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The Battle of Baghdad (Law Enforcement)

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Good advice !



Going positive


On strategic grounds, it appears that we now have an opportunity to salvage something significant in Iraq. Given sectarian tensions and brittle Iraqi institutions, this almost surely requires us to execute a gradual drawdown of U.S. forces there rather than an abrupt departure. In political terms, it would be rescuing defeat from the jaws of victory to mandate an end to an operation, however unpopular, just when it is showing its first signs of progress.


Democrats should change course. Rather than demand an end to the operation no matter what, they should continue to keep up the pressure for positive results in Iraq. They can retain their anti-war stance, emphasizing that their default position is that U.S. troops should soon come home absent continued major progress. The surge was never designed as just a military operation; it was intended to create political space for Iraqis to forge reconciliation with each other across sectarian lines. Since that is for the most part not yet happening, it is perfectly reasonable for the Democrats to demand more as a condition for continued funding.


The way to do this is to tie funding for Iraq operations to further progress by Iraqi leaders on their nation's political front. Release of our money should be partly contingent on progress on the so-called benchmarks in this year's funding bill — reforming the de-Baathification process to allow amnesty for lower-level former Baathists, expunging extremist and militia leaders from key government jobs and the security forces, passing a hydrocarbon law, moving to provincial elections and creating a provincial powers act. But we should add other stipulations to the list as well, some already raised by the Iraq Study Group in 2006.

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Robert Fisk: The cult of the suicide bomber




But a month-long investigation by The Independent, culling four Arabic-language newspapers, official Iraqi statistics, two Beirut news agencies and Western reports, shows that an incredible 1,121 Muslim suicide bombers have blown themselves up in Iraq. This is a very conservative figure and – given the propensity of the authorities (and of journalists) to report only those suicide bombings that kill dozens of people – the true estimate may be double this number. On several days, six – even nine – suicide bombers have exploded themselves in Iraq in a display of almost Wal-Mart availability. If life in Iraq is cheap, death is cheaper.


The listed number of suicide bumbers seems very conservative, as Iraqi authorities are puting it at more than 3000.

It is well known that main targets by these bombers were Iraqi civilians, not shia or sunni , arab or kurds but Iraqis.

The question is what type of control is there to direct a devoted muslims to turn into a bumb to kill even his fellow muslims.. This might be one of the mysteries of this war..



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Drive in Basra by Iraqi Army Makes Gains


Published: May 12, 2008

BASRA, Iraq — Three hundred miles south of Baghdad, the oil-saturated city of Basra has been transformed by its own surge, now seven weeks old.

The Quietening of Basra In a rare success, forces loyal to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki have largely quieted the city, to the initial surprise and growing delight of many inhabitants who only a month ago shuddered under deadly clashes between Iraqi troops and Shiite militias.


Just as in Baghdad, Iraqi and Western officials emphasize that the gains here are “fragile,” like the newly planted roadside saplings that fail to conceal mounds of garbage and pools of foul-smelling water in the historic port city’s slums.


Among the many uncertainties are whether the government, criticized for incompetence at the start of the operation, can maintain the high level of troops here. But in interviews across Basra, residents overwhelmingly reported a substantial improvement in their everyday lives.


“The circle of fear is broken,” said Shaker, owner of a floating restaurant on Basra’s famed Corniche promenade, who, although optimistic, was still afraid to give his full name, as were many of those interviewed.


Hopes for a similar outcome in Baghdad’s Sadr City district were undercut when an Iraqi armored unit was struck by three roadside bombs on Sunday, one day after a cease-fire there was negotiated.


The principal factor for improvement that people in Basra cite is the deployment of 33,000 members of the Iraqi security forces after the March 24 start of operations, which allowed the government to blanket the city with checkpoints on every major intersection and highway.


Borrowing tactics from the troop increase in Baghdad, the Iraqi forces raided militia strongholds and arrested hundreds of suspects. They also seized weapons including mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and sophisticated roadside bombs that officials say were used by Iranian-backed groups responsible for much of the violence.


Government forces have now taken over Islamic militants’ headquarters and halted the death squads and “vice ‘enforcers’ ” who attacked women, Christians, musicians, alcohol sellers and anyone suspected of collaborating with Westerners.


Shaker’s floating restaurant stands as one emblem of the change since then.


Just two months ago, he said, masked men in military uniforms walked into the packed dining room and abducted a businessman at gunpoint. The man was never seen again, and the restaurant closed.


