Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Hi everybody,

I wish all my friends a Merry X-Mass and Happy New Year.

The Mesopotamian is not dead but only hybernating at the moment. Hope to wake up from the stupor in the not too distant future. The scene is really changing back home and Iraq has entered a distinctly new phase. I have so many things to say but I am just brooding and waiting and at a loss which of the million thoughts to write about.

Nevertheless I can't let the new year come without greeting my friends.

Best regards to all.

Monday, September 03, 2007


My friends may be disappointed with me for these long periods of silence, but this silence really is a result of discouragement and discontent. In a private letter to one of my friends I have frankly stated some of my misgivings concerning some of the aspects of the Iraqi situation at the present time. I think it is rather important that I make some paragraphs of that letter public and here they are:

"The situation in Iraq is rather complicated at the moment, and I fear that the mechanics of American political life is probably adding to the problems rather than the opposite. For example, the verbal attacks against the Maliki government are having the effect of making the very tasks required of this government more difficult. I don't know if people realize that the withdrawals and walkouts of Sunnis (not really representing all the Sunnis) and the Allawi factions have a direct link to the feeling of these factions that the Americans are turning against Al Maliki and his government. In fact, they only joined originally because of American backing of this government and assertions that it is the only acceptable democratically elected authority.

But the real problem is this - What is the alternative to the Maliki government? If you think hard about this you will find the answer quite difficult. President Bush, who has very acute strategic sense, realizes this, but few others do.

I was trying to find time to write about this in my blog, because I am not very comfortable with the direction that American politics is beginning to take. I fear that another big strategic blunder might be in the making, when in fact the military strategy of the surge and also the uprising of the Sunni tribes against Al Qaeda and its affiliates, has clearly produced tangible results.
It is not a question of taking sides. Clearly the Americans should not take sides in the sectarian strife, but it is rather a question of creating a homogeneous and legitimate front of all parties opposing the terrorists and Al-Qaeda. I was thinking of writing a blog post entitled "Unite and Rule", as opposed to the well known old slogan of Divide and Rule.
One of the American generals put it right in a recent statement: "the crucial matter is to bring this opposition to Al-Qaeda within the legitimate framework of the state". This general has got it right.
I was one of the first to point out the importance of the movement that started in the Anbar: the Anbar Salvation Council. Many were skeptical. However as the real accomplishments of this movement in a short time and with very modest resources, became an undeniable reality, there was a kind of excitement that went too far and lost the necessary caution. The objective is to create a legitimate front against terrorism but not new militias.

Your politicians seem to commit the error of underestimating the real strength of the coalition behind Al-Maliki. This was underlined by the recent meeting and pact between the main Kurdish parties and the main Shiite movements. These still represent a powerful majority. Also the obsession with Iranian influence is complicating things further. I have said in my blog before, that combating Iranian influence is not helped by alienating the Shiaa and Kurdish majorities and making them feel threatened and abandoned. This has precisely the opposite effect of driving them in the wrong direction. Also, alienating and weakening the "moderate" Shiaa factions only helps to strengthen further the influence of the extremists within the Shiites, such as the Sadrist movement."

The basic premises upon which the moral position of the American action in Iraq is founded are the following:
1-The Interests of Western national security by eliminating a dangerous regime.
2-The liberation of the majority of the Iraqi people from the oppression of a despotic regime -
that of the Baath party under Saddam Hussain.
3-The establishment of Democracy and democratic institutions and the protection of this new democracy to allow it to take roots and survive.
Regarding the 2nd and 3rd points above we are hearing strange noises and curious arguments all around.

The National Reconciliation, that some are trying to bring about aims at restoring power to old Baathists and elements closely linked to the terrorists. Some of the political figures supposed to represent the Sunnis only came to the forefront as a result of a period when the insurgency had the upper hand in most Sunni areas and really represent extremists and terrorists. Let someone just ask the real founders of the Anbar Salvation Council what they really think of Adnan Al-Dulaimi, the Islamic Party or the National Accordance Front generally. National Reconciliation is necessary and important, but you could easily find clean and honorable representatives of the Sunnis other that those proposed by the present supposed representatives of that group. One must not have the slightest illusion that the Iraqi people could accept the restoration of the regime that the Americans themselves have ousted. Some of the old baathists can only be rehabilitated and allowed to participate in political life if confidence is established “beyond reasonable doubt”, that they have sincerely changed and reformed. Meanwhile, in the euphoria following the successes of decent Sunnis against the terrorists, the real leaders of this movement must not be forgotten and every "Tom, Dick and Harry" to use English Jargon or "Zaid and Amr" in Arabic, taken aboard with open arms, supplied with weapons, and have their pockets lined with new crisp dollars.
And what is this loud talk about changing the government by some kind of a coup and installing a new government presumable by extra-parliamentary methods, to put it politely? It has got so far that Mr. Allawi is employing a public relations firm to lobby in Washington towards this end. I wonder where Mr. Allawi gets all the money for his lavish campaigns from. Recently the exiled Baath party under the ostensible leadership of Izzat Al-Douri (Saddam's erstwhile deputy), issued a statement from Jordan endorsing Mr. Allawi and expressing public support for him. Well, well, well, if that is the kind of alternative to the present elected government to be brought about by some kind of a coup, what remains of the third moral premise of the American position that we have referred to above.

