Monday, November 13, 2006


President Bush held a press conference on October 25, 2006. I'd like to make comments about some of what he said.

"… They've cleared (American and Iraqi forces)neighborhoods of terrorists and death squads"

I don't go with this since terrorists turned to new tactics. Assassins are touring Baghdad's neighborhoods, kidnapping and killing people blatantly. Cold blood killers are patrolling Baghdad streets in their cars fearing nobody. One could witness and hear many incidents of killing innocent people. More than five killing incidents took place at the same spot (in front of an elementary school) on different days within the past month with the same scenario. A car stops; one or two victims dragged blindfolded & handcuffed out of the car; shot dead at the spot; the car flees the place. Time of execution: 9-11 am!! The killers are anonymous; the victims are anonymous (they are left with no IDs).

Twelve persons were killed within eight hours in a neighborhood of about 300 houses. One was killed in front of a heavy guarded bank. One of another three, who have been killed, ran away from the killers, but they chased him into a grocery filled with customers and shot him dead. Again none of the two sides is known.

The terrorists are training new generation of thugs. Teenagers on motor scooters tour the streets looking for victims. The victim is nominated by elder thugs escorting the teens in two cars (the cars are for watching, protecting and intervening in case of emergency). Another neighborhood witnessed the killing of five victims within one hour. A woman driving her daughter from school was shot dead & the daughter was injured.

A plumber in his store was chatting with two of his friends when a teenager entered asking for a monkey wrench to buy. The plumber answered him 'These are my working tools, but you can buy one from that store' pointing at a nearby one. The killer left the store, but after few meters he turned back, entered the plumber's store again, dragged a gun and shot the man dead. Then he left to a motor scooter which was waiting for him and fled the location.

It is the same policy of Saddam. A stark example was adding his son Qusay to the execution squad which shot Saddam's comrades in 1979. Qusay was around twelve years old. The comrades were sentenced to death by Saddam because they opposed him to be the president. It is training of new killers. Another example was firing five shots of an AK-47 gun weekly in every school during the flag salutation ceremony on Thursdays. One would imagine what kind of psychological effects could appear on a child of six years old.

People are astonished how bunches of thugs could pass through check points without being noticed, especially those who are accompanied by their handcuffed blindfolded victims. Some suggestions say that the police officers or army soldiers do not want to risk their lives by confronting the thugs or being killed by a suicide bomber who might detonate his car at the check point. On the other hand one can come across many police convoys parading in the streets, showing off by shouting at people and shooting their guns in the air to make their way through the busy streets.

Iraq has been invaded by the most advanced nation in the world. Still, the ways used to deal with security problems do not reveal innovation. No advanced technology is used in surveillance, tracing criminal evidence, reconstruction…etc. Dealing with the Americans on the ground made the Iraqis change the way they had perceived them. This goes for the insurgents.

I recall stories of the terrified Iraqi soldiers, members of the republican guards and Saddam's special guards speaking about the impenetrable American troops and armors. They fled the battle field reciting unbelievable stories about the American troops that can not be defied or confronted. These stories go back to the 'shock & awe' time in the early days of Iraq War. Day after day, the Iraqis have changed their perception of the Americans by realizing that they are vulnerable.

President Bush said:
"We learned some key lessons from that early phase in the war. We saw how quickly al Qaeda and other extremist groups would come to Iraq to fight and try to drive us out…As the enemy shifts tactics, we are shifting our tactics, as well."

It is strange to hear such words from the leader of the supreme power. President Bush is drawing a sketch of the way to deal with insurgency based on striking back not taking the lead in action by the MNF.