Sunday, September 28, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:
Ministry of Public Works Report

Iraqi Minister of Public Works Nasreen Berwari revealed details of her ministry's plan to restore Iraq's drinking water and sewage treatment infrastructure during a September 24 press briefing at the Washington Foreign Press Center following her meetings with President Bush and senior U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officials earlier in the week.


She insisted, however, that Iraq is rich in water resources. The country simply needs to work on conservation and management policies, she said. In her view, the former Ba'athist regime created a "culture of waste," but she affirmed her commitment to pursuing a more responsible use of resources.
- posted by river @ 2:57 PM

[Brian’s Comment – It’s all here folks
Minister Berwari briefs reporters following meeting with President Bush, By David Shelby,Washington File Staff Writer Washington ]

Saturday, September 27, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:
Did you know

Over 200 schools were refurbished this week — double the number of schools from last week. With more than 35,000 Iraqis employed in the school rehabilitation program, a total of 451 schools are ready for classes. In addition, construction is underway on 1,234 more schools throughout Iraq.

The International Rescue Committee completed the rehabilitation last week of two compact water treatment plants in Al Heweten and Al Kezweni in An Najaf Governorate. To date, 32 small water treatment plants have been rehabilitated in An Najaf.
- posted by river @ 1:21 PM

[Brian’s Comment – Boring!]

Friday, September 26, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:
Did you know

A second food processing plant reopened this week in Al Kut, Wasit Governorate, where Research Triangle Institute assisted Iraqi staff in installing a new generator at a meat processing plant. The plant reopening will create up to 50 new jobs and increase production and food safety at the plant, which serves 350,000 Al Kut residents.

Work on the Abu-Ruwaia and Im-Rwaia health clinics in the Karbala Governorate was completed last week. The activities, supported by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), included community outreach and the supply of furniture and equipment.
- posted by river @ 1:43 AM

[Brian’s Comment – Did you know?… that this was all stolen from the US State Dept. (]

Thursday, September 25, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:
Aqila al-Hashimi

Saddam has killed al-Hashimi with his own hands.
- posted by river @ 1:51 AM

[Brian’s Comment – this is obviously excusable in the name of exaggerated opinion. But I suspect a genuine Iraqi might have added some reason why they believed Saddam had such a direct hand in the murder]

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:
Iraq Reconstruction Task Force

A "Quick Glance Chart" for U.S. businesses on contracts awarded for Iraq reconstruction.
- posted by river @ 6:27 AM

[Brian’s Comment – Strange. Why doesn’t the blogger just cut and paste from this chart unattributed and pretend he’d written it himself. Just the way any normal simple Iraqi woman worker would do :) ]

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:


The governing council does not back its finance minister statement to allow foreign ownership in most economic sectors here, his comments were not "official."

Only the council president could announce policy, "and the statements attributed to the finance minister about the law of investment cannot be considered official."

The minister's announcement that Iraq would be open to 100-per cent foreign ownership in all sectors except oil had sparked criticism in Iraqi business circles.

The council promised to come up with a "precise, scientific version that will guarantee the rights of the Iraqi people and will serve the high interests of the country."

- posted by river @ 8:34 PM

[Brian’s Comment – familiar MO. All the above comes from]

Iraq Council Bans Arab TV Stations Today

The Governing Council said today it would limit the operations of Qatar-based Al Jazeera and Dubai-based Al Arabiya satellite channels it accused of "encouraging terrorism."

The council said the temporary move is a clear message to other channels that might stir unrest among Iraqis.

The Council said they have breached the guidelines by endangering stability and democracy and by encouraging terrorism.

"The Governing Council decided to ban them from covering council activities and official press conferences, and to deny their correspondents access to ministries and council buildings.
- posted by river @ 7:49 PM

[Brian’s Comment – another shortened steal. All the above sentences appear in this article on Al-jazeera],%20Al-Arabiya%20TV%20Channels.htm

Akila al-Hashimi's Condition is Worsening

There is a serious declinein her condition. She had been preparing to leave for this week's U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York when she was ambushed. Ahmad Chalabi blamed Saddam loyalists for the attack on al-Hashimi as part of a campaign to target Iraqis who work with the coalition.

al-Hashim was in our Foreign Ministry during the Saddam government and is the only official of Saddam's government appointed to the 25-member Governing Council and had been expected to become our new envoy to the United Nations.
- posted by river @ 6:05 AM

[Brian’s Comment – again another short précis plagiarized from international news:

Bomb Misses U.S. Patrol, Kills Iraqi, STEVEN R. HURST, Associated Press
“Ahmad Chalabi, blamed Saddam loyalists for the attack on al-Hashimi as part of a campaign to target Iraqis who work with the U.S.-led coalition.”

