Alive In Baghdad Iraq Under Focus

Iraq Under Focus - 03.19.2007
Comments


Nico - 03/20/2007 05:46:27

“why now?”
I guess Bush didn’t plan ahead. He said he had the “Mission Accomplished” on 1.5.2003.
Obviously, this couldn’t have been further away from the truth. You can’t just invade a country (without reason), remove the dictator and believe everything is fine.
Bush didn’t care about the future of Iraq and I don’t believe he really does so now. So I agree, it must have to do with the elections.

“Do the American people know about the truth?” Good question, I’m from europe so I don’t know.
Some people think, the people there just don’t know what it’s like to suffer from war because they didn’t ever experience modern war in their own country. They just aren’t aware of how cruel war is. So they tend to see war more as a political issue rather than to consider that there are actually people dieing(!) every day in any war.

The difficulty is this: They started this war for strategic reasons. They wanted to have power in Iraq. But they didn’t learn from history. You can hardly win against an enemy you can’t see. Anybody might be a terrorist/suicide bomber, the soldier will never know.

Maybe they finally noticed that peace and democracy aren’t things you can just “bring along from home”. And you can’t force democracy because it comes from the people, not from occupation forces.


Nadia - 03/20/2007 09:51:35

***I’m not here to blame the American people , and to be honest , I’m not here to blame the army as well , since a lot of soldiers are just doing what they’ve been told to do !
But of course everything happened so far is caused by the American stakeholders inside the white house.***

Dearest Ausama,
This is how I see it. Any people inside the white house can NOT do a thing if it weren’t for U.S people and the U.S army who is fully willing to do fulfill the demands of the white house.

Bush and his team could plan as many wars as they wish, yet they would not be able to do a thing about making it happen if it wasn’t for US soldiers ready to “I’ll fullfill your plan to be actions on the ground” and U.S people working on having a war go ahead and continue.

So I do blame the U.S army and I do blame part of the U.S people who till this day have not taken part in working activly in getting the troops home and changing the politics inside the U.S as many others are doing.

“They might want Iraq to suffer from Civil war and from destruction so that they would make Iraq the only courtyard for terrorism.”

And to have a reason to break up Iraq. Since breaking up Iraq has been on their lips for many years now (within Israel since the beginning of the 80:s). So how can you break up a country if there is no reason to break it up before you enter it? You see to it that there become reasons and that is what the U.S with corrupted and racist fanatical Iraqis that worked with them have been working on.

Iraq as a united country with a united people and true democracy could have easily been accomplished after the fall of Saddam. Yet that was not the step taken when Bremer took over. The step taken was to start talking about shia, sunni, kurd, arab, christian this and that topping it with similar actions done in both Vietnam and South America.

Dearest Ausama, with hopes things will get better I wish all good!

- Nadia


Miriam - 03/20/2007 10:34:47

The reason the Americans are in Iraq is the American government conned the majority of Americans into believing that Iraq was the biggest threat to us out there.

The American people are trying to protest and get ourselves extracated from the ruins we have made of Iraq. We are greatly ashamed of the destruction made in Iraq.

The only way to leave Iraq is through the same government that conned us in the first place. Prior to November 2006, the con artists had firm control of the government. In November 2006, we voted to replace the Iraq war con artists with different con artists. (I don’t think highly of government officials)

The reason why Americans *suddenly* care about Iraq, is that our stiffled voices of complaint are finally being heard by the new officials we voted to replace the old con artists.

Unfortunately, it will be two more years until we can replace that viper of a US President that we have. No matter who we pick, I firmly suspect that if we haven’t left Iraq by then we will soon after. At most we would leave small forces behind as support for the Iraqi government.

The American public is trying to push us to get out of the War sooner, but our President is not listening and mocks us to our faces.

I know there is no apology that you will accept, but I hope that we as Americans can help to repair all the extensive damage we have done to Iraq.


Ausama - 03/20/2007 13:26:16

True !

Thank you


robert - 03/20/2007 16:11:08

I have to say that I’m a bit taken aback from the bloggers views, but coming from someone who’s not in Iraq, I don’t have the same birdseye view as those who live there have.

I have to say that I can speak for a majority fo the people I know. I don’t believe we were “duped” into this war. I DO believe that allot of mistakes were made, but I hear more and more from folks (outside the media - but friends who have been there) that the Iraqi’s really do truely believe in what is happening.

The problem, and I apologize for this, is that yes, American Politicians look at Iraq as a political tool, rather than anything more, and it disgusts me. Whether they are Democrat or Republican - they look at this as something that we should leave to YOU to fix, and that, is not my view.

Many people here, on the democratic side, will have you believe that most of america feels that we are wasting our time with you. It’s reported in our main stream media that would be the case, and by some of our far reaching politicians… however, that could not be further from the truth.

The American People are - for the most part - a very respecting people. Please don’t let a large handful of bad apples spoil your view on the rest of us, because there are more of us here that wish your country the greatest success.

The problems that YOU are having with US are completely caused by Politics - and personally, its disgusting… this country is getting to the point where we will probably have an uprising ourselves against all of them, both Democrat and Republican, and changes are going to be made. They try to say that we made that happen in the last election, but the problem is, no-one even knows who and why they really voted. It was all a case of “I Hate Republicans and I Hate Bush” and not a case of “This person will do better for America, and make things right again in Iraq.”

Sadly, it will be the same way in 2008 unless we get someone with a REAL heart, a REAL mind, and is actually someone of integrity. I hate our country right now, at least those in Washington on BOTH sides of the aisle, and they make me extremely embarrased to be an american.

When Hatered takes precidence over doing what is right, and just… you have a problem… and Houston - America Has A Problem…

My two cents…


Hometown Baghdad » Blog Archive » Assorted News about the series - 03/21/2007 17:05:14

[…] Ausama from Hometown Baghdad wrote an article on the always great Alive in Baghdad. […]


mike - 03/21/2007 19:30:49

Hi, I’m one of the producers of Hometown Baghdad. Ausama…you’re right. so few Americans have any idea about what’s going on in your country. Hopefully blogs like Alive in Baghdad will help. I also hope that our web series, Hometown Baghdad, can make your reality more real for Americans. www.hometownbaghdad.com.


Maria - 03/23/2007 15:32:51

Hi,
I am Argentinian; after having seen the videos and having read Ausama’s article, I can’t help thinking of what happened in South America in the 70’s.

It is not a secret (or it’s a public secret) that the CIA helped the instauration of dictatorships in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil. One of the reasons why some Americans helped the dictators was to have “pacific” countries where they could do business.

In Argentina 30.000 people where kidnapped, tortured and killed; the intellectuals where the most persecuted. After 7 years of dictatorship the country was left in ruins, economically and socially speaking.

Of course it hasn’t been as terrible as the situation in Irak. But we have learned that where the American government “helps” it is always because something ($$$) is interesting to them.
It’s normal, all the countries do the same; but the USA can do what they want, which is not the case for the rest of the world.

And the unfortunate country that receives the “help”, will have to work for many years to rebuild the bases of its society. In Argentina we haven’t finished; 30 years have passed.

I really hope that the violence will stop quickly in Irak and that you’ll be able to live your lives in peace.

Good luck and take care.

Maria


grellety - 03/23/2007 15:56:11

Hello,

I’m french, writer and philosopher. In France, like in other countries in the world, we heard each day about Iraq, attempts, citizens dead, but networks dont show pictures about them. In this situation, french citizens forget that this crimes and situation arent normal and just.

On my blog, I have publish two notes, about this situation, with some pics who are very hard, but that we need to show and see. Its not for take a bad pleasure, but to open the eyes on this dramatic situation.

http://jeanchristophegrellety.typepad.com/lactionlitteraire/2007/03/les_guerriers_e.html#comments

Jean-Christophe

http://jeanchristophegrellety.typepad.com/


Blogfriends - 03/23/2007 16:59:39

Ciak! La routine irachena…

Ma come vivono i civili iracheni nella loro vita quotidiana? Da ora sul web c’è Hometown in Baghdad, una serie di cortometraggi-documentario sulla vita quotidiana di Baghdad raccontata in inglese da tre giovani universitari del posto: …


CHIARA MARRA - 03/23/2007 17:07:31

Baghdad,gli universitari e i cortometraggi.Storie di vita quotidiana…

Ma come vivono i civili iracheni nella loro vita quotidiana? Da ora sul web c’è Hometown in Baghdad, una serie di cortometraggi-documentario sulla vita quotidiana di Baghdad raccontata in inglese da tre giovani universitari del posto: Aus…


Luke - 03/23/2007 19:56:50

The reason there is debate is really pretty simple.

The Democrates won the Midterm elections. When the Republicans had both President and Congress - no one wanted to debate the war, no one wanted to do any oversight.

Now the the other party has control of the Congress - the American people repudiated Bush -

and so Bush knows he is on borrowed time in Iraq, and the debate is a sinmple result of alot of anti-war politicans coming into power.

Nadia - I wonder what evidence you have that the Israelis are behind an effort to break up Iraq?

For that matter - I might point to Challabi - who was Cheany’s best buddy - and basically working for the Iranians to convince us to take out their arch enemy.

People in the US are so sick of Bush and his bull$h!t at this point that they are already considering who will be the next president - very far in advance.

politically we are entering a post-Bush phase, his Administraition is surrounded by political enemies.

The reason they went for the surge is simple - its their last chance - the second the Democrates won Bush made his final move and made it as strongly as possible.


Nadia - 03/26/2007 14:39:04

“Nadia - I wonder what evidence you have that the Israelis are behind an effort to break up Iraq?”

Hi Luke!

In the 80s Oded Yinon, an official from the Israeli Foreign Affairs office wrote a report about Israel’s security.

In that report it was mentioned that 1. The Iranian Iraqi war will weaken Iraq 2. That Iraq is a huge threat to Israel and that it needs to be broken down into three small states.

Put their “insight” together with the facts that many countries in the world have used very ugly methods to try to get what they want, like Maria from Argentina just reminded us of. These things make it impossible for me to exclude Israel from wanting to do the same. Israel is very much able to influence violence by ugly means as any other countries that have been accused/involved of doing so in Iraq or elsewhere.

On top of that we have the fact that Israeli leaders, other extremely pro-Israel leaders and AIPAC all of whom have a very huge influence on US politics; were in the front seat when it came to pushing forward for the war against Iraq and are still pushing for more wars. More deaths, more destruction, more chaos, more hate and more weakened desperate people whom in the end you can make what ever you want with because they are so desperate for things to calm down that they would say yes to anything as long the violence stop. All for the security of Israel.

