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[casi] From Riverbend Wednesday October 29

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
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

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

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 (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

A great guy named Brian has been following this fraud
carefully. Check out the site for details. Another
blogger has more information on the culprit, check
out: 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

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:
Brian over at has several

- posted by river @ 9:31 PM

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