Friday, April 30, 2004


The General who volunteered for Fallujah was an officer of the Republican Guards. If he succeeds in pacifying the town, and more importantly, combats terrorism and the export of it to other parts of the country, all is well, and we cautiously approve of the wisdom of accepting the offer. One must be wary though, especially if this is seen as though only the old guard of the previous regime can save the situation. Later on allegiance and loyalty to the New Order must be demanded and obtained. Thus in general, the old professionals may and should be employed and allowed to participate in building the New Order, but with the strict understanding that they abide by the new rules and don’t try to play any dirty tricks- beware friends.

This may be done in certain regions, but beware not to try to do it everywhere, especially not in the South, despite that pain in the ass and his pitiful army.

Hi Friends,

Of course the behavior at Abu Ghraib is terrible and I think everybody agrees; and most certainly the few who perpetrated these actions do not represent anybody but themselves. They have betrayed the Coalition soldiers and all the friends of democracy, before anybody else. However, the Media, and especially the famous Al Jazeera, Al Arabia & Co. are having great time with this affair. It’s like Christmas over there. Saturation coverage, trying all the time to sound objective and merely reporting what the western media are saying.

Well I am an Iraqi, and hate what I saw, but I would like to say in all honesty that compared to the practices of the old Baathists, this is a drop in an ocean. The terrors of Saddam torture houses make this isolated condemned practice by a small group of perverted individuals seem nothing, awful as it is. And more important, the outrages of the Saddam regime were sanctioned and perfectly well known and approved from the highest levels of the state and there was no question of any criminal investigations of the practices, the victims simply buried in any convenient ditch near by. But we never heard any righteous and noisy protests from Any Jazeera or Arabiya, nor did we witness much “Arab” anger during many years when torture, rape and murder were going on a regular basis and massive scale. Perhaps those hundreds of thousands of victims were not “Arabs” and did not deserve the righteous pity of the brotherly Arab masses.



There is ofcourse, a very fierce propaganda campaign. Everything is suspect. However the military situation is not really too alarming. The main problem is curbing terrorism and end the vulnerability of soldiers and civilians. The main problem is restoring security. This can only be done by the kind of measures advocated by me sometime ago.

Hi Friends,

Well, folks, the game is not over yet. Don't panic. Don't worry too much about that Poll. It doesn't mean as much to us as it does to you. No, the game is by no means over, in fact it is now beginning to become really interesting.


Thursday, April 29, 2004

Hi Everybody,

You know there is a rather crude and cruel folk recipe for a newly wed man. This recommends for the young man to secretly plant a great big tomcat in his wedding bedroom where he is to spend his first night with his bride. Then as he and the bride are in the room he would surreptitiously provoke the tomcat into some meowing and growling, whereupon he should fake anger and fury and catch the cat and ring its neck savagely in front of his bride. This, they claim would contribute to making a very good and tranquil marriage life. The main thing is that this should be done the very first night, and would not work any other time later.

So we say to our friends, it maybe too late now. Haven’t we recommended to you some certain security measures before, when there was still time? Haven’t we said that it is necessary to control neighborhoods? Haven’t we said so many things?
Well it is harder now but can still be done. There is no alternative to a comprehensive political solution. By now you should realize that the ease with which the Initial campaign succeeded was because the majority wished for your success. It was not because there were cowards here. “The Street” was on your side. Now you must recapture the street, and tanks and firepower cannot do this alone. It is vital both to you and to us to succeed, and it is still possible to succeed, though it was easier earlier, but it must still be done, and you still have credit in you account. It is a matter between you and us alone and nobody else, no foreigners, no neighbors, Arabs and non-Arabs, the former being worse.

As we said before, this is no place for weak hearted people. All the sacrifices and blood must not be in vain.

Good luck to all of us.


Sunday, April 25, 2004


You really are a "thinker".


1- The people whom the Marines have been talking to may not be representative of the entire Dulaim conglomeration. A veritable conference with all the representatives should be aimed at.
2- Of course the radicals and especially the foreigners don’t much care about the property and lives of the normal people. An Afghan or a Palestinian doesn’t really care, and in fact they want to inflict harm on the ordinary people. The longer the attrition continues the more irritation will grow against these elements, and the contradiction is bound to reach a point when the majority will swing decisively against them. Some patience is required and sooner or later you will have people wanting your help.
3- Those whose authority is undercut as you say, will wish secretly that they be rid of these elements, however they will never admit it publicly. You will even hear them protesting and lamenting loudly, when deep down they have quite different sentiments. This is customary in these parts.
4- Finally my friendly advice is this: 90% Brains; 10% Muscles - that should be the motto.


