News From the Quagmire
Iraqi-American Haider Ajina sends in another outstanding report on Iraq. This time he talks about what the Iraqi people are hearing from their media:
While most of our media is focusing on three Iraqi events, namely the violence, all of which is called sectarian, non-formation of the government & Saddam’s trial. The Iraqi media, just in the last week, has had many focus points. Besides the violence, the non-formation of the government, Saddam’s trial, the media is reposting: continuous arrests of terrorist suspects (more and more of them are non-Iraqis), continual discovery of weapons and terrorist caches (thanks to locals informing local authorities), more Iraqi security forces are on the streets. Also, the media is reporting on the building & improving power plants, increasing potable water, improving health care children’s inoculations, etc.
Iraqi media is blaming the increase in violence on the non-formation of the government & cleaning out of the terrorist in the surrounding areas. Iraqi media however, is still reporting most of the violent attacks as terrorist attacks by Alzarqawi’s group and former Baathists. Sectarian violence in their reports is not as prevalent as what our media is reporting. (no surprise) Let us not forget that Alzarqawi and his group are mostly if not exclusively Sunni, The Baathist fascists (Saddamists) are also almost all Sunni, as well. Their aim is to destabilize Iraq and derail democracy. They do this by trying to entice Shiites into violent revenge. This, of course, is not in the Shiites interest. Nor in the interest of the Sunnis who want democracy (pro democracy Sunnis also includes the Kurds). For the Shiites to gain majority power and form a strong coalition government of unity they must remain calm and non violent. Their religious and political leaders have been asking for restraint and for the protection of the rights of all of Iraq’s minorities.
The free Iraqi media is full of articles pressuring, criticizing, blaming, the Iraqi government. Calling on the government to work harder to form a cabinet and take stronger rains of the security situation. This media can now do with out fear of government reprisal (as long as they do not entice violence) . Elected representatives are clamoring to make announcements of hard work to form a new government. Elected officials are answering the call of the people and are learning to serve them. This is a unique state of affaires in the Arabic world.
While it has been four months since the election and Iraq is still awaiting a cabinet, let us not forget that Germany took two month to form a government after its elections in 2005!
Iraqi media has reported over that last week the arrest of hundreds of terrorist suspects (some dressed as women). Amongst those arrested were many Egyptians, Sudanese, Syrians, Jordanians, Saudis, Iranians and Kuwaitis. Dozens of hideouts were uncovered and dozens of weapons caches have been confiscated. Iraqis have been informing on terrorist suspects and reporting any suspicious vehicles. Over two-dozen IEDs have been uncovered and defused with no damage or harm to civilians. Half a dozen hostages have been rescued.
Iraqi media had been reporting on contracts signed with Japan, eastern European countries, etc. to improve electrical, and oil infra-structure, expanding ports. They have been reporting on the building of new hospitals and clinics. Campaigns for inoculating children.
There is much more going on in Iraq than violence and political jostling. Most of what is going on in Iraq is positive and not all that happens in Baghdad is indicative of the rest of the country.
It is always good to get Haider Ajina’s perspective.