Articles & eye-witness accounts from inside Iraq

Page 4  (June 2006 -  February 2007 )           

 

Death Squads in Iraq (07 June 2020) | Al-Islah: Another Crime (27 August 2020) | On the American steps - Corruption and Militias Twins turn Iraq in a "free fraud zone"  (10 Sept. 2006) Federalism, Sectarian War and the American Strategy in Iraq (18 Oct 2020) | A Call for Help from an Iraqi Woman: Lift the Siege of Al-Kmira (19 Oct 2020) | Adhamiya People Call upon the Government to Stop the Massacre (06 Nov 2020) |  University Professors in Iraq and Death Anxiety ( Prof. Faris K. O. Nadhmi Oct 2006)  | A Testimony Of An Iraqi Academic (Nov 2006) | Death squads in Iraq : who leads them ? what are their objectives ? (07 Dec 2020) | Dr Hussain Abid Mohammed Al Khafaji arrested by the Scorpion Special Forces Unit (01 Dec 2006)  | Testimony of Ali Shalal on torture in Abu Graib  (Kuala Lumpur 07 Feb 2021) | Testimony of Abbas Abid on torture in Al Jadiriyah (Kuala Lumpur 07 Feb 2021) | Testimony of Abbas Abid on the Fallujah massacre  (Kuala Lumpur 07 Feb 2021) |

 

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 Death Squads in Iraq
Fanatic Militias Used in a Dirty war
07 June 2006. 
(Name of Iraqi author withheld for security reasons) 
 
Okhwan Sinna wa Shi'a, hatha alwatan ma nbi'a (We are brothers, Sunnis and Shiites; we are not selling this homeland) 
This slogan was chanted by the Iraqis in Baghdad and other provinces days after the occupation in April 2003, denouncing 
any sectarian division in the Iraqi society, on every occasion. There was hope. Until very recently, in spite of all the killings, 
Iraqis were million per cent confident that there is NO sectarian sensitivity between the Shiite and the Sunnis. 
 
Now, death on seemingly sectarian bases is the strongest reality in Iraq. Families are afraid to show up at the morgue or the 
hospitals to collect a killed son's body because of the armed militias who might be hiding in disguise around the corner. 
Heads of young men are rolling in the streets like watermelon, they were kidnapped near the morgue. In the first five months of 2006, 
directly after the elections which was supposed to stop the killing and establish (democracy) in Iraq once and for the coming four years, 
and the Samara Shrine explosions, the Baghdad morgue was receiving 35-50 daily, according to Dr. Qais Hassan, a director in the 
morgue (1). 
 
Six thousands Baghdadis' bodies were brought to the central morgue in the last 5 months (for the first time in its history). 
In May alone the bodies were 1,398. according to the Ministry of Health, not including victims of explosions. 
It was the bloodiest month since the occupation. 
 
In Basra, which was relatively calm until the last elections, more than one thousand were killed in the same period (not including May). 
In May the number exceeded the last few months together that prime minister Maliky had to impose martial laws on the city, it is said that 
a man is killed every hour in Basra, and in Anbar the assassination were so many, especially of prominent Sunni scholars, consolations were 
rejected, while the city was under siege for months, and Maliki announced on TV late May, that a big (security operation) is going to take 
place soon. 
 
In Diyala (east of Baghdad), tens of mutilated bodies found in isolated areas are not news any more. 
 
This week, a passenger bus was stopped by armed men; all the 25 children, old people and students on it were ordered out and were shot 
one by one. At the passport office in Baghdad, which usually begins receiving people at 9:00 am, long queues gather at 5:00 for three 
months now, those who arrive at 6:00 are sent back. Huge family exodus is expected by July, when the summer holiday begins. 
Families are running away from the killings and threats letters, telling them to leave, or face death, and also from the unbearably bad 
conditions of daily life(2). It has become a very profitable trade for the passport office employees. They claim that they can not receive 
more than 30 files a day, making people pay $500 to get a passport. Those who can not afford it, or do not have any where to go decide to 
stay and face their destiny. Some simply refuse to go "We can not just leave Iraq to the criminals, we have to resist. The only problem is 
our families", a man who already received two threats said.
 
So what happened? Is this the beginning of the civil war? If yes, why the so called sectarian killings, which actually began 3 years ago 
did not succeed in creating civil war then? Why now? Who is behind them? Who are the death squads after all? To begin with, it has 
become common knowledge, beyond any argument that the Interior Ministry and the Iraqi Army are involved in the death squad, 
whether the Iraqi ministers or the American authorities, admit it or not (3). There are tons of eye witnesses' testimonies, documents, 
evidences, films... 
 
The type of killing now connected to the death squads began around early 2005, on the hands of the Iraqi police commandos. 
But some important points worth mentioning here: that the first Iraqi interim government was (elected) in January 2005 and was 
heavily Shiite (Jafari government), that around that time the talk of the Salvador option in Iraq was being heard (4), and that the 
police commandos were formed, mainly of Shiite militias, especially Badr (the armed branch of the Supreme Council of the Islamic 
Revolution in Iraq) and the Mahdi Army (the Sadr Movement militia). 
 
But does all this mean that the death squads are Shiite militias within the interior ministry forces? 
The answer is: NO, not exactly. I know that any Iraqi who has seen a death squads' operation (which is becoming a familiar day 
light phenomenon) would want to shoot me in the head for this answer; because a convoy of heavily armed men, masked, 
black-suited, in expensive modern cars and pick ups, calling Sunnis the worst of names, shooting in the air, calling for revenge, 
attacking individuals, shops, kidnapping people, beating them to death or shoving them in cars trunks, would not look like 
anything other than a sectarian militia. But this is only part of the story.
 
Throughout 2005, thousands of young Sunni men were arrested (officially) by the Iraqi police commandos (a major arrests 
operation in Baghdad was in May 2005, given the name of “Lightning”, when hundreds were arrested). Weeks later, some of 
their bodies were found in different places of Baghdad, or Iraq, mainly to the east. The names of the Wolf Brigades, the Ra'ad (thunder), 
the Nimr (Tiger), the Karrar (Imam Ali), the Imam Hussien, the Scorpion; Al-Borkan (volcano)…became familiar names of police 
commandos brigades (Maghaweer). They are supposed to be counterinsurgency, intelligence based troops. They were created, trained, 
armed, and directed by the American intelligence officers who are well known for serving in central and South America where death 
squads were a major part of the political scene (5). 
 
The Maghaweer were so brutal, that one of the prominent Iraqi personalities, who publicly denounce the occupation, told us that the 
American prisons are more merciful than the Iraqi. Those detainees told stories of the kinds of torture they were exposed to in the Iraqi 
Interior Ministry prisons. In many ways, they were similar to the traces seen on the bodies found in the garbage or the sewage daily in 
Baghdad nowadays, connected to the death squads. Holes drilled in the head, feet, lungs… etc are trade marks (they were well-known in 
the Iranian prisons). Broken bones, smashed sculls, burnt or pealed skin, savage beatings, electric shocks, pulled out right eye, are 
familiar in both cases.
 
Abu Omar, an Iraqi engineer who spent 4 months of 2005 in Al-Nissoor and Al-Kadimiya notorious prisons, talked about pick ups leaving 
after midnight and coming back after few hours with tens of men, handcuffed and blindfolded. Abu Omar was one of tens of prisoners who 
appeared on a famous TV program, produced by the Interior Ministry. Badly tortured, those prisoners admit committing several acts of 
terrorism, but more important, publicly accusing well known Sunni scholars of immoral acts or of terrorism. Interestingly enough, 
Abu Omar was released immediately after accusing on TV one of those scholar Sheikhs of using the mosque to hide weapons; although 
Abu Omar's file was filled with all kinds of fabricated crimes that would execute him a hundred times, according to his judge, who released 
him. Later, especially after the Shiite coalition won the December 2005 elections, and after the Samarra Shrine explosion, the killings 
changed dramatically in number and in technique. 
 
The worst were in the last week of February and in March. Thousands of Sunnis were slaughtered by black-suited militias using the 
police cars and weapons, hundreds of mosques were burnt, thousands men, women and children were kidnapped, mainly in Baghdad 
suburbs and areas of mixed sectarian communities. Crime gangs, some of them are again connected to the militias, were a big part of the 
whole chaos. Ali, a young Sunni from Doura was kidnapped in May, the gang asked for $50.000 ransom. Ali was one of the luckiest. 
He was released after his family managed to collect and pay $30.000. Ali told us how he was kidnapped, taken in a car trunk, driven 
for 1.30 hours in rural areas, and beaten. He heard the gang calling some body telling him "we got a Sunni dog", they were talking in 
a southern slang. It is well known that the Rashid ex-military barracks, the biggest in Iraq before the occupation, are now a shelter for 
criminal gangs. Mohammad, another young man from al-Madain (south east of Baghdad) was kidnapped and hidden there, he told us 
stories of kidnapped children and women kept by gangs there. A university student girl was brought one morning, he said. They called 
her the bitch, because she was not wearing the hijab. She kept on screaming until late in the afternoon that day, when she was finally 
"silenced". 
 
Other crimes were also connected to these groups, white and children slavery, drugs trade and smuggling, according to Iraqi Human 
Rights organizations. While some kidnappings and killings are political, criminal or for sectarian revenge, many others were for 
obscure reasons. Medical doctors, university professors, businessmen, merchants, school teachers were also targeted. Hundreds of them 
are being assassinated. Some of them were Baathists, but many others were not.
 
The big question remains why the government is not doing anything about it. Actually, in Amara (south east of Iraq) and in Kut 
(east of Iraq) some armed men who were caught killing civilians and burning mosques were arrested by some police stations, but the 
American troops and some political parties intervened and released them. In Basra there was a big problem between the governor and 
the Shiite reference in Najaf because he accused the Shiite political parties in the Maliky government of sponsoring the assassinations 
and corruption (namely oil smuggling). Actually, Al-Fadhila party spokesman (Shiite) accused the prime minister, Maliky, of imposing 
martial law for political, not security, reasons e.g. to marginalize and control the political forces who oppose the Shiite Coalition 
government policies and parties. But the important fact here is: that the police commandos were mainly Shiite militias does not imply 
that they were always committing their brutal crimes for sectarian reasons. Actually, that was why they were used to commit those 
crimes, simply to instigate sectarian civil war.
 
It was the American Governor of Iraq, Bremer, who engineered the Shiite militias join the Iraqi security forces, according to article 91 
of the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) put by Bremer himself, to fight the (Sunni insurgency) by Iraqi hands. Death Squads in 
Iraq are units inside the security forces, whose members are not just religiously fanatic sectarian militias, by foreign intelligence: 
American, Israeli, Iranian or any other country. They are also Iraqis "educated" and trained outside Iraq, brought into Iraq before the 
occupation, and shortly after it. Their job is to instigate sectarian conflict leading to create a (federal) Iraq, e.g. a divided Iraq.
 
It is true that the hands are Iraqis, but the minds and the money are not. It is also true that some political sectarian militias are 
involved in the death squads, especially those who are connected to the Iranian project in Iraq. But it is interesting to notice how 
the mainstream media, and the Iraqi government keep on nurturing the idea that the sectarian killings are done by the Sunni 
insurgency, what they call the rogue units in the police, and the Mahdi Army.
 
The other militias who are involved in the sectarian killings and violence are set aside. But who are those Iraqis whose job is to 
instigate a civil war? Why? Many of us remember very well the few hundreds of military men who accompanied Chalabi (head 
of the National Congress party, well known for being the Pentagon man) into Iraq directly after the occupation. They were highly 
trained outside Iraq, many say in an isolated island in the Pacific, by American, Israeli, and south African officers. There are reports 
that some were trained in the Israel, Hungry and Poland. 
 