Roger W. wrote:


Relying on history is like driving down the road while only looking in the rear view mirror. Only limited help! Japan,Germany,Bosnia & Kosovo have,true enough, been long range success stories. But, the "peace keeping" process shed very little American blood & had sustainable expenditures. These are already an item in Iraq! And, the daily negative news is a serious drawback. Good luck to us all.
Roger W. USA | Email | Homepage | 04.24.04 - 2:05 am | #

Roger W.,

My retort to you, Roger, is that trying to “make history” without “knowing history” is like trying to write a new chapter of a book without having read and understood the previous chapters. Of course the driver must keep looking ahead, but it is nevertheless important that he checks his rear view mirror, as every driving instructor will tell you.

As far as the present campaign is concerned, in many respects it is a re-enactment of events that took place about 90 years ago but with modern setting and actors. You might be interested to know that some of the arguments and discussions going on at the moment are almost identical to those of one century ago. You can read about it in the Internet: the following link is just one example:

In my humble opinion, studying and understanding the British “Mesopotamian” campaign is more relevant and important than all the examples you mention.

The British relied on an educated, high level of intelligence gathering recruiting some very high caliber people including many orientalists and wizards of the culture of the region, who loved the work and considered it as grand romantic adventure; the romantic revivalist movement, with particular fascination with all things oriental, having been one of the main currents of literature, architecture and art in Victorian Britain and Europe in general in the 19th century and its immediate aftermath. The following excerpt from the above link illustrate the point:

Among those recruited for the work were Arnold Wilson and Reader Bullard, as well as the more well-known travelers and Orientalists of the period, including T.E. Lawrence, Gertrude Bell, and Harry St. John Philby. While political officers such as Bullard and Wilson were sent out to run regional administrations, Bell and her colleagues worked under the auspices of the Arab Bureau's Eastern Branch at Basra, preparing detailed intelligence reports on local personalities, tribes, and political affiliations. When Baghdad was finally captured in March 1917, Cox - now promoted to the post of Civil Commissioner in Mesopotamia - appointed Gertrude Bell as his 'Oriental Secretary', the key intelligence post in the administration.”

The British also faced revolts and “Ayatollah’s”, and had to think very hard of the form of Government to install, and how to bring stability and tranquility after the famous 1920 Insurrection. It came to pass that a Kingdom was proclaimed in the early 20’s of the last century, and limited sovereignty under British Mandate continued until 1932, some 15 years after the fall of Baghdad.

The British Empire Just emerging from the Victorian Era certainly had some advantages if compared to the U.S. Republic of today. To start with, although British Democracy is one of the oldest, nevertheless, it was a system dominated by the aristocratic elite, and not as susceptible to the “Public Opinion” of ordinary people as the present U.S. system is. Indeed, even the “Public Opinion” of those days was dominated by elites of intellectuals mostly belonging to the upper classes. Also the British Empire was militaristic, and conquest and military campaigns were the most natural things then. Consequently, British Strategists had all the time they needed and did not have to be constantly looking over their shoulders and worried about domestic political considerations. It may be considered cynical to add that the soldiery who composed the British expeditionary force were mostly composed of Indians and Gurkas (hence, rather more bearably expendable, to use the typical English understatement), and only the officers were actually pure "sang" Englishmen. Also the British Empire had clear objectives defined by Self Interests and protecting the “routes to India”, not to mention Oil, which they knew then of its existence there. The American Project is much more grandiose and ambitious (and hence more difficult to define precisely) as advocated by the goals set out by President Bush, and the school of thought around him; which by the way, are highly admirable from the moral point of view. But to be fair to the Americans, there was not in those days the level of frustration and hatred that exist today, nor were terrorist tactics known or practiced.

An example of what can be practically learnt from previous experience, is the present situation in Fallujah. It might be useful if proper detailed knowledge of the tribal make up and personalities of the Dulaim region is made available to U.S. strategists engaged in the struggle. For instance, in the ongoing negotiations, contacts with, and presence of genuine tribal leaders and influential personalities might be insisted upon, whose cooperation and appeasement might bring real pressures to bear on the rebellious elements. Personally, I think a political solution would be superior and have more lasting effects; since merely storming the town and killing a number of rebels might not bring the decisive results hoped for, whereas intensifying the political and negotiating process under real palpable threat of action, and trying to draw the entire Dulaim tribal structure into this dialogue, might be much more productive in the short and long terms. I certainly hope that this is taken into consideration before precipitate action is initiated thereby losing the pressurizing value of the overhanging threat, not to mention other troubles that might ensue.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Thanks Michael,

For those who want to track down the book, that's Dickson, H.R.P (Harold Richard Patrick), "Kuwait and her neighbours".
Michael, US

The book is actually on the shelf in my library, but I was too lazy to check out the exact title and name. This old book is very entertaining indeed and I recommend it to my friends. It also has a lot of very interesting history and description of this region at the beginning of the last century.

