Iraqi President Talabani Begs Western Media To Be Less Biased

You would think that the trial of an Al Qaeda terrorist behind 800-900 bombings in Iraq might make headlines…
Not in today’s America.

Iraqi Al Qaeda leader will be tried for orchestrating 800 to 900 bombings!

A picture displayed at a press conference by the US military in Baghdad shows Omar Wahdallah Dad, also known as Abu Nur and “The Spider”, believed by the US military to have been one of Al-Qaeda’s senior commanders in Baghdad and captured in Iraq in December 2006. US Major General William Caldwell IV, spokesman of the Multi-National Forces-Iraq, at the heavily-fortified Green Zone area in Baghdad, told reporters at the press conference today that Abu Nur will be tried by an Iraqi court for orchestrating 800 to 900 bombings in and around Baghdad.(AFP)

The following articles were translated by Iraqi-American Haider Ajina:

Buratha News 5/17/07
Talebani asks Arab & Western media to be balance and fair in reporting Iraqi News.

His excellence the President of Iraq Jalal Talabani received today at his residence an American delegation. Head of the delegation was Mr. Paul Brinkley chairman of Business and Stability Operations, Iraq.

In this meeting the President pointed out that there are vast areas of Iraq which are secure such as Kurdistan and the southern provinces. These areas are ready for further reconstruction and public works projects. He added, “It is important that the Arabic & Western media pay attention to the positive and great accomplishments in many areas in Iraq and not only focus on the dark corners of the country.”

The president encouraged the American delegation to concentrate their attention on the City of Nejaf and implement the public service projects in that city. The city is a holy city with historical significance. He added that a lot of effort has to be expended to revitalize factories, construction all over Iraq and more significantly in the industrial and agricultural sectors.

After his meeting with the president Paul Brinkley, held a press conference and said; we discussed with President Talebani, to resume work in the Finance and Industry ministries. Security has been achieved in a large number of areas. We are putting efforts to have Iraq partner with a number of national and international work agencies. We were able to answer a number of questions in this regard. Our team is primarily focused on reviving inoperative or semi operating factories.

Here is Haider Ajina’s translation of an article from Alsabah Aljadeed on 5/17/07

Over 300 Armed terrorist arrested including Egyptians, Syrians and Libyans.

Sheik Hamied Alhaies, chairman of the “Rescue Alanbar” council, which is combating armed groups of Alqaida in western Iraq. Said in an interview with France Press, In the past Alanbar province was the sight of numerous attacks on American and Iraqi forces, with support of the local population. Now the situation has changed.

Alqaida started attacking civilians, heads of tribes, and enforcing its version of sharia law, the locals became angry. Since the tribal compact of last October, tribal leaders have been encouraging their members to join the local police and security forces. They are now fighting Alqaida side by side with the American and Iraqi forces. American forces commander general Petraeus, described this change in Alanbar province as ‘astounding’.

Alhaies expressed his pride in the victories achieved against Alqaida. He added that the tribal forces are in need of more weapons and equipments to accomplish their duties. We have arrested over 500 terrorist suspects. Amongst them are Egyptians, Libyans and Syrians. Most of non Iraqi Alqaida fighters are killed in clashes with our fighters, thus most prisoners are often Iraqis. The local police, who are mostly members of local tribes, guard the prisons. Interrogations with these prisoners are often short. This is due to information we have on most of these prisoners prior to arresting them. We have a large specially organized interrogation cadre. We have over 1600 military officer academy graduates. We are still in need of funds, weapons, and further authorization. American commanders rely on local tribes to gather local information, now that friendly relations have been built between the American forces and the local tribes.

And, here is a translated article by Haider Ajina with information on the the clashes yesterday between Iraqi security forces and Al Sadr’s Mahdi Army:

Political Council for National Security meeting outcomes capture Iraqi press
By Saad Obeid

Baghdad, May 17, (VOICES OF IRAQ) – Iraqi newspapers on Thursday focused on the results of the meeting held by the Iraqi Political Council for National Security, chaired by Iraqi President Jalal al-Talabani, on the violent clashes that broke out on Wednesday in Nassiriyah, and quoted Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as saying the government will strike with an iron hand those who violate the law “no matter what their affiliation.”

