Iraq Separates Itself From Middle East Regimes


Fighters with the Sunni awakening movement of the Diyala province cheer as they take control of the village of al-Aswad, northeast of Baghdad, 13 December 2007. (AFP/File)

Iraqi-American Haider Ajina sends the following good news from Iraq to end out this wonderful year of great progress.
The first article is from MNF-I:

National police deliver cache to Cavalry unit (Tameem)
Thursday, 27 December 2007
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RELEASE No. 20071227-03
December 27, 2007

National police deliver cache to Cavalry unit (Tameem)

By Staff Sgt. Sean Riley, 3rd HBCT, 3rd Inf. Div.

Multi-National Division – Center PAO

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Iraqi National Police responded to a tip that resulted in the seizure of a large cache of munitions near the city of Tameem, Iraq, Dec. 25.

The cache consisted of 20 projectile fuses, ten 60mm mortars, eight 122mm artillery shells, eight 82mm mortars and other unidentifiable explosives

The NP delivered the cache to a location in Jisr Diyala to elements of 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, along with explosive ordnance disposal specialists from the 789th Ordnance Company from Fort Benning, Ga.

The EOD unit assessed the cached items as being severely degraded, but could have been used to construct improvised explosive devices. The 3-1 Cav. Regt., and 789th Ordnance Co. (EOD), are assigned to the 3rd HBCT, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga., and have been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March 2007. Iraqi National Police collect munitions from a cache discovered Dec. 25 near the city of Tameem, Iraq. The NP delivered the unusable, but still deadly, cache to the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team to be catalogued and destroyed. Policemen with the Iraqi National Police display collected munitions after a tip led to the discovery of an old cache near the city of Tameem, Iraq, Dec. 25.

Haider Ajina comments that this law alone sets Iraq apart from many of the nations in the Middle East:

Iraqi National Police ‘NP’ until recently were dismissed as a useless tool in need of fixing. Training by the US and our allies of the NP over the last few months has graduated a number of classes. The NP units are Para-military with emphasis on civil order and rule of law. The Iraqi Army IA is being used to hunt down Al-qiada and Militant outlaw elements. The NP is used to spear head law and order in areas cleared by IA and MNF. It has taken many months to graduate the early units of NP and it has been worth it. These new NP units are well trained and show little influence to tribal and sectarian loyalties. Locals have responded well to the NP as is evident from the tip they received. NP are allowed to detain suspects with out charges for up to 72 hours. After 72 hours detention they either release or have to charge the suspects. This law alone sets Iraq apart from many of its cousin countries in the mid east.


A general view shows the ruins of a church at the Iraqi Al-Aqiser archaeological site, 70 kms southwest of the shrine city of Karbala, central Iraq, 11 December 2007. The church of Al-Aqiser is thought to be the oldest eastern church in history and according to studies, it was built in the middle of the fifth century, 120 years before Islam. (AFP/Mohammed Sawaf)

And, here is more good news from Iraq:

Government ratifies general amnesty law
Baghdad, 27 December 2007 (Voices of Iraq)

The Iraqi government on Wednesday approved a draft law granting a general amnesty to thousands of detainees in U.S. and Iraqi prisons and detention centers, according to a government spokesman.

“The cabinet ratified the draft general amnesty law specifying those who will be released from Iraqi and U.S. jails,” an official spokesman for the Iraqi government, Ali al-Dabbagh, said in statements to the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).

“The law will be submitted to the parliament for approval,” al-Dabbagh added.

On Sunday, a senior cabinet advisor said that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had received the law from the Supreme Judicial Council and the Public Prosecution in preparation for its submission to the parliament.

“After much deliberation in the cabinet, the draft law will be submitted to the parliament for further discussion before legislatively passing it and referring it the presidency council for ratification,” said al-Maliki’s political advisor, Sadiq al-Rikabi.

There are an estimated 32,000 detainees in Iraqi prisons and Multi-National Force (MNF) detention centers, according to official figures released by the Iraqi government. Of this number, 18,000 are in the U.S.-run Bucca detention center in Iraq’s southern province of Basra while nearly 9,000 are in the Krupper prison at Baghdad International Airport.

Haider Ajina Comments:

A large and important step towards the Iraqi national reconciliation project is the General Amnesty Law. It has been in the works for many weeks if not months. It is now reaching its final stages. The biggest concern was to separate those who have blood on their hands from those who have caused civil unrest or played a supportive but not active role in militant activities. The General Amnesty Law, and the Accountability and Justice law (which will also be debated in the Iraqi parliament starting Sunday) are a fundamental part of the national reconciliation process. The accountability and justice law will replace the Debaathification law implemented during Paul Bremer’s administration in Iraq.

The Iraqi parliament has also passed a draft budget for 2008. The 2008 budget is almost 20% larger than 2007. In addition to it, unexpected additional revenue from increased oil production and increased oil prices have been passed on to the provinces to increase and improve provincial independence. Provinces are much better suited to determine the needs of their citizens than the central government in Baghdad. More and more freedom is being allowed the provincial governors to determine improvements needed in their province.

Regards,
Haider Ajina

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