Mark from Colorado, again ,

The reason why Mr. Chalabi is so much hated is because some certain you know who think he is the most dangerous pro american of the lot.

Mark from Colorado ,

You should not understand that I have anything against Mr. Chalabi, he is a patriot and is the most solid representative of pro democracy, pro western middle class city folk of secular and liberal outlook. Nevertheless the U.S. should not allow its policy to be too much influenced by one faction only. He is the most hated member of the G.C. by all the Al Qaeda sympathisers, the Jordanians and the like. Remember this folk.


Funny and cruel joke. But for all my American friends who think that America is going to leave this particlular neighborhood, I would like to say this: based on my understanding of history and the characteristics of our people, you are not going to go anywhere anytime soon. In fact I estimate that we shall have to live together at least till the end of this century. So we'll just have to learn to get along I suppose.



DagneyT – Very touching story. This is the kind of thing that should be popularized by the media. You have Al Hurrah, which is already quite popular, and Al Iraqia. The former is more successful as far as I can judge.

Lisa of New York: How are you old friend?

The “Operations Room”, I think is led by Ayad Allawi, a brilliant man who is member of the G.C. and responsible for the Security “file”. He kind of resigned recently in protest against the latest events claiming that his views were not respected. He seems to have been persuaded to resume work now. I don’t know exactly what they are up to. However, I understand that they are trying to organize some kind of secret police to infiltrate trouble spots. I do believe however, that the recent shift regarding former members of the Baath Party may have a lot to do with the views of this man. He himself was a former Baathist with high responsibilities in Europe. He broke off with the Party long ago, and they tried to assassinate him in one horrific incident, which drove his former wife insane, (this happened in London long time ago). However I do respect this man and I think he may be able to do things.

By the way, I am not Alaa Altamimi, who was elected to the Baghdad City Council recently. He is a brave man and I wish him success. Such men deserve great respect, leaving their safe, well paid jobs in one of the most comfortable and affluent places in the Middle East to do their patriotic duty. His circumstances do bear remarkable resemblance to mine though and I understand why people thought he was I.

Now to serious business:

Now we are entering a crucial month leading up to 30th of June. We have said before that the key to success lies in the ability to orchestrate the military and political moves in a coherent and meaningful strategy avoiding discordant notes, as it were. This is a high art not less skilful than the art of the musician. The old British Empire had wizards and philosophers amongst their military and political staff: Sir Percy Cox, Dixon, Miss Gertrude Bell, etc. etc., if you check the history of the Mesopotamian campaign by the British in World War I you will be simply amazed. Dixon moved to Suk Al Shyookh (A town near Nassirya) in 1916 with one policeman only and managed to control the whole of Southern Iraq single-handed. (c.f. Kuwait and its Neighbors, by Dixon; a most entertaining, cherished and antique book I inherited from one of my late uncles). The British are now revisiting the same places where their ancestors have been, but where are the Sir Percy’s and the Miss Bell’s of yesterday? A bit of old-man nostalgia for the good old classical days!, fights were far more chivalrous then, and terrorism unknown.

Despite the nostalgic historicism expressed above we hope that the solution this time will be different. I shall not attempt to explain this statement, for that will too abstruse and complex for my friends to follow. Suffice it to say, that the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq and Constitution that the British installed here, though stable for almost four decades, nevertheless contained the seeds of the problems that we have today.

If you have been following my posts in the past you might have noted that I was one of those people who advocated a different approach to the problem of the Baathists. To be sure, Baathism is the local equivalent of the Nazism of Germany: just substitute Pan Arabism in the place of Aryan Germanic superiority. However, the movement is more of cross between Fascism and Communism with more of the former than the latter. Nevertheless, the Baathists used to force people, especially young people to join the party. This phenomenon is rather similar to the practices of the Communists in Eastern Europe. Consequently, a considerable percentage of Baathists are mere opportunists who joined to further their material interests. Their allegiance to the Party was very fragile, as was demonstrated by the ease with which they abandoned their posts in the latest war. I was not personally of the opinion that they should be dealt with in the manner actually used by the Coalition under the influence of the opposition parties, that surrounded the CPA administration and seemed to influence their decisions too excessively. The party membership numbered hundreds of thousands. Most of these, however, were mere pawns manipulated by a hard core based on tribal and sectarian interests. It is not too difficult, in my opinion, to win back these elements if they are made to feel sufficiently safe and able to benefit from the new order.

