A Diary of Resistance – behind the news

Iraqi Resistance now a popular revolution?

Compiled by Ray Bergmann

“Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
An’ the unpawned painter behind beyond his rightful time
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing”
Bob Dylan, Chimes of Freedom.

To spread or die: the imperative of capital

Palestine in the Middle East:
Opposing Neo-liberalism and US Power
Part 1
by Adam Hanieh

Over the last six months ( up till July 2008), the Palestinian economy has been radically transformed under a new plan drawn up by the Palestinian Authority (PA) called the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP).

Developed in close collaboration with institutions such as the World Bank and the British Department for International Development (DFID), the PRDP is currently being implemented in the West Bank where the Abu Mazen-led PA has effective control.

It embraces the fundamental precepts of neoliberalism: a private sector-driven economic strategy in which the aim is to attract foreign investment and reduce public spending to a minimum. more>> Palestine in the Middle East: Opposing Neoliberalism and US Power more>> http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/hanieh190708a.html

AND Part 2

Palestine in the Middle East:
Opposing Neo-liberalism and US Power
Part 2
by Adam Hanieh

Neo-liberalism, the “New Middle East” and Palestine

In the late 1960s, with the definitive collapse of British and French colonialism in the Middle East, the US rose to become the dominant imperial power within the region.

Because of the presence of oil, the Middle East became critically important to the overall construction of US hegemony in the global order.

Control of the region’s resources functioned simultaneously to secure a vital commodity, provide a source of profits, and as a cudgel with which to influence rival powers within the global marketplace.

In the last 30 years, the region — particularly the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — has taken on an increasingly important role as a source of flows of surplus capital — and hence overall power — within the global financial order.

more>> http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/hanieh190708b.html
“Odds are against an attack on Iran”

Rami Khouri in an article called “The odds are against an attack on Iran” at The Daily Star (Lebanon) on 2nd July 2008 says he expects the U.S. and Israel to finally accept the reality that a military strike, no matter how punitive, would only temporarily set back Iran’s nuclear capability, because the technological knowledge is already in Iran’s hands and cannot be destroyed with bombs.

You can read the whole article at http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=93678 but here is the essential part:

“Iran has already achieved that which it says it seeks: full mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle, including uranium enrichment. Since this is the season for predicting in the Middle East, and given the paucity of hard facts or credible knowledge about the main players’ intentions, I expect the US and Israel to finally accept the reality that a military strike, no matter how punitive, would only temporarily set back Iran’s nuclear capability, because the technological knowledge is already in Iran’s hands and cannot be destroyed with bombs.”

“Furthermore, the destabilizing consequences for the Middle East, and for global energy and economics, are so massive that it is difficult to imagine this scenario unfolding. The alternative is diplomatic negotiations that would meet the legitimate and reasonable needs of the key parties, namely Iran, the US, Israel, Europe and the Arab neighbors.

Iran could continue to develop its nuclear industry, but with stringent international inspections and safeguards under the rules of existing treaties and conventions that prevent the development of nuclear weapons.”

“The political enmity among Iran, Israel and the US could be dealt with through serious political engagement, starting with a negotiated resolution of the Arab-Israeli crisis. The framework for an Arab-Israeli peace settlement is available. It only requires more seriousness and fairness from Israel and the US. Israel’s three most serious enemies in the neighborhood – Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas – are in fact negotiating with it already.”

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U.S. behind Israel’s war threats on Iran

by Sara Flounders, Workers World Newspaper, June 11, 2008

See http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_27071.shtml

Reviewed by Ray Bergman

Very interesting article indeed.

I have one question about Sara Flounder’s article where she persuasively argues that Israel is a tool of U.S. corporate power and is being used to press for an assault on Iran:

If the US and Iran currently need each other for dominating Iraq then how could the US consider an assault on Iran?

Isn’t this idea promoted to scare the US, Israeli and Iranian publics into submission to policies of the U.S. ruling circles?

This question is tackled in the article as follows:

“Faced with the debacle of the U.S. occupations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, there is deep division within U.S. ruling circles and even within the top Pentagon brass on how and whether to proceed with an attack on Iran. This opposition is not based on any humanitarian concerns for the Iranian people, their own troops or working people in the U.S. It is based on the fear of a political explosion in the region.”

“Indecision and growing contention are the order of the day. The past two years have been full of leaks, in-depth exposés by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker magazine and resignations of both civilian and military officials. Admiral William J. Fallon, head of the U.S. Central Command for the Middle East and South and Central Asia, was forced to resign after Esquire magazine wrote about his deep reservations regarding an attack on Iran.”

“The steamroller against Iran was set back by the release of a U.S. National Intelligence Estimate last December saying Iran did not have a nuclear weapons program and had not had one in more than five years.”

Flounder’s answer to the question that immediately arose in my mind is this:

“Today the U.S. ruling class is realizing with rising panic that it is not in control of events. Events are controlling them—from the deepening and unsolvable economic crisis to an unwinnable war. This tends to make these global predators increasingly desperate, riddled with divisions, and prone to ever more desperate military adventures.”

And Flounder’s strategy for combatting a desperate US-Israeli military attack upon Iran is this:

“The only real opposition to the growing danger of a new war will come from the grassroots, not from the politicians. Such forces on a global basis must take seriously the increasing push for war and begin to mobilize.”

But because the US and Iran currently need each other in their attempts to dominate Iraq and Afghanistan then rather than the US embarking on an actual assault on Iran – an assault that would probably end in Israel’s destruction (which would not serve U.S. interests at this time) – isn’t this idea of an immanent Israelis or U.S. attack on Iran promoted mainly with the aim of scaring the US and Israeli publics into submission to the policies of militarization and control of the population by the ruling circles in the U.S. the ruling circles in Israel? And doesn’t Iran also use this threat to mobilize Iranians to support the policies of the ruling elite in Iran too?

The Introduction by Les Blough of Axis of Logic has these highlights:

Sara Flounder explains that AIPAC, the most powerful Israeli lobby among numerous others has,

“… grown into a powerful lobby because it has always promoted policies that benefit the profit interests of the most powerful section of U.S. corporate power—the military and oil industries. It works in tandem with them.”

Israel and the U.S. government are joined at the hip for their mutual interest in expansion, dominance and the profits of transnational corporations which, though not exclusively a U.S. enterprise, primarily emanate from the United States.

In the U.S. sponsored globalization scheme, the world’s only remaining sovereign entity is Global Corporate Empire (GCE), expressing itself in organizations such as the World Bank, IMF and WTO. We are told the GCE will benefit all subservient nations. The U.S. surrendered whatever sovereignty it ever had to Global Corporate Empire a long time ago. We pointed this out years ago in the example of the implementation of the U.S. “Free Trade Agreement” with China which was predicated on China’s admission into the World Trade Organization on December 1, 2001.

Axis of Logic’s primary focus is the ultimate defeat of Global Corporate Empire and its capitalist economic system wherever it raises its many ugly heads. Sara Flounders correctly sources the marsh serpent of the hydra back to the corporate government in Washington. Is Washington pushing Israel for an attack on Iran or vice versa? Either way, it does not lessen the threat of the empire to Iran and the rest of the world.
© Copyright 2008 by AxisofLogic.com

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Contents

  1. The first item is a short reference to a forthright analysis of the present situation throughout the Middle East.
  2. The second item is a reference to two good videos. You can see these videos at the Middle East Page @ https://bushtelegraph.wordpress.com/middle-east/
  3. Then follows the Human Rights Watch report on children held in US detention in Iraq.
  4. And finally a precis of an article at AMSI’s Heyanet about US black-ops in Iraq.

