MER: Iraq Seething in Anger Heading to Civil War


Richard Moore

To: "mer" <•••@••.•••>
From: "MER - Mid-East Realities - MiddleEast.Org" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Iraq Seething in Anger Heading to Civil War
Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2004 10:43:37 -0400

8 April 2004

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"Increasing the US troop presence in Iraq will only suck us deeper and
deeper and deeper into the maelstrom -- into the quicksand of violence
that has become the hallmark of that unfortunate, miserable country."
                      Senator Robert Byrd on the Senate Floor - 7 April

"Iraqi cities are being sieged and bombed by missiles and tanks. Sadr,
Adamiya, Kufa, Falluja, Shula and others. Civilians are being killed.
The high way to Falluja is closed. News from Falluja say that bodies are
lying in the streets, no ambulances, no water, no electricity.
Journalists are not allowed in, cameras are smashed. They say this will
go on for days. pls help."   Eman, Occupation Watch, Baghdad - 7 April

"We are solidly ensconced in the city, and my units are stiffening their
grip.  We are prepared for...everyone who wants to come out and fight
us.  We will break their backs.  We will drive them out." Lt. Col
Brennan T. Byrne, Commander 5th Marine Regiment - 6 April

MER - www.MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 8 April 2004:     Yesterday the
American forces dropped 500 pound laser-guided bombs on a Mosque at
prayer time.   Arab media have been showing the gruesome pictures and
lambasting the American occupation army for its arrogance and brutality.
 It's a crusader's mentality and an occupier's approach, no doubt about
it.   The cock-sure quote from the Marine commander attacking Fallujah
shows just where the "American Fighting Man" proclaimed "Man of the
Year" by TIME Magazine and their stumbling, bumbling Commander-in-Chief
at the White House are coming from.   Read the report from Fallujah from
Patrick Cockburn.

Sure enough, the Americans have now enraged the Iraqis to the point of
more open rebellion, the stage now set for civil war which was publicly
warned about this week by leading Senators on the Foreign Relations
Committee as well as Hans Blix.  And sure enough the U.S. is more and
more adopting Israeli tactics, as well as rhetoric, with many Mossad
agents and Israeli operatives secretly in Iraq to 'assist'.  

The orgasm of fighting that has broken out in the past week will not
help the U.S. in its increasingly desperate desire to get the United
Nations to come to its rescue with an 'international face' to what is
quite clearly an American occupation with considerable Israeli advice
and assistance.   Secretary-General Kofi Annan -- always remember he was
the U.S.-selected choice for the job when the Americans vetoed as never
before the second term of Boutros-Ghali -- is doing all he can to
cooperate with Washington.   And that's why the Americans are doing all
they can to further twist arms and get other nations to provide troops
which will  'protect' U.N. personnel.   Once that is arranged the U.S.
is intending to go to the Security Council and ram through some kind of
resolution one way or another.    Especially with Bush facing what might
yet be a difficult reelection effort getting the U.N. to do everything
the Americans now want may actually meet with sufficient resistance to
prevent success this time.  We'll see...and pretty soon now!


Iraq on verge of civil war: Blix

PARIS, April 8 (AFP) - "The country is on the verge of civil war today.
The majority of Iraqis are certainly happy to be rid of Saddam Hussein,
but they are all against the American occupation, which is resented as a
humiliation," Blix told the Le Parisian daily.

Worse, the United States hasn't stationed enough troops in the country
to maintain order and prevent attacks so "Iraq has become a machine
producing terrorism."

US President "George (W.) Bush, who has presented this war as part of
the 'War on Terror' has gotten opposite result," the former Swedish
foreign minister and longtime diplomat said in comments translated from


U.S. Seeks Global Military Force To Protect U.N. in Iraq

The United States has asked more than a dozen countries to join a new
international military force to protect the United Nations in Iraq,
according to reports leaking from Washington Wednesday.

The Bush Administration has already approached France, which led
opposition to the war in Iraq, as well as India, Pakistan and other
nations that were reluctant to join the U.S.-led coalition that invaded

The list includes 'a good global mix,' said a State Department official
familiar with the proposed force.

But no Arab countries or neighbors of Iraq are on the list, with Turkey
notably absent.

The new force is considered essential to the fragile political
transition because the Bush administration claims it wants to rely on
the United Nations to return to Iraq to help organize elections after
the occupation ends on June 30.

The U.N. mission is likely to include activities such as assistance with
a census, voter registration, civic education and training in the run-up
to an election, as well as monitoring the polls by the year's end in
places where even the current coalition is not deployed, U.S. officials

'Potentially there could be a lot more places that forces would have to
go. This is an innovative process. None of us has done this before.'