: )
***************
A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties

by Oded Yinon

This essay originally appeared in Hebrew in KIVUNIM (Directions), A Journal for Judaism and Zionism; Issue No, 14–Winter, 5742, February 1982, Editor: Yoram Beck. Editorial Committee: Eli Eyal, Yoram Beck, Amnon Hadari, Yohanan Manor, Elieser Schweid. Published by the Department of Publicity/The World Zionist Organization, Jerusalem.
Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. It is possible that the present Iranian-Iraqi confrontation will deepen this polarization.15


DeepSouth - 03/28/2007 02:52:24

Nadia,
Miriam and others here are right. Although, as you say, we are not dealing with a war on our soil, so it may sound like we are doing a lot of apologizing, but I really mean it when I say that war is good for nothing at all but death and destruction of women and children. I feel so sad when I think about the destruction of the historic places and there were so many to see and learn about in Iraq.

Many US citizens are doing as much as they can to stop the war. However you should know that, since 9/11, our own country has put unfair restraints on us. The Patriot Act, wire-tapping, spying on Internet e-mails sent/received, enactment of laws that allow law enforcement officials to just take you away to prison without due process and without your family knowing anything about where you have been taken, have been implemented to silence and frighten us from saying anything about the war. Early on, several people were made an example of, and ousted as “traitors” because they cautioned about the problem of starting a war - easy to start,but who can say when it will end? - many lost “credibility” because of their comments, some lost their jobs - in the case of some media people, their programs were cancelled due to “lack of interest/low ratings”.

So while many, many people of all faiths tried to speak up for the world to hear, many were silenced. Media coverage of marches and events against attacking Iraq was/still is sparse to non-existent; we aren’t even allowed to see images of soldiers coming home from Iraq or Afghanistan in caskets - it’s against the new law to show such images - people have been arrested for doing so…so things are really very scary over here right now. You will be accused of “giving aid and comfort to the enemy” for showing these images.

Frankly, I was very surprised that the votes in the 2004 election were counted right, because this too has changed in the US - our voting system is fraught with problems! But understand that the Democratic Party “majority” won wasn’t as big as it needed to be. So while I don’t like to sound as if I don’t care about what you are experiencing, I know many US citizens are not well informed about politics, and they never were even before the current administration. Moreover, a certain large percentage of us cares nothing about other countries and their pain; they are only concerned about their own agendas, which are to eliminate anyone and everyone who doesn’t think as they do.

So now with the new laws and the spying and wire-tapping and threats of torture, people have been afraid to participate and speak out. Not everyone, and I can’t tell you how many, but we are doing what we can to bring sanity back. I wish all of us luck since we have to depend on our politicians to make a difference.


Ausama - 03/29/2007 18:48:52

Dear All ,
Thank you so much for interacting with this blog of mine , for commenting .

alot of people here know that alot of the american people hate what’s going on in Iraq , wether if it’s for the Iraqis sake or for their army’s sake.

and in both , we understand .
but that’s one part of the Iraqi people who think that way , cause you can’t simply expect from someone who lost a brother or father or someone close to him to understand so easily.

however most of us here think that the american policy toward Iraq and the region is going to still the same even if the president would be a democrate or what ever!


Sidda - 03/29/2007 20:18:04

Hello Ausama,
I am so grateful for your blog and for your work with Hometown Baghdad. For so long I have longed to hear the voice of Iraq. NOT as filtered through our American Media, but unfiltered and honest, as you have done. I feel so awful for what you are suffering, and so powerless to help you. Of course I vote for the best and most enlightened candidates I can find, but that is not nearly enough. It all seems to be beyond the reach of ordinary people.

I am also grateful to Nadia / Deep South for her comments. She put my thoughts into words perfectly. I do not even recognize my own beloved America. It has changed just as she describes. I fear for this country, and for Iraq. Many people have no true representation, and are being “lead” by inept, self-serving, unqualified people.

Hearing your words gives me hope, as does Hometown Baghdad. It makes me know the hearts and minds of many Iraqi people are not unlike my own. We all want freedom, we want peace. It seems in both our cultures that extremist elements make things very difficult for us.
You asked many good questions about WHY this is happening, and the TRUE agenda behind it all. I ask the same questions. I hope someday we will find answers that help us heal and come together as friends.
In closing I would like to know if you and your family were able to lead the lives you wanted during the Saddam years. I never know what to believe from what our press tells us. Of course a total mess was made of the “liberation”. However, I do hope to know someday if liberation was ever even needed or wanted.
I offer my hand to you and your family in friendship. I am so sorry Iraq is made to suffer.
Please keep writing. We will keep reading and learning.


Bill - 03/31/2007 14:18:18

Nadia has answered the why that you ask. This war is certainly aimed to satisfy Israel’s perceived best interests.
But I have a “why” of my own. If Israel is behind all the sectarian violence in Iraq (and I have no doubt that this is true), then why is it that it has been so easy for them to succeed? You suggest that Americans don’t know the real reasons for the war and the violence, but the willingness of the Iraqi people to kill each other suggests that the Iraqi people themselves don’t understand what is happening to them and why and who is supposed to benefit from all this killing.
From what I have read and from the way that I have pieced together the puzzle, the Bush administration’s intent all along has been to establish in Iraq a fortress of American military and economic power from which America and Israel can dominate not just Iraq but the entire Middle East. This was an American and Israeli goal long before 9/11 happened, but it wasn’t until after 9/11 that the American people were willing to begin this process.
To be truthful, most Americans to this day still deny that the United States wants to do this. Our media has bent over backwards, has broken all the rules of good journalism to keep us from knowing the truth about the Bush/Cheney/Israel agenda. The majority of Americans still don’t even suspect that we have established not only fortresses but huge battlefields in Iraq to accomplish this goal.
That said, I still think the American people are responsible for what our government is doing in Iraq. Most of us, and I am a 58 year-old American so I can speak for Americans, most of us have feared for decades the power that our “oil money” would give to the radically different and anti-American governments in the Middle East. The desire to suppress Middle East power has been burning in the hearts of many many Americans ever since the 1970s “oil shortage” and the formation of OPEC.
Bush and Cheney and Israel and the “Christian Right Zionists” and nearly the whole Republican Party and half of the Democratic Party in America took that fear of ours and took advantage of the tragedy of 9/11 and chose to launch this disastrous and unholy war in Iraq.
It won’t be easy for Americans to learn the truth and stop our government from waging war. But wouldn’t it be amazing if the Iraqi people could stop killing each other?


Justin Holstein - 03/31/2007 15:27:19

Like many things of large magnitude there is no ‘one’ simple answer that can be given to remedy the problems facing Iraq and much of the middle east. I have been reading blogs on this subject, watching documentaries on it, reading books addressing the issue, listening to International Public Radio debate the subject and watch CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN and yes, I even force myself to watch the mostly ridiculous view points expressed on Fox.

Even though I have this large enough of an interest in the subject, I still don’t feel like I have a full understanding of what needs to happen to solve this problem. So I did google searches on US/Iraq relations… US/Iran relations and US/Saudi Arabi relations, and after reading much of the history of all of these countries and the United States involvement in them I think I came to a much more confident understanding of things.

The one thing that first struck me was that the three largest oil reserves in the world are Saudi Arabi, Iraq and Iran (in that order). Now if anyone wants to do some historical research of their own, they will probably find that nearly all of the tension between the US, Britian and these three countries has been caused by oil. Saudi Arabi has had the least tension with Britian and the US because the ruling family is in a circle of profit and this financial strength has kept them in power (and forced the US to look the other way when it came to their involvement in these so-called terrorist activities).

Now I could go on and on listing points in history that give me the perspective that I have on this problem, but I don’t have enough time to go through it all. Instead, I’ll just give my opinion of what needs to happen.

First of all, like many of the educated and informed Iraqi’s are saying…we need to all state the truth of whats going on. The truth is the starting point of trying to figure out how to solve any problem. The big question is, can we do that? I’m not sure America can right now because of our political differences. To most Americans, the savagery that is going on in Iraq is not real. They all go about their daily lives (me included) and read about it, and form a quick perspecitve on it from what they’ve heard from their favorite news source. So that would make me believe that the best thing America can do is get out of Iraq and provide humanitary aid and organize other aid with other countries through the UN. Will their be mass killings if this occurs? What do we define as ‘mass killings’? I read yesterday that 500 people were killed in Iraq yesterday. 500 people! Is that ok? Is that not a mass killing? Whatever happens in Iraq, shouldn’t it be left up to the Iraqi’s? The United States had its own insurgents and secretarian violence, and our own civil war. And their were ‘mass killings’ between the two parties that had differences of belief on slavery as well as other political differences. But from it we had our own history and our own heros. Abraham Lincoln. Martin Luther King. It’s this history and these heros that gives Americans a strength in belief, a pride in country and a commonness that keeps us together, because we know that a lot of death and suffering went into forming this nation, by our own ancestors. Don’t the Iraqi’s deserve the same chance? And if an opposing voice says “but what about terrorism and the spawning of new terrorist?” I would say, what do you think we are creating right now? How many people hate the United States for the collatorial damage that has occured in this war? Would we not be viewed in a better light with Iraqi’s, in the middle east and internationally if we were providing aid and assistance to Iraqis instead of participating in a war that is killing Iraqi’s?

Here are the questions I would like to have answered from Iraqi’s.

1. Do you want one common government if it ends up being dominated by either a Shiite or Sunni fundementalism? What about the kurds?

2. Can these tribes co-habitate and form a strong Iraq?

I hear many people talking about the problems, but very, very few people talking about what the solutions are. I would like to hear from Iraqi’s on this board of what they feel needs to happen. It is their lives and their country and I would respect their view point on this matter more than anyone elses.

I’ll close in giving credit to all who make Alive in Baghdad possible, because this is one of the few places that I find ‘reliable’ information on what is going on in Iraq, because it is coming from Iraqi’s themselves. I will be donating some money to you as soon as I get my tax return in a few weeks to support your efforts. (Not sure if the Bush Administration will consider that donating to terrorists or not, but they can come and arrest me). Keep doing what your doing.


hamineco - 03/31/2007 15:43:24

Qasem from Ramadi is now visiting Japan to tell his story now.


questions » Blog Archive » Iraq Under Focus - 03/31/2007 16:37:02

[…] Original post by Brian […]


Ausama - 04/01/2007 18:26:42

Dear all, Thank you again Sidda

, I really thank you for what you said… Regarding your question … nothing was easy back then, but yes… if I will not interfere with the politics back then… Saddam Hussein wouldn’t have hurt me in any way , and PLZ for who ever read this don’t think that I used to support saddam or any form of that … but I’m simply saying what was going on back then ( at least for my community ) .
He was a dictator … true, but the American media made him a devil! Huh!

Bill what you and Nadia have said is true and you asked if Iraqi People could stop killing each other? Yes they can, once the militias killing both sides would be exterminated … or at least their leaders (whom are very much known in Iraq) but unfortunately for one reason or another, the US government let them do whatever they want to do!
Oh and if you said , it’s the Iraqis responsibility to do that , I’ll tell you No , it’s not .. This thing cannot be solved by Iraqis!