Is it then difficult to understand my discomfiture and silence as I observe things from far here in North America, but with all the profound understanding and knowledge of someone who was in the middle of the fire?

Regards to all.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Although I am mostly occupied in trying to get some employment at the moment, but I couldn't resist telling you that I am encountering great misundersting of the situation in Iraq here in Canada. In a small way and as much as possible, I try to correct the misconceptions of people I happen to encounter, but I feel that a more serious effort is required. Perhaps when I settle down more firmly I can do more serious work to enlighten people about the real facts.

Regards to my friends.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Greetings to all my friends, and sorry to be out the radar screen for some time. This is because I am facing the normal problems awaiting all new immigrants and thus being very occupied trying to solve them. Things are moving forward however. I dread the coming winter though and am puzzled at the kind of clothing one aught to start shopping for to suit the winter of Northern Ontario. Any suggestions?

Hope to find time for some more important blogging soon.


Sunday, July 01, 2007



I consider it a good omen that my arrival to Canada coincided just before "Canada Day", the birthday of this country; because for me and my family it is also a kind of rebirth into a new life and a new country. Now, the country of your birth is an accident that is not of your choosing; but a country that you have chosen of your own free will and that has accepted you for citizenship for your own worth, when it had no obligation whatsoever towards you, and I have not come in as a refugee nor am I a wealthy man; such a country is perhaps more deserving of allegiance. But of course, I have been long enough in this world to realise that nowhere is everything perfect, nor all people are the same. I can expect disappointments and difficulties but that changes nothing. The worst bigot that I may expect to encounter here cannot be considered but a mild case of bad temper compared to the throat slitting eye gorging hate filled types that have come to infest our poor Mesopotamia and the whole region around it. What do I have in common with these latter types? They are more foreign and repugnant to me than any monsters descended from outer space perhaps.

As I am watching the firework displays I can feel the stirring of the first feelings of belonging and affection for the new home. I pray to God who has brought me here to help me settle and succeed to become a good citizen of this land. Home is where you are made to feel at home. So on this day I want to extend my congratulations to all Canadians and above all to say:
Thank you Canada

Thursday, June 28, 2007


This is a special post dedicated to the remarks of “Outlaw Mike” who seems to be writing from Belgium. This is a very important subject and requires a very, very long answer. The problem is that I don’t have the time right now. But I really must pronounce at least some headlines of my own personal views about this. This friend is of an opinion and attitude, that, I am sure, is quite common in many western countries; an attitude, though erroneous, as I am convinced, but is nevertheless understandable considering the atrocities and excesses of our friends of Al-Qaeda, the Baathists and the like.

To Mike I would like to say this: to think that the problem is to do with any particular religious faith, whether it be Islam, Christianity or any other is simply an error and rather superficial thinking, and forgive me for using this word, no offence meant. Even a slight knowledge of history tell us of times when similar violence and mayhem was committed in the name of other religious beliefs. An example is the sectarian wars of the 15 and 16 centuries in Europe; I am sure you have heard about that. What is happening in the Islamic world is not quite the same thing, but has some similarities. Christianity remained, but the virulence of inter-denominational strife has become a thing of the past long time ago. The struggle in Northern Ireland remains an anachronistic reminder of that most atrocious period of European history. That period of European history marked the transition from medieval obscurantism to the enlightenment of the renaissance movement. The sectarian wars were the final convulsions of this obscurantism and took their heavy toll before the literalist understanding of religious dogma and the political role of religion gave way to humanism and liberal ideas that inaugurated the modern ages and European achievement and ascendance in the world. But most importantly, I repeat, Christianity remained, as a spiritual force, having rid itself of interference in affairs of state and political intrigue.

And as I said, the situation in the Moslem world is not quite identical to the events in Europe half a millennium ago, but there is a resemblance. And it may be interesting to note that half a millennium is about the time between the birth of Jesus and the appearance of Islam. However, the question is far more complex than just this. Perhaps, I might have time to discuss the subject further.

What impressed me most about the Canadian immigration authorities is that they knew exactly that I was a religious Moslem as was clear from my passport with pilgrimage visas to Mecca all over it. My wife also wears the headscarf. Nevertheless, these authorities seemed to have discerned the fact that we were not terrorist sympathisers, I don’t know quite how. I mean they didn’t read my blog nor did they know anything about it. Also, absolutely no political or faith related questions were ever asked. Yet they seemed to understand, and they were very helpful and waived many requirements. That impressed me hugely. So, Mike, it is not a question of headscarf, nor even what religious faith one has; but something quite different and much more complex. I really hope to be able to come back to this subject later, and explain more fully my own religious concepts and beliefs and read the views and comments of my friends about this all important subject.

