internationales weblog zum irak-konflikt, dem "krieg gegen terrorismus", etc.: fakten, meinungen, hintergr´┐Żnde
international blog on the conflict in iraq and "war on terrorism" and the like: facts, opinions, backgrounds


IRAQ THE MODEL: "The situation is still tense in Baghdad today and you can still hear sounds of explosions coming from Sadr city?s direction every now and then. People reacted differently to the recent clashes with Sadr?s militia. Some were mainly concerned about the large causality and they fear that there maybe many innocents among them despite that they don?t support Sadr. Others thought that the government should show more determination in dealing with the thugs and were unhappy with the performance of the IP and ING because they still see Sadr?s militia on many parts of Sadr city."

MY WAR - Fear And Loathing In Iraq: "Purple Heart Ceremony
Today at 15:15 we had a Company Mass Formation for a Purple Heart Ceremony for the fire fight that happened several days ago. My Plt Sgt who was standing next to me when we got ambushed was one of the soldiers today to receive a purple heart, for that bullet that almost killed him that went completely through his CVC helmet. "

Boots on the Ground: "Surprise, Surprise. Muqtada al-Sadr has started to be militant again, and pretend he wanted to renew the cease fire. I have asked this before, but is anyone really surprised by this? US Helicopters pounded a cemetery with Iraqi insurgents. At least we kinda don't feel alone in this fight, because the Iraqi interim government has to deal with this band of hoodlums as well."

Healing Iraq: "Fierce clashes and air strikes continue in Najaf for the second day in a row while fighting spreads to several southern Iraqi cities reminding Iraqis of the events of last April. The worst situation appears to be that of Najaf and Sadr city in Baghdad, while the situation in Nasiriya, Ammara, and Basrah seems to be less serious but still threatening to explode."


Back to Iraq 3.0: "Sistani is ill
While the Shi?a south seems to be on the verge of conflagration, Baghdad and elsewhere is rife with rumors that Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is dying of a heart problem. He has been flown to Beirut and will continue on to London for treatment."

MEMRI TV: "Al-Azhar Sheik Al-Mussayar: Muslims Must Confront Non-Muslims Rather Than Defend Islam

Sheik Muhammad Al-Mussayer of Al-Azhar University spoke on the Saudi-based religious station Iqra TV about relations between Muslims and non-Muslims. The following are excerpts:"

Kurdo's World: "What the Iraqi government has for Kurds ? Talk & Talk and more talks, and more empty promises...

Since the establishment of the Iraqi state by the Britons in 1921, and the forced annexing of Kurdistan to Iraq, the Iraqi government officials have promised, and promised, and promised Kurds that they will be given their guaranteed self-determination-rights in Iraq.

They promised in 1921, 1931, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1983, 2003 and finally 2004."

IWPR's Iraqi Press Monitor: "Electricity ministry wants return of foreign firms
(Al-Bayan) ? Minister of Electricity Ayham al-Samarai said negotiations are taking place with international companies - especially from Russia and Germany - which had previous contracts to return to Iraq to resume their projects after the transfer of power."


THE WAR IN CONTEXT:: Iraq, the War on Terrorism, and the Middle East Conflict - in Critical Perspective: "U.S. abuse could be war crimes
By Vikram Dodd and Tania Branigan, The Guardian, August 5, 2004

Repeated abuses allegedly suffered by three British prisoners at the hands of US interrogators and guards in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba could amount to war crimes, the Red Cross said yesterday."


Healing Iraq: "The power shortage is still the same despite repeated promises and false statements by the Ministry of Electricity. Every now and then they give out a deadline (which is usually at the middle or the end of the upcoming month) in which outages are to be reduced to some unbelievable rates. Last time it was supposed to improve in mid July to 8 hours of outages a day, of course nothing happened and the opposite turned out to be true, the outages were increased to 16 hours a day, after a few days they returned to 12 hours a day."

Institute for War and Peace Reporting: "Iraqis Welcome Local Police
Deployment of Iraqi policemen in place of American soldiers brings greater confidence that law and order can be imposed.
By Naser Kadhem in Baghdad (ICR No. 77, 03-Aug-04)
Faleh al-Asadi, 46, a high-school history teacher, was driving home when he spotted two Nissan pickups trucks with blue-and-white police markings blocking the street, allowing only one car to pass at a time.
But rather than grumbling at the slowdown, he was delighted to see local police in action.
'This is what we want from the transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis,' he said. 'I feel safe and comfortable with the police spreading out into the streets, with fewer United States patrols and checkpoints.'"

