Tuesday, March 28, 2006


The situation in Baghdad is deteriorating from day to day. I have warned about this long ago. The "insurrection" is lead by the Baathists, without any doubt, and they are converging on Baghdad and seriously bent on taking over. They are creating havoc in in the capital. Very soon, if this situation continues like this the city is going to be brought to a complete standstill and paralysis. The confusion and conflict between the Americans, the army and the Ministry of interior is producing a situation where the citizens don't know anymore whether the security personel in the street are friends, enemies, terrorists or simply criminals and thieves. Everybody is wearing the same uniforms. Whole sections of the city have virtually fallen to gangs and terrorists, and this is sepecially true for the "Sunni" dominated neighborhoods. People and businesses are being robbed and the employees kidnapped en mass in broad daylight and with complete ease as though security forces are non-existent, although we see them everwhere.

I don't know anymore what can be done to rescue the situation. At least, those who are supposed to be in positions of responsibility should stop lying and painting a false picture. It has to be admitted that the city is under siege and has become the front battle line. Emergency measures have to be put in place immediately, otherwise as everbody in Baghdad knows, the whole city is going to fall soon. I regret sounding so pessimistic, but the alarm must be sounded with the loudest volume possible, since what is happening is Baghdad is something really awful.

Regarding the latest developements connected to the relations between the Americans and the Shiaas, things are getting even more confused. If I have time and inclination I might post about this "weekend".

Regards to all my friends.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Actually, it is not so much pessimism but rather realism that pushed me to write that last post. I think most people here, including the political elites realize that a civil war is something unthinkable that will tear the country apart. However, like in Yugoslavia, the sect or ethnic group that really caused the partitioning and break up of the country was non-other but that which most wanted to keep it one, namely the Serbs. By their brutality, cruelty and ethnic genocide, they destroyed any basis for coexistence between the various ethnic constituents of the old Yugoslavia. The Serbs desire for a united country stemmed mainly from their wish to remain the masters and lord it over all other groups. This situation is very similar to what is beginning to happen here. President Bush in his eloquent speech yesterday put it well. When asked who the enemy was, he defined him with precision, and he is the one who should know. For the American people, it is well to understand clearly what the President is saying.

However, amongst the Sunnis, there are some sober and decent ones; and all our hopes are pinned on these. As for the Shiaas, they should be handled with care like these notices you see on containers of glassware (and don’t turn them upside down); they have been brutalized and still are in the most savage way, and I think the whole world is becoming witness to that. It is true that some retaliation from their side is taking place at the moment but the main aggression is from the other side.

While it is right to try to build bridges and draw the Sunnis into the political process, this must not be done in a way that will jeopardize the fundamental base of support amongst those who were the real “liberated” from the Saddam regime. Some incautious and rash remarks will only benefit negative currents within the Shiaa movement. Indeed the so-called “Sadrist Current” of Muqtada has been one of the beneficiaries of this situation and has postured to appear as the real protector and defender of the Shiaa’s, making full use of the sectarian atmosphere as well as the rash remarks and attitudes by American Ambassador ( Zalmai Khalil Zad) and some other American officials. Admittedly, it would take more than just a diplomat to succeed in Iraq at the moment; he would have to be additionally an acrobat, ventriloquist, capable of tiptoeing on thin ice and a Houdini into the bargain.

Yesterday, as I was watching a program on “Al-Iraqia” T.V. dedicated to the anniversary of the start of the war on Saddam, one caller said something that is very revealing. How I wished then that the whole World could listen to this man. There was much discussion and many views expressed regarding the situation and the pros and cons; then this ordinary man of the people protested with passion and anguish in his voice, that he was a prisoner in Saddam jails for 16 years, that his father and two brothers were executed; then he started to recount some of the horrors that he had seen in jail (which I do not care to repeat); then he said this: “God has willed that Saddam commits the blunder of invading Kuwait, which brought upon him the punishment by President Bush to whom I am personally indebted and grateful, because had it not been for his heroic soldiers of liberation (these were the exact words used by this man of the people to describe the American troops), I would still be in jail today.