But for now,

Al-Salam Alaykum (Peace be upon you )

Monday, June 25, 2007


It may be that we have left the land of Iraq and moved to the opposite side of the Earth, but Iraq does not seem to be able to quit our hearts and minds. It follows us like some phantom and refuses to leave us in peace to find our way in this new life. Where I am staying at the moment there is a satellite TV that receives Al-Iraqia and many of the other Arabic channels, and most of the time we watch these with sinking hearts as news of new disasters and painful tragedies reach us almost everyday. Good people are falling everyday. A homicide bomber enters the lobby of Mansur hotel and murders some very important people, including one of my favourite T.V. presenters and poets Rahim Al-Maliki. The Director of Baghdad most important children Hospital is murdered, and so on and so on. A veritable genocide campaign against all, that aims at destroying and murdering professionals, journalists, politicians etc. in order to destroy life and civil society itself in Iraq. One of the most famous sayings of the defunct Sadam was that if anybody tried to remove him and his clan from power, they would have to receive Iraq as a land empty of people. His clan are now implementing this plan with all evil intent and deliberation. The Iraqis understand this very well, but tragically it is the Americans and others who don’t seem to fully comprehend the situation. The one most fatal mistake was to leave the rank and file of the Baathists alone and allow them to regroup, rearm and become emboldened. The Americans sadly, greatly underestimated the venom and spite of these people, and this error continues to this very day despite all what happened. The serpent is of the most highly dangerous type and injured it becomes even more deadly.

How can a suicide bomber penetrate the security barriers in this most strategic hotel, while an important gathering of Anbar tribal leaders is taking place? It is an outrage and clearly points to treason and the widespread infiltration of the enemy in all the important places. This is the work of Baathists. What should be realised is that this whole "insurgency" business and terrorism is basically run by these and that Al-Qaeda and the foreigners are merely tools in the hands of ex-members of the various Sadam security organisations and kinsmen. I haven’t the slightest doubt about that.

I keep telling myself that I should leave all this behind me and concentrate on the difficult task I am facing here. But perhaps the wound is too deep to heal so easily. I observe this orderly fair land and its beauty almost wistfully with scenes of horror and terrible memories haunting my mind. Let us hope that time the great healer does its work again, and that peace will gradually come back to my soul.

By the way I noticed that one of my Canadian friends was offended by my casual remark about the standard of services in the Arab Gulf region. The last thing that I want to do at the moment is to offend a Canadian, after all the kindness and consideration shown to me that really made me feel most indebted to these people. For the information of this friend, far from not being able to enter these Gulf countries, I and all my family members, have residence permits there and can live and work as we please, but still I preferred Canada for many reasons that I might explain later.

Anyway, I have say goodnight now, as I have much to do in morrow.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007



Warm greetings to all my friends and thank you for the beautiful words. I arrived safely in Canada and am staying somewhere in Ontario at the moment. People are so civilised and kind around here; in some ways despite the entirely new and bewildering differences I feel more at home already. Ofcourse it is not easy to start all over again to build a life, but you know that I am a believer in God and that God is Goodness and therefore I am always optimistic. It is true that I have sadness in my heart for our poor old Iraq, but deep down I am convinced that we shall win in the end. My conictions have not changed one little bit. What happened in Iraq was preordained, and tougher and more resilient compatriots will carry on the fight to the bitter end and shall win. And I don't like to hear anything against President Bush, either, because I still hold him in the highest esteem and affection.
How I wish I could help the struggle even from here, but I have to sort out myself and my family first. The little that I have seen of Canada so far convinced me that it is one of the most beatiful places on earth, not only from the point of view of natural surroundings, but also the good nature and friendliness of its people. Some places in the Middle East, especially in the Gulf region have higher standard of living and services, but that is not very important when all factors are weighed properly.
I felt that I had to write these few lines in the middle of hectic efforts to establish the family. I send heartfelt greetings to all my friends and hope perhaps to establish contact with some as soon as I feel more settled.
Best regards to all my friends.

Monday, June 11, 2007

أما كانت ارض الله واسعة فتسيحوا فيها


I thank my friends who expressed concern about my fate. Well, my life and that of my family is in a state of great upheaval and flux at the moment. I have at last succumbed to a life long temptation that I have resisted for many, many years. At last I had to give in, mainly for the sake of my children and their future. I leave more than just property and belongings in Baghdad. I leave memories, not all bad, and above all I leave with a bitter feeling for a great opportunity missed, that could have worked. However, I am by no means despondent of all possibility of change for the better. It is just that I and my family need some respite.

Although I have tried always to avoid personal matters, I am going to break this rule this time, just to reassure my dear friends. In just a couple of days, Inshallah, I shall land in the territory of your northern neighbor. I must say the Canadian authorities have been very kind and helpful and I am very grateful and honored to be accepted with my family as future citizen of that country. We shall honor this welcome, with God’s help, but we shall never forget our Mesopotamia. I thank God for his blessing and delivery and for protecting all my children who were in real danger at times - “Al Hamdu Lillah”.

I hope to be blogging again from a nearer place, as soon as I settle down and adapt to a totally new environment.


Friday, April 20, 2007


This is evidence of what I told you earlier about the very important developments taking place. I have tried to draw attention to the significant change of mood of the people which started in the Anbar province with the creation of the "Anbar Salvation Council". This movement is spreading to other regions notably in Diala province. Meanwhile the enemy's ability to launch painful terrorist attacks in Baghdad is mainly due to the fact that the Security Plan is not being enforced in all areas of Baghdad with equal intensity. It is concentrated in the Eastern part (Risafa), while the Western more dangerous and terrorist infested part of Bagdad ( Al-Karkh ), is just not receiving sufficient attention, for reasons which are not altogether quite clear. It is not surprising, therefore, that car bombs and the like can be rigged and dispatched from such areas to launch the kind of attacks that we have witnessed.