Justin , Wow … it seems you’ve done a lot of research , I thank you very much for that , I used to know an American professor called Andrew Austin who ( I think ) studied as much as you did .

Regarding your questions,

1. Why should you or we always use the words Sunni, Shee’a … you wouldn’t believe me if said that these words are kind of new on the Iraqi Community?!
I believe in one common Iraqi government made by liberals or sophisticated, Experienced Iraqi politicians… Whom we definitely have!
At that time, I believe those 2 words (Sunni, She’a) would be of no importance.

2. Yes those “tribes” can “Co-Habitate” together just like they used to be, before!

I Believe it’s very hard to give solutions now, cause it’s really complicated … but if anyone want to make the situation better (I’m talking as an Iraqi who’s living the situation), I believe they should build up a very good intelligence system, but that would take a lot of time, so they should just lose their pride for a while and re-recruit the old intelligence members.

Re-establish a new police force, based on a better training, better education and not on sectarian bases (and in that the Americans and the old police members could supervise).

And one of the most important things that they should do is to cover the Iraqi Borders very well and cover all the city borders with good protection and good reliable checkpoints, since most of the Weapons are definitely coming from outside Iraq (and I’m only saying weapons).

I have a lot more to give, but still I’m only a 20 years old man and yet I might not have a good perspective for a better solution!

Please Visit www.hometownbaghdad.com


Nadia - 04/02/2007 19:52:05

Hi all!

Justin wrote “I would like to hear from Iraqi’s on this board of what they feel needs to happen. It is their lives and their country and I would respect their view point on this matter more than anyone elses.”

I saw some of Ausama’s suggestions and I think they are very good! For exampel covering the Iraqi borders should really be very easy with US satellites.

On my blog I have written down some suggestions to solutions too. I have not gone into deep explanations for each part so if anything is unclear please ask and I’ll try to explain what I mean. I see it as a platform to work from!

My blog URL is:
http://talkingaboutiraq.blogspot.com/2007/02/suggestions-to-solution.html

Here is another link that talks about Iraqi suggestions for solutions:
http://progressivegovernment.org/page.php?name=reconciliation


M.D.C. - 04/03/2007 04:05:49

I think what people in the U.S. do not understand, when they use terms like “all these Iraqis killing eachother,” is how FEW Iraqis are killing other Iraqis, particularly in consideration of what happened. People do not realize (and this is according to my Iraqi friends and other info) that before the war it was not a big deal if you were Sunni or Shi’ite; many families were made of both, neighbors lived together in total peace, no one would ask, “Hey, what are you, are you Sunni?” and demand an answer. As has been said, the U.S. went in playing up this sectarian conflict for poltical and economic reasons, but it got out of hand (like most things the U.S. planners have tried to do). This whole sectarian conflict/civil war started out with very few people doing the killing (and it is still a small percent of the actual population who is willing or wanting to do such things; I would imagine it similar to the small percent of people in the U.S. who want to do crazy things like Tim McVeigh, Neo-Nazis, etc.) However, in this lawless atmosphere, and with high government and police, etc. positions, these small number of people can do alot of damage (politically, and physically) If you look at the history of this invasion, you will see that there was almost no violent sectarian conflict until the infamous bombing incident (done by a small group of extreme people) Again, it is still a small percent of Iraqis (and as such one should not say as though all Iraqis do this or support this) however those who want sectarian conflict are smart, they know that if they keep it up they will be able to pull others who used to be on the fence or peaceful into the conflict (what would you do if your father, brother, mother, child was killed, or your sister violated? I know I would not have the restraint shown by many Iraqis who have been horribly victimized by this war in general). My point simply is that this sectarian conflict is not something most Iraqis want, support, or participate in. Even many of those involved know think they have no choice but to join something like a militia to protect thier home and family (and maybe they are right?)One way to stop this is to take seriously some of the suggestions above, and to give Iraqis a real government that if for Iraq and of Iraq (not for U.S. and by U.S.). This is not to say that this new government would be against the U.S., but rather that their first priority would be helping Iraqis, not U.S. stakeholders in the Whitehouse, and U.S. businessmen.


Dean Berry - 04/03/2007 05:26:22

Amdocs is blackmailing America’s “leaders.” That’s why they’re making such insane decisions: http://dinoberry.googlepages.com/home


Colin - 04/03/2007 13:22:58

Ausama, I have some thoughts I hope you can address. First off, how did the US create the current sectarianism? You say that sectarianism didn’t exist under Saddam, but this is hard to believe given his acts against both the Kurds during the 80s and the Shia during the 90s. If there was no sectarianism, why did the Shia rise up against Saddam in 1991 but not the Sunni? Why did Sunnis enjoy disproportionate influence in the military and government? It seems that these two communities have long had differing agendas.

As for your questions about the US agenda, I can assure you your first theory is completely wrong. In fact, it is this kind of conspiracy thinking that makes dealing with many Iraqis so frustrating. Do you really think that the current strife in Iraq is part of the US plan? Do you really think Bush somehow gains by more US soldiers dying? Do you think Bush wants his political party to lose more power? Do you think Bush wants to see his own influence continue to diminish because of the war? None of this helps Bush at all. And as for the oil, oil production in the country is lower now than before the war. If we wanted the oil so much we could have just ended the sanctions and bought it, like we do with every other country. If we wanted a base in Iraq we could simply use Kurdistan where we are welcomed, and we already have bases in Kuwait. We don’t need our military there.

The reason that Iraq is so messed up is partly because of US stupidity and partly because of the Iraqis. We went in to a country we did not understand with a poorly thought-out plan. Rather than the educated, middle class country many had described Iraq was, we found a country broken through repression, sanctions and war. A country riven by sectarianism and tribalism. A country where the most influential figures were not politicians, but religious figures such as Sistani and Sadr.

I found this on Zeyad’s blog (Healing Iraq):

“I had an interesting conversation with a middle-aged taxi driver who used to live in Fallujah and is now at relatives in Amiriya, Baghdad. After asking me which tribe I belong to (thus assessing my sectarian background) he started hurling abuses at the Shia, calling them Persians, Majoos (fire worshippers), rabid dogs and a handful of other descriptions that I can’t mention here. He described Allawi’s face as that of a f*ed horse and he dismissed the whole government as a band of thieves and traitors.

“I didn’t argue with him but I asked him what he believed would be a viable solution to this mess. He said that resistance was the only commonsense solution. First driving out the Americans, then fighting the Shia back into submission (as in 1991).”

Are you telling me that prior to the war this guy didn’t care about sectarianism? That all this hatred was created less than 2 years after the war (this post was from Jan. 2005)?

Yes, the US has made plenty of mistakes, chief of which is the lack of security after the fall of Saddam. But Iraqis are the ones that took advantage of this situation to begin butchering each other. Iraqis, not Americans, are the ones that elected their current leaders.

I think there are many good people in Iraq, and I pray for that country. But please stop with the conspiracy theories and please start recognizing that Iraqis must take responsibility for their own country.


Ausama - 04/03/2007 18:20:55

Dear Colin,

With all do respects, but I should add little to the Iraqi History you’ve been talking about.

During and after the 1991… Saddam Hussein treated who ever opposed him so bad, it didn’t matter to him whether they were Sunni or she’ a , but the fact was that most of who opposed him were the southern Iraqi citizens(who according to how they’ve been described in the media .. as the Iraqi She’ a ).

Probably at some point, in some families… Yes there was some sectarianism developing, but that wasn’t a big deal.

During the sanction period, a lot of Iraqis have gone under real economical problems, and the uneducated people were the most affected ones.

Now you said that she ‘a have rise up against saddam Hussein in 2003 … I’m going to tell you No, not the she ‘a, those people who were having real socio-economical problems rise against him, and again it happens that most of those people are the citizen of “the other governates” not only the southern cities!

and here the role of the US came , they simply called those people ” She ‘a ” and they called Sunni people ” insurgents or extremists ” , and they built the first government over sectarian bases like giving 13 seats to (( she ‘a )) or other 6 to “”Sunnis “” and what so on ..

They also destructed the infra structure of the Iraqi government as they were describing that government as “the Saddam’s Sunni Government”.

Now, if you were let’s say America and you want to liberate those people and give them freedom, democracy and build them a new great country… Would you do that? Is it just stupidity? Honestly I don’t think it was just stupidity!

We used to have wonderful politicians but most of them if not all of them, have left Iraq now because they were killed or threatened, and by whom? By some militias, their leader is a sectarian man who the US government still didn’t arrest him, even though he abducted some American soldier once not to mention his militia’s actions against the US army!

Regarding my first theory , first I’d like to say …if they United States Policy is really doing like what I described before , then they’re wrong , they could’ve made Iraq better , made the American company work in Iraq … by that they could nourish the American economy in different ways … other than only stealing oil !

However if I get to talk more about that theory , I think I would say It’s not only about George Bush , it’s something he built and others are going to finish this …

Now here’s the question: Do you think that it would really matter to him if more American soldiers are dying? So far it seems that he doesn’t care, especially when he’s sending more troops there.

The other question: do you really think that the Iraqi oil production is less than before?
Beside, what would bush care about now? He won his second cycle after all!

However, I must agree with you, the Iraqis are mistaken too in many parts, especially when we trusted the American government when they first came to Iraq!

I’m really sorry if I’m hurting anyone with my words , I’m just giving you another opinion ,May be I’m mistaken about some parts may be not and may be I’m just frustrated after living those 4 long horrible years here in Iraq.

I’m here, please keep posting.


Colin - 04/04/2007 11:30:42

Thank you for responding Ausama.

I assume that when you refer to destroying the infrastructure of the government that you are talking about the de-Baathification campaign that resulted in many people, chiefly Sunnis, losing their jobs. This was probably a mistake, but not a deliberate attempt to cripple Iraq. The Baath were seen as bad people so it made sense to get them out of the government. The same was done in Germany after WWII when all the Nazis were removed from government by the Americans and their allies.

Yes, the interim government was appointed on a largely sectarian basis. This was done to ensure that the government reflected the people of Iraq. Was it smart? Perhaps not. But was it done with evil intentions? No.

However, the Americans allowed free and open elections for Iraq. Iraqis, not Americans, chose to vote on a sectarian basis. That was the choice of Iraqis.

If you ask me, the real cause of the sectarian differences is that Sunnis and Shia have different visions for Iraq. The Shia, despite being a majority, are not responsible for killing most of the Americans. They took advantage of the new situation in Iraq to gain power. The Sunnis have lost power and they hate the Americans for it.

As long as Saddam ruled with an iron fist these differences weren’t seen. But now they have been exposed.

As for Bush, yes, it does matter if more Americans soldiers die. Every American killed makes the war unpopular. Every American killed makes Bush less popular and less powerful. Why would he want that? What does he gain? Please, stop with the conspiracies and look at the facts. In the last election his party lost power — how does he benefit from this???

