After communism and capitalism, there is asterism.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Landing at the Iraqi Blogodrome

Cliques of bastards and villains are controlling the living stream in a country that was once upon a time the prophets and messengers foothold. Slim after slim sits cross-legged on the f*** seat in Baghdad in what is so called now the Green Zone (Godzilla zone) ... teaching their firing and blood squads and bogeymen some bloodcurdling lessons on how to torture and behead their compatriots
This week I have a heart rending story of a kidnapping, reactions to the Wall of Adhamiya, a comparison of New Orleans and Baghdad, opposition to the new oil law, and, if you read to the end, plastic palm trees.

The previous quote is from Marshmallow26 who has had enough. She sees her country being torn apart and vents her anger at all the groups in power in Iraq today. And she does not stop there...
Why are you making the Iraqi situation as a stinky play? Some onlookers are dying from the unpleasant odor, others are using masks, sniggering inside and point at us!! ... YOU who slyly ornamented your harangues with secure, brave and restful words to protect Iraq and Iraqis, but those outlaid commercials were nothing but chicken shit and easier said than done!!

Most of you were barefoot and vulgar but this war served you a lot, now you became a bunch of Global pioneers, and war-horses…you bunch of highbinders…Each one of you have a diplomatic immunity... Go back to where you came from!

Ugh!!!!! I've had enough

If you read no other blog this week read this:

What did you do last week? For a week last month Fatima continually cried for a relative who was kidnapped, held for ransom then brutally murdered. Follow her trials through her tortuous posts every day of that week.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 Crying for Bilal
Today I shed my first real tears for Baghdad. Every day my heart cries for what's happening there, but today my eyes joined my heart in sadness.
Today I found out that Bilal was kidnapped from university...

his mom got a call, the call that every mother dreads, from Bilal himself. He was screaming into the phone, "they got me, they got me," and yelling at his kidnappers at the same time. I can only guess what my dear aunt in law is living through right now, recalling that call over and over in her head.

Bilal is not only a cousin to my husband and me. He's our neighbor in Baghdad, living two doors away. He's the kid who came over all the time, and the one who we visited all the time, at his parents' house. He played with my then one year old, carried her around with him when he went out, took videos of her entertaining the family. He came over to our house when we were out and needed someone to sit with the workers fixing the house. He's the one we sent on odd errands.

The kidnappers called his family and asked for $200,000. A few hours later, they downgraded it to $25,000.
Thursday, April 19, 2007 Crying for Bilal: Day Two
It turns out that Aunt N wasn't the one who answered her son's frantic call, but his ten year old brother, Ch. Ch picked up his mom's cell phone and heard Bilal screaming, "Wal, Ch tell mama they are taking me, they kidnapped me, leave me alone, leave me alone. Let me go!" Ten years old and having to live through this!

My hubby was telling me how tense it is in the house (he's staying at his aunt's, at Bilal's house). Everyone is screaming at each other. When my husband insisted that they stick to paying $12,000, before they had come to an agreement, his aunt yelled at him, "They'll kill Bilal." It's scary for everyone, because they're basically bartering for their son/brother's life. Maybe their insistence on a lower sum will save them thousands of dollars, and maybe it will kill their loved one. It's kind of funny, but Iraqi families have started talking about what they would do in the case of a kidnapping. My husband told me long ago, should anything happen to him, not to ever pay more than $10,000. I always tell him, whatever, but when it comes down to it, everyone loses their minds. Bilal's brother, A, was always the smooth, smart negotiator. But when it touched him directly in his home, in his heart, he melted.

Friday, April 20, 2007 Waiting for Bilal: Day Three
They paid the ransom today, at a designated place, unspecified till they arrived in a general location. Our neighbor, (father of two sons and a son in law kidnapped more than six months ago, and still missing) insisted on taking the ransom to the evil people. I'll give you more details later. .. The family is frantic, depressed now.

Saturday, April 21, 2007 Hoping for Bilal: Day Four
My heart is heavy and I don't want to write this. I thought almost for sure that by today I would be writing good news. Bilal is still not home. The family has basically accepted his fate.

