Tense Truce Between Awakening Groups and Iraqi Government

BAQUBA – As violence continues in Baghdad and southern Iraq, it seems quiet on the surface in Baquba, the volatile city 25 mi. north of Baghdad. But few believe the truce between the U.S.-backed Awakening Groups and the government security forces can last. The Awakening Groups, known locally as the Sahwa, were formed to battle … Continue reading “Tense Truce Between Awakening Groups and Iraqi Government”

Shia Battles Spread to Baquba

BAQUBA – Battles between rival Shia groups have spread from Basra in the south to Baquba in the north. Clashes between the Mahdi Army of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and the Badr Organization militia of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) have been reported in the predominantly Shia district of Hwaider in Baquba, the capital … Continue reading “Shia Battles Spread to Baquba”

In Iraq, Childhood Is a Thing of the Past

BAQUBA – Iraq’s children have been more gravely affected by the U.S. occupation than any other segment of the population. The United Nations estimated that half a million Iraqi children died during more than 12 years of economic sanctions that preceded the U.S. invasion of March 2003, primarily as a result of malnutrition and disease. … Continue reading “In Iraq, Childhood Is a Thing of the Past”

In Baquba, Happiness Is a Memory

BAQUBA – After losing sight of what they knew to be normal life, residents across Baquba seem to have fallen into a depression. Close to the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, March 19, Iraqis today say they feel humiliated in their own country. "People have forgotten how to be happy," says resident … Continue reading “In Baquba, Happiness Is a Memory”

Sahwa Forces Challenge Govt, and Win

BAQUBA – The conflict between Sahwa forces and the Iraqi government in Diyala has resulted in more power for the Sahwa. Tensions rose in early February when men dressed in Iraqi security personnel uniforms kidnapped two women. Their naked bodies were found later. Before and after that incident, Sahwa forces have accused the police chief … Continue reading “Sahwa Forces Challenge Govt, and Win”

Occupation Strangles Farmers

BAQUBA – New plant diseases, attacks by occupation forces and escalating fuel prices are strangling farmers in Diyala province. Prior to the US-led invasion of March 2003, farmers in Baquba, the capital city of Diyala province 40 km northeast of Baghdad, struggled with plant diseases they believed were caused by bombs dropped during the US-led … Continue reading “Occupation Strangles Farmers”

Tensions Rise Between ‘Awakening’ and Iraqi Govt Forces

BAQUBA – US backed Sahwa forces threaten to destabilize US-backed Iraqi government forces in Iraq’s volatile Diyala province. The "Awakening Councils," known locally as the Sahwa, have left their centers in cities and districts around the capital of Diyala province, located 40 km northeast of Baghdad. After seeing better security and stability brought about by … Continue reading “Tensions Rise Between ‘Awakening’ and Iraqi Govt Forces”

Baquba Losing Life – and Hope

BAQUBA – Life has been bad enough in Diyala province north of Baghdad after prolonged violence, unemployment and loss of all forms of normal living. What could be worse now is the loss of hope that anything will ever be better. In Baquba, capital city of Diyala province 40km northeast of Baghdad, it’s all about … Continue reading “Baquba Losing Life – and Hope”

Iraq Unemployment Too Becomes an Epidemic

For a few, salaries have soared. For the rest, unemployment has. Many Iraqi workers enjoyed huge salary increases following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. But unemployment rose more sharply under policies introduced by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). CPA head L. Paul Bremer decommissioned the Iraqi military, leading to overnight unemployment for … Continue reading “Iraq Unemployment Too Becomes an Epidemic”

Iraqis Still Left in the Dark

BAQUBA – Lack of electricity in Baquba has shattered businesses, and the lives of families. Months of power failures has darkened morale everywhere. In Diyala province, just north of Baghdad, a generation has grown up in dark. The province, and its capital Baquba 40 km north of Baghdad has lived with intermittent electricity supply since … Continue reading “Iraqis Still Left in the Dark”