After communism and capitalism, there is asterism.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Iraq: BlogIraq is Dead


I am sad to report the death of Ahmed the writer of the blog BlogIraq who was murdered in the Al-Mansour district of Baghdad. May he rest in peace. Iraqi bloggers are a close-knit community and we mourn the death of fellow bloggers as if it is from our own family. There is not one family in Iraq that has been untouched by the violence that gripped our country and Iraqi bloggers are no different. His friend, Mohammed Alani, who helped set up the blog, wrote on BlogIraq:
Ahmed (BlogIraq) is dead. He was killed in Baghdad on April 11th, 2008... He had an appointment that day with a guy he knew. This guy was supposed to get him some documents that prove corruption in some USAID office back in Baghdad. I don't have complete details about it. Anyway, he and the guy bringing the documents were killed at their meeting place in Mansour district in Baghdad...

His brother in-law found him dead with his friend in Mansour district in one of the small streets there. Thank God his body was found, unlike many of our friends who were killed or just vanished without a trace.

When I first setup this blog for him, he gave me the admin password of his blog and I gave him the password of mine. We agreed that whoever dies first, the other should write about it in his blog. Its just my bad luck that he died first. I can only think of his 20 months old daughter. Shes about the same age as my daughter, Aya.

May God take revenge of those who killed him and orphaned his lovely daughter.

Abbas Hawazin adds: "I am feeling so much anger boiling, I tried to cry but I couldn't."

If you read no other post this week read this one:

The media is increasingly making noises about how the modern world is creating a new environmental crisis. Yet scant attention is being paid to the environmental disaster that is befalling iraq as a result of five years of war. Last of Iraqis takes a look at all aspects of the crisis:
year after year it's getting hotter, I remember before the war and two years after it when I used to sit in my room the fan was enough...

but in 2007... I remember when I got back to my house and opened the door, I swear to god it was like opening a door to hell although the house was left for only 36 hours without air cooling! ... one can feel that the weather got crazy here, this year we were punished by the several sand storms and the swinging temperatures...

Deterioration in agriculture was the reason behind the climate change as I think; people say that what used to be farms became a desert now in the south middle and west of Iraq and that's one of the main reasons behind the sand storms that we suffer from now because there are no trees and plants to hold the sand storms, Iraq is suffering and it's transforming, I know people are dying in Iraq and they can't be even counted but what will we inherit our children even if the situation improved and Iraq became free again and everything is settle? What will we inherit them? A destroyed land? A desert? a community filled with hatred?

Waiting for the war to come in Mosul


Empty streets in Mosul
by Mosul is in Heart
The iraqi president, Nouri Al-Maliki has made a big noise about reclaiming the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Like the massive Basra offensive he moved to Mosul to personally direct the army. Iraqi bloggers give their impressions of a city about to be at war.

Najma is bored of being locked up at home because of endless curfews:
Hatred, such a strong unhealthy feeling.. but I just can't help but hate it here.. I hate it, I hate it, I HATE IT.. I want to shout it at the top of my lungs so everybody can know that I just can't stand it here.

The curfew that started at 9 PM last Friday was only temporarily stopped at 6 AM today and is going to start again at 6 PM until further notice.

And Sunshine writes about life in the war zone:
Everyone knows the new operation may starts in every sec , and the curfew may last for few weeks probably, so my dad bought every thing we need, rice , flour, eggs, cheese ,oil, meat , vegetables , fruit, etc. but there are many families can’t buy all those stuff , and live day by day, so when the national guards allowed the citizens to walk , many people started to do shopping, but this time, the prices were doubled or got higher 30-50% ..It breaks my heart to see my people living under hard circumstances, there are many issues need to be solved, like economy for example, and many other things, but who cares ?!!...

On the third day ... a fight started in far away neighborhood, dad immediately harried to carry Yosif inside , as soon as he carried Yosif a bullet hit the pavement where Yosif was standing !! I am so thankful it didn’t hit Yosif ..

The situation today is not good, we heard many explosions and shooting.. and there were sounds of helicopters since the early morning, as well as many tanks

She concludes:
I really hope Mosul will be free of terrorists, I don’t mind spending 3 months stuck in the house, if there’ll be a happy end, we want to live in peace, we are tired of the continues fights, kidnapping, and killing. all Iraqis want their lives back, I want to go back to my room and sleep there, and I am eager to the day we’ll fix our house and be aware it won’t be damaged, whenever I look at our walls or my closet and see the bullets and shrapnel, my heart breaks, each damaged corner in the house has a painful story ..

I want to be able to walk freely in the streets without being afraid of terrorists, many times I wonder, god created us all equally, and gave us mind to think , and feelings to sense, everyone like children because they are so innocents, why some of those children grew up and became evils ? why people fight each other ? I can’t understand that, why someone wake up in the morning and his attention is to kill ? I can’t understand the reason that motivate people to kill, sometimes they kill because of nationality!, religion!, race, some times I wish everyone can remain a child to keep the innocence!