Now, however, customers who fled that evening are pressing the 34-year-old owner to stay open later at night, so they can enjoy their unaccustomed freedom from the gangs, which once banned the loud Arabic pop music now blaring from Shaker’s loudspeakers.


“Now it is very different,” he said. “After we heard that the lawless people have been arrested or killed, we have a kind of courage.”


Even alcohol, once banned by the extremists, is discreetly on sale again in some areas.


Nevertheless, few Basra residents trust that the change is permanent or that the death squads have been vanquished.


Asked how long it would take for Basra to slip back into lawlessness if the army departed, Afrah, a 20-year-old theater student at Basra’s College of Fine Arts, replied, “One day.”


Capturing a mood that flits between bad recent memories, giddy relief and brittle future expectations, she added, “It is over, but it could come back any moment, because the people who are doing the intimidation on the streets, sometimes they are your neighbor and you trust them.”


Mr. Maliki’s hastily begun operation to rein in the extremists did not start with great promise.


The offensive, grandly named Charge of the Knights, was widely criticized for being poorly planned and ill-coordinated. It was derided as the Charge of the Mice by followers of the radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr after more than 1,000 soldiers deserted in the face of heavy resistance from his Mahdi Army and other extremist groups. The fierce early clashes halted only after a pro-government delegation went to Iran and struck a deal with the Sadrists.


An overwhelmingly Shiite city of more than three million people, Basra sits atop huge oil reserves, which, Western officials say, provide 40 percent of Iraq’s annual oil revenue of $38 billion.

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Shiite Militia in Baghdad Sees Its Power Ebb

By SABRINA TAVERNISEPublished: July 27, 2008



Shiite Militia in Baghdad Sees Its Power Ebb

By SABRINA TAVERNISEPublished: July 27, 2008






I don't think it is in the interest or intention of PM Al-Maliki, neither of US policy makers to eliminate the Sader's political influence, such elimination might open the doors to Qaeda to reestablish it's roots and for Iranians to enforce their presence.


Their policy would better be through helping Sadrees to abandon their criminal elements and encourage them to work as a pragmatic political party.. I think that is at least what Al-Maliki is doing with critical help from Mr. Muqtada himself.

Al-Maliki push on those elements is making a big favor to Sadree who were no longer be able to control the criminal gangs within Almahdi army. That is also why Muqtada had issued his surprising Cree to drop down arms and to not fight back the government forces. He didn't want to create division within his group by fighting these elements, leaving it to the Government to do the "dirty" job while he is sitting in his hide to collect both gains of getting rid of the uncontrolled elements and at same time putting himself as the unifying figure of the group.


It is a much more complicated situation than what the journalist above is try to portrait as a fight on controlling couple of gas stations in some Baghdad's neighborhoods. As long as there is injustice in distributing wealth among Iraqis and corruption within Government and leading political parties who have the big say in the Parliament, as more the Sadree's and other radical groups have their case to make to reach the poorest class in Iraq.


Last month the Government passed the new law of drastically increasing the Government's employees "2.5 million" , there were no measures to address the impact of inflation on the poor unemployed class " more than 5 million" . This is one example of how he current political system deals with issues. Today the food rational program "more than five billion dollars cost" is assigning about 200 $ per month per family, however in reality each family got what is equivalent to no more than 25 $ of market price value of the very limited list of food items. The rest is going to administration fees and corruption. There were calls to distribute the budget directly to families, these call were aggressively resisted by those who are controlling the program.


The control of the new leading class on the political arena is bringing so much harm to the system, we need to work to correct that unbalance. One way is to open windows to the most hurt to have their say. Sadress are one of these windows ..



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The NYT Editorial above

Time for Iraq to Pay the Bill



Published: August 7, 2008




I don't agree with the writer. There is no sign of spending such huge amounts by US on building Iraq. Iraqis are still living the dark ages of no electricity or clean water.Most of the these amounts were either wasted by US malfunctioning agencies or spent on rebuilding new security institutions, necessary to fight Qaeda. As for Iraqis ability to spend, it might be good that at least they know how to save. They need more than Trillion dollars to rebuild what the three wars of Sadam had done to Iraq. A country that once was considered as the most advanced in ME during the Seventies of last century before the Iran war.I found the writer call of encouraging Iraqi professionals to go back as interesting, specially after the war of defeating Qaeda in Iraq had almost reached it's goals. A war that costs that country much more than the 40 billion dollars and at same time, saved US much more of that amount of damages that ,God forbid, might be caused by more than 3000 suicides who were pushed to Iraq to fight the Americans there rather than else where. </H1>

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Draft Accord With Iraq Sets Goal of 2011 Pullout


By STEPHEN FARRELLPublished: August 21, 2008 BAGHDAD — The United States has agreed to remove combat troops from Iraqi cities by next June and from the rest of the country by the end of 2011 if conditions in Iraq remain relatively stable, according to Iraqi and American officials involved in negotiating a security accord governing American forces there.

