Iraq Roundup


Omar at Iraq The Model attended the recent conference of “The Oath Of Iraq”. A group formed to ensure that the new Iraqi government protects and preserves the new freedoms given to every Iraqi Citizen:

Today, Mohammed and I had the privilege to be invited to attend a conference organized by a group of civil society organizations to announce the launch of a new community under the name ?Ahd Al-Iraq? or (the oath of Iraq).

The basic theme of the community is to take a promise from politicians, civil society activists and MPs (current or running for office) to preserve and protect the rights and freedoms every Iraqi citizen is supposed to enjoy under the new constitution and under the internationally recognized conventions and laws and to work to introduce amendments in the constitution whenever believed necessary for the protection of these rights and freedoms.
The founders of the community named five main points in the constitution that require urgent reconsideration:

1-Several articles in the constitution mention ?public order and ethics? as limits to freedoms granted to the population.
The suggestion: These concepts must be defined by the judiciary and must not be left loose for whomever (clerics, executive authority, etc) to interpret as they like.

2-The personal affairs law:

The suggestion:

To return back to the civil law legislated back in 1959 and to prevent Shareat laws from replacing that law.

3-The supreme/higher federal court in the constitution has to be formed from law ex perts and Shareat experts, number and nominations are to be decided by 2 thirds of the parliament members.

The suggestions:

a)All court members have to carry high degrees in law and first line judges.
b)Shareat experts must not outnumber law experts.
c)Women must be represented inside the court with no less than 25%.

Bill Roggio interviews the Commander of Marine Regimental Combat Team 2:

Bill: How are reconstruction projects proceeding in cities and towns along the Euphrates River basin such as Hit, Haditha, Rawah?

Col Davis: We are in the infancy in the reconstruction stage. The best results so far have been in the city of Rawah, where the Army’s 114th Civil Affairs group has done some wonderful work. We are also making some progress in the city of Hit.

I don’t like to talk in terms of winning and losing when it comes to the issues in the Middle East. Americans have a very Western way of thinking: you identify the problem; you analyze the problem and then fix it and move onto the next problem. Out here you need to be vigilant and do a lot of continuous maintenance work, which pays off over time.

Saddam never controlled this region of Iraq. It is very tribal and fiercely independent. He sent in the army to kill and intimidate the population. He established two tribes in the region: the Salmanis and the Karabilah tribes, to further his goals and counter balance existing dominating tribes. The Iraqis out west, particularly in Haditha are well educated and are able to provide for their own needs. They have operated this way for centuries and can do so again with the proper security environment. We have a simple equation we use out here:

Presence = Security = Stability = the environment for self governance.

Our goal is to enfranchise the Iraqi security forces and allow them to provide for the security in the region and improve the lives of the Iraqi people. We will continue to conduct civil/military affairs operations to improve the lives of the Iraqi people. In Haditha, we are rebuilding the hospital the jihadis attacked with a car bomb and then used as a base of operation. We are working to enhance schools and other services vital to the people. We will continue to maintain a presence until the Iraqi Army is capable of standing on its own.

News that Italian Premier Berlusconi is now backtracking on his support of Bush: (via California Conservative)

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, one of President Bush’s strongest supporters over Iraq, says he tried repeatedly to dissuade the American leader from going to war and was never convinced military force was the best way to bring democracy.

[…]”I was never convinced that war was the best system to bring democracy to the country and to get rid of a bloody dictatorship,” Berlusconi said of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. “I tried several times to convince the American president to not go to war.”

“I believed that military action should have been avoided,” he was quoted as saying.

Why would he be backing off his support?

Berlusconi is facing a tough re-election battle next year, and his popularity has fallen in part because of Italians’ continued opposition to the war. Sluggish economic growth also has hurt him.

More revisionist history just in time for another election. There is no way Berlusconi would have sent troops if he didn’t agree with this war, all he is doing now is trying to save his job and pander to the uber left.

