Monday, August 09, 2004

The chief of Najaf IP, brigadier Ghalib Al Jazaeri was interviewed by Al Sharqyia TV today and gave some important statements. Mr. Ghalib confirmed the IP control over the majority Najaf and said that Al Mahdi militia are besieged in small areas. He also said that most of them are surrendering and that among the 1200 captured till now there are 1000 from outside Najaf (Basra, Kut, Amarah, Baghdad) and 4 of them were Iranians who confessed that they have joined the Mahdi army. Those 4 were Transferred to Baghdad for “The importance of the information they have”.

The man’s anger was showing and he slammed his hand against the meeting table as he said that Muqtada’s militia are the ones who broke the truce, as the truce depended on many conditions among which is the disappearance of armed men from the streets and their departure from the city, and that never happened. Also the so-called “legitimate court” founded by Muqtada was still there and was functioning despite the truce and even ‘arrested’ IP members and was trying to prosecute them! He also affirmed that the militia were the ones who started attacking the police station and the city hall.

Mr. Ghalib confirmed that there will be no negotiation with those who he described as “evil that we must get rid of” and repeated that no one is above the law, and resented the attempts of “The SheĆ”t House” to help start negotiation with Sadr and he said that he still have the warrant of Muqtada’s arrest and he’s working on this persistently. He mentioned that yesterday he was in front of Muqtada’s house with a group of IP and ING but the door was closed and no one was in the house.

He made it clear that he will arrest Muqtada as soon as he find him and that he was a law man and has nothing to do with what politicians are trying and he will carry on with his orders and will enforce law. The police chief insisted that Muqtada was still in Najaf according to his information and he finally said that he won’t hesitate to ask for support and back up from the multinational force which he describes as “friends” to get the “evil” out of the city of Najaf.

I must say that I liked what the man said and especially his tone and strong dedication to do his job regardless of the dangers he may face and is facing now.

Also his statement that most of the thugs were from outside Najaf rule out all the claims that this is an uprising, as if it was so then we would’ve seen the people of the city themselves revolting in large numbers but the fact is that Muqtada has gathered his criminals from many cities and focused on Najaf and Baghdad only because he knew he wouldn’t find enough people to support him had he depended on the people of Najaf alone. While the fights in other cities were small compared to Baghdad and Najaf and there was absolutely no fights in the rural areas which shows that the distribution of fighters was planned to focus on important areas only, and this ensures more media coverage which in my mind is one of the main goals of such movement, as it’s clearly supported and planned by outside parties which are dying to show Iraq as an unstable and hopeless place. Besides we all saw how the people of Najaf were delighted to see the IP control the city again in the previous revolt after many days of fighting. Also an uprising is a reaction rather than a planned action and here the percentage of the fighters from outside the city show clearly that this is closer to a planned revolt.

I also admired the man honesty and courage in calling things by their names on TV especially calling Muqtada “evil” and coalition forces “ friends”. I hope the government depend more and more on people like this man who I heard from my friends in Najaf that he’s a very good and respected man.

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