Other than the massive American pressure -- including all the secret
tapes the U.S. from the bugging of U.N. Headquarters, the Security
Council, and the office of the Secretary-General -- why the U.N. would
be willing to bale out the Americans and step into exploding Iraq at
this time is difficult to fathom.


A guided missile, a misguided war

US 'kills 40' in mosque attack as Iraq conflict spirals out of control

By Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad

[The Independent - 08 April 2004]:    An airborne assault on a mosque
killed 'at least 40 worshippers' attending prayers in the city of
Fallujah yesterday as US-led occupation forces lost control of large
parts of Iraq.

American attack helicopters and fighter aircraft supported marines as
they stormed Fallujah 30 miles west of the capital. The aircraft fired a
rocket and a bomb into the compound of the Abdul-Aziz al-Samarrai

Witnesses said the attack came as worshippers gathered for afternoon
prayers and that at least 40 worshippers had been killed. Improvised
hospitals were set up in private homes to treat the wounded and prepare
the dead for burial.

The US military gave varying casualty counts. Marines Capt Bruce Frame,
in a statement issued from Central Command, said: "One anti-coalition
force member was killed in the attack. There is no report of civilian

Meanwhile Brig Gen Mark Kimmitt, the chief US military spokesman in
Iraq, said, "I understand there was a large casualty toll taken by the

US Marines on the roads leading in and out of Fallujah were turning back
all vehicles yesterday including ambulances. Anyone trying to reach the
city, which has a population of 300,000, was barred from entering. Two
Iraqis, sitting half-hidden close to a US roadblock near the village of
Haswa, said: "You can't reach the city. The Americans have closed it
off. Don't let them see you talking to us or we will be arrested."

Overall civilian casualties in Fallujah are not known but 16 children
and eight women were reported to have been killed when US aircraft hit
four houses on Tuesday, according to Hatem Samir, an official at
Fallujah hospital.

The US and its allies are now engaged in a two-front war with the Sunni
Muslim militants in Fallujah and Ramadi, as well as the Shia in the

Although US soldiers said they had reached the centre of Fallujah, most
of the city still appeared to be under the control of guerrillas.

By last night, the troops which overthrew Saddam Hussein a year ago this
week, had been driven from five Iraqi cities after heavy fighting.
Allied forces were under attack at both ends of the country.

Abu Hussam, an elderly man in Haswa just east of Fallujah, said: "We
were pleased when the Americans overthrew Saddam's miserable regime but
today our lives are worse than they were when he ruled in Baghdad." He
said he hoped the insurgents would win.

This week has seen the heaviest fighting since the end of the war, with
the US losing 33 soldiers in three days.

At least 150 Iraqis have died west of Baghdad alone, not counting those
who died at the mosque yesterday.

Large parts of southern Iraq have slipped out of their control as Allied
forces come under attack from militiamen of the Army of the Mehdi which
is loyal to Muqtada Sadr, a firebrand Shia cleric whom the US says it
intends to arrest.

The worsening situation on the ground appears to be affecting public
opinion in America, where polls demonstrate an erosion in support for
the decision to invade in Iraq.

In the city of Kut on the Tigris river south of Baghdad, the Army of the
Mehdi appeared to be in control after gun battles forced Ukrainian
soldiers stationed there to leave. A Ukrainian soldier and a British
citizen working for a security company were reported killed as well as
12 Iraqis. Muqtada Sadr has taken refuge in the Shia holy city of Najaf
which is now under the control of his men. It is the home city of Grand
Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most revered Shia cleric, but he does not
have his own militia. Sadr's men have also taken Kufa, south of Najaf.

US military commanders declared yesterday that they would arrest Sadr
and destroy the Army of the Mehdi, the black-clad militiamen who support
him. But it is doubtful if the US has the military forces in Iraq,
numbering some 130,000 men, to do so. They would have to call in
reinforcements and even that might not be enough.

The US army was already having difficulty in coping with the Sunni
guerrillas north and west of Baghdad. Many of the Allied troops in the
Shia cities of the south are from countries such as Poland, Spain,
Ukraine, Bulgaria and Italy, which wanted to show their loyalty to the
US but did not expect to find themselves in serious fighting.

The confrontation with Sadr appears to have been provoked by Paul
Bremer, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, when he closed
Sadr's newspaper and arrested one of his aides. He may not have expected
such a violent response. Although Sadr controls three cities in the
south, Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, the US military deputy commander,
said: "If he wants to calm the situation, he can turn himself in to an
Iraqi police station and face justice."

Iraq's top Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani yesterday condemned the
way the Allies were "dealing with current events" and said "provocative
steps which will lead to more chaos and bloodshed" should be avoided.

A dangerous ingredient in the present crisis is that it is taking place
during a Shia festival, known as Arbain, the 40th day of mourning after
the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein.

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