Some recent attitude changes by the Sunni’s:

Tikrit ? Some Arab Sunnis in Iraq, who are considered the first victims of the war launched on behalf of the American army and the insurgents, do not hide their resentment for being trapped between these two parties even in Tikrit region, which was the hometown of Saddam Hussein, the overthrown Iraqi president.

The continuous violence and threats of murder and revenge on behalf of the extremist armed groups have become the daily ration for the residents of the Iraqi northern and western regions, which were the pioneers in supporting the Iraqi resistance. Tribal chiefs, who were silent until recently for the purpose of struggle against the occupant, do not hesitate anymore in criticizing the military operations, which have turned their cities into a battlefield.

Sheikh Abu Manar Al Alami said, ?What is happening in Iraq is a tragedy and generates a bitter feeling, especially as most victims are innocent civilians. (?) What is happening of armed operations is undoubtedly terrorism. The inequality among the combating parties has made children and women the first victims of these operations.? Abu Manar, who is of the Salafi non-excommunicating trend in Al Alam village, northeast of Tikrit (180 km north of Iraq) and heads the preparation and guidance department of the Sunni Mortmain Divan in Tikrit, added, ?These are illegitimate criminal acts. Fatwas should be issued for prohibiting fighting in cities.? Abu Manar denies, ?Whoever kills himself, in a bombed car or by an explosive belt, is a martyr.? On the contrary, he believes, ?This is person is a man who committed suicides.?

Some good news from Jordan:

Jordan’s military prosecution has indicted 15 suspects, including five fugitives, for allegedly plotting terrorist attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces in the neighboring war-ravaged country.

The 15 men – Jordanians and Palestinians aged between 22 to 36 – were slapped with four charges, including the illegal possession of automatic weapons and ammunition and planning actions which could harm relations with an unnamed foreign country.

More evidence of the progress being made in Iraq:

Iraq’s government has announced it has allocated 60 billion dollars to the construction of a 100-berth ‘Grand Port’ in the province of Basra in southern Iraq, which will become the area’s biggest maritime hub. “This strategic mega-project, will be built by international companies to be selected by a tender that will open in a couple of days,” an unnamed source told Adnkronos International (AKI).

The planned Grand Port will cover an area of 40 square kilometres in the Ras al-Bisha area. Given its location between Europe and Asia, it is expected to be of particular strategic and commercial importance. The various port infrastructure , such railways, roads, power stations and hotels are also expected to create desperately needed jobs.

And finally good news that the Syrians are getting a bit worried at how close the war is coming towards their border:

BAGHOUZ, SYRIA — From Areed Mohammed Aoussa’s sandbagged machine-gun post at the Syrian border with Iraq, he can hear and see the war next door.

There’s the thin rat-a-tat-tat of automatic weapons fire from the troubled Iraqi city of al-Qaim, visible on the horizon and a known hotbed of insurgents fighting the U.S. occupation. Those sounds are interspersed with the louder whump-whump of heavier weapons fire. An occasional plume of smoke can be seen rising amid the date palm trees of the otherwise idyllic Euphrates River valley.

These days, however, it’s not just the sounds of war that drift across the 700-kilometre-long Iraqi-Syrian border. More and more often, the fighting comes right up to, and even over, the frontier.

In May, fire from a U.S. helicopter that was pursuing suspected insurgents fleeing into Syria fired across the line and killed Abdullah al-Hassaki, one of Mr. Aoussa’s comrades at the Baghouz border post in the extreme southeast of the country, the Syrians assert. He was one of at least four Syrians, two soldiers and two civilians, killed by U.S. fire this year, they say. Six others were wounded, according to the Syrian security services, and those figures include just the southernmost third of the Iraq-Syria border.

“They shoot at us here every day, sometimes they’re mistakes, sometimes they’re not,” Syrian security officer Ibrahim Brahim said as he stood on the roof of the concrete police station that is one of 557 such manned positions along the border. “The Americans want to show their power, to show us they’re here. If we poke our heads up, they shoot.”

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