Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Countering fascist apologists

In Dispatches, 8 May , on Channel 4, the first part deals with the region of Al-Qaem(*), near the Syrian border.
Strangely enough, there was a piece in the Financial Times, 6 May, about this area.

Husaybah and Karabila are two towns there. According to the FT, most of the local tribesmen have now turned against al-Qaeda. 2,500 US marines and 1,000 Iraqi soldiers, with the Hamza (a local milita) providing intelligence, took control of the towns (in November 2005).

The FT's correspondent says it offers 'a glimpse of how Iraq could function in a peaceful future.'  The article starts:
In the Syrian border town of Husaybah sit two fierce-looking brothers, one the chief of police, the other the colonel of the local Iraqi army brigade, both members of the powerful Albu Mahal tribe.

By their side is the commander of the US marine battalion in charge of this region, Lt Col Nick Marano. Before them sit the sheikhs of the region's tribes - Albu Mahals, Karbulis, Salmanis, Ubaydis, Albu Hardans and others, each in their robe and headdress.
If you want to read the rest, you have to pay.

To go back to the C4 programme, which was typical, one-sided propaganda, I saw that part of the town(*) had been destroyed. I also saw the woman who made the film encouraging children to 'continue the resistance'.

* There is some confusion over names: the C4 programme refers to Al-Qaem as a town. The FT describes it as an area, the hinterland of the two towns it mentions. There are some quite detailed maps available on the web. I found this one, produced by the CIA:
Husaybah [Qusaybah] and Iraq/Syria Border (tactical pilotage chart) original scale 1:500,000 Portion of Defense Mapping Agency TPC G-4C 1991 (638K) Not for navigational use.

On the map, you see Husaybah (Al-Qa'im). The other town the FT mentioned is shown as Al Karabilah.


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