Highlights

 
Quotable
Can anything be more ridiculous than that a man has a right to kill me because he lives on the other side of the water, and because his ruler has quarrel with mine, although I have none with him?
Blaise Pascal
Original Letters Blog US Casualties Contact Donate

 
October 10, 2006

Baquba Erupts


by Dahr Jamail

With Ali al-Fadhily

BAQUBA - The little-known city of Baquba is emerging as one of the hotbeds of resistance in Iraq, with clashes breaking out every day.

The violence in this city 30 mi. northeast of Baghdad is also now spreading elsewhere around Diyala province.

"The new waves of terror are now forming a variety that we predicted long ago," a political leader in the city told IPS. "The Iraqi people have complained to everyone, but naturally no one will do anything about it. We know who is in charge and who is responsible and eventually who is to be dammed. It is the government of the United States of America."

The local leader, speaking from his home in Baquba, said the situation in the area was becoming dire in the face of the recent violence.

"The worst is the direct participation of the national security forces in criminal acts, and the U.S. Army's sudden disappearance from the scene as soon as those murderers show up," he said. Many have been killed, and hundreds arrested in the province, he said.

The al-Tawafuq Sunni party has demanded a full investigation into the violence in Baquba, and immediate release of the detained civilians. "We are sure the arrests were made under sectarian flags and those detainees are innocent farmers captured in their own plantations," the group said in a statement.

An Iraqi army colonel told reporters in Diyala last week that that U.S. troops had arrested 10 Iraqi soldiers suspected of sectarian killings. There was no official U.S. comment.

Iraqi MP Muhammad al-Dayni appeared on al-Jazeera television to say that Brig. Gen. al-Kaabi, leader of the fifth division in charge of Diyala province security, had led the arrest of 400 civilians. Hundreds of houses had been looted, he said. Al-Dayni accused the parties in power of supporting such acts, referring to the Shia parties in parliament.

The fighting has intensified now, but Baquba has long been a city of fierce resistance to the occupation. Resistance groups have often frustrated the efforts of the Multi-National Forces (MNF) and Iraqi security forces to bring the city under their control.

Residents of Baquba told IPS that an Iraqi police brigadier-general had used loudspeakers to announce dire warnings to residents.

"We were used to hearing our own government calling us terrorists, Saddamists and Zarqawis before, but this man added new words to the vocabulary like bastards and expressions of that sort," Abu Omar, a law student at Diyala University told IPS. "Yet we were not surprised because we know he was just repeating what his green-zone masters have always said."

Mazin al-Zaidy, a resident of Baquba, told IPS that the situation in Diyala province could be the worst in Iraq because people of many ethnicities live in the area. "The MNF and militias concentrate on clearing it of the Arab Sunnis prior to any federalism plan."

Al-Zaidy said "there are Kurds, Shias, and Sunnis who share the province, and that has to be altered for the benefit of the first two groups." Al-Zaidy was referring to the towns Mendily, Jalowlaa, and surrounding areas that are marked Kurdish on the Kurdistan map.

The influence of each group changes often. "Each day I wake up I don't know who is in control of my city," said a religious sheik in Baquba who asked to be referred to as Sheik Ahmed. "One day it is the Americans, the next day a militia, the next day a resistance group."

Diyala province gets little media attention "because of the journalists' fear of going in," said al-Zaidy.

The new violence has ripped apart old traditions, he said. "The people of the province do not understand how these powers could turn it into a sectarian city from a wonderful 1,400 years of community peace and intermarriages."

The U.S. military has announced meanwhile that bomb attacks in Baghdad have hit an all-time high. The number of U.S. soldiers killed is now approaching the 3,000 mark.

The number of Iraqi casualties runs into hundreds of thousands.

(Inter Press Service)


comments on this article?
 