1. 26-05-2008 Middle East Online

http://www.middle-east-online.com/English/?id=26097

New Rules for the Middle East

We now have a rare moment in the Middle East: Iran, Turkey, all the Arabs, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Israel all share one and only one common trait: They routinely ignore the advice, and the occasional threats, they get from Washington, says Rami Khouri.

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2. 26 May 2008

Hoda Abdel Hamid of Aljazeera English has made a multi-part documentary on the Iraq conflict from January, 2006, through the present, entitled “War Without End.” — Part I and Part II

You can view these videos at the Middle East Page @ https://bushtelegraph.wordpress.com/middle-east/

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3. Children in US Custody Held Without Due Process

Human Rights Watch

May 25, 2008

Since 2003, the US has detained some 2,400 children in Iraq, including children as young as 10. Detention rates rose drastically in 2007 to an average of 100 new children a month from 25 a month in 2006. The US holds most children at US Camp Cropper in Baghdad, but has also held children at the main US military detention facility, Camp Bucca near Basra. US officials earlier this year told Human Rights Watch that they separate children from adults at these facilities but do not separate very young or particularly vulnerable children from other child detainees.

Child detainees, no differently from adults, may be interrogated over the course of days or weeks by military units in the field before being sent to the main detention centers. They have no real opportunity to challenge their detention: earlier this year US officials told Human Rights Watch that children are not provided with lawyers and do not attend the one-week or one-month detention reviews after their transfer to Camp Cropper. In addition, children have very limited contact with their families. While the US does assign each child a military “advocate” at the mandatory six-month detention review, that advocate has no training in juvenile justice or child development.

As of February 2008, the reported average length of detention for children was more than 130 days, and some children have been detained for more than a year without charge or trial, in violation of the Coalition Provisional Authority memorandum on criminal procedures. That memorandum’s section on “security internee process” states, “Any person under the age of 18 interned at any time shall in all cases be released not later than 12 months after the initial date of internment.”

“The vast majority of children detained in Iraq languish for months in US military custody,” Bencomo said. “The US should provide these children with immediate access to lawyers and an independent judicial review of their detention.”

In August 2007, the United States opened Dar al-Hikmah (House of Wisdom) at Camp Cropper with the stated intention to provide 600 detainees, ranging in age from 11 to 17, with educational services pending release or transfer to Iraqi custody. However, in May 2008, US military officials in Baghdad told Human Rights Watch that only “200 to 300” of the 513 child detainees were enrolled in classes at Dar al-Hikmah. Currently, children who are excluded from the program do not receive any other educational services.

Like adults, children transferred to Iraqi custody are at risk of abuse and poor conditions of confinement. A US military official in Baghdad told Human Rights Watch this month that the US was delaying the transfer of 130 child detainees to Iraq’s al-Tobchi juvenile detention facility because of conditions there.

The UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) found that overcrowding at al-Tobchi was causing hygiene problems during visits in October and November 2007. At the time the facility was operating at close to double its normal capacity of 200 beds, and children were sharing beds or taking turns to sleep on the floor without mattresses.

To date, the United States has not released statistics on the number of children it has transferred to Iraqi custody for trial. According to UNAMI, 89 children transferred from US to Iraqi custody had been convicted of offenses by December 2007. Between December 2007 and March 2008, there was a drop of 450 children in US custody, but the United States has not made known whether they were released or transferred to Iraqi custody.

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http://heyetnet.org/en/content/view/490/27/

US Ordered Assassinations, Sectarian Bomb Attacks Targeting Iraqi Civilians

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Former collaborator discloses details of US-ordered assassinations, sectarian bomb attacks targeting Iraqi civilians

An Iraqi who asked not to be identified had disclosed some of the US activities such as assassinations and bombings in markets that aim at sparking sectarian fighting among Iraqis so as to facilitate the partition of the country….

“Our task was to carry out assassinations of individuals. The US occupation army would supply us with their names, pictures, and maps of their daily movements to and from their place of residence and we were supposed to kill the Shi’i, for example, in the al-A’zamiyah, and kill the Sunni in the of ‘Madinat as-Sadr’, and so on.”

“Anyone in the unit who made a mistake was killed. Three members of my team were killed by US occupation forces after they failed to assassinate Sunni political figures in Baghdad. A US force that had been so-ordered eliminated them. That took place two years ago,” the former collaborator recalled…

The former collaborator said that “operations of planting car bombs and blowing up explosives in markets are carried out in various ways, the best-known and most famous among the US troops is placing a bomb inside cars as they are being searched at checkpoints. Another way is to put bombs in the cars during interrogations. After the desired person is summoned to one of the US bases, a bomb is place in his car and he is asked to drive to a police station or a marked for some purpose and there his car blows up.”

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21/05/2008

From Baghdad to Basra many Iraqis have nothing else but stagnant water to drink and no way of treating it, so contagious diseases are sweeping the country.

These women from Harmallah City in Hillah Province are using stagnant water for drinking and other needs in spite of the risk of disease, as are hundreds of families in this area.

A number of diseases are afflicting the population, especially children, after the water supply to the area was cut off, and central and southern Iraq are also suffering from loss of other basic services such as schools and health clinics.

Justifying this situation the manager of the Babil water supply Ali Farhan told Radio Sawa that the reason water can’t reach that area is because of over- extended demand upon the the water supply network.

Translator’s note: The real reasons why the Babil water supply network cannot treat more water that were not mentioned by the manager of the Babil water supply are:

1. drought from lack of rain

2. Iran and Turkey have cut off water from entering Iraq by diverted 28 small rivers, changing their direction away from Iraq by building new dams;

3. the Iraq government is not catering for the people’s needs, instead busying itself with fighting.

People have to solve their problems by themselves.

It is noteworthy that several water purification projects in the governorate of Babil were not completed on schedule.

Reference: http://www.albadeeliraq.com/new/showdetails.php?id=14750&kind=newstop

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“What??! Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city at 1.7 million, and it is (now claimed to be) under the control of “al-Qaeda”? How long has this been the case? All this time? While the US press was reveling in the “calm” in (this part of) the country?” Juan Cole http://www.juancole.com/

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/05/10/africa/ME-GEN-Iraq.php
Cease-fire reported in Sadr City, offensive begins against al-Qaida in Mosul

The Associated Press

Published: May 10, 2008

BAGHDAD: Shiite groups brokered a reported cease-fire Saturday with militants fighting U.S. and Iraqi forces in Baghdad’s Sadr City as the country’s army launched an offensive against al-Qaida’s main bastion in Iraq — the northern city of Mosul.

Sheik Salah al-Obeidi, an aide to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, said the cease-fire will go into effect Sunday. The cease-fire may not necessarily end the seven-week old clashes in Sadr City, the stronghold of al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army, however, as U.S. military has blamed clashes on breakaway groups.

It is not believed that the bulk of the 60,000-strong Mahdi Army has participated in the clashes. Instead it is just splinter groups that have refused to honor a general cease-fire ordered by al-Sadr last August. Al-Sadr has directed his supporters to only fight when attacked.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh in a statement on Saturday expressed the government’s support for efforts “that aims at achieving order and security in Sadr City.”

“The agreement represents the government’s vision to end armed displays and purge al-Sadr City from roadside bombs and mines and impose the law in the city,” al-Dabbagh said.

“Iraqi security forces are the only force to achieve this and the government has the right to raid and search any place suspected of possessing heavy or medium weapons,” al-Dabbagh said. “The government is also committed to chase all wanted people under the supervision of the prime minister.”

There was no immediate comment from the U.S. military on the reported deal.

The newly announced cease-fire comes after government-backed Shiite envoys set strict demands for Shiite militias to end their battles against Iraqi and U.S. forces in a meeting with al-Sadr’s supporters on Thursday.