Another fact is that oil production has decreased:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2005-10-10-iraq-oil-usat_x.htm

Oil has only become more expensive since the war, not less. This isn’t helping the US economy at all. Instead it is costing us hundreds of billions of dollars.

If the Iraqi people want peace and the Americans to leave it is really simple: stop killing each other. Stop killing Americans. Vote in elections. Tell your new government to ask the Americans to leave. When France asked our military to leave in the 1960s we did. When the Philippines asked us to leave in the 1990s we did.


Ausama - 04/07/2007 17:42:48

Hello again,
Sorry for being late to answer this but I had to do a lot of study in the past couple of days preparing for my mid-course exams.

Now back to you Collin,

Well, unfortunately … in that ” de-Baathification campaign ” a lot of good intellectuals have lost their jobs, and a lot of those people were really qualified people and a lot of them were not even baathist by the way, and the killing part of all this that they were replaced by people who merely are qualified or have any experience in what so ever, oh and again not only Sunni people lost their jobs, She ‘a and Christian people did too!

Probably it wasn’t with evil intentions probably it was all just stupid, however honestly (and remember, this is the United States Government we’re talking about here)… I don’t think that was just stupidity!

You’ve mentioned those elections, huh, I’m sorry but those were the worst in the world … imagine someone puts limited choice in a list and tells you, go on now, you’re free to elect!
They gave us no option; they already put those for us once they made the first government!
And whoever I’m going to choose then I’m going to support the sectarianism even more!
I’m not saying elections are bad… On the contrary it’s a real democratic process… But the problem is, that those were all act!

Bush wouldn’t care because he had a role and he’s going to finish soon, whether it’s republicans or democrats, it will change nothing for the far policy!

Now you mentioned the oil, I’m sorry but are you kidding me?
Oil getting expensive is bad to the United States?
They’re controlling the biggest oil resource in the world; can you tell me who’s raising the oil prices?
The only winner from that is the United States since the first who get affected badly by this rise is Europe and of course the United States would be selling more oil from Iraq with high prices so imagine how much beneficial it is to your government !

You also mentioned that the Iraqi oil production is lesser now than before, I would tell you to stop watching and reading for the Media you’re listening to now.
They only want to publish that to increase the oil prices.
It’s mostly about Economic, otherwise how could they pay for the army daily needs?! Not to mention the other things?!

Finally , I want to say that we all voted in the elections hoping for a better situation , and we’re still hoping , even if I want the American forces to leave now , this government wouldn’t consider my appeal since it’s all American made !

We’re not killing each other, the US army actions and the militia’s are killing us, so your army should stop these acts like the ones in abu-ghraib and they should exterminate those militias just like they allowed them in the beginning.


Jeff - 04/08/2007 01:13:20

Ausama wrote “imagine someone puts limited choice in a list and tells you, go on now, you’re free to elect!…But the problem is, that those were all act!”

Ah for the good old days when you could either vote for Saddam or…, or…, that’s right, Be Killed!!! Murdered, Dead, No More Voting, Ever Again!
What an election, an astounding almost 100 percent, all in favor of even more Saddam! The brave few who dared to rebel, well, we will never know their pain, their fears, the barbaric torture they experienced before they died.

Ausama wrote “nothing was easy back then, but yes…if I will not interfere with the politics back then… Saddam Hussein wouldn’t have hurt me in any way…..He was a dictator … true, but the American media made him a devil!”

The many hundreds of thousands of victims, of the rape rooms, the torture rooms, the mass killings, entire villages slaughtered…they probably have a far more vivid, painful understanding of a real Devil than some media caricature!

Ausama wrote “Now here’s the question: Do you think that it would really matter to him if more American soldiers are dying? So far it seems that he doesn’t care, especially when he’s sending more troops there…..Beside, what would bush care about now? He won his second cycle after all!”

Shameful, ungratefully shameful…

You need to wake up and realize that Iraq and the entire world has been given a phenomenal opportunity that simply never would have existed had it not been for the actions of George W. Bush. The ruling Sunnis may not like having been removed from their position of privilege and power but the vast majority, by 2 to 1 margins, know that life is better now than it was under Saddam. And in the future, God willing, after the surge and the Tribal Awakening finally roots out those who would kill innocents, the Iraqis can enjoy their new lives with far greater liberty and be able to pursue their own happiness.


Nadia - 04/09/2007 10:46:55

Jeff you are so wrong.


Jeff - 04/11/2007 19:16:28

BAGHDAD DISPATCH
Iraq in the Balance
In Washington, panic. In Baghdad, cautious optimism.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110009926

BY FOUAD AJAMI
Wednesday, April 11, 2007 12:01 a.m.

BAGHDAD–For 35 years the sun did not shine here,” said a man on the grounds of the great Shia shrine of al-Kadhimiyyah, on the outskirts of Baghdad. I had come to the shrine at night, in the company of the Shia politician Ahmed Chalabi.

We had driven in an armed convoy, and our presence had drawn a crowd. The place was bathed with light, framed by multiple minarets–a huge rectangular structure, its beauty and dereliction side by side. The tile work was exquisite, there were deep Persian carpets everywhere, the gifts of benefactors, rulers and merchants, drawn from the world of Shi’ism.

It was a cool spring night, and beguilingly tranquil. (There were the echoes of a firefight across the river, from the Sunni neighborhood of al-Adhamiyyah, but it was background noise and oddly easy to ignore.) A keeper of the shrine had been showing us the place, and he was proud of its doors made of teak from Burma–a kind of wood, he said, that resisted rain, wind and sun. It was to that description that the quiet man on the edge of this gathering had offered the thought that the sun had not risen during the long night of Baathist despotism.

A traveler who moves between Baghdad and Washington is struck by the gloomy despair in Washington and the cautious sense of optimism in Baghdad. Baghdad has not been prettified; its streets remain a sore to the eye, its government still hunkered down in the Green Zone, and violence is never far. But the sense of deliverance, and the hopes invested in this new security plan, are palpable. I crisscrossed the city–always with armed protection–making my way to Sunni and Shia politicians and clerics alike. The Sunni and Shia versions of political things–of reality itself–remain at odds. But there can be discerned, through the acrimony, the emergence of a fragile consensus.

Some months back, the Bush administration had called into question both the intentions and capabilities of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. But this modest and earnest man, born in 1950, a child of the Shia mainstream in the Middle Euphrates, has come into his own. He had not been a figure of the American regency in Baghdad. Steeped entirely in the Arabic language and culture, he had a been a stranger to the Americans; fate cast him on the scene when the Americans pushed aside Mr. Maliki’s colleague in the Daawa Party, Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari.

There had been rumors that the Americans could strike again in their search for a leader who would give the American presence better cover. There had been steady talk that the old CIA standby, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, could make his way back to power. Mr. Allawi himself had fed these speculations, but this is fantasy. Mr. Allawi circles Arab capitals and is rarely at home in his country. Mr. Maliki meanwhile has settled into his role.

In retrospect, the defining moment for Mr. Maliki had been those early hours of Dec. 30, when Saddam Hussein was sent to the gallows. He had not flinched, the decision was his, and he assumed it. Beyond the sound and fury of the controversy that greeted the execution, Mr. Maliki had taken the execution as a warrant for a new accommodation with the Sunni political class. A lifelong opponent of the Baath, he had come to the judgment that the back of the apparatus of the old regime had been broken, and that the time had come for an olive branch to those ready to accept the new political rules.

When I called on Mr. Maliki at his residence, a law offering pensions to the former officers of the Iraqi army had been readied and was soon put into effect. That decision had been supported by the head of the de-Baathification commission, Ahmed Chalabi. A proposal for a deeper reversal of the de-Baathification process was in the works, and would be announced days later by Mr. Maliki and President Jalal Talabani. This was in truth Zalmay Khalilzad’s doing, his attempt to bury the entire de-Baathification effort as his tenure drew to a close.

This was more than the political traffic in the Shia community could bear. Few were ready to accept the return of old Baathists to government service. The victims of the old terror were appalled at a piece of this legislation, giving them a period of only three months to bring charges against their former tormentors. This had not been Mr. Maliki’s choice–for his animus toward the Baath has been the driving force of his political life. It was known that he trusted that the religious hierarchy in Najaf, and the forces within the Shia alliance, would rein in this drive toward rehabilitating the remnants of the old regime.

Power and experience have clearly changed Mr. Maliki as he makes his way between the Shia coalition that sustains him on the one hand, and the American presence on the other. By all accounts, he is increasingly independent of the diehards in his own coalition–another dividend of the high-profile executions of Saddam Hussein and three of the tyrant’s principal lieutenants. He is surrounded by old associates drawn from the Daawa Party, but keeps his own counsel.

There is a built-in tension between a prime minister keen to press for his own prerogatives and an American military presence that underpins the security of this new order. Mr. Maliki does not have the access to American military arms he would like; he does not have control over an Iraqi special-forces brigade that the Americans had trained and nurtured. His police forces remain poorly equipped. The levers of power are not fully his, and he knows it. Not a student of American ways–he spent his years of exile mostly in Syria–he is fully aware of the American exhaustion with Iraq as leading American politicians have come his way often.

The nightmare of this government is that of a precipitous American withdrawal. Six months ago, the British quit the southern city of Amarrah, the capital of the Maysan Province. It had been, by Iraqi accounts, a precipitous British decision, and the forces of Moqtada al-Sadr had rushed into the void; they had looted the barracks and overpowered the police. Amarrah haunts the Iraqis in the circle of power–the prospect of Americans leaving this government to fend for itself.

In the long scheme of history, the Shia Arabs had never governed–and Mr. Maliki and the coalition arrayed around him know their isolation in the region. This Iraqi state of which they had become the principal inheritors will have to make its way in a hostile regional landscape. Set aside Turkey’s Islamist government, with its avowedly Sunni mindset and its sense of itself as a claimant to an older Ottoman tradition; the Arab order of power is yet to make room for this Iraqi state. Mr. Maliki’s first trip beyond Iraq’s borders had been to Saudi Arabia. He had meant that visit as a message that Iraq’s “Arab identity” will trump all other orientations. It had been a message that the Arab world’s Shia stepchildren were ready to come into the fold. But a huge historical contest had erupted in Baghdad, the seat of the Abbasid caliphate had fallen to new Shia inheritors, and the custodians of Arab power were not yet ready for this new history.

For one, the “Sunni street”–the Islamists, the pan-Arabists who hid their anti-Shia animus underneath a secular cover, the intellectual class that had been invested in the ideology of the Baath party–remained unalterably opposed to this new Iraq. The Shia could offer the Arab rulers the promise that their new state would refrain from regional adventures, but it would not be easy for these rulers to come to this accommodation.