Meanwhile, it is evident to me that the security plan, in so far as military strategy is concerned, consists of two essential elements: firstly to regain control of Baghdad and save the city from the sorry state that has virtually paralysed life and caused the massive exodus of the population that the world is witnessing; secondly, to hand the control to Iraqi security forces after they achieve a certain level of development. There is general awareness, by all who care about the people of Iraq that continued U.S. support of the new Order is essential. However, between the extreme course of total withdrawal and the present detailed involvement with daily operations; there is a middle way that few are talking about. Complete abandon and retreat by the Americans would indeed constitute defeat and a victory for the enemy, and would turn the tables completely and ignite a larger conflagration in the region. On the other hand the level of involvement of American and other allied foreign troops with detailed street to street policing, house searches etc. etc. should not continue indefinitely. For apart from the losses and pressures that are endured by the men and women of the MNF, some mistakes and errors can be quite counterproductive. What must be realized is that as long as the U.S. is strategically present, the enemy has no hope of achieving any of his objectives. This enemy knows this only too well; and his prime objective is to bring about this withdrawal and retreat by all means. He pins his hopes on the internal situation in the U.S., and this is his most potent weapon. Therefore most of his actions and attacks are basically publicity stunts aimed primarily at the MSM and American and western public opinion.

Thus a middle course, which seems to me a sensible alternative, is for the U.S. and allied forces to withdraw to secure bases within Iraq and concentrate on providing training, material and strategic support to the Iraqi forces. This of course, hinges on bringing up these Iraqi forces to the required level of ability. But this process will be greatly accelerated by allowing these forces to work and manage on their own more and more, and ASAP. It is like any other training task. If you are teaching somebody to swim, the sooner you can let him float on his own the quicker will he become a swimmer. But of course the trainer must keep a watchful eye.

But I think, in general, the U.S. administration strategists understand all this; however, certain regional concerns seem to interfere with their good judgment at times. For instance, too much emphasis on the Sadrists and Muqtada, loathsome as they maybe; is just deflecting attention from the immediate main threat. I have warned about that before. Indeed, one of the factors that are slowing the new security plan is the preoccupation with Sadr City and similar areas while neglecting the more dangerous hotbeds of Baghdad.

To summarize, I would say that a sensible strategy would be to aim at establishing secure and strategic presence while withdrawing from detailed involvement in day to day and street to street involvement as soon as the Iraqi forces reach sufficient strength, a process which should be accelerated with renewed vigor and in all seriousness. And I think that the present Iraqi Government and political order would be quite receptive to such a strategy; not to mention that the reduction of American and allied losses to negligible figures would go someway towards reassuring the people in the West who are justly outraged and alarmed by the casualties amongst their sons and daughters.
The soldiers of the MNF are too valuable a resource to squander in dusty side streets and alleyways.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


To launch and maintain a terror campaign on the scale that has been going on in Iraq requires enormous resources. This may sound a platitude but it is surprising how few are those who really realize the full import of this fact. There is a big difference between simply acknowledging some fact and truly realizing it. On a T.V. program that I have just been watching, Mr. Mohammed Al-Askari, the consultant for the Iraqi Ministry of Defense stated that according to estimates in the ministry the average car bomb costs about US $100,000 . So if you estimate the cost of only this favorite weapon of the enemy with a rate of at least five per day, this amounts to half a million $ per day. Add to that the cost of other operations and of financing and maintaining a clandestine army of tens of thousands, paying salaries, bribes etc., feeding, housing and all kinds of logistics, maintaining and management of foreign networks and the transport and smuggling of thousands of Jihadists from places as far as Europe, not to mention Arab and Moslem countries; just compare all that effort with the cost of even the simplest family undertaking, such as organizing some trip or holiday; and the dimension of the financial aspect might dawn upon you.

The U.S. army maintains about 150,000 troops in Iraq, the numbers on the enemy side, most certainly, are not less than this figure if not much higher. If we estimate that the cost of the upkeep of the average terrorist is only one tenth of his American counterpart including the cost of weapons, operations, logistics etc., which is surely an underestimate, we conclude that the budget of the “insurgency” is consequently 10% of the American budget of the war. And we all know that this budget is almost $ 100 billions annually. It follows that the “insurgency” requires at least $ 10 billion annually. That is almost a quarter of the annual budget of the Iraqi State that has been recently announced with much fanfare as being one of the biggest in our history. This kind of financing is orders of magnitude beyond the means of any local Iraqi group. No amount of kidnap money, extortions, thefts; or even the amounts looted previously by the Baathists can provide such finance.