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Two Ways to Think About Iraq

By Shawn Brimley


Having spent a little time in Iraq last month (with my co-bloggers and colleagues Colin and John), I was extremely impressed with the security gains there, but came away very concerned about how sustainable they are absent more political progress.

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U.S. blames Iran for delay in Iraq pact

With no breakthrough in negotiations on extending the American military mandate in Iraq, which expires Dec. 31, Ambassador Ryan Crocker alleges Tehran is trying to derail the talks.By Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

September 26, 2008






This would include taking over payment and command of tens of thousands of mainly Sunni Arab paramilitary forces known as the Sons of Iraq, who were hired by the U.S. military to enhance security nationwide. Along with Sadr's cessation of violence and the deployment of extra U.S. troops, the Sons of Iraq have been credited with reducing violence by about 80% in Iraq in the last 18 months.


The White House initially resisted setting a deadline for a troop withdrawal, but Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's government insisted on its inclusion in any agreement. In his firmest statement yet, Maliki said last Wednesday that he expected all foreign troops to be gone from Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011. He said an alternative such as an extension of the U.N. mandate could be difficult to achieve given Russia's strained relations with the United States.


Maliki also said Iraq wants U.S. negotiators to drop their demand that American troops continue to have immunity from Iraqi prosecution for alleged crimes committed against Iraqis.


U.S. negotiators arrived back in Baghdad this week with Washington's response. Crocker refused to give details, but U.S. officials have confirmed that immunity for troops remains the main sticking point.


The question is what wee did to accomodate the Sadrees , as the case and the requests to do with the SOns of Iraq.? I know that competitor political groups, especially Shia's one, might not be happy with such question. But I think this is much more important to address than the Sons of Iraq. Sadrees are the first to confront Alqaeda's operatives when the Sons where fighting on same side of Qaeda.

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<H1 _extended="true">Zakaria: Shoe-throwing incident shows good, bad of Iraq war </H1>




For many Iraqis , even among those who support the removal of the dictatorship, Bush's administration policy was nothing but to deal with Iraq as a battel zone by transforming it to be the hottest front to fight the international terror . That policy was of two folds, from one side by creating the encouraging environment to push the striking force of these groups into Iraq, then by wiping them all together in Iraq rather than fighting them in USA or other places of interest in ME and around the world.


While that policy had fully succeeded in protecting the American interests, people and allies, it had created a serious damages to Iraq integrity and well being of it's people.


I think it is the American people duty and the new administration to help Iraq fix damages caused by that war. There are many ways to do that. One option is to focus the rebuilding efforts. Currently. the American building fleet is doing an amazing job building the infrastructure in many rural areas. Unfortunetly, the benefits of these projects are not recognized by those who where mostly hurt by the damages , specially in central Baghdad where most Iraqis look at as their model of pride. Most of these projects are to gain hearts of people in these areas rather than builing a strategic projects.


I lately went to Baghdad and was shocked by the level of damages and ignorance caused by the war and sanctions over the last two decades. The US rebuild efforts may need to re plan to focus on one areas of these destructed neighborhoods of certal Baghdad such as Alrashid street or Alsaadon street or Aljumhoria street and lunch a big project to rebuild under clear name such as "the American project" . This may reflect a huge impact on the way Iraqis precieve the American intentions and reputation. Have a look to Maliki's doing. The rebuild of Almutanabi street gave him a huge credit though the effort was not that big.Or, have the Japanese rebuild in central Samawa as another example.


One other way to show American efforts is to build a medical complex under " The American hospital" to deal with all cases that need special sophisticated treatment. Other way is to finance building a huge mall "The American mall".


US need to reach ordinary Iraqis with some thing direct and big. It is the least to pay back the Iraqi people who took the burden in absorbing the terror network main wave and creat some level of trust between the two nations



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كانت تختار الانتحاريات من «البائسات» وتتلقى التوجيهات من «مفتي أنصار السنة» ... «أم المؤمنين» تقرّ بمسؤوليتها عن 28 عملية انتحارية في العراق

بغداد الحياة - 04/02/09//



سميرة أحمد جاسم في صورة وزعتها الشرطة العراقية. (أ ب)

أعلن الناطق باسم الخطة الأمنية في بغداد اللواء قاسم عطا في مؤتمر صحافي أمس اعتقال «المدعوة سميرة أحمد جاسم الملقبة أم المؤمنين، ومهمتها إعداد الانتحاريات»، مشيراً الى أن «اعتقالها تم في 21 كانون الثاني (يناير) الماضي في وكر إرهابي»، لم يحدد موقعه. وأكد «اعترافها بالمسؤولية عن 28 عملية انتحارية، وإعداد 80 إرهابية» لتنفيذ عمليات أخرى.

وتشير مصادر «الحياة» إلى أن عملية الاعتقال تمت في ديالى بناء على معلومات أدلى بها معتقلون من «جماعة أنصار السنة». وقال خلال المؤتمر الصحافي انه سيتم قريبا اعلان اسماء وصور القبض على قياديين او ثلاثة من تنظيم «القاعدة» و «الأنصار» مسؤولين عن ادارة بقايا الخلايا البسيطة في بغداد وديالى، مؤكداً استمرار «حصول هذه التنظيمات على تمويل خارجي».

وعرض خلال المؤتمر الصحافي شريطاً قصيراً تحدثت خلاله المعتقلة (51 عاما) التي بدت كأنها ربة منزل عراقية تقليدية تماما. وقالت: «تعرفت الى شاكر حمود مالك من قرية حنبس (شمال شرقي المقدادية في محافظة ديالى) وعرض علي العمل مع انصار السنة وطلب مني مرافقته الى بغداد لشراء معدات للتفجير عن بعد».

واضافت أن أول امرأة جندتها كانت: «أم هدى. طلبوا مني نقلها الى البساتين وكلمة السر هي «ام المؤمنين» ثم عدت لتسلمها. كنت اتحدث اليها من دون ان تنطق. وبدت كأنها تقرأ آيات. ثم تركتها تفجر نفسها في مركز شرطة المقدادية» (105 كم شمال شرقي بغداد).

وتابعت أن الانتحارية الثانية «كانت سعدية خلف وهي عانس طاعنة في السن تحدثت اليها حتى اقنعتها (...) ثم تسلمها مني شاكر وأخذوها الى البساتين. ثم طلبوا مني نقلها الى مرآب للنقل في المقدادية حيث فجرت نفسها».

وتابعت: «والثالثة كانت آمال وهي معلمة تعاني من مشاكل اجتماعية مع عائلتها وحالتها النفسية تعبة، ترددت اليها واخذتها الى البساتين (...) وقامت بتفجير نفسها عند مقر للجان الشعبية»، في اشارة الى «قوات الصحوة».

وزادت أنها كانت تتلقى التوجيهات من «مفتي أنصار السنة المدعو حارث الصليوي»، عن طريق شخص يشكل حلقة الربط بينهما يدعى شاكر، كان يطلب منها تجنيد انتحارية لتنفيذ عملية خطط لها مسبقاً، مشيرة الى ان دورها كان في «حض النساء البائسات اللواتي يعانين مشاكل اجتماعية وعائلية على القيام بعملية انتحارية، وتختار قيادة تنظيم أنصار السنة مكان التفجير».

وكانت قوات خاصة قبضت على ابتسام عدوان، المشرفة على اعداد انتحاريات، بينما كانت في قرية حمادي، شرق بعقوبة. وقال مسؤولون أمنيون في حينها إن «عدوان ورطت الانتحارية رانيا ابراهيم» (15 عاما) التي قالت ان زوجها وامرأة أخرى أرغماها على ارتداء حزام ناسف يزن عشرين كليوغراماً لتفجير نفسها في حشد من الشرطة وسط بعقوبة الصيف الماضي. لكن الشرطة اعتقلتها فور الاشتباه بها في 25 اب (اغسطس) الماضي.

وكانت اصغر انتحارية في العراق تعتقل.

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List of suicide bombings in Iraq since 2003


About 1250 bombing:

2003: 25 suicide bombings (32 attackers)2004: 140 suicide bombings2005: 478 suicide bombings2006: 300 suicide bombings2007: 200+ Suicide Bombings2008: 115+ Suicide Bombings 2009: 2 Suicide Bombings

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