The Fire Is
By Dahr Jamail
10 November, 2004
blasts of mortars exploding in the so-called Green Zone
are thumping out my window as I type tonight. The blades of military
helicopters chop the air as they circle above the area looking for,
well, looking for something.
I know what
they are doing to us-they are putting is in a big jail. First they close
the borders with Syria and now Jordan, so we are trapped in Iraq,
says Salam. Now they put a curfew on Baghdad. This is the first.
The second is that the highway bridge connecting us to the west of Baghdad
is bombed. Another bridge that leads to the south (Kerbala, Hilla, Najaf)
was bombed. And now the other highway south to Amara, Nasiriya and Basra
So all they
have left to close is the highway to Diala
when that last one is
closed, we are locked in to Baghdad, explains Salam, his face
stoic but concerned, We are in. This is our life here man.
of Defense, Hassim al-Shaalan, today announced to al-Arabia television
that the resistance is organized and they have already prepared to fight
in other places. So the fighting in Falluja will not end when the Americans
take the city. The fighting will begin in other places like Baghdad,
Baquba, Latifiya, Ramadi, Samarra, Khaldiya, Kirkuk and elsewhere.
Thus, the word on
the street that the resistance was mostly out of Falluja prior to this
battle is verified by the Iraqi Minister of Defense himself. The fire
had begun to spread long before the current onslaught of Falluja.
Salam has a friend
who just came from Baquba and said that the resistance came to the police
station and told them to leave because they would be bombing the station.
This policemen who left said he watched the resistance bomb the station.
At least 25 policemen have been killed there, between two stations that
In Kirkuk, the retaliatory
strikes by the resistance for what is happening in Falluja have commenced
as well. A suicide bomber detonated his car at a base for Iraqi National
Guard, killing at least 1 national guard member and 2 civilians.
Of course the random
gun battles and retaliation is ongoing in Baghdad. The so-called Green
Zone continues to take mortars. This has been going on sporadically
throughout the day, but is consistent now
the whumping explosions
are incessant, even with choppers circling about overhead.
Also today, two
churches in Al-Dora were destroyed by car bombs which detonated 5 minutes
apart. When the injured and dead were taken from the scenes to Yarmouk
Hospital, the hospital was car bombed. At least 8 people died it the
hospital car bombing.
We are looking
at this just as numbers, says Salam with a deep breath, But
this is 8 families. This is 8 families that are suffering now.
5 policemen were
killed in Al-Dora as well-not by car bomb, but by fighting with the
The growing fire
of resistance has spread into the political realm in Iraq as well. The
Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) has called upon people not to vote
in the upcoming election.
Dr. Harith al-Dhari,
the secretary-general of the AMS, openly supports the Iraqi resistance
to the occupation and has from the beginning. We have said we
support the resistance since the occupation of this country began,
he said today, This is our right as Iraqis. Therefore, we dont
need a fatwa on this issue as this matter is clear.
Also today, a major
Sunni political party, the Iraqi Islamic Party, has withdrawn from the
Iraqi Interim Government. We are protesting the attack on Falluja
and the injustice that is inflicted on the innocent people of the city,
said Abd al-Hamid, We cannot be part of this attack.
Abu Talat called
and told me of the curfew now in Baghdad. We have to be off the streets
by 9:30 pm or we will be shot on sight.
You know Dahr,
I used to stay out until 3am. Now this is our life, says Abu Talat.
He is enraged. This is some kind of freedom. Thank you, George
Bush. This is our life.
Everyone is nervous
on the streets in Baghdad tonight. Every car left unattended is suspected
as a car bomb.
Another man I met
with today, Haythem, expressed his feelings about the occupation, Falluja,
and the martial law.
Iraq is pregnant
with an American fetus, he pauses for emphasis and says, And
we need birth control pills. He sits for a moment, and after making
a toast with a soft drink adds, Long life to Falluja.
Dahr Jamail is one
of those very few independent journalists in Iraq. His travel and reporting
expenses are covered by the donations he receives from his readers.
You can help Dahr continue his crucial work by making donations. For
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