Saturday, October 21, 2006

Al Mahdi Millitias Take Control Over Amara


It became obvious from the past two days that the Mahdi army has controlled the southern Iraqi city of Amara. They also burned three police stations, and looting the surrounding buildings. Very interesting becuase this is exactly what is happening everytime there are clashes between the militias and police/army forces in the post Saddam era: burning and looting!!

In the meantime, the government gave up its insistence that the new security plan was successful, instead they are in deep discussions with the U.S. to find another solution to the deteriorating situation. In the meantime, orders were given to the British troops to move forward towards to the city and support the Iraqi forces, after they decided in the beginning not to intervene so they can give the Iraqi officials the chance to resolve the dispute on their own! The British troops handed Amara after two years occupation to the Iraqis last August.

Some says, It sounds like this Iraqi forces and military men are so crippled that they are just not prepared to fully defend their stations after all. For this reason, the presence of the occupation forces is essential to bring order. Did the British bring peace and security to their controlled regions?

The whole thing about these clashes began when a family tribe in Amara accused Al Sadr militia men of killing their family member, and as a revenge that tribe kidnapped the brother of the local leader of the Mahdi army militia. As a reaction, the militia decided to storm the city after their call to release that leader went in vain.

There are some who comes up with an opinion that the Shiites in Iraq were oppressed by Saddam for years, and this one of the reason for the violence which has been witnessed in day to day life in Iraq.. I don’t agree with that opinion because:
First, it became clear to many – even the media is increasingly showing this through their reports and news bulletins – that violence is caused by two groups of people: one group is looking for political gains and misusing the name of a certain religious group for this purpose. The second group consists of thieves, killers, and some other losers who are looking for financial gains. It also might be some kind of a political maneuver, but Muqtada Al Sadr did himself send a letter to his militia in Amara demanding them to stop, “otherwise, Al Sadr will disown you all”. This did not put a halt to the bloodshed in the begining!

On the other hand, Last wednesday, a couple of days ago all media channels showed a pro-Qaida group in Ramadi staging a defiant parade-like show off in the western city of Ramadi. They were driving their cars and on motorcycles freely and in the middle of the day carrying their rifles with their black and white masks and slogans.

Some media sources named this show of force as "Sunni fighters take over Ramadi". It made me wonder, though, if the whole clashes affair in Amara by the Shiite Al Mahdi millitia is just a reply message from Al Sadr to the Sunni group in Ramadi, and not only about a local leader who has been kidnapped!!

Second, Saddam did not only oppress Shiites. Saddam is not considered as Sunni as some think, and that he is loyal to Sunni Islam! In fact, Saddam did not give a damn to whether that person is Sunni or Shiite or even believe in devil: the essential thing is to eliminate anyone who might dream of opposing anything related to the regime. Saddam created his own “sect”, his own “social” group. Yes, a mutant social group within the Iraqi community. Back to Saddam’s created social group: This group became the effective tool that helped in planting successfully two things: fear from the regime, and distrust among citizens. This included people from all sectors, and from different religions.

Any Iraqi remember how Baghdad used to be during the time Saddam used to rule Iraq. I am sure that a lot of Iraqis remember seeing that man in dark olive color military uniform walking in the street, a pistol hanging on right down side of his belt, shoulders pushed up, and arms semi-floating on both sides like wings ready to spread, while the eyes rolling right and left to see if anyone dare to challenge! For non-Iraqis, this man is a member of the Special Security forces. Guys from Al Mansoor or Karrada districts also remember the other “boys” around the block: Those boys used to wear suits, very expensive suits, with very light beard grew up on their angry faces, and short hair. They used to drive their luxurious cars, especially on some Thursdays. Again, for those who don’t know, those are Uday’s (Saddam’s eldest son) thugs. In addition, the view did not end to that; we used to have a group of military men called the Military Disciplinary forces. Those boys with the famous red band tied to their wrists was specialized in setting up check points in different areas in Baghdad along side with the intelligence service - who used to wear civilian clothes. Their job was to stop cars, check every man’s ID, and face – if they don’t like your face, then…well, fate might vary from one lucky to another!!

Does anyone have any idea if the situation in the past has something to do with the current situation in Iraq? Or does this organized terror and someone’s fear from trusting a colleague in school, for example, or the salesman in the near by shop have its impact on attitude towards others?

OK, let me ask the question from a different angel: what has been changed in Iraq today, compare it to the past?

Check points? still there, and maybe more, but the military disciplinary forces were replaced with either the militia, or police or military (without making similarities).
The man in dark olive military uniform has not been spotted anymore today, because he has been replaced with men wearing either black or white from head to toe.

Fear did not vanish, on the contrary, because in the past the source of fear and terror came from one direction: Saddam regime. Today, terror (and death) comes suddenly from a side bomb planted by terrorists while driving a car, or a bullet from an American soldier’s reacted irrationally, or a ‘unknown’ men storming a shop, while coincidently some poor man was standing there wanting to buy cigarettes…etc

I don’t want to put the blame on the U.S. troops here. I am not going to do so, but the U.S. defied international community in order to ‘liberate’ Iraq from Saddam’s tyranny, and to ‘bring change’ to the Iraqi people. After all, they are trying, with these news about the meetings and analysis they are putting energy and effort into – determining the results of James Baker’s commission is one option. I still have my doubts. I remember now the discussion I had with a couple of fellow bloggers, they said that only a miracle can bring a solution to the current violence!!

