TADHAMUN تـضـامـن

Tadhamun (solidarity) is an Iraqi women organization, standing by Iraqi women's struggle against sectarian politics in Iraq. Fighting for equal citizenship across ethnicities and religions, for human rights, and gender equality.

جمعية تضامن تدعم المساواة في المواطنة بغض النظر عن الأنتماء الأثني أو الديني وتسعى من أجل العدالة الأجتماعية و حماية حقوق الأنسان في العراق

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Muqtada al-Sadr: The British are retreating from Basra

By Nizar Latif in Kufa, Iraq and Phil Sands in Damascus

Published: 20 August 2007

The British Army has been defeated in Iraq and left with no option but to retreat from the country, claims radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Violent resistance and a rising death toll among UK troops has forced a withdrawal, he said in an interview with The Independent.

"The British have given-up and they know they will be leaving Iraq soon," Mr Sadr said. "They are retreating because of the resistance they have faced. Without that, they would have stayed for much longer, there is no doubt."

The young nationalist cleric heads Iraq's largest Arab grassroots political movement, and its powerful military wing, the Mehdi army. It has clashed frequently with British forces in southern Iraq, most recently in the battle for power over the oil-rich port city of Basra. Scores of British soldiers have been killed and wounded by Sadrist militants.

"The British have realised this is not a war they should be fighting or one they can win," Mr Sadr said. "The Mehdi army has played an important role in that." He also warned that Britain's involvement in the invasion of Iraq had made the UK a less safe place to live. "The British put their soldiers in a dangerous position by sending them here but they also put the people in their own country in danger," he said. "They have made enemies among all Muslims and they now face attacks at home because of their war. That was their mistake." His comments came during two separate meetings with The Independent at the Sadr movement's headquarters in Kufa, a holy Shia city, 100 miles south of Baghdad, and site of the Grand Mosque where Mr Sadr often preaches fiery Friday sermons. The streets were eerily devoid of cars, which are, in effect, banned in an effort to prevent bombings. Senior Shia leaders are high on the list of targets for Sunni extremists.

Only two guards with AK-47 assault rifles appeared to be protecting Mr Sadr in his office, a clear sign that Kufa and the surrounding area is firmly under the control of Sadr loyalists. It is not patrolled by US troops and access is policed by Iraqi security at heavily armed roadblocks.

Mr Sadr's remarks echo those of senior British military commanders who have come to view the mission of UK forces in Iraq as finished. They have reportedly told the Prime Minister Gordon Brown there is nothing more to be achieved in southern Iraq and that troops should be redeployed to Afghanistan.

At the beginning of the year, Britain had just over 7,000 troops in two provinces of southeastern Iraq. Current force strength is down to 5,500, confined to two main bases, Basra airport and the Basra Palace, which is under siege. Another reduction to 5,000 is expected this summer. Any additional cuts would be part of a complete withdrawal. Defence secretary Des Browne said last week that further reductions had not been decided upon and would only take place in agreement with the Americans.

As the force has dwindled, losses among British troops have accelerated. So far this year, 41 servicemen and women have died, compared to 29 in the whole of 2006. Their area of operations has, in effect, been taken over by three competing militia groups, the Mehdi army, SCIRI and Fadhila, all of which are heavily implicated in oil smuggling, intimidation and death squad activity.

But Basra would be a safer place once the British military presence had ended, Mr Sadr insisted. "There will still be some problems in southern Iraq, there will be violence because some countries are trying to influence the situation," he said in apparent reference to Iran. "But with the occupation of southern Iraq finished we will be freer to live our lives as brothers."

Throughout last week a series of influential Iraqi sheikhs, including at least one senior Sunni tribal leader, visited the Sadrist headquarters as part of an effort to heal the rift between Sunnis and Shias. Aides to Mr Sadr said it was a priority to form a united nationalist front against all "foreign elements" in Iraq, with the Americans and al-Qa'ida to be considered equally as enemies.

Mr Sadr praised Iraqi Sunnis who had begun to fight against al-Qa'ida and religious extremists guilty of targeting Shia civilians. "Proud Iraqis in Ramadi have stood against al-Qa'ida and against the Americans and they have written their names into our history books," he said.

Shrugging off recent rumours that he had fled to Iran - he dismissed them as American propaganda designed to discredit him - Mr Sadr denied US claims his forces were armed by Iran.

"We are at war and America is our enemy so we are entitled to take help from anyone," he said. "But we have not asked for Iran's help." The cleric also said he "welcomed" a recent decision by the UN to expand its role in Iraq. "I would support the UN here in Iraq if it comes and replaces the American and British occupiers," he said.

"If the UN comes here to truly help the Iraqi people, they will receive our help in their work. I would ask my followers to support the UN as long as it is here to help us rebuild our country. They must not just be another face of the American occupation."

The Sadr movement pulled its 32 elected MPs out of Iraq's parliament earlier this year, ending its nominal support for Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

Other factions have since followed suit, bringing the government to the brink of collapse. Despite recent efforts by the Prime Minister to shore up his power base, his days as Iraq's elected leader were numbered, Mr Sadr said.

"Al-Maliki's government will not survive because he has proven that he will not work with important elements of the Iraqi people," the cleric said.

"The Prime Minister is a tool for the Americans and people see that clearly. It will probably be the Americans who decide to change him when they realise he has failed. We don't have a democracy here, we have a foreign occupation."

مقابلة صحيفة الأندبندنت مع مقتدى الصدر

الملف- بغداد

رحب رجل الدين الشيعي مقتدى الصدر بتوسيع مهمة الامم المتحدة في العراق اذا كان هدفه مساعدة العراقيين فيما واصل الجيش الاميركي عملياته وقتل واعتقل عشرات المسلحين

وقال الصدر يوم الاثنين انه سيرحب بتوسع مزمع لمهمة الامم المتحدة في العراق اذا كان الهدف منه هو مساعدة العراقيين على اعادة بناء بلادهم.

وفي مقابلة مع صحيفة الاندبندنت البريطانية أكد الصدر الذي تخوض ميليشيا جيش المهدي التابعة له قتالا عنيفا مع قوات التحالف الامريكية والبريطانية على ضرورة ألا تصبح الامم المتحدة "مجرد وجه اخر للاحتلال الامريكي" في العراق. وقال الصدر "سأدعم الامم المتحدة هنا في العراق اذا جاءت وحلت محل المحتلين الامريكيين والبريطانيين." وتابع "اذا جاءت الامم المتحدة من اجل مساعدة الشعب العراقي حقا فسوف نساعدها في عملها." وقرر مجلس الامن التابع للامم المتحدة في وقت سابق من هذا الشهر توسيع تفويض الامم المتحدة في العراق ليشمل زيادة في عدد الموظفين للمرة الاولى منذ انسحاب المنظمة الدولية من العراق بعد التفجير الذي وقع في مكتبها ببغداد واسفر عن مقتل 22 شخصا قبل اربع سنوات.

ويدعو قرار مجلس الامن الامم المتحدة الى قبول التحدي لتعزيز المصالحة الوطنية والحوار بين العراق وجيرانه. وقال الصدر ايضا في المقابلة ان القوات البريطانية انهزمت في العراق وان مقاتلي المقاومة اجبروها على الانسحاب من جنوب البلاد. وقال ان مقاتلي جيش المهدي كان لهم "دور مهم" في طرد البريطانيين. وأضاف "البريطانيون اقروا بعجزهم ويعرفون انهم سيرحلون عن العراق قريبا..انهم ينسحبون بسبب المقاومة التي يواجهونها والتي بدونها كانوا سيمكثون لفترة اطول كثيرا من دون شك." وأصبح جنوب العراق الذي تحرسه القوات البريطانية اكثر خطورة على القوات الاجنبية منذ ان اعلنت لندن في فبراير شباط انها ستقلص عدد جنودها خلال العام الحالي.

وقتل 41 جنديا بريطانيا في العراق هذا العام وتتجه الحصيلة لتجاوز عدد الجنود الثلاثة والخمسين الذين قتلوا في عام 2003 عندما انضمت بريطانيا الى القوات الامريكية في غزو للاطاحة بصدام حسين.

وقال الصدر "البريطانيون ادركوا ان هذه حرب ما كان يتعين عليهم خوضها او التي يمكنهم الفوز فيها." وتأتي كلمات الصدر ترديدا لتصريحات قادة بريطانيين يقولون ان الميليشيات الشيعية تكثف الهجمات لاعطاء انطباع بانها تطرد القوات البريطانية. وأصر الميجر مايك شيرار المتحدث باسم الجيش البريطاني يوم الاثنين على ان هذا "انطباع كاذب".

وقال لراديو هيئة الاذاعة البريطانية "توقعنا دائما ان تسهم التأثيرات السيئة في المدينة في تعزيز حيلتهم لاعطاء الانطباع الكاذب بانهم يطردوننا..والامر ليس كذلك."

وانسحبت القوات البريطانية حتى الان من ثلاث من المحافظات الاربع التي كانت تتولى تأمينها ذات يوم. ولا تزال القوات البريطانية تنتشر في البصرة ثاني اكبر المدن العراقية الا انها انسحبت من اثنتين من قواعدها الثلاث هناك. ومن المقرر ان تنسحب من ثالث قاعدة لها بالمدينة في الاسابيع القادمة وتعيد تمركزها خارج المدينة. وحذر الصدر البريطانيين من امكانية تعرضهم لهجمات في بلادهم بسبب مشاركة لندن في غزو العراق.

وقال "يضع البريطانيون جنودهم في موقف خطير بارسالهم الى هنا ( العراق) لكنهم يعرضون الناس ايضا في بلادهم (بريطانيا) للخطر." وأضاف "جعلوا اعداء لهم بين جميع المسلمين ويواجهون الان هجمات في بلادهم."

Petition sign and circulate:

Release Iraqi women hostages, victims of terrorism themselves

بعيدا عن الوطن؛ حراك التضامن مع الوطن فنا، شعرا وكتابةً
Away from Home; Memory, Art and women solidarity: you are invited to an evening of poetry and music 22/3/2017 18:30 at P21 Gallery London click here for more details
Public meeting at The Bolivar Hall, London Sat.14/5/2016 at 15:00 IDPs : Fragmentation of Cultural and National Identity


Protest the suffering of Iraqi Christians: No to terrorism No to state terrorism.Hands off our minorities. Hands off our people. Shame on the human rights violators on all sides. Assemble 11:30 on 28/7/14 near Parliament Square, near Westminister tube station London. For more past events click here


Useful links

Halt All Executions! Abolish The Death Penalty!

We women of Tadhamun condemn the persisting practice of arbitrary arrests by the Iraqi security forces. We condemn their arrests of women in lieu of their men folk. These are 'inherited' practices. We are alarmed by credible media reports of the Green Zone government’s intentions of executing hundreds of Iraqi men and women.

For more info click here

Professor Zaineb Al Bahrani of Columbia University NY speaking at a our meeting on the destruction/damage to historical sites in Iraq

On youtube: Part1
Part 3
One more video:

Human Rights Watch: No woman is Safe


Articles published on this site do not necessarily reflect the opinion of WSIUI or its members

المقالات المنشورة على هذا الموقع لا تعكس بالضرورة آراء منظمتنا أو أعضاء منظمتنا

Samarra Minrate built in 852 AD

Samarra Minrate built in 852 AD
Building of 1 500 massive police station !
From the angle of the photo, it is possible to calculate that the complex is being built at E 396388 N 3785995 (UTM Zone 38 North) or Lat. 34.209760° Long. 43.875325°, to the west of the Malwiya (Spiral Minaret), and behind the Spiral Cafe.
While the point itself may not have more than Abbasid houses under the ground, it is adjacent to the palace of Sur Isa, the remains of which can be seen in the photo. While the initial construction might or might not touch the palace, accompanying activities will certainly spread over it.Sur Isa can be identified with the palace of al-Burj, built by the
Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil, probably in 852-3 (Northedge, Historical Topography of Samarra, pp 125-127, 240). The palace is said to have cost 33 million dirhams, and was luxurious. Details are given by al-Shabushti, Kitab al-Diyarat.
Samarra was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO at the end of June. The barracks could easily have been built elsewhere, off the archaeological site.--
Alastair Northedge Professeur d'Art et d'Archeologie Islamiques UFR d'Art et d'Archeologie
Universite de Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne) 3, rue Michelet, 75006 Paris
tel. 01 53 73 71 08 telecopie : 01 53 73 71 13 Email :
Alastair.Northedge@univ-paris1.fr ou anorthedge@wanadoo.fr