A worldly Shia cleric, the legislator Humam Hamoudi who had headed the constitutional drafting committee, told me that he had laid out to interlocutors from the House of Saud the case that this new Iraqi state would be a better neighbor than the Sunni-based state of Saddam Hussein had been. “We would not be given to military adventures beyond our borders, what wealth we have at our disposal would have to go to repairing our homeland, for you we would be easier to fend off for we are Shiites and would be cognizant and respectful of the differences between us,” Mr. Hamoudi had said. “You had a fellow Sunni in Baghdad for more than three decades, and look what terrible harvest, what wreckage, he left behind.” This sort of appeal is yet to be heard, for this change in Baghdad is a break with a long millennium of Sunni Arab primacy.

The blunt truth of this new phase in the fight for Iraq is that the Sunnis have lost the battle for Baghdad. The great flight from Baghdad to Jordan, to Syria, to other Arab destinations, has been the flight of Baghdad’s Sunni middle-class. It is they who had the means of escape, and the savings.

Whole mixed districts in the city–Rasafa, Karkh–have been emptied of their Sunni populations. Even the old Sunni neighborhood of Adhamiyyah is embattled and besieged. What remains for the Sunnis are the western outskirts. This was the tragic logic of the campaign of terror waged by the Baathists and the jihadists against the Shia; this was what played out in the terrible year that followed the attack on the Askariya shrine of Samarra in February 2006. Possessed of an old notion of their own dominion, and of Shia passivity and quiescence, the Sunni Arabs waged a war they were destined to lose.

No one knows with any precision the sectarian composition of today’s Baghdad, but there are estimates that the Sunnis may now account for 15% of the city’s population. Behind closed doors, Sunni leaders speak of the great calamity that befell their community. They admit to a great disappointment in the Arab states that fed the flames but could never alter the contest on the ground in Iraq. No Arab cavalry had ridden, or was ever going to ride, to the rescue of the Sunnis of Iraq.

A cultured member of the (Sunni) Association of Muslim Scholars in Baghdad, a younger man of deep moderation, likened the dilemma of his community to that of the Palestinian Arabs since 1948. “They waited for deliverance that never came,” he said. “Like them, we placed our hopes in Arab leaders who have their own concerns. We fell for those Arab satellite channels, we believed that Arab brigades would turn up in Anbar and Baghdad. We made room for al Qaeda only to have them turn on us in Anbar.” There had once been a Sunni maxim in Iraq, “for us ruling and power, for you self-flagellation,” that branded the Shia as a people of sorrow and quietism. Now the ground has shifted, and among the Sunnis there is a widespread sentiment of disinheritance and loss.

The Mahdi Army, more precisely the underclass of Sadr City, had won the fight for Baghdad. This Shia underclass had been hurled into the city from its ancestral lands in the Marshes and the Middle Euphrates. In a cruel twist of irony, Baathist terror had driven these people into the slums of Baghdad. The Baathist tyranny had cut down the palm trees in the south, burned the reed beds of the Marshes. Then the campaign of terror that Sunni society sheltered and abetted in the aftermath of the despot’s fall gave the Mahdi Army its cause and its power.

“The Mahdi Army protected us and our lands, our homes, and our honor,” said a tribal Shia notable in a meeting in Baghdad, acknowledging that it was perhaps time for the boys of Moqtada al-Sadr to step aside in favor of the government forces. He laid bare, as he spoke, the terrible complications of this country; six of his sisters, he said, were married to Sunnis, countless nephews of his were Sunni. Violence had hacked away at this pluralism; no one could be certain when, and if, the place could mend.

In their grief, the Sunni Arabs have fallen back on the most unexpected of hopes; having warred against the Americans, they now see them as redeemers. “This government is an American creation,” a powerful Sunni legislator, Saleh al-Mutlak, said. “It is up to the Americans to replace it, change the constitution that was imposed on us, replace this incompetent, sectarian government with a government of national unity, a cabinet of technocrats.” Shrewd and alert to the ways of the world (he has a Ph.D. in soil science from a university in the U.K.) Mr. Mutlak gave voice to a wider Sunni conviction that this order in Baghdad is but an American puppet. America and Iran may be at odds in the region, but the Sunni Arabs see an American-Persian conspiracy that had robbed them of their patrimony.

They had made their own bed, the Sunni Arabs, but old habits of dominion die hard, and save but for a few, there is precious little acknowledgment of the wages of the terror that the Shia had been subjected to in the years that followed the American invasion. As matters stand, the Sunni Arabs are in desperate need of leaders who can call off the violence, cut a favorable deal for their community, and distance that community form the temptations and the ruin of the insurgency. It is late in the hour, but there is still eagerness in the Maliki government to conciliate the Sunnis, if only to give the country a chance at normalcy.

The Shia have come into their own, but there still hovers over them their old history of dispossession; there still trails shadows of doubt about their hold on power, about conspiracies hatched against them in neighboring Arab lands.

The Americans have given birth to this new Shia primacy, but there lingers a fear, in the inner circles of the Shia coalition, that the Americans have in mind a Sunni-based army, of the Pakistani and Turkish mold, that would upend the democratic, majoritarian bases of power on which Shia primacy rests. They are keenly aware, these new Shia men of power in Baghdad, that the Pax Americana in the region is based on an alliance of long standing with the Sunni regimes. They are under no illusions about their own access to Washington when compared with that of Cairo, Riyadh, Amman and the smaller principalities of the Persian Gulf. This suspicion is in the nature of things; it is the way of once marginal men who had come into an unexpected triumph.

In truth, it is not only the Arab order of power that remains ill at ease with the rise of the Shia of Iraq. The (Shia) genie that came out of the bottle was not fully to America’s liking. Indeed, the U.S. strategy in Iraq had tried to sidestep the history that America itself had given birth to. There had been the disastrous regency of Paul Bremer. It had been followed by the attempt to create a national security state under Ayad Allawi. Then there had come the strategy of the American envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, that aimed to bring the Sunni leadership into the political process and wean them away from the terror and the insurgency.

Mr. Khalilzad had become, in his own sense of himself, something of a High Commissioner in Iraq, and his strategy had ended in failure; the Sunni leaders never broke with the insurgency. Their sobriety of late has been a function of the defeat their cause has suffered on the ground; all the inducements had not worked.

We are now in a new, and fourth, phase of this American presence. We should not try to “cheat” in the region, conceal what we had done, or apologize for it, by floating an Arab-Israeli peace process to the liking of the “Sunni street.”

The Arabs have an unerring feel for the ways of strangers who venture into their lands. Deep down, the Sunni Arabs know what the fight for Baghdad is all about–oil wealth and power, the balance between the Sunni edifice of material and moral power and the claims of the Shia stepchildren. To this fight, Iran is a newcomer, an outlier. This is an old Arab account, the fight between the order of merchants and rulers and establishment jurists on the one side, and the righteous (Shia) oppositionists on the other. How apt it is that the struggle that had been fought on the plains of Karbala in southern Iraq so long ago has now returned, full circle, to Iraq.

For our part, we can’t give full credence to the Sunni representations of things. We can cushion the Sunni defeat but can’t reverse it. Our soldiers have not waged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq against Sunni extremists to fall for the fear of some imagined “Shia crescent” peddled by Sunni rulers and preachers. To that atavistic fight between Sunni and Shia, we ought to remain decent and discerning arbiters. To be sure, in Iraq itself we can’t give a blank check to Shia maximalism. On its own, mainstream Shi’ism is eager to rein in its own diehards and self-anointed avengers.

There is a growing Shia unease with the Mahdi Army–and with the venality and incompetence of the Sadrists represented in the cabinet–and an increasing faith that the government and its instruments of order are the surer bet. The crackdown on the Mahdi Army that the new American commander, Gen. David Petraeus, has launched has the backing of the ruling Shia coalition. Iraqi police and army units have taken to the field against elements of the Mahdi army. In recent days, in the southern city of Diwaniyya, American and Iraqi forces have together battled the forces of Moqtada al-Sadr. To the extent that the Shia now see Iraq as their own country, their tolerance for mayhem and chaos has receded. Sadr may damn the American occupiers, but ordinary Shia men and women know that the liberty that came their way had been a gift of the Americans.

The young men of little education–earnest displaced villagers with the ways of the countryside showing through their features and dialect and shiny suits–who guarded me through Baghdad, spoke of old terrors, and of the joy and dignity of this new order. Children and nephews and younger brothers of men lost to the terror of the Baath, they are done with the old servitude. They behold the Americans keeping the peace of their troubled land with undisguised gratitude. It hasn’t been always brilliant, this campaign waged in Iraq. But its mistakes can never smother its honor, and no apology for it is due the Arab autocrats who had averted their gaze from Iraq’s long night of terror under the Baath.

One can never reconcile the beneficiaries of illegitimate, abnormal power to the end of their dominion. But this current re-alignment in Iraq carries with it a gift for the possible redemption of modern Islam among the Arabs. Hitherto Sunni Islam had taken its hegemony for granted and extremist strands within it have shown a refusal to accept “the other.” Conversely, Shia history has been distorted by weakness and exclusion and by a concomitant abdication of responsibility.

A Shia-led state in Baghdad–with a strong Kurdish presence in it and a big niche for the Sunnis–can go a long way toward changing the region’s terrible habits and expectations of authority and command. The Sunnis would still be hegemonic in the Arab councils of power beyond Iraq, but their monopoly would yield to the pluralism and complexity of that region.

“Watch your adjectives” is the admonition given American officers by Gen. Petraeus. In Baghdad, Americans and Iraqis alike know that this big endeavor has entered its final, decisive phase. Iraq has surprised and disappointed us before, but as they and we watch our adjectives there can be discerned the shape of a new country, a rough balance of forces commensurate with the demography of the place and with the outcome of a war that its erstwhile Sunni rulers had launched and lost. We made this history and should now make our peace with it.

Mr. Ajami, a 2006 recipient of the Bradley Prize, teaches at Johns Hopkins and is author of “The Foreigner’s Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis in Iraq” (Free Press, 2006).

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Ausama - 04/12/2007 03:33:22

Jeff ,

I wasn’t sure if that was a presidential campaigne to al maliki you’ve been directing here ?!

concerning the other stories about ” Sunni ” or ” She’ia ” , everday almost around 50 people from all over Iraq are getting killed , equally all over Iraq … and it certainly the bombs do not differentiate between Muslims. they just kill all !

Intellectuals in Iraq certainly know what to do to help our country to grow back again , but that’s one thing the american government don’t want to happen or they just simply don’t understand that the intellectuals are those who would help Iraq ( like all the intellectuals in the world ) .
there’s nothing what’s called Sunni intellectual or she’ia intellectual , intellectuals are those people who know that those two words (sunni and she’ia ) shouldn’t exist at all in order to build a better Iraq.

In the end , Jeff .. I’m Iraqi Citizen , I love my country … I feel that I’m the one who have the resposibility towards Iraq .
but in this time , in this situation I’m help less , you should admitt it’s because of the american government policy … if they will change their policies , beleive me there would be alot of hands who would love to help to re-build !