 
Archives

  • Finally, Iraqis Get Health Care on the Market
    3/8/2009

  • Iraqi Doctors in Hiding Treat as They Can
    2/22/2009

  • Still Homeless in Baghdad
    2/20/2009

  • The Tigris Too Tells the Story
    2/13/2009

  • No Unemployment Among Iraq's Gravediggers
    2/6/2009

  • Iraqis Look for Hope in Election Results
    2/2/2009

  • Threat of Violence Looms Again Over Fallujah
    1/31/2009

  • Tentative Hope Rises Ahead of Iraq Elections
    1/29/2009

  • Winter Soldiers: 'We Have to Share This Pain'
    10/21/2008

  • In Baghdad, Even the Hospitals Are Sick
    9/26/2008

  • Iraq War Vets Transforming Trauma
    9/20/2008

  • New Book Lets Winter Soldiers Be Heard
    9/17/2008

  • Journalist Charges Censorship by US Military in Fallujah
    7/4/2008

  • Winter Soldiers Hit the Streets
    6/4/2008

  • Iraq Vets: 'Enough Is Enough. It's Time to Get Out'
    6/3/2008

  • Five Years, No End in Sight
    3/19/2008

  • Iraq Vet: Rules of Engagement 'Thrown Out the Window'
    3/17/2008

  • Iraqi Women More Oppressed Than Ever
    3/7/2008

  • New Year Begins Unhappily In Iraq
    1/3/2008

  • 2007 Worst Year Yet in Iraq
    12/30/2007

  • Ill-Equipped Soldiers Opt for 'Search and Avoid'
    10/25/2007

  • The Royal Treatment: Saudi Involvement in Iraq Overlooked
    9/20/2007

  • In Beirut, Resistance Being Rebuilt Too
    5/8/2007

  • Lebanon's Palestinian Refugees Learn to Substitute Government
    5/3/2007

  • In Southern Lebanon, One Unexploded Bomb Per Person
    4/28/2007

  • Tensions Run High After Sunni Killings in Beirut
    4/28/2007

  • In Lebanon, Political Loyalties Being Rebuilt
    4/27/2007

  • This Protest Won't Go Away
    4/26/2007

  • In Lebanon, Tempers Rise Over Reconstruction
    4/24/2007

  • In Damascus, a Lot of Uninvited Guests
    4/19/2007

  • Iraqi Refugees Complicate Syria's Position
    4/18/2007

  • Small Iraqi Province in
    Big Trouble
    4/17/2007

  • Refugees Speak of Escape from Hell
    4/12/2007

  • Iraqi Refugees Languish in Neighboring Countries
    4/10/2007

  • Security Meeting Ends; Insecurity Does Not
    3/13/2007

  • Iraq Rape Cases Emerge From the Shadows
    3/2/2007

  • Lack of Food Security Threatening Iraq
    2/20/2007

  • Surge in Violence Accompanies Proposed Surge in Troops
    2/14/2007

  • Official Lies Over Najaf Battle Exposed
    2/1/2007

  • Southern Iraqi Tribes Joining Armed Resistance
    1/20/2007

  • The War Becomes More Unholy
    1/18/2007

  • Furor Over Saddam's Execution Continues Unabated
    1/16/2007

  • Iraqi Media Under Growing Siege
    1/12/2007

  • Terrified Soldiers Terrifying People
    1/9/2007

  • Managing Escalation: Negroponte and Bush's New Iraq Team
    1/9/2007

  • Execution Memories Refuse To Go Away
    1/6/2007

  • More Troops but Less Control in Iraq
    12/29/2006

  • When Iraqis Gave Up on Government
    12/28/2006

  • A Grim Christmas for Iraqi Children
    12/26/2006

  • Iraqi Hopes Dim Through Worst Year of Occupation
    12/23/2006

  • US Troops Raid Fallujah Hospital Again
    12/15/2006

  • Cornered US Military Takes to Desperate Tactics in Iraq
    12/10/2006

  • In Iraq, It's Hard
    Being a Woman
    12/6/2006

  • Iraq's Medical System Becomes Sickening
    11/24/2006

  • Support Builds for
    Sunni Leader
    11/21/2006

  • Iraqi Education Under Siege
    11/19/2006

  • Locals Accuse US of Massacre in Ramadi
    11/18/2006

  • Bechtel Departure Shatters More Iraqi Illusions
    11/10/2006

  • Iraqi Militias Take Refuge in Facilities Protection Service
    11/8/2006

  • Saddam Verdict Could
    Deepen Divisions
    11/7/2006

  • US Military Adopts Desperate Tactics in al-Anbar
    11/1/2006

  • Govt Death Squads
    Ravaging Baghdad
    10/20/2006

  • Excess Death in Iraq
    10/14/2006

  • Iraq: Resistance to Occupation Not Just for Fighters
    10/13/2006

  • Baquba Erupts
    10/10/2006
  • Dahr Jamail is the Baghdad correspondent for The NewStandard. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Dahr writes about the effects of the US occupation on the people of Iraq, since the mainstream media in the US has in large part, he believes, failed to do so.

    To find out more about Dahr's coverage of Iraq, visit Dahr's support pages.

    To read Dahr's weblog, click here.

    Reproduction of material from any original Antiwar.com pages
    without written permission is strictly prohibited.
    Copyright 2003 Antiwar.com