“A 10-point agreement has been reached between members from the United Iraqi Alliance and Sadrist movement in Baghdad and we are informed that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is committed to it,” al-Obeidi said in the southern city of Najaf.

He added that “the agreement stipulates that Mahdi Army will stop fighting in Sadr City and will stop displaying arms in public. In return, the government will stop random raids against al-Sadr followers and open all closed roads that lead to Sadr City.”

Al-Obeidi said a joint committee will observe the implementation of the agreement and any violations by either side.

“This document does not call for disbanding al-Mahdi Army or laying down their arms,” al-Obeidi said, rejecting a previous call by al-Maliki.

The clashes in Sadr City began in late March after al-Maliki, himself a Shiite, launched a crackdown against the Shiite armed groups in the southern city of Basra. Aid groups say at least 6,000 people have fled the homes in Sadr City to escape the fighting and seek help as food and medical supplies dwindle.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Riyadh Jalal Tawfiq, the commander of military operations in the northern city of Mosul, issued a statement on Saturday to announce that the operation “Lion’s Roar” against al-Qaida in Iraq was under way.

Mosul was considered the last important urban staging ground for al-Qaida in Iraq after losing its strongholds in Baghdad and other areas during the U.S. troop “surge” last year.

“Operation Lion’s Roar is an Iraqi led, planned and executed operation, and is another example of the Iraqis’ growing confidence and ability to independently carry out complex combat, police and humanitarian operations,” said Maj. Peggy Kageleiry, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces in the north.

She added that U.S.-led Coalition forces “will provide advice, guidance and support as-requested by the Iraqi operational commander.”

Al-Maliki has been promising a crackdown since last January. But no major offensives have been mounted even as al-Qaida in Iraq tried to exert its influence in Iraq’s third-largest city through attacks and intimidation.

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Editor’s Note: Language and urgency account for poor translation from the Arabic in these reports.

Where possible original sources have been given for those with the resources to obtain better translation.

This is a voluntary service performed without funding from any agency — it is an independent service from a variety of sources.

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http://www.juancole.com/

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Maliki-Sadr Agreement on Sadr City;
Al-Maliki Heads to Mosul

The al-Maliki government and the Sadrists pulled back from the brink in Sadr City on Saturday. PM Nuri al-Maliki had demanded that the Mahdi Army militia that serves as the Sadrist paramilitary give up its arms and dissolve itself. The compromise simply states that the Iraqi security forces would be allowed in to Sadr City to search for suspected medium and heavy weapons. The implication is that the Mahdi Army may continue to exist and may keep its light weapons (e.g. AK-47s), though it has to pledge not to walk with them in public.

The siege of Sadr City is to be lifted and the major roads in and out of it are to be unblocked, according to the agreement.

Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that the agreement stipulates that the government should have a court order to come into Sadr City. Arrests of rogue commanders had to to be based on warrants and not just ‘indiscriminate.’ There is nothing in the agreement about the Mahdi Army disarming altogether, as Nuri Al-Maliki initially demanded.

Reading news about Iraq is like watching Bill Murray’s ‘Groundhog Day’ in which you have to live through the same day over and over again. So the US and Iraqi governments have announced a new campaign against Sunni radicals in Ninevah province, especially Mosul. Take a look at this article, published late last January: “Thousands of Iraqi army soldiers reached the northern city of Mosul on Sunday in preparation for what the government said would be a major offensive there against Al-Qaeda in Iraq, along with other Sunni militants.”

You have a sinking feeling that al-Maliki is recycling old announcements in a futile attempt to distract the public from his climb-down in Sadr City. Al-Maliki left for Mosul Saturday along with a few cabinet members and close advisers. Curfews have been announced in some Mosul neighborhoods.

Ninevah governor Duraid Kashmula admitted to Al-Hayat that Mosul “has come to dominated by the leaders of al-Qaeda as a result of the delay in the military operation in the city.”
What??! Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city at 1.7 million, and it is under the control of “al-Qaeda”? How long has this been the case? All this time? While the US press was reveling in the “calm” in the country?

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BUSH ADMINISTRATION PUPPET IN LEBANON LOSES OUT

http://www.counterpunch.org/lamb05102008.html

May 10 / 11, 2008

One frustrated US Senate Intelligence Committee staffer emailed this morning with a tinge of irony and cynicism:

Referring to President Bush: “Now this loser has really done it. Having effectively delivered Iraq and Afghanistan to Iran, he has now handed them Lebanon. Mark my words, Saudi Arabia is next and the Saudis know it and will make a deal with Iran.”

Street Notes from the Hamra District

Hezbollah Eases Up and Beirut Opens Its Shutters

By Franklin Lamb CounterPunch

“……As of this afternoon the losers and winners appear as follows:

The main losers obviously are the Bush administration, Israel and their Welch Club allies. Personal losers are Amin Gemayel, barely still the “leader” of the Phalange Party, as he talks tough and tries to rally his ‘forces’…from Paris. Samir Geagea has pretty much nudged him aside and is reportedly casting his dark gaze toward Saad Hariri who may be planning to retire from politics and help with the very big family business. After the parties meet with President Bush next week, a ‘shaking out’ process may begin.

Walid Jumblatt is another loser since his provocations, taunts, and Welch Club cheerleader role to take on Hezbollah left him at its mercy both in the Mountains and in his Beirut home. Whatever credibility he had has evaporated…….

Prime Minister Fouad Siniora loses more of his waning influence and status. One of his main problems is that he is increasingly seen as a Bush administration puppet. Not least of his worries this morning, as he prepares to avoid being dumped by Bush next week, is the ringing endorsement he received yesterday from Secretary of State Rice, without bringing herself to mention Siniora by name…….

One frustrated US Senate Intelligence Committee staffer emailed this morning with a tinge of irony and cynicism:

Referring to President Bush: “Now this loser has really done it. Having effectively delivered Iraq and Afghanistan to Iran, he has now handed them Lebanon. Mark my words, Saudi Arabia is next and the Saudis know it and will make a deal with Iran.”

The major winners are obvious: Lebanon’s Christian population allied with General Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Hezbollah, Amal and their Sunni, Druze and international supporters.

Hassan Nasrallah’s position is probably the strongest it has ever been, not just in Lebanon but throughout the region. If he wanted to be a dictator of all of Lebanon, which he eschews, he could have the position today.

Rami Khoury, writing in Beirut’s Daily Star this morning got it right in this observer’s view when he wrote:

Nasrallah’s task now is to create an inclusive environment conducive to the answering of these and other challenges. He and his party cannot be expected to come up with all of the solutions, and nor should they want to: If they cannot draw other players – and not just their closest allies – into the process, Nasrallah runs the risk of being cast as a dictator by default.

Hizbullah and its partners have frequently argued that their counterparts in the March 14 Forces coalition were not interested in true partnership, only in dictating terms. Now Nasrallah has to prove that his side is ready, willing and able to live up to its own expectations, and speed is of the essence: After 15 years of civil war, 15 of diluted sovereignty, and three of limbo, the Lebanese deserve at last to have a level of politics commensurate with their talents and energies. If Nasrallah is the man who makes this happen, history will judge his actions to have been a revolution, not a coup, and a long-overdue one at that.

Late news is that the airport may open by Monday but this is not certain. ”

Franklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon and can be reached at fplamb@gmail.com

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ATTEMPT TO POLITICALLY DISARM HIZBALLAH FAILS

http://palestinianpundit.blogspot.com/

Saturday 10 May 2008

Lebanon in crisis: an interview with editor Samah Idriss

Stefan Christoff, Electronic Lebanon, 10 May 2008

Samah Idriss spoke with Stefan Christoff concerning the current political crisis in Lebanon……..

