Monday, 15 April 2013

The Hypocrisy of the Iraqi Shia political parties.


     First of all and before anyone who reads the headline accuses me with all the sectarian accusations and call me all sorts of names, which are always ready to confront whoever wants to say the truth, and loathe sectarianism, I would like to say that I’m originally Half Sunni and half Shia. Or as I jokingly respond when I'm asked about my sect I say that I'm ( Sushi). Just like many of Iraqis and even tribes who refused to recognize the sectarian divisions and defragmentation, which only became obvious when those who  call Shia ( our shia brothers) , and those who call Sunnies ( our Sunni brothers) arrived , and it turned up that their brotherhood was  like Able and Cane’s.
    What was really interesting lately is the flagrant hypocrisy, the multiple personality and unethical standards, which materialized today in the Iraqi political and public arena which is about to storm Iraq and drag it into a new phase of despicable sectarian fighting. By this I mean what is happening in Syria and how it is being greatly reflected on the situation in Iraq.
     Let us review what is going on in Syria today and the position of the ruling Shia parties and the Shia public which listens to those parties propaganda and follow their policies. shia parties struggled and fought against Saddam Hussein’s Ba’thist regime, which relied on its sect and its small clan to dominate, control and oppress the overwhelming majority of his people of various sects and ethnicities , and considered whoever rise  against his regime as armed terrorist groups and agents to foreign countries. Now, isn't it hypocritical that those same parties and politicians support another Ba’thist , which practices exactly the same thing that the old Ba’thist regime, which they used to fight , used to do? Just because he is oppressing and brutally killing the other sect and they also consider them terrorist groups, agents to other countries?!


   The Shia politicians and community criticized, actually attacked, the Arab countries accusing them of supporting Saddam Hussein and keeping silent over his crimes that he committed against his people, the majority of whom are shia in Iraq. Here we got to ask again, isn’t it hypocritical from the side of the politicians and the leaders at the Shia party to do exactly what they have criticized the Arab leaders and countries of doing? And even more, facilitating the transfer of weapons and fighters to Syria to oppress the Syrian people? And furthermore, publicly celebrating the Iraqi Shia fighters who return from Syria in coffins after being killed in a struggle that they have nothing to do with?




Here we must ask, isn't that Ba’thist regime is the same one who facilitated the crossing of terrorists into Iraq , as it was accused by those same politicians who are now supporting this regime? Isn't that the same regime which was sending the car bombs to Iraq? Isn't that same regime which was glorifying the insurgency and the former Iraqi regime elements? What can we call the support of the Iraqi government today to this inevitably falling regime, other than absolute hypocrisy, and empowerment of the despicable sectarianism, which this Government has adopted?

Is it in the best interest of the Iraqi people to win the animosity of a neighboring Arab country , just to serve the sectarian interests of a regional states, which is spreading sectarianism and hatred and destabilizes the whole region for its own purposes?
These are questions that every Iraqi, shia in particular, should address and ask it to their politicians, and they should confront themselves with and to elevate beyond the despicable sectarianism and think about the best interests for them and their future. And what is ethical position that they take today and let them remember that one day they suffered from the same injustice and oppression that the Syrian people are going through today. And after all that, here comes the Iraqi PM and writes and Op-ed in the Washington Post titled (The U.S. has a foreign-policy partner in Iraq)

  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/nouri-al-maliki-the-us-has-a-foreign-policy-partner-in-iraq/2013/04/08/dcb9f8a6-a05e-11e2-82bc-511538ae90a4_story.html?hpid=z8)

   While he defends Iran’s policies in the region and defends his relation with Iran and describes the rebels I Syria and those who sympathize with them in  Iraq as “terrorists”.






نفاق الاحزاب الشيعية العراقية.

