Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 





Security Meet Ends, Insecurity Does Not
Tuesday, 13 March 2007 11:31
by Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily

BAGHDAD, Mar 12 (IPS) - The security conference held last Saturday in Baghdad produced statements, drew mortar fire, and brought little hope of security.

The conference, which was attended by representatives from 13 countries including Syria, Iran and the United States, was held inside the heavily fortified "green zone" in central Baghdad.

Representatives from Iraq's six neighbouring countries (Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait and Syria) and delegates from the five permanent UN Security Council countries (the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France) were present along with several Arab representatives.

Iraqi President Jalal Talibani was reported to have observed the conference on video from his bed at the al-Hussein Medical City in Amman, Jordan.

International media were invited to show that the meeting was intent on bringing security to Iraq. That plan backfired after mortar shells landed within 50 metres of the conference centre, shattering glass panes in the building.

Conflict arose within the conference itself. Iran demanded a timetable for U.S. withdrawal. The United States accused Iran of assisting Shia militias.

"The whole world was there including some resistance fighters who, for the first time, responded to an Iraqi government call to attend a meeting," Yassen Abdul Rahman, a lawyer and anti-occupation activist who attended the conference told IPS.

"The heroes of the resistance were represented by the shower of mortar missiles that broke the glass that separated the conference from the reality of the situation outside."

Iraqis seemed divided over the value of the conference.

"We cannot afford to give up hope," activist on women's issues Ahlam al-Lami told IPS. "Those at that meeting are representatives of the whole world, and they are responsible for bringing back life to us. We might just give them an excuse to escape their responsibility if we say there is no hope."

Others were less optimistic.

"Those who met inside the green zone are so persistent at keeping (Iraqi Prime Minister) Nouri al-Maliki and his gang in power in Iraq that they are polishing their U.S.-made shoes with international wax for a better appearance," health expert Dr. Abdul-Salam al-Janabi told IPS.

Some Iraqi leaders accused the U.S.-backed Iraqi government at the conference of exploiting sectarian and ethnic differences to the advantage of the occupation forces.

"It is the same sectarian picture given once more by the Iraqi government," a senior staff member of the Iraqi ministry of foreign affairs told IPS.

United Iraqi Alliance leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, who also leads the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a Shia group close to Iran, accused some Arab countries of supporting "terrorism."

In a speech before the conference, Hakim attacked Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa who had called on the UN Security Council to support a proposed amendment of the new Iraqi constitution. The amendment move, backed by opposition groups, could lead to a challenge to the legitimacy of the Iraqi government.

Mussa had also called for disbanding of the local militias and expansion of political dialogue in order to achieve more balance in Iraq.

The ruling coalition is showing cracks. Hakim's Shia coalition members have developed serious differences in strategies. These led recently to withdrawal of the al-Fadhila Party from the Prime Minister's United Iraqi Alliance. Party leaders quit, citing "faulty sectarian policies."

The move destabilised Iraq's teetering government further.

Many Arab political analysts believe that this conference was yet another attempt by the U.S. administration to buy time in Iraq while it prepares to deal with Iran.

The U.S. military currently has two aircraft carrier battle groups in the region. This is the first time such a force has been positioned there since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

(Ali al-Fadhily is our Baghdad correspondent. Dahr Jamail is our specialist writer who has been covering Iraq and the Middle East for several years.
More from this author:
U.S. Troops Raid Hospital Again (7514 Hits)
by Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily FALLUJAH, Dec. 14 (IPS) - Iraqi doctors and medical staff are outraged over yet another U.S. military raid at...
It's Either Occupation or Education (7429 Hits)
by Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily BAGHDAD, Dec 18 (IPS) - Two in three children in Iraq have simply stopped going to school, according to a...
Iraqi Hopes Dim Through Worst Year of Occupation (7308 Hits)
by Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily BAGHDAD, Dec. 22 (IPS) - Despite promises from Iraqi and U.S. leaders that 2006 would bring improvement,...
Children Pick Their Christmas Toys - Iraq (8282 Hits)
by Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily FALLUJAH, Dec 25 (IPS) - Ahmed Ghazi has little reason to stock Christmas toys at his shop in Fallujah. He...
When Iraqis Gave Up on Government (9931 Hits)
by Dahr Jamail and Ali Al-Fadhily BAGHDAD, Dec 27 (IPS) - The Iraqi government headed by Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki, like earlier...
Related Articles:
Why does Thailand have all the Luck? (9981 Hits)
About 2 weeks ago, 10 Soviet-era tanks clanked-along the main thoroughfare in downtown Bangkok and stopped in front of the Presidential Palace. Once...
Armagideon Time: Bush's Nuclear Folly and the National Security Lie (16804 Hits)
Written by Chris Floyd This story is appearing today at Truthout.org. "The Bush Faction's remaining claim to political...
The Washington Post's War Against Social Security - Editorializing while reporting (9861 Hits)
By Seth Sandronsky Lori Montgomery of the Washington Post reporter has a problem with Social Security. She writes: "the...
If Dubya Talks And Nobody Listens, Does He Make A Sound? (7190 Hits)
by Tom Chartier So… Wednesday, January 10th the Democratic Dictator of the United States of America, George W. Bush is going to announce...
How Many Spies Does It Take To Make A Cup Of Tea? The BBC Reveals All. (6897 Hits)
by Copydude So, BBC’s Panorama has cracked the Litvinenko case. As the opening titles quickly tell: it was Putin, in the Pine Bar, with the...

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger



Top 123