Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, a statement every body around the world wish to say to his friends, relatives, and neighbors. They welcome the New Year and say goodbye to the old year. They exchange this statement of greeting with joy, happiness and may kiss each other. It is a universal tradition, almost every where except in my country.
This year, the day 31 December 2005 is a tragedy (as any other day). We say good by to 2005 and welcome to 2006 with the sound of bullets and fire exchange (not the type of fire people used to use here to express their happiness in some occasions as marriage). But it is toward each other.
You have the right to say, “oh ... look ... how ignorant and uncivilized people are there in Iraq”
But the reality is that the ignorant and the uncivilized people, which make up a considerable portion of the population, do not share this conflict.
Those who shared it are the people most concerned with the future of the country (from both sides). Each according to his own viewpoint is fighting to protect the sovereignty of Iraq, as he understands it.

The pro occupation forces (The Iraqi army, the policemen, the ING, the peshmerga and the armed militias of the ruling parties) together with the US troops from one side, and the anti occupation fighters (the insurgents and the resistance) from the other side.

On the other hand there are other groups which take advantages from the unstable situation and take a great share in the chaos and those are ; the thugs and the gangsters who kidnapped people for ransom, their sole goal is to collect money, they found the chaos as a good medium for their crimes, and as far as there is no power of law, they will continue to grow and increas in number as the poverty and the rises of prices and the jobless people are increasing.
Another group which may have the greatest inflict on the situation, is the Terrorists.
The terrorists are working for political reasons, which is most of the times not in the benefit of our country. Those are usually non-Iraqis, they come here because they know that a strong and free Iraq is dangerous to them. Those are who killed innocent people, exploded mosques, schools and market places, their real target is to plant fear and terror in the country to protect their own benefit.

We are looking forward to peaceful Iraq, where we can share others their happiness and live the life we want without supervision from other in a free and sovereign Iraq.

Happy New Year. To all of you.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Fraud ... Fraud ... and Fraud

At the days following the election, many people and I are very optimistic that there will be deviation to the political processes instead of armed confrontations. This was because of the easiness and peaceful ballot. But it lasted for no more than two days, then the explosions and the clashes started again. You know why? ... I will tell you … I know.

Seven days since the election, every new day we hear news of frauds in the process of voting. There are more than 1250 claims of illegal and cheating acts during the process of voting. All the cheating are done by the militias of the puppet government, (the Badr militia in the middle and the south and the Peshmerga in the north), both are supported by the current government. Many of the complaint are really serious

At Tuesday 20, they announced primary results of the vote; the results are disappointing to all that shared in the election except the United Iraqi Alliance, and the Kurdish alliance. And since then, the tension come back to Iraq, there are demonstrations daily in many of the Iraqi provinces refusing those results and demanding of rerun the ballot

More than 35 fronts and parties reject the results announced by the Electoral commission, including the list of former premier Iyad Allawi

The government from its side, and to camouflage the chaos, announced an increase in the prices of oil products, The Gasoline, the Kerosene and the Diesel fuels. The increase is varying from 5 to 11 folds.

There are two kind of angry demonstrations one against the election's results and the other against the increase in the prices of the oil products

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Another quiet day

Today is Saturday, at 6:00 am this morning the curfew for the vehicles ended, this is only in Mosul, there were no curfew for vehicles in other city except for the election day, but in Mosul it was for five days, from Tuesday at 10:00 pm till Saturday at 6:00 am Fr. Friday and Saturday are the week end holiday. At the previous time we have only one day (Friday), week end, now we have two days.
As Saturday is a holiday we used to see the road semi empty at the morning and the movement gradually increased as the day proceed. But today there were a heavy traffic movement from the early morning (The people get bored from staying in house for five days), but the most important cause is here in Mosul, ,most of the people except the Government employees earn their income day by day, when the can't go for work, that day there is no income, and five days break are too long with out work.

I went to my clinic early this afternoon, because I have no morning work. The street are overcrowded with cars, people are busy shopping. One thing looked different is there are no kids in the streets, no bicycles, and no more football. I returned home late, about 5:30 pm, it is still scary to drive at night, you cant differentiate the American car from faraway, you may unintentionally get closer than 100 m. from them and expose your self to fire, but thanks God the only American cars I met were in the opposite direction, and I can recognized them early.
Tomorrow the schools will open their doors to receive the students, men and women will go to their work as they used to do. We hope the peacefulness will continue. It remind us with the old days when we go to work with no fear from roadside bombs, or bombed cars in our way.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The election and the people

Another day of freedom from danger, no explosions and no exchange of fire. The only thing disturbs the peacefulness is the sound of the police cars and the American convoys passing at high speed every now and then.

After the end of the voting, we stayed anxious for the results. The people responsible said that the result will be announced after 2 weeks.
Un official news leaked out, and every body claim that his list are winning. I count more than four groups each claim a great result. There seem to be no loser in this election.
I feel comfortable because the group I voted for, claims he get excellent result in several provinces including Nineveh.
The supervisor authorities said all the result announced till now are not official, and probably not correct.

On the other hand, the kids in the neighborhood was very happy, the curfew make all the kid to get out of their houses and to play in the main street by their bicycles, or to make the street a football (soccer) yard.
The teenagers make two teams and play Flying ball in a secondary road.
The men are gathered in front of one of the houses and exchange thought about the election and related subjects, the most attractive subject is the claims of almost all the candidate about the fraud which they claim happened in the election process.

As a truth we don't know for sure if this is just a rumors, or there are really a frauds. But as every body said that, we think there should be some truth in it.

I found one report looked to be written by an unbiased side enumerate several events of frauds in many center in different province, the report is in Arabic and I can't translate it so you can read it at this site

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The election day

Today is a holiday, it is the third day of the five days break we have for the sake of the election. It was not just a holiday, it is a curfew from 10:00 pm till 6:00 am of the next day, in addition it is a curfew for all form of vehicles starting from 10:00 pm at Tuesday till 6:00 am of next Sunday (all the days of the holiday).

Early in the morning, all the election centers open their doors to receive the people who come to vote. It was a calm day except for very few sounds of explosion and shooting fire. No report for casualties up to my knowledge.

At about 10:00 am I went to the nearby center for voting. After they searched me, they allow me in, where I saw the supervisor of the center who told me that I have no right to vote here (although the center is only 300 meter from my house), because I registered in another center about 10 km away from my house, from where I received my food ration (according to Oil for Food program). There aren't any means of transportation.
I returned home, thinking with my self is it safe to go there walking, despite my heart problem and the hypertension I had.? When a friend call me, he have the same problem, he heard in the TV that it is possible to vote in the nearby center if our center is far away.

I go to the nearby center again, they told me they heard the news but they can't depend on it, they want a written order.
"Just wait for an hour or two, then come again" they told me. So I did that.
I went again at 3:00 pm, this time with my wife, they accept us and let us vote.

The result will appear at the end of this month as expected, but we all know for sure who will win and why.
If you ask me why I vote, while I know the result in advance ?
It is because of an e-mail I received from an American friend telling me his feeling when he face a similar situation, he said:
" Now it seems certain that my vote will be for the losing side. I find that incredibly frustrating.
Even so, I will vote. I will lose, but I will vote."

I feel just as he felt, and I decided to do what he did, so I voted. Thank you my friend.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Another unbelievable story !!

Dar Babel for Studies and Information December 13, 2005

And then there are the American 'Liberators':

"A reliable source has confirmed that at 12 o’clock noon on Thursday December 8, 2005, occupants of a black BMW sedan commenced to shoot at random on civilians and passers by in the area of Imam Qasim in Kirkuk. Two policemen and three civilians were injured by the shootings.
Upon receiving retaliatory fire from the police and passing pedestrians, the car sped off in the direction of Sulaimania.
An Azadi police patrol sped after it in pursuit and managed to kill two of the attackers in the car near the Rabi’ district, about 20 kilometers from Kirkuk on the Sulaimania road.
Upon further firearms exchange, a fire erupted in the BMW. At that moment, an American helicopter landed near the burning car and dragged the two dead bodies and the other two survivors and flew them away.
This was carried out in full view of the Iraqi police who watched in disbelief as these Americans were shooting innocent civilians (not insurgents) in Kirkuk.
After this incident, some of the Azadi police officers and rank submitted their resignation from the force and decided to fight the Americans."

This is the translation of the real story, as published in Free Iraq blog.

Below is the original story in Arabic. From Dar Babel for studies and information.