قبل كل شيء، و قبل ان يتهمني من يقرأ عنوان المقال بكل الالفاض و الاتهامات الطائفية التي تكون دائمة جاهزة لمواجهة كل من يقول الحقيقة و يمقت الطائفية ـ اقول لكم بأني نصف سني و نصف شيعي،  او كما اجيب مازحاً بأنني (سوشي) عند سؤالي عن طائفتي. حالي حال العديد من ابناء العراق، بل عشائر العراق التي لم تعترف بالفرقة و التمزيق الطائفي الا حين جائنا اؤلائك الذين يسمون الشيعة بـ ( الاخوة الشيعة ) و السنة بـ (الاخوة السنة)  لنراها في الحقيقة كأخوة قابيل و هابيل. لكن ما اثار الاهتمام مؤخراً و جعلني اخرج عن صمتي هو ما يحصل من نفاق و ازدواج في الشخصية و المعايير الاخلاقية الصارخ الذي يجيري اليوم على الساحة السياسية و الشعبية في العراق و الذي يكاد يعصف بالعراق ليدخله في مرحلة جديدة من الصراع الطائفي المقيت والذي لا تحمد عقباه. اقصد بذلك ما يحصل اليوم في سوريا و الذي بدء ينعكس بشكل كبير على الوضع في العراق.
دعوناً نراجع ما يحصل اليوم في سوريا و موقف احزاب الشيعية الحاكمة و موقف الجماهير الشيعية التي تنساق وراء دعاية و سياسة تلك الاحزاب. تلك الاحزاب الشيعية ناضلت و قاتلت نظام صدام حسين البعثي الذي اعتمد على طائفة و عشيرة صغيرة ليبسط سيطرته و يقمع الاغلبية الساحقة من ابناء شعبه بمختلف قومياتهم و مذاهبهم و اعتبر كل من يثور على نظامه بأنهم جماعات مسلحة ارهابية عميلة لدول اخرى، الان اليس من النفاق ان تقوم نفس تلك الاحزاب و الساسة بدعم نظام بعثي اخر يمارس نفس ما قام به ذلك النظام البعثي القديم الذي كانوا يحاربونه؟ فقط لأنه يقمع و يبطش  بالطائفة الاخرى و ايضاً يعتبروهم جماعات ارهابية عميلة لدول اخرى؟!
 انتقد بل هاجم المجتمع الشيعي و الساسة الشيعة الدول العربية و اتهموهم بمساندة صدام حسين و السكوت على جرائمه التي ارتكبها بحق الشعب ذو الغالبية الشيعية في العراق . و هنا نعيد نفس السؤال، اليس من النفاق ان يقوم الساسة و القادة في الاحزاب الشيعية تماماً بما انتقدوا به الدول و الحكام العرب، بل الاكثر من ذلك انهم سهلوا نقل السلاح و المقاتلين الى سوريا ليقوموا بقمع الشعب السوري؟ لا بل الاحتفاء بشكل علني بالمقاتلين العراقيين الشيعة الذين يعودون الى العراق بالتوابيت من صراع لا ناقة لهم فيها و لا جمل؟





 و هنا نسأل ، اليس هذا النظام البعثي الذي سهل مرور الارهابيين الى العراق كما اتهمه بذلك الساسة انفسهم الذين يدعمون هذا النظام؟ اليس هذا النظام من كان يرسل السيارات المفخخة التي كانت تأتي الى العراق ؟ اليس هذا النظام الذي كان يدعم و يمجد الحركات المسلحة و ازلام النظام البعثي السابق في العراق؟ بماذا نسمي دعم الجكومة العراقية اليوم لهذا النظام الساقط لا محالة عدى انه نفاق و تكريس للطائفية المقيتة التي تتبناها الحكومة؟ هل من مصلحة الشعب العراقي استعداء شعب دولة عربية مجاورة فقط خدمة لمصالح طائفية و دولة اقليمية تنشر الطائفية و الحقد و تزعزع استقرار المنطقة لمصالحها الخاصة . هذه اسئلة يجب على كل عراقي ، و الشيعة بالتحديد ان يطرحوها على انفسهم اولا و على ساستهم ثانياً و ليواجهوا انفسهم بها و ليتسموا عن الطائفية المقيتة و يفكروا ما فيه مصلحة لهم و لمستقبلهم و ما هو الموقف الاخلاقي الذي عليهم اتخاذه اليوم و ليتذكروا انهم في يوم من الايام عانوا من نفس الظلم و القمع الذي يعيشه الشعب السوري اليوم. و بعد كل هذا يأتي رئيس الوزراء العراقي و يكتب مقال رأي في صحيفة الواشنطن بوست بعنوان (لسياسة  امريكا الخارجية  شريك في العراق)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/nouri-al-maliki-the-us-has-a-foreign-policy-partner-in-iraq/2013/04/08/dcb9f8a6-a05e-11e2-82bc-511538ae90a4_story.html?hpid=z8
في حين يدافع عن سياسات ايران في المنطقة و يدافع عن علاقته بأيران و يصف الثوار في سوريا و من يتعاطف معهم في العراق بأنهم "ارهابيين".

