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Wednesday, October 29, 2003 The Red Cross and Terrorism The Red Cross have started pulling out their personnel. A friend of mine who works with the Red Crescent said that they were going to try to pull out most of their personnel, while trying to continue with what they're doing- humanitarian assistance. When I heard Nada Domani, the head of the ICRC in Iraq, say that they'd begin pulling out their personnel on Tuesday, I wished I could yell out, "Don't abandon us Nada!" But I realize that their first priority is to ensure the safety of their employees. The Red Cross is especially important at this point because they are the 'link' that is connecting the families of the detainees and the military. When someone suddenly disappears, people go to the Red Cross and after a few grueling days, the missing person can often be tracked down at one of the prison camps or prisons. The easy and na�ve thing to do would be to blame the whole situation on fundamentalists/extremists/terrorists/loyalists/ba'athists/foreigners which many people, apparently, think are one and the same. Another trend in western media is to blame the whole of them on the 'Sunni triangle' and 'neighboring countries'. There are *several* groups orchestrating the attacks against the various targets. The first and most obvious indicator is the method of attack, while the second indicator is the variety of the targets. The techniques being used in the attacks range from primitive, to professional. We hear that some of the explosive devices being used are home-made and uncomplicated, obviously made by amateurs. We know for a fact that there are high-tech attacks against Coalition headquarters- like at the Baghdad International Airport and some of the palaces where high-ranking army personnel are located. On some of these places, like the airport, missiles are being used which is an indicator that the source of the attack is a highly trained group. One of my uncles lives in one of the areas closer to the airport, which is on the outskirts of Baghdad. During June, we spent a couple of weeks with him. Almost every night, we would wake up to a colossal explosion that seems to be coming from the direction of the airport and less than a minute later, the helicopters would begin hovering overhead. Another example of a high-tech attack, was the attack on Rasheed Hotel a few days ago, where Wolfowitz was shocked and awed out of a meeting. (I don't understand why the CPA is trying very hard to pretend the attack had nothing to do with his presence there). The majority associate such attacks with resistance and many people believe that they are being carried out by people with access and knowledge of advanced military equipment- perhaps Iraqis who were a part of the Guard or former members of the Iraqi army. Now, while some may certainly be labeled as Ba'athists, or loyalists, they aren't fundamentalists. We do, after all, have hundreds of thousands of disgruntled former military personnel and soldiers who were made to sit at home without retirement, a pension or any form of compensation. The relatively few who were promised a monthly 'retirement wage', complain that they aren't getting the money. (I can never emphasize enough the mistake of dissolving the army� was anyone thinking when they came up with that decision?!) New resistance groups are popping up every day. The techniques are becoming more sophisticated and we even hear of 'menshoorat' being passed around. Menshoorat are underground 'fliers'. The suicide bombings, on the other hand, are more often attributed to fundamentalist groups. To say that these groups are fighting to bring back the former regime is ridiculous: People chose to ignore the fact that the majority of fundamentalists were completely against the former regime because members of Al Qaeda, Ansar Al Islam, Al Da'awa and other political fundamentalist groups were prone to detention, exile and in some cases, execution. These groups are both Sunni and Shi'a fundamentalist groups (as the attacks on the British and Polish troops in the southern region have proven). Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack on Baghdad Hotel a couple of weeks ago, while in the south, people swear that one of Al Hakim's personal bodyguards helped to conspire with his assassination (which would explain how a car full of explosives made it through his personal army of bodyguards and into the parking area where his own car was). The irony is hearing about the 'War on Terrorism' on CNN and then tuning in to the CPA channel to see the Al-Da'awa people sitting there, polished and suited, Puppet Knights of the Round Table. To see Al-Jaffari, you almost forget that they had a reputation for terrorism over the decades, here in Iraq. They were one of the first political/religious groups to use bombings in Iraq to get their political message across to the people. Their most famous debacle was one that occurred in 1980. One of the most prominent universities in Iraq, Mustansiriya University, was hosting a major, international conference on economics for various international youth groups. Tariq Aziz, who was then the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Iraq, was visiting the conference during the opening. Suddenly, in the middle of thousands of students from over 70 international and Iraqi youth organizations, two bombs exploded, killing 2 students and injuring dozens. The next day, while a demonstration of outraged students was following the funeral procession to a local graveyard, two more bombs were thrown in their midst, killing two high school students. Al-Da'awa later claimed responsibility. Later that same year, in an attempt to assassinate the president of the University of Technology in Baghdad, they instead killed one of the university custodians who stood in their way. In the '70s, members of Al Da'awa used to throw 'acid' in the faces of 'safirat' or females who don't wear the 'hijab', both in certain parts of Baghdad, and in certain areas in the south of Iraq. Shi'a clerics who didn't agree with their violent message, were often assassinated