خبر : 13/12/2005 خاص دار بابل

أكد مصدر موثوق أنه في يوم الخميس المصادف 8/12/2005 الساعة الثانية عشر ظهرا قامت سيارة نوع (BMW) سوداء اللون حجم 735 بإطلاق النار العشوائي على المواطنين في منطقة (امام قاسم) في كركوك وجرحت عدد 2 من الشرطة و3 مواطنين مما أدى ذلك إلى إطلاق النار عليها من قبل المواطنين في المنطقة ولاذت بالفرار إلى طريق السليمانية فأعقبتها مفرزة من شرطة ازادي و قتل اثنان ممن كانوا في السيارة (BMW) في منطقة ناحية الربيع التي تبعد حوالي 20كم عن كركوك على طريق السليمانية. واثر إطلاق النار الكثيف اندلعت النار في السيارة .وفي هذه الأثناء هبطت (مروحية أمريكية) وأخذت الجثث التي كانت في السيارة واثنان آخرين لم تصبهم نيران الاطلاقات النارية .كان ذلك بمرأى الشرطة العراقية التي أصابها الذهول لان هؤلاء كانوا أمريكان وينفذون عمليات إرهابية ضد المواطنين الأبرياء في كركوك على أنهم (مقاومة).بعد الحادث قدم عدد من الضباط والشرطة استقالاتهم وقرروا مقاتلة الأمريكان.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World

Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World: "Speaking at a November 24 rally in Damascus, white supremacist and former US State Representative from Louisiana David Duke called the US a land 'occupied' by Zionists.

'The Zionists occupy most of the American media and now control much of American government. It is not just the West Bank of Palestine, it is not just the Golan Heights that are occupied by the Zionists, but Washington DC, and New York, and London, and many other capitals in the world,' the former KKK member said."

Susanne Osthoff

Ireceived the following e-mail few days ago, but because of the current situation, I can't take any step forward to help.

I appreciate your blog - politically and from a human point of view. Living as a swiss citizen in germany, interdisciplinary holistic medical therapist and consultant, I am busy also with peace issues much as I can (I wish t do more) Today I phoned the sister of kidnapped german archeologist Susanne Osthoff. Both of us are feeling things are going not in a good direction. Both of us are opposing the US war on Iraq, we are friends of chancellor Schröders no towards this war and we are very much concerned chancellor Merkel will change this no into more yes. And in some ways this issue seems to be connected to the fate of Susanne Osthof - a great lover and humanitarian worker for Iraq. Her sister told not one bitter or hateful word about Iraq - she tries to understand, full of compassion. She, and myself too, so we - are thinking: this means to rethink our stand here regarding Iraq and USA - and to forecome, to avoid a terrible shift towards Bush's global policy, which is damaging human and international rights by any means!
I am sorry to disturb you with this problems, but perhaps you can help us or link us to useful sources or informations. We will appreciate this very much indeed. I will not finish without expressing my deepest feelings and best wishes for your work as an MD in Iraq - I wish this terrible situation in your country could change soon as possible. (I heard from an Ingenieur recently, located in Baghdad - Iraqi MD's are cut of from new medical magazines since a long time and this problem is not changed after US forces brought "freedom" (I don't think this is true) to your country. Please let me know too, if this issue regarding medical magazines is changed.
Best regards
and may be peace between us in future-
therefore we have to take steps now-

Please if any one could help in any way, let me know.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Iraqi officials find more abused prisoners |

Iraqi officials find more abused prisoners | "For the second time in two months, an Iraqi government search of a prison near Baghdad has found prisoners who appeared to have been tortured. The Washington Post reports 600 prisoners were cramped into a small space and that 13 prisoners were found in a condition that required immediate medical attention"

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Five days to election

The election of the new parliament will hold next Thursday.
The situation in the city of Mosul is very stressful. The US convoys wandering through out the city day and night. The police cars full of policemen holding gun aiming at the pedestrians and firing their guns at any car which fail to stop or approaching the convoy.

From the other side there were explosions every where, masked gunmen attacking the US soldiers and the Iraqi police. The roads are blocked by either a concrete blocks or barbed wires making the moving in the city streets very difficult and dangerous.

In Mosul there are five bridges across the river Tigris joining the two sides of the city together, during the last few days, all the bridges are either blocked completely or there were a check points at the beginning of the bridges to search all the cars which attempt to cross the bridge. This make the movement across the bridge very very difficult.

Me for example, my house and the hospital in which I work are in different side of the city, that means I have to cross the bridge twice. Most of the time I reached the hospital about an hour or more late. This is true for all the staff.
At the end of the day I have to go home for lunch and then to the clinic, I have to cross the bridge again, and I shall consider that I must leave the clinic before the Sunset for security reasons (all the Doctors and Pharmacists closed their clinics and Pharmacies before Sunsetmy), I stayed in the clinic for very short period of time.

The patients and sick people will suffer more if they have to go to the hospital at night. The curfew started at 10:00 PM after that, if they go out of their houses they may get killed before they reached the hospital, even the ambulance can't get out after the curfew. The City roads look empty just after the Sunset, it is too dangerous to wander in your car after the Sunset. Many people had been killed or seriously injured, just because they can't recognise an American car at dark or fail to stop at an appropriate distance from a check point.

Early this month two persons, one of them is a Surgeon kidnapped by a gangs which asked for ransom to free them. The Surgeon pay the ransom, but the other guy managed to escape from the kidnappers and go to the police, They did nothing except the declare in Nineveh TV that the police rescued a victim from his kidnappers.

We wait the result of the election, although we know it in advance, but just to see what will happen to the security after the new government take over the control.

Friday, December 09, 2005

U.S. Helps Some Iran-Backed Terror

Inter Press Service (IPS)
Dahr Jamail and Harb al-Mukhtar

*BAGHDAD, Dec 8 (IPS) - After the U.S. forces and the bombings, Iraqis are coming to fear those bands of men in masks who seem to operate with the Iraqi police.*

Omar Ahmed's family learnt what it can mean to run into the police, their supposed protectors.

Omar was driving with two friends in the Adhamiya district of Baghdad at night Sep. 1 when they were stopped at a police checkpoint.

"The three of them were arrested by the police even though there was nothing in the car," an eyewitness told IPS, speaking on condition of anonymity.

They did not return home for days, and the family began to search the morgues, common practice now when someone is arrested by the Iraqi police and does not return.

"Five days after they were arrested we found Omar's body in the freezer in a morgue, with holes in the side of his head and shoulders," a friend of the family told IPS.

"We don't know if the other two men are dead or alive," he said. "But we know these men were guilty of nothing other than driving their car at night. We have no security and the problem is that police are killing and disappearing the Iraqi people every day now."

The 'death squads' as they have come to be called are getting more active with just a week to go before the Dec. 15 election.

On Tuesday this week Iraqi police said they found 20 bodies dumped at two different locations in western Iraq, according to the al-Sharqiyah television network.

Eleven bodies of men wearing civilian clothes were found dumped on the main road between Baghdad and the Jordanian border. The bodies were found near al-Rutbah city, with their hands tied behind their backs.

Police said that nine bodies, also of civilians, and riddled with bullets, were found on the side of a road near Fallujah on Monday.

Signs are emerging that such killing is the work of death squads backed by Iran-backed Shia forces that dominate the government, and therefore the police.

Abdullah Omar, a 39-year-old unemployed engineer who now sells petrol and cigarettes on the black market says he survived one such Shia squad.

"I was sleeping on the roof of my house one night because it was so hot and we had no electricity as usual," Omar told IPS. "I was awakened by a loud explosion nearby, and immediately surrounded by strange men wearing night-vision goggles."

Omar says he was thrown to the ground by the men, handcuffed and blindfolded. "They started to beat me using the end of their guns," he said. "Then they searched my house, took my gun which I told them I had, then they took me away."

His 32-year-old wife Sumia, a teacher, was also handcuffed and taken away.

Omar says he saw about ten pick-up trucks carrying at least 100 men wearing black masks before a bag was placed over his head. He was taken to the back of a truck, and beaten up until he fainted.

Sumia was beaten up too. "I received so many kicks to my stomach," she told IPS. "I heard Abdullah screaming in pain, so I fought until they handcuffed me and beat me until I couldn't do anything else."

The two were taken to the Iraqi police station in Suleakh, Baghdad, where they were interrogated and accused of owning a mortar.

"I explained to them that I don't know anything about mortars," said Omar. "And that I have never had anything to do with the resistance, but they said so many insulting words to me, and beat me further."

Sumia, who was also interrogated, pleaded with the policemen to let them return home to care for their young children. "They would not give me a headscarf to cover my head," she told IPS. "They kept asking me about mortars and wouldn't let me go to look after my children. We know nothing about any mortars.."

Omar said the next morning he was moved into another room where he saw men lying handcuffed, with their heads covered with sacks. "They were lying on the ground without a blanket or pillow."

In a while, he said he saw 14 men wearing black masks enter the room carrying whips. "I watched them beat the prisoners. They told them this was their breakfast."

Abdullah and Sumia were later taken home, and warned that if security forces were attacked in their neighbourhood, they would be detained again.

Omar said the men who detained him and his wife were members of the Shia Badr Army, a militia affiliated with Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

Tensions in Baghdad run high, as people who live in areas not controlled by the Badr Army face daily threats of being kidnapped or killed by members of the militia.

