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March 29, 2006

Absolute Bloody Chaos Iraq

Riverbend, the Iraqi woman who blogs at Baghdad Burning, yesterday posted this (excerpt):

I sat late last night switching between Iraqi channels (the half dozen or so I sometimes try to watch). It's a late-night tradition for me when there's electricity — [...]

I paused on the Sharqiya channel which many Iraqis consider to be a reasonably toned channel (and which during the elections showed its support for Allawi in particular). I was reading the little scrolling news headlines on the bottom of the page. The usual — mortar fire on an area in Baghdad, an American soldier killed here, another one wounded there... 12 Iraqi corpses found in an area in Baghdad, etc. Suddenly, one of them caught my attention and I sat up straight on the sofa, wondering if I had read it correctly.

E. was sitting at the other end of the living room...I called him over with the words, "Come here and read this — I'm sure I misunderstood..." He stood in front of the television and watched the words about corpses and Americans and puppets scroll by and when the news item I was watching for appeared, I jumped up and pointed. E. and I read it in silence and E. looked as confused as I was feeling.

The line said:

وزارة الدفاع تدعو المواطنين الى عدم الانصياع لاوامر دوريات الجيش والشرطة الليلية اذا لم تكن برفقة قوات التحالف العاملة في تلك المنطقة

The translation:

"The Ministry of Defense requests that civilians do not comply with the orders of the army or police on nightly patrols unless they are accompanied by coalition forces working in that area."

That's how messed up the country is at this point.

We switched to another channel, the "Baghdad" channel (allied with Muhsin Abdul Hameed and his group) and they had the same news item, but instead of the general "coalition forces" they had "American coalition forces".

[T]oday as it was repeated on another channel. [...]

It confirmed what has been obvious to Iraqis since the beginning — the Iraqi security forces are actually militias allied to religious and political parties.

But it also brings to light other worrisome issues. The situation is so bad on the security front that the top two ministries in charge of protecting Iraqi civilians cannot trust each other. The Ministry of Defense can't even trust its own personnel, unless they are "accompanied by American coalition forces". [...]

They've been finding corpses all over Baghdad for weeks now — and it's always the same: holes drilled in the head, multiple shots or strangulation, like the victims were hung. Execution, militia style. Many of the people were taken from their homes by security forces — police or special army brigades... Some of them were rounded up from mosques. [Emphasis added]

How bad does it have to be for the Ministry of Defence to go on the air and publicly advise people to ignore the orders of its own army and police unless they're accompanied by Americans. The same army and police that Bush says are "standing up" so US forces can "stand down."

The horror that is unfolding in that country is impossible to imagine. We have so much to answer for.

Posted by Jonathan at March 29, 2006 08:02 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb


wow can you read arabic?

Posted by: BenE at March 30, 2006 09:00 AM

Yes, a lot to answer to. But like this is a surprise???

Posted by: Jeff at March 30, 2006 04:25 PM