But don’t get me wrong, I am not personally fond of these people, however, one must be realistic and for the sake of stability I must say that I cautiously approve of the latest moves without underestimating the dangers and pitfalls that should be carefully understood and guarded against.


Thursday, April 22, 2004

Greetings everybody,

Today a new alarming terrorist tactic has started; they are now lobbing rockets and mortars randomly at residential areas in Baghdad. They are attacking the Baghdadis at their homes. The message is: Don’t think that by staying home and locking your doors you can escape our intimidation. Two houses in Dawoodi, one in Palestine Street and one in Dora were thus struck by these missiles. Now it is a direct assault on people in their homes. Now is the time to start “draconic” counter terrorist measures. I know that a newly established “Operations Room” has started an attempt at countering this situation. We wish them success. I can only offer my own humble advice as a contribution hoping that it is may be noticed. Meanwhile all the families of Baghdad have a new horror to contend with. Constructive thought does not harm, and may be useful, and as they say two heads are always better than one.


Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Hi Friends,

No time to post. However, I would like to translate to you the gist of a report from Basrah by the Arabiya reporter about the heinous crimes today in that City. One of the most irritating phrases that really anger me is the attributing of such crimes to unknown assailants. What do you mean unknown? Which idiot can mistake the identity of these criminals: particularly, the crime of today - all the typical characteristics of Al Qaeda: the simultaneity, the car bombs, the calculation of the time at the rush hour and particularly at the start of schools just when the children are on their way. Everything is so typical. Yet this is what the “objective” reporter Diar Al Ommary (a well known ex-you know who, by the way): “most people are saying that the explosions were caused by rockets fired from Helicopters of the British Army (and he repeats the allegation that it was the American Army!). People say that the actually saw the Helicopters firing the missiles. And you know they say that the British troops avoided these locations today which was contrary to their daily routine” As for the reason why the British (or American) forces should do something like that, it is suggested hurriedly just because they want to attack and hurt the Iraqi people, and on and on of the same talk. This kind of allegation was repeated every time an outrage like this happened, especially immediately in the aftermath of the crimes.

I don’t know whom these people are trying to fool. No gentlemen, it is not the British, nor the Americans, not the Jews. It is your pious “Salafi” friends (your financiers) and a motley collection of assorted criminals so well known by everybody including you.

As for the U.S. and allies, I don’t know why they allow you to spread such lies, when they can crush you like cockroaches with a mere whisper into some certain ears; especially after such heartbreaking outrages. You murder children and don’t even have some remnant of decency left to at least keep quiet, but have to blame it on others, to shelter the true criminals. But let me just tell you this: Every little drop of blood from a severed limb of a child going to school, every school bag with their books and pencils strewn on the scene of the crime, the little poor shoes soaked in blood with bloodied remains of little feet still inside them; these before anything else spell your eternal damnation. You have no God. I mean you may think that you have a God, but it is some terrible bloodthirsty figure of hate and rage, a figment of your insane imagination; most certainly not the Compassionate the Merciful Allah we believe in. Your filthy beards and turbans are covered with blood and excrement forever, rabid dogs, unbelievable monsters, misanthropes.

We say like the Christians say: “Jesus Wept”. Our rendezvous will be in Judgment day when the Lord will be the referee, and it is to him alone that we submit our complaint, most supreme and just being.

Inna Lillah Wa Inna Ileihi Rajioon.


Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Hi Everybody,

With all respect, most of the people who are criticising the Iraqi "people", do not have a real understanding of the situation, not only in Iraq, but probably of history as well. Mighty nations by far exceeding the Iraqis in number and importance were rendered passive and suffered decades of passivity and were led like sheep to dreadful wars and clamities, c.f. the Soviets, the Germans etc. etc., real life is far more complex than some of the notions expressed by some of the commentors. The french philosopher Sartre has written some very interesting stuff about this. I am thinking of his analysis of the "Seriality" and the "Group". How a mere collection of people can be quite ineffective no matter how numerous. Anyway, I do believe that my thinking is understood by some of the decision making circles. Regarding Al Sadr, probably a negotiated settlement is quite likely. An attack on Najaf is going to be a massive mistake, and would give the man much more importance than he actually has, however I do understand the necessity for exerting military pressure. More important, however is to control Baghdad, we are hearing a lot of talk about bringing the fight to Baghdad. Stringent security measures on the lines that I advocated months ago should be put in place immediately, although quite late by now, but still better late than never.