or assaulted. The fact that they are currently one of the leading political parties involved with the "New Iraq" sends a wonderful message to 'terrorist organizations': Bombing works, terror works. People here are terrified we'll end up another Afghanistan� that these fundamentalist groups the CPA is currently flirting with are Iraq's Taliban. Finally, there are all those strange, mystery attacks that no one understands and even the most extreme members of society can't condone or legitimatize. One such attack includes the attack on the UN headquarters. No one claimed responsibility for that. Another such attack was the bombing of the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad� the Red Cross, the police stations... Many people believe that Al-Chalabi and his party are responsible for such incidents. Some of his guards are trained terrorists... Al Chalabi arrived in April with a militia of Free Iraqi Fighters who, after several weeks of car hijacking, a few abductions, and some even say assassinations, suddenly disappeared� his 600+ thugs were supposedly 'interpreters'. I have very limited information on them, but someone said they were trained in Hungary? Today, people think they are acting as a sort of secret militia responsible for many of the assassinations and explosions all over Baghdad. I'll blog about Ramadhan tomorrow� there's so much to tell. - posted by river @ 9:31 PM Riverbend and Multiple Personalities... No, I do not have Multiple Personality Disorder. Many of you have pointed out a fake "Baghdad Burning" site at riverSbend.blogspot.com (notice the 'S'). It is not being run by me in parallel to my own site- I knew it existed for some time now (a friend pointed it out to me in late September). Apparently, someone was so angry at my site, they decided to make an identical site named "Baghdad Burning" being written by, supposedly, me. The contents are almost completely opposite to what I write- and most of the posts are just copied and pasted from different sources (mostly USA government sources). When I first noticed it, the first post was on September 11, I think. It was about American troops and Iraqi women falling in love with each other, etc. etc. Apparently, someone pointed out the fact that while the fake BB site began in September, my site began in August. Soooooooo, our fraud backdated his posts and created some hollow, silly archives dating back to July. Anyone who uses Blogger knows how easy that is. I wrote to Blogger, telling them about the site and how the person was pretending to be me, they said that if I wanted to make an official complaint, I had to mail in (by snail-mail) a letter complaining that someone was stealing the contents of my site. Besides my identity, the only thing the fraud has stolen is the line I use, "I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend" And yes, this is MY line- it's a line from a poem I wrote for a friend? perhaps one day I'll post the complete poem. A great guy named Brian has been following this fraud carefully. Check out the site http://suzerainty.blogspot.com for details. Another blogger has more information on the culprit, check out: http://www.gorenfeld.net/john/blog.html Thank you both of you. Now, while I am very flattered there are people out there taking so much trouble to prove me wrong, I am rather annoyed that it wasn't all done with better style. I mean, the guy who runs the fake site is retired, for God's sake- he has all the time in the world to make me look bad. I think it only fair to demand he should have put in a little more effort. Furthermore, I don't like the way many words are misspelled and that the grammar is just atrocious in an apparent attempt to make it look more "Iraqi"- or maybe that's just the way this person actually writes. My favorite post is the first one, supposedly written on July 6: "Time to Blog! We finally returned to my Baghdad. The evening walks along the river are much refreshing. We were living with relatives near Erbul for the better part of five months. al-Jazeera kept us informed regarding the war. I gasped and held my breath not believing as we watched Baghdad burning." The Real Riverbend's Comment: Huh? Erbul? Where is that? Somewhere between Kirkuk and Erbil?! Give me a break. Another part I loved was one of the posts describing how the dear 'girl' got a tour of Baghdad Airport (which no one is allowed near): please don't miss that one- the blogger might change it. I can't decide which is worse- the dry stuff copied and pasted directly from governmental sites, or when Troy gets lyrical and writes how 'walks along the river are much refreshing'. The writer of the fake riverSbend site is someone named Troy who is ex-military, retired, and a GOP Team Leader (?): El Solerito Troy, Artist, HAM, Korean War, Reg. Army & USAF Retired, MOPH L38342 Unit 1849, Phi Theta Kappa, RNC 146441197-D186, GOP Team Leader, NRA 040959746 One thing our friend Troy didn't take into consideration while writing the blog was the following: Even if you backdate your archives, the month you originally started with won't contain the faked archives. If you check out the September archives for the fake riverSbend blog, you'll see that the list of archives on the left only dates back to September- which is when the blog originally started!! Finally, thank you, dear Troy- the fake riverSbend- for trying to imitate Baghdad Burning- I am flattered. However, 1. You make a horrible 24-year-old girl from 'Erbul', 2. When you copy and paste stuff from articles and sites, try to make sure the date *you* post them on isn't before the original date the material was posted, and 3. Find a hobby- get a cat, grow a garden, play chess, golf- i.e. Get a life. Drop Troy a line- he obviously has lots of time to correspond- he has several email addresses, this is one of them: firstname.lastname@example.org Brian over at suzerainty.blogspot.com has several more. - posted by river @ 9:31 PM __________________________________ Do you Yahoo!? Exclusive Video Premiere - Britney Spears http://launch.yahoo.com/promos/britneyspears/ _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk