More than 100 people died in bombings across Iraq over the past
three days. The attacks, which hit Baghdad and areas outside Mosul in
the north on Friday and on Monday, are the biggest and the most serious
since the withdrawal of US troops from Iraqi cities at the end of June.
Iraqis complain that widespread corruption prevents security services from protecting ordinary people
Along with other, smaller incidents - which often fail to make
international headlines - a total of 157 people were killed in Iraq in
the first 10 days of August - more than half of all those killed in
And from what we are hearing from friends in Baghdad the situation has gotten worse in many neighborhoods.
We poured billions upon billions of dollars in Iraq in killing, maiming, and destroying the infrastructure. Now it is time to pour a little into the restoration of what we have destroyed. Let you representatives in government know how you feel about the US responsibility toward the innocent civilians of Iraq.
We warred on them in a cloud of lies, but the truth is clearer now.
We disgraced ourselves in the eyes of the world and only restorative actions, not words, will help us regain our dignity.
Baghdad: #1: Separately,
two explosive charges planted in two civilian cars detonated late on
Wednesday on a thoroughfare in Baghdad's northern neighborhood of
Adhamiyah, wounding a total of 12 people and damaging several nearby
shops, the source added.
#2: Another official says three car bombs exploded in northern Baghdad, wounding four police officers and two civilians.
#3: Another car bomb also struck a police patrol in eastern Baghdad, wounding seven people.
were wounded on Thursday in a roadside bomb blast in eastern Baghdad, a
police source said. “A roadside bomb, planted on the public road, near
Sahet Beirut in Palestine street, eastern Baghdad, exploded while a
police vehicle patrol was passing, injuring two civilians and two
policemen and damaging one of the patrol’s vehicles,” the source told
Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
#4: A jeweler
on Wednesday was wounded during an exchange of gunfire with a group of
gunmen who broke into his shop in Baghdad, according to a police
source. “Three gunmen driving a black civilian car attempted to burgle
a jeweler’s shop on Falastine St., eastern Baghdad,” the source told
Aswat al-Iraq news agency.The owner of the shop engaged in a shootout
with the gunmen, which left him, along with one of his workers,
wounded, the source noted.
#5: A roadside bomb wounded two civilians when it blew up in west Baghdad's upscale district of Mansour on Wednesday, police said.
#6: One U.S. vehicle
was devastated when it was hit by a roadside bomb in western Baghdad, a
source from the Iraq police said on Thursday. “The incident took place
on Thursday in al-Ghazaliya neighborhood,” the source told Aswat
al-Iraq news agency. The source was unable to report any casualties as
U.S. forces cordoned off the area.
Taji: #1: A car bomb
which parked near a parking lot at the entrance of Baghdad's northern
suburb of Taji detonated on Thursday morning, killing a civilian and
wounding five others, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Kirkuk: #1: Gunmen
in a speeding car attacked a police foot patrol in central Kirkuk, 250
km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, killing a policeman and wounding
another, late on Wednesday, police said.
#2: A roadside bomb wounded two civilians when it exploded in central Kirkuk on Wednesday, police said
Mosul: #1: A sticky
improvised explosive device (IED) on Wednesday went off in front of the
house of an employee working for Baiji refinery, a security source in
Ninewa said. “The explosion caused damage to the house, located in
al-Qayara district (60 km south of Mosul), but no casualties have been
reported,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
It was reported that in the last 24 hours bombs killed 21 people,and wounded anther 82.
In Ahmed's neighborhood the police were attacked by a bicycle bomb and 3 died. Ahmed's brother is a policeman so we were naturally afraid to ask about him, but of course we did anyway. He is fine. He was at home when it happened. Two of the officers were under his supervision, and he had warned them just days before not to congregate at the same spot each day.
A bicycle rider detonated himself near a bakery in the neighborhood. The man went to the policemen and asked them to hold his bicycle while he went to the bakery. They said, "OK." They died soon after when the bomb, hidden in the pipes of the bicycle, exploded.
The entire neighborhood was shut down, closed tight. Later the police stopped Ahmed when he tried to make a delivery of his home-made goods to a restaurant. "We know
you very well, Ahmed, and we eat your food and we like you, but you are
not allowed to ride the bicycle. They are all banned.
"But the curfew is over now?"
"Yes. But still...no bicycles are allowed."
"Now my family is in great trouble. I have no fuel for the car because the station in the neighborhood no longer opens. I have been delivering my baked goods to the restaurants by car until the station is closed. Then I did this by bicycle, but now I cannot do even that. The rumors on the street say these are Iranian plans to kill more people. But you don't know. We think the Iranians use bicycles this way. But you don't know."