It follows from the previous point by elementary reasoning (my dear Watson), that there must be a powerful source of external financing for this sustained terrorist campaign that has been going on and escalating for the past four years. Iran and Syria, you might say. Well perhaps, to some extent, but considering the finances of these particular two, the full burden is well beyond their capabilities. Who else can do it? It is not difficult to discover that, if you really look around in the neighborhood. If we, poor ordinary people can easily answer this question, it is difficult to imagine that the financial wizards of the greatest World economic power can fail to solve this “mystery”. It should be clear even to an idiot that without the financial backing the insurgency cannot possibly continue and thrive, at least not on the present scale. But how little do we hear about this aspect of the “War on Terror”?! It makes you really wonder. Perhaps the matter is deeper than we think, and is way beyond our poor ordinary-man comprehension.

I shall not elaborate any further and leave it to the imagination and wits of my friends to ponder upon this issue; an issue which is at the very core of the problem.

Saturday, April 07, 2007



Greetings to all my friends and best wishes on the occasion of Easter Holiday. I regret that I have not been able to post for a long time now due to momentous personal circumstances. My whole life is about to undergo a complete upheaval and when the waters become a little calmer further down the stream of my life, perhaps I might have some time to tell you about it. But all is well and I am optimistic that it is all going to be for the better for me personally and my familly.
Regarding the situation in Iraq, again, events are unfolding in a way that I fully anticipated before. Remember how I emphasized the importance of two things. The first was the Zarqawi document. I proclaimed it to be the single most important and prophetic document in this whole Third Gulf War affair. Remember how little confidence he had in the Sunnis, and his final prophetic derisive remark: "after all they are Iraqis, too". Yes the Sunnis are proving to be finally Iraqi above all, and the end of the Al Qaeda-Wahabi scourge is going to be at the hand of these very Sunnis on whom they counted to base their Taliban-like Caliphate. The second thing: my emphasis on the "Anbar Slavation Council", and the necessity to promote and support this movement. The Al-Qaeda terrorists are defeating themselves by their blind brutality against all who oppose them. Also their stifling ideology simply cannot be tolerated long by the Iraqis that I know from any sect and ethnicity. Well the snow-ball effect has started and it would be very stupid not to invest in this natural movement which has already proved its tremendous effectiveness, having almost already cleaned the Anbar, with very modest numbers of poorly armed tribesmen. But these tribesmen know exactly where to find the enemy. Besides, this is a very good antidote to sectarianism. Sectarian civil war is receding now, as most Shiaas and Sunnis have both a common enemy now.
As the Iraqis have surprised the World before during events such as elections and the like, I expect the World has a very big surprise in store in the not too distant future. The haters, doubters, defeatists, anti-Amrica psychopaths etc. are going to have some very nasty surprises. This apparently endless and unresovable conflict is going to be suddenly and incredibly concluded in an abrupt and rather anticlimatic manner, and that before the end of the Bush term, too. This is my prophesy, and also my fervent hope. Despite all the errors, sacrifices, bloodshed and suffering, Iraq, our beloved Mesopotamia is going to emerge more united than ever and Sunni, Shiaa , Kurd and all other ingredients of Iraqi society are going to live in a harmony unknown in all their long history. This is my prediction and my dream. Have I ever told you anything before that has not been vindicated by the unfolding events ?
Best regards to all my friends.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007



Saturday, January 27, 2007


A quick word; what everybody should realize is that “the new strategy” and the “new security plan” are essentially defensive or rather counteroffensive in nature. The fact is that the “SODs” have actually staged a deliberate and elaborately planned offensive to capture Baghdad, through attrition, atrocious terrorism, ethnic cleansing, paralyzing civil life, targeting professionals, laborers, shopkeepers and shops, etc. and in general aiming to destroy the city and turn it to a “burnt earth”. This SOD offensive intensified particularly after the destruction of the Samara shrines. This was a deliberate move to officially inaugurate the sectarian civil war. They succeeded in finally provoking retaliation by the Shiite groups, and the terrible aftermath has reduced the city to a situation that is fundamentally different from pre-Samara times. The situation was not normal before, true, but still, the shops were open, and doctors still worked in their clinics, and people lived in mixed areas as sectarian cleansing was not on the scale that took place later. Today Baghdad is a city half fallen. The western part of the city, under Sod control more or less, is almost dead. East of the river still has some life, but is constantly assailed by car bombs and the like.

So, this “New Plan”, is a last ditch effort to counterattack. Failure spells disaster. The Sods are waging a preemptive terror campaign at the moment, trying to abort the plan before it starts. We don’t know if too much talk about the plan with the enemy dealing blow after blow is particularly useful. Everybody is waiting and something concrete must happen soon; otherwise God only knows where we are heading.

In any case, both President Bush and the Iraqi Government, have staked their credibility on this plan, and thus are under great pressure to show some real results soon. Baghdad must be brought back to life, by hook or crook; what must be done must be done. Thus any idea that this is an escalation of the war is totally ignorant of the situation on the ground. This is a life and death counteroffensive to rescue an extremely serious situation. Firmness, even ruthlessness in carrying out the New Plan is justified by the right of self defense and self preservation. The enemy is not showing any mercy and thus deserves none. Preemption is justified in the face of genocide. Necessary measures should be taken without hesitation, no matter how drastic or harsh, including relocation of entire areas if necessary. One can go on indefinitely about possible methods and tactics. Let us hope that, this time, the Americans and the Government, can act decisively without committing too many blunders and more importantly with coordination and unison.
Good Night

One of the most important methods used by enemy, the Sods, is disguise using police or other military and official uniforms and false identities. Almost all the mass kidnappings and other similar acts were executed using this device. Recently they went further. They disguised themselves as some kind of American force or foreign diplomatic convoy, and attacked the heart of Karbala at the provincial government building, as a security meeting was taking place. The incident was first reported by the governor office, as an attack by U.S. forces on the building, and then there was silence, presumably as they realized what really took place. The whole thing is still surrounded by mysterious reticence.


