Hassan Al-Wakeel & Ali Latif
March 5, 2007
Baghdad Security Plan
strictest security measures since the US-led invasion in
2003 have been imposed in Baghdad as part of the new Security
Plan. Of these measures, is the deployment of 40,000 troops
on the ground as well as an extension to nightly curfews.
significant drop in execution style killings has been
observed subsequent to the implementation of the plan.
Press shows that 628 bullet-riddled bodies
have been found around the capital this month, compared
to more than 1000 last month, and over 1300 in the month
previous to that.
can be attributed to the apparent decision of Moqtada
Al-Sadr to cooperate with the new plan that has led to
the rogue elements of the Mahdi Army, and his
clear orders not to fight the American troops as they
roll into the Mahdi strongholds of Eastern Baghdad. While
commentators continue to discuss his actual whereabouts
the reality on the ground suggests that the once disruptive
militia leader has taken a step towards curbing the violence
statements from the Vice-President
the roll-back of sectarian militias, the arrest and capture
of several death
squad leaders, the halving of extra-judicial
executions, and the agreement to establish a joint US-Iraqi
base in Sadr
city, the insurgent attacks
bombing campaign streaming out of Sunni strongholds
in and around Baghdad remain unabated. Curiously, Tareq
Al-Hashimi, the Vice-President, has called
for the operation to be abandoned accusing it of focusing
only on Sunni areas. In a further break from reality,
Al-Hashimi has called for the abandonment of the current
political process completely, seemingly to imply the reversal
of all the democratic steps the country has taken since
inter-Sunni conflict on the horizon?
has been a recent outbreak of insurgent attacks against
Sunni targets. Two notable cases include the targeting
of a Sunni
Islamic cleric following his denouncement of
the insurgency and the recent killing of six
Sunni men after a meeting with local Shiites.
While there have been inter-Sunni flare-ups in the past,
these attacks suggest a new level of conflict between
those wanting to join the political process and those
that are set against any democratic future for the country.
driver in this potentially significant split in the Arab
Sunni community is execution of Saddam earlier on this
year. The removal of such a powerful symbol of the past
resulted in many finally abandoning the idea of a return
to Baath party rule and has emboldened others that had
feared his return to work towards the future of their
community and country.
Iraqi PM has once again announced he plans to reshuffle
the cabinet. The reshuffle has been announced several
times and if the PM does not carry it out this time, it
will weaken his credibility to clean out the
government from incompetent and corrupt ministers.