"Each ten hours we have electricity only for one hour. I don't know what to do for money now. We are again afraid in the neighborhood. I tried again with the bicycle and the police stopped me again and told me that if I used it again he would take it and break it on my body. They are afraid...even of me."
The short of it is contained in the myriad changes that have fallen on Iraqis as a direct result of our invasion and occupation of their country. While our media is quick to tell us about 'two new Masguf restaurants are open', and gains of this sort they rarely spell out the pain we have inflicted on individuals.
We do see, increasingly, lists of violent acts that take the lives and limbs of innocent Iraqis, but we rarely glimpse the smaller devastating differences in everyday Iraqi life.
Today we got this note:
So , I went to a church
yesterday ... Wanted to light a candle for Marriam (pbuh) .. Yet I
wasnt able to get in .. It seems that they r too afraid to let ppl
inside anymore .. It felt really sad cos thats not how it used to be ...
Even under Sadaam one could go to pray to one's own god, whatever god that was.
[Seventh Day Adventist Church-Baghdad]
And when I asked Sameer what he had heard from his sister today he said, "Still you ask and still there is little electricity. No fuel, little food. And no work. Nothing changes."
And from another: "Today six pilgrims were killed and 24 were injured in three explosions in Baghdad aimed at pilgrims returning from Karbala.
I offer a prayer to the almighty to spare their lives – and to spare this fatigued country more woes."
It is time for the U.S. to muster its might and intelligence to
deliver what the Iraqis need most: a great deal of help in areas like
reconciliation, political management of internal conflict, basic services delivery, and training of civilian government workers. We poured billions into violent solutions. We could be putting money into things that will actually help the Iraqi people.
We have the expertise. We can afford the effort. We owe
it to the Iraqis. Have you asked your government representative about this? Why not send them a note supporting real aid to the Iraqis, in a form that will provide them more peaceful tomorrows. The long of it is reported daily on the internet, but rarely fully in most U.S. media: Reported Security incidents: [Iraq Today] Baghdad: #1: A parked
car bomb targeted a police patrol in al Jemiyah open air market in
Khadhraa neighbourhood, western Baghdad at 8.30 p.m. Friday killing
three policemen, three civilians and injured at least 30 civilians. The
explosion also caused material damages to the shops and houses nearby. #2: A roadside bomb wounded two civilians in Amil district in southwestern Baghdad, police said. #3: A bomb
hidden in a motorcycle killed six people and wounded 35 in a market in
the mostly Sunni Muslim district of al-Khadhraa in west Baghdad on
Friday, police said.
Diyala Prv: #1: A sahwa
(awakening) tribal fighter was killed and four others wounded in an
attack by gunmen on their checkpoint in the district of Baaquba on
Friday, a security source in Diala said. “Gunmen suspected members of
Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) network attacked a sahwa checkpoint in the area
of al-Othmaniya, Baaquba, and opened a volley of fire at the guards on
duty there, leaving one killed and four others wounded,” the source,
who asked not to be named, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
gunmen killed an owner of a money exchange store and wounded two others
in central Baaquba district on Friday, a security source in Diala
province said. “The gunmen later stole large sums of money from the
store and escaped to an unknown place,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq
Thi Qar Prv: #1: Seven
Katyusha rockets on Saturday were found in Thi-Qar province, according
to a local police statement. “In cooperation with the 8 th Emergency
Regiment, a force from the Souk al-Shoyookh Police Department seized
seven Katyusha rockets of 155mm caliber in al-Nawashi village of Souk
al-Shoyookh district (30 km southeast of Nassiriya City),” read the
statement that was received by Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
Sulaimaniyah Prv: #1: Insurgents
attacked a checkpoint in Darbendikhan district, near Darbendikhan dam
at 1.30 a.m. Friday killing one traffic policeman and injuring two
Hawija: #1: An attacker
threw a grenade on a U.S. patrol. Three civilians were wounded in the
attack in Hawija, 210 km (130 miles) north of Baghdad on Friday, police
Kirkuk: #1: A police
patrol found the burnt body of a man believed to be an Iranian at a
graveyard in northern Kirkuk on Friday, a senior police official said.