“She served in the Foreign Ministry during the Saddam government and was the only official of the ousted regime appointed to the 25-member Governing Council. She had been expected to become Iraq's new envoy to the United Nations.”,1280,-3186204,00.html

[Brian's Comment - the tiny tinkering of words turning “the” into “our” etc. shows how our blogger takes news sources and tries ineptly and lazily to personalize them. This removes even the feeble excuse that the blogger was intending to quote foreign news, and just now aware that it should be attributed. This case is particularly notable since it involves the tragic death of a potential role-model female citizen in the new Iraq. Imagine a US citizen writing about the assassination of JFK or MLK. Instead of saying what they feel, they go to a foreign news service and change the words around. It is quite unimaginable. Obviously this blogger, is not, an Iraqi woman – if there remained any cause for doubt.]

Monday, September 22, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:

My Yekke Friend
So obsessive a ritualist
Even a pleasant surprise
Makes him cross.
- posted by river @ 5:11 AM

[Brian’s Comment – this is kind of funny. Our fake blogger makes a half-hearted effort to seem human by sticking in a little poem but where did it come from? Answer: where it was posted in March 2003. Note this is a third riverbend blog. The genuine Iraqi one is but it appears predated by this one which made a brief appearance in March of 2003, and gives no clue as to its country of origin, or to any political intent. My guess is that the fake RiverSbend blogger stumbled upon this while trying to check on riverbendblog and stole it to give a cursory impression that the fake blog has some genuine human blog motivation behind it.]

Saturday, September 20, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:
Iraq governing council member Akila al-Hashemi was shot

Hospital officials said three of her bodyguards were wounded, one critically. Akila al-Hashimi is in serious condition.

Eye witnesses at the scene said Hashemi's car had its tyres shot out and crashed through a nearby garage in an effort to evade the gunmen.

She is one of three Governing Council members in a delegation to the UN Security Council in July.

- posted by river @ 5:52 AM

[Brian’s Comment – not the most egregious example, since this is short but note the blogger does not use his own words here.,1227,222376-1-9,00.html
“Locals at the scene said Hashemi's car had its tyres shot out and crashed through a nearby garage in an effort to evade the gunmen.”]

Friday, September 19, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:
Al-Jazeera reported that soldiers moved into the al-Arabi district of Mosul after receiving intelligence suggesting that Saddam was in the neighbourhood. One of its journalists saw three helicopters hovering over the property of Sultan Hashim Ahmad al-Tal.

- posted by river @ 5:56 AM

[Brian’s Comment – again a rarity: an accurately summarized and credited report]

Thursday, September 18, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:
Our local governments are taking shape

With the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, coalition forces are helping to instill democracy in the city of Baghdad. City, district and neighborhood councils have been established to pave the way toward democracy and self governance. Meetings are held weekly by the different levels of city government to discuss issues.

It's been working very well. It's a voice of the citizens to the councils.


"We are not used to dealing with freedoms like Americans,” said Al-Adamy. “Your (coalition) achievement has been very good in Iraq."
- posted by river @ 10:09 AM

[Brian’s Comment – Another very slightly adapted version of someone else’s article. This time from ARNews – Army News Service, Councils pave road to Baghdad democracy By Cpl. Todd Pruden
Note the following quote from this article
“It’s been working very well,” said Capt. Robert Brewer, civil military officer, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery, 1st Armored Division, about the councils’ efforts in working with coalition forces to rebuild the area. “It’s a voice of the citizens to the military.”]

Sunday, September 14, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:
Another look at Women Rights

In Islam there is a principle known as “sad althara’a.”


If someone is in some confusion about the “sad althara’a” principle, he or she ought to refer the matter to a council of authorized and specialized Islamic scholars representing all regions and all Islamic schools of thought. Those scholars should investigate all related dimensions and issues while consulting with all concerned parties. They must make sure the perceived dangers are real and that the benefits realized will exceed the possible harm. Only after doing so can we accept the rule.

- posted by river @ 10:09 AM

[Brian’s Comment – another straight lift. This time from Women Rights Revisited!
Khaled Batarfi, on Arab View,]

Saturday, September 13, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:
Cabinet members took the oath of office.

Seventeen Cabinet members made it to the high-security ceremony at Baghdad's Convention Center. The other eight were unable. The gathering inside a half-mile circumference of sandbags, barbed wire, sharpshooters and explosives-sniffing dogs was cause for celebration.


Another Kurdish leader, Jalal Talabani, who heads the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, acknowledged that the government wasn't yet in a state to expect international recognition, but that it should come soon.

"We have a seat at the United Nations," he noted jovially. "We will send some people to sit on it."

