Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bad news in Arabic

De-reconciliation: Chalabi version

Al-Hayat says the director of the existing Iraqi government DeBaathification agency, Ali al-Lami, is bitterly critical of the announcement earlier this week about a proposed new De-Baathification law. (Lami's agency is headed by Ahmed Chalabi). First of all, al-Lami said, this was not done in coordination with the existing agency, in fact he said we were as surprised as anyone by the announcement. Second, in terms of content, it would give Baathists "free rights" that they didn't even enjoy under Saddam. And finally, he said the effect of such a law would be to revive the Baathist schemes to re-take control of the government, and would ultimately increase violence instead of diminishing it. And al-Lami added the announcement appeared to have been timed to coincide with the end of the term of office of the American ambassador Khalilzad.

De-reconciliation: AlQaeda version

Al-Hayat also notes, in the same news-story, that a pair of car-bombs in the Abu Ghraib district west of Baghdad yesterday took the life of Harith al-Dhari, not the head of the Muslim Scholars Association, but a nephew who was named after him. The young man's father, Zahir al-Dhari, Al-Hayat reminds readers, is head of the Zaubaa tribe, one of whose members is deputy premier Salaam Zubaie, the target of the assassination attempt last week, an attempt claimed by the AlQaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq. Zahir al-Dhari lost no time in blaming AlQaeda for the killing of his son. It isn't hard to conclude that the AlQaeda organizations consider Dhari and his circle to be among those referred to by Khalilzad in his farewell address as "reconciliable insurgents".

US ground-troop involvement in Iran-war preparations?

Al-Quds al-Arabi prints on its front page a summary of a news-item in the Russian news agency Novosti yesterday, which said Russian intelligence has noted unusual activity by US forces on the Iraq-Iran border, consistent with preparations for a combined air-land attack on Iran. (Previous reports have talked about an air attack; this talks about an air-land attack). The unnamed Russian intelligence official said the US hasn't yet decided on the timing of the attack, which would depend on calculations for "bringing Iran to its knees while minimizing [US] losses". The Novosti story is available here. It reminds readers about statements last week by Russian military expert Leonid Ivashov to the effect the Pentagon is planning a massive air strike on Iran in the near future. And it says the USS Stennis with eight support ships and four nuclear submarines is headed for the Gulf to join the carrier group USS Eisenhower, which has been deployed there since December 2006. The reference to US ground-troop movements in Iraq in connection with this doesn't appear to have been picked up by any of the Western media.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the assassination of Harith Al-Dari's nephew: The US makes use of both carrots and sticks in its ruthless and cynical strategy to drive the Iraqi population into the arms of the occupiers. Al-QAEDA IS THE STICK!!

6:43 AM  
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