Institute for War and Peace Reporting: "Gunrunning Out of Iraq
Weapons bought cheap in Iraq are sold for double the price in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
By Mohammed Fawzi in Baghdad (ICR No. 77, 03-Aug-04)
Iraqi arms dealers have no shortage of domestic clients, but their latest and most lucrative market is Saudi Arabia, where increased demand for small arms has caused a spike in prices inside Iraq."

Marines Prepare for Handoff in Iraq: "Tents are popping up all over the base, signs stressing water conservation are suddenly appearing on showers, troops have been mailing home excess personal gear to make room in their living areas -- all signs units here are getting ready for a huge surge of Marines and sailors coming in the next few weeks
The Marine Corps, in keeping with its policy of 7-month deployments, is launching a second wave of personnel from the Camp Pendleton, Calif.,-based I Marine Expeditionary Force, to Iraqi bases to replace other I MEF forces that have been in the Al Anbar Province since the early spring. "

CFR:: IRAN: Non-engagement with Tehran threatens U.S. national interests in a critical region, concludes a Council-sponsored independent task force report:
CFR Publications: Iran: Time for a New Approach

THE WAR IN CONTEXT:: Iraq, the War on Terrorism, and the Middle East Conflict - in Critical Perspective: "When US Central Command commander General John Abizaid visited Islamabad last week, his first priority was not Pakistan sending troops to Iraq, but the arrest of high-value al-Qaeda targets.

Almost magically, just days later, a Tanzanian al-Qaeda operative, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, was arrested in the Punjab provincial city of Gujrat. "


Center For Strategic & International Studies: "9/11 Commission Report Critique
Congress and the executive branch should proceed cautiously in addressing the recommendations of the 9/11 commission report because the panel makes sweeping generalizations and neglects key topics, according to an analysis by Anthony Cordesman, CSIS Burke Chair in Strategy."

Center For Strategic & International Studies: "Iraqis express 'skeptical optimistism' about the future of their country, while maintaining concerns about the quality of governance and services and believing that modest progress has been made in security, economic opportunity and social well-being, according to a new report by the CSIS Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project. "

Today in Iraq: "Church bombings. - A group in Iraq have claimed responsibility for the series of church bombs at the weekend in a statement posted on a Web site, saying they were a response to the U.S. 'crusader war' and evangelization, reports the Reuters news agency. "

Institute for War and Peace Reporting: Uzbekistan Faces New Breed of Islamic Opposition

Attacks on American and Israeli embassies suggest Uzbek authorities have a new Islamic opposition force to contend with.

MEMRI TV: "Egyptian Academics Discuss Arab and Islamic Culture

The Egyptian TV channel Al-Tanweer hosted several Egyptian academics for a discussion on Arab and Islamic culture in modern times. Among the guests were Salah Qansawa, professor of philosophy at at the Academy of the Arts, and Hassan Taleb, a poet and professor of philosophy at The Literature Academy of Hilwan University. The following are excerpts:
Host: We direct a message to the viewers. In our opinion, we should not be misled by this (Western) glitter. It is possible that they have a measure of...
Prof. Qansawa: Why do you call it a shine?
Host: I believe that it is glitter because although there is freedom (in the West), it is not complete freedom. In comparison, there is a group...
Prof. Qansawa: You mean that our freedom is better...
Host: We have a certain measure of justice but we need more freedom. What is your response?"

Read on...: MEMRI TV


THE WAR IN CONTEXT:: Iraq, the War on Terrorism, and the Middle East Conflict - in Critical Perspective: "Islamic troop plan prompts skepticism
By Robin Wright, Washington Post, August 1, 2004

A Saudi initiative to send an Islamic force to help stabilize Iraq and reduce the need for the U.S.-led military force would probably take three months or longer to deploy and might not get off the ground at all, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials. The proposal is already mired in complex military issues and political sensitivities."

THE WAR IN CONTEXT:: Iraq, the War on Terrorism, and the Middle East Conflict - in Critical Perspective: "Insurgency turns on Iraqi Christians
By Omar Sinan, Associated Press (via Toronto Star), August 1, 2004

A series of coordinated explosions rocked five churches across Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul today, killing at least two people and injuring 38 others in the first attacks targeting the country?s Christian minority in a violent 15-month insurgency."


Back to Iraq 3.0: "So, I left a dozen eggs I bought in the local market in the car for day and forgot about them. Well, my driver brought them to me the next day and they were softboiled from the heat.
That?s how hot it gets here."