Nadia - 04/12/2007 10:40:55

Well put dearest Ausama, agree with all what you said!

Peace
Nadia


Jeff - 04/14/2007 20:53:44

Ausama,

The launch of the Independent Radio & Television Network (IRTN) in Diyala, Iraq on Sunday, March 25, 2007 was a great success. The radio station, which has been on the air since March 3, 2007, continued with regular programming with the official “launch” of the station, which took place just after noon with a live televised news cast. This is so important because the four Iraqis ( 2 Sunni and 2 Shia) who have been broadcasting messages of hope, peace, reconciliation, and nonsectarianism on the radio at 99.3FM, officially launched their televised newscasts to Diyala Province on local Channel 34 and, in an act of courage and bravery, showed their faces on television with their newscast and messages of nonsectarianism.

The launching of the IRTN radio and television network was aimed at terrorists who are operating in Diyala Province, literally just miles from the location of this radio/TV station. The IRTN radio station can be heard in Diyala Province, as far south as Hillah, as far west as Fallujah, all over Baghdad, and as far north as Mosul has an audience of over 11 million listeners. The television station, seen locally on Channel 34, can be seen all over Diyala Province

Maybe they could use your help and talents.


Ausama - 04/15/2007 06:17:28

Dear Jeff ,

I’m so happy to read your reply … I’m even Happier to know about the radio , those men must be so brave to do that … I sincerly hope the success for them , their work and for our people.

We just want peace ,I honestly hope this would make the extremists and Whoever is Backing them ,to get lost and leave our beutifull country.

Thank you again jeff,I’ll try to look up for the radio and hopefully I could be in help for them.

Ausama


sheila pithan - 04/17/2007 15:00:04

Ausama

Here in Brazil we wish peace for Iraq…

Sometimes I don’t believe in this stupid and “providential” bush’s war, when I saw in TV Bagda, I became deeply sad and I cried… it was unbelievable!

Every day bombs and death people! why? Because the dark gold… politic… international interesting… we know “why?”…

Anyway I pray for Iraq everyday… and I pray for Americans, because this war would back for them…

No more control in this situation in Iraq… Americans don’t know what to do…

Hope…
Sheila


sheila pithan - 04/18/2007 12:45:10

i saw many pictures today about this war… i dont have words to say what i felt, i saw the news about 150 death only today… God bless u…


Jeff - 04/18/2007 21:48:42

Did you know that 47 countries have reestablished their embassies in Iraq ?

Did you know that the Iraqi government currently employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?

Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 new schools are now under construction and 38 new schools have been completed in Iraq ?

Did you know that Iraq ‘ s higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all currently operating?

Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United State s in January 2005 for the re-established Fulbright program?

Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational?

They have 5 - 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment.

Did you know that Iraq ‘ s Air Force consists of three operational squadrons,

which includes 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft

(under Iraqi operational control)

which operate day and night, and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 Bell Jet Rangers?

Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion?

Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?

Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers each 8 weeks?

Did you know there are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq ?

They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.

Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations?

Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?

Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%?

Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consists of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations?

Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?

Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a televised debate recently?

Yesterday Saudi Arabia agreed to forgive 80 percent of the more than $15 billion that Iraq owes the kingdom. When the Saudis forgive Iraqi debt, that says something about the legitimacy of the democratically-elected Iraqi government.

Tragically, the lack of accentuating the positive in Iraq serves two purposes:

It is intended to undermine the world ‘ s perception of the United States thus minimizing consequent support, and it is intended to discourage American citizens.

All of the above facts are verifiable.


Nadia - 04/19/2007 00:53:45

Did you know that many of the above existed in Iraq before this illigal US invation of Iraq?

Did you know that much of the rest could have been achieved without a war.


callie - 04/19/2007 13:18:03

Jeff-
I believe those statistcs will actually matter the day Iraqis feel enough freedom to live without fear of being bombed or imprisoned every time they step out of their homes.
How can America proclaim a victorious repair of Iraq when people are still dying by the hundreds every single day?
Do those statistics matter too?
There’s some pretty hefty statistics to be found in the realm of the amount of brothers and sisters humanity has lost fighting this war. As Jean-Paul Sartre wrote, “Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.”
I think Bush himself does enough to discourage American (and world) citizens… He doesn’t need to be undermined much to look like an uninvited bully in an oversized sandbox.
Nadia, you’re absolutely correct. Why does my government feel like it needs to destroy things before rebuilding them? Could we extend our hands to those in need rather than our tanks? Could we consider taking the higher road, the road of peace rather than the road to war and devistation?
As Ausama wrote- there are plenty of hands that would love to help to create a better country for Iraq if given the chance. My guess is that a vast majority of these hands would never consider using the force of a weapon to add to these statistics.
Jeff- thank you for pointing to the good things that have come about due to our “democratic” efforts in Iraq. However, the day America bases helping others in REALITY on the amount of people who have cell phones (!) will truly be a sad day. Currently I’m living and volunteering in rural Nicaragua and I can tell you truthfully that many people own cell phones here and drink severely contaminated water (when water is available) and live in extreme poverty. Cell phone subscriptions are not a measure of security and development when the people of a country do not have the freedom to truly LIVE.
I pray every day for the American soldiers in Iraq, and for the Iraqi people that we will find a way to peace as soon as possible.
Thank you Ausama, for opening our eyes. Please keep writing.
Blessings, Callie


Jeff - 04/19/2007 21:12:43

In His Own Words April 19, 2007

President Bush Discusses the Global War on Terror in Tipp City, Ohio

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/04/20070419-3.html

Living under a tyrant must be just brutal, and living under the reign of Saddam Hussein was incredibly brutal. A lot of innocent people were killed, a lot of people were cowed by the state. People were kept apart through violence. People were pitted against each other.

The decision to remove Saddam Hussein was a difficult decision, a necessary decision. And since then we have been helping a young democracy survive in the heart of the Middle East, and at the same time working to prevent our enemies from establishing a safe haven from which to attack us again.

Our objective is to help a young democracy flourish in a part of the world that desperately needs liberty.

In 2005, the Iraqi people went to the polls; 12 million people voted. I believe that liberty is universal. I think that all people desire and should be free.

It’s easy to forget the elections because of all the violence. This is a sovereign government. People got elected.

And yet these enemies of free society, primarily al Qaeda inspired — blew up a great religious shrine in ‘06, a year ago — aiming to create sectarian violence, aiming to exacerbate the religious tensions that sometimes were exacerbated under Saddam Hussein, aiming to prevent this young democracy from succeeding. The enemy is causing sectarian strife. And because the government wasn’t ready to provide security, people started taking matters into their own hands.

And then the question was, do we reinforce, or do we pull back? I made the decision to reinforce. I did so because I believe the Iraqis want to have a peaceful society. I believe Iraqi mothers want their children to grow up in peace, just like American mothers do.

People often ask me, what are we seeing on TV? What’s happening with the violence? The spectacular violence you see is al Qaeda inspired. They claim credit for a lot of the big bombings. The bombing of the parliament was al Qaeda; the bombing of the Golden Samarra was al Qaeda. These are the Sunni extremists inspired by Osama bin Laden who attacked the United States.

Their objective is two fold: One, to shake the confidence of the average Iraqi, to think that their government is incapable of providing security, and therefore, people will turn to militias in order to protect themselves. Their second objective is to shake our confidence.

I fully understand and completely agree with those who say, this is not just a military mission alone. It is too much to ask our military to be able to achieve these objectives without there being a corresponding political strategy being fulfilled by the Iraqis. I fully expect them to reconcile. I fully expect them to pass a different de-Baathification law, they ought to have local elections, they ought to share the oil wealth so the Iraqi people feel a common bond to something bigger than provincialism.

Prime Minister Maliki has an obligation to do the hard work necessary, to show the Iraqi people that his government can move forward with political reconciliation. They’ve dedicated $10 billion out of their budget for reconstruction, and now they’ve got to spend that money wisely to show the people that their government can be for all the people.

I will share a scenario that I’m fearful could happen if we were to leave too soon. The very radicals and extremists who attack us would be emboldened. There would be a level of violence that would spill out beyond the capital, it could even spill out beyond Iraq. And then you would have the violence from ancient feuds fueled by extremists and radicals competing for power — radical Shia, radical Sunnis, all competing for power.

If the United States were to leave a chaotic Iraq, not only would the vacuum enable the extremists to move freely and embolden them, but I also believe it could cause the Middle East to enter into a nuclear arms race.

I believe that if this were to happen, people would look back 20 years from now, and say, what happened to them in 2007; how come they couldn’t see the threat?

I would call these times consequential times. I believe we’re in a long, ideological struggle.

We face a unique set of challenges. I believe the decisions I have made are laying the foundation for peace, that generations will look back and say, thank goodness — thank goodness, America didn’t lose sight of basic principles, thank goodness, America stayed true to her beliefs, thank goodness, America led.


lelly - 04/20/2007 12:51:01

Hey Ausama

Interesting entry.I dont want to write a long essay, you might not read it all. But I will say that your first conspiracy theory is one being discussed behind closed doors outside of Iraq. Some people dont even say it, they only think it.
When the golden mosque was blown up, I did not believe it was iraqis who organised it.
This is a very scary theory, I hope its not true.


jeff - 04/20/2007 17:37:02

President Bush Visits East Grand Rapids, Discusses Global War on Terror

A very inspring speech. Read it all at:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/04/20070420-6.html

Those who advocate pulling out of Iraq claim they are proposing an alternative strategy to deal with the situation there. Withdrawal is not a strategy. Withdrawal would do nothing to prevent violence from spilling out across that country and plunging Iraq into chaos and anarchy. Withdrawal would do nothing to prevent al Qaeda from taking advantage of the chaos to seize control of a nation with some of the world’s largest oil resources. Withdrawal would embolden these radicals and extremists. Withdrawal would do nothing to prevent al Qaeda from using Iraq as a base to overthrow other moderate countries. Withdrawal would do nothing to prevent Iran from exploiting the chaos in Iraq to destabilize the region, expand its radical influence, threaten Israel, and further its ambitions to obtain nuclear weapons.

If anything, withdrawal would make each of these dangerous developments more likely. Withdrawal would embolden enemies and confirm their belief that America is weak and does not have the stomach to do what is necessary to lay the foundations for peace. Ultimately, withdrawal would increase the probability that American troops would have to return to Iraq — and confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.

It’s very important for us, first of all, for the Iraqi democracy to gain acceptance. This is a new government. Remember, these folks were run by a tyrant for years, and now we’re watching the emergence of a new government that has not been in office for a year yet, by the way. We’ve been there for more than a year, but the constitution was passed in ‘05, late ‘05, the new government was seated in June of ‘06, so Prime Minister Maliki — and it’s important, I think, for the world to recognize, or the region to recognize that he was duly elected by the people of Iraq, and represents the will of the Iraqi citizens. It’s important for people to express their support for this new government.

