View Full Version : Iraq blogger in sticky situation

11-14-2004, 10:29 AM
I'm probably the only one interested in this, but I will post it anyway. The Iraqi blogger Zayed that I read to get an insiders view of what is really going on over there has a harrowing experience in Bagdad:


Saturday, November 13, 2004
The general situation in Baghdad these days is sinisterly reminiscient of the war. You keep hearing distant and sometimes not so distant thuds and explosions that make windows rattle. Helicopters hovering 24 hours a day almost at palm tree levels and jet fighters screeching high above with an increasing urgency that makes one cringe from apprehension. Electric power is almost non-existent and there has been a serious shortage in petrol since Tuesday, most gas stations have been closed for days and it's hard to find even on the black market, which means less electrical generator time for Iraqi households.

Fighting seems to have spread to several areas in Baghdad, including my neighbourhood. Haifa street, Dora, Amiriya, Khadhraa', Bayaa', Adhamiya and Zayuna districts have all witnessed clashes, mostly between hit-and-run armed groups and IP or NG's. IED's are all over the capital and several key roads and bridges have been blocked.

A cryptic threat was circulated a few days ago in both Baghdad and Ba'quba by insurgents warning people to stay away from "governmental departments and schools" causing widespread panic. A couple of primary schools in Baghdad were reportedly stormed by armed men wearing scary gorilla masks, so schools and colleges have been almost empty lately. The air is rife with outlandish rumours and conspiracy theories, aggravated by the lack of news about what is exactly going on since most Arab media outlets are more interested in the funeral and the death circumstances of Yassir Arafat than the Iraqi scene at the moment.

I returned from Basrah Wednesday and was greeted by hooded men in a Kia minibus firing their AK-47's in the air close to the entrance of our street. The troubled taxi driver dropped me off with my suitcase and drove away to safety. The Kia went by and then into a sidestreet where they seemed to have found a target since frantic shooting followed. Not a living soul was on the street except yours truly and I froze for a few seconds uncertain on which way to head. A close 'whizzzzzz' followed by a loud metallic clang behind me got me moving, so I scurried to my destination keeping as close as possible to the walls while I was reflecting on a friend's description of what it felt like to have a bullet tear through his loin. It was definitely not a fun experience but I luckily made it home. I have been scared stiff to put my nose out of the door since. This is the fourth occasion in which I get myself caught in the middle of a shootout and something tells me I won't be as lucky next time if we follow probability laws.

Nobody is following the situation in Fallujah anymore since the whole country seems to have plunged into chaos. There has been fighting in Ramadi, Khaldiya, Hit, Haditha, Garma, Abu Ghraib, Qaim, Mosul, Kirkuk, Hawija, Baiji, Tikrit, Samarra, Tarmiya, Balad, Muqdadiya, Salman Pak, Jurf Al-Naddaf, and most likely in dozens more areas that go unreported. Attacks on pipelines supplying power stations in Baiji have caused the lack of electricity for the last few days. Any other talk about 'collective punishment' is pure nonsense and the ramblings of lunatics.

Also, if one reflects for a moment on the abovementioned areas that are now supposedly in rebellion we come to a realisation that not one bullet was shot against the advancing US forces in these areas during the war. Why is that? The deadliest resistance to occupying forces was in Umm Qasr, Basrah, Abu Al-Khasib, Nasiriya, Kut, and Karbala. In fact we all heard during the war about banquets for US special forces thrown by tribal Sheikhs in Haditha and other areas of the Anbar governorate. The 'resistance' only started after the de-Ba'athification and the disbanding of the army and security forces which tells us a lot about the mentality of the 'freedom fighters' who claim to be fighting to end occupation.

What is worse is that the first chapter of the future Iraqi civil war is currently being written. The Sunni armed groups have made no secret this time of their true intentions. According to them, the Iraqi NG's are now just infidel 'Kurd and Shi'ite' militias taking their revenge against the peace-loving Sunnis. The Association of Muslim Scholars issues fatwas calling Iraqi security forces 'apostates' because "Iraqis should not be fighting Iraqis under the occupation". This fatwa implies that if the occupation ends tomorrow then it would be okay for Iraqis to kill each other then, since that has always been the case over the last three decades. Harith Al-Dhari might have regained whatever credibility he previously had by stating that "No Iraqis should kill other Iraqis period", which would apply to the insurgents who insist on blowing up other Iraqis in police stations, churches and hospitals.

Will write on further developments later.

# posted by zeyad : 11/13/2004 04:47:02 AM

11-14-2004, 10:36 AM
Thanks Ross, you know I am in search of the unblemished facts concerning this debacle...sid