Early after the occupation, there were few individual assassinations, mainly of Baathists, especially in Adhamiya, where the 
community still remembers a man called Mohammad Saddam. He was responsible for the arrest and killing of many Iraqi 
resistance members and advocates. There were some assassinations of Baathists and security individuals in Nassiriya too, 
where these troops were moved. There was strong reaction against their activities. The press talked then about the American 
authorities disarming the Chalabi militias.(6) They disappeared for a while. 
 
But all the Iraqi families, whose houses were raided by the American troops, especially in 2003, remember masked men who 
speak Iraqi, accompanying the American troops in these raids. They were called informers. Maybe some were, but the way they 
quickly joined the occupation troops was curious. A member of these forces (they were called the Forces of Iraq Freedom) recently 
sent out a sheet of facts exposing the rule they were playing in assassinating Shiites and Sunnis to create sectarian problems. 
After explaining how they were brain washed and recruited, and trained before ( and some after) the occupation, he said that 
these forces were infiltrated in the New Iraqi Army, the National Guards, the Iraqi police, the Maghaweer (police commandos), 
the Interior Intelligence and the Iraqi Special Forces. They are actually called the Iraqi Special Forces and their headquarters are 
in the Baghdadairport. They are not connected to any Iraqi security body, and are supervised by American and Israeli officers. 
 
This man, who promised to expose his identity once the death squad's leadership is arrested, said that they were attacking Sunnis 
"in uniforms, IDs, and police cars", and they were attacking Shiites "in cars normally used by the Mujahideen". He gave an example 
of the biggest operation they did which was the Kadhimiya bridge stampede last summer, in which more one thousand were killed. 
He gave a list of some members of these forces. Among the 67 names he gave, only 14 were Arabs, the rest were Kurds, mainly from 
Barzani (president of Kurdistan's party). Two were Jews, and one Iranian. 
 
Nothing in this paper was news to us, may be some of the details, but to come from a member of the death squads talking about the 
dirty war they are waging in Iraq is very important at this point, when many Iraqis begin to believe that this is a sectarian war. 
In some ways it is, and increasingly tribal too, especially after the Samara Shrine explosion, although in fact, there is a wide 
understanding that it was not the Salafists who did it, simply because Samara was under their control for months until last December, 
and they did not do it. In fact, the Iranian intelligence, or their Iraqi allies are accused of bombing the Shrine, just to unleash the sectarian 
violence through retaliatory attacks, which is what is happening the last 4 months.
 
When will the mainstream media give us this side of the story?
 
 
(1) -Dr. Qais said that the Baghdad morgue received 1068 bodies in January 2006, February, March, April (around four months).
He said that more 90% of them were gun shot
 
(2) -Extremists distribute leaflets in Baghdad streets listing prohibited things: T shirts, shorts (for boys), female drivers, 
not covering the hair, make up, and jewelry… Girls are being pulled out of the school buses and beaten if they do not put the scarf. 
A student of chemistry in the Technological University was shaved bald. School buses drivers are being beaten or threatened if they 
allow (such) girls in the bus. 
 
(3)-the Prime Minister, the Minister of Interior and the Vice president admitted publicly that some police troops were involved in the 
death squads.
 
(4)- Shortly before that, there are at least 2 cases (that we personally know about) of American soldiers in uniform killing Iraqis in an 
unfamiliar way, not shooting or bombing …etc. They were slaughtering the victims by bayonets, or shooting them in the mouth.
 
(5)- It is also important to mention that some of the Maghaweer brigades were actually formed late in 2004. For detailed information 
on this point see: Max Fuller, For Iraq, the Salvador Option Become Reality, Center for Research on Globalization. 
See: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=FUL20051110&articleId=1230

 (6) It would be interesting to notice that Chalabi – and Allawi too- were curiously very quiet lately, almost silent, in the last 5 months

when the big problem of the Interior and defense ministries was negotiated among the new Iraqi political players.


Press Release

17th June 2006

 

Talafar Hospital Equipments smashed by angry armed gunmen

 

Doctors for Iraq has received reports that armed gunmen entered Talafar Hospital in the West North of Iraq and threatened and attacked staff and patients waiting to be treated inside the hospital.

 

Doctors and medical staff reported that on May 9tth 2006  there was an  explosion in Talafar that caused  many casualties and injuries to  civilians who were brought into the hospital emergency room for treatment.  Medical staff say that many of the injured were women and children who had sustained horrific injuries in the explosion. The twenty six doctors and medical staff working in the hospital rushed to treat the wounded and injured.

 

Doctors and medical staff report that a group of armed gunmen all carrying weapons that are usually associated with the Iraqi police ( glock pistol and AK rifles) entered the hospital in an aggressive and threatening manner. One doctor described how one of the armed men put a gun to his head demanding that he stop treating a wounded child and instead attend to a man with a minor shell wound in his leg that the doctor had treated earlier.

 

The medic described how he was called a terrorist by the armed man and was forced to stop treating the wounded child. Doctors For Iraq has received disturbing reports from staff in the hospital saying the armed group started vandalizing and breaking hospital equipment and then attacked an ambulance driver breaking his arm with a riffle butt that one of the men was carrying. Another ambulance driver was punched in the face and the hospital pharmacist was attacked by three armed men who took turns in hitting and kicking him.

 

One of the armed men fired bullets above a doctor's head missing him narrowly and causing fear and hysteria in the hospital.

 

The armed men went in to the doctor's staff room stealing money, mobile phones and damaging the hospital premises. Doctors report that some of the men were encouraging one another to break everything inside the hospital and continued to call  the medical staff terrorists.

  

Doctors for Iraq is deeply concerned about the attack on medical staff and the hospital in Talafar. Doctors, medical staff and patients have the right to work and be treated in hospitals free of violence and intimidation. This latest incident in Talafar is just one in a long list of reports that Doctors For Iraq has received from doctors across Iraq illustrating how dangerous it has become for doctors to carry out their work in the country.

Doctors for Iraq is calling on the Iraqi government and Ministry of Health to offer greater protection to doctors, medical staff and patients inside hospitals and for an investigation to be launched into who carried out this attack on doctors and the hospital in Talafar.

 

For more information please contact:

Press.officer@doctorsforiraq.org

www.doctorsforiraq.org


Al-Islah: Another Crime Committed to the Knowledge and Support of the Occupiers and the Iraqi Government

Sabah Ali (27 August 2020)

      On Sunday 20.08.06, at 7 am, 500 heavily armed militia men dressed in the national guards and the Iraqi police uniforms, and using their vehicles attacked the village of Al-Islah, a village of about 5000 inhabitants of both communities: Sunnies and Shiites on the high way Baghdad-Baquba (east). They landed on the high way to Diyala province opposite to Al-Islah village.

      These militias began shooting on the civilians from 7 to 1 pm; killing tens of people (according to Alsharqiya, an Iraqi satellite TV) (http://www.alsharqiya.com/display.asp?fname=news\2006\08\962.txt&storytitle;=), burning the Rashidi mosque after steeling its furniture, and obliging the Sunni families to leave the village immediately. The American troops arrived later to stop the shooting. The only thing they did is they arrested 10 of the mosques guards, confiscated the weapons which the families in the neighborhood use to defend themselves, and left at 5 pm.

     One hour after they left, at 6 pm, the community prominent people went to the nearest Sadr Movement office in Boob Al-Sham, an area close to Al- Islah, to meet the responsible of that office, whose name is Sayed Alaa'. He told the community delegation that he had two conditions to stop the attack: That the Sadr militias pass on the highway safely to go to Fahhama area (close to the village) and to consider the area from Boob Al-Sham to the Tigris river a (pure) Shiite area and that all the Sunni families have to be evacuated from it. Naturally the community delegation rejected his conditions.

     The Sadr militias resumed the attack the next day; they burnt of Sunni families' houses in Boob Al-Sham, obliging 120 families to leave the areas.

     In spite of all the efforts that the community did to contact the occupying forces, and the Iraqi officials, Mr. Shirwan Al-Wa'ily, the National Security Minister, is one of them, and many other political forces, but none gave the issue the attention it deserved. All that the government did, after the killing and evacuating was done, was that they sent troops saying that they would stay in the area for only 10 days , then the inhabitants have to handle it on their on.

     The implicit complicity is very clear. The Iraqi and the American troops are encouraging and helping the sectarian militias in achieving their agenda. The Islah crimes are only one of many other genocide. The worst of things is the government is talking about national reconciliation!!! No comment or reaction has come from the American or the Iraqi authorities on this "incident".  


On the American steps - Corruption and Militias Twins turn Iraq in a "free fraud zone" 

Sabah Ali (10 Sept. 2006)

     On May 2, 2020 evening, two floors in the Ministry Of Oil  huge building were caught on fire, eating away two very important departments: the archives and the computers floors where all the records, documents, accounts books, and contracts…are kept. There were no employees in the building except for the guards and the Facilities Protection Services. (1) 

     Two days before this "incident", the general inspector in Iraq had issued the Smuggling Crude Oil and Oil Products: Second Transparency Report in which he exposed in details the catastrophic numbers and facts about corruption in the oil sector in Iraq : smuggling, theft, fraud, black market leading to great loss in money and resources.  On his side the former Minster of Oil, Ibrahim Bahr Al-Oloom, said that Iraq lost at least 4 billion dollars of smuggled oil last year, referring to the involvement of the government's high officials in the smuggling and corruption scandals. Many political analyses considered the fire an attempt to conceal the corruption evidences.  

     The fire took place few days before the new Iraq government took office, after 6 months of delay due to conflicts on governmental offices among the Shiite winning parties within the United Iraqi Alliance. The Ministry of Oil was one of the disputed ministries, especially between the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and Al-Fadhila party (both in the Alliance). Any one who is familiar with the "new" Iraqi politics knows that the first thing each Iraqi government does, is to expose the previous government corruption scandals. Finally, the Ministry of Oil, and the Ministry of Finance, were given to two persons well known for being the closest to Iran among the Shiite Alliance. 2 

     Another "accident" : in Zafaraniya, a poor district south of Baghdad, of Shiite and Sunni mixture, a huge explosion killed and injured more than 250 civilians on Sunday evening August12. The Iraqi Ministry of Interior said that it was a car bomb; the American sources and witnesses said it was not; actually it was a gas explosion which caused many other explosions. 

      Few days later, newspapers in Baghdad were talking about a corrupt deal where the Ministry of Oil imported cooking gas from Iran. Bad deals, imported oil products which do not fulfill the same qualities mentioned in the purchase contracts, were one of the big corruption problems mentioned in the Second Transparency Report. The question is why the Ministry of Interior would try to cover the Oil corruption. 

    Another big and scandalous problem of controlling the oil production is the Ministry's failure of reinstall equipments to meter oil production, after they were stopped since the beginning of 2005. There is no way to know how much oil is officially exported, according to the UN International Advisory and Monitoring Board report published last August. The report said that $241m of oil money were put in unrecognized ministries' accounts, and that $221m were put in unrecognized accounts of the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) whose director is well known to be the previous oil Minster's closest friend.

    These are just few of many recent examples which clearly indicate that the government, or members in it, is involved in the corruption scandals directly and through its connection to the armed militias, namely Al-Mahdi army (of the Sadr Movement) and the Badr militias (of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq-SCIRI) -both heavily and effectively represented in the Iraqi government now. These militias are controlling the corrupt oil production and marketing (Ministry of Oil) and controlling the security -or rather insecurity- in Iraq (Interior and Defense). 

