After communism and capitalism, there is asterism.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Iraq: Remembering Michael Jackson

There was some comment in the Iraqi blogs on Michael Jackson. But first...

If you read no other blog this week read this one:

A little late in the posting but essential reading. Sunshine studies for her exams while braving constant explosions, shooting and poor electricity. She writes:
I wish the shooting and explosions will stop , and It will be a miracle, if we can have electricity more often , I'll feel the luckiest person in the whole world, my eyes hurts me when I stay late at night studying with torch light, I can't study more than two hours with poor light! Sometimes I wonder Am I demanding too much??? !!

Michael Jackson

The Narcicyst, an Iraq rap musician, summed up his feelings in MJ titles:
Fight till the end, but I'm only human.

You're moonwalking while we stay living in black and white. You made us all stare at the Man in the Mirror and find a way to heal the world. There was no way we were BAD enough, even a smooth criminal knew he wasn't dangerous enough. We are the world, but the world of music will never be the same without you. We apologize for chastising you, the world is a fucked up place. Rock Rock On my brother.

Miss you man.

Layla Anwar pays tribute writing: "Had it not been for Michael Jackson, the stupid, racist MTV would have not allowed a black man. M.Jackson was the first black man to appear on MTV with his Billie Jean, paving the way for subsequent black artists..." while reminding us to keep some perspective on the news:
While the whole world mourns the pop icon M.Jackson, whose Thriller was the turning point in his career, there is another series of thrillers taking place in Baghdad and which will mark another turning point in the recent bloody history of this doomed country.

Over the past 4 days alone, over 350 Iraqis were killed. And scores of others injured. ...

I already see zombies and ghosts rising from the graves just like in the M. Jackson Thriller video, except this Iraqi thriller is no pop video and no one is there to pay their homages and mourn us.

And Attawie reminds us of her favourite Jackson lyrics:
Heal The World

Make It A Better Place

For You And For Me

And The Entire Human Race

There Are People Dying

If You Care Enough

For The Living

Make A Better Place

For You And For Me

Maybe the world would stop talking about if he was white or black, good or bad, Muslim or not.

That's all for now
and... Let's heal the world

Iraq: reflecting on Iran

Assuming my dear readers have not been living in a cave for the past couple of weeks, the developments after the recent Iranian elections need no introduction. Here I present, in their own words, the recent comments of Iraqi bloggers on the subject. So much has been said about the elections already, that whether a blogger is pro- or anti- the protests is becoming more irrelevant. But, what is important here is the Iraqi perspective. How, after sanctions, forced regime change, war and destruction do Iraqis respond?

An Open Letter to Iran...
Layla Anwar:
This is from an Iraqi woman.

I will not mess around with words...I know that this is your is not mine.

I have learned that life is too short lived...and I have no time for words.

I will tell you, give it to you the way it is...and the way it is supposed to be.

There is a sense of urgency looming over my head. And am getting quite impatient...

I have swallowed words, paraphrases, sentences, dictionaries...whole and undigested.

Now, excuse me, I have one hell of an indigestion and I need to vomit it all your faces.

Listen to me, and listen well...

I am no beggar of an Arab,

I am no Palestinian either...

These are your pawns, and they love being played around the applause.

I am neither.

I am no pawn and no beggar.

And I also have no time for delicacies,

I have no time for niceties.

I have invented Language, I own it.

I play with it, pull it like a string dangling from a

from a puppet...

There is nothing you can teach me,

nothing you can invent...

I have mastered the Art

The art of deception,

the art of hypocrisy

the art of language...

I have mastered the art,

of sitting on edges

like a humpty dumpty

and I see you now


I know,

you know,

we know...

Leave aside the wordings

kick away the propaganda...

like in a football


I match,

you match ?

No you don't.

I know, I know.

I know and you hate me for knowing.

I know your torturers by names.

I know your hidden agents by their codes.

I know your identities even if you are hiding...

Cover up,

like you cover us up.

Ali, Hassan, Hussein

watch them over

wearing Arabic labels

glued on their chests,

stamped from Al-Hijaz.

I see Darius galloping

in your minds,

minds covered with turbans

of pretence

bowing to yourselves....



to a saint

the saint of your imagination...

I hear echoes...

blasting through cement walls

as thick as your brains

thicker than your brains.

I see colors pouring down hallways,

I see the green

I see the black

I see the red


I see the white

of Death

hovering over...

fluff, fluff

cotton fluff

cloud fluff

word fluff

hovering above

open arms

receiving truths

from dungeons


where Aryans

dark skinned



in the name of


of Zarathustra

in the name...

Whose name was it

do you remember the name?

I have forgotten names

I have erased them,

with chalk

with paint

with black covers...

a thick cloth

A thick cloth

through which you are now


I hear you

I hear you,

But did you hear me

in that dungeon

where you engraved

my name

with the sword

of some Ali

where you chained me

with the rods of

some Hassan and Hussein...

My eyeballs just rolled on

the floor

like some dice of fate

like some dice from a poker


being played

in a sand castle

a castle of turbans

a castle of turbans

and lamenting women


for another prince...

I feel metal drills

drilling secrets in my limbs

touching nerves

with which

I will awaken you....

I push aside thick curtains

black thick curtains

hanging behind bars

hanging behind subterranean


I push them aside

and watch your faces


for freedom...

I cry out to you,

I am Josef in the well

give me your hand.

You do not hear me,

you buried me


Now you are screaming

I hear you screaming


Iraqi Mojo:
As the the death toll in Iran reaches into the dozens and outrages American leaders, the "resistance" in Iraq and other jarab continue to mass murder Iraqis in the numbers we have become accustomed to seeing there, without the outrage expressed by the President. It's as if Iraqi lives are worth less than Iranian lives. It reminds me of the comment by Madeline Albright, about the sanctions being worth the price. Iraqis have always been expendable.

Hey I wish the Iranian people the best too, at least the best that they can possibly get out of the situation they're in right now. But why is it when so many liberals and leftists feel the need to convince the right wingers that Iranians are human beings, it's a portrait they paint as a contrast to all those "special" people that they are surrounded by? Not that I didn't already know that that was how they felt, cause believe me, this is not the first time I ran into this sentiment and it won't be the last.

This really wasn't what I wanted my first post on the aftermath of the Iranian elections to be about, but there it is. If anyone cares though I concur with this guy.

Layla Anwar:
Neda Agha Soltani is the name of the young woman assassinated with a bullet in her heart by the Iranian government Basij Militias. No family funeral was allowed for Neda.
Her family and fiancé were interviewed and the video of her ruthless murder has not ceased circulating across the globe...

All the media outlets have been talking about Neda. That is fine with me. But how come no media outlet has spoken of the thousands of Nedas in Iraq that have been brutally murdered by the Iraqi Shiite Militias trained, armed and funded by Iran ?

Hundreds of Iraqi women have suffered a worst fate than that of Neda, and only in total 3 articles and a couple of videos were circulated in their names. Not even.

Why ?


The whole of Iraq has become a Neda with a bullet in her heart.

And that is more or less it. While Twitter and other blogospheres have been ablaze with comment most other Iraqi bloggers chose to spend their words talking about daily life or Michael Jackson, or Microwave Chocolate Mug Cakes. From a country which will, arguably, be the most affected by any upheaval in Iran, this lack of interest speaks more than all the comment in the world.

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