[Marxism] Dahr Jamail on 'meltdown of occupation" (last post: Basra out of control)

ffeldman at verizon.net ffeldman at verizon.net
Tue May 31 08:43:53 MDT 2005

Electronic Iraq - May 30, 2005

"Things are getting worse by the day"

By Dahr Jamail

The mayhem continues in Iraq, with today at least 40 people dead,
including five US soldiers in Diyala province as the meltdown of the
failed US-led occupation continues.

Two suicide bombers detonated themselves after walking into a crowd
of police officers in Hilla, south of Baghdad. The policemen were
demonstrating outside the mayor's office to protest a government
decision to disband their Special Forces unit.

In yet another horrible PR move (or attempt to raise sectarian
tensions?) by the US military the head of Iraq's largest Sunni
political party, Mohsen Abdul Hamid was detained from his home early
this morning in western Baghdad. Of course his head was promptly
bagged and his hands tied before he was taken away to be
interrogated. His three sons were also detained with him. Stun bombs
and bullets were said to be used during the raid, according to his

It just so happens that his party, the Islamic Party, opposes the
new US-backed security operation now engulfing Baghdad because they
believe the security forces will disregard the rights of innocent

Later today he was released and the military admitted it made a

The military statement concerning the matter said, "Coalition forces
regret any inconvenience and acknowledge (Abdul-Hamid's) cooperation
in resolving this matter."

Abdul Hamid refused their apology in the Arab media, and stated that
he was humiliated when US soldiers held their boots on his head for
20 minutes. It was also stated that he accused American soldiers of
removing items from his home, including a computer. This is standard
operating procedure with home raids-I can't tell you how many Iraqis
I've interviewed after their homes were raided who complained of
money, jewelry and other belongings being looted by American
soldiers. The Islamic Party released a statement after the release
of Abdul Hamid which said, "The U.S. administration claims it is
interested in drawing Sunnis into the political process but it seems
that their way of doing so is by raids, arrests and violating human

At least 740 Iraqis have been killed since the new "government" took
power in late April, and with the ongoing operations sparking more
attacks each day, it doesn't look like there is an end in sight.
Keep in mind, the vast majority of the Iraqi security forces are
either Shia or Kurdish battling against a primarily Sunni resistance
(for now). It can easily be argued that we are witnessing a
US-backed Iraqi government who is deliberating using its power to
wage a civil war.

On that note, today Major General Ahmed al-Barazanchi, a Kurdish man
who was the director of internal affairs of Kirkuk province died
this morning after being shot yesterday.

My sources in Baghdad also said there have been fierce clashes today
in the al-Amiriya district of Baghdad between resistance fighters
and Iraqi and US soldiers. "Open gun battles in the streets," as one
friend told me, "And as soon as the Iraqi and US soldiers leave the
area, the resistance takes it back over."

Keep in mind that all of this is against the backdrop of well over
50% unemployment, horrendous traffic jams, and an infrastructure in
shambles that continues to degrade with next to no reconstruction
occurring in Baghdad.

"Electricity shut offs drive us crazy in this hot summer," one of my
friends wrote me recently, "Even we can't read at night because of
long hours of electricity cuts and because the outside generators
can't withstand running these long hours and we have to turn these
generators off for some time to cool them!"

He continues, "Two years of occupation...for God sake where is the
rebuilding, where the hell are these billions donated to Iraq? Even
not 1% improvement in services and electricity! They say again and
again the terrorists are to blame and I would accept this, but why
they do not protect these facilities? Do the American camps have
cuts of electricity? No, no, and nobody will allow this to
happen...but poor Iraqis, nobody would be sorry for them if they
burn with the hell of summer, small kids and old men they get
dehydrated because no electricity, no cold water, etc. Have you
heard about the tea that is mixed with iron particles? It is real in
our life. People have to make sure their tea is not mixed with iron
by use of magnets."

He concluded his email with, "Things are getting worse day by day.
Iraq has become a country not for its people, every day thoughts
jump into the mind that sooner or later we have to leave this
country, searching for another. And there is a saying, "your home is
where you sleep safe," but this is not true in Iraq anymore."

He sent me that email three days ago.

Yesterday the Iraqi government announced that it may decrease
subsidies for fuel and electricity, despite a severe shortage of
both in the country, according to the electricity minister who
warned Iraqis to prepare for more blackouts this summer.

Ongoing fuel, electricity and drinking water shortages persist, and
only 37% of Iraqis have a working sewage system.

As so many of my Iraqi friends continue to say, "This is the freedom
and democracy that America has brought us."

(c)2004, 2005 Dahr Jamail. More writing, photos and commentary at

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