….Clearly there is a strategy from the government and pro-government forces to portray Hizballah as the outsiders, to try to portray Hizballah as a force coming to change the nature of Beirut by bringing in Shi’ite elements, Iranian elements, Persian elements, barbarian elements, etc. All oriental stereotypes that mainstream western media and some mainstream Arab media will quickly adopt. It is not certain, however, that this portrayal for Hizballah could work in the Arab media because Hizballah is widely respected as the major defender for the Arab cause, for the Palestinian cause.

Across the Middle East the mainstream Sunni populations don’t view Hizballah or its leader Hassan Nasrallah as a sectarian leader or simply a Shi’ite leader. However, the mainstream pro-government media in Lebanon attempt to portray Hizballah as a completely sectarian movement, in tune with the political lines fostered by the governments of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, France and the US…….

On an international level, obviously this government is allied with the US, with France, with Saudi Arabia, with Egypt, viewing itself as part of the US or EU political agenda in the Middle East, that they put forward with the empty slogan, “I Love Life” in Lebanon. Today the government presents itself to the west as fighting a Syrian and Iranian axis that is based on a culture of martyrdom or a culture of death, as the government claims, while the current government represents western values in Lebanon, values put forward with empty slogans that utilize words like “freedom,” “sovereignty” and “independence.”

Actually, the government also uses language to present Hizballah as somehow an external force to Lebanon, using similar language that we use in Lebanon to describe Israeli forces. While at the time, a real external threat invaded Lebanon in 2006, the Israeli army, the current government did nothing to resist, contrary to their slogans about sovereignty, independence and freedom…….
Hizballah’s telecommunication network is an important weapon for the resistance movement in Lebanon, playing a critical role in 2006 war. In a sense the communications system is even more important than Hizballah’s rockets or weaponry. In 2006 the entire weapons arsenal would have done little without the telecommunications network. Now for the Lebanese government to demand to control this communications network, or for it to be dismantled, is equivalent to demanding that Hizballah hand over their arms to the government.
Israel and the US first wanted to politically disarm Hizballah through UN Resolution 1559, with support from western-backed forces in Lebanon. Once this strategy failed the US and Israel tried to disarm Hizballah by force in 2006 through an invasion. In a sense it was the US that invaded Lebanon in 2006. This attempt to disarm Hizballah failed due to the Lebanese resistance. Now again the same forces are attempting to disarm Hizballah, however, through a different strategy, using different titles, and this time the focus is on the telecommunications network of Hizballah in Lebanon — a critical element to Hizballah’s arms…….”

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Real News Video: Five million orphans in Iraq

http://therealnews.com/web/index.php?thisdataswitch=0&thisid=1478&thisview=item&renewx=2008-05-10+11%3A56%3A36

Alive in Baghdad: Most orphanages a disgrace, this is a story of one orphanage that works

Saturday May 10th, 2008

We show this segment courtesy of http://www.aliveinbaghdad.org. Alive in Baghdad employs Iraqi journalists to produce video packages each week about a variety of topics on daily life in Iraq.

According to official Iraqi government statistics released in December 2007, the number of Iraqi orphans had reached at least five million over the last three years…
One of the biggest scandals that happened in the history of the Iraq conflict is the one that happened in Al-Hanan orphanage. There were many pictures distributed online and by television of Iraqi orphans lying on the floor naked, with no food for weeks, sick and nearly dying. After this the Iraqi government began to show more attention for the orphans, there were many stories being reported regarding Al-Hanan Orphanage, like sexual abuses and bad treatment of the kids living there.
Al-A’ssal House is one of the rare orphanages that still take care of the young children who have a dead father or who are orphans due to losing both parents. The house has a special method and it’s opposed to the toy guns due to Iraq’s situation and the reason behind it, which is the constant conflict that Iraq is undergoing. Another organization was also created by this house, and it’s called the Sazan organization. This organization is taking in orphans for free, with no payment at all. Also this house employs Iraq widows in order to help the Iraqi women support themselves during the war. Despite all their hard work, this orphanage has not yet received any funding from the Iraqi government or sponsorship by a bigger humanitarian aid organization while other orphanages such as Al-Hanan orphanage received funds from the Iraqi government without oversight.”

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ARE THE RUDDITES AWARE? AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT POLICY MAKERS PLEASE WAKE UP!

Malcolm Fraser former prime minister of Australia speaks out on Israel-Palestine:
http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/balanced-policy-the-only-way-to-peace/2008/05/09/1210131260171.html

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BLACK WATER TRAINING AND ORGANISING MILITIAS IN LEBANON

http://www.alfahdnews.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9737&Itemid=1

10-05-2008

Lebanese opposition revealed that the Black Water company organize and train the Lebanese Forces militia of Samir Geagea.

Black Water is the largest U.S. company of mercenaries operating in Iraq.

17 Iraqi civilians were killed by guards belonging to Black Water at a square in Baghdad last September. Following that event Iraqi authorities took control of private security companies and announced that the Iraqi government would lift the immunity of the guards belonging to foreign private security guard companies.
The magazine “Mother Jones” reports that Black Water’s expanded activities now include training of special forces in Arab countries such as Jordan and the Islamic State of Azerbaijan, and in providing peacekeeping functions of the United Nations and other international organizations, pointing out that Black Water recruits mercenaries from third world countries and not only from the United States.

Black Water has strong relations with U.S. political circles, especially the Republican right, and with the Council of National Policy, a semi-secret body controlled by Dick Cheney and John Bolton, and has relations with the Christian Solidarity International which oversaw the training of 60 thousand evangelical leaders of various nations of the world, including some Arab states.

************************
BREAKING NEWS 28-04-2008 FROM THE BATTLEFIELD OF SADR CITY:

http://www.albadeeliraq.com/new/showdetails.php?id=14315&kind=newstop

“The People are Destroying the Walls of Apartheid”

U.S. forces have been widely attacked by the “Mahdi Army” after a dust storm that prevented American air support for its land forces deployed in Revolution City (Sadr City).

Mahdi Army fighters launched an attack from five o’clock yesterday afternoon despite lack of vision due to the dust storm.

Today, Monday 28th April, the morning of the continuing attack forced the U.S. forces to retreat behind the channel and the resistance destroyed three tanks.

The city’s population then were able to remove large chunks of the apartheid wall near their homes after breaking the wall apart with machinery.

Eyewitnesses reported that twenty rockets fired by the resistance spread terror in the fortified Green Zone.

Reports from other sources: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gkx-3oYeFwuWKCusr2jrojs98w8wD90ADOO00

Editor’s Note:Language and urgency account for poor translation from the Arabic in these reports.Where possible original sources have been given for those with the resources to obtain better translation.

This is a voluntary service performed without funding from any agency.

***********************************

Anzac Day 25 April 2008

See Political Machinations in Iraq for an analysis of the following article from the UK Telegraph

“Talibani, al-Duri and Chemical Ali before the Anfal – and where are they today?”

**********************************************

Monday 14th April 2008.

http://alhawra.com/2008/34.htm

(Google auto-translation at http://www.google.com/translate?u=http://alhawra.com&langpair=ar|en&hl=en&ie=UTF8 reports the bombing of Baghdad’s Samurai Market.

The writer is sceptical of the official government and American forces explanations. Government security forces, Iraqi police and American forces encircled the area prevented journalists from interviewing the owners of dozens of shops destroyed in the bombing. The American army claimed a roadside explosive device targeted a US troop vehicle and that the market’s destruction was collateral damage, but an opposing viewpoint claims that the US and Iraqi government forces are intentionally restricting access to food and water for the locals, who are believed to be harbouring opponents to the US allied Iraqi government. The author notes that witnesses reported successive explosions – not one explosion as claimed by the US army. The fires that gutted so many shops could have been quickly dowsed if the Iraqi and US authorities had allowed access for fire-fighters.