The government-funded al-Sabah newspaper published al-Maliki’s speech from the council’s meeting, stressing the importance of dealing strictly with law breaking.

Fierce clashes broke out yesterday between fighters from Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army and Iraqi policemen in the southern city of Nassiriyah, the capital city of Thi Qar province, leaving dozens of civilians and policemen dead or injured.

According to a statement released by the Iraqi cabinet, the meeting underlined the significance of reviewing all resolutions that were previously passed by the council in an attempt to improve interaction and cooperation between the government and Iraqi political forces, and to facilitate coordination between the cabinet and the presidency.

The council, established in mid 2006 after the formation of the current Iraqi government led by al-Maliki, includes the president, prime minister, their deputies, the house speaker, President of Iraq’s Kurdistan region Massoud al-Barazani, leaders of parliamentary blocs and the head of the Supreme Judicial Council. Being a consultative body, the council addresses all political and security issues in Iraq.

On its front page, the newspaper published a main headline reading, ‘Preparations are underway for national accord conference and international Berlin-based conference in the manner of Sharm al-Sheikh,’ under which it wrote, “The Iraqi political scene is witnessing further crucial steps towards achieving significant results with regards to national reconciliation.”

Under the headline ‘Negotiations between Fadhila and Sunni parties, and expectations of changes in the political map’ the newspaper said that negotiations were underway between the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party and the Shiite Fadhila (Virtue) Party to form a new political bloc, noting that MP Hassan al-Shamry, the leader of the Fadhila bloc in parliament, had refused to give any details about the nature of the negotiations.

Al-Adala newspaper, issued by
the Shiite Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), quoted al-Talabani as describing the meeting held by the Iraqi presidency council as a success. “The meeting was very successful and we discussed all significant issues and agreed to hold regular meetings,” al-Talabani said.

Meanwhile, the independent al-Zaman newspaper (Sunni Paper) devoted most of its front page to the Nassiriyah clashes, which it said left 11 people dead and 91 wounded. “The curfew imposed on the city did not prevent the Mahdi Army fighters from spreading out,” the newspaper wrote.

Moreover, the newspaper highlighted the statements made by Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who is also the leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party, in which he stressed the need for amending a number of controversial articles of the Iraqi constitution.

In a statement released by the party, al-Hashemi threatened to take political action if the parties participating in the Iraqi political process do not commit themselves to reconsider amendments to controversial articles.

Al-Mutamar, a daily newspaper issued by the Iraqi National Conference Party led by Ahmed al-Chalabi, wrote that the parliamentary committee on amending the constitution is due to submit its report to the Iraqi parliament next week. The newspaper also quoted MP Abdulla Saleh from the Kurdistan Alliance as saying, “Iraq should not be governed by one constituent or a minority.”

Expressing his hopes for the future of the Iraqi political process, Saleh said that it is important to learn from past mistakes and increase political awareness and maturity among Iraqis.

Haider Ajina comments,

From the first article I translated we read about the frustration of the Iraqi president with the negative biased reporting on events in Iraq. If negative events are news worthy, why aren’t positive events news worthy?

The fourth anniversary of the discovery of the first mass grave in Iraq was Wednesday June 16th. The Iraqi government declared it a day of mourning and remembrance of those who were killed at the hands of the Baathists, especially during Saddam’s years in power. It is a lesson that we will never forget,” Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said. “We want to build a civilized society in which humanity is respected.” Cars and pedestrians stopped in place at noon, while policemen and Iraqi soldiers conducted a military salute.

I have noticed on Iraqi TV many comedies featuring Saddam impersonators. Some of these were recordings of theatrical performances. The laughter is loudest when the actor playing Saddam is acting out Saddam’s antics and ridiculous postures. There appears to be some healing going on with this dark comedy. I could never dream of making fun of Saddam while I lived in Iraq and even while living in the safety and warmth of the USA. I did laugh loudly at these clips and shows. My family was wondering what was so funny, and did not quite get it. I guess one must have lived under life threatening oppression to understand what freedom from it means; finally laughing about its end lifts an enormous dark cloud.

Regards,
Haider Ajina

And… AJ Strata has more good news from Iraq.

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