Let me just talk about a couple of countries. One, Saudi Arabia. My friend, His Majesty, the King, kindly forgave 80 percent of the debt in the run-up to this conference; 80 percent of Saudi debt to Iraq was forgiven. That’s a strong gesture. It’s a gesture that I’m confident will spread goodwill in Iraq. And so the conference can be a success on that alone.

I will tell you, however, that His Majesty is skeptical about the Shia government in Iraq. And it’s going to be very important for Prime Minister Maliki to follow through on the new de-Baathification law, for example, which reaches out to Sunnis. People say, what does that mean? Well, the law was passed that basically said if you were a member of the Baath party, you couldn’t participate in much of civil society. And in some provinces, that is — that’s precluded people from being school teachers. In other words, if you wanted to be a teacher, you had to sign up for Saddam’s deal — and yet you might not have been a political person. And so what a lot of folks are watching is to see whether or not there’s going to be a reconciliation with the Sunnis who have been affected by the de-Baathification.

The oil revenue sharing is a very interesting aspect, and this is what people are watching for, because most of the oil is in Shia land or with the Kurds. And, therefore, an equitable sharing agreement of the people’s resources throughout society will send a signal that this government is not going to take unnecessary retribution against peaceful Sunnis. And so the benchmarks that I described are important for America, but they’re also important to make sure that further regional conferences are successful.

I want to share one other aspect of our foreign policy. I believe to whom much is given, much is required. And I want to share something about this great, generous nation, for which you deserve a lot of credit.

Whether it be on HIV/AIDS or malaria, the United States is in the lead. And when I got elected, I was deeply concerned about the fact that an entire generation of folks on the continent of Africa could be wiped out by a disease that we could not cure but halt. And I set up what’s called the Global Fund for AIDS. And yet it kind of sat there empty. It was a deal where everybody could contribute, and then the United States would match to try to encourage commitments, but it didn’t fill up. And so I went to Congress and asked that they spend your money on a unilateral initiative where we would take on I think the 17 most or 19 most affected countries in the world and deliver antiretroviral drugs.

Foreign policy is more than military. It is more than just spreading freedom. It’s also, in my judgment, in our interest to base it upon that admonition, if you’re blessed, you ought to help others. And as a result of the American people, we spread antiretrovirals or got antiretrovirals to 850,000. That’s up from 50,000 in three years.

We’re all interconnected in this world. What happens overseas matters here at home, from a security perspective, but I also believe it matters here at home from the perspective of keeping our spirits strong. It’s in the interest of this country that we be engaged in freeing people from tyranny, the tyranny of government and the tyranny of disease and hunger.

I appreciate you giving me a chance to come and visit with you. God bless.


Ola - 04/22/2007 22:25:25

Hey, Ausama

I just viewed all the videos on hometownbagdad.com, and I read your blog, including the comments here.

I’m not sure what to say, I’m torn in several different directions.

To begin with, I have always been very angry with Bush and the Americans for the way they handled Iraq. Pretty much everyone here in Sweden hates GW Bush.

On the other hand - religious fanatics are even worse. And of all those religious fanatics, the muslim ones are the worst.

Invading a country in the way the US invaded Iraw is a shameful act, but at least it makes sense from a political view. And the soldiers in the US army - while being damn stupid to sign up in the first place - are just pawns, following the orders of their leaders.

But Iraqies bombing their other fellow Iraqies? That makes no sense at all. That is just plain stupid.

While the US army shouldn’t have invaded Iraq in the first place, the only thing keeping them from going home is the current civilian war-like state. The situation is therefore in the hands of the people of Iraq.

What makes you think that the currently fighting groups would lay down arms and be friends as soon as the US troops leave? Having a one common “enemy” (the US troops) should actually be uniting them!

The only thing that makes sense now is to NOT join any militas, religious fractions or whatever. Create a network of people who refuse to participate in any kind violence. Break contact with anyone who carries a gun outside his own home. Let the rest kill each other…


Ausama - 04/23/2007 16:14:10

Dear Ola ,

First thank you for watching the vedios and for reading my blog … that must have taken alot of time !

I agree with you in most of the things , except when you said :

Iraqi’s Killing Each Other … beleive me Most of us here don’t recognize them as Iraqis , they’re militias those don’t respect Iraq or Iraqis they are supplied and supported from other countries and they follow those , so how can we call them Iraqis ?

I blame them as much as I blame the US government … the American Gov. did allow them first to grow larger and they still can’t or don’t want to end this up !

however , blaming and feeling sorry doesn’t give us our country back .
we should act , and the american government should let us do that !


jeff - 04/23/2007 19:24:59

Saddam WMD: Findings and Analysis Based on Captured Iraqi Documents (Part I)
April 23 2007 | jveritas

Posted on 04/23/2007 11:00:26 AM PDT by jveritas

“It was clear that there is another branch committee from the Industrial Committee headed by Dr. Mahdi Shakr Ghali that currently evaluates the Researches That Cannot Be Declared, Researches with relation to the previous Prohibited Programs… This is an important subject and it is dangerous in case this information is leaked one way or another.”. That was a quote General Housam Ahmad Amin, one of Saddam regime top officials on September/16/1998 talking about secret programs related to WMD according to Iraqi document CMPC-2003-002284.

Below is part I of my findings and analysis based on the captured Iraqi documents that I read. This part deals with Saddam regime programs related to Chemical Weapons. The documents that I read regarding this issue were written by high ranking officials in Saddam regime in particular “Iraq Military Industrialization Committee (MIC)” as well as top officials in Saddam Presidential circles. Based on the content, format, style, signatures, and seals, there is no doubt that these documents are authentic.

After December 1998 when the UN weapons inspector had been kicked out of Iraq, there is no doubt that Saddam regime began actively working on WMD programs and in particular producing the chemical materials called “Chemical Weapons Precursors” required to build their arsenal of “Chemical Weapons”. Once the “Chemical Precursors” are available, then Saddam regime can build the final product of “Chemical Weapons” in a very short period of time and when it is required to do so. It was better for Saddam to build the “Chemical Weapons Precursors” and hide them rather than build the “Final Chemical Weapon Products” and hide them. That is because the “Chemical Precursors” fall under the category of “Dual Use Material”, i.e. materials that can be used in both the civilian industry and to make “Chemical Weapons”. Therefore Saddam regime can always camouflage their “Chemical Weapons program” under the cover of civilian industrial usage. Moreover it was better to store the “Chemical Precursors” since it has a much longer shelf life than the final “Chemical Weapon Product”.

Based on many Iraqi documents that I have read; it is my opinion that Saddam regime produced the “Chemical Weapons Precursors” for the “Chemical Weapons” under the cover of a project the Iraqis called “The Pharmaceutical and Pesticides Project” that effectively started somewhere in the year 1999. The Iraqis always gave industrial names as a deceptive mean to cover their WMD projects. For example their previous Nuclear Weapons Program prior to the 1991 Gulf War was called “Petrochemical 3 Project”. The Iraqis were very careful in camouflaging their WMD programs and productions even prior to the 1991 Gulf War. They rarely used the expression “Chemical Weapons” and even when they were using Chemical Weapons against the Iranians and the Kurds in the 1980’s and they called it “Special Ammunition”.

There are many documents pertaining to “The Pharmaceutical and Pesticides Projects” and in these documents we find the plans, and the production projects for the “Chemical Precursors” to build “Chemical Weapons”. Under the United Nations sanctions, the Iraqi were totally prohibited to locally produce these “Chemical Precursors” but rather they may import it in very limited quantities and under strict UN importing regulations.

Under “The Pharmaceutical and Pesticides Projects” are the productions and research of materials like Potassium Cyanide and Sodium Cyanide which is used to make TABUN Nerve Gas. Also DICYLOHEXYLDIACARBODIIMIDE and Phosphorus Pentasulfide which are used to make VX Nerve Gas. Other materials in this project include Phosphorus oxychloride, Thiophosphoryl Chloride and Thionyl Chloride that are used to make different types of Chemical Weapons. These Chemical Weapons precursors are listed in Iraqi documents ISGQ-2003-00044424, CMPC-2003-013956, ISGQ-2005-00023243.

From 1998 to 2001 Saddam regime produced a lot of prohibited “Chemical Defensive Equipments” such as devices to “Detect Nerve Gas” and “Chemical Decontamination Vehicles” as per Iraqi documents CMPC-2003-016083 and ISGQ-2004-00220151. Though these equipments sound defensive in nature, the UN did not allow Saddam regime to produce it because they are also required when conducting a Chemical Weapon attack or transferring Chemical Weapons. Moreover a large number of documents talks in details about the extensive Chemical Warfare exercises that the Iraqi conducted for different branches of their military, these exercises increased in frequency and scale in the years 1999-2002 to the point of obsession. In addition according to the documents the Iraqis were always looking to purchase and store tens of thousands of Chemical protection gears and anti-Chemical Weapons medicine such Atropine injections.

Where are the “Chemical Weapons Precursors” located?

In my opinion Saddam regime buried the “Chemical Weapons Precursors” in the Western Desert, in particular in the Anbar province. I doubt very much that Saddam moved those materials outside Iraq to a different country for fear that this country can turn against him and bargain a deal on their expense with the US. I have read some Iraqis documents that give a strong hint about the possible locations where these “Chemical Weapons Precursors” can be buried and all these locations are in one particular district in the remote area of the Anbar province. According to the documents that were written in 1999-2003 Saddam regime was looking for location in the Western desert to bury what they call “Chemical Materials” and in some instances they call it “Chemical Waste Materials”. Saddam himself was directly involved in this issue according to the documents and he gave high priority orders for his top officials to come up with these burial sites. Some may say that these were only “chemical waste burial sites” however I find it is very odd that the Iraqis never thought about locations to bury their chemical waste until the year 1999! Why suddenly the Iraqis were so interested in finding burial sites for their chemical products and why Saddam himself was giving high priority orders for such a trivial matter if in fact the sites were only to bury Chemical Waste. The oddity of the issue leads to believe that these were no Chemical Waste burial sites but rather the burial sites of much more important materials such as “Chemical Weapons Precursors” and other equipments related to the production of “Chemical Weapons”.

Many of us remember the reporting about satellite pictures prior to the Iraq war that showed a convoy of suspect trucks that can be carrying Chemical Weapons moving toward the West and it was thought by many analysits that they were going to Syria. However in my opinion these trucks were going to the remote areas of the Anbar province in Western Iraq to bury the “Chemical Weapons Precursors” and the equipments required to make it.

The documents mention by name the few towns and one district in the Anbar province where Saddam regime wanted the Chemical materials burial sites. Because these towns are located in the Anbar province the heart of the terrorist insurgency in Iraq I will not mention these documents in a public forum for security concerns.