The government blames the Mahdi Army for the bombing but the author suspects that the intention of the bombing was to raise the animosity of locals to the Mahdi Army.

At http://heyetnet.org/en/content/view/2767/1/ the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq writes:

The Killing of Civilians is the Systematic Policy of the Occupation

The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI) said the style of the American occupation forces in the killing of civilians under the pretext of targeting armed people is indeed systematic policy of the occupation over the past five years.

Read the full text in English at http://heyetnet.org/en/content/view/2767/1/

Tuesday 15th April 2008.

http://alhawra.com/2008/35.htm (Google auto-translation at

http://www.google.com/translate?u=http://alhawra.com&langpair=ar|en&hl=en&ie=UTF8 reports thatwhile the Malili government focus attention on defeating the Mahdi Army in Sadr City, there is no government protection for Baquba, the capital of Diyala province where 45 citizens died and many more were wounded by the explosion of a car bomb near a civil court building. The author suspects “Al-Qaida organization Wahhabi Baathists (i.e. Sunni militias, possibly foreigners, possibly former Baathists or former Republican Guard, possibly training under CIA supervision, …??) of planting the car bomb.

The New York Times reports this incident at Baquba as below:

Walking Toward the Dead

By Mudhafer al-Husaini

Mudhafer al-Husaini is an Iraqi employee of The New York Times. One hour after writing this blog he volunteered to travel to Baquba, 30 miles north of Baghdad, to report on the explosion there on Tuesday, which killed dozens of people and wounded his Iraqi colleague, who has worked for The New York Times in Diyala. The injuries were not serious.

continued at http://baghdadbureau.blogs.nytimes.com/

Wednesday 16 April 2008.

http://www.iraqirabita.org/index3.php?do=article&id=13518

(Google auto-translation at http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.iraqirabita.org%2Findex3.php%3Fdo%3Darticle%26id%3D13518&langpair=ar%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF8 reports that the Iranian government directs intelligence and terrorist activities against the Mujahideen Army (one of the six Iraqi Resistance groups united under the Political Council for the Iraqi Resistance).

The article lists a number of fake “Iraqi registered” companies based in Iraqi Kudistan but actually controlled by Iranian Consulate undercover agents: Aria Lokman Company, Shaharyar Company, Islamic Republic of Iran Company.

The Kudistan Regional Government claims these companies are there to build hospitals that will benefit the citizens of Kurdistan. The author wonders why agents from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence are required for building hospitals? The author notes that no visas are required to go from Iran to Sulaymaniyah in Iraqi Kudistan!

EXPLANATORY NOTE:

Last week Al-Badeel website (http://www.albadeeliraq.com/new/index.php) and the website of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (http://www.heyetnet.org/en/) quoted claims by a high profile russian government representative that Iran had facilitated the US (and allied) invasion of both Afghanistan & Iraq.

Furthermore, Al-badeel published a critical statement made by a represetative of the Department of foreign Affairs of Iran, that condemned the striking of green zone by the resistance and declared the support of Iran to Maliki over the resistance.

Also bear in mind the October 2006 article below that implicated the Al-Mahdi army of collaborating with the Iranian forces in Iraq against the Iraqi Resistance, which includes the Mujahideen Army, Ansar al-Sunna Group (Sharia Council), the Islamic Association for the Iraqi Resistance, the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas of Iraq:

http://www.iraqirabita.org/english/index.php?do=article&id=755

Crimes committed by Militias Iraqi Resistance captures Al-Mahdy militiaman with Iranian made telecom equipment and ammunitions – Photo Report

This action resulted in the following findings:

1- A telecom device composes of a full modern brand-new telecom system pertains to the Iranian Ministry of Defence and provides a direct communication from the scene with a set-up system in Iran (see photo).

2- An 81 mm Iranian-made mortar projectiles, produced in the year 2005 and they are the same specifically used by the Iranian forces (see photo). It is worth noting that the former Iraqi army used an 82 mm mortar gun.

3- An Iranian-made Katyusha rocket that has recently been produced in Iran (see photo)
***

Tuesday 8th April 2008 .

A source has received news that the resistance has advised people to stay home and not to go to work from tomorrow.

The fighting continues from Basra to Baghdad.

Yesterday the biggest food store in al-Sadr district was destroyed by US forces, in order to cut off supplies of food and medicine and isolate the population of al-Sadr city.

Demonstrations against the severities of the occupation are also being organised for tomorrow..

http://www.almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDetails.aspx?id=39994&language= en .
Fighting Rages in Baghdad Sadr City

08/04/2008.

Fierce fighting raged on Tuesday as US and Iraqi forces battled heavily with militants in their Baghdad bastion of Sadr City for a third straight day, an AFP correspondent and witnesses said.

Witnesses said fierce clashes erupted soon after midnight as US tanks attempted to push into Sadr City.

They were met by fighters of the Mahdi Army of Muslim Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

An AFP correspondent said fighting broke out around midnight as Mahdi Army fighters deployed along minor roads after planting bombs on the main routes to halt the advance of the US occupation forces US helicopters could be seen hovering above the vast neighborhood, and loud explosions were heard.

More than 30 people have been killed in Sadr City since the fighting broke out in earnest on Sunday.

Iraqi and US forces have been engaged in fierce clashes since Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered a crackdown on militants last month.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/iraq .
Iraqi army, Mahdi militiamen clash .

By SINAN SALAHEDDIN, Associated Press Writer, Tuesday 8th April 2008 BAGHDAD – .

Iraqi government forces and Shiite militia fighters clashed anew Tuesday 8th April despite a government ultimatum to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to either disband his Mahdi Army or give up politics.

Meanwhile, security forces were reported to be blocking al-Sadr’s supporters from traveling to Baghdad from outlying areas to attend an anti-U.S. rally scheduled for Wednesday.

Al-Sadr called for the protest to mark the fifth anniversary of the capture of Baghdad by U.S. .

troops nearly a month after the war started, but many observers see it as a show of force in his confrontation with the government .

The fighting comes as Gen David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, prepared to testify later Tuesday 8th April on the war.

He was expected to tell two Senate committees that last year’s influx of 30,000 troops to Iraq had helped calm some of the sectarian violence but that to prevent a backslide in security, troops would likely be needed in large numbers through the end of the year..

A U.S. soldier died Tuesday 8th April from wounds received in a roadside explosion the night before in northeast Baghdad, raising to 11 the number of American troop deaths since Sunday.

In Baghdad, al-Sadr’s organization was preparing to stage a “million-strong” anti-U.S. . demonstration to mark the ouster of Saddam Hussein’s regime from the capital.

But Sadrist officials in the provinces said Tuesday that security forces were preventing his followers from heading to the capital.

They said supporters were being turned back at roadblocks near the towns of Kut, Najaf, Hillah and other locations.

The rapid tumble back to street battles in Baghdad — at an intensity not seen since last year’s flood of U.S. troops into the city — is a worrisome backdrop to the planned appearance before Congress by Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker to report on progress in Iraq.

Hundreds of civilians have already fled Sadr City, where gunbattles have raged since last week.

The sprawling district of some 2.5 million people, the nerve center of al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army, has been under siege by about 1,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops.

Fighting broke out again early Tuesday 8 April after Iraqi units tried to enter the area, a police officer said.

The boom of explosions could be heard across the capital, apparently coming from the neighborhood in eastern Baghdad.

Low-flying jets circled the center of the capital several hours before sunrise.

The two sides were using small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars in the ongoing combat, said the police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information to the media.

Fifteen civilians have been injured in the clashes, he said.

Al-Sadr’s aides said Monday that he would only dismantle the powerful militia — estimated at up to 60,000 — if ordered by top Shiite clerics, who have remained silent throughout the increasingly dangerous showdown.