     A parliament member said lately that the political militias are actually stronger than the government now, and an adviser in the Prime Minister office described some of the Iraqi security forces as terrorist militias paid by the government, not to mention the handsome bribes, according to the advisor. He said that many high officials who criticize corruption are corrupt themselves and are closely connected to the sectarian militias. To prove this, he said, 15 Iraqi judges were assassinated especially those who secretly work with the Commission of Public Integrity in Iraq.  In Basra, however, those militias control the oil smuggling, with complete Iranian help and protection (together with drugs and weapons poured by the Iranians in all of the southern Iraqi regions). 

  In its statement on Sept 10, 2006, the Commission said that the number of Iraqi high officials who are involved in financial corruption cases has reached 73 (yes seventy three!), 15 of them are ministers, the rest are deputy ministers, general directors, Parliament members and parties leaders. All are granted legal immunity. 

     The Commission which is directly connected to the presidency council announced that it has 1852 corruption cases involving billions of dollars, and it is trying to change its law, obviously to have more power in the high officials' cases. The irony is that in mid 2004, a UN audit committee working on the first 6 months of 2004 found that $6 b of the Development Fund in Iraq were unaccounted for, about $2 b of them are connected to Talabani, the Iraqi president now! 

    The Commission head, Radhi Hamza al-Radhi repeats privately and publicly that there are many government pressures on him "to slow down and take it easy", and that he is facing many obstacles. The Ministry of Interior, for example, did not respond to the Commission's 164 arrests orders against prominent officials accused of corruption, and 100 investigation order concerning administrative and financial corruption inside the Interior Ministry itself.  

    The Commission speaker said that there are at least 234 corruption cases in this ministry waiting to be looked in by the judicial committee. Among the officials who are called to reply to the Commission's inquiries are the Iraqi former prime ministers: Allawi and Al-Jafari, on cases of stealing money, accepting kickbacks and assigning millions of dollars to phantom rebuilding contracts that appeared only on paper. Another corrupt official, who is already in jail now, is the High Commissioner of the Elections, Adil Allami, on charges of fraud and bribes in millions.   

  In its latest report, Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq -August 2006 the American Ministry of Defense, Pentagon, said that "Many of Iraq's political factions tend to view government ministries and their associated budgets as sources of power, patronage and funding for their parties. Ministers with out strong party ties…some times have little control over the politically appointed or connected people serving under them".  

   The corruption problem is directly connected to what is called the sectarian violence problem. It would be useful to notice that through 2005-2006, both twin problems were openly escalating together. Every "last month" was the deadliest month in Iraq, while Transparency International sited Iraq on the top of corruption list. Eye witnesses of the sectarian militias' raids in different parts of Iraq, especially in Baghdad suburbs, talk about expensive modern cars and weapons (including grenade launchers and heavy machine guns, apart from light weapons) and hundreds of young men in each raid. There is no declared number for the militias of course, but it is safe to say that they are hundreds of thousands each. These people are well known to be beautifully paid. 

    The American official reports insist on saying that terrorism is the main problem in the oil sector in Iraq, that the terrorists' attacks on pipelines are the main obstacle to normal oil industry in Iraq, implying that the resistance is responsible of depriving the Iraqi people of 95% of its national income. The Americans also attribute the reconstruction program failure to what they call terrorism. 

     The Iraqi General Inspector, Dr. Ali Al-Allaq, however, puts targeting oil pipelines as the fifth problem after 4 more dangerous problems (large discrepancy in oil product prices between Iraq and the neighboring countries, inadequate control and supervision of movement and trading oil products, lax judiciary measures against offenders and lawbreakers, and greater reliance on the imported oil products…). 

        Each of these problems is a big story in itself –detailed in the General Inspector's Second Transparency Report, available in English and Arabic - but targeting pipelines is of special interest. Well informed sources in the Ministry of Oil and eye witnesses say that an exploded pipe would create a lake of crude oil. The Ministry sells these lakes very cheep to certain individuals who in turn sell them to customers outside Iraq. 

     These individuals are usually high officials in the government or the political parties who control it, and the customers are usually Iranians. Other eye witnesses in Basra say that there are pipelines which go from Iraq directly into Iran, and that there are tens of illegal outlets of exported Iraqi crude oil which is loaded in ships holding the Iranian flag. Everything in all these cases takes place under the protection of the Shiite militias, especially Badr. Last year the amount of smuggled oil through illegal outlets was the equivalent of one billion dollars, according to Dr. Ali.   

     The Shiite-Shiite (SCIRI, Fadhila and Sadr) conflict in Basra this summer is a flagrant evidence of the connection between corruption and the sectarian militias. To begin with, the Shiite political parties, whose militias are controlling the oil smuggling, do not consider stealing the Iraq oil revenue a crime. On the contrary they consider the southern oil fields their natural right given to them by God, and that the central Sunni governments of Iraq has deprived them of this right for ages. Actually this is what the Shiite Federal region of the south is all about. 

       But each of these parties wants to control the oil industry to guarantee power through wealth to fund their militias, which means that the fighting will go on as far as these militias are not controlled by any central power. So far the Maliki government and the occupation forces proved to be helpless in dealing with them, assuming that they want to.      

    Oil black market inside Iraq is well known for being controlled by the Sadr militias. Moqtada Al-Sadr, the Sadr Movement leader, himself is said to "order" his militias to move away from the oil black market after too many scandals were exposed. Again many eyewitnesses talk about big tankers protected by armed men secretly load oil from the warehouses or the fuel stations. One of the British generals in Basra said on a documentary, months ago, that they witness oil smuggled daily but the British troops do not want to do anything about it because "we don’t want to be rained by bombs the next day".  

     Ironically, after fuel reached higher prices 374 percent in July than the previous month, thanks to the black market, the only solution that the Minister of Oil, Shehristani could come out with to fight corruption and smuggling, is to privatize the oil products trade, a procedure that leaves the doors wide open for the political mafias and for the powerful militias leaders to steal the market "legally", and of course all the contracts will go to Iran, which is what is already happening now.  

     Administrative and financial corruption as a wide, open phenomenon is new in Iraq. The Iraqi state never knew such phenomenon before the occupation. Of course there were individual cases, as every where in the world, but few officials would dare to mess with the public money. It is part of Iraq's social and political culture to consider wrong doing in the public property as the worst of crimes that damage personal integrity. It is not a defense of Saddam Hussein, but all Iraqis know that a corrupt official would be dealt with very cruelly as personal offence and betrayal against the president himself.   

    Corruption in this sense, like many other political fatal diseases, came to Iraq with the occupation. There is and endless list of the American authorities' theft and fraud scandals; probably the biggest of them was the story of the 9 billion dollars which "disappeared" when the American governor of Iraq, Paul Bremer left the country. The Americans inherited more than $30 billion of frozen and oil-for-food assets when they invaded Iraq in 2003, to say nothing of $26 million worth of Iraqi property sequestered by the occupation authorities.

      These fortunes were supposed to be spent on rebuilding through the Development Fund in Iraq. The money disappeared but the country remained in ruins. Many fraud stories are coming out and published now and then in the American mainstream media, talking about billions of Iraqi "reconstruction" money which were misused, stolen, lost, or unaccounted for. Billions dollars of Iraqi money were misused by Bremer, who issued 100 catastrophic economic decisions. 80% of big contracts were given to the American corrupt companies; only 2% were given to the Iraqis.

    Millions were handed directly to officials in certain ministries, not through the Ministry of Finance or the Iraqi Central Bank. One example: last June the Commission was investigating kickbacks of $300 million in purchase of "defective and outdated helicopters, machine guns and armored personnel carriers" by a former procurement chief in the Defense Ministry. Another senior defense official was convicted for receiving $400.000 in bribes…etc.

      The American officials describe the Iraqis as a corrupt and lawless society. Any Iraqi whose house was raided by the American troops tells a story of how the soldiers stole money, jewelry, personal weapons and any expensive thing, a part from documents. A lawyer in Al-Qaim handed the American troops 300 files of such cases documents (theft during raid) in 2005. When he went back to the American base asking about the cases, he found that the stolen things and the documents had disappeared.

   In 2003 and 2004, Iraqis were wondering why many of the thieves and criminals who were sentenced to jail by Iraqi judges were released by the Americans. I personally was a witness of a case in which a car thief was released by an American raid on the police station in which he was kept; three days after the Iraqi judge put him in jail in Dora, south of Baghdad. One of the well known oil smugglers was arrested in April 2006 in the north-western desert, but an American military commander is demanding his release now. Account books, receipts, financial documents and any evidence of financial operations before the Iraqis were "handed" authority, were destroyed or disappeared instead of being handed to the Ministry of Finance.

   The Bush Administration refuses to prosecute US firms accused of corruption, a refusal which is turning Iraq into a "free fraud zone" according to a senior official in the occupation authorities in Iraq. If the Americans are going away with their crimes, why not the Iraqis, after  

the Iraqi officials now were educated and trained in the US.

1-       Sadr's four ministries control 70,000 uniformed, armed men who are part of the Facilities Protection Service, according to the Interior Ministry. U.S. military commanders acknowledge that the agency has mushroomed to more than 140,000. A top former U.S. military commander has said militia fighters under the Facilities Protection Service are tied to kidnappings, execution-style killings and other crimes.

2-      One of the sad jokes about corruption says that the food expenses of the protection personnel for the Minister of Finance, Bayan Jabr Solagh, alone are 40.000 dollars a month. Another says that the Minister of Oil, Shehristani, used to be paid $25000 a month when he was a vice president of the National Assembly, and that this money was NOT his salary, but an allowance. He also put his hand on one of Saddam's palaces, and was given $100.000 to repair it and $50.000 to furnish it. He bought himself 3 armored cars for $300.000 each, and got 50 armed men to protect him. This information was sent in a letter to "his Excellency" the grand Ayatollah Sistani to do some thing about it. So far "his Excellency" did not.

3-      For more information ,see:

      *Smuggling Crude Oil and Oil products: Second Transparency Report

      * Commission of National Integrity in Iraq' statements

      *A Switching in Time: a New Strategy for America in Iraq. Sabban Center

      *SIGIR. Statement of Stuart W. Bowen, Jr. 

      * "So, Mr. Bremer, where did all the money go". Guardian, July7, 2006, or London Review of Books, Vol.27 No.13 dated July 7 2005. 

     *Iran, its neighbors and the regional crisis. Chatham House

     * Development Fund for Iraq, Summery of Audit results. August 2006

     *Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq. Pentagon. August 2006

     * www.iraq-amsi.com. www.alsharqiya.com . www.azzaman.com . www.kitabat.org . www.albasrah.net. Among others.


Federalism, Sectarian War and the American Strategy in Iraq 

Sabah Ali (18 October 2020)

"Everything says we are facing a very difficult time in the next few months, violence is surrounding us from all sides. Movement on the high ways to and from Baghdad is becoming extremely dangerous, and of course inside Baghdad. People disappear, get kidnapped or killed on the highways. Death squads and criminal gangs control them; only the resistance is protecting the individuals and the communities… The government is part of the killing sides (…) The streets are full of people with strange accent(…) I hear a big explosion now(…)They began artillery bombing of different parts of Baghdad, between districts of different sectarian groups (…) An eye witness from Ghazaliya said that the American troops start the bombing, and then an Iraqi doer continues. The political players are using their militias on both sides. It is very important to notice that the resistance is never mentioned within the sectarian classifications"   

These lines are written today by a well informed friend who lives in Baghdad now.  

