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Baghdadee بغدادي
Texas Gentleman

Iraq, and the Truth We Dare Not Speak

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We've Lost. Here's How To Handle It.


By Steven Simon and Ray Takeyh

Sunday, June 17, 2007; Page B01


Return to realism. The U.S. defeat in Iraq should finally squelch the appealing but naive belief that promoting democracy is a panacea for the Middle East's ills. Washington faces a bleak choice: It can push its values or realize its interests. It cannot do both.


The problem with trying to build democracy in the Arab world is not solely that Islamic radical groups such as Hamas tend to win the elections; it's also the absence of secular, liberal parties or politicians who support U.S. policies. It is Washington's misfortune that it can achieve its objectives only by working with illiberal regimes such as the stagnant autocracy of Egypt or the complacent monarchies of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. On the margins, some reforms could take place; Arab despots have an interest in cultivating a veneer of legitimacy, which is best served by including some more moderate elements of the opposition in government. But the notion that America's foremost aim should be disrupting the existing Arab order in the name of democratic transformation must be discarded.


A rapid recovery from the U.S. defeat in Iraq depends on Washington's ability to act creatively, decisively and diplomatically. But no recovery can begin until Washington offers a clear, convincing timetable for military disengagement. If this administration is not prepared to lose this war right, its successor will be saddled with the burden.


ssimon@cfr.org rtakeyh@cfr.org

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We've Lost. Here's How To Handle It.


More Middle East Madness

"The Palestinian people will never forgive the Hamas gangs for looting the home of the Palestinian people's great leader, Yasser Arafat." So Palestinian Authority spokesman Abdel Rahman recently exclaimed. "This crime will remain a stain of disgrace on the forehead of Hamas and its despicable gangs."


Looting? Crime? Despicable gangs?


Excuse me. For years, Palestinian Authority-sanctioned gangs shot and tortured dissidents, glorified suicide bombing against Israel and in general thwarted any hopes of various "peace processes."



Of course, this kind of behavior isn't limited to the Palestinian territories but is spread across the Middle East. The soon-to-be-nuclear theocracy in Iran is grotesque. Iraqis continue to discover innovative ways to extinguish each other. Syria assassinates democratic reformers in Lebanon. ABC News now reports that new teams of al-Qaida and Taliban suicide bombers have been ordered to the United States and Europe from Afghanistan.


Here's why much of the region is so unhinged - and it's not because of our policy in Palestine or our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.


First, thanks to Western inventions and Chinese manufactured goods, Middle Easterners can now access the non-Muslim world cheaply and vicariously. To millions of Muslims, the planet appears - on the Internet, DVDs and satellite television - to be growing rich as most of their world stays poor.


Second, the Middle East either will not or cannot make the changes necessary to catch up with what they see in the rest of the world. Tribalism - loyalty only to kin rather than to society at large - impedes merit and thus progress. So does gender apartheid. Who knows how many would-be Margaret Thatchers or Sandra Day O'Connors remain veiled in the kitchen?


Religious fundamentalism translates into rote prayers in madrassas while those outside the Middle East master science and engineering. Without a transparent capitalist system - antithetical to both sharia (Muslim law) and state-run economies - initiative is never rewarded. Corruption is.


Meanwhile, mere discussion in much of the region of what is wrong can mean execution by a militia, government thug or religious vigilante.


So, Middle Easterners are left with the old frustration of wanting the good life of Western society but lacking either the ability or willingness to change the status quo to get it.


Instead, we get monotonous scapegoating. Blaming America or Israel - "Those sneaky Jews did it!" - has become a regional pastime.


And after the multifarious failures of Yasser Arafat, the Assads in Syria, Muammar Gaddafi, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Saddam Hussein and other corrupt autocrats, many have, predictably, retreated to fundamentalist extremism. Almost daily, some fundamentalist claims that the killing of Westerners is justified - because of a cartoon, a Papal paragraph or, most recently, British knighthood awarded to novelist Salman Rushdie. The terrorism of Osama bin Laden, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Taliban is as much about nihilist rage as it is about blackmailing Western governments to grant concessions.


Meanwhile, millions of others simply flee the mess, immigrating to either Europe or the United States.


These reactions to failure often lead to circumstances that can defy logic.