And yes, this summed it up. The ordinary people never forget. Never mind the fuss, never mind the fog, never mind the confusion; the psyche of a people is something fearfully profound. The American people too, should not forget the fundamentals of the situation. It was right, it was just and it was ordained by God; that a murderer and tyrant should be overthrown. The blood and sacrifices by the American soldiers and people will never be forgotten; the Iraqi people and history will always remember these “heroic soldiers of liberation” and honor their memory.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Are we in a civil war situation already? I have no time today, only this quick note that I must tell you about it soon. Unfortunately, I must tell you that the situation is very tense and things are on the brink. Unless very energetic measures are taken quickly, I fear the situation may slip despite all the good work that has been achieved. I have definite ideas. The mood especially in the Shiaa side is getting really frightening. Beware the wrath of the Shiaa masses. Any other incident like the Samara shrine bombing will almost certainly trigger a mass uprising that will be impossible to contain even by religious leaders.

I pray that by the time I get to post to you about this subject nothing awful happens.


Friday, March 17, 2006


Bism I llah Al Rahman Al Rahim


I must apologize to my friends for these long silences of mine. My lame excuse is the pressure of daily life, and the “struggle for survival”; and believe me, for an Iraqi in these days, this common phrase is no figure of speech.

As those who follow this blog know, it is dedicated to ideas and strategic conclusions and not a running commentary on the situation in Iraq. So let me share with you some thoughts and conclusions, which I have come to conceive over time as I observe events and actually live them personally from day to day.

To start with, let us examine the security and military situation. As I have always said, it is “no use crying over spilt milk”. Thus it is not useful and can be demoralizing to dwell on past mistakes. However, wisdom consists to a large extent in learning from one’s errors. And I think many people might agree that much of trouble that we are facing today was the result of the carelessness and slovenliness of the first couple of months after that great liberation day in April of 2003. This point of view is supported even in the book published by Mr. Bremmer, the civil administrator in the C.P.A. era, though he himself must take some responsibility for some of the mistakes. Some of the most elementary precautions that could have been taken in those days would have gone a long way towards establishing law and order then and thenceforth. It was much easier to do things then than it is now. The Iraqi people and the American and allied servicemen and women alike paid the price of errors of judgment of some “higher management” people.

However, it would be very unfair to the allied forces (mainly American) and their leadership, to belittle the tremendous efforts and sacrifices in the course of the past three years, and to underestimate the successes and achievements that were made. For instance, I have noticed that many in the States itself do not really understand the nature of military actions on the ground here. Thus, for example, the effective, sustained and carefully planned series of military operations in the western Euphrates valley of the Anbar province have been quite successful in largely pacifying this most dangerous hotbed of the insurgency, and while admittedly not completely subduing all subversive elements there, nevertheless averted a complete takeover of this large swath of the country by the enemy and creating an extremely dangerous base in which he would have been in complete control with open lines of communications, supply and logistic support from the west ( i.e. Syria and Jordan), while cutting off the country from its western boundaries. The American forces carried out the Anbar campaign mainly with little help from any other party. Some people have expressed exasperation regarding these operations thinking that they were isolated actions against an illusive and mobile enemy, whereas in fact there was a careful plan to drive the enemy on two fronts. The first front was from the east from Falluja pressing the enemy westward. The other front, which soon followed, was starting from the extreme west at the Syrian border at Al Qaim, driving the enemy eastward. The result of this campaign to date is that most terrorists are cornered nowadays in the Ramadi area, which is mid-way between Baghdad and the Western border, with much of the Anbar out of their reach. Another outcome of this campaign was that quite significant tribes of the western region turned against the terrorists, astonishingly led by that fierce “Karabila” tribe which erstwhile used to be considered one of the worst terrorist sympathizers. Nowadays, the “Karabila” together with some other quite powerful tribes of the western “Dulaim” are actively fighting against the terrorists led by the flamboyant and lovable Shaikh “Ussama Al-Jadaan”. This is the so-called “ Tribal Nakhwa forces” (Nakhwa is one of those untranslatable words meaning when one rises up in noble indignation and joins the fight in aid of a just cause). Even allowing for the bombastic and enthusiastic nature of Shaikh Ussama, no one can deny that the Nakhwa forces at least secured a large and strategic area near the important Qaim town on the Syrian border. Furthermore I can state with certainty that most of the people in the Anbar are thoroughly sick and fed up with the terrorists, having tasted Taliban style treatment (or worse) at their hands for such a long time.

