'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Friday, November 12, 2004

Meanwhile Back in Baghdad 

Unembedded journalist Dahr Jamail is back in Baghdad. Today Amy Goodman interviewed him by phone about the situation in the war-torn Iraqi capital. Dahr paints a picture of a city that has descended into almost total chaos:

It is continuing chaos and violence in Baghdad. Actually, just as of last night, several large areas of the city have been taken over by the Iraqi resistance and they remain so today. These are the areas of Aldora, Al-Amaria, and Abu Ghraib although right now there's extremely heavy fighting in the Al-Adhamiya district of Baghdad as well. [ ... ] But people here in Baghdad on top of what I just mentioned, as well as the events of Fallujah, are continuing to get angrier every single day. The green zone nearby me continues to take mortar rounds on a daily basis. Just down the street from my hotel, earlier there was an improvised explosive device that went off by a United States patrol, and then just a few moments ago actually, several large blasts went off again nearby. As I said before, there's been very heavy fighting in the Al-Adhamiya district of Baghdad. [ ... ] Also, another important event that occurred in Baghdad today, there was a very huge demonstration. Well over 5,000 followers of the Islamic party at the Imam-Alham mosque here in Baghdad. They were denouncing so-called Prime minister Iyad Allawi and calling for Jihad. They demonstrated to show that they're not afraid of the U.S. military, that Iyad Allawi was a traitor and should be removed as quickly as possible.

Also, in a a recent dispatch he interviewed Dr. Wamid Omar Nathmi, a senior political scientist at Baghdad University who vehemently opposed the regime of Saddam Hussein and now is speaking out against the US's continuing presence in Iraq:

Dr. Nathmi added, "Certainly the US military can eventually suppress Fallujah, but for how long? Iraq is burning with wrath, anger and sadness...the people of Fallujah are dear to us. They are our brothers and sisters and we are so saddened by what is happening in that city."

He asked what the difference was between what is occurring in Fallujah now to what Saddam Hussein did during his repression of the Shia Intifada which followed the ’91 Gulf War. "Saddam suppressed that uprising and used less awful methods than the Americans are in Fallujah today."

Dr. Nathmi is a brilliant man and certainly a warehouse of informative analysis about the events in Iraq. He was quick to point out another flaw in the US policy here, of how the US disbanded the entire Iraqi Police force in Ramadi the day before the siege of Fallujah began.

He held up his hands and asked, "Who will provide security in Ramadi now, angels?"

"I can assure you, it is well over 75% of Iraqis who cannot even tolerate this occupation," he said a little later when discussing the Bush administrations attempts to whitewash the situation in Iraq. "The right-wing Bush administration is blinded by its ideology, and we are all suffering from this, Iraqis and soldiers alike."

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