The poor terrorists of Arafat's old party, Fatah, seem to shriek that they have been out-terrorized by Hamas, and desperately con more Western aid to make up for what has been squandered or stolen.


Muslims flock to Europe to enjoy a level of freedom and opportunity long denied at home. But no sooner have many arrived than they castigate their adopted continent as decadent. The ungracious prefer intolerant sharia - denying to their own the very freedom of choice that was given to them by others.


Our response in America to this perennial Middle East temper tantrum?


In the last 20 years, we've sent billions in aid to the Arab world. We've saved Muslims from Bosnia to Kuwait. We've removed dangerous thugs in Afghanistan and Iraq, fostering democracies in their place. We've opened our borders to immigrants from the Middle East. We've paid billions of dollars in inflated oil prices. All the while, many in the West have wrongly blamed themselves for the conditions in the Middle East.


It's past time for Middle Easterners to fix their own self-inflicted mess. In the meantime, the U.S. and its allies should help as we can - but first protect ourselves from them as we must.

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U.S. Shields an Accused Iraqi Killer "terrorists"


Staff Reporter of the Sun

June 28, 2007

WASHINGTON — The American Embassy in Baghdad is offering de facto protection to the Iraqi culture minister, who an Iraqi judge this week charged with the attempted murder of a fellow parliamentarian, Mithal al-Alusi.


That is what Mr. Alusi told The New York Sun yesterday in a phone call from Baghdad. Mr. Alusi said the wanted man, As'ad Kamal al-Hashemi, had fled to al-Rashid Hotel inside the American-protected international zone in the center of Baghdad. Iraqi national police on Tuesday went to this location, only to be told by the South American mercenaries guarding the al-Rashid compound that they could not enter the grounds of the hotel where Mr. Hashemi was staying. Mr. Alusi then called the office of the American ambassador in Iraq, Ryan Crocker, to ask the Americans to order the guards to allow the national police to enter the premises. He was, in so many words, refused.


What the reprot might be missing is that it is a killing of his two sons two years ago and not attempted one. the killing that was at that time glorified by Sadamists and Qaeda as a punishment for Mr. Alusi brave stands accusing him of collaborating with the Americans.

What is really puzzling , is that same Americans are the one who are protecting the alleged killer and the one who blocks justice from being deployed.. If it was a Shia politician who go after the ex-clergy sunni minister, them one might thought of it as politically driven, but being followed by a sunni father to two young sons !


I don't know who is behind such decision , but those who might think it is just to keep the balance, they are wrong here. It will encourage the revenge process away from the order and law that we all ask Maliki to apply.. It sent a very bad message, specially to those who think Americans might be benefiting the chiotics . Yesterday I listened to Mr.. Alusi on Aliraqia, he was clearly pointing to the Americans as blocking justice .. he said the minister might be a critical source of information that some might not willing to let the Iraqis know of !

This incident might high light the level of difficulties that Mr.maliki is facing with this UNITY government.. Just imagine that you are working with some one who might be a real criminal as one of your ministers that are supposed to fight terrorists..

Mr. Alusi told US sponsored Radio Sawa , that the accusation was revealed after the capture of the terrorists who killed his two sons last week. They admitted that the minister and the son of Legislator Adnan Aldulaimi "head of Twafuc Sunni parliament slate" were the one who gave the orders and financed the mission two years ago

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Posts by Babak Rahimi




Askariya Bombing Strengthens Sadr's Hand

Shi'ite Cleric Expands Influence by Strengthening Ties With Secular Nationalists

06/27/2007 12:58 PM ET



The reaction to the second set of explosions, however, has been a far cry from the sectarian violence that followed the first blast in 2006, which unleashed a surge in Sunni-Shiite attacks. Aside from sporadic attacks on Sunni mosques following the most recent Samarra incident, the current situation in the country remains oddly calm in the face of a possible increase of sectarian bloodshed. Why has the latest attack not given way to further impetus of sectarian conflict, and what are the political implications of this second attack?