"The Badr Army is conducting a campaign to destroy other political parties and their electoral advertisements," said Saleh Hassir, a doctor at a Baghdad medical centre. "We see black paint and tears on ex-prime minister Allawi's posters and those of the Sunni groups, but pictures of al-Hakim remain unaffected."

The doctor says the Americans have helped bring in new Iran-backed terror.

"So many of us are against Iraq being controlled by these fundamental Islamic Iranian loyalists like al-Hakim," the doctor told IPS. "Now we are seeing the suffering and ultimate dictatorship they have brought us here with the help of the Americans."

(Isam Rashid contributed to this article)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

An Update

Today I heard more detail about the incident of yesterday (The killing of the traffic policeman by the US soldier).

Another eyewitness said
"The convoy was coming toward the intersection with very laud warning horn, they usually come too fast expecting the police to open the street for them by blocking the movement in the other directions and keeping the way free for them. This poor policeman was either un aware of the convoy or he intentionally don't care,when they come to the intersection it wasn't completely free. And he deserve to be executed for his unforgivable sin."

Freedom and democracy in the American way.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Unbelievably strange

This a very strange news, I heard from an eyewitness, but it happened at the middle of the day in front of crowd of people, many policemen among them.

He is my neighbor, A previous army officer, he was near an intersection where the insidence happened. He said

"A convoy of 3 strykers was approaching an intersection at crowded hour of the day, I was in my car when we noticed the convoy coming, all the car stopped in caution afraid from the un predictable behavior of the US soldiers. I heard a single shot fired from one of the US strykers, after they pass the intersection, the policemen run to the intersection where a traffic policeman lying dead in a lake of blood. No body know why they shoot him, they never stop to help him."

Monday, December 05, 2005

A new wave of lies and intimidation

Bush’s counteroffensive on Iraqi WMD:
"A series of three extraordinary opinion polls released within the last week have all shown the same thing: at least 6 out of every 10 Americans believe Bush is a liar—and better than 7 out of 10 think that Cheney is one—and that the overriding reason for this belief is the war in Iraq.

One of the polls, conducted by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, found that 57 percent of Americans—nearly 6 in 10—believe that the Bush administration lied to the American public about the reasons for war."

"The administration appears to have a default position: when previous lies unravel, prop them up with more lies. Neither the Senate investigation into Iraqi WMD intelligence nor the commission appointed by Bush and headed by Judge Laurence Silberman dealt with how the administration “manipulated intelligence and misled the American people,” but only the nature of the intelligence itself.

On this score, the Silberman panel concluded that the intelligence was “dead wrong” and constituted one of the “most damaging intelligence failures in American history.” A failure, it should be added, for which no one was ever held accountable, precisely because false intelligence is what the administration wanted"

Peter Phillips: Death By Torture

Peter Phillips: Death By Torture

Military autopsy reports provide indisputable proof that detainees are being tortured to death while in US military custody. Yet the US corporate media are covering it with the seriousness of a garage sale for the local Baptist Church.

A recent American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) posting of one of forty-four US military autopsy reports reads as follows:

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Death Mask: The Deliberate Disintegration of Iraq

"For months, stories from the Shiite south and Sunni center have reported the same phenomenon: people being summarily seized by large groups of armed men wearing police commando uniforms, packing high-priced Glocks, using sophisticated radios and driving Toyota Land Cruisers with police markings. The captives are taken off and never seen again – unless they turn up with a load of other corpses days or weeks later, bearing marks of the gruesome tortures they suffered before the ritual shot in the head. Needless to say, these mass murders under police aegis are rarely investigated by the police.
Earlier this year, one enterprising Knight-Ridder reporter, Yasser Salihee, actually found several eyewitnesses willing to testify to the involvement of the U.S.-backed commandos in 12 such murders. The offer was shrugged off by the Interior Ministry's spokesman – an American "adviser" and veteran bones-maker from the Colombian ops. In the end, it didn't matter; Salihee was shot dead by a U.S. sniper at a checkpoint a few days afterwards.

Death Mask: The Deliberate Disintegration of Iraq

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The electionnaire - which party is yours?

Iraqi citizens confused those days because the hear a lot of promises for correction, reconstruction, and so and so from the parties sharing in the coming election. The streets are full of signs with different statement explain what the will do if the win the election.

We know for sure that most of these signs are not more than lies, and every thing will be forgotten after the election. Any way there is an Internet electionaire which could match your beliefs with the the parties ideology, you could know which party is more represent you.

You can try it just for fun, or for real, that is up to you.
here is the URL of the site.

This is an interesting questionnaire which could help you to know which one of the many Iraqi parties fit your political beliefs.

One important note, don't believe all what you hear from political groups or parties because they say what they thing is useful to their goal (propaganda).

U.S. paying Iraqi editors to print favorable news

U.S. paying Iraqi editors to print favorable news - "WASHINGTON // As part of an extensive information offensive inside Iraq, the U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspaper editors to publish stories written by U.S. troops in an effort to burnish the image of the U.S. mission within Iraq."

Daniel Kuehl, an information operations expert at National Defense University at Ft. McNair in Washington, said that he did not believe that planting stories in Iraqi media was wrong. But he questioned whether the practice would help turn the Iraqi public against the insurgency.

"I don't think that there's anything evil or morally wrong with it," he said. "I just question whether it's effective." Link

Iraqi news papers being paid to run pro-military stories

The U.S. military secretly paid Iraqi newspapers to plant favorable stories about its efforts to rebuild the country, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

The newspaper quoted unidentified officials as saying many of the stories in Iraqi newspapers are written by U.S. troops and while basically factual, sometimes give readers a slanted view of what is happening in Iraq. Some expressed fears that use of such stories could hurt the credibility of the U.S. military worldwide, the newspaper said. Link

Monday, November 28, 2005

How is honor possible in a war like the one in Iraq?

A Journey That Ended in Anguish

Col. Ted Westhusing, a military ethicist who volunteered to go to Iraq, was upset by what he saw. His apparent suicide raises questions.

By T. Christian Miller
Times Staff Writer

November 27, 2005

"War is the hardest place to make moral judgments."

Col. Ted Westhusing, Journal of Military Ethics

WASHINGTON — One hot, dusty day in June, Col. Ted Westhusing was found dead in a trailer at a military base near the Baghdad airport, a single gunshot wound to the head.

The Army would conclude that he committed suicide with his service pistol. At the time, he was the highest-ranking officer to die in Iraq.

The Army closed its case. But the questions surrounding Westhusing's death continue.

Westhusing, 44, was no ordinary officer. He was one of the Army's leading scholars of military ethics, a full professor at West Point who volunteered to serve in Iraq to be able to better teach his students. He had a doctorate in philosophy; his dissertation was an extended meditation on the meaning of honor.

So it was only natural that Westhusing acted when he learned of possible corruption by U.S. contractors in Iraq. A few weeks before he died, Westhusing received an anonymous complaint that a private security company he oversaw had cheated the U.S. government and committed human rights violations. Westhusing confronted the contractor and reported the concerns to superiors, who launched an investigation.

In e-mails to his family, Westhusing seemed especially upset by one conclusion he had reached: that traditional military values such as duty, honor and country had been replaced by profit motives in Iraq, where the U.S. had come to rely heavily on contractors for jobs once done by the military.

His death stunned all who knew him. Colleagues and commanders wondered whether they had missed signs of depression. He had been losing weight and not sleeping well. But only a day before his death, Westhusing won praise from a senior officer for his progress in training Iraqi police.

His friends and family struggle with the idea that Westhusing could have killed himself. He was a loving father and husband and a devout Catholic. He was an extraordinary intellect and had mastered ancient Greek and Italian. He had less than a month before his return home. It seemed impossible that anything could crush the spirit of a man with such a powerful sense of right and wrong.

On the Internet and in conversations with one another, Westhusing's family and friends have questioned the military investigation.

A note found in his trailer seemed to offer clues. Written in what the Army determined was his handwriting, the colonel appeared to be struggling with a final question.

How is honor possible in a war like the one in Iraq?

Even at Jenks High School in suburban Tulsa, one of the biggest in Oklahoma, Westhusing stood out. He was starting point guard for the Trojans, a team that made a strong run for the state basketball championship his senior year. He was a National Merit Scholarship finalist. He was an officer in a fellowship of Christian athletes.

Joe Holladay, who coached Westhusing before going on to become assistant coach of the University of North Carolina Tarheels, recalled Westhusing showing up at the gym at 7 a.m. to get in 100 extra practice shots.

"There was never a question of how hard he played or how much effort he put into something," Holladay said. "Whatever he did, he did well. He was the cream of the crop."

When Westhusing entered West Point in 1979, the tradition-bound institution was just emerging from a cheating scandal that had shamed the Army. Restoring honor to the nation's preeminent incubator for Army leadership was the focus of the day.

Cadets are taught to value duty, honor and country, and are drilled in West Point's strict moral code: A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal — or tolerate those who do.