With the crisis showing no sign of abating, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki raised the stakes on Sunday, telling CNN that al-Sadr and his followers would not be allowed to participate in politics or run in provincial elections this fall “unless they end the Mahdi Army.” Al-Maliki’s statement followed a weekend declaration by top Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish leaders to support legislation banning any party that maintained a militia.

An al-Sadr aide, Hassan al-Zarqani, told the Associated Press by telephone from Iran that the Sadrists would consult Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and other top Shiite clerics in Iraq.

If they “recommend he disband the Mahdi Army, he will obey,” al-Zarqani said.

The crisis erupted March 25 when al-Maliki launched a crackdown against Shiite militias and so-called “criminal gangs” in the southern port city of Basra.

Elsewhere, unidentified gunmen early Tuesday attacked the home of a Sunni tribal leader working with the U.S. .-sponsored Awakening Council, killing him and his three sons, Iraqi police said.

Police said the man, whose name was not given, was active in the Awakening Council in the Sunni-dominated area around the town of Baqouba, 50 miles north of Baghdad.

U.S. .-allied Sunni fighters, who have turned against al-Qaida in Iraq, have been frequently targeted since they helped reduce violence in their areas.

Also, Iraqi police said a roadside bomb struck a minibus northeast of Baghdad, killing at least six civilians and wounding 10 others.

The blast struck morning commuters in the Dahalkah area on the outskirts of the religiously mixed city of Balad Ruz.

In Tehran, Iran’s foreign ministry for the first time condemned the repeated shelling of Baghdad’s Green Zone in the past several days by al-Sadr’s militiamen.
Two U.S. soldiers died in there on Sunday.

Spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini denounced attacks by Iraqi and American forces in Sadr City, calling on all sides to show restraint. – Associated Press

Writers Bushra Juhi and Hamid Ahmed contributed to this report.

http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-32877020080406

Fighting erupts in Baghdad after week of calm Sun Apr 6, 2008 By WisamMohammed BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi troops backed by U.S. .

forces battled gunmen in Baghdad’s Sadr City on Sunday in the heaviest fighting in the capital since Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr pulled his militiamen off the streets a week ago.

Police said at least 22 people were killed in the clashes.

Officials at Sadr City’s two hospitals said at least 16 bodies had been brought in while 78 wounded people were treated.

Iraqi soldiers were moving through two southern sectors of the Shi’ite slum and stronghold of Sadr’s Mehdi Army militia, said U.S. .

military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Steven Stover.

U.S. helicopters fired at least two Hellfire missiles, killing nine fighters, he added.

The fighting follows a week of relative calm after a crackdown by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Sadr followers led to battles across the capital and the south late last month.

The unrest comes two days before U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and U.S. commander General David Petraeus are due to deliver key testimony to the U.S. Congress on progress in Iraq.

Police said the joint U.S. – Iraqi military operation began early on Sunday.

Gunfire could be heard throughout the day in Sadr City, home to 2 million people in eastern Baghdad.

Lieutenant-General Abboud Qanbar,head of the Iraqi military in Baghdad, reiterated an order from Maliki for all armed groups to hand in their weapons.

“If they refuse to surrender their arms, we will confiscate them,” Qanbar told reporters at a police station in Sadr City.

Mehdi Army fighters bristled at the raids.

“I have lost my cousin in these clashes today.

I think Maliki will be happy now,” a Mehdi Army street commander giving his name as Abu Ammar told Reuters.

U.S. Apache helicopter gunships swooped overhead and a column of black smoke towered over the Jamila market, a vast bazaar on the edge of the slum that supplies food for much of the eastern half of the capital.

“Criminals fired rockets and they hit the Jamila market. I don’t know how many people they killed,” (U.S. military spokesman) Stover said.

An Interior Ministry source said the fire blazed unchecked for hours because fire fighters were unable to reach the market.
Blockade

U.S. and Iraqi forces have imposed a blockade on vehicle traffic in and out of Sadr City for two weeks.

Residents of the besieged district describe skyrocketing food prices, rubbish piling up and claustrophobia from being trapped indoors.

“We haven’t been able to sleep since this fighting started two weeks ago,” said Wardan Ali, a student from Sadr City forced to walk 10 km on foot each way to university because of the blockade.

Sadr’s bloc in parliament denounced the raids.

“The intervention of U.S. forces is horrible and unjustified. Some people in Sadr city believe these forces will hunt and kill them,” said Hassan Hashem, a Sadrist member of parliament’s security committee.

Near the northern city of Mosul, at least 40 students on a bus were kidnapped by gunmen for several hours before Iraqi security forces freed them, said Brigadier-General Khalid Abdul-Sattar, security spokesman for Nineveh province.

The incident was a reminder of continuing unrest in the mixed and Sunni Arab areas of the north at a time when attention is focused on violence in Shi’ite areas in Baghdad and the south.

“These are terrorist groups linked to al Qaeda and Saddam’s former regime who are terrorising innocent people constantly,” government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Al Arabiya television.

Sunni Islamist al Qaeda has regrouped in northern provinces after being pushed out of western Anbar province and Baghdad by a series of military offensives.

The U.S. military says Mosul is al Qaeda’s last major urban stronghold in Iraq.

Sunday’s fighting in Sadr City followed a joint call by Iraq’s main factions, apart from the Sadrists, for all militias to hand over weapons, an apparent attempt to isolate Sadr.

Sadr has called for 1 million Iraqis to march against U.S. “occupiers” on Wednesday, when Crocker and Petraeus are due to conclude two days of testimony before the U.S. Congress.

The two top U.S. officials in Iraq are expected to call for a pause in American troop withdrawals after 20,000 U.S. soldiers return home over the next four months.

http://heyetnet.org/en/content/view/219/26/

Friday 4th April

Secretary General of AMSI, Sheikh Hareth al-Dhari addressed the Iraqi people through Radio Channel (Umm al-Qura):

“Work together and cooperate for the expulsion of the occupation which is your first enemy…It is your first enemy. It uses the sedition among you in the name of Shia or Sunni, Arab or Kurds or others. Over the past four years the occupation is playing on this sedition in a way of known differences. They will not benefit from this way insha’allah but at the end they will be devastated and lost.”

They will be out of our country.

http://heyetnet.org/en/content/view/2753/1/

On Thursday 3rd April American military forces were drawn into supporting the Iraqi government’s faltering attempt to crush the main Shia militia.

Five days after the start of the offensive ordered by the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, US military intelligence said that the Iraqi army held less than a quarter of Basra, which has a population of two million.

In east Baghdad, meanwhile, five hospitals received 133 bodies and 647 wounded since the start of the fighting.

US aircraft were also active in Baghdad but the US military only admitted to an air attack in the Khadamiyah district, where 10 were killed.

The US said they were militants, though the area is not a Mehdi stronghold.

http://heyetnet.org/en/content/view/2749/1/

The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI) press release of 2nd April states that the Anglo-American occupation forces are no longer able to withstand the blows of the Iraqi resistance and the occupation forces are attacking innocent civilians in revenge, being unable to engage the Iraqi resistance with success.

At the end of the press statement the Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI) described the heinous attacks of the occupation forces as desperate and a nightmare on the lives of the Iraqis.

*********

Daily reports from Iraq indicate that widespread revolution against “al-taaghuwt al-jadiyd / al-taaghiyah al- jadiydah (the New False-God/Dictator/Tyrant/Oppressor)” al-Maliki and his US-Iran aligned government is reaching a climax amongst a public oppressed more today than even in the worst days under Saddam Hussein. Yesterday “in Baghdad an official from al-Sadr’s bloc said Iraqi soldiers had attempted to hand their weapons over to him” (to quote from the al-Jazeera article below).