The situation in Iraq is out of control. The number of civilians savagely killed, mainly in Baghdad, is approaching 2 hundreds every day. Official Iraqi reports say that around half a million families are internally displaced, a number much less than other Iraqi sources say. According to UN an average one thousand Iraqis are forced into homelessness everyday, in spite of (or is it because of!) the 4 month Iraqi-American security plan in Baghdad. 

Needless to say, nothing is done about all these catastrophes; obviously it is an American strategy of attrition against the resistance, some of the militias, and Maliki's government too. Names, addresses and operation rooms of the militias and death squads are well known and talked about publicly (maps are published on the internet) but the security and the occupation troops just ignore them in obvious collusion. 

For the fourth day today, fighting is continuing in Balad and Dhuluiya, 80 Kms north of Baghdad, where there is one of the biggest American military bases, militias in uniform are slaughtering Sunnis, forcing families to leave within 2 hours, while the American forces were standing by, according to one Iraqi officer. On Monday, the Balad hospital alone received 80 bodies. Iraqi towns north of Baghdad are under siege for months, while armed men in uniform and in security cars raid them, kill or kidnap their citizens. We have to admit that the CIA death squad experts did a good job. 

6.1 million Iraqis left to live in the neighboring countries especially Jordan and Syria or in other places. Iraqi hospitals and universities lost 80% of their scientific and professional cadres. Journalists, writers, intellectuals, judges, businessmen, religious , tribal and political personalities and others who are counted on to rebuild the country either left , kidnapped, or assassinated, e.g. silenced one way or another.  

The American officials are even suggesting scenarios to Maliki's replacement. Political parties in the government are involved in the death squads and sectarian militias' atrocities against civilians, a fact confirmed by the Iraqi people and officials, Al-Maliki himself (many times), and by the Interior Minister.  Meanwhile, the American and the Iraqi security forces are continuing their raids, killings, and mass arrests  against certain areas in Baghdad, its suburbs, Diyala, Anbar, Musol and Salah Addeen.   

The American media is admitting now that the resistance, what they call insurgency in the best, or terrorism usually, is the highest and most effective since the invasion. 58 American soldiers are killed in the first two weeks of October. American official (untrue) numbers this month say that 2774 American soldiers were killed in Iraq. One of the biggest military bases, Falcon, south of Baghdad is badly destroyed; nothing is mentioned about it or its casualties in media. Hardly a day passes without reports and articles analyzing the bad situation in which the occupation currently is.   

On the other hand, no one talks any more about Iraq descending into civil war; they say it IS in civil war now, sectarian warfare, they call it. Until 3 months ago, at least 655.000 Iraqis are killed since the invasion in 2003, most of them civilians, women and children. The country is devastated, with some dark-minded mullahs controlling its bloody streets. Nothing is functioning in Iraq now. 

And what the American solution is: Dividing Iraq into 3 petty powerless "countries" in the name of federalism.   

James Baker, who vowed in 1990 to bomb Iraq into the middle ages, returned back (probably to see how far Iraq is back in the middle ages) leading a congressional team to "study" the situation in Iraq and suggest the solution, but not now, after the November elections in the US. Ruling out any prospects of victory in Iraq, Baker concentrates on "stability" first, by avoiding sectarian confrontation in Iraq, which has become out of control. Hurrraaah. 

Immediately after he left, the Iraqi Parliament "passed" a law of federalism. The way it was passed is a daylight made up job, exactly like the way the constitution and the elections were "passed". It is meaningless to talk about how the "law" was passed, the usual counterfeiting, fraud, pressures, and bribes. (Informed recourses say that there were no more than 119 members attending the parliament session out of 275). "President" Talabani, on his part, offered hosting the American troops in the north. 

On the other hand, a group of extremist Sunnis announced establishing an Iraqi Islamic state of 8 provinces in the middle and the north, including Baghdad, which will inflame the sectarian confrontation. 

But that does not mean that the Mission is accomplished? No. America is powerful enough to destroy Iraq for a while, but from our first hand experience with the Americans for the forth year now, they know very little about the Iraqi culture and psychology. Officials, journalist, experts or ordinary Americans, get what their intelligence information focuses on e.g. the weak spots in the society where they can attack. They analyze whatever data they get by their own criteria. One of their worst mistakes, for example, is that they think that they can buy the underprivileged Shiite. 

They do not understand that Hakeem, Allawi, Shehristani, Sadr and the rest of the bunch do not represent the Iraqis, and that they are already burnt politically.  The Iraqi resistance will continue, and get stronger and stronger everyday. The Americans do not understand the logic of history; they do not have any, anyway. If the rest of the world does not recognize the fact that it is only the resistance who represent the Iraqi people, too bad. But does the Iraq resistance give a damn?


A Call for Help from an Iraqi Woman

Lift the Siege of Al-Kmira 

Sabah Ali - 19 October 2020

The following call for help was made by an Iraqi woman who lives in Al-Kmira village. She is married and lives with her husband’s big family. They left to work one morning almost a month ago and could not go back to her house in the besieged village yet. They live now with friends in Baghdad, without their personal necessities or clothes. Al-Kmira is a village of a few thousands of people in Al-Fahhamma groves north east of Baghdad, well known for its beautiful rural landscape and agricultural surroundings.     

For the fourth week, the people of Kmira are under siege, they can not go out, or come in, no food, no provisions.

 

We do not know how they are, how they are fasting Ramadan. The media is fasting too, in reporting on what the people of this village, which is part Al-Fahhamma, north east of Baghdad, are going through.

 

The American-Iraqi troops attacked the region of Al-Kmira after they put it under siege for a week. The fighting with its community went on for two days.

 

Some of the people, who went out and then could not go back, said that the troops had bad casualties. Others claimed that there were Iranians among the dead of the militias’ masses which participated in the attack against Al-Kmira.

 

Ms (Sh.T) who sent out the call by telephone without giving her name, cried for the help of people of conscience to lift the Kmira siege, to let food reach its people. Life stopped, she said. Those who left can not go back, those who are besieged in the village can not leave. Employees and workers can not go to work.

The checkpoints, whether governmental or of the militias, prevent any food to go to the people, and they confiscated it when some tried to break the siege. They told the people who tried to send some food in “Are you sending food to these dogs?”

Sh.T said that the community is protecting itself after the first attack failed. American-Iraqi snipers lurk for the people, who are mainly from the Nidawat tribe, well known for their vehement attitude against the occupation. Many of its men are arrested since the early days of the occupation.

There were many attempts to solve the problem through negotiations with prominent people in the tribe, when they finally agreed to negotiate, they were told to choose between utter destruction and totally leaving the region. Militias representatives told them: Either us or you…The Iraqi troops (commandos of the Interior Ministry) put a military checkpoint at the region’s main entrance, opposite to the first gate of the Tourist Baghdad Island. Few meters beyond this check point, there are many checkpoints of the militias of the political parties which are heavily represented in the government. In the same way, checkpoints were put at the second exit of the besieged region leading to Bob Al-Sham and al-Husseiniya east of Baghdad.

Sh.T, confirmed that none of the government officials worry about the civilians or care for their conditions while they are under siege. She called for lifting the siege and caring for the civilians and their security, especially that the Eid (feast) is approaching and these people spent the Ramadan fasting under siege.


Adhamiya People Call upon the Government to Stop the Massacre

Fierce Fighting in the Besieged District (Sabah Ali, 06 November 2020)

Adhamiya, the northern and oldest district of Baghdad, has been exposed to daily shelling and militias' raids for few months now. While the citizens heroically defended their families and houses, the Iraqi security forces were practically putting the area under continuous siege.

But in the last 3 days, and despite the curfew, Adhamiya was shelled continuously with rockets, mortars, and militias raids with the government and the security forces doing nothing about it, apart from covering it. Today the area was bombed by 23 mortars, killing at least 8 and injuring tens while the fighting is going on in many parts of it.  

Adhamiya citizens called upon the government to take an active attitude towards the massacres committed there by the armed militias on daily level, according to Al-Sharqiya satellite TV in Baghdad.

People from the area talk about continuous ambulances, firemen cars movement and calls from the Numan hospital to donate blood, which means that the fighting is very fierce.

On Sunday morning, four- wheel propelled vehicles attacked Antar square in the middle of Adhamiya, and was strongly confronted, the same in Alcamp area where groups of Al-Mahdi army attacked, but there were no immediate numbers of casualties. Citizens and armed resistance are protecting the streets now.

30 of the National Guards and the Interior Ministry Commandos' vehicles entered the area Sunday , and began shooting at the at the people and the shops, accompanied by 120 mm mortar shelling, while the American helicopters were roaming the sky. Eye witnesses say that they were strongly confronted but there are no numbers mentioned of the casualties again.

Yesterday night the American troops toured the district streets, telling the civilians to inform about the snipers for "good money rewards".

Last Saturday night, 4 November, Adhamiya was shelled again by mortars which killed and injured several civilians, but no number was given due to the curfew. 

Abu Hanifa mosque was attacked Saturday by mortars, which fell on the surrounding graveyard. Fighting was going on in Street 20, Rass Al-Hawash, Omar bin Abdul Aziz street

A Testimony Of An Iraqi Academic 

Baghdad / November 2006 

Yesterday there was very heavy rain in Baghdad. Our college and many regions in Baghdad (specially the poor and deprived) were covered with water (almost sank). I had to walk through lakes of muddy water, just to get out of the college and return home. This is not new, since the gulf war of 1991 when drainage systems were damaged and left without repairing till now. Let us imagine this depressive scene: "Hundreds of professors, instructors and students walk silently through dirty waters, under gray cloudy rainy sky, just because they are Iraqis, and they have to lose their dignity everyday in various ways, as a cheap price in benefit of globalization plans".  

However, I still believe strongly in what "Hemingway" said in The old Man and the Sea : "Man could be destroyed, but never defeated". 

I lived all my life (in Iraq) with terror and tyranny, so I think nobody can document this truth, except those who lived it. What happened inside us is much more than estimation and imagination. We (Iraqis) are accustomed to be victims and hostages for no obvious reason. We are survivors everyday. We have developed a very dialectical truth: "Although they (Fascists & Americans) succeeded in destroying everything vivid inside us, nothing vivid actually has been destroyed. We lost the pleasure of life forever, but we still keep and maintain many high meanings of life". 

I am typing now with the help of a small noisy smoky electricity generator, with fading light. There is no electricity in Baghdad for 18 – 20 hours a day. I feel very deprived and persecuted, but I shall never give up!

Let us start from the beginning: 

*       *       * 

In the moment of dramatic collapse of Baath regime at April 2003, a promising civil progressive movement begun to develop, aiming at restoring liberty, justice and civil rights, especially inside universities and other cultural institutions. But the Americans started immediately, continuously till now, to block that rational stream, by adopting the following policy:

1)      Encouraging leaders of religious groups and parties (from different sects) to be influential politicians, regardless of their ignorance, selfishness and closed minds; in parallel with dismissing secular trends (liberals, socialists, technocrats ...).

2)      Fabricating terrorism inside Iraq (religious terrorism has no roots in our enlightened Iraqi society, even among religious groups). The Americans gave green light to the governments of Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia to export thousands of brainwashed "terrorists" who do not have any idea about social and intellectual fabric of the Iraqi society.

3)      Doing nothing to stop (if not involving in) the planned assassinations of brilliant doctors and academics.

4)      Fabricating continuous crises of severe shortages in electricity power, water supply, and fuel. 