Westhusing embraced it. He was selected as honor captain for the entire academy his senior year. Col. Tim Trainor, a classmate and currently a West Point professor, said Westhusing was strict but sympathetic to cadets' problems. He remembered him as "introspective."

Westhusing graduated third in his class in 1983 and became an infantry platoon leader. He received special forces training, served in Italy, South Korea and Honduras, and eventually became division operations officer for the 82nd Airborne, based at Ft. Bragg, N.C.

He loved commanding soldiers. But he remained drawn to intellectual pursuits.

In 2000, Westhusing enrolled in Emory University's doctoral philosophy program. The idea was to return to West Point to teach future leaders.

He immediately stood out on the leafy Atlanta campus. Married with children, he was surrounded by young, single students. He was a deeply faithful Christian in a graduate program of professional skeptics.

Plunged into academia, Westhusing held fast to his military ties. Students and professors recalled him jogging up steep hills in combat boots and camouflage, his rucksack full, to stay in shape. He wrote a paper challenging an essay that questioned the morality of patriotism.

"He was as straight an arrow as you would possibly find," said Aaron Fichtelberg, a fellow student and now a professor at the University of Delaware. "He seemed unshakable."

In his 352-page dissertation, Westhusing discussed the ethics of war, focusing on examples of military honor from Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee to the Israeli army. It is a dense, searching and sometimes personal effort to define what, exactly, constitutes virtuous conduct in the context of the modern U.S. military.

"Born to be a warrior, I desire these answers not just for philosophical reasons, but for self-knowledge," he wrote in the opening pages.

As planned, Westhusing returned to teach philosophy and English at West Point as a full professor with a guaranteed lifetime assignment. He settled into life on campus with his wife, Michelle, and their three young children.

But amid the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, he told friends that he felt experience in Iraq would help him in teaching cadets. In the fall of 2004, he volunteered for duty.

"He wanted to serve, he wanted to use his skills, maybe he wanted some glory," recalled Nick Fotion, his advisor at Emory. "He wanted to go."

In January, Westhusing began work on what the Pentagon considered the most important mission in Iraq: training Iraqi forces to take over security duties from U.S. troops.

Westhusing's task was to oversee a private security company, Virginia-based USIS, which had contracts worth $79 million to train a corps of Iraqi police to conduct special operations.

In March, Gen. David Petraeus, commanding officer of the Iraqi training mission, praised Westhusing's performance, saying he had exceeded "lofty expectations."

"Thanks much, sir, but we can do much better and will," Westhusing wrote back, according to a copy of the Army investigation of his death that was obtained by The Times.

In April, his mood seemed to have darkened. He worried over delays in training one of the police battalions.

Then, in May, Westhusing received an anonymous four-page letter that contained detailed allegations of wrongdoing by USIS.

The writer accused USIS of deliberately shorting the government on the number of trainers to increase its profit margin. More seriously, the writer detailed two incidents in which USIS contractors allegedly had witnessed or participated in the killing of Iraqis.

A USIS contractor accompanied Iraqi police trainees during the assault on Fallouja last November and later boasted about the number of insurgents he had killed, the letter says. Private security contractors are not allowed to conduct offensive operations.

In a second incident, the letter says, a USIS employee saw Iraqi police trainees kill two innocent Iraqi civilians, then covered it up. A USIS manager "did not want it reported because he thought it would put his contract at risk."

Westhusing reported the allegations to his superiors but told one of them, Gen. Joseph Fil, that he believed USIS was complying with the terms of its contract.

U.S. officials investigated and found "no contractual violations," an Army spokesman said. Bill Winter, a USIS spokesman, said the investigation "found these allegations to be unfounded."

However, several U.S. officials said inquiries on USIS were ongoing. One U.S. military official, who, like others, requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, said the inquiries had turned up problems, but nothing to support the more serious charges of human rights violations.

"As is typical, there may be a wisp of truth in each of the allegations," the official said.

The letter shook Westhusing, who felt personally implicated by accusations that he was too friendly with USIS management, according to an e-mail in the report.

"This is a mess … dunno what I will do with this," he wrote home to his family May 18.

The colonel began to complain to colleagues about "his dislike of the contractors," who, he said, "were paid too much money by the government," according to one captain.

"The meetings [with contractors] were never easy and always contentious. The contracts were in dispute and always under discussion," an Army Corps of Engineers official told investigators.

By June, some of Westhusing's colleagues had begun to worry about his health. They later told investigators that he had lost weight and begun fidgeting, sometimes staring off into space. He seemed withdrawn, they said.

His family was also becoming worried. He described feeling alone and abandoned. He sent home brief, cryptic e-mails, including one that said, "[I] didn't think I'd make it last night." He talked of resigning his command.

Westhusing brushed aside entreaties for details, writing that he would say more when he returned home. The family responded with an outpouring of e-mails expressing love and support.

His wife recalled a phone conversation that chilled her two weeks before his death.

"I heard something in his voice," she told investigators, according to a transcript of the interview. "In Ted's voice, there was fear. He did not like the nighttime and being alone."

Westhusing's father, Keith, said the family did not want to comment for this article.

On June 4, Westhusing left his office in the U.S.-controlled Green Zone of Baghdad to view a demonstration of Iraqi police preparedness at Camp Dublin, the USIS headquarters at the airport. He gave a briefing that impressed Petraeus and a visiting scholar. He stayed overnight at the USIS camp.

That night in his office, a USIS secretary would later tell investigators, she watched Westhusing take out his 9-millimeter pistol and "play" with it, repeatedly unholstering the weapon.

At a meeting the next morning to discuss construction delays, he seemed agitated. He stewed over demands for tighter vetting of police candidates, worried that it would slow the mission. He seemed upset over funding shortfalls.

Uncharacteristically, he lashed out at the contractors in attendance, according to the Army Corps official. In three months, the official had never seen Westhusing upset.

"He was sick of money-grubbing contractors," the official recounted. Westhusing said that "he had not come over to Iraq for this."

The meeting broke up shortly before lunch. About 1 p.m., a USIS manager went looking for Westhusing because he was scheduled for a ride back to the Green Zone. After getting no answer, the manager returned about 15 minutes later. Another USIS employee peeked through a window. He saw Westhusing lying on the floor in a pool of blood.

The manager rushed into the trailer and tried to revive Westhusing. The manager told investigators that he picked up the pistol at Westhusing's feet and tossed it onto the bed.

"I knew people would show up," that manager said later in attempting to explain why he had handled the weapon. "With 30 years from military and law enforcement training, I did not want the weapon to get bumped and go off."

After a three-month inquiry, investigators declared Westhusing's death a suicide. A test showed gunpowder residue on his hands. A shell casing in the room bore markings indicating it had been fired from his service revolver.

Then there was the note.

Investigators found it lying on Westhusing's bed. The handwriting matched his.

The first part of the four-page letter lashes out at Petraeus and Fil. Both men later told investigators that they had not criticized Westhusing or heard negative comments from him. An Army review undertaken after Westhusing's death was complimentary of the command climate under the two men, a U.S. military official said.

Most of the letter is a wrenching account of a struggle for honor in a strange land.

"I cannot support a msn [mission] that leads to corruption, human rights abuse and liars. I am sullied," it says. "I came to serve honorably and feel dishonored.

"Death before being dishonored any more."

A psychologist reviewed Westhusing's e-mails and interviewed colleagues. She concluded that the anonymous letter had been the "most difficult and probably most painful stressor."

She said that Westhusing had placed too much pressure on himself to succeed and that he was unusually rigid in his thinking. Westhusing struggled with the idea that monetary values could outweigh moral ones in war. This, she said, was a flaw.

"Despite his intelligence, his ability to grasp the idea that profit is an important goal for people working in the private sector was surprisingly limited," wrote Lt. Col. Lisa Breitenbach. "He could not shift his mind-set from the military notion of completing a mission irrespective of cost, nor could he change his belief that doing the right thing because it was the right thing to do should be the sole motivator for businesses."

One military officer said he felt Westhusing had trouble reconciling his ideals with Iraq's reality. Iraq "isn't a black-and-white place," the officer said. "There's a lot of gray."

Fil and Petraeus, Westhusing's commanding officers, declined to comment on the investigation, but they praised him. He was "an extremely bright, highly competent, completely professional and exceedingly hard-working officer. His death was truly tragic and was a tremendous blow," Petraeus said.

Westhusing's family and friends are troubled that he died at Camp Dublin, where he was without a bodyguard, surrounded by the same contractors he suspected of wrongdoing. They wonder why the manager who discovered Westhusing's body and picked up his weapon was not tested for gunpowder residue.

Mostly, they wonder how Col. Ted Westhusing — father, husband, son and expert on doing right — could have found himself in a place so dark that he saw no light.

"He's the last person who would commit suicide," said Fichtelberg, his graduate school colleague. "He couldn't have done it. He's just too damn stubborn."

Westhusing's body was flown back to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Waiting to receive it were his family and a close friend from West Point, a lieutenant colonel.

In the military report, the unidentified colonel told investigators that he had turned to Michelle, Westhusing's wife, and asked what happened.

She answered:


November 27, 2005

latime: World News

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Allawi: Iraq abuse 'as bad as Saddam era

The former Iraqi prime minister, Iyad Allawi, has called for immediate action against human rights abuses.

Iyad Allawi is preparing himself to the comming election on Dec 15. Allawi past history is well known to most Iraqis as he was a previous Baath's member.
"(By the way, the first 'political kidnapping' in Iraq took place in 1962 by Adil and Allawi, both staunch Ba'athist at the time. They kidnapped the Medical University Dean because he refused to declare a holliday on a Finals test day to accomodate a Ba'athist demonstration)." "Adil " is Adil abdul Mahdi the current Vice President.

"So which cynic was it who said that the war in Iraq was launched to replace an anti-American tyrant by a pro-American tyrant?

Long Live Democracy!"

Thursday, November 24, 2005

The bloodshed continued

IOL: Suicide car bomb kills 30 outside Iraqi hospital: "the bloodshed continued"

Many killed in Iraq car bombing

My niece is a doctor in the general hospital in Mahmudiya, she was in duty at the time of the explosion helping a pregnant woman to bear, few moment after she finished her job, and just after she left the delivery room, the explosion happened killing the newly born baby and his mother among others.
My niece, a nurse and a senior doctor were the only survivors of the accident in that department.
The complete story can be found her


CBC News: Britain gags report that Bush targeted Arab TV

CBC News: Britain gags report that Bush targeted Arab TV

The news that Bush had thought about bombing Al-Jazeera network is very interesting. It really reflect the Bush style freedom and democracy.

Here in Iraq and the Middle East, we Know very well the double standard of the US policy, so we didn't surprised from this news, on the contrary we surprised why he didn't bombed it till now. His allies in the Iraqi government didn't wait that much before finishing the hostile to their interests.

I will assure him, what ever he (Mr. Bush) and they (the Iraqi government) did, the voice of truth will be heard all over the world.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Nice picture

Who Appologized to whom and why???

I know for sure that there are as good people in America as in any other place. The fact that we don't know about them didn't change the reality.

What happening in Iraqi prisons

During the last two days, there were a news of abuse and torture to detainees in the Ministry of Interior.
The news said there were more than 170 detainees badly beaten, some had die from the torture, in at least one of the ministry under ground shelters.

Yesterday the Minister appears on the TV to deny the news. He confess the torture but of only seven men whom he described as very dangerous terrorist who came from out side Iraq. To support his claim of only seven detainee he showed the passports of them, The number of passports are much more than seven.

A rumors said that Iranian officers are doing the torture, but the Minister said, they are all Iraqi, he have 29 Iraqi officers to torture the seven detainees !!!
That mean for every one detainee, there was at least four officers responsible for his discomfort.

He threatened the religious leaders that he will apply the anti terrors law against them.

It is the freedom and democracy of the new Iraq. Viva America.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Sorry to bother you, but you have to read this:

"A report released on 11/8/05, by Italian state sponsored RAI television claims that the US used chemical weapons against Iraqi civilians in Fallujah last November. I am appalled by the information found in this report and I am horrified that US government indiscriminately used these weapons against Iraqi men, women and children. "


Citizens for Fair Legislation
For Immediate Release
November 9, 2005

Italian state sponsored television broadcaster, RAI released a report on 11/8/05 stating that the United States used white phosphorus and a substance similar to napalm against Iraqis in Fallujah in November of 2004. This report included interviews with two American soldiers who also acknowledged use of these chemical weapons against civilians in Iraq. To see the report in its entirety

Pdf file shows U.S. military boasting about what the Pentagon is now denying doing, using white phosphorus on and in Falluja:


*Tell your representatives in Congress and the Senate that you are appalled that chemical weapons were used against civilians in Iraq and demand that they begin an inquiry immediately into what happened in Fallujah last year. Tell your representatives that the RAI documentary showed images of bodies recovered in Fallujah of men, women and children who were burned to the bone. A former soldier in the US 1st Infantry Division in Iraq has gone on record as saying, "I do know that white phosphorus was used." He also said he saw, "burned bodies, burned children and burned women.” RAI also reported that the US used the Mark 77 firebomb, a weapon similar to napalm, in Iraq. A former soldier in the Iraq war told RAI news correspondent Sigfrido Ranucci this, "I received the order to use caution because we had used white phosphorus on Fallujah." White phosphorus burns the human body on contact, to the bone. Medics and humanitarian workers who entered Fallujah after the offensive say they found people with "bizarre wounds-their bodies burned but their clothes intact."

*The RAI report shows that contrary to US State Department statements, white phosphorus was dropped indiscriminately and in massive quantities throughout Fallujah. Footage is also shown of the effects of this chemical substance on civilians--women and children who were burned to death while sleeping. RAI also discovered the use of a napalm-like formula called MK77, which has been banned since a 1980 UN treaty and which the US signed in 1997.

*Tell your representatives that you are deeply disturbed by the use of chemical weapons against Iraqis. Ask that they immediately hold the government accountable for the lies leading up to the war in Iraq and for the indiscriminate killing of Iraqi civilians. Ask your representatives what it will take for them to speak out against the atrocities occurring in Iraq. The RAI report includes footage of these chemical weapons being dropped on Fallujah, it includes footage of the burned corpses of men, women and children, and it includes interviews with American soldiers admitting that these chemicals were used. Ask your representatives how long they will remain silent about the war crimes occurring in Iraq.

*Remind your representatives that many pointed to Saddam's use of biological weapons against the Kurds in Halajba as reason enough to wage war against Iraq. Ask them what the difference is between Saddam using biological weapons against Kurds and the US using chemical weapons against Iraqis. Tell your representatives that while it is too late to help the people of Fallujah who were killed by our chemical weapons that at the very least they need to speak out and condemn the use of these chemicals and hold the current administration accountable for the war crimes they are committing in Iraq.

WHITE HOUSE FAX: 202-456-2461
Citizens for Fair Legislation is a grassroots organization committed
to encouraging a fair domestic and foreign policy with an emphasis on
the US/Arab world.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Some thing to read

According to the Oct. 20 Washington Times, in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ms. Rice said "that it was always the Bush administration's intent to redesign the Middle East after the September 11 attacks, which exposed a 'deep malignancy growing' in the region, and that the Iraq was part of that plan."
Read this and this.

In 2003, tired of the US media’s inaccurate portrayal of the realities of the Iraq War, independent journalist Dahr Jamail headed to the conflict himself. Instead of following in the footsteps of mainstream media’s embedded, "Hotel Journalists," Jamail hit the Iraqi streets to uncover the stories most reporters were missing. His countless interviews with Iraqi citizens and from-the-ground reporting have offered a horrific look into the bowels of the US occupation. From covering the bloody siege of Falluja to breaking a story on Bechtel’s failure to reconstruct water treatment plants, his writing and photographs depict an Iraq that is much worse off now than it was before the US invasion.
Read this.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

More pictures

I quess those pictures get acceptance by most of my reader. A friend of mine, (An American friend), send me more pictures but this time the crowd is of thousands of protesters.
Here are some of the new pictures.

More and more sounds against the occupation, from every where, maily from the Americans veterans.

Read this:

"I Was Saying, See These Oil Fires? This Is Why We're Here, Guys. We're Not Defending Freedom"

And this:

"This Job Isn't Done" - "It's Our Responsibility, As Soldiers To See It Carried Out Till Every American Knows The Truth Of Why This War Has To Stop"

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Not all the Americans are warmongers.

I have heard about the protest at som eof the American cities, against the war.

I looked in the internet and found some pictures of those protests.

Washington DC

"On Saturday, a Not in Our Name contingent made up of folks from across the country joined the sea of people that staged the largest protest yet in Washington DC against the unjust war and occupation of Iraq. Over a quarter of a million people marched by the White House gates."
" Thousands of Puget Sound anti-war activists marched down the streets of Seattle on Saturday, September 24th, demanding an end to the war in Iraq."


In San Francisco, Not in Our Name Bay Area marched along with tens of thousands in a youth-led funeral procession which included dozens of musicians, a dozen coffins draped in black to represent the thousands killed by the blatant aggression and neglect of the Bush Administration, and non-stop lively chants. Die-ins were staged along the route -- that, along with the coffins, made compelling visual representations of the human costs of the policies of the Bush Regime."


"Two thousand people gathered in at the state capitol in Denver to demand "Get US Out Now!" The rally and march through downtown was organized by the recently formed 3 November Movement.

Not in Our Name national staff person Jeff Paterson spoke of his resistance to the first Gulf War as an active duty Marine, about those within the military who are objecting today to an unjust war, and the tactics that military recruiters are using to enlist the 200,000 troops needed yearly to sustain the war machine -- while not taking care of the veterans of this or past wars.

