Sunday, May 14, 2006

How Is Basra Doing?

Queen Amidala sent me this letter from Basra:

Here what has happened in Basrah during the past 3 or 4 days.

A lot of threats were issued to people with jobs in general, and also to some important supermarkets. I think it's just for the sake of issuing threats because they threaten to punish some shops if they sell anything to the British army. The Brits aren't in the habit of buying anything from the city. So there was no reason for issuing threats to those shops.

On the other hand, the military militias started to shoot on any cars or trucks that deliver supplies to the British bases.

Also, there were demonstrations last night for several purposes. Last night the demonstration was due to lack of electricity in the city , which is starting to become less and less everyday. We're given electricity for 7 hrs per day. Well, Saddam used to give us 4 hrs per day. So 3 hrs is all we gained from his regime removal.

Another demonstration was arranged by the city governor. He had three demands:

  1. Remove police manager from his position because he says this for the assassinations in the city.

  2. For the fourth time, he's asking minister of defense to remove one of the military brigade commanders because of his unqualified potentials.

  3. He's Accusing two sheikhs of their deliberate misleading of the simple people of Basrah.

As you can see Fay, this time is somehow different. But is it sincere? Only time can answer this question. We can't trust time to be in our favor. It never was; so why it would be this time?

There are some good news. They're catching some of the cars responsible of carrying assassinations. Maybe it’s just a rumor. Nothing is certain during in Iraq.

Queen Amidala

UPDATE I - May 14, 2006
Qatari newspaper The Peninsula reports:

basra • The governor of the southern Iraqi province of Basra suspended the city's police chief Major General Hassan Sawadi yesterday accusing him of links to groups involved in terrorism.

Governor Mohammed Musabah Al Waili said he was also demanding the resignation of the commander of the Iraqi army's Basra-based 10th Brigade, General Abdul Latif Thaban. "He is not cooperating with us and is being loyal to his politics and not the law," said the governor in his statement.

Waili said the two security chiefs were suspected of links to "sabotage groups, from outside the city and abroad, that are carrying out sabotage and terrorist attacks".


That confirms The Queen report that some changes are taking place in Basra. I hope they're for the best interest of Basrawis.

UPDATE II - May 17, 2006
At last, the Iraqi government is taking the chaotic situation in Basra seriously. Radio Free Europe reports:

PRAGUE, May 17, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- President Jalal Talabani told reporters at a May 15 press briefing in Baghdad that the Presidency Council has formed a committee to look into the deteriorating security situation in Al-Basrah, where rogue militias now run rampant as the political parties supporting them vie for power.
The security situation has deteriorated to such a degree that it is difficult to discern whether there are any legitimate, nonpartisan security forces operating there now.

Rampant violence continues, with Shi'ite militias fighting each other and enforcing their brand of Islam on the public. The militias have also launched a campaign of attacks and assassinations against members of the Sunni Arab community.


I hope this is the beginning of better days for Basrawis.

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