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, al-Sadr called on the Arab League, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the United Nations to recognise “the Iraqi resistance”…

“Iraq is still under occupation and the United States’ popularity is reducing every day and every minute in Iraq.

“I call, through Al Jazeera, for the departure of the occupying troops from Iraq as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, fighters loyal to al-Sadr rejected the prime minister’s call to disarm.

“Al-Sadr has told us not to surrender our arms except to a state that can throw out the occupation,” Haider al-Jabari, a member of the Sadr movement’s political bureau, said…

Ahmed, a resident of Sadr City, home to two million people, said the situation was deteriorating.

“The hospitals are overflowing with wounded. They can’t take any more. Even the medical stores are closed,” he told the AFP news agency.

“There is no electricity, no water or fuel. We are afraid of gun battles. The main markets are also closed.”

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/C1DD07D8-51C6-43D8-A696-3AE0A86E4290.htm

Late on Saturday 29th March, the Baghdad military command extended the curfew in the capital indefinitely.

The curfew, which was imposed late on Thursday, was originally set to expire on Sunday 30th March at 5am (0200 GMT).

James Bays, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Baghdad, said: “The curfew shows that the government is extremely nervous.

“Sunday should be a normal working day here in Iraq and I think they wanted to lift the curfew so that people could go about their normal business,” he said.
Basra fighting

Police in Basra said on Sunday that 163 people have been killed and about 500 injured in sporadic clashes in the city between government forces and militias since Tuesday.

In the southern city of Nasiriyah, 67 people have been killed and another 137 wounded, local officials said.

At least 10 mortars fell into Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone as sporadic fighting continued overnight into Sunday.

Bays told Al Jazeera that there is no evidence that a major Iraqi

(Government) military operation is under way in Basra.

“[Iraqi forces] are having to rely, to an extent, on air power provided by… British and American aircraft and Predator unmanned aircraft with Hellfire missiles,” he said.

“Al-Maliki says he will stay and that his men will fight to the end, but this operation looks like it is getting bogged down.”
British artillery

Tom Holloway, British military spokesman for Iraq, told Al Jazeera that British forces in Basra had fired artillery rounds at people they had identified as opposition fighters.

“We’ve been firing in support of Iraqi ground forces. They’ve been in contact, they’ve requested support from the coalition and artillery on a couple of occasions has been deemed the most appropriate response.”

“We use our surveillance assets and conduct a collateral damage assessment. Obviously, once we’ve positively identified the target we make an assessment that we are able to attack it,” he said.

Holloway said that British involvement in the operation is “entirely in line with the agreements with the government of Iraq”, known as operational overwatch.

Iraqi police said that eight civilians were killed and seven wounded in an air raid by US aircraft on a house in Basra on Saturday.

US forces said they had killed 48 fighters in air strikes and gun battles across Baghdad on Friday.

Scores of people are also reported to have been killed in fighting in other towns across the south of the country.

Fighting has also been reported in the central city of Karbala.
Mahdi Army targeted

The Basra crackdown is aimed at disarming the city’s warring Shia militias, including the Mahdi Army of al-Sadr, as well as crushing a number of criminal gangs.

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, al-Sadr called on the Arab League, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the United Nations to recognise “the Iraqi resistance”.

“I appeal to these parties to add legitimacy to the resistance and to stand by, not against, the Iraqi people because the Iraqi people need Arabs as much as they need any other person,” he said.

“The occupation is trying to divide Sunnis and Shias. It is trying to drive a wedge between Sadris and the Sunnis. I love the Sunnis. I am a Shia, but we are all Iraqis.

“Iraq is still under occupation and the United States’ popularity is reducing every day and every minute in Iraq.

“I call, through Al Jazeera, for the departure of the occupying troops from Iraq as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, fighters loyal to al-Sadr rejected the prime minister’s call to disarm.

“Al-Sadr has told us not to surrender our arms except to a state that can throw out the occupation,” Haider al-Jabari, a member of the Sadr movement’s political bureau, said.

On Thursday, al-Maliki said that Basra residents would receive a “reward” if they handed in “heavy and medium-size weapons”.

However, in Baghdad an official from al-Sadr’s bloc said Iraqi soldiers had attempted to hand their weapons over to him.

“We told them they should keep their arms. We gave them a Quran and they went back,” Salman al-Afraiji said.

Restrictions review

A curfew is in place in the capital,with restrictions set to be reviewed by the military command on Sunday.

Ahmed, a resident of Sadr City, home to two million people, said the situation was deteriorating.

“The hospitals are overflowing with wounded. They can’t take any more. Even the medical stores are closed,” he told the AFP news agency.

“There is no electricity, no water or fuel. We are afraid of gun battles. The main markets are also closed.”

Qassim Mohammed, a spokesman for Baghdad health directorate, said in Sadr City: “Seventy-five people have been killed and 498 wounded in clashes in Sadr City in the last four days.”

He accused American forces of “creating obstacles” in transporting victims of the violence to safety.

http://www.albadeeliraq.com/new/showdetails.php?id=13701&kind=newstop

This webpage is in Arabic but the picture from that page speaks in any language.

Huge demonstrations all over Iraq protest against “al-taaghuwt al- jadiyd/al-taaghiyah al-jadiydah (the New False-God/Dictator/Tyrant/ Oppressor)” al-Maliki and his US-Iran aligned government is reaching a climax amongst a public oppressed more today than even in the worst days under Saddam Hussein

Far between sundown’s finish and midnight’s broken toll (verse 1)

We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing

As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds

Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing

Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight

Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight

And for each and every underdog soldier in the night

We gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing — from Chimes of Freedom by Bob Dylan

13 thoughts on “A Diary of Resistance – behind the news

  1. Cuba’s Fidel Restates Alert on Iran
    July 5, 2010 | Print This Post Print This Post Email to a Friend Email to a Friend

    HAVANA TIMES, July 5 — Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, the top advisor to his brother Raul’s government, reiterated his recent warning Sunday that the United States and Israel are planning an attack soon against Iran.

    Castro said last week that under the cover of the euphoria over the World Cup Soccer tournament, a new conflict is brewing with US and Israeli warships in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

    “The people of Iran, a nation with ancient cultural traditions, will undoubtedly defend itself from the aggressors. It’s hard to understand that Obama may seriously believe that it would yield to his demands,” writes Fidel Castro.

    “The president of Iran and its religious leaders will resist, drawing inspiration from the Islamic Revolution headed by Ruhollah Khomeini, the creator of the Guardians of Revolution, the modern Armed Forces and the new State of Iran,” he noted.

    To read Fidel Castro’s warning click here .

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  2. Pingback: The Beacon
  3. Afghanistan Orders Investigation Into US Attack

    Kabul, Afghanistan – Afghanistan’s president has ordered an investigation into allegations that missiles from U.S. helicopters struck civilians, though the Ministry of Defense said Sunday that the attack killed or wounded 20 militants.

    President Hamid Karzai ordered the defense and interior ministries, as well as local government officials, to investigate Friday’s attack in eastern Afghanistan.

    See http://www.truthout.org/article/afghanistan-orders-investigation-into-us-attack

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  4. 79-year-old Queensland Palestinian Solidarity Campaign YahooGroup member Garvin Brown is preparing to embark on another walk in India, where for the past six months he has been promoting the eradication of poverty as part of Mahatma Gandhi’s message for the realization of world peace.

    As a mark of solidarity with half the world population who presently live on less than $2 per day (nearly 3 billion around the world – and $2 per day is what the average person in Palestine’s Gaza Strip lives on, Garvin will limit his spending to $10 for the five days of walking. Garvin has been raising money for a number of schools and orphanages in regions of poverty by getting people in 1st world countries to pledge donations and Garvin can be contacted at garvin@onthenet.com.au Garvin’s latest message is below and below that I have posted an article from ghandiserve.org on Garvin’s March 2008 charity walk in North-east India to collect funds for several schools for underprivileged children in Pamohi, Titabor, Nongpoh and Tamulpur – villages near Guwahati city in Assam. His presence motivated several Assam government ministers as well as hundreds of villagers in Garbhanga (on Guwahati city outskirts
    near Assam-Meghalaya border) to focus their energies on bringing basic amenities such as electricity, clean drinking water, schools, and medical facilities to the poorest districts in their region.

    Garvin has a sub-forum at http://www.gandhiserve.org where you can follow Garvin’s thoughts during his sojourn in India since the end of 2007.
    The web address of Garvin Brown’s sub-forum is:
    http://www.gandhiserve.org/message_board/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=231&start=0

    Safe journey Garvin and God bless,

    Ray Bergmann

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  5. The Sadr movement accuses Iran of making a secret agreement with the U.S. occupation to share power in Iraq against the interests of the Iraqi people.

    The 29-04-2008 article in Arabic at http://www.albadeeliraq.com/new/showdetails.php?id=14343&kind=newstop is the same report summarized in Juan Cole’s 30 April 2008 entry at http://www.juancole.com/ which Cole has translated as follows from http://www.daralhayat.com/arab_news/levant_news/04-2008/Item-20080429-9b8421af-c0a8-10ed-01e2-5c73fb1f7e63/story.html

    Sadr spokesman (Sheikh) Salah al-Obeidi (al-Ubaydi) in Najaf bitterly attacked Iran, accusing it of seeking to share influence over Iraq with the US.

    He pointed to the Iranian regime’s failure to condemn the long-term mutual agreement being crafted by the Bush administration and the al-Maliki government.

    Al-Obeidi’s angry denunciation suggests that Iran is backing PM Nuri al-Maliki and his current chief ally, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq led by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim against the Sadr movement of Muqtada al-Sadr.

    The Dar-al-Hayat article reveals that early in April 2008, Sean McCormack, spokesman for the the United States Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed US willingness to negotiate with Iran on ways to improve the security situation in Iraq, but denied an invitation to Teheran in this regard.

    He met United States Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Kazemi, in Baghdad on May 28 and July 24 2007, the parties held a meeting at expert level on 6 August 2007.

    The Al-Badeel article ( signed as “Arab News Network” ) marvels what total contrast to these revelations the speech of the US Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad made last Monday as he persisted in condemning the “role played by Iran and Syria to destabilize Iraq.”

    Is there no communication between the US Ambassador to the UN and the US Ministry of Foreign Affairs?

    Khalilzad claimed that “the Revolutionary Guard of the Islamic Republic continues arming, training and financing illegal armed groups in Iraq.”

    Iran does finance armed groups in Iraq, Mr Khalilzad – Iran finances the pro-occupation Badr militia and Maliki militia – as does the United States!

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  6. Meredith,

    What organisation does this call come from and what is expected of its recipients, and, to what organisations is it directed?

    The villains named in the statement — Bush, Cheney, Howard, and Blair — no longer have any political credence in any of their respective countries.

    For example, the Republicans in the US lost a seat in Congress in a special election yesterday [5 May 2008]. It was a safe seat that they had held for 33 years.

    The Labour Party government in Britain is at an all time low as a direct result of the Blair years and Howard was routed last year in this country.

    The Republican campaign for the US presidency in 2008 looks doomed to failure before it starts.

    The Iraqi people have demonstrated yet again that no country, not even the US, can successfully occupy another country for any length of time.

    Put another way, those famous lines of the workers’ poet, Henry Lawson come to mind.

    We’ll make the tyrants feel the sting
    Of those that they would throttle
    They needn’t say the fault is ours
    If blood should stain the wattle.

    These lines, written at the time of the shearers strike in Queensland in 1891 when workers were faced with colonialist troopers, demonstrate the strength of resistance when workers are faced with armies of oppression.

    Ian Curr
    May, 2008

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  7. CALL TO THE WORLD FROM IRAQ

    There is currently in process a call to the world from the people of Iraq. While the heroism of these people is ongoing, the situation is so critical.

    They are facing a genocide; the US military and its allies are clearly targeting women and children now. People are without food, water, electricity or medicine.

    Talk of civil war and sectarian violence is nothing but nonsense to shift the blame on to the Iraqi people themselves for the violence and loss of life they are suffering and have suffered over the last five years. This is classic and barbarous victim blaming. The loss of life for this period alone is now estimated at 1.2 million. Reliable estimates from inside Iraq suggest the toll will soon be at 2 million.

    This cannot go on any longer. They had already suffered years of sanctions, with a huge loss of life, mostly children, and the first gulf war.

    Last week, on May Day, the International and Longshore Warehouse Union in the US went on strike in direct opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It went well. The entire west coast, which handles all of the Asian trade into the US was shut down.

    Support came from all over the world for this.

    Over this period, polls have shown that Bush is now the most unpopular president since polling began in the 1930s. The Democrats have shown themselves completely unwilling to respond to the clear message of the American people delivered at the 2006 congressional election: to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan now.

    Australia remains heavily implicated in this; despite Rudd’s statement that Australian troops will be withdrawn from Iraq, the private military contractors, completely unaccountable and guilty of some of the most heinous war crimes, will remain.

    And this country remains in the growing debacle and violence in Afghanistan.

    The War on Terror, called by Bush and his cohorts in the wake of the controversy and disarray following the attacks on the World Trade Centre in 2001, was always a war on working people, whether they were in Iraq, Afghanistan, the US (now mired in an appalling economic situation with the housing crisis getting worse all the time) or this country.

    The people of Iraq, whose suffering and losses have been so great, cannot be left alone any longer. Last week, in May Day marches around the world, people showed their determination, their solidarity and their desire for peace and bread and a better world.

    In Turkey, in a huge march, police arrested over 500 people as the crowd chanted, “we are the people, we are right and we will win”.

    The situation in Iraq is so critical. They are sending a call to the world, and in response we should remember those words of our brothers and sisters in Turkey: we are the people, we are right and we will win.

    Enough suffering in Iraq: this disgusting and barbarous invasion must end. Bush, Cheney, Howard, Blair and anybody else implicated in this must be held to account.

    Meredith Rose.

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  8. Hmm … If Chomsky is right about the mainstream parties being ‘to the Right’ of the American people, why are the Democrat candidates, Obama and Clinton, getting so many people to rallies during the primaries for the presidency … even in America there is a shift against conservatism, and if the reports on numbers at Democratic Party primaries are accurate the liberals are taking advantage of it, .

    I wonder if it is true what Chomsky says: that the Iraq war will not determine the outcome of the U.S. Presidential elections and implying that a change is not on its way? How can America go into recession without a shift in the popular will – especially when it is a recession linked to military spending in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    I suppose most American elections are determined on the basis of race, but the war impacts on race too because it is the poorer classes who do most of the fighting. This has to bring about a shift in how people react.

    Chomsky does say in his article that “Iraq remains a significant concern for the population” … If popular American cartoons and comedians are any indication of the public mood, ordinary people have certainly not tuned out …. for example, the effect of the Iraq war on soldiers is a major theme pursued in the Doonesbury comic series, if a cartoon written by a Canadian [Gary Trudeau] is any indication.

    Also see American comedian Chris Rock’s take on the war against terror and the audience responses to it [ see youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auqRgzuLaK8&hl=en]

    The unions in America, weak as they are, have at least one union striking against the war – 40,000-plus members of longshore workers with 60 locals in California, Washington and Oregon on strike on 1 May 2008 [see https://bushtelegraph.wordpress.com/2008/03/21/longshore-workers-strike-against-iraq-war/]

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