Do we really need a miracle? Or human brain can find a solution?

7 comments:

Katrin said...

Hi Mixmax,

what a coincidence, I just mentioned Amara in my answer to you over at Kids blog.

The guys parading in Ramadi were masked, weren't they? So how do they have a right to call themselves Al-Qaida? Who is Al-Qaida anyways?

As long as they remain anonymous, the don't have a clear identity and no cause or sect or group they are fighting for.

What Iraq is encountering right now is the perversity of modern warfare, it has very few to do with Iraqi society. It started developing at the beginning of last century and was spread over Ireland, Sri Lanka, the Middle East, parts of former USSR. We've had it in Germany.

The methods were strengthened by mass media. Anonymous cowards could spread anonymous messages, the mass media learned to deliver excuses if the messages weren't understandable. They served the anonymous cowards by blaming whomever jumped to their mind.

Do you remember Beslan? When the one guy who remained was sentenced, our news commentators critised the judges for not having digged deeper into the reasons this guy had for killing innocent children. And pointed towards the wrong-doings of Putin. Well, yeah, the guy himself didn't have to explain anything himself, our media serve him well. What a service.

Once in Israel, after a suicide attack, three anonymous groups claimed their copyright over the crime.

Long time ago, the father of one of my schoolmates was killed by the RAF. At that time I was very angry about the anonymous letter that was to explain, why this man was killed. It was filled with theories. Fifteen years later the anonymous cowards showed up: hidden by the regime of the GDR.

Since then I have a dream: our media refuse to discuss any causes for crimes permitted by anonymous cowards. Headlines go: "Anonymous cowards killed XY", place, date, victims. Instead of speculating with unproofed theories, we offer proofed information about the decent lives and the innocence of the victims.

I seem naive? No. I know the press standards. When I was in politics a candidate stepped back and they didn't publish my commentary. Because of me being abroad and them not being able to authenticate my e-mail. So how the heck are they able to authenticate the messages those guys have?

Calabar Gal said...

I think the US have realised thatthey made a mistake. They though Iraq would crumble and be potty in their hands but it hasnt been the case. I feel they should withdraw honourably and leave the Iraqi's to build what is left of their lives and country. But knowing the self appointed 'policeman of the world,' thats aking for too much. They want to leave in shame which will happen if they arent careful..

MixMax said...

Katrin,
Take a look at the links below so you can have an idea who Mujahidin Shura Council is:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mujahideen_Shura_Council

There are a lot of resources on the internet to look for in order to be sure which group is supporting which group and what is their agenda
In addition, when someone carries a flag of a certain group, doesn't that indicates that this person or this group is at least supporting the group which the flag represents. Take a look at the picture in the link below
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/0117140C-A668-417C-A6ED-E99AEED41555.htm

MixMax said...

Calabar gal,
the subject of the US withdrawing from Iraq is not that simple, especially that the US is part of the problem and not the solution. There more, in my opinion , because there are a lot of factors inter-relating with each other

:: Katrin said...

Mixmax,

thx for the links - the Al Jazeera one isn't working :-(

MSC illustrate perfectly what I meant. This analysis states:

It is also interesting that the MSC is careful to publicize attacks against U.S. and Iraqi security forces and hence re-focus attention on the struggle against the continuing foreign military presence. This comes at a time when generalized sectarian violence threatens to eclipse the so-called Iraqi "resistance."

In reality they kill Russians in Iraq. Al Jazeera is fair enough to declare, that the statement's authenticity couldn't be verified. However the journalists publish the anonymous message:

"It said the decision to kill the four came "in revenge for our brothers everywhere with whose blood the Russians' hands have been stained" and would be "an example for those who might follow them and dare to defy the mujahidin [Muslim fighters]."

Uh, so it's not about resistance in Iraq, but helping Chechen Muslim brothers.

In a special box they even quote them: The decision came "in revenge for our brothers everywhere with whose blood the Russians' hands have been stained" Mujahidin Shura Council

Sounds fine and logical, but why on earth didn't they ask the Chechens before beheading the poor hostages in front of a video camera?

In an interview with RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service on June 20, Separatist Foreign Minister Akhmed Zakayev criticized the kidnapping of the Russian diplomats in Iraq. "It is a rude provocation against the Chechen leadership, against the Chechen resistance, and against the whole Chechen people," he said.

How many painfull lessons à la Chechenia will Iraq need until it realises, that anonymous terrorists can declare themselves and abuse any group as long as media go on publishing anonymous messages? The guys running around in Ramadi: who can tell they're Iraqi? Even if there were Iraqis who back them up, they will probably do it out of fear.

In the meantime I found out, what the real name for these bandits is: mufsidun. I'll learn it by heart, I swear.

MixMax said...