This subtle strategy, simultaneously with "democratic" slogans, has succeeded in: 

1)           Dividing the Iraqi Identity into several weak conflicted sub identities (sectarianism & ethnocentrism).

2)          Absence of collective humanstic rationalistic voice, which is substituted by pre-state, primitive emotions.

3)          Keeping the people busy with their physiological and security needs (No time to think or protest).

4)          Transforming social energy that should be directed to restore fairness, liberty, and human dignity, into motives of violence and aggression towards imaginary enemies. 

So, the final result is very familiar (nothing new beneath the sun) : It is again the old story of  how capitalism exploits, humiliates man, and sucks bloods of people, just to accumulate new mythical wealth. Americans are very pragmatic, heartless and faithful to this principle. But the problem is: "Why this deceived world (except conscious elite) does not want to wake up?!" 

*       *       * 

Iraq as a nation is not "artificial invention" of the Brits. Iraq is one of the oldest societies in history. When the Brits occupied the country, they (implicitly) helped the Iraqi people to restore their social identity after long centuries of the Turkish tyranny, and gradually accomplished independence as an unified country of multiple races, religions and sects, as many nations in the world. There is a very strong feeling of the Iraqi identity among our people (obvious patriotism). We have common social memory, folklore, arts, songs, architecture, and political movements. Most of Iraqi families and tribes consist of several races and sects.

In every residence area in Baghdad, you can find mosques besides churches. It is very usual that a man from "Shiite" sect marries a woman from "Sunni" sect, and vice versa. Also, there are some cases of marriage between Muslims and Christians. This tolerance was spread widely even among religious people.  

The tragedy and crises of Iraqi identity began with American occupation 2003 as mentioned, specifically when the American authority imposed an Iraqi  Governing Council established according to various races, religions and sects, not according to participation of political, cultural, and civil progressive rational movements. 

The Americans insisted on starting this dangerous tradition which was unfamiliar in our modern political history. Our people are very conscious victims, completely aware of this dirty game (Blood for Petrol), but they are powerless in front of the American stormy strategy. 

The majority of our people are peaceful, cultured, motivated to adopt normal secular values. They like and are proud of their desirable main identity: the "Iraqi identity". 

In spite of the complete crime committed in Iraq, I still feel optimistic, and many others do so. I do believe that our social fabric will resist this conspiracy for a long time, and never surrender easily. We are a civil and cultured unified community, not tribes in the desert! 

I agree there is a serious danger that the Iraqi people may incorporate this sort of ethnic/religious mindset into their way of thinking. But, in the same time, there is an obvious intentional collective resistance against this sort of thinking. I do feel (as an instructor in university) that students (regardless of their origins) become more insistent on the word "Iraqi" through discussions and conversations. Further, they tend to avoid other ethnic or religious terms, or underestimate them. Nobody can imagine our conditions in university: studying and doing the exams, with explosions around us. Yet, my students surprised me every time by their clever scientific answers, as if they were living in normal and ideal conditions. Their answers reinforce my belief of the Iraqi immortal spirit.  

*       *       * 

Our conditions in Baghdad become more and more dangerous day after day. The clashes are everywhere, even in the streets surrounding our college. To put you in the picture, imagine this: We are in  Bab Al-Moadham University Compound (Central Baghdad where the old Campus of Baghdad University is), completely and daily  surrounded by fire belts of bombs, car bombs, almost daily clashes in light weapons among different groups and squads. For example: in the sectarian fighting in Al-Fadhil area (close to the Compound), during the last 3 months, the Iraqi security forces and the Americans were raiding the area, turned Bab Al-Moadham into a real battle field. Unknown numbers of civilians and students were killed, gun bullet fires pierce through the walls and windows glass of our offices many times. We had to hide always when we enter or leave the college, or we have to conceal our selves temporarily, or run away through back doors, to evade the clashes that often reach the college gate. The way from home to college, and vice versa, is an absolute adventure, where each one of us faces his destiny alone, in a daily infinite philosophical test of the meaning of a ripped off life, and an absurd death. 

Many of our academic colleagues have been killed or threatened, often by unknown hands. Others are insulted or frightened by prejudiced Islamic students. Two months ago, some armed strangers hysterically raided the campus, from Bab Al-Moadhem gate, which was not the first time, supported by the university guards!! They roamed the college corridors and rooms, shouting, calling the names of some professors from a list they were holding in their hands, threatening them of death if they show up in the college. This aggression was the worst in the College of Languages, which was closed for 2 weeks after. Many administrative officials resigned after they got open threats. May be these activities are not categorized as assassinations, but they give a summary image of the gravity of the physical threat, the humiliation, and the mind liquidation to which the Iraqi university professor is exposed nowadays. But we still struggle quietly and patiently to maintain what could be maintained of the academic & secular values inside the university. 

The campaign of assassinations against the Iraqi minds, takes many different shapes beside the physical assassination: the scientific blockade imposed on our almost closed university libraries, the religious groups' control of the decision making bodies in the universities, terrorizing the professors by the oral and written threats, forcing them into silence, isolation and immigration, in addition to the horrible corruption. For example, during the last 3 years, the Ministry of Higher Education announced tens of PhDs scholarships in different Arabic and Western universities, I could not get any of them, in spite of the fact that I am the first (got the highest degrees) in the college, in my BA and MA degrees (I got excellent in both degrees, which, according to the Iraqi educational system means that I got more than 90 on a 100 scale). As an instructor, I am considered one of the distinguished. Those scholarships often went to others who have nothing to do with the academic milieu, and have no academic achievements whatsoever. 

 *       *       * 

The Iraqi civil people still struggle to maintain their collective identity, where the militias and stupid politicians still fabricate this unnecessary violence. This is a very rare historical moment that the community is psychologically unified, while it is led compulsorily by irrational political factors to crumble. 

The Iraqi people are peaceful, homogeneous, and open minded (in general). So, what happens now is a temporary offense resulting from severs US occupation. Perhaps it will take an unknown period of time, perhaps we will be victims of this madness, but eventually our social fabric shall prove its hardness! This is not a wishful thinking; it is prediction from a social researcher. 

In moments like this, I fell freer (internally) because I become more certain of how our rational, secular and humanistic values, which we have adopted since our early intellectual beginnings, are quite true and brilliant!


Death squads in Iraq : who leads them ? what are their objectives ?

by Salah Al Mukhtar

The murderous terrorist operations that struck Iraqi citizens in the Revolution District (now Sadr District), known to have caused the death of 200 persons (Nov. 23, 2006, translator’s note) made the situation in Iraq even worse inasmuch as Iran sponsored Safavid death squads took advantage of those crimes to commit equally horrible atrocities : thirty Sunnite muslims were publicly executed, mosques were ransacked and burnt down together with the children, women and old age persons who had sought refuge inside, regardless of the fact that mosques are muslim worship places that should be respected by anyone. Today, all the Iraqi victims of this bloodthirsty terrorism know who the terrorists are. They know that the death squads are USAmericans and Iranians. The Safavids in Irak contend that USAmericans, Takfiris and Saddamites are those who murdered these Shi’ite people for being Shi’ites. It is time to shed some light on who the death squads are, it is time to bring out the truth as to Iran’s position towards Iraq and the whole Arab Nation.

The outset.

Years before Iraq’s occupation, the Safavid political parties (1) dependent on Iran’s Secret Services published on a website the names of hundreds of Iraqi personalities, of scientists and servicemen in the army, threatening them with elimination as soon as the national regime would have fallen. These lists still appear on the Web and can be found through Google.

The targeted personalities

They are the scientific elites, the best officers in the army, the patriotic political men, they are scholars, writers and distinguished artists. The motive put forward to justify their elimination is their loyalty to the national regime. Long before the occupation, some death squads had crept in from abroad and started liquidating dozens of Iraqi personalities whose names were on these lists. The perpetrators were members of the Badr Brigade stationed in Iran, where they used to repair once their heinous crimes had been carried out. When the occupation happened, things got even worse as the Badr and their death squads openly entered the country in the wake of the US invasion troops and under their protection, fulfilling an agreement concluded between US-UK and Safavid High Commands, stating that the latter pledged to support the occupation. The manhunt started at once. The Badr Brigade killers took the lead in physically liquidating thousands of scientists, experts, specialists of all kinds and Arab nationalist political personalities. Later on the Sadr Army followed suit and outmatched the Badr in savagery, especially when dealing with the Iraqi Arab Shi’ites, whom they accused of being Saddam’s Shi’ites and sometimes Muawiya’s Shi’ites(2) . In addition to these two main flows of providers in death squads, there are two smaller groups, the Hizballah (Iraqi) and the Hizb Addawa, which have both been constituted, trained and armed by Iran for many years. These particular death squads have specialized in liquidating those pilots and officers who had defeated the Iranian army during the 8-year war between the two countries, but also such political personalities of Arab nationalistic trend, who championed Iraq’s arabity, thus not mere Baathists. This category of victims also included writers, artists and journalists. That is how the death squads have managed to eliminate thousands of the nation’s elites.

The Safavid Iranian death squads had yet another aim, which was to loot Iraq’s military and industrial equipment. It is why there is not one standing factory left in Iraq and why hundreds of modern motors, military planes and armoured cars have been carried away to Iran.

In the first puppet government to be constituted after the invasion, Iran’s auxiliary political groups had manoeuvered to obtain the two important Home and War Offices and the USAmericans had been happy to oblige. The Home Office was granted to Bayan Jabr, an Iranian national ante occupation, afterwards renamed Soulagh, a word which is now used as a substitute for electric drilling machine in Iraq and elsewhere, for the general use he made of this implement to torture the unfortunate Iraqi to death, Sunnites and Shi’ites alike. Inside the Home Office building, where the Iranian Secret Services were present en masse to supervise the massacre of Iraqi patriots, Soulagh’s agents did such a good job at disfiguring their victims that thousands of them could never be identified by their families and had to be buried in anonymous graves. Never, in all the history of Iraq had such savagery and barbary been at work, before the Iranian Safavid death squads came to display their knowhow.

After Soulagh… Negroponte.

When the Iraqi resistance managed to thwart the US plans and those of their Iranian ally, the US Administration sent over ambassador Negroponte, its best expert in the art of mass murder, whose name is linked to the " Salvador option ", which he put in practice when he was sent to Salvador as an " ambassador " by his government. The Salvadorian option is the well-known plan devised by the United States’ Secret Services, in order to eliminate thousands of people deemed " favourable to armed guerilla in Latin America ". The real unmentioned aim was to terrorize the Salvadorian people, so that they stop or refrain from supporting the resistance to US imperialism. Negroponte is responsible for the assassination of tens of thousands in Salvador, where he is known as the worst butcher and the most sadistic tormentor in the country’s history, in the same way as Soulagh the Iranian has won himself the title over the eight thousand years of Iraqi history.

Negroponte was appointed US ambassador for a short period but it was an extremely decisive one. After which he left Iraq, rewarded for his services by being made Head of the US National Security Department. During his short period in office, he delineated with great precision the aims and strategies of all the death squads, in order to extend their scope and efficiency. He also coordinated the actions of the US death squads proper and those of their Israeli colleagues, who had also entered Iraq just after the invasion. He ascribed the same objectives to both.

The US death squads, some of which were led by Ahmed Chalabi, Mouwaffat Rebei and also by kurdish Peshmergas, comprising thousands of mercenaries, both from Iraq and abroad, had one sole and common objective : to propagate terror among the Iraqis. This was the message conveyed by the severed heads shown on TVs and blamed on some groups of the national resistance. The rape of women, the sodomization of men and the mass murder of innocents were also meant to convince Iraqi that the invaders' massacre capacities were boundless. And of course the assassination of political personalities, academics and scientists was meant not only to destroy the country’s cultural and scientific wealth, but also to provoke a religious war and so break Iraq’s unity.

