert in Iraqi ethnicity, & I can tell from your name that your shiate, so as alot of the Baath members.

colleen - 02/18/2007 21:40:27

They are lowering and lowering recruiting standards now if you have felonies on record you can enlist. So, dropout petty thugs can now be soldiers, and get 10,000 bonuses; I have a feeling those standards are going to get even lower.

Abdul ameer - 02/18/2007 22:29:52

So, like the evil invaders, you think that every body in the world who oppose the current American imperialism is either Baathist or Terrorist or communist or wahabi or Iranian (majusi), or supporter of Vlademer Putin, or, or, or…… but never a patriot!!!
Any way, I had a very quick look (sorry, don’t have time) at some of the videos and here what I could find:
1. Osama Khidhir- video (illness takes no break for war): It doesn’t say whare is he from and his name can be either/or
2. Wisam- From al Karkh part of Baghdad (Adhamiya is in al Rusaffa), his name can be either/or.
Hanni Essa- Video (Priest discusses Christianity in Baghdad), he is CHRISTIAN, I ask you Mr. expert, can a Christian be a Sunnie???
Majed Jarrar- Video (A teen in war) He is mixed ethnicity and did not say from where in Baghdad (not Adhamiya any way)
Um Basheer- Video (Another rocket in Baghdad), it doesn’t say where is she from and the name can be either/or.
I showed you that it’s not only about Al Adamiya or about suunies, so spare your breath because it’s clear what you after!
If you interested in shiets that opposing/fighting the evil invaders, bellow are SOME of the web sites of some shiets clerics (Aiatulahs) that are supporting the patriotic Iraqi armed resistance:
By the way, The Anerican supported Baathests during 1970s, 1980s and 1990s killed one of my uncles, one of my cousins, jailed so many of my relatives and I have so many relatives sentenced to death by the baath tribunals and are now outside Iraq.
Be “man enough” to write your real name in the future.
Before I go, did you know (what all Iraqis know) about SOME “Iraqis” paid by the Americans to do what you are doing now? The point is, if you are not one of them already, you can get paid for what you’re doing, so don’t miss out!

olivebranch - 02/19/2007 02:13:38

You see the issue here is not whether this video and others on Alive in Baghdad are Sunni or Shia. Nor is the issue truely a question as to whether or not American forces can be successfull in stabilizing Baghdad, we all know the answer is yes.

The question is more direct: can Baghdad be stabilized under the current circumstances???

This is a question I hesitate to answer, for no matter which way I look at it I feel many counter-arguments even within my own frame of thinking.

Baghdad is at the grips of despair, it’s people torn and nearing wits end- as such it is ripe for change.

But the current government ruling from Baghdad is neither secular, nor free of sectarian elements, and as will struggle to confront these issues with sincerity.

The Sunni & Shia militia’s- which must be set aside from both the sunni and shia insurgents- are out there killing innocent Iraqi’s. Regardless of the tensions between rival armed sectarian factions, no person can accept the targetting of innocent individuals.

It is one thing to blow up a police station; some would call it a heroic act. It is a whole nother thing to cowardly bomb a bus-load of innocent workers or other civilians.

This movie and mayhap many more focuses on the treatment of Sunni; but it in no way claims they were targetted for such a reason. No where in the video did I hear them say “we were targetted for being Sunni”- while it may be true to say the Sunni have been targetted heavily since the US invasion, there is NO-ONE denying that all Iraqi’s are feeling the pains of occupation.

Also, this woman may have said “god have your wrath upon america and bush”, but I am sure she is no more concerned or fearfull of US forces than she is of extremist militia’s, whether Sunni or Shi’ite, for one can still be killed by extremists within their own sect; if they decided to wear shorts or mayhap show a lock of hair by accident infront of the wrong building.

In Baghdad there are extremists killing civilians, there are shia killing sunni, there are sunni killing shia, there are sunni in love with shia, there are shia families with sunni members and vice versa. There is love a brotherhood between persons of all sects, and hatred between them too.

What Baghdad needs is some stability, some jobs, some income and some electricity. Give them internet and television to distract them from war, give them water so they may not be so bothered in the heat; give them power for their air conditioning. Give them fuel for their heaters so they are not so pissed off about the cold.

