Shia militia rules Baghdad streets, US forces surround Fallujah, arrest warrant for fiery cleric in Iraq
US helicopter gun-ships opened fire as tanks rumbled through Baghdad's sprawling Shuala district yesterday, but teenage militiamen with guns and knives were firmly in control when the clashes ended.
Young boys jumped up and down on a U.S. military truck that had been attacked and set ablaze in a symbolic victory for radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose militiamen are challenging US forces in several cities across Iraq.
Supporters of the cleric rioted in Baghdad and four other Iraqi cities, sparking fighting that killed at least 50 Iraqis, eight US troops and a Salvadoran soldier, in the worst unrest since the spasm of looting and arson immediately after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
The fiercest battle took place Sunday in the streets of Sadr City, Baghdad's largest Shia neighborhood, where Shia militiamen fired from rooftops and behind buildings at US troops, killing seven Americans. At least 28 Iraqis were killed in the fighting, a doctor at one local hospital said Monday.
In fighting in the holy city of Najaf Sunday, two soldiers -- a Salvadoran and an American -- died and at least nine other soldiers were wounded, the Spanish Defense Ministry said. Twenty-two Iraqis died and more than 200 were wounded, said Falah Mohammed, director of the Najaf health department.
Hundreds of US and Iraqi troops in tanks, trucks and other vehicles surrounded the turbulent city of Fallujah yesterday ahead of a major operation against insurgents in retaliation for the grisly slayings of four American security contractors last week.
Explosions and gunfire could be heard coming from the center of the city. Streets on the outskirts were largely deserted.
Dan Senor, a senior spokesman for the U.S. led authorities in Iraq, said an Iraqi judge had issued an arrest warrant for Sadr several months ago in connection with the killing of another Shia cleric last year.
Sadr, surrounded by armed followers, is staging a sit-in at a mosque in Kufa, south of Baghdad. Asked when he would be arrested, Senor said: "There will be no advance warning." The announcement was likely to stir fresh fury among Sadr's thousands of supporters.
Sadr's Mehdi Army has said for months it is ready for holy war against the Americans if the order comes, and the militia displayed its zeal and organizational skills Monday in Shuala, a teeming Shia area.
Officials in Sadr's local headquarters said U.S. troops backed by helicopters mounted an incursion into Shuala in the morning, firing tank-mounted machineguns from a distance.
"People came out from their homes when they saw what was happening. U.S. troops fled when a (tank) transporter in the convoy was seized and set on fire," said Sheikh Ali, carrying a pistol and wearing a "Fine Surfing Gear" sweatshirt.
"Look what they have done," he added, pointing to bullet holes in the walls of the Sadr group's office.
There was no firm word on casualties in the strike, thought to be the first of its kind inside Baghdad since the war that toppled Saddam Hussein nearly a year ago, but an anti-U.S. cleric said five people were killed and 10 wounded.
By the early afternoon, the militiamen ruled the streets, with only a few bursts of gunfire in the distance.
Source: The Daily Star
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You totally missed the point, bureaucratic organizations function under the guise of democracy, where in areas of bureaucracy, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing! This is the problem, and you cannot deny the relationship between bureaucratic organizatiosn with democracy here in the West. Without them, you wouldn't have the very cunning and manipulative system that you have today where it seems like we are all totally free and are not being cheated, but anyone who works in the field of public administration, even within the bureau (police), or banks, they will tell you the same thing I am...Public Administration/bureaucratic functions of a nation are intertwined with the concept of democracy. Unfortunately when a new power comes in, these intricacies within the system are manipulated without the majority of the population knowing what they have done or not. Not only at that level is there a serious offence of not letting the public know of their actions, but also for example, a Minister who is part of a premier's or the Prime Minister's cabinet, the public administrators who work under him/her, when they are instructed to do their jobs, one task which is very closely related to another, is separated into two tasks or TWO departments, and like I said earlier, the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, and therefore spurns inefficiency, lack of organizations, many mistakes, and it is not really their fault...it is ultimately because of the stupid decisions made by democratic, representative Members of Parliament who make stupid decisions about issues which they have no idea about.
Then again I expect nothing less from bible thumping armageddon terrorists who have the world to its current state. Murderous psychopaths who will be relegated to the dustbin of history.
Go take Public ADministration courses in your local universities...I'd recommend Cornell, Georgetown, and George Mason University....and you'll learn hte intricate dependency of bureaucratic institutions and public administrators have with the so called DEMOCRATIC PROCESS. Otherwise..keep ranting and raving as if you know so much about Toronto's system.
You may address my comments as being unrelated to democracy, but if you picked up any public administration text book or any institution under the political system of Canada, you would realize that first of all, I am not from America, I am speaking about Canadian institutions, and then you would realize that the bureaucratic processes of setting up an infinite number of mechanisms within a democracy are basically controlled by public administrators.
The banks here are crown corporations...they are controlled by the Federal government in power
Yes Ronni I work very hard day in adn day out, but I am nothing but a mere number to the system, I am not complaining about my personal finances...what you should open your eyes to is the fact that this is a particular type of system where YES cheques are held for 5 business days if they are from one institution to another. They are held for 3 business days EVEN if they are from the same bank branch, just from different accounts! Please refer to the practices of Toronto Dominion, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Laurentian Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Royal Bank of Canada...
Both of you dorks are from the USA...how can you even relate to the economic institutions set up here when I speak about htem in detail? Therefore, neither of your comments make any sense whatsoever....common sense is not very common. As you can see...we spell it CHEQUES in Canada, and not Checks as you spell it in the US of A.
Bottom Line....Democracy is a sham and a dehumanizing process of mechanisms which fulfill the purpose of making you an object of production for corporate conglomerates.