Later report described the incident in more specific details:

This highlights what I have always insisted upon; i.e. the necessity of finding an answer to this tactic which has been one of the main methods of the “Sods” in particular; I mean the method of disguise. This is a Sod method, and nobody else’s. Now as we have seen above they are refining and developing the method to impersonate the American forces themselves. Just consider the expense, planning and timing of this operation, and you get an idea of the strength and financing of these groups. And these are neither the Iranians nor the Mehdi Army; this I can tell you for sure. In fact, the destination where they fled to is very telling; it is a stronghold of the Sods, in the tribal and farmland areas of the North of Babil province, part of the “Sunni” belt surrounding Baghdad.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Quite honestly, I don’t see any thing particularly James-Bondish or exuberant about the suggestions that I have made regarding using technology to help the security situation. I mean what is difficult about establishing intelligent data bases for the population of neighborhoods; even children have become experts with computers and data bases. As for systems to monitor movements of travelers, vehicles etc., I am sure that an abundance of such software is abundant everywhere, and particularly in the U.S.

Richard B. has written in the comments section several times describing practical and very interesting technical solutions to many of the problems that we are facing. As for biometric identification and such, isn’t this technology very common nowadays and used even in the most humble of offices, not to mention passports, airports etc. etc.

Explosive detection technology exists, and we even heard that some equipment is already in place in Iraq. And I don’t even think that the cost of such things is as high as we are led to believe. I mean when the War is costing the staggering figures that you all know, what would be the significance of some expenditure on computers, some gadgets for identity detection etc. etc. ?

Some people talk again about Iraqis taking responsibly, forgetting that this is precisely the Iraqi demand and that the Government has been insisting on this question. They forget that the new strategy and the new security plan was originally proposed by the Iraqis themselves and accepted by the President. Of course American help is very important but the plan essentially envisaged a supporting role for the American forces by guarding the periphery of Baghdad, while Iraqi forces carries out the work inside the city. Since it is also a demand of the American people, why not let the Iraqis do what they are claiming they can do without too much interference? In fact they should be charged with the responsibility quite definitely and visibly in a way that the excuse of not having enough authority cannot be used by anybody again. Besides, Maliki-bashing is not very useful at this particular juncture, because that is all what we have right now, unless one wants to dismantle the entire political process and undo the work that has been done with blood, sweat and treasure. And to be sure, that is precisely what enemy is longing for; to dismantle the political process and cancel the idea of democracy altogether. That is their real objective whether secret terrorists, or political figures hypocritically joining the political process only to subvert it, with one keen eye on the public and official mood in U.S., adapting their tactics precisely according to the signals that are coming from there. They are counting on the disarray and confusion, and adapting their methods, including escalation and de-escalation of terrorist acts accordingly. President Bush understands the situation and the stakes, but even he can be sometimes influenced by domestic pressures. However, we must express appreciation of his perseverance and endurance.

And what’s all this about Iran and taking on Iran. It is not as though we have managed over here even to control one miserable city, to start thinking of embarking on a perilous course against the colossus of Iranian quick sands. It is alright to make some noises, but I am sure the U.S. leadership fully understands that there are very few real options available. Compared to other options, the best, easiest and only practical course available to thwart the Iranian regime is to succeed in Iraq. Besides, it is wrong to turn this matter into an assault on the Iranian nation, and not on the theocratic regime. This is precisely what that regime wants, and it explains the polemics of this ridiculous new president, Ahmadi Najad, who according to my youngest son looks more like a plumber than a president. As for their alleged role in Iraq, I think it is wildly exaggerated by those, in Iraq and in the region, who are playing on American phobias to serve their own particular agendas. It is wrong to confuse the issues before cleaning up the act in Iraq. In fact, the Iranian regime would rather have a confrontation at this particular time when the American situation is such as it is in Iraq. And as I have said before, the relations between the Shiaas, (and the Kurds, for that matter) and the Iranians are reciprocally proportional to the state of their relations with the Americans.

So let’s cut the nonsense and concentrate on the tasks ahead, and try to do everything possible to achieve success, with the available resources, which is possible; for the cost of failure is unthinkable even from the purely selfish view point of the interests of the U.S. alone. Need we explain these consequences in a kind of “idiots guide to woe and disaster”? I have too much respect for my friends here on this blog to even think of it.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007


To comment on the planned security plan to be implemented shortly requires extensive treatment. I have been writing a lot of drafts but it requires a lot of time that I don’t have at the moment. So very briefly I would like to stress few points that I consider important and urgent amongst other things.