Give them the right to travel abroad without prejudice. Give them a real fighting chance to prove their worth, not the scrap-heap that was Baghdad post-invasion in 2003- and see what happens. Iraqi’s world-wide are engaging one another, sharing their grief and love and fear for their country; expats who may never return yet won’t nothing more than to help rebuild their country.

There are even westerners, people like myself and Brian here, who will build the country until it surpasses our own; given half a chance.

IF we can get over our silly arguments about “this is the problem” “no that is the problem” “no your are the problem” “no they are the problem” talk, then perhaps we can start talking about solutions.

But until a the conditions allow Iraqi’s real fighting chance to show the world they are not truely the way the media portrays them, until Iraqi’s can take a shower daily, refrigerate their food without a generator, wash their clothes in the machine, turn on the lights and TV at night- how can we expect them not to get aggressive, agitated and bicker amongst themselves?

Haven’t you ever watched Big Brother? Put yourself and a group of close friends in a house 24hrs a day, 7 days a week for 6 weeks, remove all control you have over your own lives- and lets see if you don’t all start bickering and squabbling amongst yourselves too.

What are unemployed people who have no legal way to make an income, no way to survive without one, and no way to entertain their bored kids who can’t go to school because it’s too delapedated, what are they going to do?

They are going to find alternative ways to make an income, to buy the generator which powers the TV, which powers the Washing Machine and allows the children to study for their homework.

Iraq is the way it is because all basic services in life, from security to water, to sanitation, post, electricity, gas, cars, petrol, healthcare and education; all of these things are lacking in Baghdad and across Iraq. 20 years ago Iraq was ahead of its neighbours in all these arena’s; now Iraq is falling behind even the most backwards places across the globe. Until that changes, nothing else will.

So the question still remains:

Can Baghdad be stabilized under the current circumstances?

My answer is Yes, but the stabilization process will hinge upon successfully increasing the standard of living for every Iraqi citizen, Sunni, Shia, Kurd, Shabak, Yazidi, Christian and Jews alike (not to mention the hundred other sub-cultures I’m sure i’ve missed out).

john - 02/19/2007 22:26:32

So where were theses patriotic Shiates when Saddam was in Power, when he killed & buried thousands & thousands of them? where were they in 91 in the up rise, how come they couldn’t through saddam out of power?, This my friend will answer your previous question, Are Sunnies braver than Shiates, the answer is yes, or how could you explain 35% Sunni minority rules a country?, I guess Allah doesn’t give a shiate 72 virgins like he does for a Sunni , or how can you explain sunnies suicide bombers ?, Don’t tell me there are shiate suicide bombers now? That would be unfair to the friendly shiates. & that would upset ayatollah “Sistani” & others, what the shiates are doing on the other hand now , is riding the Iranian wave except for the Ex-Baath members & they are still dreaming that the baath party will come back. Weapons , tactics, logistic , etc, All supported by Iran Because Iran knows if Iraq becomes stable , they are next in turn, so they are pushing it to the limit & going all in, they know its matter of time.
I assure you that the American troops would love to pull from Iraq, but my friend, your fellow shiates won’t stop killing sunnies & vice versa, so till you figure it out, which religion is write, The Americans are staying.
All the names you mentioned above are sunnies except for the priest. Because you’re either ignoring it or you dropped early from school & forgot to take the cultural class.
You (shiates) had your chances to through saddam out of power for 30 years, Specially after he killed your beloved leader “Abdul Kareem Kasim” which no body did nothing about it, but I guess You either didn’t care for Iraq or weren’t brave enough as I mentioned before or waiting for the “Ayatollahs” to do the action for you, & please don’t give me these horrible videos about the “patriotic” resistance pressing a button from 2 miles , because until they learn how to hold the camera, I’m not watching any of these amateurs movies.
Its funny when you think only Iraqis knows these information, wake up my friend, it’s the Google Era. Not the 20’s.
I can assure you my friend That I’m an American & my name is John & I know you are a busy man, but ,Whenever you have a chance to visit the states, you can stop by & say hi.

john - 02/19/2007 23:01:29

To OliveBranch

I agree with you 100% , but my previous point was to give the shiates more attention , Most of the Correspondent you have are suunies & I understand your technical difficulties & the harsh/hazardous mission , but I haven’t seen any movie in sadder city for example , There are more than 5 million shitas in Baghdad , your movies are focused more on the Sunni side , I just wanted to give you heads up that in this type of work you might wana be more balance & that’s all , & I’m really amazed with these videos & you guys really did a good job.

olivebranch - 02/20/2007 00:05:19

Here’s another very simple explenation as to why such misrepresentation may seem to exist; and I assure you it is not the fault of Alive in Baghdad.

