Just Another Day for Baghdad Security Plan


Baghdad, March 13, 2007. Another day in the Baghdad Security Plan, and this report comes in from one of our translators, who is a Shia and basically pro-American. "Last night at 11 p.m., a U.S. force raided the College of Administration & Economy at Baghdad University in the Wazeeriya district [a predominantly Shia area]. A woman who works there told me that yesterday she left her room closed and this morning she found it open with broken locks, but nothing was missing. One of the guards told her they came at 11 p.m. and disarmed them. 'They ordered us to sit on the ground without any movement,' he told her. 'When I tried to change my place, one of the U.S. soldiers kicked me very hard.' They searched nearly all the offices of the college, including the dean's.

"You remember when I told you that my mother-in-law talked to me about a U.S. military operation in Camb district last week, and that the U.S. forces arrested all the teenaged boys and high school students. She says most of those young people were released yesterday, and that the Americans treated them in a good way, but the U.S. military asked them some questions, like do you pray or not? Where do you usually pray? Are you a Sunni or a Shiite? And before they were released, a U.S. officer told them all that they will be arrested again if any attack takes place in Dhubat Street of Camb district, which is adjacent to Adhamiya [a troublesome Sunni area].

"Today, at 9:30 a.m., while a U.S. convoy of four Humvees was passing near the Jalal mosque on the other side of Camb district, and near to my little boy's school, a very strong IED exploded causing the death of two U.S. soldiers, and wounding four others. Then the insurgents started shooting on the remainder of the convoy and the U.S. soldiers also responded and they were supported by helicopters, and many innocent Iraqi civilians died because of that, while many houses were damaged [Al Arabiya TV reported five civilians killed]. My son and his schoolmates didn't know what to do, they were pinned down, so he called me and his mother on the cell phone he has with him, and we also didn't know what to do, even though his mother was just on the other side of the main street from him, she couldn't reach him until after the end of the clashes.

"Thanks to God, no one in my family has been hurt." Just another day, out there winning hearts and minds.