Local featured speakers included State Representative Morgan Carroll, union organizer Scott Silber, Mark Turner of Ripples Cross, high school students, Hashim Malik of Bay of Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation, Vietnam Veteran Mike Collins, Mike Miles, and Nita Gonzales of Escuela Tlatelolco -- with musican David Rovics."


"More than 350 people - ages 1 to 87 - stepped into Honolulu's streets on Saturday to march against the war. The march, organized by Not in Our Name-Hawai`i, was joined by groups from labor, churches, the Democratic Party, World Can't Wait and more. There were pacifists, Hawaiian independence activists, communists, high school and college youth, Iraq war veterans, military families, active duty military personnel, business people and college professors. We missed a lot of the faces we usually see at the marches, but were really happy to see that many people who had not come out before had joined us."

"Friday, September 23, Not in Our Name joined the People Power Can End the War Collective for a direct action at the downtown Oakland Armed Forces Recruiting Station."

More pictures are still waiting to be published.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Who and Why...??

At June 2005, and in one of my blog, there was a discussion about the population of Mosul, does the majority of them Kurds or Arabs. I said the majority are Arabs, while the other idea was the majority are Kurds, mainly in the east side of the city. At that time I checked the Encyclopedias, mainly the Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia of the Orient, in which they said the residents of Mosul are mainly Kurds with minority of Christians and Turkomans, there were no mention of Arabs !!!. I excused the opponent commenter as he know nothing about Mosul but from the net and from what other told him.

What surprise me most is that I came accidentaly to the Wikipedia again, this time I saw the following:


Mos?l (Arabic: موصل al-Mawsil), Kurdish: Mûsil, or Nineveh (Syriac: ?????) is a city in northern Iraq/Central Assyria. It stands on both banks of the Tigris River, with five bridges liking the two sides, some 396 km (250 miles) northwest of Baghdad.

The population of the area is largely Kurdish, but the majority of the city's inhabitants are Arabs. In 1987 the city's population was 664,221 people; the 2002 population estimate was 1,739,800.[1]"

majority of the city's inhabitants are Arabs.!!! The previous statement didn't mention the Arabs altogether!!!

I checked again the encyclopedia of the Orient and I found this:

"Mosul (m?'s?l, m?s?l') , Arab. al Mawsil, city (1987 pop. 664,221), provincial capital, N Iraq, on the Tigris River, opposite the ruins of Nineveh. It is the largest city in N Iraq and the third largest city in the country. Trade in agricultural goods and exploitation of oil in the nearby oil fields are the two main occupations of the inhabitants. Mosul has an oil refinery; its productivity in the 1980s was hindered by the Iran-Iraq War. While most of the urban population is Arab, the surrounding region has a large Kurdish population. The city is the seat of Mosul Univ. and a center of Nestorian Christianity."
While most of the urban population is Arab!!!. A big change!! isn't it?

I wonder, Did the American Encyclopedias are so ignorant, that they didn't know the real inhabitants of the city of Mosul.? Or, there were other things made them wrote that statements?
Did the referendum on the constitution had any relation to that issue.? If not. What make them change their mind.?

I really want to know.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fraud and Corruption

The constitution passed the stage of obstructed labor. The biggest fraud in the history of Iraq. Don't say the referendum at Saddam time was bigger, NO, although those who vote yes to Saddam were 99.96%, they vote yes because they can vote nothing but yes.
In this referendum we vote "No" but the result appeared "Yes".
It is a miracle !!!.
The preliminary count early after the referendum revealed 80% "No" in Mosul, but the result 10 days later appeared 55% "Yes".
Did you know what that mean, it mean the puppet government won.

Why we don't want this government? Not only because it allied with the occupation. But also because it is a corrupted one.
you want a prove? Read this.

"There are widespread accusations that the interior ministry and SCIRI, with the complicity of US advisors, are behind a wave of terror being unleashed against people believed to be supportive of the armed anti-occupation resistance or critical of the Baghdad government."Link

"In June, Knight Ridder correspondent Yasser Salihee was shot dead
by a sniper at a US checkpoint just days before a major story he had researched with Tom Lasseter was published. The story documented accounts of killings and torture by the interior ministry police commando unit known as the Wolf Brigade, which was recruited from former members of HusseinÂ’s Iraqi Republican Guard."

"In July, the British Observer published allegations that the interior ministry was carrying out extra-judicial killings and widespread torture in the prisons under its control."

"On August 2, a witness identified one of the men who abducted and murdered American journalist Steven Vincent as an interior ministry employee. Vincent had written several exposures of extra-judicial killings by Shiite militias linked to SCIRI."

"There are widespread accusations that the interior ministry and SCIRI, with the complicity of US advisors, are behind a wave of terror being unleashed against people believed to be supportive of the armed anti-occupation resistance or critical of the Baghdad government."

"The interior ministry of the pro-US government in Iraq is being directly accused of carrying out the murder of Sadoun Antar Nudsaif al-Janabi, a keydefensee lawyer in the trial of Saddam Hussein and seven others that began on October 19.

Janabi was seized from his office late in the evening on October 20 by as many as 10 men. Witnesses claim they were wearing police uniforms. Several hours later, JanabiÂ’s body was found on the street near BaghdadÂ’s Fardous Mosque. He had been killed execution-style with two gunshots to the head." "Link

Is that is enough for you? It proved to be enough for many here.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

No more comments

Dear commenters

I would like to apologize for my decision to close the comments' section. I took this decision when I noticed that the comments took another way that is far from what I hoped.

When I started this blog , my intention was to put the facts as I saw them on the ground, in front of the world's eyes. My father used to tell me not to believe what I hear unless I see it. Now I believe in this statement more than before because I saw intellegent and educated people who believe what is really a pure political propaganda.

I hope you come to reality and take a fair look at the situation in Iraq, not only from the American viewpoint but from a human viewpoint, forget the interests and benefits, just put yourselves in our position. An invader occupied our land, killed our countrymen, divided our nation into different sects, destroyed the infra structure of our country and more and more.
When we complained, you said we came to free you, the freedom is expensive, you have to pay.

And so, dear readers, no more comments for you..

Thursday, October 13, 2005

We and the Constitution

Two days left before the vote for the constitution, but till now no body in Mosul have seen a copy of it which supposed to be distributed to the population before the referendum.
In addition till now we and our neighbors don't know yet the place where to vote which is necessory to be known in advance since there is a curfew for all vehicles started from wednesday Oct 12 at 10 pm till monday Oct 17 at 5 am. That mean no body can use a car for trnsportation from place to place inside the city, the schools, the University and all the governmental offices are closed for 4 days.

"Saleh al-Mutlaq, head of the National Dialogue Council, stated that the decision of the Sunni Arabs is based on pure scientific grounds. This is the outcome of several meetings between prominent Sunni figures and other political blocs opposed to the constitution. As the constitution translates into the division of the country and the elimination of Iraq’s Arab identity, Al-Mutlaq says, the Sunni Arabs should combat this constitution by all possible peaceful means. In his eyes, only if the issue of federalism, for example, is postponed for future negotiations can this position be altered. This is a clear shift in the Sunnis’ stand: from boycotting the referendum to participating with a clear “No” vote."

Yesterday night there was a news from the Iraqi Islamic party, who declared that he will share in the vote on condition to reconsider the unsettled items after the election of the new government.

"The Shiites and Kurds have agreed that the newly elected parliament after December 15 will reopen negotiations with the Sunni Arabs on the constitution. This step was enough to convince the Iraqi Islamic Party to drop its call for a Sunni Arab rejection fo the constitution in the October 15 referendum."

Friday, October 07, 2005

Take a walk

My little daughter Najma wrote a post today, I found it very interesting and deserve reading, As I have no new post, I just published a copy of it here.

"It was meant to be a joke, but it makes sense:
"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes."
"Try and put yourself in their shoes".. I've been told to do so with American soldiers, over and over, and I did. It didn't give me a justification for what they did, do or have done.

You might have noticed that many incidents are caused by American soldiers, on this blog, for that, many people have turned against them in Iraq.. Latest: Mom is crossing the street in front of the university, the police start shooting too close, mom gets scared and screams.. After calming down, she looks around to see if one of her students is there and saw her.. None was there, she is relieved, she goes on..

Now, try to put yourself in her shoes! Hard? Try this:

A cousin, her children and her husband are in the car, they hear some shots and so the American soldiers go crazy and start shooting randomly.. A bullet then got really close and tore her hijab but didn't injure her..

Easy? No..

I'm sure it isn't easy.. It isn't easy for dad to come up and check if I'm alive, it's not easy for mom to call my sister every while to check if she's Okay.. Everytime a name is mentioned, the first things that comes to mind is : Is he/she shot?

For that I tell you, no one at all has the right to tell me how my country is now, unless that someone is IN Iraq, and knows how it is.. Otherwise, the most idea you have of the situation, is way less than what really is going on.

