Dahr Jamail: Iraq Dispatches


Richard Moore

From: •••@••.•••
Subject: Iraq Dispatches: Meanwhile, in Iraq...

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** http://dahrjamailiraq.com **

September 15, 2005

For the last several days at least 6,000 US soldiers along
with approximately 4,000 Iraqi soldiers (Read-members of the
Kurdish Peshmerga and Shia Badr Army) were laying siege to the
city of Tal-Afar, near Mosul in northern Iraq. It is estimated
that 90% of the residents have left their homes because of the
violence and destruction of the siege, as well as to avoid
home raids and snipers.

The Fallujah model is being applied yet again, albeit on a
smaller scale. I haven't received any reports yet of
biometrics being used (retina scans, finger printing, bar
coding of human beings) like in Fallujah, but there are other
striking similarities to the tactics used in November.

While the US military claims to have killed roughly 200
"terrorists" in the operation, reports from the ground state
that most of the fighters inside the city had long since left
to avoid direct confrontation with the overwhelming military
force (a basic tenet of guerrilla warfare).

Again like Fallujah, most of the families who fled are staying
in refugee camps outside the city in tents amidst horrible
conditions in the inferno-like heat of the Iraqi summer.

The LA Times reported that Ezzedin Dowla, a Turkmen leader in
the area said, "Families are homeless and the government has
not provided any shelter, food or drink for them." Nor has the
US military.

The targets of this military operation are the Sunni Turkmen
who are politically on the side of the Sunni Arabs. Most
Sunnis will be voting against the constitution during the
coming vote of October, 15th.

The Cheney Administration is desperate for something it can
spin as "good news" from Iraq; thus, it most certainly
behooves them to have the referendum on the constitution to
boast about. But in order to do so, the voting ability and
power of the Sunni (and Sunni Turkmen) must be severely
compromised, as well as punishment meted out for rightfully
assuming what will be a Sunni no-vote on the constitution.

Both the Cheney Administration and its current
puppet-government in Iraq benefit from destroying the voting
(and living) ability of the majority of people in the "Sunni
triangle," so we have the operation in Tal-Afar, most likely
to be followed by similar operations in Al-Qa'im, Haditha,
Samarra, and possibly more.

In Tal-Afar, the propaganda spewed by the US military (and
Iraqi "government") was that the operation was to fight
terrorists coming into Iraq via Syria. If that were true, why
did the US military remove troops from the border with Syria
who were supposed to be preventing infiltration by foreign
fighters? Instead of guarding the border, as they should, they
engaged in the operation against Iraqi Sunni Turkmen. Working
in unison, the US military launched the heavy-handed attack
with the "authorization" of Prime Minister Ibrahm Jaafari, the
leader of the Shia Dawa Party. Jaafari even went so far as to
venture to Tal-Afar on Tuesday to visit troops and have his
photograph taken.

"Authorization" was given by the Iraqi government for the
attack on Tal-Afar, just as "authorization" was given by then
interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi for the November, 2004
massacre in Fallujah. "Authorization," when the US military
would never, ever allow any foreign power jurisdiction over
American forces, least of all a puppet government.

Correspondents with Azzaman media in Tal-Afar miraculously
made it into the city and reported that residents are
disputing reports that US and Iraqi soldiers have killed
scores of "insurgents." Like Fallujah, these residents of
Tal-Afar are reporting that most of the people killed were
civilians who had no place to go so they chose to stay in
their homes. People also stayed because they feared
persecution at the hands of the Peshmerga and Badr Army.

I recently interviewed an Iraqi man from that area at the
Peoples' UN conference in Perugia, Italy. He told me, "Most
people in Mosul and Tal-Afar would rather be detained by the
Americans now, because they know if Iraqi soldiers or Iraqi
police detain them they will be tortured severely, and
possibly killed. This gives you an idea of how bad it is with
these Iraqi soldiers, even in the shadow of what the Americans
are still doing in Abu Ghraib."

As for "foreign fighters," one of the Azzaman correspondents
quoted a resident of Tal-Afar as saying, "We used to hear
(from news reports) of the presence of some Arab (foreign)
fighters in the city, but we have seen none of them."

Life in Iraq remains a living hell. Blood flowed in the
streets of Khadamiya yesterday as a horrendous car bomb killed
112 people in the predominantly Shia neighborhood. And once
again, calls of solidarity were made from the nearby Sunni
neighborhood of Adhamiya and residents emerged from their
homes to help their brothers and sisters across the river,
just as they did after the panic and chaos which recently took
the lives of nearly 1,000 Shia.

The horrendous totals from yesterday were 160 dead, 570
wounded Iraqis as the result of the string of attacks and at
least a dozen car bombs. The blowback from the Jafaari
"authorized" state-sponsored terrorism in Tal-Afar took little
time to materialize in the capital city.

If Jafaari was more honest with his press appearances, along
with his photo-op in Tal-Afar he should have had his photo
taken amidst the charred, smoking body parts strewn about the
streets of Khadamiya, which was a result (albeit just as
horrific) of his Tal-Afar "authorization."

On that note, Jalal Talabani, Iraq's puppet president, was in
a press conference in Washington D.C. with Mr. Bush just hours
before the blowback began.

Meanwhile, one of my friends in Baghdad writes me, "Dear Dahr,
how are you dear pal? I am very sorry for what happened after
Hurricane Katrina. It is a real tragedy. I hope none of your
friends or family was affected. It is a tragedy which makes
one speechless."

This when he goes to work each day hoping to make it home
alive to see his wife and newborn daughter.

And another of my friends in Baghdad wrote me recently, "I'm
so sorry that I didn't email you the previous daysŠthe
situation in Tal-Afar has become so much worse for the people.
It is terrible what is going on there and nobody can say
anything because as usual the military operation is still
going on and they are trying to keep all the media out. They
have also started another operation in another area of
Al-Anbar province and they will soon start one in Samarra."

My interpreter when I'm in Iraq, Abu Talat, has been willing
to take the risk of working with me there. To give you an idea
of the lengths he's willing to go to, he gave me the green
light to come to Iraq last November, just before the massacre
in Fallujah began. It is safe to say times were quite tense
then, with kidnappings and beheadings having long since become
the norm.

"The Minister of Defense is threatening not only Fallujah but
all of the Ramadi Governorate, I can tell you very surely
about that," he wrote in a recent email to me and a colleague
who was hoping to enter Iraq to work as a reporter. (Today, US
warplanes began dropping bombs inside the city of Ramadi.)

"No one can support you working here. We are having a very
critical situation. For this reason, I think that coming to
Iraq in this critical time is not accepted. I was very, very
welcoming to any of your friends, Dahr, but not in this time.
Sorry, but for your own safety. Take good care of yourself."

Today at least 30 more Iraqis have died in violence across
their occupied country and it will only continue to worsen.

More writing, photos and commentary at

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Richard Moore (rkm)
Wexford, Ireland
blog: http://harmonization.blogspot.com/

"Escaping The Matrix - 
Global Transformation: 
    "...the Patriot Act followed 9-11 as smoothly as the
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      - Srdja Trifkovic

    There is not a problem with the system.
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    Faith in ourselves - not gods, ideologies, leaders, or programs.
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