I have not much time to comment today. Inshallah you will have more posts. So far we are still basically confined to our homes. The danger is still great. Now I see the "Baath Party" is rearing its head again and issuing declarations extolling the glories of the April Intifadha as they call the latest events, and attacking an criticising Al Sistani. This was reported in some of the Internet sites. It seems that their hopes are uplifted and they probably seriously dream of a comeback, through the terrorists methods we are witnessing. In any case the Zarqawi manual is being implemented to the letter. This all important document is worth reading and rereading and can serve us as much as it serves the adversary. He did say that they have to come out in the open and control the day as well as the night as the date of the "Handover" approaches.



Tuesday, April 13, 2004


Greetings Friends,

Firmness must not be equated with intransigence. As our Book says, “ If they veer towards peace you do likewise” (Bad translation of the Qoranic verse). There is a very thin line that separates the two methodologies. Firmness must be exercised towards a political end, and must not be allowed to become counterproductive. Now the moderates from all parties who can exert real influence must be given support and attention.

Our previous posts should not tranquilize people to think that the situation is easy. I have advocated long ago the importance to control the neighborhoods, side streets and alleyways of the city. This was not achieved and consequently these are more or less under the control of armed bands at the moment. The new police force and ICDC have sadly become totally intimidated and largely ineffective, especially in Baghdad. This is the sad truth. In the last few days, things have become really bad, especially for the middle class inhabitants of Baghdad. In some areas they are knocking on doors to ask for “donations” in support of the “Mujahideen”. Some of my relatives have left their house and came to our house for refuge to escape them. We fear that the U.S. forces may become isolated in an urban sea of hostile gangs and a majority of powerless intimidated people.

A political solution must be quickly arrived at. The secular democratic forces have no power in this atmosphere since they are not armed and defenseless. The U.S. and Coalition cannot give protection to civilians since they are not a police force, and are engaged in combat. The situation should be defused but without a show of weakness. The most dangerous of the insurgents are those affiliated with the previous regime and their allies. But there are many moderates in the Sunni camp and these should now be given full support. Likewise, strenuous efforts are being undertaken to defuse the Sadr disturbance in Najaf and these should not be shunned.

This is an urgent message for the American people and the Coalition, on behalf of the Baghdadis. We are experiencing a difficult situation at the moment, surrounded by dangers from every side: Insurgents, thieves, kidnappers, you name it. We the civilian population are unarmed and quite helpless in the face of all these dangers, and we don’t have any protection whatsoever. A political settlement is urgently needed. The situation can’t even wait until the 30th of June. Any Iraqi Government without a real, reliable security apparatus that can counteract the armed gangs will be immediately toppled and God only knows what will happen. Therefore such a Government must be acceptable to all the main groups. The real terrorists and saboteurs should be isolated politically and not just combated militarily.

That is all for now.


Monday, April 12, 2004



You are going to be amazed what a little bit of firmness can produce.

I have very little time today. Also I don’t like to talk too much, neither are you too fond of too many words I suspect. The opportunity should not be now lost to reach a comprehensive agreement especially with the fierce Dulaim tribe, populating the Anbar western province of which Fallujah is part. They have been the main source of trouble and a definitive pact must be made with them in particular, the agreement should be to cease all hostile actions everywhere, and to come on board the democratic process. There are cool heads. See what they really want. Once everybody understand that the U.S. is not going to be shaken, and they are watching the polls anxiously, and that she will stop at nothing to achieve her goals, and can be ruthless, you will start seeing results. The more the U.S. public rallies behind their president, the more the enemy is going to be disillusioned, conversely the best service you can give the terrorists is to give them the impression that they are succeeding in swaying the western public, this will encourage them to escalate their actions. And remember that most Iraqis out there do not have identical agendas with Al Qaeda and Qaeda like groups or any of the other foreign groups (c.f. Zarqawi letter), it is only a temporary alliance of convenience, and can be undone if the right incentives are given.

Decent Iraqis don’t really care how many Sunnis or Shiaa or Christians or even some damn Buddhists there will be in the new government, provided they are decent people and follow the rules of the New Iraq.