Just walk a mile in my shoes, if you finish that alive, then and only then, come and tell me what you think..

"Could you devote a post to civilian Iraqis who have been killed by insurgents, if any. And do these insurgents offer help in the same manner of the Americans who send wounded Iraqis to base hospitals and to hospitals in other countries. Do these insurgents offer help in the way of rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure like schools, hospitals, oil refineries, etc. We don't hear of this because of the Bush controlled media."

For God's sake, I have a brain.. Insurgents are not helping. But who are the insurgents? Killing Iraqis, destroying homes, kidnapping people.. Their only aim is to terrorize.
But, for that person, who goes out to kill the occupier, I say it now clearly: I'm with the Mujahid.. And if you have a problem with it, well, imagine your country being torn the way mine is, and see if you allow that.
And I invite you to come and see how hospitals in Iraq are now.. An open invitation, not recommended for weak-hearted people though! See the reconstruction in Iraq, I doubt you'll find what will interest you!

"I have read your blogs for over a year and you have changed quite drastically and I am sorry for that. Our American Soldiers are getting themselves killed trying to bring you and your country a freedom similar to what we know. If you do not want or appreciate it I hope our military decides to hand it over to your military and walk away. It seems you and your fellow countryman would instead turn on your own people that are trying to deny you {especially females} these basic freedoms."

Another American trying to show me the "right" way.. Does anyone have statistics of how many Americans and Iraqis got killed in this war..? When you do, tell me who lost their lives because of this war!! Your soldiers lost their lives because war is death, and war is a hobby of your president.
Dare you say anything more about female rights, we're strong enough to claim them.. For me, I'm totally satisfied with what I had before, as a female. The freedom I want is the one I lost thanks to your country..

"President Bush or any other leader of a country must do what is best for his or her country. That's why they are elected, if it is democracy or how they stay in power if they have assumed power in any other manner."

Even if what is good for your country is having two other countries occupied and many many people killed..? In every country in the world, there is good and bad.. Look at your own faults, maybe then, you'll be too busy to look at other country's faults..!!

Just so you wouldn't get me wrong, I listen when you tell me what you think.. But you do not have the right to tell me how I should feel, who I should love and who I should hate.. You have no right to tell me that the situation is this and that, cuz I'm here, in the war-zone, and I'm pretty sure that regarding the situation, I know better.

I am surrounded by Iraqis 24/7, all kinds.. I know how they feel, and no person can tell me that I don't. Some Iraqis are good, some are bad, all have different opinions, and mine represents most of the ones' I speak for, Moslawis'..

Anyone has the urge to kill me right now? The door is wide enough for a camel as we say, you do not have to come across this blog again..

Open-minds are welcomed.. Being American doesn't mean having an opened-mind by the way.. Closed-minds?? There are blogs that are devoted to cursing Iraqi bloggers, go join.."

Monday, September 26, 2005

Who will answer these questions..?

What happened in Basra in the last week is well known to all of you. But the thing which is not known to all of us is why this is happened..?

This is an article throw some light on this subject, with questions to be answered.

Now it transpires that two British soldiers were dressed as Arabs and attacking the Iraqi security forces in Basra? And the British authorities have admitted they were members of the SAS? They were caught after shooting at and murdering an Iraqi police official and their car was found to be packed with explosives and a C4 detonator?

Or is it that the two troops were in fact undercover agents dressed as Sadrists, Al-Sadr's Mahdi army, trying to stir up a war in Iraq between rival anti-occupation forces to help the beleaguered Iraqi security forces to stay in control as events spiral ever downwards? Is it that they were planning a massive bomb attack against Shia targets, to blame on the Sunni?

Is it true that many of the killings in Iraq are not in fact perpetrated by Sunni extremists or foreign insurgents, but indeed by British and American security forces, trying to take the strain off their troops in their realization that the war in Iraq was a monumental mistake from day one, witness to freedom and democracy George Bush style and that followed by his sickening bunch of sycophants eager to make an easy buck on the international stage by breaking an international law or six?

At the end of the day, who are the terrorists in Iraq? Were not the international terrorists blocked from entering Iraq by Saddam Hussein and the floodgates heaved open by the USA and its allies? Was Saddam Hussein not the one telling the truth, along with Dr. David Kelly, on WMD? Was George Bush not the one "stiffing" the world? No? Where then is the WMD?

These are all questions which need to be addressed, and urgently, by the British and American governments.

We can assume the position of demanding an answer in the name of the international community. And now!!

This article is copied from KAVKAS CENTER.COM

Friday, September 16, 2005

Now Tal-Afar. . . . Who is next ??

There is some thing strange, that is the media's silence about what is going on in Tal-Afar.
Tal-Afar is a city about 80 km north-west of Mosul. For the last week, about 10,000 soldiers from the US troops, Kurdish peshmerga and Badir army (a shiee militia) were laying siege to the city.

Most of the residents have left their homes and settled in the neighboring villages and in Mosul.
Reports in the Iragia TV channel said, they killed about 200 terrorists in the operation, but what we heard from the people fled from their, that the fighters inside Tal-Afar have left the city already.
Some of the refugee said that most of the people killed were civilians who had no place to go so they chose to stay in their homes, stayed because they feared persecution at the hands of the Peshmerga and Badr Army.

Families fled from the city are staying in refugee camps out side the city, the government has not provided any shelter, food or drink for them.

Most people in Tal-Afar would choose rather to 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.

I have difficulty in explaining my feeling. But just imagine how an Iraqi person prefer to be detained by an American but not by the Iraqis, his own countrymen...!!!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I am back

Hi very body.
I am back. Sorry for being too late.
I was in vacation, I spend it with the family in Syria and Jordan. You can read the details in Najma (The star of Mosul) blog.
Thank you to all who shared positively on my previous post, some, or at least one of them, is probably a psychopath (dan), I apologize for deleting his nonsense. I realize there should be a thought differences due to different culture, education and believes. But let discuss it in a civilized manner like civilized people.
If you agree I will continue, if you don't, I will close the comment section.
It is up to you my friends.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Did Paul Bremer steal billions of US budget for Iraq?

At the end of the Iraq war, huge sums of money were made available to the US-led provisional authorities, headed by Paul Bremer, to spend on rebuilding the country. By the time Bremer left the post eight months later, $8.8bn of that money had disappeared. Ed Harriman on the extraordinary scandal of Iraq’s missing billions!

*Thursday July 7, 2005*


When Paul Bremer, the American pro consul in Baghdad until June last year, arrived in Iraq soon after the official end of hostilities, there was $6bn left over from the UN Oil for Food Programme, as well as sequestered and frozen assets, and at least $10bn from resumed Iraqi oil exports. Under Security Council Resolution 1483, passed on May 22 2003, all these funds were transferred into a new account held at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York, called the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), and intended to be spent by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) "in a transparent manner … for the benefit of the Iraqi people".

The US Congress also voted to spend $18.4bn of US taxpayers’ money on the redevelopment of Iraq. By June 28 last year, however, when Bremer left Baghdad two days early to avoid possible attack on the way to the airport, his CPA had spent up to $20bn of Iraqi money, compared with $300m of US funds. The "reconstruction" of Iraq is the largest American-led occupation programme since the Marshall Plan - but the US government funded the Marshall Plan. Defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Bremer have made sure that the reconstruction of Iraq is paid for by the "liberated" country, by the Iraqis themselves.

The CPA maintained one fund of nearly $600m cash for which there is no paperwork: $200m of it was kept in a room in one of Saddam’s former palaces. The US soldier in charge used to keep the key to the room in his backpack, which he left on his desk when he popped out for lunch. Again, this is Iraqi money, not US funds.
The "financial irregularities" described in audit reports carried out by agencies of the American government and auditors working for the international community collectively give a detailed insight into the mentality of the American occupation authorities and the way they operated. Truckloads of dollars were handed out for which neither they nor the recipients felt they had to be accountable.

The auditors have so far referred more than a hundred contracts, involving billions of dollars paid to American personnel and corporations, for investigation and possible criminal prosecution. They have also discovered that $8.8bn that passed through the new Iraqi government ministries in Baghdad while Bremer was in charge is unaccounted for, with little prospect of finding out where it has gone. A further $3.4bn appropriated by Congress for Iraqi development has since been siphoned off to finance "security".

Although Bremer was expected to manage Iraqi funds in a transparent manner, it was only in October 2003, six months after the fall of Saddam, that an International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) was established to provide independent, international financial oversight of CPA spending. (This board includes representatives from the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.)
The IAMB first spent months trying to find auditors acceptable to the US. The Bahrain office of KPMG was finally appointed in April 2004. It was stonewalled.

"KPMG has encountered resistance from CPA staff regarding the submission of information required to complete our procedures," they wrote in an interim report. "Staff have indicated … that cooperation with KPMG’s undertakings is given a low priority." KPMG had one meeting at the Iraqi Ministry of Finance; meetings at all the other ministries were repeatedly postponed. The auditors even had trouble getting passes to enter the Green Zone.