Jalal Talabani      Massoud Barzani

In fact, organizing the death squads is not being done by one sole authority. One might say they are divided in four groups. The first one is headed by the Israeli Mossad, the second by Iran, the third by Barzani and Talabani, and the fourth one by the US Secret Services. All cooperate in the physical elimination of academics, scientists, officers and patriots, as part of a common srategy which consists in bringing about the partition of the country in three separate regions : a Kurdish state up north, a Sunnite state in the center and a Shi’ite state in the South.

The unity in action of Iranian and USAmerican death squads was faced by some problems when the USAmericans became aware of the fact that their occupation of Iraq had not succeeded in achieving their own objective which was to colonize Iraq, but had achieved Israel’s and Iran’s instead. True enough the occupation has succeeded in destroying the Iraqi state and in bringing the country back, economically and industrially, to the Stone Age, as James Baker had promised Tarek Aziz it would, before having it attacked by 30 coalized countries in 1991. But the success is profitable above all to Israel, who considered Iraq, with Saddam Hussein as its leader, as the most serious threat to its security. The dismantling of Iraq is also highly beneficial to Iran, whom Iraq’s victory in 1988 prevented from exporting its Safavid revolution in the rest of the moslem world. Now indeed the way is free for Iran to carry out this project. The USAmericans who succeeded in destroying Iraq with the help of Iran failed to straighten up its ruins and failed to reconstruct by way of their potent contractors, who were to do so subject to extravagant profits. Nor did they succeed in turning Iraq into that instrument they wanted it to become to help them build up their " Great Middle East " or " New Middle East. True enough, they do occupy Iraq, but they have lamentably failed in controlling and exploiting it, and that is why they are the great losers in that war.

What can they chose to do next ? The worst.

When the Iranians realized that their USAmerican allies were about to clip their claws and expel their Secret Services from Iraq, they removed their Iraqi column so as to occupy the South of the country, thus bringing about a religious partition de facto, with all the Shi’ites gathered in one region. The fulfilment of this obvious Safavid objective certainly meets with Israeli and US interests, as far as Iraq’s dismantling is concerned. However, it also debars them from the opportunity of looting such an oil-rich region henceforth under total Iranian domination.

The USAmericans’ reaction came twofold. On the one hand, they encouraged Iran to cut the country in two by creating a southern Iran-controlled federal emirate, on the other they started clipping Iran’s claws elsewhere in the country.

At that point, the explosion at Imam Ali Hedi shrine happened in Samarra. This event constituted a dangerous breakpoint inasmuch as it was soon all too clear that the Iranian Secret Services had done the deed, in complete agreement with their USAmerican associates, in order to unleash a wave of interreligious massacres.

In this connection, the following facts were observed :

  1. From the explosion on, the Sadr Army has taken the lead as far as religious cleansing is concerned, whileas the Badr Brigade and the other Safavid groups have limited their action to plain murders.

     

  2. The Sadr Army proceedings are more barbarous by far than those of the other factions. One notices that if Soulagh manages to eliminate thousands of persons in the secret gaols of the Home Office building, the Sadr Army commit their murders in public, they hold public trials, hookhang and burn their victims’ corpses for all to see, and issue statements in which they claim to be killing Sunnites " to avenge Shi’ite deads ".
  1. The Sadr Army operations usually take place under the protection of US troops and Home Office. In the rare occasions on which they operate on their own without US help, US troopers merely stand by and let them finish their job of killing Iraqi citizens without interfering.

     

  2. In a few occasions the US troops have tried to make themselves less unpopular with some agonizing victims of the Sadrists by building up a punctual operation against some isolated handful of Sadr killers, but never against the whole. Indeed they aim at enlisting the unfortunate survivors in the " new " Iraqi Army, in order to use them in large-scale operations against the Shi’ites, with the keyword : " smash all Iran’s agents ! ".

So the USAmericans are engaged in making Iraq sit on a mountain of Iraqi skulls piled up by other Iraqi who kill under US and Iranian command, with the foreseeable natural consequence of breeding impregnable hates and unquenchable vengeances, in a destroyed and tormented country that is inexorably led to its partition to suit Israeli-Iranian-Us interests.

A glimmer of hope

From the above is appears clearly that the escalating operations of the death squads are revelatory of two things :

  1. the sheer violence of the competition between USAmericans and Iranians, which has led them to bring the country to the verge of total destruction, in order to embezzle a large slice of it (Iran) and to dismember it after having expelled Iran from it (US).

     

  2. the unexpected reality created by an Iraqi resistance including all the Iraqi nationals - Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens, Christians and Moslems, Sunnites and Shi’ites - a resistance indeed that is overcoming its dissensions and hastening to victory over the two circumstancial allies, irresistibly leading them towards a complex confrontation, the first victim of which will be the Iraki people again.

N.B. This paper was first published in 26 September, the daily newssheet of the Yemenites Armed Forces, on December 7, 2006.

*For diplomatic reasons the author did not then mention Iran by name. He does it now as it is published outside Yemen.

Notes

1 – The Safaviyeh or Safavid dynasty (in persian صفویان, Safaviān) ruled Iran from 1501 to 1732. They were the first independant dynasty to do so in almost 1000 years . Originally the Safavids were members of a militant Sufi order, the Kizilbashs. It was their first Safavid ruler Ismail I, who prompted the Iranians to become converted to the Shi’ite doctrin, in order to assert his dynasty’s authority against the dominating Sunni Ottomans. This enabled him to ground a powerful state on a specific identity. The Safavids have used their wealth to convert a great number of Iranians to Shi’a. It is under the first Safavids that Iran became a theocracy : Ismail’s followers acknowledged him as murshid kamil " the perfect leader ", but also as emanating from God.

2 – Muawiya I or Mu’awiya ibn Abî Sufyân (معاوية بن أبي سفيان) was born in 603, the son of one of Prophet Muhammad’s fiercest adversaries : Abu Sufyân ibn Harb. He was the first to assert the Umayyads’ right to rule on a dynastic principle and to take the title of caliph in 661. Indeed he took it from Ali ibn Abi Talib, the son-in-law of Muhammad, after the battle of Siffin, as the result of an arbitration. He died in Damascus in 680. Before his death, he had his sonYazid ibn Muawiyah proclaimed caliph as Yazid I, thereby transforming an elective caliphate into an hereditary one.

Salah Al Mukhtar had worked at the Iraqi mission to the United Nations, then, in the years 1990-1991, at the Arab League as assistant to the Secretary General holding responsibility for Information. In the years 1993-1998 he headed the main Iraqi daily, al Jumhouriya. From 1999 he was Iraqi Ambassador to India and in 2003 to Vietnam.

Salah al Mukhtar lives currently in Yemen. 


STATUTORY DECLARATION - Testimony of Ali Shalal in Kuala Lumpur 07 Feb 2021

I, Ali Sh. Abbas (alias Ali Shalal) of full age and an Iraqi citizen do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare as follows: 

1.            I am 45 years old. 

2.            I now live in Amman, Jordan. 

3.            I was an Islamic education lecturer in the city of Al-Alamiya, Iraq 

4.            The purpose of making this statutory declaration is to put on record my torture experience in the Abu Ghraib prison. 

5.            On the 13th October, 2003 while I was going to prayer in the mosque in Al-Amraya, the American troops arrested me. They tied my hands to the back of my body and put a bag over my head. They took me to a small prison in a U.S. military camp in Al-Amraya. 

6.            The Commander of this military camp, one Captain Philips told me that he had received an order from his superior to arrest him and he did not know the reasons for my arrest. I was left alone in the prison. 

7.            After two days, they transferred me to the Abu Ghraib prison. The first thing they did to me was to make a physical examination of my body and abused me. Together with other detainees, we were made to sit on the floor and were dragged to the interrogation room. This so called room is in fact a toilet (approximately 2m by 2m) and was flooded with water and human waste up to my ankle level. I was asked to sit in the filthy water while the American interrogator stood outside the door, with the translator.  

8.            After the interrogation, I would be removed from the toilet, and before the next detainee is put into the toilet, the guards would urinate into the filthy water in front of the other detainees. 

9.            The first question they asked me was, “Are you a Sunni or Shiia?”  I answered that this is the first time I have been asked this question in my life. I was surprised by this question, as in Iraq there is no such distinction or difference. The American interrogator replied that I must answer directly the questions and not to reply outside the question. He then said that in Iraq there are Sunnis, Shiias and Kurds. 

10.        The interrogators wore civilian clothes and the translator, an Afro-American wore American army uniform. 

11.        When I answered that I am an Iraqi Muslim, the interrogator refused to accept my answer and charged me for the following offence: 

(a) That I am anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic.

(b) I supported the resistance

(c) I instigated the people to oppose the occupation

(d) That I knew the location of Osama bin Ladin 

I protested and said that Muslims and Jews descended from the same historical family. I said that I could not be in the resistance because I am a disabled person and have an injured hand. 

12.        The interrogator accused me that I had injured my hand while attacking the American soldiers. 

13.        The interrogator informed me that they knew that I was an important person in the community and therefore could help them. As an inducement for my cooperation, the interrogator offered medical help for my injured hand. 

14.        When I did not cooperate, the interrogator asked me whether I considered the American army as “liberator” or “occupier”. When I replied that they were occupiers, he lost his temper and threatened me. He told me that I would be sent to Guantanamo Bay where even animals would not be able to survive. 

15.        They took me to another room and took record of my thumb print, a photo of my eye and a sample of my saliva for DNA analysis. After this procedure, they tagged me by putting a band round my wrist with the following particulars: my name, a number, my religious status and whether I had previous arrest. 

16.        They then beat me repeatedly and put me in a truck to transfer me to another part of the Abu Ghraib prison. 

17.        This part of the prison, was in an open space and consisted of five sectors, surrounded by walls and barb wires and was called “Fiji Land”.  Each sector had five tents and surrounded by barb wires. When I was removed from the truck, the soldiers marked my forehead with the words “Big Fish” in red. All the detainees in this camp are considered “Big Fish”. I was located in camp “B”. 

18.        The living conditions in the camp were very bad. Each tent would have 45 to 50 detainees and the space for each detainee measured only 30cm by 30cm. We had to wait for 2 to 3 hours just to go to the toilets. There was very little water. Each tent was given only 60 litres of water daily to be shared by the detainees. This water was used for drinking and washing and cleaning the wounds after the torture sessions. They would also make us to stand for long hours.         

19.        Sometimes, as a punishment, no food is given to us. When food is given, breakfast is at 5.00 am, lunch is at 8.00 am and dinner at 1.00 pm. During Ramadhan, they bring food twice daily, first at 12.00 midnight and the second is given during fasting time to make the detainees break the religious duty of fasting. 

20.        During my captivity in the camp, I was interrogated and tortured twice. Each time I was threatened that I would be sent to Guantanamo Bay prison. During this period, I heard from my fellow detainees that they were tortured by cigarette burns, injected with hallucinating chemicals and had their rectum inserted with various types of instruments, such as wooden sticks and pipes. They would return to the camp, bleeding profusely. Some had their bones broken. 

21.        In my camp, I saw detainees brought over from a secret prison which I came to know later as being housed in the “Arabian Oil Institute” building, situated in the north of Baghdad. These detainees were badly injured. 

22.        After one month and just before sunset my number was called and they put a bag over my head and my hands were tied behind my back. My legs were also tied. They then transferred me to a cell. 