The present situation must be escalated politically, and even under duress if need be, towards a full engagement across the whole political spectrum towards the formation of the New effective government satisfying everybody, to receive the promised sovereignty on the famous date.

The most important thing is that this government adheres to the new rules of conduct, no matter what its composition may be. As far as the Mehdi Army and Al Sadr are concerned, you will soon see how this soap bubble explodes harmlessly into thin air.


Sunday, April 11, 2004

Hi Friends,

You know, contrary to the generally prevalent mood, I think that the latest developments are rather encouraging. You may be surprised at this conclusion, but if you look at the situation more analytically you will come up with some unexpected conclusions. I can see a way, a method and a possible strategy to reach some more decisive objectives. The battle lines are better drawn and the adversaries have more or less been brought out in the open and their capabilities and true nature are better exposed. I see that it is a duty to speak up my mind. And this is no idle exercise on my part, but an attempt at contributing some thinking. I do hope that somebody close to the decision-making circles reads this blog. I am not presuming or being conceited, but honestly I believe I have something to contribute.

Therefore, during this week I shall try (Inshallah) to mobilize time and energy to talk about my own personal views regarding possible strategic methodology in this critical phase of this campaign, which for us is a matter of destiny and life and death. I shall try to give my perspective as a middle class Baghdadi and consider how actions and counteractions can interact with our society taking into account the structure, nature and customs of the various classes and groups that make up the Iraqi population of which I am a member, and therefore more intimately acquainted than any external observer.

Since I and many other people of my class, in Iraq, are profoundly interested in the eventual goals which we still think the U.S. and Allies are trying to achieve, and since we have a perception that the latest events were not some unforeseen chaotic and alarming developments but seem to have some underlying deliberate and premeditated planning and that the initiative did not come from the adversaries but rather from the Coalition, it is important that we make our views known. We are most anxious that there should be no more mistakes, especially as there seems to be so little time before that handover date, which, although we are looking forward to, but which is nevertheless fraught with so many dangers and uncertainties.

It is wise to listen to the advice of those who really wish you success, especially if that success is beneficial, nay crucial to them.


Saturday, April 10, 2004

Hi Friends,

I hope you all realize that a major objective of the enemy is to produce defeatism in the U.S. and allied nations home front, counting on the democratic process to force the hand of policy makers. The War in fact never stopped from the first day of the fall of the Icon. All the events you have witnessed are part of a sustained and escalating campaign by all the forces opposed to the “Project”. I don’t presume to be able to give a knowledgeable critique about U.S. and Allied strategy, like everybody seems to be fond of doing nowadays (and there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of Gurus of the subject). Firmness would have been much easier to apply at a much earlier stage. When I say “Firmness”, it must not be construed to mean brutality. Nevertheless, and undeniably, the use of force is part of the thing, but it must be precise, measured and proportionate. This, of course, is almost stating the obvious.

One thing is fundamental though: Once you start exercising firmness it will be disastrous if you falter and show weakness again. Diplomacy and politics are essential of course, but the arguments of the strong are always much more convincing.

In any case I ask all our friends not to be too emotional and weak stomached, and above all not to help the enemy in what he is desperate to achieve, i.e. defeatism and despair.


Friday, April 09, 2004


Hi Friends,

When we speak of labor-intensive projects, this does not necessarily mean just low tech. work. I would like to tell you some of my thoughts about it.

As I said before, I think that an economic “campaign” aiming at solving the unemployment problem as well as pushing forward of the reconstruction effort can go a long way towards achieving the goals we all desire. Certainly the funds that were promised by the U.S. and others, in addition to Iraq’s own resources should be of help and must be handled with the greatest care and wisdom and should not be considered an opportunity for profiteering by anybody. Legitimate profit making is not wrong, and there will be plenty of opportunities later on “Inshallah”, but now the situation is critical and spending must be governed by political considerations aimed at bolstering the cause of stability and pacification, as well as hopefully allowing the Coalition to reduce its military presence and expenditure gradually, thereby allowing the gradual transformation from military to economic commitment. And we must never loose sight of the fact that in the end of the day it is economic success that will bring the desired results, c.f. Germany and Japan. Those who think that this comparison between Iraq and the aforementioned countries is not realistic or valid are quite wrong; the correct precedent for the present situation is precisely that and not any other. The reason I say this, is because I personally know that here we have all the requisites for an economic revival and on considerable scale.