There appears to have been good reason for the Americans to stall. At the end of June 2004, the CPA would be disbanded and Bremer would leave Iraq. There was no way the Bush administration would want independent auditors to publish a report into the financial propriety of its Iraqi administration while the CPA was still in existence and Bremer at its head still answerable to the press. So the report was published in July.

The auditors found that the CPA didn’t keep accounts of the hundreds of millions of dollars of cash in its vault, had awarded contracts worth billions of dollars to American firms without tender, and had no idea what was happening to the money from the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), which was being spent by the interim Iraqi government ministries.

This lack of transparency has led to allegations of corruption. An Iraqi hospital administrator told me that when he came to sign a contract, the American army officer representing the CPA had crossed out the original price and doubled it. The Iraqi protested that the original price was enough. The American officer explained that the increase (more than $1m) was his retirement package.

When the Iraqi Governing Council asked Bremer why a contract to repair the Samarah cement factory was costing $60m rather than the agreed $20m, the American representative reportedly told them that they should be grateful the coalition had saved them from Saddam. Iraqis who were close to the Americans, had access to the Green Zone or held prominent posts in the new government ministries were also in a position personally to benefit enormously. Iraqi businessmen complain endlessly that they had to offer substantial bribes to Iraqi middlemen just to be able to bid for CPA contracts. Iraqi ministers’ relatives got top jobs and fat contracts.

Further evidence of lack of transparency comes from a series of audits and reports carried out by the CPA’s own inspector general’s office (CPAIG). Set up in January 2004, it reports to Congress. Its auditors, accountants and criminal investigators often found themselves sitting alone at cafe tables in the Green Zone, shunned by their CPA compatriots. Their audit, published in July 2004, found that the American contracts officers in the CPA and Iraqi ministries "did not ensure that … contract files contained all the required documents, a fair and reasonable price was paid for the services received, contractors were capable of meeting delivery schedules, or that contractors were paid in accordance with contract requirements".

Pilfering was rife. Millions of dollars in cash went missing from the Iraqi Central Bank. Between $11m and $26m worth of Iraqi property sequestered by the CPA was unaccounted for. The payroll was padded with hundreds of ghost employees. Millions of dollars were paid to contractors for phantom work. Some $3,379,505 was billed, for example, for "personnel not in the field performing work" and "other improper charges" on just one oil pipeline repair contract.

Most of the 69 criminal investigations the CPAIG instigated related to alleged theft, fraud, waste, assault and extortion. It also investigated "a number of other cases that, because of their sensitivity, cannot be included in this report". One such case may have arisen when 19 billion new Iraqi dinars, worth about £6.5m, was found on a plane in Lebanon that had been sent there by the American-appointed Iraqi interior minister.

At the same time, the IAMB discovered that Iraqi oil exports were unmetered. Neither the Iraqi State Oil Marketing Organisation nor the American authorities could give a satisfactory explanation for this. "The only reason you wouldn’t monitor them is if you don’t want anyone else to know how much is going through," one petroleum executive told me.

Officially, Iraq exported $10bn worth of oil in the first year of the American occupation. Christian Aid has estimated that up to $4bn more may have been exported and is unaccounted for. If so, this would have created an off-the-books fund that both the Americans and their Iraqi allies could use with impunity to cover expenditures they would rather keep secret - among them the occupation costs, which were rising far beyond what the Bush administration could comfortably admit to Congress and the international community.

In the few weeks before Bremer left Iraq, the CPA handed out more than $3bn in new contracts to be paid for with Iraqi funds and managed by the US embassy in Baghdad. The CPA inspector general, now called the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (Sigir), has just released an audit report on the way the embassy has dealt with that responsibility. The auditors reviewed the files of 225 contracts totalling $327m to see if the embassy "could identify the current value of paid and unpaid contract obligations".

It couldn’t. "Our review showed that financial records … understated payments made by $108,255,875" and "overstated unpaid obligations by $119,361,286". The auditors also reviewed the paperwork of a further 300 contracts worth $332.9m: "Of 198 contract files reviewed, 154 did not contain evidence that goods and services were received, 169 did not contain invoices, and 14 did not contain evidence of payment."

Clearly, the Americans see no need to account for spending Iraqis’ national income now any more than they did when Bremer was in charge. Neither the embassy chief of mission nor the US military commander replied to the auditors’ invitation to comment. Instead, the US army contracting commander lamely pointed out that "the peaceful conditions envisioned in the early planning continue to elude the reconstruction efforts". This is a remarkable understatement. It’s also an admission that Americans can’t be expected to do their sums when they are spending other people’s money to finance a war.

Lack of accountability does not stop with the Americans. In January this year, the Sigir issued a report detailing evidence of fraud, corruption and waste by the Iraqi Interim Government when Bremer was in charge. They found that $8.8bn - the entire Iraqi Interim Government spending from October 2003 through June 2004 - was not properly accounted for. The Iraqi Office of Budget and Management at one point had only six staff, all of them inexperienced, and most of the ministries had no budget departments. Iraq’s newly appointed ministers and their senior officials were free to hand out hundreds of millions of dollars in cash as they pleased, while American "advisers" looked on.

"CPA personnel did not review and compare financial, budgetary and operational performance to planned or expected results," the auditors explained. One ministry gave out $430m in contracts without its CPA advisers seeing any of the paperwork. Another claimed to be paying 8,206 guards, but only 602 could be found. There is simply no way of knowing how much of the $8.8bn has gone to pay for private militias and into private pockets.

"It’s remarkable that the inspector general’s office could have produced even a draft report with so many misconceptions and inaccuracies," Bremer said in his reply to the Sigir report. "At liberation, the Iraqi economy was dead in the water. So CPA’s top priority was to get the economy going."

The Sigir has responded by releasing another audit this April, an investigation into the way Bremer’s CPA managed cash payments from Iraqi funds in just one part of Iraq, the region around Hillah: "During the course of the audit, we identified deficiencies in the control of cash … of such magnitude as to require prompt attention. Those deficiencies were so significant that we were precluded from accomplishing our stated objectives." They found that CPA headquarters in Baghdad "did not maintain full control and accountability for approximately $119.9m", and that agents in the field "cannot properly account for or support over $96.6m in cash and receipts". The agents were mostly Americans in Iraq on short-term contracts. One agent’s account balance was "overstated by $2,825,755, and the error went undetected". Another agent was given $25m cash for which Bremer’s office "acknowledged not having any supporting documentation". Of more than $23m given to another agent, there are only records for $6,306,836 paid to contractors.

Many of the American agents submitted their paperwork only hours before they headed to the airport. Two left Iraq without accounting for $750,000 each, which has never been found. CPA head office cleared several agents’ balances of between $250,000 and $12m without any receipts. One agent who did submit receipts, on being told that he still owed $1,878,870, turned up three days later with exactly that amount. The auditors thought that "this suggests that the agent had a reserve of cash", pointing out that if his original figures had been correct, he would have accounted to the CPA for approximately $3.8m more than he had been given in the first place, which "suggests that the receipt documents provided to the DFI account manager were unreliable".

So where did the money go? You can’t see it in Hillah. The schools, hospitals, water supply and electricity, all of which were supposed to benefit from these funds, are in ruins. The inescapable conclusion is that many of the American paying agents grabbed large bundles of cash for themselves and made sweet deals with their Iraqi contacts.

And so it continues. The IAMB’s most recent audit of Iraqi government spending talks of "incomplete accounting", "lack of documented justification for limited competition for contracts at the Iraqi ministries", "possible misappropriation of oil revenues", "significant difficulties in ensuring completeness and accuracy of Iraqi budgets and controls over expenditures" and "non-deposit of proceeds of export sales of petroleum products into the appropriate accounts in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 1483".

In the absence of any meaningful accountability, Iraqis have no way of knowing how much of the nation’s wealth is being used for reconstruction and how much is being handed out to ministers’ and civil servants’ friends and families or funnelled into secret overseas bank accounts. Given that many Ba’athists are now back in government, some of that money may even be financing the insurgents.

Both Saddam and the US profited handsomely during his reign. He controlled Iraq’s wealth while most of Iraq’s oil went to Californian refineries to provide cheap petrol for American voters. US corporations, like those who enjoyed Saddam’s favour, grew rich. Today, the system is much the same: the oil goes to California, and the new Iraqi government spends the national wealth with impunity.

*·* Bremer maintained one slush fund of nearly $600m in cash for which there is no paperwork: $200m of it was kept in a room in one of Saddam’s former palaces

*·* 19 billion new Iraqi dinars, worth about £6.5m, was found on a plane in Lebanon that had been sent there by the new Iraqi interior minister

*·* One ministry claimed to be paying 8,206 guards, but only 602 could be found

*·* One American agent was given $23m to spend on restructuring; only $6m is accounted for

This is an edited version of an article that appears in the current issue of the London Review of Books (lrb ).

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