And finally

Given the - for want of a better word - unique experiment of democracy in Iraq, where does the young intelligent Iraqi look to for a role model in a world leader? Marshmallow26 tells us:
I was watching on TV with dad of course... Any way Dad was pointing at Medvedev, I said dad is that the new Russian president?

Yes daughter. Dad said

Wow he looks hot!! haha I mean he is really cute and young and above all he is taking the responsibility of leading his country...

As he took the oath he stated:

I believe my most important aims will be to protect civil and economic freedoms; We must fight for a true respect of the law and overcome legal nihilism, which seriously hampers modern development.

Waw "to protect civilians"!! that is a very important thing, now days in Iraq we miss hearing this phrase from our leaders, as a matter of fact there is a conflict amongst them which is about how to get rid of civilians and fight them to death!!...

I hope there will be rightfulness in our next elections, I hope that Iraq finds and elects the honest person who cares about his people and his country first.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Iraq: Stop the massacre in Sadr City...

... so says Al-Ghad.

In the weeks following the high profile attack on Basra by the Iraqi army and its high profile failure something of a low-level war has been going on across Iraq much behind the scenes of the mainstream media. Yet now the situation seems to be coming to a head.

Al-Ghad issued a statement giving an urgent warning that an imminent massacre of the people of Sadr City is being planned:
The occupiers have decided to implement the Israeli style ghettos of imprisoning people in concrete walls. When this didn’t solve their problem, they came to the idea of mass slaughter of the whole of Sadr-City, using mass bombing, rockets and heavy artillery against a civil population.

Wafaa' Al-Natheema condemned the attacks against hospitals in Baghdad:
Today the Shu'la hospital in Karkh district was attacked... Historically, I am unaware of military operations targeting civilian hospitals!!...

Who will evacuate the dead bodies and heal the wounded? I really can not keep silent when today my colleague, the journalist, Yasir Shammri described Sadr City Hospital as the hospital of death whose function is just to keep corpses.

While Ladybird reports rumours of plans to use chemical weapons on Sadr City:
I don’t know the truth behind this story ... but there are rumors .. that neighborhoods around Sadr-City are being evacuated.

According to al-Badeel al-iraqi, their sources in Sadr-City sent a message saying that the attacking forces are preparing to hit the city with opiate fentanyl non-lethal gas, the same gas the Russians used to attack the rebels in Moscow theater in 2002.

Whatever can be said about the new security plan in Iraq, it has not come without cost. The new Iraqi army can hardly be called non-sectarian. Zeyad posts a video showing Iraqi Security Forces raiding a small town in Iraq in a scene reminiscent of Saddam's violent quelling of an uprising in 1991. He writes:
A massacre that you will not see on CNN, perpetrated by the US-backed "Iraqi security forces" or, more accurately, Badr/SIIC/ Da'wa gangs in uniform and out of uniform... The soldiers are heard spitting out obscenities at the wounded detainees and even at dead bodies. Others are seen dragging another injured detainee, kicking him violently and cursing him before throwing him on a pile of dead bodies... Those are the "security forces" that our American friends want us to trust and to condemn attacks targeting them.

Raed posts stills from the same video and writes:
The Iraqi police, army, interior ministry forces, and other US backed forces are nothing more than nice titles for militias that happened to be called "governmental". The Sunnis and Shiites allied with the US get to have their militias treated as "good militias" with governmental titles, but the other Sunnis and Shiites who represent the majority of Iraqis and oppose the occupation are the ones with "bad militias" that are described as terrorists and extremists...

The congress has approved billions of dollars of US-taxpayers money to fund these sectarian militias who are directly responsible of the ethnic and sectarian cleansing that has been taking place in Iraq during the last 5 years.

On a lower level Last of Iraqis has a confrontation with the same kind of soldiers at a checkpoint in Baghdad. He was stopped and nearly arrested. He writes:
During the ordeal many things were running through my head, I was thinking about the previous trouble that I have faced and remembered the comments; that really helped me to be cool, I was thinking about my dead friend; Omar who was killed by the Iraqi army in a situation like mine, he was talking with my other friend on the phone when he reached a checkpoint for the Iraqi army in Harthia neighborhood so he placed the phone aside and my friend could hear everything through the phone…it was so similar to my case but they took him and the next day his dead body was found in a garbage!!!

I know you are bored from the same story being told over and over by me but this is what the ordinary Iraqis go through everyday despite the countless explosions and assassination. That's the army and police that should protect us!! How funny.

These events leaves me with the same questions that Wafaa' raised:
Aren't these disasters sufficient to move the conscience? What freedom and democracy and what government reform, reconstruction and national unity are those? Will these events move the corrupt political parties to PM Maliki's table? What constitution allows the army to kill people and insults and threatens doctors? Is there any wise man amongst you, deputies and ministers? Where is the Islam of the Islamic parties where is the democracy of the liberal and patriotic parties?