In the eighties of the last century, there was a brief period when the relations between the U.S. and the Iraqi governments saw some improvement which led to the reopening of the U.S. embassy and some interesting investment ideas. For example there was a project called P.C.2, which consisted of building a very large Petrochemical complex near Baghdad, together with a refinery to supply the project. This project was a kind of joint venture between a consortium led by Bechtel and the Iraqi Ministry of Oil. Years of work were spent in the preparations for this project and construction work was actually started just before the first Gulf War. This was said to be the second largest complex of its kind in the World and would have provided thousands of job opportunities for Iraqis at various levels of Skill as well as reviving a large area of almost uninhabited land. Now this kind of investment is very interesting. Converting crude oil to synthetic products greatly increases the value of the natural resource. Just selling crude oil is not going to bring in the amount of cash required to achieve the ambitions of the U.S. and the Iraqis and the kind of prosperity that would really make a difference. Also it would bring a kind of closer integration with the U.S. economy and clearly be of mutual interest to both sides. The Consortium was to be responsible for worldwide marketing as far as I know. So this was not a simple contract but rather an ambitious long-term engagement. Another project was started with General Motors to build an automobile factory near the town of Iskandariya, which is one of the main industrial centers for mechanical industry. This is another very interesting project and can give a great boost to a wide range of secondary and subsidiary economic activities. Mr. Bremmer was giving the influx of about half a million cars into the country as an example of progress. Now if that number paid for by hard cash by the Iraqi citizens to purchase old European and Japanese autos had been invested in bringing in new American models sold to the population at reasonable prices, this might have been a better idea. Somebody mentioned some ideas about manufacturing SUV’s locally sometime ago. Well the market is there, and the project is there, and this would be another example of bringing the two economies together and promoting the kind of the relationship that strengthen the ties between the two peoples. And I could go on and on about many such opportunities to revive some important industries all over the country.

What I am really driving at is my belief that the emphasis of the “reconstruction program” should transcend the mere rebuilding of the basic infrastructure to the kind of large-scale corporate engagement such as the kind of projects mentioned above. And you know, we have historical precedence to support the feasibility of this idea. For example the operations of the Iraq Petroleum Company (mainly British Owned), before the nationalization of 1972 relied mainly on local staff, and it was very successful and those were the happiest days ever known in Kirkuk. The company only provided higher management and the local staff was very happy, stable and well looked after people. Later on came the era of very large State run enterprises and the Iraqis became very accustomed to working in this kind of big organizations. Almost every province in the country has some large industrial enterprise of this kind, now almost all paralyzed. What about the Western and Mainly American corporations trying to revive some of these enterprises, injecting modern technology and management and making use of available resources and manpower (much cheaper than elsewhere) to turn them into viable industries at least to cover local demand if not the surrounding markets?

As for the security concerns, like someone said, if they are working for you they are not going to shoot at you. Imagine if some of these kinds of projects employ a couple of thousands of people even in Falujah or Tikrit, wouldn’t that be more effective than night raids and shooting matches, in appeasing and tranquilizing people? Moreover, “insurgents” will not be able to go shooting all these thousands of their own kin for “collaboration”. Indeed even the U.S. military personnel can be put in charge, where civilians fear to tread, so to speak.

Just some ideas for our American and Allied friends to think about, and maybe we shall have more to say about it.



Thursday, April 08, 2004


What has been demonstrated now is the almost certain scenario to be expected if the U.S. decided to suddenly withdraw and leave the matter to local hands. The Country will be divided to three regions in no time. Those who will be in control in two of these regions will be precisely those against whom the Coalition is battling at the moment, the third will be under the control of the Kurds of course. Civil war between these groups will inevitably ensue very quickly. It is now clearly demonstrated that there are no viable local forces to stand against these elements. In addition, terrible pogroms and atrocities will be perpetrated against all the democratic movements and individuals and ordinary people.

However, you will be astonished that the solution is not as hard as you might imagine . Aggressive commitment and firmness by the Coalition coupled with a political approach to be simultaneously launched to form a government that is more convincing than the present set up, and one that can be capable of exercising real authority. The impetus of military action should be immediately and urgently used to press for the political end.

At the same time I believe that an economic offensive of labor-intensive projects should be initiated with the main objective of creating employment in economically feasible ways. This effort should be evenly spread in the provinces. The great response to recruitment in the police and security forces despite all the dangers demonstrates the dire need for employment. Less dangerous employment will surely attract even greater numbers. I have in mind a number of ways to do this and I have been trying to find time to tell you about it for some time now.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيالرحيم

Hi Friends,

Thanks to my dear friends for expressing concern about my fate. It has been a fearful week. So far, thanks God my family is still all right. Our neighborhood has up to now been out of the way, but I don’t know how long this will last though. Our life, however, is paralyzed at the moment.