23.        When I was brought to the cell, they asked me in Arabic to strip but when I refused, they tore my clothes and tied me up again. They then dragged me up a flight of stairs and when I could not move, they beat me repeatedly. When I reached the top of the stairs, they tied me to some steel bars. They then threw at me human waste and urinated on me. 

24.        Next, they put a gun to my head and said that they would execute me there.  Another soldier would use a megaphone to shout at me using abusive words and to humiliate me. During this time, I could hear the screams of other detainees being tortured. This went on till the next morning. 

25.        In the morning, an Israeli stood in front of me and took the bag from my head and told me in Arabic that he was an Israeli had interrogated and tortured detainees in Palestine. He told me that when detainees would not cooperate, they would be killed. He asked me repeatedly for names of resistance fighters. I told him that I do not know any resistance fighters but he would not believe me, and continued to beat me. 

26.        This Israeli dressed in civilian clothes tortured me by inserting in turn first with a jagged wooden stick into my rectum and then with the barrel of a rifle. I was cut inside and bled profusely.  During this time, when any guard walked past me, they would beat me. I had no food for 36 hours. 

27.        The next morning, the Israeli interrogator came to my cell and tied me to the grill of the cell and he then played the pop song, “By the Rivers of Babylon” by Pop Group Boney M, continuously until the next morning.  The effect on me was that I lost my hearing, and I lost my mind. It was very painful and I lost consciousness. I only woke up when the Israeli guard poured water on my head and face. When I regain consciousness, he started beating me again and demanded that I tell him of the names of resistance fighters and what activities that I did against the American soldiers. When I told him that I did not know any resistance fighters, he kicked me many times. 

28.        I was kept in the cell without clothes for two weeks. During this time, an American guard by the name of “Grainer” accompanied by a Moroccan Jew called Idel Palm ( also known as Abu Hamid) came to my cell and asked me about my bandaged hand which was injured before I was arrested. I told him that I had an operation. He then pulled the bandage which stained with blood from my hand and in doing so, tore the skin and flesh from my hands. I was in great pain and when I asked him for some pain killers, he stepped on my hands and said “this is American pain killer” and laughed at me.   

29.        On the 15th day of detention, I was given a blanket. I was relieved that some comfort was given to me. As I had no clothes, I made a hole in the centre of the blanket by rubbing the blanket against the wall, and I was able to cover my body. This is how all the prisoners cover their bodies when they were given a blanket. 

30.        One day, a prisoner walked past my cell and told me that the interrogators want to speed up their investigation and would use more brutal methods of torture to get answers that they want from the prisoners. I was brought to the investigation room, after they put a bag over my head. When I entered the investigation room, they remove the bag from my head to let me see the electrical wires which was attached to an electrical wall socket.  

31.        Present in the room was the Moroccan Jew, Idel Palm, the Israeli interrogator, two Americans one known as “Davies” and the other “Federick” and two others. They all wore civilian clothes, except the Americans who wore army uniforms. Idel Palm told me in Arabic that unless I cooperated, this would be my last chance to stay alive. I told him that I do not know anything about the resistance. The bag was then placed over my head again, and left alone for a long time. During this time, I heard several screams and cries from detainees who were being tortured.  

32.        The interrogators returned and forcefully placed me on top of a carton box containing can food. They then connected the wires to my fingers and ordered me to stretch my hand out horizontally, and switched on the electric power.  As the electric current entered my whole body, I felt as if my eyes were being forced out and sparks flying out. My teeth were clattering violently and my legs shaking violently as well. My whole body was shaking all over. 

33.        I was electrocuted on three separate sessions. On the first two sessions, I was electrocuted twice, each time lasting few minutes. On the last session, as I was being electrocuted, I accidentally bit my tongue and was bleeding from the mouth. They stop the electrocution and a doctor was called to attend to me. I was lying down on the floor. The doctor poured some water into my mouth and used his feet to force open my mouth. He then remarked, “There is nothing serious, continue!” Then he left the room. However, the guard stopped the electrocution as I was bleeding profusely from my mouth and blood was all over my blanket and body. But they continued to beat me. After some time, they stopped beating me and took me back to my cell. 

34.        Throughout the time of my torture, the interrogators would take photographs.  

35.        I was then left alone in my cell for 49 days. During this period of detention, they stopped torturing me. At the end of the 49th day, I was transferred back to the camp, in tent C and remained there for another 45 days. I was informed by a prisoner that he over heard some guards saying that I was wrongly arrested and that I would be released. 

36.        I was released in the beginning of March 2004.  I was put into a truck and taken to a highway and then thrown out.  A passing car stopped and took me home. 

37.        As a result of this experience, I decided to establish an association to assist all torture victims, with the help of twelve other tortured victims. 

38.        I feel very sad that I have to remember and relive this horrible experience again and again, and I hope that the Malaysian people will answer our call for help. God willing. 

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act 1960. 

Subscribed and solemnly declared by the

above named Ali Sh. Abbas alias Ali Shalal on      February 2007 at Kuala Lumpur through the interpretation of ABBAS Z. ABID (Iraqi Passport No. S379532) with the said ABBAS Z. ABID having been first affirmed that he had truly, distinctly, and audibly translated the contents of this Statutory Declaration to the deponent Ali Sh. Abbas alias Ali Shalal and that he would truly and faithfully interpret the affirmation about to be administered unto him the said Ali Sh. Abbas alias Ali Shalal.

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……………………………………….

…………………………………

Name: ABBAS Z. ABID

(Iraqi Passport No. S379532)

Before me, 

Commissioner of Oaths,

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


STATUTORY DECLARATION - Testimony of Abbas Abid in Kuala Lumpur 07 Feb 2021

I, Abbas Z. Abid (Iraqi Passport No: S379532) of full age and an Iraqi citizen do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare as follows: 

1.      I am 43 years old. 

2.      I live in Fallujah, a city in Iraq. 

3.      I am an Electrical Engineer. Prior to my arrest and detention, I was the Chief Engineer in the Science and Technology Ministry in Baghdad. 

4.      The purpose of making this statutory declaration is to put on record my torture experience when I was detained in the “Al-Jadiria” prison. 

5.      This was originally an underground shelter, but was converted into a secret prison. 

6.      On the evening of 28th of August 2005, about 10pm, a combined force of American forces and National Guards launched a raid on my brother's house. The force consisted of four American Humvees filled with American soldiers and twelve trucks loaded with Iraqi soldiers. More than 15 American and Iraqi soldiers entered the house in a terrifying manner. 

7.      My nephews came to my house crying for my help as my brother was not at home that night. I stay nearby my brother. 

8.      I went to my brother's house and welcomed the soldiers and introduced my self as the chief engineer in the Science and Technology Ministry, and told them that my brother is not available for the time being and that I'm ready to answer any questions. They told me that they're searching the house for incriminating evidence. And when not finding anything illegal in the house, the Commander turned to a table in the living room that was used for studying by my nephews. 

9.      He began to search the table and asked, “Why so many holy books? It's just too many!” I told him that every one in the family has his own holy book. He then examined some papers on the table which were articles downloaded from the internet from various sites - some referred to the violence in Iraq, the future of Iraq and some referred to political figures like Ahmed Al-Jalaby. The Commander asked, “What is this?” and since I didn't know the contents of those papers, I took a quick look at them and told him that they are various articles concerning the situation in Iraq. He said, “I'll take them and show them to my superiors.” He took the articles and the five holy books on the table and left the house. 

10.    At the front door one of his soldiers whispered something in his ears so he came back and asked me, “What kind of a car is your brother driving?”  “Where is it now?” I told him that it is an Opel Omega and it's in our father's garage. The Commander then told me that he wanted to check my father’s house. 

11.    They searched and found nothing in my father’s house. The soldiers then told me that I was to follow them for further questioning. 

12.    I was first brought to the Al-Muthanna Brigade Head-Quarters for questioning. They beat me up and demanded to know the names of “terrorists” in my neighbourhood. I told them that I did not know any terrorists. But they did not believe me and continue to beat me. They even electrocuted me and threatened to shoot me. The American took part in the torture and would provide beer to the investigators and guards. I know this because I can hear and understand English. 

13.    Soon after my detention, the son of my cousin was also detained and he was tortured in order to get a testimony against me. He was released after 18 days of torture and after he had made a false statement against me. 

14.    I was detained at the Al-Muthana Brigade HQ for four weeks and then transferred to the Al-Jadiria prison. The following detainees were transferred with me:

         Hameed Kameel Shared

         Taha Hussein

         Readh Mustafa

         Rabah Mahmoud

         Basim Hammed Khalaf

         Fauzi Kareem

         Muhanned Eesaa                   

 

15.    There, I was again tortured. My torture consisted of the following:   

a.   Hitting with various tools (thick cudgels, cables, metal pipes, metal ribbons); 

b.   Electric shocks in various parts of the body and especially the penis; 

c.   Forcing me to drink allot of water mixed with a diuretic solution, and my penis then tied with a rubber band to prevent me from urinating;  

d.   Hanging me from the wall while hanging weights from my penis for long hours; 

e.   Threaten to sexually assault me; 

f.    Play with my sexual organs;  

g.   Frightening me by shooting a gun around, near and above my head; 

h.   Threaten to sexually abuse my wife and my mother after bringing them to the prison; 

i.    Cut off all food or drinks (except the water I was forced to drink with the diuretic solution) during the investigation period; 

j.    Forcefully extracting my finger nails; 

k.   Hanging me from the wall for long hours until I fainted - the hanging method is by handcuffing my hands to the back and then hang me up from the handcuffed hands so that my shoulder get dislocated; 

l.    Hanging me from the wall and then hitting me with several tools of torture until the hand-cuffs breaks. That happened many times; 

16.    Other detainees suffered from the following tortures: 

a.  Forcing detainees to have sex with other inmates; 

b.  Their bodies being drilled with a “Black & Decker” drill; 

c.   Cutting pieces of flesh from the body with a grinding machine; 

d.   Burning various parts of the bodies with cigarettes and melted nylon; 

e.   Inserting solid objects in the rectum with wooden sticks, pipes and a vacuum cleaner hose pipe; 

f.    Make to stand for long hours.     

17.    I was forced to sign a statement without reading or knowing what's in it because they put a bag over my head. This they do to all prisoners. 

18.  I was then thrown in the corridor with the bag over my head for long hours. I was then moved to a small room ( 2.5m by 2.5m) together with 30 other detainees; then after three days I was moved to another nearby room (7m by 3.5m) and there were about 70 detainees there. The numbers increased afterwards and reached about 115 in that room. 