Saturday, 12 February 2011

AL-JAZEERA ???????

As the Egyptian riot police car went up the Qasr Al Nil bridge, couple of demonstrators throw a Molotov cocktail at the car and set it on blaze. Immediately the Jazeera English cameraman turned away and pointed is lenses on 4 guys walking down the street, in front of the Hilton Hotel, where the cameraman was shooting from one of its rooms. Few seconds later, he turned his camera back on that riot police car. The blazes were now put down and there was a very small tinkling flam near the top hatch of that car. I consider myself a journalist and a reporter, who covered a war zone for years, yet, I was unable to comprehend, why the Jazeera cameraman would turn his Camera away as this action is taking place in front of his eyes. As I was wondering, the Jazeera English studio anchor asked the reporter ( Ayman Mohyaldin) about that Molotov cocktail . Great, so I was not the only one who saw that.

“We have not seen any Molotov cocktails and we could not confirm that” Ayman responded to that question. It was an event that took place in front of him only few Seconds ago. Later that day I saw exactly what happened to that riot police car, in details , but it was shoot by the Cameras of AFP on ( France 24 TV) and also on (Euronews) from exactly the Same angle. 2 men ran next to that car, throw a Molotov cocktail into it, through the top hatch and setting it on fire and tried to open the side door of the car. The policemen inside the car managed to put down the fire immediately. To my surprise I also saw Molotov cocktails being thrown at riot police and burst into blazes as it falls on them. But all that was not on Al-Jazeera. Because Al-Jazeera kept saying that those are “Peaceful demonstrators”. Yes it is true the protesters were peaceful, but those police trucks and cars were not self-ignited. Yes the protesters were not violent, but some did resort to violence. There were clashes, which what happens in every revolution. This s only showed that Al-Jazeera was covering the news with a clear agenda in Mind and the reporters were commentating like political analysts not as objective reporters impartially reporting news. At one point it sounded that the new Vice president Omar Suleiman should actually go and start talks with Ayman Mohyaldin , instead of straining talks with the Muslim brotherhood or any other opposition group.

Few days later after that riot police incident, a Jazeera presenter hosted a renowned Egyptian commentator from London. As that commentator told the presenter that the Name of Al-Tahrir( liberation) Sq. came from the famous incident, when Saad Zaghlool called for the liberation of women and women demonstrated in the Then ( Ismaileyya ) Sq and took off their Vials ( Hijab ) and stepped on it as a sign of women liberation early in the 19th century . The Jazeera Presenter immediately interrupted the commentator and told him that this is wrong and this is not the right story behind the name. The commentator started laughing and affirmed to the presenter that this is the real story and the presenter could check it, but no, the Jazeera which is posting the Qaida beheadings and promoting an Islamist agenda could not have such ideas carried by its air waves.

Throughout the whole coverage of the events in Egypt, Al- Jazeera Hardly reported that that banks are closed, ATMs are empty, there are lines of people in front of Bakeries, lines at gas stations and that people did not get their salaries at the end of the month. Other highly respected, professional and objective news outlets, like BBC Arabic, did.

I personally get irritated every time I hear the tone and the Language that Al-Jazeera uses in its coverage for any matter, for I believe that it is inciting and provocative. One example one the coverage of the events in Egypt, a presenter asked a western commentator the following question (isn’t it time for the US to stop its back up to Egypt and cut the Money it gives to Mubarak?). Is it just me or dose this this question should be the other way around (back up to Mubarak and money to Egypt)?!

Now that the Egyptians did a marvelous Job that made the entire world bow with respect and admiration, Al – Jazeera started to Name its next target ( Algeria ). Conveniently, the Cameraman turned his Camera on that direction so that he does not have to report what is happening in Syria and Iran.

.

Monday, 12 July 2010

New Orleans Vs. Baghdad


News flash, Baghdad biggest lover had to say good bye and move to the United States, at least for a while. When I first arrived to the states in mid April, a TV show Called ( Treme) started on HBO . It tells the story of post Katrina New Orleans. As I watched Treme’s episode go one by one, I could not help but notice the similarities between New Orleans and my old beloved city… Baghdad.

Just like New Orleans, Baghdad was devastated by a nameless hurricane. Iraqis refer to it by simply “The Fall” in reference to the fall of Baghdad in April 9th 2003. Many Baghdad lovers, including me, prefer to think of it as the fall of Saddam’s regime rather than the fall of their magnificent city .

The thousands, who had to leave their houses , neighborhoods and friends and move to other states like Texas, reminds me of all the Iraqis, who were scattered inside and outside Iraq due to the violence and blind Killing and hatred that enclave their country. It is the most devastating thing that you leave your own home, which you own, and go somewhere else. I know it firsthand because it happened to me ...twice actually. first time was back in late 2006, when I left my house, which I own, and rented a small 2 bed room apartment in Karada, closer to my work, because traveling back and forth to work was getting more life threatening and more scary. And now when I had to leave Baghdad and move as a refugee to the United States.

One scene in Treme in particular immediately took me back to the darkest days of the sectarian violence in Baghdad. The scene where there were lots of white trailers in which dead bodies were kept for people to come and identify their missing family members and loved ones. This immediately took me back to the notorious Baghdad morgue. With an average of over 70 dead bodies retrieved from the streets of Baghdad at a certain period of time in late 2006 and early 2007, Baghdad morgue was so full that they used to have bodies lined up in the front lawn and yard of the morgue. What was even worst, is that the morgue was dominated by Shiat militias loyal to Moqttada Al-Sadr ,who would wrap up the relatives who would come to claim the bodies of their relatives and kill them as well. This forced many families to send only women to claim the bodies, or pay the militia men as much as 1 Million Iraqi Dinnar to get the bodies out to the families. Finally some people volunteered to take pictures of the unidentified bodies and started to bury them in numbered graves in Karbala south of Baghdad. Now there is a room at Baghdad morgue were families are still coming and looking at dozens of pictures in big TV screens trying to identify loved ones, who have been missing for a long time.

Great city with character and soul like New Orleans would never die as long as there are great New Orleans ‘s Lovers who would make sure that they will have The Jazz and Blues be heard all over the cafes and bars of their city. People making sure that the Mont Grow take place and Indians dance in the streets of New Orleans. So is the case with Arabian Nights’ Baghdad. Every time I went and covered a theater group, or Movie lovers setting up screens to project Iraqi Movies produced after the war, at the sites of bombings in Baghdad. What gives me more Hope is that all those Iraqi artists and movie makers are in their twenties and doing a marvelous job, against all odds.

I do not need to go through how well the US military handled the situation in both cities.

The Only difference between New Orleans and Baghdad is that Katrina took place in a single day and people had to deal with its consequences for a long time and the city of New Orleans is trying to recover from that single blow. Baghdad is living its Katrina for over 6 years now, and as people got exhausted from hearing about what happened in New Orleans and about Katrina and they decided that they want to hear no more, same is with Iraq, no matter how many Ktrinas or people die in Iraq no one wants to hear about it.

Monday, 14 December 2009

VICTORY AND DEFEAT WITH MALIKI

The Iraqi council of representatives met last Tuesday after the 5 bombings in Baghdad which claimed the Lives of over 120 people and left over 500 wounded, to discus what went wrong and how such thing could happen.

Most of the parliamentarians were very critical of the security forces. Most of them demanded to summon the security ministers and the prime minister, since he is the commander in chief of the armed forces, to the parliament and hold them accountable. The parliamentarians were so fired up and passionate about that issue especially the general election is only 3 months away. So they all agreed to bring the Minister of interior, Defense and Prime Minister Al-Maliki on Thursday Dec 10th.

On Thursday PM Maliki came to the Parliament, where he was welcomed by the deputy speaker (Khalid Al-Attiya) at the entrance to the parliament and then they headed to the office of the deputy speaker were they stayed for half an hour. Then Maliki headed to the parliament.

The parliament voted at the beginning on making the session closed and secret. Maliki said that it would be OK if the session is Open but he would be freer to talk about security issues in details when it is closed.

The first news that came out of that closed session was that the Prime minister agreed with the presidency that Thursday session would be for him by himself and the Parliament could meet with the security ministers later. Maliki made a preemptive step before coming to the parliament on Wednesday by replacing the commander of Baghdad security plan (staff General Aboud Qanbar) with the deputy chief of Staff.

Maliki started talking about the achievements in the fields of security in Baghdad that his government has made. Something that he has been talking about a lot lately. He said that there are 2 stages in security" lost security" and "infiltrated security". .

The lost security was when entire neighborhoods in Baghdad were under the control of the armed factions and not the state. While now, his Government, and thanks to Baghdad security command, which reports to him directly, the control has been regained over those neighborhoods.

The infiltrated security is what happened on the bombings in August, October and Finally on December 8th. Maliki said that every one is responsible. The Government, the council of representatives all the state offices and "even the citizens" are responsible according to Samira Al-Mossawi, a shiat Parliament member, who gave reporters a briefing on what was going inside the Parliament session..

" Mr. prime minister through the Ball at the Parliament field saying that you should issue legislations that facilitate the work of the security forces " said Eman Al-Asadi , a another shiat parliamentarian.

In another word, Maliki is crediting the successes that took place in the field of security to him and ho his national Unity government and not even crediting the US military surge, while the responsibility of the 100+ casualties bombings are the responsibility of every one.

" Mr prime Minister is the direct executive supervisor on all the security departments in Iraq , . he defended him self by saying that this is the work of the specialized ministries and his office only supervises the plans of these ministries and coordinate between them" Said Mohammed Salman a sonni parliamentarian

" he put the blame on the Iraqi Ministries and hold them directly responsible, while he did not bear the responsibility" Salman added.

Mr. Maliki just twisted the saying "Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan" and making it "victory is all mine, but defeat is everybody's responsibility" .

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Some field notes

Last Night on December 7th 2009 a big explosion took place near school , when the staff of the school decided to burn some trash which piled next to the school, not knowing that IEDs and Ammunitions were hidden underneath that pile of Garbage. Many of the students at that school were injured and at least 6 students were killed. Till a late hour at night, Baghdad Security operation Command, brigadier general Qassim Atta, insisted that no one was killed (which is typical of him). Then late at night the state sponsored TV quoted Atta saying that only 1 child was killed. This morning I woke up early in the morning with an Idea to go to Sadr city east o Baghdad, where that explosion took place, and see how many funeral tents not supposed to be there according to Atta who is Nicknamed now as Qassim Al-Sahaf, after the Iraqi information minister who gave all those ridicules press conferences during the 2003 war.

Unfortunately this idea was interrupted by 5 massive bombings that shook Baghdad. After waiting for some time for things to quite down, and we at the Bureau know where those bombings were. Our team of 3 decided to head to the site of the first bombing in Dura south of Baghdad. We reached a stand still point 2 kilometers from the site of the bombings, when our cars was stranded in the middle of a sea of Cars.

We decided to step out of the cars and walk the 2 Kilometers to the site of the bombing. It has just started to drizzle by then. As we were walking down the road, there were many young men and women, in college students’ uniforms coming down the street. We realized that those were the students of the Technical College by which that bombed car exploded. They had to walk the same 2 kilometers in the rain since no cars were allowed into the area. Cars with Shattered win screens, twisted metal on the side of the Back drove by, coming from the direction of the College.

We reached the site pf the bombing to see a big yellow shuffle burying the 2 meters deep crater of the bombing at the center of the street and a scrambled mini Bus right behind it. Couple of meters to the north of it, lies some twisted metal which used to be a police Patrol SUV. The only indication to it that it was a police car, is a small piece of a green and yellow stripe twisted metal lying next to it, that hardly can be seen.

As we were standing there the police found a human sobered bear foot lying in the middle of the dirt on the side of the road. They were wondering how they could miss that while they collected human flesh from 2 blocks from the site. one of the National Police elements lifted the foot by holding 2 pieces of twisted metal sheets stripped from the cars by the blast and put it next to a 1987 Volkswagen Passat engine, which was lying by it self in the middle of the opposite direction of the street, more than 20 meters from the bombing site.