Sunday, April 22, 2007 Day Five: Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'oon: To God We Belong and To Him We Will Return
I don't feel like writing this post, but at the same time, I want to record this history down for my daughters and myself to remember.

They killed Bilal on Thursday, April 19, 2007. His body was found today, Saturday, April 21, 2007. He was shot in his arms, chest and head. He is our martyr. May God accept him.

We're worn out by our tears and sadness. But what I'm feeling is nothing compared to what his poor mother is living through now and what she will face the rest of her days.

Monday, April 23, 2007 Day Six: Bilal's Burial
'A's friend brought Bilal's body to his family today, because its dangerous for Sunni men to pick their dead up from the city morgue. ...

He has a smile on his face. Looks very serene and comfortable. Like he has rested from this world's burdens. I saw his picture. He is beautiful and shining.
His mother is holding up well. She's tough. She told us that she's patient on the outside, but her heart is burnt up on the inside, torn asunder. She told us that when she saw him, she kissed him and told him how much she missed him. She told him, "You don't have to study anymore, your finished with your college studies." And it seemed like he smiled.

It's been six days, and the ordeal is finally over. Six hellish days. A week ago we never imagined that a week later we'd be left with broken hearts.

The Wall

News of a wall being built around the Baghdad district of Adhamiya has brough strong reactions from Iraqi bloggers.

The news brought back childhood memories in Adhamiya to Wafaa'. She writes:
This piece of news brought outrage to my feelings and caused prolonged weeping. As if my memory have been swollen for too long and at this piece of news, it exploded and began leaking. Yes, leaking childhood and teenage memories!"...

I am so worried about those who live in Al-Athamiyya. What will become of them if this UGLY WALL became a reality? Does this mean that I can not visit Athamiyya when I am in Baghdad next time? Will I need a permission or an ID to enter the area? When will this nightmare of occupation end?

Great Baghdad posts picture and maps of the wall and writes,
The Americans, and the Shiat dominated Iraqi government are claiming that this wall is a "protective security wall and Not a separation wall"... all of this is a big Piece of Crap... It is simply that the Government is not able to get there to root out the terrorism there, and at the same time they do not want terrorism to spread out to the rest of the city. The government has simply tagged the entire city of A'adhmayia with Terrorism, which is outrageous and it also shows how incompetent this government is in cracking down terrorism.

So the solution they came up with is that they just imprison the whole city there and let every one eat the other. And they stay out of it. So much for law enforcement security plan!

Riverbend is driven to write after a long absence:
The wall, of course, will protect no one. I sometimes wonder if this is how the concentration camps began in Europe. The Nazi government probably said, "Oh look- we're just going to protect the Jews with this little wall here- it will be difficult for people to get into their special area to hurt them!" And yet, it will also be difficult to get out.

The Wall is the latest effort to further break Iraqi society apart. Promoting and supporting civil war isn't enough, apparently- Iraqis have generally proven to be more tenacious and tolerant than their mullahs, ayatollahs, and Vichy leaders. It's time for America to physically divide and conquer- like Berlin before the wall came down or Palestine today. This way, they can continue chasing Sunnis out of "Shia areas" and Shia out of "Sunni areas".

LORD gives us a historical perspective: "America already tried the wall idea in Vietnam, they called it strategic hamlets. They forced the peasants to leave their original villages, confine them all in these strategic hamlets, which is protected by barb weirs, mine fields, bamboo fields, watchtowers, and walls. ... This plan backfired, because these peasants became more sympathetic with the Vietcong, because they felt no threat from them. ... This is nonsense; they reached a new record of stupidity. Nobody can be that stupid, nobody. Even George bush is not that stupid. I’m beginning to think that they want it that way, that they want civil war and turmoil in Iraq, that they never want to see Iraq stable. ... Algeria, Belfast, Vietnam, the west bank, and finally Adhmiyah, they haven’t learned anything from history. They haven’t learned that these walls don’t just separate people, they separate hearts, anger, grudges, suffering will grow behind these walls no matter how noble the purpose was, if noble at all."

24 Steps to Liberty asks:
What is this wall going to do other than provoke the Iraqis against each other more and more?

Who is going to prevent the Shiite militias from killing the Sunnis then? The victims of terrorism in Iraq are only Shiites?

