Iraqi Hospitals Suffer From Corruption, Shortages

BAQUBA – A nurse at Baquba General Hospital asked Ahmed Ali, who co-authored this report, for a bribe to look after his sick baby. It was hardly an exceptional demand. Patients around Iraq have begun commonly to speak of the need to bribe medical staff to get some form of care. "Nurses in Iraqi hospitals … Continue reading “Iraqi Hospitals Suffer From Corruption, Shortages”

Iraq Kidnappings Now Become ‘Unofficial’

BAQUBA – Residents of Baquba deny police claims that kidnappings are now a matter of the past. "There are fewer people disappearing, but it continues," a trader who asked to be referred to as Abu Ali told IPS. "All of us know that several people are still being kidnapped every week." A local sheikh, speaking … Continue reading “Iraq Kidnappings Now Become ‘Unofficial’”

Sectarian Clashes Flare Up Again in Iraq

BAQUBA – A military operation said to target al-Qaeda has ended up targeting Sunni Muslims instead, creating new sectarian tensions. A U.S.-backed security operation launched last month has only targeted cities with majority Sunni populations such as Buhriz, Tahreer, Qatoon, Mafraq, and Hay in Diyala province, north of Baghdad. The operation has drawn more than … Continue reading “Sectarian Clashes Flare Up Again in Iraq”

‘Provincial Saddam’ Goes, Finally

BAQUBA – The surprise removal of the Diyala police chief has brought new hope of a more secure future. The decision by members of the ruling council of Diyala governorate to discharge provincial police chief Ghanim al-Quraishi brought celebrations in its wake. In Baquba, 25 mi. northeast of Baghdad and capital of Diyala province, Quraishi … Continue reading “‘Provincial Saddam’ Goes, Finally”

Iraqi Sunnis Complain of Increased Iranian Influence

BAQUBA – Haider returned from Iran recently, with enough money to pay for his wedding and a new car. He was trained to join Badr, the armed wing of the Dawa Party of U.S.-backed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Many more come where he recently came from. Badr is being trained ostensibly to defend Shia … Continue reading “Iraqi Sunnis Complain of Increased Iranian Influence”

Iran May Gain From Iraq’s Suffering

BAQUBA – The crisis over electricity failure grows as summer temperatures climb and a drought plagues Iraq. It is a crisis Iran is using to help Iraqis where the U.S. has failed. The average house in Baquba, capital of Diyala province north of Baghdad, has less than 12 hours of electricity a day. "I cannot … Continue reading “Iran May Gain From Iraq’s Suffering”

New Iraq Operation Gets Surprise Support

BAQUBA – A massive military operation in Diyala province has underscored the military and political gains by the Sahwa militia, despite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s earlier attempts to thwart them. Maliki has now apparently come around to involving the Sahwa rather than opposing them. The Sahwa are the "Awakening Forces" created and paid by the … Continue reading “New Iraq Operation Gets Surprise Support”

Iraqis Skeptical About Obama, McCain

BAQUBA – Iraqis seem divided on who they would like to see as the next U.S. president, but few believe that either will end the occupation. "The U.S administration has committed a big mistake in Iraq," Adil Ibrahim, a local physician in Baquba, capital city of Diyala province, located 60 mi. northeast of Baghdad, told … Continue reading “Iraqis Skeptical About Obama, McCain”

Iraq’s Widows Victims of Occupation, Social Codes

BAQUBA – Just about everyone in Iraq is a loser as a result of the occupation, but none more than women. One of the more obvious signs of that is the very large number of widows. The Asharq al-Awsat Arab media channel estimated in late 2007 there were 2.3 million widows in Iraq. These include … Continue reading “Iraq’s Widows Victims of Occupation, Social Codes”

Iraqis Running Out of Water in Rising Heat

BAQUBA – The water supply is drying out in what was once the agriculturally rich Diyala province north of Baghdad. Baquba, the capital city of Diyala, is now running out of water both for drinking and for irrigation. The water supply has been hit by power failures. The central pumping station has been running short … Continue reading “Iraqis Running Out of Water in Rising Heat”