At least 9 people were killed in that bombing, including the 3 policemen, who were inside that patrol car. We hitched a ride back to our cars with a police car which was going around the sites of the bombings. They have just came from the site of another bombing in Mansour, which they described as “beyond disastrous”.

By the time we left the bureau the Death toll was 63 killed, by the time we got back, it has reached 112. Later the wire service reported that the casualties have gone beyond 120.

While the Iraqi Parliament united for the first time , which is really a rare thing to see, on condemning and calling for dismissing Baghdad security commanders, at the top of which is Atta’s boss, general Aboud Qanbar, Atta issued a statement saying that the weirs’ casualties reports are not true and another statement saying that Baghdad security command will sue an Iraqi TV station for “ defaming, insult and agitating violence” and a third statement saying that the number of people killed in the bombings were 77.


Thursday, 20 August 2009

Unanswered Questions

Once again, hell opens its gates and windows on Baghdad and claims the Lives of over 100 Iraqi men, women and Children, and leaving hundreds wounded. From the dust, rubble and the water mixed with soot and blood, a big question mark emerges preceded by the words “ Why ” and More Importantly who is behind it.

In order to try to answer these questions, we should look to what preceded those bloody bombings and then, we try to get a suspect or even do the Impossible and understand what stands behind this Madness.

Earlier this Month there was a bank robbery, which took place in Baghdad. 8 guards were killed and the robbers turned up to be lead by the Iraqi Vice president’s security officials. And they even used official security cars in the robbery. The money ( minus300 Million Iraqi Dinnar which was split among the robbers) was retrieved but the guards, even though they were surrounded at the Newspaper office of that Vice president, but they were not handed out to the proper Authorities. The Prime minister said that they should be handed out to the proper Authorities. The Minister of Interior, who refused to do a cover Up for that robbery after knowing that the guards of that Vice president are involved, stood fast so that Justice is served. This incident has occupied the mind of the Iraqi public opinion through out the Past 20 days. An Iraqi Journalist working at the state owned Newspaper Al-Sabah, wrote an Article Under the title ( 800 000 Blankets) suggesting that the 8 billion Iraqi Dinnar, which were robed from the Bank , was enough to Buy 800 000 blankets, to be distributed by the party of that Vice president on voters in preparation to the coming parliamentary elections next January. Were these bombings that took place today, intended to occupy the Iraqi public opinion with a new thing other than the Bank Robbery? Or was it to get revenge from the Minister of Interior, since he will be the first to be blamed over what is going on?

Prime Minister Maliki has said that he might not join the Shiat alliance in the coming elections. He might form his own “national” alliance. He also went to the extent of describing the Sectarian Alliances as “part of History”. Were those bombings intended to bring down Maliki and his National project? Are they to prove that the Maliki Government is unable to provide security after the American withdrawal from the Iraqi cities?

Maliki Just paid Syria a Visit yesterday. Made some security agreements and among the things he asked the Syrian for were handing over some of the Wanted , former regime elements, who are blamed for the insurgency and violence in Iraq, to the Iraqi government. He also wanted Syria to encourage the tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees in Syria, to return to the now safer Iraq. Maliki also met with Iraqi community in Syria and some of those who were initially invited were not let into the reception hall (about 15 of them) to meet Maliki. Were those wanted elements behind the Bombings as a response to Maliki ? was that a message to the Shiat Ministry ( Finance) and the Kurdish Ministry ( Foreign affairs) from the Sonni Arab insurgency?

Finally, many Iraqi officials accused Saudi Arabia lately of standing behind the latest bombings in Iraq. They also said several times that neighboring and regional powers are trying their best to affect the results of the upcoming elections. Maliki also said on the 10th of this month that we should expect more Violence as we get closer to the elections. The Holy Month of Ramadan is only few days away and there will be strict security measures during that month. Did the Islamic fanatic made their strike before the security forces tighten its grip during the Holy Month? Did the crazy Jihadies, who came with Orders from Saudi Arabia (as Iraqi officials said), are blowing them selves in Iraq during the holiest month for more blessings?

If you got any idea or a Clue to answer those questions please write to me for I could not see through the dust, smoke and soot filling the Iraqi Air. So that I can give an answer to those people, whom I saw late this evening searching through the rubble for their loved ones.