“A patrol of the Azadi police station found on Friday evening the burnt
body of a man with an Iranian passport at the Abu Alluk graveyard in
the northern Kirkuk area of al-Musalla,” Brig. Sarhad Qader, the
director of the Kirkuk Districts’ Police Department (KDPD), told Aswat
al-Iraq news agency. #2: One cop
has been wounded in an armed attack in Kirkuk City, according to a
source from the Joint Coordination Center. “During a late hour on
Friday evening, unknown gunmen opened fire on a bomb squad policeman in
Baroud Khana area, northern Kirkuk,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news
Mosul: #1: policeman
was killed by gunmen fire in a crowded marketplace in central Mosul
city on Friday, a security source in Ninewa said. “Gunmen opened fire
at a policeman on a leave in the pedestrian-crammed area of Bab
el-Toub, central Mosul, killing him instantly,” the source told Aswat
al-Iraq news agency. #2: Two policemen
were killed in an attack by gunmen on a checkpoint southeast of Mosul
city on Friday, a security source in Ninewa province said. “Gunmen
opened fire at a checkpoint in the district of al-Nimrod district,
southeast of Mosul, leaving two policemen killed,” the source told
Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
It's only one story of two young men, but it says a lot. The similarity of their testimonies makes one wonder how many others found themselves on this path. When confronted with Iraqi-on Iraqi violence we often ask "Why?" and rarely have an answer. You can easily see how these stories serve to explain how so many young Iraqis came to make war on their own people.
They were college graduates of the College of Education when the U.S. invaded Iraq. No one was hiring teachers and professors were being assassinated. They found themselves with no jobs, and little hope for the future. They, like most Iraqis, witnessed innumerable horrors as the invasion morphed into a prolonged occupation. To fight against the invader seemed a noble act; a testament to love of country; a patriotic path.
Separately they joined different AlQaida groups. One was Sunni and the other Shi'a. There was a group of Arabs who gave them their orders; the Amirs. They took pride in their brave fight against the occupiers. They refer to the Arab leaders as AlQaida and state that they came from many different Arab countries. Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lybia were mentioned "among others".
They didn't realize that the nightmare of their situation would seem tame compared to the reality which awaited them.
Their testimony [Yaseen and Uday] was revealed in interviews by رفاه السعد, Rafah AlAsaad, in one of the Faces and Stories segments of Dubai's El Aan TV. It is striking to hear them speak as educated men, not naive primitive people, but rather those who made rational decisions to take up arms.
Feeling as outsiders, useless without jobs or future hopes, they wanted to 'do something.' They became part of the Al Qaida in Iraq, with the initial intent of attacking the invaders. In addition to orders they received money and food. This was the only source of sustenance for them and their families.
[NOTE: AlQaida is not to be confused with Moqawama (مقاومة), the Arabic word for resistance. Moqawama
was created with the Iraqi resistance to the American occupation in
mind, but it could apply equally to any of the multitude of resistance
movements being fought across the world today—in Palestine, in Chechnya, in the Basque Country, in Ireland, in Jammu and Kashmir, in Atjeh, and so on. The Moqawama are not foreign-led.]
[NOTE: Moqawama is the M in the Palestinian group HAMAS.]
How do you turn a resistance fighter into a terrorist who kills his own people?
One effective way is to take videos of his actions against American troops, and these can then be used in threats against his life. Imagine the coercive power in a suggestion that he and the video would be turned over the the occupying forces with the promise of torture and death at the hands of those who fought alongside those he killed.
"They convinced us that if we joined and killed the occupiers this is the path to Jenna (heaven)."
By the time they were commanded to kill certain Iraqis there were already ample examples of the torture and murder of those who refused such orders.
AlQaida was not on one sectarian side or the other. The Shi'a man in the interview killed Sunni; the Sunni killed Shi'a. These were orders that must be obeyed in the threat of death.In one instance a policeman was murdered when they were told that he was "a chief in the Mahdi Army [the Shi'a militia who killed many Sunni]. The orders came and we killed him."
"I wish Allah would protect the Iraqi law; to be alive and protect the old people in this country, and I hope the law will put extensive punishment on my life. This is my penalty. I deserve that."
When challenged that he killed Iraqis and now asks the government to take care of his parents he had little to say. "It was fear and regret. This is my feeling. I have nothing more to say."
They chose to live, and to kill.
Oday said, "I deserve extensive punishment and I wish the law in Iraq continues to be powerful and save this country."
Both, now sitting in an Iraqi prison, have had time to think, time to
grasp the enormous evil in their actions, and express deep regret.
[Of course I don't know what I would do in such circumstances. I
hope I would choose death rather than murdering my own people, but it
is easy to be brave while sitting at a desk in New York City looking
out at the flowers in my garden.]
I don't know why this moves me so. Just click and watch the video: Tell Me Why-Declan Galbraith He said,
“I like to record songs that are
meaningful to me and the audience. I have recorded many different types
of songs, such as “Tears in Heaven”, “Love of my Life”, “Nights In
White Satin” and “An Angel”, songs that demand vocal performance and
interpretation. I love that kind of music " [more]