I have always been convinced that one of the best ways to benefit from the Americans and the MNF is the technical aid that they can bring into the equation. Our friend Richard has, on several occasions, presented concrete proposals and technical ideas that seem to me very worthy and serious information.

What is needed, in my opinion, is not just military action with guns and planes, but most of all a kind of informatics and technical blitz.

1- To combat the weapon of the car bomb – identification and careful control of all vehicles, and explosive remote detection technology.
2- To combat the individual terrorist – high tech and biometric identification and control of the population inside Baghdad to start with. This includes the “inventorying idea” that I proposed long ago.
3- To combat terrorists disguising as police, army and even lately as American forces; which is a very serious problem:
a- High tech. identification technology for genuine members of the security forces.
b- A special highly reliable and special secret service, whose task is to monitor and vet members of the security forces themselves; including mobile inspection teams to intensively check on forces deployed on the ground, and inspect military and police check points regularly to discover fake ones.
c- Mobile and rapid reaction forces, preferably air born to intervene and respond to guerilla attacks.
d- Improved communication and reporting of incidents, leading to rapid reaction and tracking of culprits. The forces on the ground should be held responsible for failures and severely accountable.

4- Lock down of the city of Baghdad at carefully studied points. The question as to where Baghdad boundaries actually are, is a crucial matter and requires very careful strategic consideration. For instance, should Abu Graib, be within or outside the protected periphery? This hotbed area is one of the havens of terrorism and the source of much of the action that afflicts central Baghdad. Likewise are the areas nearer to the center in West Baghdad. The objective is to work towards the goal of “Green Zone Baghdad” that I have proposed long time ago.
5- Recognition of the main threat and avoidance of engaging in secondary efforts that can only distract from the main objectives and open up unnecessary fronts that only serve to increase the risk to the troops and divert their attention. This point, I mention specifically concerning Shiite areas and the so-called Sadrists. These are not the main threat, and could be dealt with politically. Of course they must be controlled, but I believe the task is more political and social than military there.
6- Respect of the lives and property of ordinary citizen, and adoption of the principle of courteous and respectful approach to searches and information gathering. Avoid breaking of furniture and the various acts of vandalism, not to mention downright theft, that have been so common.
7- To distinguish community and tribal leaders in each area and convoke them before embarking on action in any neighborhood. Saddam was very effective using this method, holding these leaders responsible for what happens in their communities, recompensing them generously when cooperative otherwise punishing them severely when things go wrong.
8- Recognition that there are virtually closed neighborhoods completely under “insurgent” control (the Sods) where they can rig their car bombs, suicide men, I.E.D’s etc. etc. with complete impunity, especially after the thorough ethnic and sectarian cleansing that is almost completed by now. These areas comprise many parts of West Baghdad, Adhamiya, and in the entirety of the farmland belt around Baghdad etc. Unless there is preparedness and determination to go into these areas clean them and hold them, there is little chance of success.

These are just a few points purely on the military technical side, which does not mean that we underestimate the other more important political, sociological and economic factors, but these require volumes of research which is not within my capability at the present. But still the points above are of urgency in the immediate short term.

I throw the subject to full debate, hoping to learn more from the comments of my friends.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Paul Edwards,

Of course, any literate Muslim knows about the Mu’tazilah, mostly by name only. I must admit that I myself, took very little interest in the subject until lately for reasons rather similar to the ones that drove you. You probably know that this particular sect has suffered terrible atrocities in first few centuries of Islam and beyond. To this day; the “Orthodox” Muslim establishment (especially on the Sunni side, and more particularly the Wahabis and their like) considers this school heretical and blasphemous. Unfortunately philosophical and intellectual debate is characterized by violence and terrible persecution in our history.

And in fact, if you study the Mu’tazilah carefully, you will easily discover that they were neither atheistic nor disrespectful of the basic fundamentals of religion. They were just uncompromising rationalists, and were very typically incredibly careless about their personal safety in expressing their views in times that the general public could hardly understand or appreciate such opinions. This thought was almost forgotten and considered part of the archaic heritage of the era of theological and philosophical speculation that flourished in the early centuries of Islam, but in recent times interest in this school has seen a revival by some intellectuals and seekers of truth.

One of our friends reminds us of Sufism, i.e. the mystic schools of Islam, and that is certainly another huge subject of interest. One similarity between the two is the common fate of most of their prominent figures, that is persecution and execution often by dismembering and crucifixion. Like Al-Hallaj, the founder of Islamic Sufism; Ghailan Al-Dimashqi ( of Damascus, Syria ), continued to preach while on the cross with amputated legs and arms, until the Caliph sent his executioners to cut his tongue off. The Caliph councilors had told him: “Sire, you have cut off his arms and legs, and left his tongue that is more harmful than a thousand arms and legs”. No wonder the kings and rulers loathed the Mu’tazilah; one of their main tenets was the religious duty to rise against any unjust ruler.

For those who are interested to know more about the subject, Wikipedia does indeed have a nice introduction'tazili ; someday when I might have more leisure we could be spending a lot of time debating these subjects that are much more interesting to me personally than the mess of the Iraqi situation.



Friday, January 19, 2007


Well, I am tempted to say it. It may sound vain and distasteful. But, really, this new strategy, haven’t I suggested something of the sort three years ago? It would have been much easier then, but as they say, better late than never.

