Monday, 14 December 2009


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.