By Jasem al-Shamry
In a short and far visit to the true land and official borders of Ramadi, intelligence officials loyal to the leader of the Green Zone government, Nouri al-Maliki, made the following statement on February 15, 2014: “Maliki has reached Ramadi, for the inspection of stationed army units, accompanied by the Defense Minister, the National Security Advisor, members of the local government and senior military commanders.” It was stated that Maliki has reached the 'Eye of the Lion -Ainul Assad' airbase in al-Baghdadi district around 150km west of the provincial capital in al-Anbar and has not gone to the 'dangerous' lands of Anbar.
It is ironic that Maliki has welcomed many of the sheikhs in Anbar loyal to him at this military base. It is the same place that the former American president, George W. Bush, met in 2007 with the Anbar sheikhs who supported the occupiers. At their forefront was the commander of their Sahwa (Awakening Councils) movement, Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, who was killed less than a week after this meeting. He was also with the president Jalal al-Talabani and his representatives, Tariq al-Hashemi and Adel Abdul-Mahdi, together with Maliki.
Note that Maliki chose this place, in the same manner that Bush used in his visit to Anbar; as Maliki came in a helicopter, and met with some of the tribal sheikhs who give themselves up to support the government that is against their families. Maliki works with them in the same way that Bush did. Yesterday they spoke about organizing the base, today they speak about ISIL, and they argue in the same way about the elimination of terrorism. And all of them forgot – or tried to forget – the terror inflicted by the American occupation forces and the army of the Green Zone government!
Maliki was terrified throughout this visit, as the representative Khalid al-Alwani said: “Maliki's visitation took place in the fortified al-Baghdadi base (in Anbar Province), accompanied by a partial curfew on a number of Ramadi neighborhoods, by the closing of the highway connecting Ramadi and Fallujah, the highway connecting Baghdad and Anbar, the shutdown of internet and communications for the entire province!”
The crimes that Maliki commits in his war against the people of Fallujah today reminds us of the cruelty of the American occupation forces against the same people in the first Battle of Fallujah, which started on April 4, 2004. It was the failed American attempt to enter the city of Fallujah and control it, in which the occupation forces used all kinds of weapons – illegal and not yet illegal – to try to exact victory, until their attempt ended in failure. The American occupation forces suffered serious (human and material casualties) losses in this battle, pushing former American president George W. Bush to say: “Our troops faced a tough week, and I pray every day to return the losses, for the numbers of the dead have filled my heart with torment.”
This is the same Fallujah that Maliki wishes to overrun today, the city whose brave people stand today in honesty and pride in the face of his militias; because they learned from the trials of the past years that this tyrant has no mercy with his reckless policies. They prefer to die fighting honorably than to die under the dictator's rule.
Maliki said in his speech in the base of al-Baghdadi: “We came to renew our support for our tribes and people in Anbar; and we defend their honor from the hands of those terrorists.”
And here we say to Maliki who attacks the people of Anbar, in these moments, with air strikes and heavy artillery...are these not your security forces?!
Among a series of empty promises to the Iraqis, and especially to the people of the rebelling cities, Maliki said, “The legitimate demands made by the tribal sheikhs will be implemented immediately!”
And here was ask: why did you not agree to implement the demands of the crowds, which stayed for over a year in protest camps, and demonstrations, and rallies across Anbar and five other provinces. They were brought to the current situation, the ends of which are still open to all possibilities; why did you not agree until the situation reached this degree?!
Bush came before Maliki and his advisors in assaulting Fallujah and learning a lesson from his defeat, that they were deceived by their oppressive power; which was broken by the determination of the sons of the tribes of Anbar.
Oh, rulers of the Green Zone: take a lesson, or do not, for indeed your fate is heading towards demise, and this is the path promised by God for the oppressors!