If you check my fellow bloggers you will get more or less the feeling of the decent, helpless (or should I say hapless) majority. I can tell you without any hesitation that you get a much better insight by reading us than all the media reports. Please don’t believe what they are telling you about us. Some of the bloggers are Shiaa like myself, and some are Sunni like Ziad, and about this you will find our feelings are quite similar both regarding the zombies of Fallujah or the thieves of the Mehdi Army. My family is hiding in the house with doors locked and bracing for trouble.

I don’t know if it has been wise to open this front at this particular time. But sooner or later it just had to come. I hope that you all realize that this is the true battle for Iraq, and that the fight against Saddam was easy compared with this. Because now all the demons of peasant thievery and savagery have been let loose, and it will be a hell of a job trying to put them back in the bottle. But if you study history you will find that it is doable, with a bit of firmness. I refer you to my post sometime ago about the nature of the relation of cities and surrounding peasantry in Iraq. However, I cannot but feel alarm and consternation about the safety of families and innocents both in Fallujah and elsewhere in our afflicted country. And with all my soul I hope the Coalition forces take all care not to hurt these, although some have already been sadly affected.

Thieves and Thugs of the World Unite, and Converge on the long suffering people of Iraq - that seems to be the battle cry of the moment, and I suppose it had to come sooner or later. And the first victim of all this is religion itself. As you know, I am personally a believer in God and a “practicing” Moslem, as you might say; but I tell you quite bluntly that I am firmly convinced that “Clerics” should not interfere in politics and should be strictly kept out of it. And this applies to all sects and denominations.

These forces have been in the arena from the beginning and I am not quite sure that the Coalition forces have known how to deal with them right from the start, I mean a few curfews and preventing the looting and arson in the first few days, may have changed the whole sad course of events. And as I said before, this is a security and not a military matter. But what is important is to know what to do now. I have made my views and proposals known sometime ago and I am getting more and more convinced of the necessity for such measures.

It is extremely depressing to see some of the Arab media, and I think you know by now the ones we are referring to, playing an extremely subversive role and doing their best to pour oil on the fire, without any regard for the safety of our people or the stability in our country. They will not desist. And it seems remarkable that these media are operating in places that owe their safety, prosperity and very existence to the protection and patronage of the Western countries, primarily the U.S.; after the grace and will of God of course. It seems remarkable that the U.S. cannot bring pressure to bear on these subversive media to desist in their feverish efforts to encourage chaos and terror abusing the much-vaunted "freedom of the press". I tell you that they influence events on the ground, especially in these days when we spend so much time watching these media nervously trying to check what all are saying.

Finally, I would like to post more but the turmoil and worries of the situation have a paralyzing effect.


Sunday, April 04, 2004


I am testing this new connection.

Friday, April 02, 2004

And it is time to give my previous suggestions serious consideration.
Lee C.,

Yes ofcourse you are right. Therefore, the matter must be viewed as a new phase of the War on Terror. One effective method must not be forgotten, and that is the total Curfew, especially in Baghdad, while the operation is underway.

Beware that no one escapes the blockade. Beware. They will try to organise a diversionary terror campaign in Baghdad mainly and elsewhere. This may be the turning point battle. Mobilise everthing and all the professionalism and wisdom required. May be they have committed the fatal error, at last. Beware that you don't hurt the innocent though. It will be a campaign not to destroy Fallujah but to save it, even from its own folly and disease.

Well what can we say? Mohammed said it for me. My initial reaction was to wish that everyone in that crowd of zombies be strung up on that very same bridge. So you see what we are up against, and have been for the last forty years or so? I try to think coolly if possible. It is difficult though. But I really think it was planned. Yes this was no random act of barbarism. This was planned. Remember how many times I told you things that later on you saw to be true. This was no random event. This was done with Somalia in mind to frighten off and disgust the American people. And they are all in it, the whole bunch of zombies and monkeys, including the propaganda media of the Wahabis and their employees, because we know who finance these media and who run them. They have execused the savagery of Saddam before, nay loved it; so it is not surprising that they don't mind this in the least.

And we are sick and tired of the whole bunch of them: "Clerics" claiming to represent the people, politicians manoeuvering, thieves robbing etc. etc.; the same faces; the same worn out cliches and the same sickening noises.

May be we shall have to discuss this later after the shock has eased to give place to this constant pain that eats the heart. Meanwhile remember everyone, this was designed to shock and dismay and bring despair. We shall not give them that satisfaction.