Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Fallujah as a “Model City”

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **
** - link of the week at **

December 06, 2004

Driving across Baghdad yesterday a GMC full of armed men races past our
car, missing it by inches. Along with guns pointed out their windows at
us (and all the other cars), a couple of the men hold their hands out,
waving them down towards the ground in order to instruct the traffic
they are pushing their way through to stay back.

CIA and/or mercenaries always travel like this here.

As the SUV passes a gunman sits behind a metal barrier, with his machine
gun aimed at us. He’s flashing a light at us, to underscore the fact we
should stay back.

As a second SUV full of armed men wearing helmets passes us my friend
Ahmed turns to me and says, “We are nowhere here. Iraq is nowhere now.
Look at this life we are living.”

The unbearable gas crisis has worsened yet further. Lines at stations
are up to 8 miles long in places, causing people to wait hours,
sometimes days, for fuel. If they are lucky the station won’t run out of
gas before they are allowed in to fill their tank.

Petrol on the black market now, if you are lucky enough to find it, is
nearly 1$ per liter!

Generators are now running out of fuel-so people have no electricity…as
the power grid for most of Baghdad produces in most places 6 hours of
electricity per day. Much of Baghdad has 2 hours per day.

The gas crisis has increased transportation costs, so the cost of food
is skyrocketing, along with cooking fuels like kerosene and propane.

Of course it doesn’t help that today yet another pipeline was sabotaged
that links the Beji refinery to Baghdad.

I took the day at my hotel to catch up on some writing. Yet another
large explosion nearby rattled the glass of my windows, and of course
there is sporadic automatic weapons fire throughout the capital.

“I hate this fucking place,” says Salam as he enters my room tonight. He
is pissed because he was instructed to be searched by Iraqi Police by
soldiers who are stationed nearby. One of the IP’s told him, “The
soldiers are stupid mother fuckers, so just let us search you. We know
you come here all the time, even though they can’t remember. We have to
do our job.”

It didn’t help his disposition any yesterday when he was at an internet
café and a tank could not make it past his car as it was parked on a
narrow street. An Iraqi policeman found Salam in the internet café
nearby and told him, “The soldiers told you to move your car or they
will run it over. You’d better do it, because I’ve seen them run over a
car there before.”

Another example of the winning of hearts and minds of Iraqis is being
formulated for the residents of Fallujah. The military has announced the
plans it is considering to use for allowing Fallujans back into their city.

They will set up “processing centers” on the outskirts of the city and
compile a database of peoples’ identities by using DNA testing and
retina scans. Residents will then receive a badge which identifies them
with their home address, which they must wear at all times.

Buses will ferry them into their city, as cars will be banned since the
military fears the use of them by suicide bombers.

Another idea being kicked around is to require the men to work for pay
in military-style battalions where these “work brigades” will
reconstruct buildings and the water system, depending on the men’s skills.

There will also be “rubble-clearing” platoons.

The intent of the US commanders and Iraqi leaders is to make Fallujah a
“model city.”

I wonder if they’ll try this in Baghdad. The goal of crushing the
resistance and creating stability by destroying Fallujah has gone so
well that resistance fighters here roamed freely about Haifa street
today hunting for Iraqis collaborating with US forces.

They executed a man they suspected as being a collaborator in Tahrir
Square, and then they moved on to Mathaf Sqare, just 3 blocks from the
“Green Zone” where the interim government and US embassy are located.


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