Another area where the American forces have done very well is the Mosul northern area. At one time Mosul was almost completely overrun and fallen to the enemy. American forces together with Ministry of Interior forces have done very well and the region now is in much better shape, although again, pockets of terrorism still exist. Had it not been for these efforts, Mosul would have suffered the same fate that we referred to earlier regarding the Anbar province.

As a result of these successes, terrorism was pushed elsewhere in the country, notably the area near Samara in Salahudin governorate north of Baghdad, linking northwards towards the Himrin Mountains, Al Hawijah and Krikuk and of course Dialla province, infesting remote and extremely backward Sunni villages where the inhabitants can easily be intimidated and/or enticed with financial bribes, pandering to their natural bent for thieving and chaos, not to mention indigenous sectarian prejudices. Also the escalation of the frantic effort to precipitate a sectarian civil war by deliberate design and planning such as the blowing of the Al Askary holy shrine in Samara, is a sign of the desperation of the enemy, and not unrelated to consternation at the defection of the Anbar tribes of the Nakhwa movement that have dealt some painful blows against them.

But above all, and most alarmingly, terrorism gravitated towards Baghdad and its surrounding “Sunni Belt” of villages and farms, Mahmoudiya-Iskandariya-Latifiya etc. to the South; Tarmiya, Mshahda, Taji in the North; Nahrawan and the road to Dialla in the East and of course Abu Ghraib and the approaches to the Anbar in the west. These outskirts of Baghdad are the source of the worst sectarian atrocities that we have seen lately and the source of the corpses dumped daily in Baghdad these days.

So the latest military operation near Samara can now be understood in this context. The American and Iraqi military strategy seems to be to deal with the rebellious regions in turn trying to clean up the areas gradually. While we admit that Baghdad cannot be safeguarded without controlling the rest of the country this way, it is nevertheless very dangerous not to sufficiently protect the capital simultaneously with these efforts. This brings me back to my thesis, which I have expounded since a long time, and which I called “Green Zone Baghdad”, which means creating safe and stable conditions inside the capital. This will be the subject of the next post “Inshallah”, which I hope will not be another of these vain promises, which unfortunately I have made so often. I beg my friends’ indulgence and pardon for my laziness.

But before I conclude this post I don’t want my friends to think that I am disregarding the political side of the question, which is certainly of equal if not greater importance. But that aspect has to be dealt with separately. It is just that I want to finish what I have to say from the purely tactical military point of view first; because I think that in the short term it is critical to do the right thing militarily.

Finally I would like to say to all our friends in the West and America in particular, this: have no fear; the battle is far from being lost. The land of Sumeria, Akad, Babylon, Ur, Nimrod and Ashur will never die. The land where the Old Testament was written and the Aramaic of Jesus Christ was spoken cannot become extinct. The Capital of Harun Al-Rashid and the Arabian nights cannot die. Land of Abraham and the prophets, Mesopotamia is indestructible. Seven thousand years of turbulent history attest to this. Only this land will remain tortured and cannot rest or calm down until it achieves greatness again. This is a germ that has been genetic in this mystic land from the beginning of history. This same history will credit the U.S.A. in years to come to have been the one to arouse this long dormant genie.
* cf. "Time Machine" and my post some time ago.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Hi Everybody,

Greetings: Don't worry friends I am still around, only too stunned to post. Unfortunately, all the doom scenarios which I have nightmared before are unfolding in front of our eyes. Hope to post this friday or saturday.