| The bureaucracy of evil: how Islamic State ran a city
| Tuesday, January 30, 2018
BCF : Every day, early in the morning, the former missile scientist would leave his house in Mosul.
Riding buses, or on foot – he could no longer afford petrol – he’d call on friends, check on his mother or visit his sister’s family. Sometimes he’d hunt for cheap kerosene, or try to score contraband books or cigarettes. Most often, he’d meander aimlessly – a traveller in his own city.In the evening, he’d sit at his old wooden desk, bent over his notebook, recording the day.
Most of what he wrote was banal: the price of tomatoes, a quarrel with his wife. But he also wrote his observations of the remarkable events unfolding in Mosul.
“I must live this moment and record it,” reads one entry, from August 2014, two months after the fall of the city. “We live like prisoners serving long jail sentences. Some of us will come out having finished reading dozens of books. Others will be devastated and destroyed.”
By the time he stopped writing, he’d filled five volumes. They are the
handwritten diaries of a city under occupation, and a chart of how the Islamic State tried to live up to its name – by running a city. In the early days of June 2014, the new gunmen were broadly welcomed in
Mosul. Unlike the brutal and corrupt Iraqi army, they were polite. They
guarded public buildings, prevented looting and dismantled the concrete
barricades that choked the city. “There were no more car bombs, no clashes and no IEDs,” the scientist
wrote. “Mosul is at peace finally.
They control the streets and people
are awestruck. They allow people to leave Mosul, and schools are
teaching government curriculums.” There was some confusion regarding their identity. Were they Sunni
tribal revolutionaries? Ba’athist officers from Saddam’s old army?
Jihadi militants like al-Qaeda? These different groups had been a fact
of life ever since the US-led invasion in 2003. For years, the factions
had vied for power in Mosul, seeking legitimacy by waging a ruthless
urban guerrilla war – first against the American occupiers, then
subsequent Iraqi governments.
Read it all here...................
|posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 4:36 PM