On the personal level, we have suffered some terrible things at the outset of this New Year. The oldest of my cousins, who is almost a couple of decades older than me, met his death by a terrible accident involving American troops. This is a problem that has occurred so often that really requires reconsideration of the way that M.N. forces are deployed. This was particularly painful as this man was one of the most harmless and peaceful of all, a man who has never hurt anybody, a man with a large family and a man who has born the full brunt of the lean years of these last couple of decades. He had to venture out in his old car in one of these dangerous neighborhoods of Baghdad to do some shopping for his family. In his whole life he never drove his car faster than an exasperating crawling speed. He always created a traffic jam behind him. As he became quite old, his sight and hearing became very weak. We don’t know what happened exactly, he must have panicked; he must have misunderstood something. All we know is that he was shot by American troops. I don’t bear any grudge against these guys. They are placed in a terrible situation. They feel threatened and can hardly distinguish a terrorist from an innocent wayfarer. This is a problem that requires solution, but the solution is easier said than done. This is the terror and terrible difficulty of urban warfare. And it is precisely this that the terrorists are counting upon.

Another incident involved a dear old friend of ours, the family dentist, a brave man, who went everyday to work in his dental clinic, ignoring all the dangers and stubbornly going on with his usual daily routine as though there was nothing happening outside. The street where his clinic is situated is a well known location in Baghdad for the private medical community. Some of the best known medical practitioners used to work there, and the place used to be bustling with patients and people, especially in the afternoons and early evening. Nowadays, it has become almost deserted after doctors, dentists and pharmacists became favorite targets for kidnappings, extortion and murder. This man just kept on going. We were always worried about him and wondered about his courage and tried to talk him into more caution; he just smiled and shrugged off our concerns. Well, at last they got him. They broke into his house, took him away together with his three cars parked in the garage. After few days, we heard that they are demanding a big sum, and most likely it is going to be paid, and even then there is no guarantee for his safety as has been the case so often. In such cases the ordinary citizen has no one to turn to. Police protection for ordinary people is something of the past, a historical memory, you might say. Well, here it is; the sad situation that we have to admit and tell the world.

Another recent incident; a young man, a friend of my son, was shot in the head in our up-town neighborhood; for no sin other than being a Sunni. Our neighborhood which used to be so pleasant and peaceful before has become within the red zone, and people are deserting their erstwhile elegant homes.

The cancer is spreading, and the ordinary decent and peaceful people just can’t continue their existence. Baghdad is being taken over by ruthless gangs and blind terror. The accursed Zarqawi plan has worked. It is not difficult to make mischief, and there is nothing for the Sadamo-Ladinists to be proud about. For history’s sake, if we have to consider chronology, the destruction of the holy shrines at Samara marked the start of a new phase, the start of a steeper descent into sectarian strife and civil disintegration. Of-course it is mainly a deliberate plan of the "Sods" (a short name that I coin and will use henceforth for this motley collection of Saddamists, Al-Qaeda types, and other “insurgent groups”. It is the point when the Shiites, especially in Baghdad, started to retaliate, ignoring the advice and admonitions of the moderate religious leaders such as Al-Sistani. And it is usually the innocent and the weak who suffer, of both sides.

So much precious time has been lost. I don’t mind saying it. I, personally in this blog have sounded the alarm long time ago. Safeguard Baghdad, I said. Protect the ordinary people I said. Safety of the ordinary people is the key to the safety of the troops and the general security situation, I said. But tragically, so much precious time was lost. I tell you, it would have been easier then and much more difficult now. I don’t say that nothing was done. A lot was done, and it must be admitted that you cannot safeguard the capital without some degree of control of the provinces, and a lot of work was done in the provinces. The situation in the Anbar, for instance, is drastically different today than it was before, and in a positive way. This was due mainly to the struggles of the American forces, after so many trials and tribulations. At long last the Americans are beginning to understand better the psychology and the nature of the people there. And indeed, the situation in Baghdad, in a way is the result of successes there and the influx of “Sods” into the capital after having been driven out of the Anbar.

Yet there is this new American strategy, and the new security plan. We have to admit that for the ordinary people of Baghdad such announcements have lost much of their credibility due to successive failure of previously much trumpeted similar attempts. Nevertheless, deep down, there is a faint hope that something different might be achieved this time. And, you know, nothing succeeds like success. Any kind of appreciable change in the dismal situation will have a huge uplifting effect. If security in Baghdad can be restored to some bearable level, and if basic services, i.e. electricity, water, garbage collection etc. can be improved to something less absurd than the present levels; then this will have a tremendous effect completely out of proportion with the actual size of the achievement. For you know for someone who is drowning, anything that can keep him afloat will produce a surge of hope. And this surge of hope can have beneficial ripple effect. Well, hope is the stuff of life. Life without hope is not possible. So let us hope and keep our fingers crossed. And at least President Bush is still there, fighting and persistent and knowing well the stakes and not shirking responsibility. Let us hope that the famous saying of Churchill ones again proves right: “The Americans always end up doing the right thing after committing all the mistakes” (or something to this effect)

Wa Al-Salam Alaykum