Iraq: civil resistance builds Safety Force

Samir Adil, president of the Iraq Freedom Congress, reports on the progress of the new popular Safety Force, Jan. 18:

Samir Adil meets with the IFC Safety Force

Accompanied by Raid Salih, head of the Safety Force in Baghdad, Samir Adil met with members of the Safety Force to evaluate and discuss the latest period. The new Bush strategy and its implications for on the ground, and priorities for the Safety Force also were on the agenda.

Members described the strengths and weaknesses and the social role of the Safety Force which gained considerable reputation in terms of providing safety while they are present. In the report from Karentina neighborhood, the Force mentioned that they were able to educate people on issues of tolerance and not letting anyone promote or even make jokes that are based on sectarian contents. They were able to deter the sectarian factions from establishing their bases in the area. In the Almashrooa neighborhood report, the Force has received much appreciation from the residents who have offered financial aid to the Force.

Adil remarked that we have to be proud that within three months of the formation of the Force the neighborhoods that were guarded day and night never reported any sectarian violence, and we would have become part of this violence if it wasn’t for the Force. He addressed the Force saying, “You should be aware of your significant role. This role is not measured by the size of the Force but in fact by its presence and activities among people. I am not overstating when I say you have done a great job. A famous satellite TV station like Alarabya — which never wanted to broadcast anything about IFC — has broadcast a show called ‘New Militia Named Safety Force Emerges in Iraq.’ Although some of you did not like the word militia, I didn’t see it that way. We are different from the militias in many senses such as traditions, culture, goals, agenda and our code of conduct. Ours brings safety, security, and restores dignity but the others bring death, tragedy and discrimination.”

As for the Bush strategy, Adil said, “We have to analyze this strategy and set our priorities in accordance with that. We live on borrowed time therefore we have to up our readiness. We have to establish a plan to clean Baghdad of the sectarian groups and secure the city and make it secured just like the areas in which we live. Our presence with our comrades in Alsulaikh deterred the sectarian cleansing. We have a plan to make the people who were displaced because of their identity come back to their homes. We spread our slogans everywhere in Baghdad stating ‘No Shiite…No Sunni… ours is humane identity, The Occupation is the enemy of humanity’ and so on.”

The Safety Force was established to salvage people from this tragedy, without having this view we cannot do our jobs. We cannot end the occupation without uniting the people in one rank and providing safety. The Safety Force has to be aware of its historic role and improve its readiness by recruiting new people. The next stage is the most dangerous stage ever. The situation will exacerbate, and more killings will be witnessed because the new strategy aims to hit hard at whoever stands in its way, Adil added.

In the end the Force pledged to continue working until the aims of IFC are realized.

Iraq Freedom Congress

Media Centre

January 18, 2007

See our last post on Iraq’s sectarian cleansing and the our last posting from Iraq’s civil resistance.