You should both bloody hell wake up from your fantastical American dream...a dream indeed.
You said, "Well one of the US dignitary was keen to point out the freedom Iraqis are going to enjoy, he said:"al-Sadr is free to choose any police or militery station to give himself up. Fancy that freedom!"
Hmmm... Doesn't sound much different than, "Accept Allah and his prophet, Muhamamd, or you can pay us jizya to live. And if you fight against our invading Muslim army, we will kill you because Allah said we can fight against those who fight against us."
It seems that what the Bible says is true: You reap what you sow.
Islam went forth conquering other people and their lands and forcing them to submit to Muslim rule; now, and UNFORTUNATEL, this Al-Sadr person is suffering the same type of thing.
Why don't you think it was wrong for Muslims of the past to invade other lands but you think this war to end the rule of an evil dictator who KILLED AND RUTHLESSLY MURDERED your Muslim brothers and sisters is so wrong?
your comments make no sense. How can a 3 day hold on your work check discredit Democracy? May be you should try Washington Mutual, there is no hold on your deposited checks nor atm fees. Democracy works, take for example Germany and Japan after WW2, they were able to grow their society out of the devastation of that horrific war, but their culture and people were ready for it, and most Middle Easter Muslim countries are not. As far as I am concern, Saddam was doing us a favor, killing more religious extremist Muslims then we (the US) will ever be able to kill. He had them under control and never showed mercy. Why are Muslims leaving Muslims lands? basicly because the lack of economic oportunities brought on by the systems of goverment that prevail in the area. Economic system and prosperity are pretty much defined by the Govermental system that governs the land. The are no more Caliphs, and you can not go back in time. Just as the Prophet Muhammed did, you have to work with what you have in a godly way. He acted with honor most active Muslim act from hate and tribal culture. Hate and ungodly tribal cultures are satanic.
You are complaining that,
"you work very hard day inand day out...then the government takes a share of your income by taxing you on it."
Uhhh, yeah. That happens in LOTS of government styles, not just Democracy. This even happens under Islamic rule, does it not? I mean, let's be serious for a minute. How do the government workers do their job without money? How do you have gov't sponsored programs without money? Why are you faulting democracy for this? This is something that happens when you have ORGANIZED GOVERNMENT!
You also say,
"You own a house...pay the government thousands of dollars a year for an area of land which I am supposed to own."
Well, did YOU have the tens (probably hundreds) of thousands of dollars in cash to actually BUY the house + property yourself? If you did not, then what you have is a LOAN from your banking institution. THEY had the cash to cover the property, you pay THEM back. That's how it works.
"the bank says...'even though this cheque is from the same banking institution as us, but because it is from another branch, we will have to put it on hold for 3 days before the balance becomes available to you.'"
Hmm... Unrelated to democracy. Sounds to me like you just picked a stupid bank to work with. I suggest you change and go to another.
The message is simple, the Iraqi's have not forgotton the anguishes US policies of promoting sanctions and iran-iraq conflict as brought them.
They are tolerating America, they wish for a Democracy that represents them- the massses. Not puppets that represents outside(corporations/goverments). They are will to fight and die for their ideals of an Islamic version of Democracy.
They try to ascare the Muslims in America. What do they think we are made of? I live for the sake of Islaam and I die for the sake of Islaam. I wouldn't die for anything else. I am here in the open, if they want to kill me these pigs, then I shall praise Allah for allowing me to die at the hands of my enemy! Every day I thank Allah that he granted me the honour to be Muslim and made me part of His plan to inherit the Paradise. When I look around me and see what I would be offered to become one like these Islaam bashers, I remember the prophet(pbuh) and his saying:"If you put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left, I would not give up the message for what God has chosen me." This is my strength by which I live and happily would die, inshallah. Islaam will never perish. It was a small group of believers around their prophet that fled to Yathrib. Today that group reached to be the world's second largest religion. Now that says something. I'd love a Shia theocratic state rather than a puppet governmen.
Americans are brainwashed into thinking this is the only way.
So they want to mimick Israel now...I can see it already, the CNN news anchor saying, "Fallujah Under Siege: Sunni's and Saddam!"
Blah blah blah...To see Sunni's and Shia's unite in Iraq. Alhumdulillah!!! May Allah Subhana wa taala bless Sadr and those who come to their aid
BUSHIT, you better run your men out of Iraq and go back to your country where you belong. Democracy my foot...I live in Canada and know all about democracy...you work very hard day inand day out...then the government takes a share of your income by taxing you on it. You own a house...pay the government thousands of dollars a year for an area of land which I am supposed to own. I deposit my money in my local crown corporation bank...the bank says...'even though this cheque is from the same banking institution as us, but because it is from another branch, we will have to put it on hold for 3 days before the balance becomes available to you.' - OH OK I see..so you get to play with my money, lend it out, and sell it for whatever price you want to others for a whole three business days, ebfore I am allowed to touch it? Nice democracy....
People, realize that democracy is a myth, and I am BORN in Canada but basically Canada's spy agency CSIS can take my rights away anytime they want, search my home, and confiscate whatever they want and interrogate me with whatever questions they wish...keep me in confinement until they "figure out" why my name is Akbar Khan and i'm Canadian. This is all hypothetical but it can happen...just look at the Khawaja family here in Canada and how CSIS did all of that to them...
Nevertheless, there is much reason to hope. Reconstruction does not end merely because of unrest in some parts of Iraq. The IGC is continuing its work towards self-governance. In a few months, the Iraqis will have control over their own affiars in a way that they couldn't under Saddam. And I think it's especially telling that a substantial majority of Iraqis themselves feel hopeful for their country's future.
Bottom line is that although the recent events are disturbing, we have enough reason not to lose hope for Iraq and its people.