New Trend Magazine (

[Biggest Islamic web site in the U.S.]
P.O. Box 356, Kingsville, MD 21087.
Phone: 410-435-5000.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are not necessarily shared by editorial committee.
Responses (positive or negative) up to 250 words are welcome.
Names will be withheld on request.
New Trend will not be published on April 10, 11 and 12 as our editors and writers will participate in peace rallies and speak at various places. A.N.S.W.E.R has called for a rally to SURROUND THE WHITE HOUSE on April 12 (Saturday). The American people are not being fooled by the media hype. We urge Muslims to join the American masses and "answer" the warmongering Zionists.
DAY 21: U.S. Bridgehead in Baghdad: Staged "Public Support" Photo Op at Statue
Disappearance Of Iraqi Government Officials Leads to Theories about Lull in Fighting: Where is Saddam ?

On April 9, 2003 U.S. tank units rolled into the central "government showpiece" area of Baghdad with NO RESISTANCE. The main show of the day was an orchestrated "photo op" staged ostensibly with the help of Iraqi collaborators during which a statue of Saddam Hussain was pulled down. The number of civilians who showed up for this "event" was small, at most a hundred or a little over. However, the U.S. media turned it into it a propaganda opportunity to create the sense that Iraqis are welcoming the American invaders.

[Al-Jazeerah and Abu Dhabi TV seem to have been subdued by yesterday's attack on their facilities and dutifully gave extensive footage of the drama in which Saddam's statue was pulled down.]

Only a few blocks away, American units stopped their advance when they came under intense light arms fire at Baghdad university.

As in Basrah, the Iraqi collaborators were rewarded by U.S. permission (or masterly inactivity) to let them break into Iraqi government offices and buildings and loot to their heart's content.

American media and officials are identifying the Iraqi collaborators as "Shias." CIA agent Chalabi, who has been brought into the Nasiria area to start a Karzai-type "government" has also been identified as "Shia." This gives the incorrect impression that Iraqi Shias are cooperating with the American invasion forces, though most Shias are nationalists and opposed the U.S. invasion. Such identification could be an attempt to create sectarian conflict in the Muslim world. Observers say that if collaborators with America are seen as "Shias," it would make Shias, pariahs in the Muslim world, not unlike Karzai's family which is hated not only in Afghanistan but throughout the Muslim world

The sudden lull in the fighting and the disappearance of Iraqi information minister Saeed al-Sahhaf and other officials has led to intense speculation about what might have happened. Here are the four possibilities:

1. Saddam Hussain and his closest officials were killed in the "bunker buster" strike by the U.S. at the restaurant in Mansurah area of Baghdad. Thus he is shaheed.

2. He is hiding in the western or northern area of Baghdad, preparing a counterattack. This would be in consonance with his jihadi pronouncements till now.

3. He has retreated to Mosul or Tikrit and will continue the fight from there. The presence of several strong Iraqi divisions in those areas lends credence to this theory.

4. The most cynical but well reasoned theory is as follows: The U.S. has made a deal with Russia to avoid suffering heavy casualties in Baghdad and to avoid the continuance of heavy civilian Iraqi casualties which have outraged the Arab and Muslim world. According to this deal, Saddam has gone to Russia by way of Syria. This accounts for the road convoy with the Russian ambassador in it which suffered an attack on the way to Syria. This story is supported by persistent rumors that Saddam was hiding in the Russian embassy in Baghdad. The sudden lull in the Iraqi defense and the non-appearance of Al-Sahhaf and other officials indicates that the entire leadership has left.

If number four is correct, the Americans will now negotiate the surrender of well-armed Iraqi forces in Kirkuk, Mosul and Tikrit. The resistance in Baghdad may still be stiff because some anti-American units and mujahideen groups will fight even without overall leadership.

2003-04-10 Thu 18:49ct