The relative calm after the second attack could indicate that a major change in the landscape of both Shiite and Sunni politics has occurred since February 2006. For one thing, Sunni Iraqis, especially the tribal and urban Sunni population of Samarra, who make up the majority of the city and also worship at the al-Askari shrine mosque, are increasingly viewing the Salafi movement as a major threat to the national unity of Iraq. The nationalist fervor of Sunni Iraqis, in the western and central provinces of Iraq, is triggering an increase in dissatisfaction with the Salafi Islamists, who aim to push Iraq closer to all-out sectarian civil war.


Second, Moqtada al-Sadr's recent move to control and centralize his Mahdi Army appears to be working, and his immediate call for restraint after the second attack indicates the extent to which he has successfully gained control over his militia since his reappearance in May—or perhaps earlier this spring. Although the immediate reaction by the Sadrists to the second bombing was a mass demonstration, al-Sadr was quick to order his followers to restrain themselves from attacking any Sunni mosques (IRNA, June 14). In a manner similar to his reaction after the first attack in 2006, al-Sadr even proposed to have his militia protect Sunni mosques against any attacks by rogue Shiite groups (al-Nahrain TV, June 14). This move was consistent with al-Sadr's earlier efforts to form a Sunni-Shiite alliance, which he aims to exploit for gaining more political strength in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq against his main Shiite rival, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. His move to appeal even to secular nationalists, such as the former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who met al-Sadr in Najaf in April, should indicate al-Sadr's strategic shift to broadening his political influence in an increasingly fractured Iraqi political scene (al-Watan, April 22).



Though I might disagree on some of the Mr. Rahimi's points , I would consider the above analysis as one of the most balanced western one..

Alsader is extending his rule to be a national Iraq figure. Both Samara's explosions ended to be to his favor, just in contrary to what those who did it , might aimed for.

In the first one, he exposed him self as Shia protector. while in the second , he tried to reach the Sunni's.. Just the right timing for right situation.

While his rival Shia and other Iraqi politicians either drowning into the non functioning UNITED government weakness or in the terror crimes, he stands as the one who fight both Occupation and terror without pushing Iraq into violence.At least from prospective of many Iraqis.


His calls for the peaceful march to Samara next month on some religious day, is getting more attention. He is mobilizing millions while Sadamists posted a warning letter signed by "Estikhbarat" party intelligence, that they will strike the march as they already did before . referring to all those crimes that they did before. The letter went to a reference of using air in making their punishment to the march.

Alsder , in reply confirmed today that he is keeping on his call.. Almaliki issued an announcement calling for cooling down as the security situation is not yet ready to accommodate such huge numbers.

The Qaeda affiliate , Sunni Muslim Scholars, also called for not making it claiming that the government will attack the march and put it on Alqaeda !It said that Samara residents are horrified by the march .

An alsadree wrote, " If we are the one who will be hit and we are not afraid of taking that choice, why are you scared "..

I think Alsader is trying by this to put pressure on the government to take over the security situation in Samara .. While Mr. Rahimi thought it is against Maliki, It might be another shroud move to strenghten Maliki's governement as he already did by withdrawing his ministers .. !!

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Good for the US embassy to issue an official confirmation that it has absolutely no role in blocking Iraqi police from bringing the ex-salafi clergy minister to justice on latest accusations of planning for the murder of the two young sons of Sunni Legislator Alalusi.


Mr. Alusi told US sponsored Radio Sawa that he sent a letter to President Bushh , asking for stopping any intervene by US authorities in this case.. He told the radio that a Suadi prince and a US minister were behind the strange stand


There so so much frustration among Iraqis to hear the earlier news. However, the The minister slate announced the withdrawal of it's six ministers as a protest for having the minister under law arrest that they think is planned to denounce their reputation .


On other front , Alsader is complying with the government concerns of not able to secure the march, He decided to postpone it.. The news came after the visit by high rank officials in the Kurd and Shia slates to Alnajaf. His spokes man said that the move of postponing came in reply to many national requests made by Iraqi politicians.



Mr. Bahaa Alaraajee , Sadree legislator, calls for maliki to come with new government that is based on technocrat and for the political blocks to support it.


On the Dial's Qaeda killing front, there is a huge media blockage on the real battle.. Both Western and Arab media , even the Sadamists, are not paying too much attention..The battle is considered by Iraqis that I contacted as the biggest campaign since Falouja..

