Morning Report: November 11, 2004

Arafat dies. Terrorist leader Yasser Arafat died in Paris in the early hours of Thursday, November 11, according to media reports.

Mohammed: Emergency state enhances security in Iraq. Mohammed at Iraq the Model believes the current state of emergency declared by Iraqi PM Iyad Allawi will help restore confidence among Iraqis:
Declaring the state of emergency laws had a positive effect on the majority of Iraqis although it should’ve caused worries but I believe that this explains the public hopes to see an end for the violence and presence of criminal groups in some parts of Iraq and this is a public feeling that grew bigger because of the brutality of the atrocities committed against Iraqis by those criminal groups. I think it also shows that Iraqis are convinced that this emergency law won’t be similar to the “laws” that governed their lives under Saddam; people know that a real change is under way and that the new laws are going to protect the citizens instead of oppressing them. Perhaps the fact that most the Fallujans left the city proves that they have no intention to confront the Iraqi and multinational forces and it clearly means”go get the bad guys” and this discredits the media’s theory which claimed that “most of the Fallujans are willing to fight”.

Wretchard: The enemy's prospects in Fallujah. The Belmont Club assesses the position of Ba'athist remnants and insurgents in Fallujah, Iraq: 'Simply reading the map shows that the enemy is pinned in a strip north of the highway, which is now a barrier to further escape south. As Major Piccoli put it, the "enemy fighters were bottled up in a strip of the city flanking the major east-west highway that splits Fallujah". Pressing them against the highway are four US battalions from the north and two from the east.'

Three relatives of Allawi abducted. Gunmen kidnapped three relatives of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi - Allawi's 75-year-old cousin Ghazi, Ghazi's wife, and their daughter-in-law, according to this Fox News report. A militant group called Ansar al-Jihad claimed responsibilty, threatening to kill the three hostages in 48 hours unless the Iraqi and US governments met its demands.