Sadr City and any other place controlled by al-Mehdi army prohibits filming unless accompanied by the Mehdi Militia; and I guess you know what that means.

The other thing is that most of those in Sadr city, in fact most of those living in Shia strongholds, do not have the same level of access to technology, electricity and other such as those outside do.

Also, for those of us who do not have the chance to go to Baghdad due to the instability and the fact we would most likely die within hours of arrival- it’s simply easier to find Sunni & Shia who live outside of the Shia strongholds to communicate with online…

The people we are talking to online, who post us these videos etc, are the ones who make themselves known through online mediums, whereas those in the Shia strongholds make themselves known through militia memberships and religious piosness. Sunni extremism is so totally fround upon by most of Iraq’s mainly-secular Sunni population, whereas Iraq’s Shia are not mostly secular and do not seem to frown upon extremism as much- which leads youth and those who wish to make a difference into militia’s, rather than into striking out on their own.

Hey John, did you by chance check out the Olivebranch Network???:

We have some Shia and Some Sunni writing for us, good luck telling them apart unless you read the entire blog!


olivebranch - 02/20/2007 00:10:55

And one final point for you again John- if you hadn’t pointed it out, how many non-Iraqi’s do you believe would be able to distinguish whether or not those in this movie were Sunni or a Shia???

The aim is to show how Iraq suffers under the occupation, given the current government and current circumstances; and it does so well, albiet using last-years footage.

Actually I also believe footage like this should be shown in a timely manner, not in a manner which would be most effective for creating an emotional upheaval against US plans in Iraq…

Unfortunately such is the nature of media, whether online or not.

Abdul ameer - 02/21/2007 01:36:28

I’ll take your “propaganda” point by point:
1. Where were the Shiets when Saddam was in power?
This is your problem you Americans (although I’m certain you’re not an American), You only listen to what your “FREE” media allow you to listen to. In the time of the US backing of Saddam, you can hardly find a year with out a serious attempt on his life or to over through his American backed regime by “always mixed” attempts. By then, the American backed Saddam was a no go zone for your “FREE” media and any thing that may rise questions about the legitimacy of backing him was prohibited. They were “mixed” attempts because simply no body at that time use to care about these things that the Americans revived recently. Take an example, I swear I had friend that even now, after years of separation, I can’t recall who was what among them! The evil American propaganda keeps feeding you with the ideas of (they used to kill each other for Centuries..bla bla bla, and they will massacre each other if we weren’t there and so on), no question, there are some different understandings of some aspects, but these are way less than those exist between Christians. I challenge you to fined one major event happened between sunnies and shiats in the entire history of Iraq.
Violence in Iraq (in brief) is: 1. National resistance against the evil invaders and 2. American backed sunni and shiats militias belong to those that call them selves Iraqi politicians that are fighting for power.
The first one is the predominant one but the least media covered and the second “mainly in Baghdad” is the extra inflated and American created and backed (because they back the leaders “politicians”), to fool people like you. But you know what, it’s not working thank God, and that what drives you people crazy and made the Americans behave like animals under the brave attacks by the resistance.
As for the 1991 uprising…. Come on don’t you read at all!!! It was, once again, the American backing that saved Saddam.
Shiats were always there, fighting as parts of broad national groups. My advice to you is to do some research (but avoid American sources).
2. I won’t comment on your silly, un polite comments about the virgins.
3. For your information, the first “suicide bomber in the middle east was an Iranian (shiat) during the Iraq Iran war (1980-1988), even before the Palestinians.—Helo, wake up and read a bit! There were waves and waves of them.
4. We’ve never had any ethnic census, so how did you know that Sunnies are 35%, and shiats…etc. this my friend is only a part of the American propaganda.
5. Iraqis “together” built the biggest civilizations on earth, so don’t worry about us, we’ll be fine, just stop interfering and backing sides. Just mind you’re 200 years old country (with all respect to Americans that adopt opposite views than yours).
6. Your sentence“……..Americans are staying” honestly, I personally think that only ~3150 American filth killed in Iraq is a very small number, so welcome to hell!!!
7. Your sentence: “all names I mentioned are sunnie names” is either an attempt to fool other readers or that you have no idea (Mr. expert) about Iraqi names as you claimed. All the names I mentioned can be either or, go back to who ever you’re source is.
8. The point about Abdul Kareem Kasim, why do you call him (shiats beloved leader???) he was a communists sympathizer (although not one) at the same time he was a very anti nationalists (due to the story of his uncle…long story) so what’s the deal with (shiats beloved leader?)
By the way, it wasn’t Saddam who killed him Mr. expert! And it is very stupid to say (we had the chance to over through Saddam 30 years ago when he killed Abdul kareem kasim), Saddam was no body at that time, was not in power or even near power, in fact, at that time he was in Egypt Mr. expert!
9. About the “hand shaking videos”, it’s not that you can’t watch or can’t concentrate, but it’s, you don’t want to believe!!!

I can see that one time you attack the sunnies for making films about their people only and you seemed to be defending shiats, and once you discovered that the person you communicate with is a shiat, you started attacking us (Sunnies are braver…, where were the shiats in 1991….etc.) and so on. As I tolled you before, what you’re after is obvious, it is splitting us apart, you know what my answer is, it’s there, in the battle field, you sore losers.

• When we were little, we used to watch American movies with noble knights who, in case their opponent drops his sword, or don’t have one, they used to drop theirs and fight like honorable men. In Fallujah, Americans were advancing few meters and when a gun shoot is heard, no matter how far or few, they were always (ALWAYS) calling air cover, and (believe me) NEVER, NEVER, NEVER fight like men. So it’s not the Iraqis that press a button from 2 miles away!
• I hope you don’t reply this time as you are wasting my time to tell you the truth, it takes me a long time to write in English. As I said before, It’s obvious what you are after.
• The websites I mentioned in my previous email are for shiat scholars (Aiatullahs) that oppose the invaders, not resistance video websites.
• I don’t know why you insist to claim that you are an American!!! Don’t you see the English mistakes you make?

Vay Porloc - 02/21/2007 10:08:58

quote from a comment: “This is a terrible tradjedy, but it seems to me that soldiers would not raid these houses without some sort of reason.”

Have you ever been in the military? Half the things we did, while I was in Iraq, were wrong. Wrong street, wrong location, too early, too late, but mostly just wrong. Don’t try to use civilian logic in military matters. The competence you see on the evening news is just a well managed military charade. WAR=TERROR

olivebranch - 02/22/2007 01:19:03

Nicely said Vay, unfortunately it doesn’t offer any solace to the suffering Iraqi’s who really need something to go RIGHT at the moment.

And Ameer if you were talking to me you should know a few things: for one I don’t really watch TV and when I do it’s NOT commercial, americanized television.

Secondly I wasn’t old enough to even understand Gulf War 1 when it occured, let alone the american support of him then so I was not subjected to their propaganda; my knowledge of those events comes from very critical historical reviews; most of which would be accredited by any historian- western or not.

Do not fall into the trap of boxing people into categories; it doesn’t achieve the end-goal of decreasing tensions and increasing co-operation, understanding and quality of life for us all.

Only true openness and acceptance; with the right mix of closed opinions and challenging dialogue- among a million other things, can truely move us forwards.

yelsel - 02/27/2007 17:33:49

Watching the woman crying over her sons beating and her own humilation was terrible. I can only imagine what it must be like in real life.
To Iraqis: many people in US and UK are trying to stop this, but our government is ignoring or actively attacking us. We will keep trying though.

Vay Porloc’s comment really struck home: “Have you ever been in the military? Half the things we did, while I was in Iraq, were wrong. Wrong street, wrong location, too early, too late, but mostly just wrong. Don’t try to use civilian logic in military matters. The competence you see on the evening news is just a well managed military charade. WAR=TERROR ”

A thread of truth in a web of lies.

GrammaConcept - 03/06/2007 22:25:22

My hearts is sore…

For your consideration……God Is Love, war is hell…..

Strive on.

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