It is very important to understand the paranoid nature of Saddam regime and why it was extremely important for them to possess the ability to produce “Chemical Weapons” very quickly. It was the “Chemical Weapons” that saved Saddam regime during the Iraq-Iran war from 1980-1988. It was the “Chemical Weapons” that crushed the Kurds rebellion in 1987-1988 when Saddam savagely massacred tens of thousands of Kurdish civilians. Saddam regime was totally paranoid that Iran will attack them at anytime and the only way for them to resist and stop the Iranians who are superior in numbers is to use “Chemical Weapons” against them, therefore the Baghdad regime cannot afford not to have the capability of producing these weapons. They simply cannot be in “defensive mode” against a Chemical attack from Iran but they need to have the capability of attacking back and decisively with Chemical Weapons of their own.

That concludes part I of my findings and analysis about Saddam WMD. I will post in the next few days other threads that further discuss the WMD and Saddam strong relations to terrorism.


Elliot - 04/25/2007 03:38:01

Ausama,
It is not that the US is suddenly paying attention, it is the “learning curve”. Nation building worked following WWII and in Kosovo, but no one, not even Iraqis, saw the “insurgency” coming or how Shia, Suny rivalries would turn into a seemingly random destruction of bridges, oil, power facilities and mass murder. Americans do know what is happening in Iraq, but there is little anyone can do when large numbers of well financed and equipped groups begin destroying each other and facilities they all need. Part of the problem for Iraqis as well, is that those responsible are part of the population, underground groups made up of your neighbors next door. Neither Iraqis nor the US troops can tell who the terrorists are. And each time our troops develop a new strategy, the terrorists change their tactics.

The US is very serious about helping Iraqis establish a stable and upstanding nation. It is costing us millions of dollars a day, but the US does not have the unlimited resources, and pressure is mounting to pull out. Terrorists, with the help of Al Quada and nations like Iran, are determined to keep the US from succeeding, and they just might do that.

What is not well known to Iraqis is that the majority of Iraq is stable, peaceful, with new schools and infrastructure all paid for by US taxpayers. However we all know the analogy of a bad apple in the barrel. It can cause the whole barrel of apples to go bad, and that is what certainly can happen to Iraq. If you feel that it is a dead end, and enough others feel the same way, it will be a dead end.

In my view, what needs to happen is the Iraqis need to want to stop the sectarian violence as well. They need to join the police force, they need to turn in those in the police force who are working against their own people, and like all true patriots, they need to be willing to put their lives on the line to help create a stable Iraq. After the Hussain government was toppled, that is what the world hoped would happen, but it started with looting and then quickly evolved into the destructive sectarian terrorism.

Iraq is not a “tool” for any politician. No US politician thinks they can use the Iraq situation to gain power. Americans don’t think like that, it is a very unsophisticated approach that the American voters would not stand for. You have to trust that all Americans want to see a stable and productive Iraq, and don’t think it is for oil. The amount that Iraq produces is not enough to start a war over. Besides, with global warming, other fuel and power sources will make oil and coal less valued.

As for the “army making a lot of mistakes”, in this situation, it is difficult to tell what is a mistake. Some here have argued that disbanding the Iraq police and army, because of the risk they would still be loyal to the Hussain, was a mistake, but who knows. The bad situation is a result of factions of the population which turned out to be influenced by religious leaders who want to establish an Islamic caliphate, who preach that the rest of the world is against them and the enemy, with any means justified to strike out in an attempt to defeat them. Throughout history, religious leaders, of some other faiths as well, have used that strategy, primarily to create a following for their own quests for power. So, I do not agree with your thinking that “everything happened so far is caused by the American stakeholders inside the white house”, or that the US brought on the “possible civil war”.

Don’t you see? Factions of Iraq’s own population are trying to drive out those who are trying to help Iraq, because if the factions succeed, they stand a chance to gain power. That is what it is all about.

Elliot


lelly - 04/28/2007 05:13:08

“However if I get to talk more about that theory , I think I would say It’s not only about George Bush , it’s something he built and others are going to finish this ”
What do you mean by that?…


joAnzi - 06/02/2007 20:15:11

hey jeff -

isn’t it time you hopped off your HIGH horse (could this be the crystal meth reserved for bush’s ‘closest’ advisors?) and on the miraculous, mystical, magical freedom train to baghdad? Don’t be shy - your intrepid leader needs ANOTHER success story, and you - jeff, intrepid keyboard commando - could be the ticket!

Seriously, I see a future for you in Baghdad … maybe start small with a Carls Jr franchise and work your way up to a Blockbuster or something? Action, Jeff - what better way to convince Iraq’s citizens how good they have it because of US!

So it’s time to stop cutting n pasting, Jeff. Actions speak louder than words. And wouldn’t it be a disgrace to a patriot like yourself, that a 20-yo Iraqi is showing 1000x your courage every moment of every day … just by surviving the deadly snares and deceit of arrogant fools like you?

Go google that. let us know what you find. your Faux News rhetoric is, well, simply mind-numbing. Maybe troll sponsors pay better than Carl’s Jr?

p.s. your last name wouldn’t happen to be gannon by any chance, would it? just saying

[Kudos to Ausama for such an engaging site. Americans need to see what the media keeps from us. Iraqis expected more from us - and so did most Americans … except types like Jeff - who wouldn’t last any longer in my neighborhood than in Baghdad]


Stacy - 06/03/2007 10:07:14

I’m late to this discussion…but what a great discussion. Unfortunately, our American media isn’t doing the same. Ausama, thanks for keeping it up.

I have started a website (www.straythecourse.org) to encourage greater discussion of alternatives in Iraq because our media and politicians are too focused on politics and elections…withdrawal may not be a strategy, but neither is a surge. As far as I can tell, the U.S. has no strategy and we need one QUICK! I hope all of you will join.)

Ausama, I always have one problem with conspiracy theories. In order to pull them off (because so many many things can go unexpectedly) you have to be exceedingly competent, well-prepared and smart. I’m not sure the Bush Administration has exhibited any of these traits; in fact pick any issue you like and you’ll see lots of evidence to the contrary. (In fact, a book examining competing theories of the Cuban Missile Crisis concluded that much which looked intentional was sheer incompetence.)

My theory then, is simply that the Bush Administration has been arrogant and incompetent. Now we have a much huger mess than we ever envisioned, with elected officials who don’t know what to do and are scared to say anything real. So we need to start the discussions–like this one.

Here’s my question: in today’s new York Times, Edward Wong writes that in all of the history of Iraq, power changes hands only through extreme violence. As Iraqis flee, they are ceding the country for those who are willing to fit to the death for control. These factions are simply gearing up for the U.S. to leave, so they can battle for control of the country.

I have no idea what to make of this. What’s your response?


Christi - 08/28/2007 15:27:25

Ausama,

Please understand that the first people who will respond to your words are going to be true extremists, fanatics who can not and will not be objective in their beliefs. Because fanatics have an obsession about their cause, they comb the internet looking for an opportunity to exercise their freedom of speech in regards to their passion. You are not going to get a clear idea of the views and opinions of the American people here. But we are privileged to read your words and hear for ourselves what the truth is in Iraq.

We, as a country, feel morally obligated to defend ourselves, but also to defend the rights of your people, who have suffered and would have continued to suffer if someone had not stepped in. It is how we were raised. It is what our forefathers would have done. It is in our Bible, also referred to as being a “good Samaritan”. We aren’t a perfect country, but we also can not turn a blind eye to injustice.

A fact that can’t be disputed - the majority of the politicians in the White House voted to go to war in Iraq, even the ones who are now placing all of the blame on the White House alone. Here’s one thing many people in the US don’t understand (sadly) and the politicians who want control of the White House are quick to feed upon - the President can’t lead us into war based on fabricated information. Any time someone tries to dispute this, their argument falls apart. The President receives the same information the rest of Congress is given. He had the final authority - he could have said no, but he had the backing of the Congress and the US people, and the intelligence given to him by the federal intelligence gathering organization in the US, the CIA.

There were many reasons we went into Iraq. Most of the reasons have been quieted in the wake of the discovery that one of the reasons turns out to be seemingly untrue (for we never found weapons of mass destruction).

Saddam Hussein refused to cooperate with the United Nations (a confluence of many nations, not just the US) in many ways. The natural course of events for that reason alone, having defied the UN sanctions, was the removal of Saddam Hussein by the UN. The fact that we believed that he had weapons of mass destruction supported the United States’ case for going into Iraq. We felt we were being threatened. But the WMD were secondary to the outright defiance of the United Nations, the primary reason for our actions in Iraq.

The timing of the political defiance by Saddam Hussein of the UN sanctions was convenient and perfect for his purposes, for we were already fighting with terrorists in the Middle East. Saddam felt he was invincible, given the support he had given Al Quaida in the past. It is my opinion that he was certain that Al Quaida would swoop in to protect him. This was his only chance to ever defeat the US. He would gain significant power, and would consequently gain the favor of radical Islams in the Middle East. Of course, you already know that radical Islams eventually showed up in Iraq, but not before betraying their friend, Hussein. Another opinion is that they (Al Quaida) knew that Saddam’s martyrdom would be much more valuable to their cause of radical Islam. Instead of Saddam gaining all the power, Al Quaida grew more powerful and hence the quagmire in Iraq, as we are now fighting a more powerful enemy than before we entered Iraq.

So, you might ask, why didn’t we think about this in the first place? Our war strategy was flawed, but our decision to go to war with the previous Iraqi government was still the right one, and the only one given the circumstances. I will be the first to ask the question, is there ever a right way to fight a war? How can any one person predict the complexities of a war fought by many nations and religions? How many times will a country, or group of coutries, both fight and protect a country at the same time?

Like I said, we (the US) are far from being perfect. We symbolically fight a civil war every day with our personal idiosyncrasies. We have two groups who consistently fight for power in the White House - the Democrats and the Republicans (sometimes referred to as the left and the right, respectively). There are people in both parties that would (sadly) think nothing of devastating a whole country of people, while at the same time, corrupting the minds and intentions of the good people of the US, with dangerous ideas and motives that serve their selfish need for power. This isn’t true of the entire government, only a small part of the government. Because their self-serving ideas and motives have taken hold all across America in the hearts and minds of the naive, they have risen to some degree of power within our government and they often guide the opinions of the extremists. Extremists are loud and passionate and often wrong (for they think with their emotions, not their intellect), but their voices are heard louder and more forcefully, often above the others, just like in this blog. They send America in the most dangerous direction, because they destroy our trust in ourselves and keep us in conflict with the rest of the world. Anywhere you see the powerful strategically feeding the naive

This is also why your intellectuals are being chased out of Iraq. Those who have the most capacity for leading the country in a competent manner, those whose minds have already formed its opinions and views, those who can not be swayed to the extreme, are the ones who pose the most threat to the potential safe and responsible government of Iraq.

We here in America are praying for you and your country. Ironically, while we hope the best for your country and your people, we do very little to support our own. I hope the best for you. Maybe we will create positive change in both our countries before this war is over.


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