Monday, September 13, 2004

What do Fallujans think?

It looks like there’s determination to solve the crisis in tension foci in Iraq as a key step before holding the elections. It’s become more than clear that the terrorists are an obstacle created by known external powers to delay the desired political process in Iraq and the public opinion here agrees with the measures taken by the government to destroy the strongholds of crime and terror. There’s a pole at the popular “ New Sabah” newspaper that demonstrate this clearly as about 93.65% voted as agreeing with the government policy in Iraq. (Link in Arabic)
Of course everyone knows that asking for back up from the multinational forces is unquestionable.
Anyway, what I want to say here is that yesterday I received some information from a reliable source, that I’ll refrain from mentioning his name or position, about what’s going on in two of the hottest, probably most dangerous spots in the mean time; Talla’far and Fallujah.

Talla’far’s name has been repeated more often recently and the news I heard confirm that the town has become an exclusive haven for the Baáth party where the party’s members gained full control of the streets to the degree that no one would dare to say a word against Saddam in public.

The Baáth formation there reminded me of Saddam’s days; the same old pyramid structure of units and ranks has been reformed but the most important is that the command center for this structure lies in the Syrian city of Al-Hasaka and the chief commander is, “Ahmed Younis Al-Ahmed”, a member in the former “Revolution Command Council”, and who’s believed now to be the secretary of the reformed organization in Iraq and this man is well supported by the Syrian government who provided shelter for a whole lot of mid-ranking party officials who escaped Iraq and still ranting with slogans of making a come back and re-controlling the country.
In Fallujah the situation is totally different where control is in the hands of the radical Islamic groups together with Arab fighters from across the borders. The latest information I received indicate that seven major “armies” have united their efforts; the “armies” are: Mohammed’s army, Al-Farouq’s battalions, the Salafies, Ansar Al-Sunna and three other groups I couldn’t get their names.

There was a dispute about who should lead the “army” and whether this commander should be a cleric or a military expert. Abdullah Al-Janabi, one of the significant Sunni clerics there was a candidate for that position but the dispute was settled and an agreement was reached to assign a military professional as the chief commander because the war is against a well organized and highly trained army, so they chose an ex-colonel in Saddam’s army to lead the fighters. The new commander began organizing the “army” and planned a redeployment for the units and gave orders that ammunition must be used only according to the “102 rule” which was a protocol used in the old Iraqi army. Also, many of the concrete walls that were constructed to protect some facilities were dragged and used by the fighters to construct safe positions and they painted the roofs of the position with pitch and ground glass which are supposed to distract surveillance aircrafts and in addition to that, new weapons were introduced including some anti-aircraft batteries (including SAM 6 missiles) were reportedly assembled and prepared in positions.

The “army” commanders know for sure that these preparations will never grant them victory but the primary objective they’ve agreed on is to level Fallujah with the ground as part of a plan to ruin the reputation of the government and the multinational forces by forcing them to enter a bloody and destructive battle that will end with negative consequences even for the winner in a critical time where events and news have a strong impact on political field in both Iraq and America.
This subject however, cannot be resolved by talks, the terrorists have made up their mind to confront the legitimate authorities.

I want to point out that the citizens of Fallujah have had enough of those fighters who lost a great deal of their support, if they had any, but the problem is that they still have the power and they still get support from the clerics and the extremists.

We will always be faced with this problem, as it has been clear that it is a basic tactic used by the terrorists to hide among innocents and use them as shields. Saddam used it, Taliban and Sadr and all the other terrorists and dictators. However, I believe that this sick tactic has become rather useless lately and cannot fool all people anymore, and not even the majority.

We in Iraq accepted the sacrifices needed to remove Saddam, in Afghanistan we didn’t see any real demonstrations protesting against the American Army for the accidental death of civilians when targeting Taliban fighters and the same applies for Iraq lately. Isn’t it amazing that many people in the west and some Americans blame the American army and administration for the life losses and mess in Najaf, while Najafies are strongly blaming Sadr in their latest demonstration without a word to condemn the American army!? Aren’t people, even seemingly simple people, smarter than what some media elite thinkers and reporters want us to believe!?
It’s also worth mentioning that the news I heard from inside Fallujah confirm that the bombarded targets we hear about in the news every now and then did belong to Zarqawi followers and those targets were identified and chosen according to reports from the Fallujans most of the times.

This does not, by any means, mean that the military power should be set free without any monitoring or questioning, but we simply should not overestimate the danger because we’ll be underestimating the people’s lust for freedom and how much they are ready to give to have it, and this will be an insult to them. I’ve always felt insulted by the anti-war and human shields who came to Iraq before the war telling me that they were here to protect me! That was very insulting to my intelligence, my dignity and humanity. Protect me from what? Freedom and having a dignified and honorable life?!
I think there is no other choice but to confront them and this is the choice they want to impose on the government, so this is going to be a tough challenge but unfortunately, there’s no other way.

By Mohammed.

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