Katrin,

You are welcome. The link is working, though, I just opened it and I have no problem.

There is no way criminals would do something merciful and discriminate between this person and the other or this group or another, and the past three years proved my point. Calls to free Chechnya and Muslim prisoners like the one you mentioned is just an attempt to spread fear, like many other methods to show strength. This is all part of a campaign by these different groups to make an impact on the situation and to show that they are tough enough and fearless. They realize that militarily they don’t match with the military might of the US, so they have to find other ways to initiate comparison, not only by admitting that they do effectively fight street to street, but they use other methods like the beheading, the savage kidnapping, and not to forget the use of videos: sound and sight to show that they can do something that makes an impact – as they do believe.

You might be right, but you might also be wrong, but within these groups there are different types of people. Do you believe that all those masked men are believing in one common ideology or a united cause? Within these masked guys roaming and driving around Ramadi there are the thieves, the killers, people from the former regime who lost power, people who seek revenge for the killing of their relatives or family members by the US forces, and finally, you have simple-minded people who believe in anything they are ask to do for the sake of religion.

All those do share the same goal, fighting the occupier, but do they really believe in each other’s goals? I don’t believe they do. lets assume that tomorrow Iraq is empty from the US, UK and other foreign troops and no other cause for conflict with these groups does exist anymore, what would happen? They will start slaughter each other. They will start making alliance against each other and start fighting.

When the situation in Iraq changes – it will never remain the same, sooner or later – we all will notice how many of these organizations just gradually disappear.

When that will happen? I guess no one knows because as some one I know said to me while talking about Iraq: “it looks like there is no light at the end of the tunnel for Iraq”

:: Katrin said...

Hi Mixmax,

the link is working now, I must have made something wrong yesterday, sorry.

So we learn that the head of the so-called Islamic Republic is a little-known militant. And: "We are all Iraqis and we will fight for the rights of the Sunnis. We want to bring justice back to its people."

Al-Jazeera help the mufsidun to take over the Iraqi people by publishing unproofed data. Those mufsidun don’t care themselves which nationality they have. Just a few weeks ago Omar al-Farouq was killed by the Brits in Basra. CBC News tells us, he has Iraqi parents. What we know for sure is his Kuwaiti nationality. His widow, however, claims that he is born in Ambon, that’s Indonesia.

There’s an ongoing debate about the media’s role and how to deal with propaganda. Hunter is right with his point about the Nazis. The British even had a self-imposed censorship during WWII in order to protect themselves. Now CNN claims, people should have a right to see the truth. But people know that there are soldiers dying in Iraq.

The journalist who delivered the sniper video takes a firm standpoint about who wins the propaganda war. (download button at the end of the text). Was he really drunk? When talking about Iraq he doesn’t mention the Iraqi average people, he describes the self-declared insurgents and their “successful propaganda”.

So what picture do viewers get from Iraq? The underlying message of a journalist like Michael Ware is: “See, I told you, Iraq is not fit for democracy. It’s a violent tribal system and the Americans are naive.”

It would be a lot more enlightening and helpful to show Konfused Kid’s tribut to his friends instead. Viewers would understand that the kind of violence they perceive is not due to Iraqi society, but was imported. What happened to those young men is just like London, Madrid, Bali or 9/11. You’ll find the same thieves, killers, simple-minded religious guys you’ve described for Iraq. Everytime a bomb blasts, the media hurry to criticise the country that was hit. When we had the train bombers in Germany, everyone related the attempt to the Lebanon crisis. No headtitles when the true motive was revealed: the Mohamed caricatures.

Behind all the analyses and speculations is the desperate need to find a cause that you can then eliminate. But they won’t stop. I totally agree with you: the unite against something, but they don’t have a united cause. Except one: they want to take over control, they enjoy spreading fear and gaining power.

Look at the history of the PLO and where the Palestinians are now. Arafat killed numerous Muslims in his career, he spread his violence to Jordan, incited a terrible civil war in Lebanon and Tunis had to suffer as well, even though it was spared from the worse compared to the other hosting countries. His great-uncle started by killing his moderate rivals, Arafat continued to control his people by mere violence. While all this went unnotice by the public, now that the declared enemy withdraw, the are continiously killing each other. If I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, it is for those Palestinians. I see no hope for them, not because of Israel but because of them having become what a friend of mine called a sucicide society.

We didn’t know much about Iraq’s society while Saddam was in power. When the question of the war came up, I was not able to come to a conclusion. But I argued against those who said that Iraqis were not fit for freedom or democracy pointing out that Iraq had just as much a chance as Germany had, from the facts we knew at that time. Today I’m even more certain about it. You have a better chance than Lebanon.

This is not ME against the West, it is not Islam against Christianity. It is the moderate against the anonymous extremists. As long as we give the mufsidun a chance to hide behind other causes, religions or entire people, the case is lost. Look at Algeria – it is in the claws of the same mufsidun. There’s no Israel involved, nor are the US. The sad point is that a dead Muslim is only worth mentioning, when he is killed by the above mentioned. Fact is, that the overwhelming majority of people being killed, threatened and oppressed by the mufsidun are Muslims.