You still don’t believe there is civil war in Iraq?
Is that what the Iraqi government promising Iraq now? Sectarian divisions?
and answers:
The U.S. administration and the Iraqi government have to know that this will be interpreted, like many other issues before, as a way to oppress the Sunnis and satisfy the Shiites. And this is in my opinion is not true, because the Shiites are getting nothing out of anything the government and the Americans are doing in Iraq. The average Sunnis and Shiites are the only losers in Iraq now. But, everything the Americans and Iraqi government are doing in Iraq now is provoking more and more sectarian divisions and civil war. It is like they insist on destroying my country.

Omar cannot see what all the fuss is about:
There are definitely downsides that come from surrounding communities with walls, mostly psychological and social. It’s sad to watch the capital of your country become the only city in the world that resembles a compartmentalized fortress where you need tall concrete walls to slightly improve the margin of safety.

But this is war and we can’t afford living in denial of the seriousness of threats. Emotions must not be allowed to disrupt taking practical steps that can save lives.

And aNarki-13 could only respond with five letters: WTF??

Not very different from Baghdad

24 Steps to Liberty visits New Orleans and discovers similarities to his home town: "New Orleans looked like Baghdad after the war in 1991; I swear I kid you not. The devastation, empty houses, the people returning to their life in the city, the “rituals” people practice before they completely come back, the bumps in the streets and the smell of destruction [it has a distinctive smell people. Yes it does.]"

But with a difference:
In 1991, Iraq was destroyed, mainly Baghdad and other big cities like Mosul, Basra. The Americans made sure that the average Iraqis didn’t get water, electricity, or food. And they made sure to also bomb the communication buildings so the average Iraqis didn’t have a way to know about each other and what was going on. Within three months after the end of the war, most of the government building and services, including potable water, sewer system, paving bombed streets, phones and electricity. That was under the rule of Saddam Hussein, whom Bush’s administration accused of depriving his people from their share of oil revenues!

What about people in New Orleans. They don’t have a dictator to rebuild their city. They have a democracy that is fighting its way to spend 100 billion more dollars on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who will help the people of New Orleans?
And he makes a discovery: "I got it now. I know why the invasion of Iraq was messed up and there was no planning for post-war Iraq. The same people that are messing up New Orleans were involved in Iraq. The same officials, contractors and unqualified “experts.” "

Oil, Oil Everywhere

Raed gives us the essential summary of the progress of the Iraqi Draft Oil Law. He writes:
Passing a new Iraqi oil law is not an urgent item on Iraq’s agenda. This is what Iraqi experts have been saying for the last year... More than 60 Iraqi experts and officials signed a petition against the new oil law. One of the MPs participating in the Amman-Jordan conference said that “this law must be rejected as whole, there is no way it can be enhanced or fixed”. Many Iraqi and Iraqi MPs think this is true. Another conference held in Dubai-UAE during this month, April 2007, by the Iraqi parliament included many Iraqi experts (including the three Iraqis who helped write the original version of the law) and Iraqi MPs. The majority of the participants thought the law should not be passed.

Al-Ghad posts a back-room agreement to divide up Iraqi oil and concludes "What is clear is there is frenzy to grab Iraqi oil riches depriving the Iraqi people of the sources of there lives."

And Finally...

Great Baghdad bemoans the appearance of plastic palm trees in Iraq. " It really aches the Heart of every Iraqi who looks to this great Generous if Not sacred tree, to see Plastic palm trees Made in Iran, filing the streets of Baghdad and Najaf ( the Heart of Palm tree Land) and replacing the Ever green, Beautiful, tall and glorious trees ." He writes.

"This is the Blessed tree In Judaism, Christianity and Islam " Shake the trunk of the palm tree towards thee: it will drop fresh, ripe dates upon thee. Eat, then, and drink, and let thine eye be gladdened!" (Qur'an 19:25-26). And that is why you see Dates on the Christmas Banquets in some Christian societies. And the Palm tree leafs is what is carried as part of a ceremony in Jerusalem. Fronds used on Palm Sunday, commemorating the entry of Jesus in Jerusalem (Lion's Gate or east entrance to Jerusalem, through which Jesus is supposed to have entered the city)."

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