Saturday, June 26, 2004

Mass murder

I was deeply horrified when I arrived at the residence yesterday and witnessed the gruesome images of the mass murder that was carried out in several Iraqi cities on Al-Jazeera. I was in downtown Basrah earlier and I noticed a heavy presence of IP and ICDC patrols plus several streets leading to the General Police Directorate, the Basrah Governorate, and the Traffic Police Directorate at Al-Asharr were blocked. People were talking about two explosive rigged cars that were intercepted and dismantled by the police, one close to the governor's residence at Mannawi and the other at a nearby police station. I had not realised how carefully planned this whole operation was. Ayad Allawi insists that the attacks were not coordinated while it is very clear that they were, moreover they appear to have been carried out by different groups working together. Groups of Arab fighters and Iraqi insurgents at Ramadi, Fallujah, and Ba'quba, a number of suicide bombers at Mosul (5 or more), and a single pedestrian suicide bomber at Dora in Baghdad. There was another smaller bombing at Hilla which didn't make the news, a bomb was dismantled at Nasiriyah, and the two rigged cars I mentioned before at Basrah. Now all this can hardly be coincidential, and Zarqawi can't be the only person behind this.

100 dead and over 300 badly injured. The scenes of bloody bodies of Iraqi policemen are painful and heartrending, and there is absolutely NO justification for this. I swear if someone says there is I would be glad to strangle him with my own hands and drink from his blood. I cannot express the rage I am feeling now in words. I did not blog about it yesterday because I would have said some very nasty things, and I am still struggling to restrain myself now from doing so. What kills me is that not one of the assailants were killed or captured in the attacks, I just can't possibly understand how a group of armed men can enter and hold several police stations, kill everyone inside and leave without a scratch. How are they supposed to secure the country in a few days from now if they can't even protect their own police stations?

These attacks are all the more reason for handing over the security to Iraqis. I doubt that Iraqi security forces would be able to deal with some places like Fallujah though. Some families have left Fallujah for good and the stories they have to tell are depressing. They say the IP and the Fallujah brigade are helpless and just for show and that in fact several groups now control the city with clerics (some of whom have accummulated extreme wealth from the donations and aid from other areas two months ago) trying to impose Sharia on Fallujah residents, foreign fighter keep a low profile but they are there. Armed clashes between the different groups is common, thy only forget their disputes when they feel the Americans are about to enter town, 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend' and 'Me and my brother against my cousin, me and my cousin...' all over again. They say some tribal Sheikhs attempted to challenge the insurgents sometimes with success. One case when the insurgents threatened a translator from the Jumaila tribe working with the Americans, his Sheikh told them that if they carried out their threat they will have the whole tribe to deal with, the translator's life was spared.

Some hooded men appeared on Al-Jazeera today claiming that there were no foreign fighters in Fallujah only the 'heroes of the Iraqi resistance'. What are they trying to resist now when an Iraqi government is going to control the government in less than a week from now? Okay, let's assume, for argument's sake, that they are incompetent, 'traitors', 'collaborators', or 'puppets' as some people like to say. Elections are going to be held in less than 6 months after all and they can be deposed of if the Iraqis don't want them. What? No elections or constitutions under occupation would be accepted? Okay then, does the 'resistance' have a political plan (other than mass murder that is) or any realisation on how the country should be managed when the occupation is over? Of course they don't have one. Anarchy and total destruction of the Iraqi state (or what is left of it) with the strongest man taking over is what they are asking for.

The Sunni Majlis Al-Shurra li Ahl Al-Sunna strongly condemned the attacks describing them as 'cowardly' and 'murderous', but nothing yet from the Haiy'at Ulemma Al-Muslimeen (the front for kidnappers and former regime appointed clerics headed by Harith Al-Dhari). Clerics in Mosul also spoke out against the attacks in Friday's prayers.


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