- The 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 is blocked."
- "So all they have left to close is the highway to
Dialawhen 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
- Iraqi Secretary of Defense, Hassim al-Sha'alan, 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 were bombed.
- 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
nowthe whumping explosions are incessant, even with choppers circling about
- 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 resistance.
- 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 don't need a fatwa on this issue as this matter is
- 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."