19.  They put the bag over my head for over two months and only remove it when I am given food. Some prisoners would have the bag over their head for over five months. I've seen many unbelievable things in that room such as follows:  

a.   There was not enough room for everybody, so the detainees were sitting and sleeping over each other and most of them suffered from burns and frictions and severe wounds, some of them were infected with contagious diseases like TB and scabies.  

b.   Everybody used to urinate in plastic bottles placed near the door. Visits to the toilet are made once every 4 days.

c.   We were separated in groups of 15 detainees. A detainee is allowed only 1 minute in the WC and then he had to leave to let another one in. On any other occasion during the four days intervals, we have to discharge our human waste in the plastic bags given to us and right in front of everybody. These bags were used to bring food and we kept them for this purpose. These toilet bags were placed near the plastic bottles at the door. Because it is so crowded, the bottles and bags get knocked over and the waste would be spread all over the room. Those bottles and bags were emptied once every four days when we went to the WC. Whenever we went to the WC and on our return, we would be beaten by the guards. 

d.   The guards would offer inducements to convince some of the detainees to report on other detainees about what they know or hear or think and they would sometimes make up stories about their fellow detainees to avoid the torture. 

e.   Detainees who have names like “Omar”, “Baker”, “Marwan” which indicate that they are Sunnis, would receive particular attention from the guards who would yell at them and calling them “son of a bitch”, “bastard” and other humiliating terms.  

f.    No medical care was available at all, and detainees were left to die from their injuries caused by torture. While I was at the prison, the following detainees died, namely: 

      Alaa Khareeb Hassan

      Mohammed Khadim

      Husham Abbas

      Omar Ali Mohammed

      Khalid Younis Muhseen

      Ali Farhan Mohamed

      Waheed Mahmoud Abdullah

      Haitham Radhi

 

      20.    Each group of five detainees was given a 2ltr bottle of water once every  2-3 days; When thirst became unbearable, some of the detainees drunk from the urine bottles in the room.  

21.    Some of the guards in this prison have mobile phones with tones and songs in the Iranian language and they would talk in a language which I do not understand. 

22.    Even though the Al-Jadiria prison is under the control of the Minister of Interior, American troops have visited the prison many times and therefore cannot deny the existence of such a prison. Yet in the media, they deny knowing it and deliberately try to give the impression that in this prison, only Iraqis soldiers are torturing fellow Iraqis to distract attention from the tortures in Abu Ghraib.   

23.    On the 5th of September 2006 I was brought to a court, and the judge ruled that I should be set free for the lack of evidence. 

24.    I was released on the 2nd of October 2006 with three of my inmates, one of them was Syrian. At the prison's gate my brother was waiting for me in his car and he hired a group of police officers to secure me and to ensure that I reached home safely. I asked my inmates to come with us but they refused. Two cars followed us, a BMW and a Toyota Crown both with black windows. But we were able to evade them. 

25.    Later, I found out that the inmates who were released with me were killed and buried in (Al-Najaf) cemetry and their parents had to pay huge sums of money to reclaim their bodies from Najaf for re-burial in Baghdad. 

26.    I stayed about an hour in my house and then moved to another house to stay for a few days. I then left my beloved country. 

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act 1960 

Subscribed and solemnly declared by the    )

above named Abbas Z. Abid                     )          

at Kuala Lumpur on the 7th day of February  )

2006 )

 

Before me, 

Commissioner for Oaths

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


STATUTORY DECLARATION - Testimony of Abbas Abid on the Fallujah massacre - Kuala Lumpur 07 Feb 2007 

I, Abbas Z. Abid (Iraqi Passport No: S379532) of full age and an Iraqi citizen do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare as follows:

1.       I am 43 years old. 

2.      I live in Fallujah, a city in Iraq. 

3.      I am an Electrical Engineer. Prior to my arrest and detention, I was the Chief Engineer in the Science and Technology Ministry in Baghdad. 

4.       The purpose of making this statutory declaration is to put on record what I have personally witnessed in the city of Fallujah prior to and after the invasion of my country by the US armed forces. 

5.      I would like to explain the conditions in Fallujah in the following manner: 

         (i)    Prior to US Invasion – During Economic Sanctions     

(A)   Water and Electricity 

There was not much water and electricity supply for the people. Every night the people will wait for water from the underground pipes and they would store them in their own storage tanks. There are also times when there is no water at all.  

The people had to obtain their own generators for electricity supply.  

The City is divided into sectors. Each sector may have 1 or more generators to distribute electricity to the houses in that sector. The people only obtained 2-4 hours of electricity in 1 day. 

(B)   The Health Conditions  

There were about 1 million people living in Fallujah city and there is only 1 hospital for them which is situated across the Euphrates River. There are small medical treatment centres distributed in the city to treat simple medical cases. Medication is difficult to obtain and very costly. 

(C)   Recreation Facilities  

There were some parks for the children to play.  There were also some arcade/entertainment shops for the children to play computer games. There was also one cinema. 

(D)   Religious Places of Worship 

There were more than 100 mosques constructed in the city and Fallujah city is considered a religious/ Muslim city for the people. All the people residing in the city are Muslims. 

(ii)    After the US Invasion    

(A)   Security Situation 

After the invasion by the American army in Iraq, Fallujah city was not occupied immediately by any US troops. About four months later, American troops entered the Fallujah city and divided themselves into different groups. The different groups will use the Government Buildings and the schools as their military base and/or location. These buildings were surrounded by high barb wire fences. 

The American troops allowed Iraqi army camps and bases to be unguarded.  There were lots of weapons and ammunitions in these camps. Because there was no security and law and order, people took these arms and weapons to protect themselves. This was planned by the American troops as they wanted a civil war to erupt between the Iraqi people. 

At the time, the US troops did not think that the Iraqi people would oppose the occupation and fight them and that we would welcome them as liberators. They did not understand that the Iraqi people oppose occupation and did not want any foreign troops in their country. 

(B)  The Killing of Fallujah’s Children 

The violence first started when some children below the age of 16 demonstrated in the streets of Fallujah city against the American occupation of their school and the invasion of Iraq. When the demonstration reached the school, the American troops shot these children and killed 16 of them. One of them was my nephew. This killing of Fallujah’s children was the beginning of the war in Fallujah city. 

After the shooting, some of the relatives of the murdered children, decided to fight the American troops for killing their children. This response occurred at the time when the resistance fighters throughout Iraq began their resistance against US occupation. 

         (C)  The Killing of Foreigners 

The massive destruction of Fallujah was the response by the occupying forces to the killing of some foreigners. One day, 3 four wheel drive vehicles entered the Fallujah city from the East of Fallujah. When they reached the centre of the City near the traffic lights, a group of unknown men wearing masks appeared from the side of the streets and approached these 3 four wheel drive vehicles which was stationary at the traffic lights and shot all the passengers inside the said vehicles. These men pulled the bodies out of the said vehicles and severed the bodies into small parts. They took one of the bodies and tied it to a moving vehicle and dragged it along the streets of Fallujah city. They also hung the smaller parts of the severed bodies on the electrical distribution wires in the city overlooking the streets. 

         After the killings, these unknown men disappeared. Those bodies were not Iraqi people and the Fallujah residents do not know who they are. Fallujah city people did not recognise them and still do not know who these people are.  

         American troops gave an ultimatum that unless the City Council bring these killers/masked men to the American troops, they would destroy the city. The problem was that the Fallujah people did not recognise and did not know who these killers were and could not catch hold of them. Hence, they could not surrender these killers to the American troops.

         When the city authorities could not comply with the demands to hand over the killers, the American troops destroyed the city. The US troops mounted a big military operation. I believe that this operation to destroy the city was made to punish the people of Fallujah. 

         Additionally, Fallujah was also an important centre of Iraqi resistance to the occupation forces. The American troops used the killing of the people in the three four wheel vehicles as an excuse and reason to destroy Fallujah city and its people. 

         (D)   The First Military Operations 

The military operation continued for about 2 months and the majority of the citizens left their houses and fled outside of Fallujah waiting for the end of the military operation. The fighting was between some of the Fallujah residents defending themselves from the attacks of the American troops. 

         When the military operation ended, the American troops could not enter the city. The Iraqi Government made a deal between the defenders and the attackers. The situation in Fallujah became a lot better and things were calmer. The Fallujah people who fled outside of Fallujah then returned to their homes. 

         (E)   The Second Military Operations 

About 6 months later, the American troops again attacked the city as they could not accept their earlier defeat at Fallujah.  This time, the American troops used all sorts of weapons like planes, heavy tanks, heavy canons, missiles and weapons with traces of uranium substances.  They killed a lot of people with this method. The football field became a cemetery to bury the Fallujah people who died. Injured Fallujah people were not allowed to be admitted into the hospital. They were left in the open to die.  

         The American troops this time destroyed a lot of houses, roads, the electrical distribution networks, destroyed the underground pipes and terminated the supply of water, destroyed a lot of shops and the industrial regions.  There was just too much destruction in Fallujah for me to list them down individually. The whole city was destroyed. 

The people were also killed. Properties inside these houses were also destroyed. They made sure there was nothing left. 

During the military operations, there were daily checking of houses in the the city by the American and Government forces to detain resistance forces. Houses were also broken into. Everything inside these houses was totally destroyed. This still goes on till today. 

         All the small medical treatment centres which I had mentioned earlier were destroyed as well as medical supplies. Although there is 1 hospital across the Euphrates River, it was impossible to cross the river to be admitted to the hospital, because the US troops would not allow people to cross the river, even by boats. The most difficult cases were the pregnant women who had to leave Fallujah before delivering their child as they needed a safer place for the delivery to take place. These women had to seek refuge in other places outside Fallujah by staying with relatives or friends. The situation is the same today. 

6.      There is still a curfew from 6pm to 6am everyday. Fallujah people are not allowed to go outside their houses. Also, sometimes, they decided to block the roads during the day, making travelling very difficult. 

7.      Till today, the American troops would occupy a certain house and stay in it for 3 to 4 days and prevent any of the members in the family to go outside. They separate the whole family in one room. Even when someone wants to go to the toilet, they must obtain permission from the American soldiers. 

8.      Till today, all entry into Fallujah by residents required a badge prepared by the American troops. Fallujah residents had to endure long queues during these checks. The process takes 2 to 3 hours before entry is allowed. Sometimes, the American troops prevent the residents of Fallujah from going outside of Fallujah. And they also prevent people outside of Fallujah to enter Fallujah. 

9.      The majority of schools have been neglected. Some have been destroyed completely. The teachers sometimes do not attend schools because of the blocked roads. The pupils do not always attend school as they are afraid of the American troops who are shooting bullets in the air and entering their schools looking for evidence of terrorism. The level of education has been decreasing tremendously. 

10.    Living conditions are very bad. 

a)   For example, there is not much fuel supply for vehicles. Drivers have to wait for approximately 5 hours in long queues to fill up their vehicle tanks with fuel. Yet Iraq is an oil exporting country. People cannot get fuel, kerosene or gas for cooking and heating.

b)   There is only electricity supply for only two hours per day. 

c)   The government supply water only for 1-3 hours in every three days. 

d)   There are no people to maintain the cleanliness and hygiene of the city. The City Council failed to provide such services for the city and for its people. The sewerage system has broken down completely.  

e)   There are no more community parks, fields and entertainment centres for the children and the people. 

f)    There is very few employment opportunities in Fallujah city. The citizens who use to have jobs in the industrial regions no longer have their jobs to hold on to as the American troops have destroyed their work places and the shops they used to work in. 

g)   The people who stayed in shop houses were forced to leave as the American troops would enter with their guns and destroy everything in the shops. Hence, the people all became jobless. 

h)   Agriculture activities in neighbouring regions were decreasing to a state where they eventually had to stop because the people from these regions were not allowed to enter Fallujah to sell their food supply to the Fallujah residents. 

11.    There is no real government in the city to enforce rules and regulations. Killings can happen anytime and anywhere and no one would be arrested or held responsible for such killings and murders.

12.    Fallujah residents can no longer go to Baghdad because there are a lot of control check-points. Very often at these check-points Fallujah residents are killed and their bodies are left in the streets. 

13.    The American troops have many snipers in many high buildings throughout the Fallujah city and they killed anyone and no one knows why. 

And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declarations Act 1960.

 

Subscribed and solemnly declared by          )

the above named Abbas Z. Abid               )          

at Kuala Lumpur on the 7th day of                   )

February 2007 )

 

Before me, 

Commissioner for Oaths

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia