Azzaman report on chaos in Baghdad

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Dec 6 2006 14:08
Azzaman report on chaos in Baghdad

Only notable for its reflection of the utter hopelessness that prevails.

Lawless Baghdad descends into chaos

Azzaman, December 4, 2006

Baghdad is turning into a wild city and is now almost completely under the mercy of savage militias and gunmen who have taken the law into their own hands.

Kidnappings and assassinations take place at a scale never seen before and both U.S. and Iraqi troops are practically powerless in restoring any semblance of order anywhere in the city.

International media representatives, confined to heavily protected hotels or quarters, can hardly cope with the reporting of major car bomb attacks or the killing of U.S. Marines.

In fact most of the carnage taking place in the city goes unreported and the world only sees a fraction of the daily atrocities.

The kidnapping of even senior officials no longer grabs the headlines as has been the case of Lameh Omar, an adviser to the Ministry of Denfense. Omar was kidnapped and his body found riddle with bullets shortly after his abduction.

Marauding gunmen attacked the Doura district, stormed several houses, and snatched the young males. Their mutilated bodies were found in an open space in the same district.

Every one of the nearly six million people of Baghdad has a horrendous story to tell. Shiites kill Sunnis, rebels kill Americans and Iraqi troops, U.S. and Iraqi troops kill rebels and civilians and so forth.

Baghdad has become a killing ground to the extent that no one in the city can guarantee a safe return after leaving home even for a short shopping tour.

Reports of killings, kidnappings and bullet-riddled bodies dumped in public places and streets keep pouring into the newspapers.

If published they will fill the news pages of Azzaman daily.

There is no shortage of police officers, U.S. Marines and Iraqi forces in the city but when whole quarters turn against each other there is no force in the world that can contain the situation.

Conditions are worsening and each day is worse than the one preceding it.

Amid the unprecedented surge in violence, the city’s inhabitants have to cope with chronic shortages of power, fuel, water and other basic amenities.

And amongst the chaos, many still go about their work. It is the urge to earn something to survive.

Moreover, sectarian cleansing of a scale unheard of is underway. Whole quarters are being emptied of members of opposite sects.

Some families are abused; some are killed and there are reports of a few being burned alive.

These forced evacuations have resulted in the transfer of hundreds of thousands of people from one quarter to another or outside Baghdad.

They leave behind houses, careers and even personal belongings.

And still there is no light at the end of the tunnel with the hapless inhabitants more pessimistic about the future than any time before.