Monday, December 01, 2003

'Halhoola lil Ba'ath al Samid'

These words were uttered by the Iraqi teenager treading and dancing over the bodies of the Spanish Intelligence officers two days ago. It means 'Cheers for the standing Ba'ath party'. Had this incident occured in Falujah or Mosul I would have dismissed it as being staged by a few Ba'athist and Saddam trianglees, but no this is a different situation. This happened 200 hundreds kilometres south of Baghdad in a Shi'ite locality far from the triangle. I didn't have the stomach to talk about it, but since Omar did and told everyone that we had discussed the issue I might as well do the same.

Before I go into the details, I want to point out two things. First, where did the camera come from? Both Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiyah aired this scene, but they did not claim it was exclusive footage. I do not know if any other stations displayed it. You should realize that the nearest Al-Jazeera office is in Najaf which is more than 100 kilometres away from this location. This leads me to my second point, how could the camera crew reach the scene a long time BEFORE the local authorities did? There are IP stations in that area, and from what I was told coalition camps are less than 20 kilometres far. From the footage I noticed that when they were filming the bodies it was before dusk, when they filmed the IP and the Americans at the scene it was very dark, which means the camera crew had at least half an hour to themselves over there.

When they first filmed the bodies there were 3 guys milling around the camera, one of them
wearing green shorts. They were talking to the cameraman while looking back and forth between the bodies and the camera, they were very obviously excited to see a camera at all, since people in these rural areas have probably never seen a camera during their whole lifetimes. After that there was a cut in the film and later they showed the guy inthe green shorts standing on two bodies, leaning on the other guy and trying hard to balance himself while at the same time he was shouting 'halhula lil ba'ath al samid.

Now in these Shi'ite areas of the south, you could get killed for shouting a Ba'ath slogan
out loud, but this teenager was doing it for the camera, he was putting up a show. I don't
even want to imagine what happened to the guy after everyone in his area had watched him on tv, an area very hostile to the Ba'ath. Why do you think the cameraman cut before filming them trampling the dead bodies. I leave the answer to you.


What about the incident of the two Japanese envoysin Tikrit? Why do you think they were
targetted? The militants believe that by doing so they would influence the Japanese to think
twice before sending in their troops. The militants/terrorists have resorted to attacks
against coalition forces other than the US. DO you think it's a coincidence that most of the
latest attacks have been against these forces?

No, these are war tactics and nothing is going to stop the militants, most certainly a 'peace protest' in London isn't. Only FIRM action is. It's time for public trials starting with the captured regime figures. Don't give me that crap of "But there still isn't an elected Iraqi government or a constitution to do it". We have an independent judiciary and legal system that is still adequately functioning in 400 courts over the country on civil laws that have been in effect for more than 60 years. This will be the REAL Iron Hammer. Regime commanders, then captured foreign terrorists, then Ba'ath officials guilty of crimes against against Iraqis (Many of those are still around and haven't been detained). The Iraqi people want this and no one has any authority to deny them this right. Not the Us, CPA, GC, Arab League, UN, France, Russia, nor anyone else. This is OUR issue.