- posted by river @ 9:43 AM

[Brian’s Comment – direct lift from the LA Times “In a Key Step on a Long Road to a New Iraq, Cabinet Assumes Office, September 4, 2003” reproduced here]

Thursday, September 11, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:
My thoughts are with those relatives of all who died two years ago on this day in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon or onboard the aircraft which were used as weapons of destruction by Al Queda.
- posted by river @ 1:10 PM

[Brian’s Comment – no need to be flippant here. Many Iraqis may have turned their thoughts to the WTC attack on this date. Certainly all Americans will have]

France, Germany and Russia have agreed to approve American military leadership. The three nations submitted amendments, circulated on Wednesday, to a US-drafted Security Council resolution shortly before a weekend foreign ministers meeting in Geneva to see if a compromise can be reached.

Members of the United Nations now have an opportunity - and the responsibility - to assume a broader role in assuring that Iraq becomes a free and democratic nation.

The Franco-German document, issued separately from milder Russian amendments, calls for the UN endorsement of Iraq's Governing Council (IGC) and cabinet as a "trustee of Iraqi sovereignty" until an elected government is established.

The Arab League on Tuesday announced its acceptance of the IGC.

[Brian’s Comment – The Piece about the IGC appears stolen from an Al Jazeera press release. Sample sentence
“The Franco-German document, issued separately from milder Russian amendments, calls for the UN endorsement of Iraq's Governing Council (IGC) and cabinet as a "trustee of Iraqi sovereignty" until an elected government is established. “]

Nayzak and her American boyfriend

When her fiancé left Iraq for Germany, Nayzak gave him a Quran for good luck. He asked her to remember him with a tiny cross that dangles on a gold chain around her neck.

Faith, they said, is the only force strong enough to protect them from the disapproving whispers of people who don't believe in love between a Muslim Iraqi woman and a Roman Catholic U.S. Army sergeant.


"You just don't know what's waiting for you, whether they will accept you," Nayzak said, looking at a photo of her boyfriend pasted on her closet door. "People think I don't love him, that I just want to leave here and go to the States. But we'll prove them wrong."

- posted by river @ 10:47 AM

[Brian’s Comment -The Nayzak story is plagiarised verbatim from “For them, love is more than leap of faith”
BY HANNAH ALLAMPioneer Press, Sept 7 2003,]

Monday, September 08, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:
Marvelous News on aljazeera this morning.

[Brian's Snip of credited extract from Al Jazeera]

This is most important

My cousin tells of an Iraqi contract with local workers to build a new sewage transfer station to move the stagnate sewage that has posed a health risk here for more years than I have lived.

The Governing Council, Iraqi government engineers and American engineers working as a team will greatly improve the Al-Shulla and Gazalyia sections.

Bringing local contractors to the site also stimulates the economy by putting money into the worker's pockets. This is good for everyone if we have international organizations building the pumping station, then the local workers don't get a chance to make money.

So the Americans are doing what they said they would. This is good for the economy, and at the same time, the Iraqi people see other Iraqis working, and it creates a more positive attitude for the people.

- posted by river @ 10:10 PM

[Brian’s Comment - Here after taking the unusal step of initially crediting Al-Jazeera our blogger tries something else novel. Not just copying verbatim but editing slightly to make someone else’s words appear to be direct from the blogger – and throwing in a little pro-USA cheerleading. Note this from V CORPS ENGINEERS HELP IRAQIS BUILD LONG-AWAITED SEWAGE PUMPING STATION on

" The new sewage pumping station will intercept raw sewage that dumps into the canal running between the al-Shul'lah and the Ghazalyia neighborhoods.

Bringing local contractors to the site also stimulates the economy by putting money into the workers’ pockets.

“This is good for everyone,” said Maj. Tony J. Hofman, 70th Engineers operations officer. “If we have international organizations building the pumping station, then the local workers don’t get a chance to make money. So this is good for the economy, and at the same time, the Iraqi people see other Iraqis working, and it creates a more positive attitude for the people.” "

[Brian's comment - The mention of the bloggers mythical “cousin” here is doubtless intended as a counter to the genuine Riverbend bloggers Diyala Bridge story – told by her cousin “My cousin, a structural engineer, is a bridge freak” on August 28th. Our fake blogger here is often amusingly unoriginal]

Saturday, September 06, 2003

RiverSbend wrote:
Paras find Ammo at Schools
Ammunition has been found stored in every school searched by British soldiers securing their section of Iraq.
Speaking at a media briefing at Colchester Colonel Tony Barton, a spokesman from the 16 Air assault Brigade, said: "There is absolutely stacks of it (ammunition) around."

Brigadier Jacko Page said: "I can't believe it.
Most of it has been dragged into built-up areas to secure it. Every single school we went in to was full of ammunition."


Troops are living in more basic conditions in the province and eating combat rations because there is no way of keeping fresh produce in temperatures which do not dip below 30 degrees, even at night.
- posted by river @ 1:11 PM

[Brian's comment: This entire entry has been plagiarised verbatim from an article called coicidentally Paras Find Ammo At Schools from Sandy Times – “Published weekly by and for British Forces in the Gulf”
Just the sort of thing every eager Iraqi reads before breakfast]