As I already expected , this is the real battle on Qaeda in Iraq.. After the Americans gave them all the means to gather and build their Islamic state, they are now take them all in one shot. They are forced to move to north Diala near to their strong nurturing communities in Moukdadidia and around Khalis , so now they are almost isolated from Iraqi main cities.. The final move to kill and capture the criminals in the triangle of east Samara-Himreen mountain-mokdadia is just on the doors while the cleaning of south Baghdad is going on. I think the US prefrence is to prison them than killing them. Most of them came to Iraq from other countries and they have priceless information about Qaeda under cover networks..

Almaliki warned that some of the captured revealed a huge plan to blow up middel east , specially those with large secterian divisions.. Moufac Alrubaiee flew to Suadi Arabia to talk with Suadies about some aspects.. Suadi Arabai has large Shia sunni communities..


Don't believe the announced numbers of enemy casualties, they are much much more.. A friend from Baakoba who had visited Alkatoon for first time while loading his truck of rice, told me that the bodies of killed QAEDA TERRORIST are still on the streets , no time to collect.

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I admit that I couldn't go reading this awful article to the end.. Not because I don't like to face some realities that the terrorists and violence had created in Iraq, but for the disgusting short minded goals that the writer might be looking for.

Prostitution is not something new in Iraq. In the forties and fifties , there was a specific part of central Baghdad where prostitution was openly exercised, something similar to Md Ali Street in Cairo. In the sixties, the Kasim government went as far as building a new discrete that accommodated most of these prostitution gangs in one place under the medical and official control with a law to prohibit it out side that discrete. In the Seventies, the Baath party went as far as breaking that law and allow the prostitution homes to be spread through the capitol.. In the eighties and nineties , the financial and social hardships of the Sadam's wars and UN sanctions drove prostitution to it's highest level.


After the fall of Sadam, and because of fanatic religious groups control to the streets , prostitutes freedom to move was kind of restricted. As a result , many chose to leave the country to neighboring countries were they have better chances of work more freely and get a better income.


The impact of that restrictions went way beyond prostitution, to the more important middle class women workers. Iraq maintain one of the highest percentage of working women in ME ,it comes after Isreal and Iran. The fanatic religious groups tried their best to export their Badwan mentality in keeping women at home. They accuse those working women to be violating their religious faith and went up to make their work some thing similar to prostitution.


Such an article that claim that some working women are under covering their prostitution activity through their work that they need to go for to feed their kids, is another indirect message to support the religious fanatic claim. It has nothing to do with the article story, that could happen any where in the world, it is just try to stop women from going to work and participating in building Iraq.


The writer might be under influnce of the idea that the liberation of Iraq had created more mess than fixing things. If such claim is true and the prostitution is a good factor to scale on, then we should all ask for the return of the Communist regim to Russia, visit Dubai to know why!!

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Shiite’s Tale: How Gulf With Sunnis Widened





Sunnis say they, too, were victims of Mr. Hussein’s tyranny and are even now being pummeled by Shiite death squads or American soldiers. Asmaa al-Dulaimi, a member of Parliament and the daughter of Adnan al-Dulaimi, who leads the main Sunni bloc, said Ms. Musawi and her Shiite colleagues exaggerated their own victimhood for political gain.


“All of these claims are part of the fake oppression they pretend they endured,” she said.


Statements like these leave Ms. Musawi seething, and she says she has come close to quitting several times. When she is asked what it would take for Shiites to reconcile with Sunnis in government, a mix of anger and hurt can be heard as the current leaders suddenly seem to merge in her mind with the Baathists of old.


“I can’t stand seeing them controlling things again,” she said. “I can’t stand seeing them in power.”


If her opponents reach out a hand to shake on a deal, she said, “I think the other hand is hiding a dagger.”



Iraqis need to work so hard to bridge all the gaps that Sadam's regime had created . Such claims by Mrs Asmaa is not something strange and would not be helpful but to those who benefits the secterian tension . some one like her Dad, Mr. Dulaimi, who got his political strenght through the secterian calls .

I watched Mrs. Mousawee on the TV interviews , she is so ellegant and educated lady with a PH.D. degree . She is so open minded , that I never thought she had passed all that sufferings.. I don't know to what extent her views were accurately expressed in the above reprot, but her calls on the TV and in the Parliament were concentrating on calls to fight the criminals and to bridge across secterian walls.

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