After communism and capitalism, there is asterism.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Iraq's "Mubarak"

Iraq's "Mubarak" was not Saddam but Nuri asSaid, the Iraqi Prime Minister from the creation of the "Independent Kingdom" in 1932 up to the revolution of 1958. Reading through the the archives of the Time magazine, I noticed many similarities between General Nuri Pasha (as he was known) and Mubarak.

Like Mubarak, he was a military man having trained as an officer in the Ottoman Empire. In the 50's Time, regularly promoted him as "Iraq's 70-year old Strongman". Not without reason:

In Iraq, Western diplomats reported that 50 of Premier Nuri es-Said's police were injured putting down the latest of a series of almost daily pro-Nasser riots in Baghdad. The government replied by ordering high schools and universities closed indefinitely.(THE ARABS: New Alignments
Monday, Dec. 03, 1956

Nice move - close down the whole education system because the students disagree with you! If there was Internet, Nuri would have not hesitated to pull the plug.

Also, like Mubarak he clung on to power for almost 30 years - a revolution rather rudely unseating him. And even more like Mubarak he was not too worried about pushing votes in his favour regardless of the interests of the Iraqi people. On British orders he planned to dissolve the state of Iraq and form a new union with Jordan as counterweight to Egypt. Time wrote:
Circumstances demanded an election ... Nuri asSaid needed a mandate from his Iraqi voters. They had no more choice in the matter of candidates than Nasser gave the Egyptians in the plebiscite he ran off last February. Nuri was not even so insistent as Nasser that everyone get out and vote. Last week about 25% of the voters turned out peaceably at the polls, and Nuri Pasha's candidates, being unopposed, won all 145 seats. Most Baghdad newspapers reported the results next day on inside pages.

The new Parliament ... duly ratified the federation (IRAQ: The Pasha's Poll
Monday, May. 19, 1958

This proved the last straw for Iraq's nationalists. And two months later a small group of officers in his army instigated a rebellion leaving Nuri asSaid to the mercy of the Iraqi people. His fate does not bode well for Mubarak and his cronies:
Nuri asSaid ... escaped from his house disguised as a woman—only to be hunted to death and dragged dead through the streets the next day.(IRAQ: The Dissembler
Monday, Apr. 13, 1959

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Saturday, February 05, 2011

Mubarak and the Shadow of Iraq 1958

Cairo's million man march is not the only million-strong demonstration in recent Arab history but certainly the best publicised and will be the most influential in world history. The other has been all but forgotten by today's youth but its effect is a strong influence on the way that Mubarak and his gang of medieval thugs are thinking as well as an important lesson for the current revolution. I do not mean medieval as a baseless insult but if you think of any time in history when there was another regime that matches Mubarak, King Henry VIII comes to mind.

In 1958 a small group of mid-ranking officers (about the same rank as the ones that assassinated Sadat) siezed control of the military and overthrew the British-backed monarchy. What happened after created one of the major fears that guide Mubarak's actions now. Several of the monarchy were killed by the Iraqi people including the prime minister Nuri As-Said. The phrase killed is somewhat of an understatement. The Iraqi people tore Nuri As-Said apart limb from limb. My mother remembered seeing a procession through the streets carrying his foot.

I used to find it hard explaining the violent hatred that drives to people to this until Mubarak recently gave the world the perfect example. Mubarak would have been a young man at the time and would have remembered the events well. He can only wonder at the fate that awaits him if he ever loses control and the military abandons him to the anger of the Egyptian people.

The other event was the rise of the Communist party. From being a fairly small organisation before the revolution it grew to a point where, in 1959, it was able to call for a demonstration and a million iraqis turned up. People I know who witnessed the event describe a march that started in the morning and people were still filtering through to late evening. The Communists has everything in their hands - popular support, the intelligentsia, the unions, even large sections of the military. Everything to seize power - but they hesitated.

At the time the grip of Soviet Russia on the world's communist movements was strong and the order came from on high that the Communist party should not take control but support the generals that were currently in power and the Iraqi communist leadership slavishly obeyed.

The result was that Qassim took fright of the communists's power and purged them from controlling positions in the country. Qassim became isolated and bit by bit the Baathists took power and Iraq ended up with Saddam.

The moral

How a small party could rise from nowhere and threaten a military establish that had been ruling since the early days of the Ottoman Empire must have made all the military elites of the region take fright. All it took was one year of freedom and the whole people rallied behind an alternative. One can see that since '58 never again has the Arab military classes allowed such a period of free expression.

When Mubarak and the heads of the armed forces in Egypt weigh their options the spectre of July 1958 haunts them. Mubarak knows his fate if he left to the people and his generals worry about what will happen if the Egyptian people are given even three months of freedom.

Mubarak and the Egyptian military are dinosaurs left over from the Middle Ages but their time has long passed. It used to be the text-book destination of any revolution to take over the TV station - those days have passed. Now all one has to do is sit in the centre of town and tweet. And the government response is to send in peasants on camels.

But Mubarak and the military are more frightened of the people than each other. Mubarak will not go and the army will do nothing to make him. If the military are to force Mubarak out they have to be pushed first and, if the people hesitate, bit by bit, Egypt will get another Saddam.

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Great Arab Revolution

I asked my father, a veteran of the 1958 Iraq revolution, what he thought of the events in Egypt. His answer... "this is a world revolution". I agree. It is more than Egypt, the era of dictators is over.

A myth created by the imperialists forces that occupied the Middle East was of the great Arab Revolution that swept away centuries of Ottoman rule. The reality is that there was no such thing. The military elites that ruled in the name of the Ottomans saw which way the wind was blowing at the end of the the First World War and switched sides to serve new masters.

These elites are part of a social class that established itself over 400 years of Ottoman rule and has roots that go back even further - they have learnt over hundreds of years the methods of organizing and exercising power and are not going to give up control lightly. If one looks at the recent history of the Arab world - the end of the Ottoman rule, the beginning of imperial rule under the British Empire, the upheaval that brought about the independence of the Arab states in the 50's, and the establishment of the modern dictators in the 70's - there was one constant through all this change: the military classes that ran the armies of the Arab world. But this class is not always reactionary. Sometimes it will fight for nationalist causes and support the people against foreign powers. But always this class will fight tooth and nail for its own survival and will not hesitate to sell out its country to stay in power. In the recent years of occupied Iraq the same class was responsible for much of the armed resistance to American occupation yet also responsible for harboring the extremist thugs that carried out horrendous massacres against Iraqi civilians, and for cooperating with the occupier when they saw their rule threatened from within Iraq.

It is these same military families that held up the bloody dictators in Iraq, Syria and Egypt; the same elites that tacitly accepted the state of Israel. What we are witnessing is the end of this era.

The web, mobile phones and modern communication has brought up a generation that are well connected with each other and the rest of the world. This generation is no longer willing to be treated as serfs to a medieval landlord.

The modern globalized economy has created a world where countries and markets have to adapt quickly to changing economic conditions and the feudal mentality of the military elites can no longer sustain the populations they rule. The military classes must recognize that their time has long past and if not, as in the streets of Egypt and Tunis, the people will remind them daily.

We, the Arab peoples will find ways to rid ourselves of these parasites whether peacefully as in the British Industrial Revolution or violently like the French Revolution. The Great Arab Revolution has begun and like the French revolution it will change the world.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Iraq: Seven Years On

Crossposted from GVO

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

Lubna writes:
Now, I want to share with all of you guys some of my own personal experience as a young woman living in Baghdad, may be that’ll give you an inside access to the sometimes very secret and seemingly mysterious world of 'Middle Eastern women'...

So here I am saying it loud and clear : I am an Islamic feminist, my mom ran out of the house when I was 12 and we’ve never heard anything from her ever since, that’s right, she’s not dead, but I refuse to be judged by others according to what my mom did, Allah judges me according to my own actions only-not according to the actions of anyone else even if that anyone else was my mom, so all of you must do the same, all of you must accept me as I am

Seven Years On

With the recent elections still fresh in the news it is all too easy to forget that the anniversary of the start of the war is this week. But this will not pass some bloggers.

In a series of four posts, Layla Anwar marks the seventh anniversary of the invasion of Iraq with her memories of wars past. The power of her writing brings back vividly the pain of a people who have endured war after wars for more than fourty years. She writes:
One scene leads to another, like in a wonder this is a door I never wanted to open...

War after War after War...back in the tunnel, swirling back...subtracting years, 1991, the fireworks of another liberation. 1980, 1973, 1967...I remember them by one...

The same scene repeats shattering, plastic and tapes, glued to the radio for the latest news, hoping batteries won't run out, and more sirens...all the sirens sound the same...Baghdad and beyond -- same sirens, same wars...

Israeli air raids in 1967 and 1973, I was there too...I laugh when I think about it, laugh sarcastically, as if Destiny wanted me to be a witness...

I remember another shelter...this one was very was in the basement of a building...not really a shelter but more like an underground storage smelled bad...humidity and piss...I remember Dad grabbing the radio, and Mom pulling me by the arm - Yalla Layla, let's go...and I'd hear the thunder outside shaking the earth beneath my feet...and after so many rounds of "punishment" from the Sky, I'd say to my mother - do we really have to go to this dark room, can't we just die here in our home ?

I remember her just pulling me by the arm down the stairs -- no time for a reply, every minute counted...hurrying down the stairs whilst everything shook...and ending up in that dark humid, smelly room, smelling of rot and piss...there would be several families there...again each family would take a corner, gather and huddle together...waiting for the final verdict, waiting for the final sentence, see if God, the Universe, MIG fighter jets...decide who will live and who will die that day...

And so it is in this part of the world, from 2010 to all the way back...their raids and bullets fly over your head taking you from up and their articles take you from down....and they still shove them under your nose telling you how oppressive - oppressed you are...

and Iraq Pundit makes a defiant statement: Iraq will never fall apart. He writes:
The outsider view of Iraq is that it is crumbling. There is a deep sectarian divide that is difficult to heal, according to outsiders. Experts for hire declare: "It could get really nasty," says Joost Hilterman of ICG. "I'm utterly unconvinced that the Iraqi institutions are strong enough to withstand that kind of conflict." Of course he would say something negative, he has been arguing against Iraq all along. He can't believe Iraqis can get along because he would not longer have an act. He and others have built entire careers on the idea that Iraq is a failure.

To outsiders, it's a divide between Sunnis and Shiites. This is based on what Iraqis consider a war of attrition between al-Qaeda and the Iranian militias. Naturally they coopted locals into the battle, but Iraqis by nature don't focus on Sunni-Shiite differences.

Post Election Talk

With Inside Iraq's summary of the latest results showing that the election on 7th March is still too close to call there is only speculation in the blogs.

Laith wonders about the whole point of the election:
In all the election all over the world, the majority is the one who form the government but in Iraq, it looks that our political parties have a different ideology for election... It looks that our politicians want to design a kind of democracy that fits their demands and wishes regardless the wish of millions of people who voted only to have a real national government that can provides their basic needs which they have been waiting to gain for decades.

If we are going to see the same sectarian and ethnic sharing in the coming government and since our election aims only to share the positions among the political parties, then why did we participate in election. In fact the right question should be (why do we even have election?)

Ladybird gives her analysis of the post election conflicts and predicts the worst scenario for the Americans in the elections. She writes:
Washington’s worst scenario right now, is that any understanding occurs between Syrian — Saudi Arabia during the conflict tactics will lead to the rise of a unity government and a new Iraqi nationalism, leads to the emergence of unexpected election results similar to the results created by the new Lebanese cabinet recently, which are formed as a background of an understanding between Syria — Saudi Arabia, and led to a major coup in the agenda of regional Middle East policy.

To look at his blog you would think of him as an average American. Yet, Ramsin voted in the Iraqi election even though he grew up a world away from Iraq and his parents left some twenty years before he was born. He gives his reasons why he took part in the out of country vote (OCV):
Until Iraq’s democracy moves past its post-conflict illiberal stage, OCV-eligible voters have a duty to express their franchise in solidarity not with some interest group but rather with the principle of democracy itself. That is the story behind my purple finger.

And Dr. Human wrote:
Actually I hate politics , and I dont want my head to ache me because of it , I thought not to go to the election , but then I thoght they may play with my paper and fill it with a person that we never want him .. !! so I went and [gave] my vote to a person after I read his C.V. on the net ,and I saw that he is an active person and has nice projects ..

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Baghdad , Bombs and Ballots

(cross-posted on Global Voices)

Will the elections herald a new era of political stability for Iraq or will it be more of the same? Iraqi bloggers discuss their fears and hopes on the day of the national elections. But first...

If you read no other post this week read this one

On the eve of the poll, Sunshine writes about her wishes for the future:
We are just tired from living in horror , we don't want to lose more people we love, this war was bloody and I just want it to end and be a bad memory in my life .. I wonder if my relatives abroad will come back, I didn't see my only aunt for 5 years, and my cousins doesn't know me.. Iraqis want their lives back… I can't wait till the day I'll wake up and open the curtains in my room and see life in my neighborhood again instead of a ghost city, I can't wait till the day that we'll remove the wood we placed over the windows, I wonder always if I and all Iraqis will ever feel relief.. I have so many hopes and plans for that day, wonder when will it come ..

I want to hear good news about rebuilding my country, the developing and improving in economy, not how many people who were killed..

She reports of the current campaign by terrorists against all Christians in her home city of Mosul and writes:
Why? why did that happen? Who's behind forcing the Christians to leave?
Political parties fight each other, and the victims are those innocents.. all of that murders and frightening was because of the election, to force the Christians to go to the countryside , and ban them from participating ..
What makes me so angry and so frustrated is, when there is a "weeping ceremony " the country become in an emergency situation, so many soldiers and a very serious secured procedures is taken to protect the Shiites ,. While the government didn't ensure the safety of the Christians who only wanted to continue their daily lives, go to school, or work normally , it is so unfair ..

Word from the streets

Sunshine voted
Sunshine photographs her ink-stained finger in a victory salute.

Baghdad Dentist tells us how his city is on the day of the vote:
Cars were banned last night and many roads that lead to the election centres were closed by barbed wires and army vhecles.
With the begining of the voting many explosions occurred in were about falling many mortar in many districts in the city including Adamyah,Al-adil,Palestine street,Ur and many other places in a wave of attacks. Baghdad is not secured...

With all the fears of going to vote,Iraqis insist on democracy to stop violence and choose Iraqi citizens to represent them

Nibras voted and felt great:
The greatest thing about it was how normal it felt; elections have become a ho-hum, commonplace occurance. That's quite a feat for a country with Iraq's past and current challenges...

This was a logistical failure for the jihadists; hardly any successful suicide bombers or sniper attacks near the polling stations. Lobbing mortars indiscriminately around Baghdad is BS intimidation. It certainly didn't deter voters.

Ladybird went to watch the voting "circus" in the Netherlands and reports:
I noticed that many people chose to vote for secular parties, especially for Allawi’s list Al-Iraqiya, but there are also Maliki’s supporters...

The queue was very long, waiting time about 4–5 hours. I left the pol center on 17.00 and the queue was about 1 km.

From what I read and watch, I think Maliki and Allawi are going against each others head to head.

and McClatchy Newspapers gives the most comprehensive coverage from all over Iraq in its journalists blog.

Fears and Hope

Layla feels the initial results are hopeful but expects widespread fraud. She is tweeting results as she hears them and concludes:
This is a huge MORAL defeat for the Shiite parties and for Maliki in particular... and they have also shown what I have been saying all along for the past 4 years - that we are essentially a secular people and nationalistic one.

This is ALSO a symbolic defeat for Iran and for the AMERICAN plan, the agenda with which they brutally and criminally occupied us, dividing us along sectarian lines.

... I love you Iraq.

But after constant election watching, she had enough:
I need to get out of the Iraqi election mood. I don't feel good about what's going to happen after the final results are gut feeling tells me so...I need to switch off, completely switch off...
I need to get out of the Iraqi election mood. I don't feel good about what's going to happen after the final results are gut feeling tells me so...I need to switch off, completely switch off...

Neurotic Wife did not vote and explained her reasons as a letter to her departed father:
Im sorry, but there is no one that I believe can bring a better life to the Iraqis. All the promises that these people claim to bring to Iraq are false. They entered the election race to satisfy their own egos. Their own egos and their own needs...

Yes Baba, I know you dont agree with me. I know that you always had hope. BIG hope... Baba, there is no honest man out there, believe me. Their words stopped meaning anything to me. For I know, I know that the Iraq you have known will never come back. Not now, not in my children's lifetime, not ever. And no, Im not being a pessimist as you used to call me, but a realist.

Many people are calling this a historical moment. What history? Are we gonna call every election a historical moment?Thats something I dont understand. What kind of history are they making. What will my little ones read when they grow up?Iraq, the Shattered Dream? Hundreds of thousands of people are risking their lives because of Hope. And maybe Hope is the only thing they have right now. But for me this is nothing but a repeat of a definite failure. Sorry Baba, I dont want to upset you, but you always told us to speak our minds, and this is exactly whats on my mind.

Sunshine could not disagree more. She writes:
How many times we think about ourselves, the things we need to do and use the term "I" in the day? It will be great if people say "Iraq"instead in this day, and put the benefit of the community before theirs, because there's nothing in this day more important than voting to build a better future for us and for our families..

All of my relatives in Baghdad and Mosul, inside Iraq and abroad voted, as well as my friends , even those who hesitated to go, decided to vote after I urged them..

I am so proud of all Iraqis who voted and will…

Hammorabi has some hope for the future, but not much:
the interference of the other countries including Iran and Saudi Arabia, the lack of plan for the foreign troops to leave a strong Iraqi army capable to protect the Iraqi borders and internal security and many other problems. All these and other problems resulted in a weak and corrupted Iraq...

Today most the Iraqis went for election looking for a change which they hope it will come after this election to result in a government and parliament without sectarian ideology. It should take the interest of Iraq on the top and not the interest of the other countries.

We feel that some change may come and we know there is nothing magic.

And Finally:

Living in the US, Iraq the Model has a somewhat different experience voting:
In December 2005 we walked from home to the voting center (which also used to be where I went to school as a kid) to a soundtrack of mortars and gunfire. Indeed, that ten minute walk was wrapped in so much fear and worry, but also in so much hope and pride.

My trip to the voting center will be less interesting this time because I'll be taking the orange line to Arlington where the place is, which happens to be some hotel whose owner will eventually be Paris Hilton.

Yes, that's a little boring.

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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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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Iraq: Six Years On

Its the sixth anniversary of the Iraq war and bloggers remember the past yet few seem to look to the future anymore.

Pioneering blogger, Salam Pax, who started the Iraq blogging phenomenon looks back six years to the beginning of the war. In a series of posts, Salam reveals previously unpublished notes from the days he did not have electricity to blog. His wish to break from the past is clear when he writes:
In three weeks time it’s the 6th anniversary for the fall/liberation of Baghdad.

Baghdad Falls / Baghdad is liberated.. all semantics. What is fact is our life in Iraq as we knew it ended at that day.

Since the start of the war in 2003 we had to move house three times for various reasons...

While looking through the boxes of our belongings I found the notebook, with newspapers, photos and the flyers I had kept. As five years have passed and we’re entering the our seventh year of our post-war/post-Saddam lives I thought it would be good to look over these notes and share what I have from that time with you... I will upload it all online and throw the pieces of paper I have away. Hanging on to all of this for six years is enough.

For Sunshine, the war coincides with her time at high-school. At the leaving party for her school she remember the good and bad events at her school in the six years that have passed:
My best memory [was] when I asked my friends to make a surprise for our friend R who lost her dad and several relatives, I thought she needed to feel excited and happy so I decided to buy her a PC computer, my friends participated with some of their saves and I bought the computer, wrapped it and took the present to school. The students, teachers, and R were shocked, it was the best birthday gift ever..

Beside all the good events there has been very painful memories, when R lost her dad and several relatives, when M lost her mother, whenever a classmate have to leave Iraq, or get a threat, as well as all the times we had to hide under our desks when shooting starts, there has been terrifying battles near school, a mortar once fall, too many car bombs exploded, mines etc .. Many times we had to go walking among the tanks; our way to school is dangerous.

I'll always remember the good events and laugh, and the hard ones will only give me the strength, power and make me prepared for every hard thing I may face in the future

Laith reviews his dreams and reality:
When the US military started what they called Operation Iraq Freedom, I really felt so happy for one thing. I thought Iraq would be free again and we would have real government with politicians who really care about Iraq future and its people. I had a real big hope that services will be the best again and we would live happily again. I never thought that we would start killing each other for the sake of some strangers or to kidnap each other for money but I was completely wrong. I was sure that the American administration had planned very well for the stage after the war but I was wrong again. Nothing really changed in Iraq after six years. To be honest, we have one big change. Now we have hundreds of political parties that do nothing to Iraq and all they care about is their interests. After six years, the Americans approved that they came without any plan because most Iraqis are still poor and deprived from the simplest human rights. Iraqi governments and the American administration failed completely in putting Iraq once again on the right path.

I have to admit that after six years of the invasion, ALL MY DREAMS HAD GONE WITH THE WIND

After years away from Iraq, Attawie can only think of what she misses:
I'm away from beloved Baghdad. I'm away from family and friends. I'm away from the land I was born on; away of the soil I took my first step on, away from the house I was raised in, away from my neighbors, I'm away … but… not mind and soul.

War, chaos, loss of uncountable people and things, unemployment, corrupted system, mysteries, sadness, chain of mischief, lost dreams, burnt houses, smell of death, widows, orphans, tears, sad stories, cruel memories… That's all what we are left with?... I don't want to sound devastated. I don't want to show despair. I just want to tell you the picture is not pleasant, And it needs a lot of repair. What's going on right now is unfair.

I lost my focus and lost my words. I'm not sure if it makes sense. But that's all you're going to get on a Day Like Today. Life is frozen… the clock is broken. The prayers you're saying are not answered today... Oh Iraq, returning has become the dream that makes my day. Your memory is the sweetness in this bitter life. You are the sound of laughter, background music for this noisy life, the kiss on a mother's forehead, the grip of an infant fist.

Faiza writes a long post of her feeling after six years of war and occupation and concludes:
I smile, at the sixth anniversary of occupying Iraq, in spite of the sadness weighting on my heart, but I will never give up hope, ever; that Iraq will come beck to its people, that a brave nationalistic leadership will come, a leadership that wants only Iraq’s interest, will negotiate the occupation out, and will withdraw all the occupation’s powers.
When will that day come?
Only God knows…. But it will come, no doubt… for these are God’s laws on earth…

And, in the way that only Layla Anwar can, an essay comparing the creation of a new Iraq to a mother giving a forced birth of a mutant baby:
It was a monster infant. A hydra with a hundred heads, a hundred skulls, an octopus with a hundred arms, a deformed face with hundreds of eyes, bulging..its skin made of scaling scabs, its body made of slime, an invertebrate crawling, with no legs to stand, and from its mouth, instead of gurgles, it drooled a burning caustic froth...

And it has kept crawling for 6 years already, sniffing like a rabid dog, sniffing for more...keeping scum for company and preying for more fresh blood...more fresh meat...

It was exactly six years ago and she is still lying in that delivery room which now looks like an overused, stenchy morgue...drowned in her own blood, mummified with slogans and jargon...her womb and mouth stuffed with newspaper articles and essays...with words...stuffed with a silent forgotten death, like the desolate forgotten walls of this city, where rats and roaches furtively scurry along, feeding on the monster's vomit and excrement...feeding on ashes and dust.

And on that note I will leave you to make up your own mind if the war in Iraq, six years ago, was really worthwhile.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Landing at the Iraqi Blogodrome

A lot has happened in Iraq since my last post and it is with regret that I cannot keep these updates more frequent but as long as there is life in the Iraqi blogs I will labour on.
I, the terrorist...

I, the terrorist,

watched the bread break off my brother’s teeth

He had never tasted blood-drenched bread...

I, the terrorist held my breath,

as the bricks from my kitchen ceiling

hit my forehead…

But I could still stand…

I, the terrorist,

took the hole-filled road to get water

for my suckling infant.

I lost my fingers

on the way,

to a precision sniper…

I, the terrorist,

dug-up some water

with what was left of my stubs,

and tried

to nurse my wailing one,

as he lay in the arms

of the still-warm

body of his departed mother…

I, the terrorist, hated

that my newborn had to taste

blood-stained water;

I hated that

he now had no milk

the scarlet stuff slowly surfacing on his lips…

Then, I the terrorist,


that he,

like his mother,

like my brother

and every other terrorist

who had sat for a meal

at that fractured kitchen table

had stopped feeding too…

Inspired by a survivor of the Gaza massacre, sitting in what remained of his home with what looked like a fingerless bleeding hand...

written by ZZ

First Baghdad became peaceful

And no other blogger can give the bittersweet impression of a peaceful capital than Sunshine. Last month, she traveled to Baghdad for a short holiday from the northern city of Mosul. In a long post full of pictures and observations she concludes:
I didn't write about good events for long time, I am so glad I had good news to tell, yesterday I visited my friend, she is studying medicine, I didn't see her for 2 years! I had a great time..


I hope Mosul will be as safe as Baghdad, and I hope next time I visit Baghdad I'll find it as good as the past and even better

But this was not to last

Chikitita returned to Baghdad after a long stay abroad only to experience a new wave of bombings. Why? She writes:
They say I’ve jinxed the place again. Iraqis are too superstitious and once they read this, they will collectively sign a petition to the PM asking him to send me away. Iraq was heaven on earth until my return. All those deadly explosions ripped through the quiet streets of Baghdad because of … well make a wild guess!

On "Objectivity"

By Layla Anwar

Mince your words Woman, turn them around, change their colorings, give them new dimensions, weigh them, objectify them just like they objectify you and them, so they can understand in their objective minds...the intent, extent and depth of their own indifference and destructiveness...

Turn your inner and outer world,

banish the desert storms and the whirlwinds,

dam the rivers

stop the currents

erase the feelings with a rubber, blank them out,

become the zombie of PTSD

appeal to them, so they can pity you.

this is what they want to hear, need to hear...

their flip side is the Savior...

the objective savior

who needs to understand before he saves...

before he saves you, from himself...

Yet at the same time, control yourself, control your feelings and emotions because the objective mind does not accept what drops out from his frame...what is not aligned in with his thoughts...

Laith writes of his feelings when one explosion happens near his home:
It was about 7 p.m when I started my prayers. few second later, a big bang shook me like a little bird. I'm so familiar with the sound. Its a sound of an explosion but this time its so strong which means it is so close to my family's house and more than that its so close to the mosque where my father, my uncle and all my neighborhood men pray. At that moment, There was nothing longer than my prayers which I wanted to finish it but it was very long. When I finished the prayers and while I was trying to go out, I heard a second explosion. OMG I'm sure many people died. I run quickly and I saw the smoke of the explosions. I started asking and the men in the street told me that two roadside bombs detonated. My neighbor who is an old women said "Laith, go and check for your brother). Sh wanted me to look for her son who is a real brother for me. I was trying to check weather the bomb was inside the mosque or not. Thanks God, its near the mosque. My other neighbor came out of her house crying and yelling "I lost my son, I lost my son" I tried to talk to her but she didn't listen to me and run towards the place of the explosion. Thanks God again, he was simply injured...

It looks that the dream of living in peace in Iraq will not come true at least for the coming few years. The increasing violence during the last few days revealed the truth about the fragile security situation.

While Baghdad Connect speculates that the new wave of bombings are a reaction to the recent elections and the announcement by US President, Barak Obama, of troop withdrawal from Iraq. Baghdad Connect also reports of the latest announcement by Saddam's Vice President, Izzat Al Douri, calling for all the former regime's army officers to accept a government offer to return to their posts, leading them to fear a resurgence of the Baathists. They write:
The green zone soon will no longer exist as such and the American embassy will be the sole symbol of the invasion power in the capital. Everything is moving at a “double cheese whopper” speed of pickles. One interpreter for the invaders is given a gun to protect himself! He told us “the f***ing Americans are throwing in the towel!”...

“The Baathists are coming back” one professor said. “We need to build it up from the core; this is our way of doing business”!!!

Sentences Sentences

With many sentences handed out recently from former Iraqi regime officials, serving presidents to show throwers; Layla Anwar muses on the meaning of a "sentence":
The power of words -- phrases, verdicts and sentences...they take you up and down, they can make you, break you and change your life for ever...

The sentence has become a prison, a guillotine...has become the gallows...le bourreau du 21 eme siecle...

They have become daggers and knives to stab...they have become a charade, a masquerade for a circus...Today, sentences are meaningless...because there is no conscience behind them...

They sentenced him to Life, they sentenced him to Death...they cry out.

Who is the judge and who is the guilty one ? Does it have any meaning today ?

When the judge is the guilty one and the culprit is the innocent...what do sentences mean anymore ?

Lately there has been a lot of serious flirting with sentences...

Al-Bashir, Al-Majid, Aziz....a few names that come to mind...

Who will sentence the real killers...can any court of law answer me ?

Who will sentence those who "beefed and sexed up" the murder of over a million innocent ones ?

Who will sentence those responsible for an unprecedented genocide in the history of "Democracies" ?

Who will sentence the real criminals ?

And finally

We all have trouble with our Internet Service Providers. But Salam Pax's ISP takes the biscuit.

This made me laugh today.. Iraqi tel-com company Kalimat has a poll on it’s front page asking us how we rate interent service in Iraq.


the only options I can chose from are Excellent, Very Good, Good and Fair…! Only options I would consider are Poor, Abysmal, Over-priced and Drives-me-insane.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Iraq: Elections have come and gone

Elections have come and gone in Iraq. With reports that the day passed peacefully, the whole process could have been seen as the most boring national event after the war. Najma highlights this in a rambling post which ends with:
The day before yesterday a car bomb exploded close to our house, but we were warned and expected it so there were little damages (a single window). No human losses in the neighborhood, thank God.

Oh, I almost forgot what this post was supposed to be about :)

Yesterday I finally got to vote on something without having a fight (that something being Ninevah's Provincial Council's Elections). I was feeling dizzy, and it pretty much felt like going to an exam without studying, and I proved quite dumb at the voting room: I was about to put my ID in the voting box instead of the voting card, I didn't know which finger to put in the ink pot, and finally, I almost took the voting pen home! but I FINALLY DID IT and voted! Now I have a violet finger and it shocks me every time I see it, until I remember.

But what of impressions of the bloggers themselves?

Politics of Democracy

No Paper Tiger by Layla Anwar

I am no Communist,

nor a Marxist-Leninist,

I am no Socialist

nor a Baathist,

hardly a Nationalist

not even a Pan-Arabist

most likely than not,

a Trotskyist

I trot, alone

and I love the loneliness

the aloofness

the wilderness...

In the jungle of paper tigers

am no Maoist, either.

Labels, I study them

then rip them off

one by one...

And what a pleasure to rip them off...

Am no poet either,

the ink is dry

and the pages are crackling...

like the crackling wood

in a blazing fire...

You sit and you know

you are there,



This where you belong


hanging in between,

in between the flames,

You have no race

no religion

no nationality,

You are beyond


paper tigers...

I love the humility

of being a no one,

just a lonely voice

in the cold,

Just You and I

treading along the path

a path,

with no name...
Salam Pax, the original Iraqi blogger is back to blogging and back in Iraq. He sat with his family and tried to work out who to vote for:
There are 18 provinces in Iraq and each will have it’s own council. The biggest is in Baghdad with 57 council members. The number of candidates campaigning for these seats is astounding … there are 2371 candidates just for Baghdad. The total number of candidates all over Iraq is an astonishing 14,400.

And the noise these thousands of candidates are creating is enough to make you withhold your vote just as a protest...

but all I can think is ‘who are these people?’ and I can assure you the majority of the fifteen million Iraqis who from the electorate are thinking the same.

The last two times we had legislative elections it was easier the same parties and individuals were up for election in the whole country. This time it’s different in each province. And trying to find what each of the 14 thousand candidates stands for isn’t just difficult but impossible.

If Salam found elections confusing, Last of Iraqis found them shady:
Yesterday an independent candidate called a debate program on a local Iraqi channel and discussed one of the laws which was really strange; if a list failed to achieve the required number of points then all its points will be given to the big list!!! Well, who decides which list is big and which one is small? This is absurd let's say I chose a list for secular candidates and they didn't make it, in what reason should my voice be directed to a fanatic Islamic party? What logic is this?...

Few days ago I was talking with a relative who got to read the detailed list for PM Almaliki and we really laughed a lot... In the list there is the name of the candidate, his number in the list and his higher educational level….in the field of the educational level you can see miracles one of the candidates is "doctor to-be"!!! Another is "His father is a doctor"!!! And another candidate is a real doctor (physician) but what kind of physicians he is? ... Have mercy on us god

But Hammorabi was more optimistic:
This is important election which will shape the political demographic map in such different way than the previous one as the democratic process in Iraq moved towards better maturation. The Iraq citizens are now looking to give their voices to those who got better vision about services and building of a better life. This is more matured way compared to the previous election when more was given towards ethnic and sectarian issues. Every one is now looking for a change which is a good way and indicating some maturity. More or less the process went smooth with better freedom than the previous election which makes it more responsible way respecting the individual choices without pressure.


Two bloggers pointed to threats and intimidation by rival parties. Leila Fadel talks about three candidates that were killed before the election. She writes:
Provincial elections are on Saturday and candidates are dropping. Today three were killed. One in Mosul, another in Baghdad and one in Diyala province. It's almost expected here. Two others were killed recently as well.

In the United States this would be big news. Here it's a line in the violence report of the day. Better then other days, a huge improvement over the frightening times of more than a year ago but yet still more bloodshed.

And Fatima has a friend who is running for the Baghdad council. The day before voting a car drove by the friend's house and shot and killed her sister-in-law. Fatima writes:
These crazies need to wake up and stop their foolish game of scare tactics, death and fear mongering. They need to realize that God is not on their side, He is not on the side of violence, of death, of killing, of orphaning, of widowing, of foolishness.

Word from the street on the day of the vote

Shaggy went out to vote on the day but was sent all around his neighbourhood to find a polling station that would accept him:
Eventually we found it and were left very ticked off that they had sent us to a polling station on the opposite edge of the neighbourhood from our home whilst there were at least two that were within a moderate range.

Choosing to vote was kind of a last minute decision for me ... But I don't think anyone on that list is going to get a seat anyway. What's bothering me more than that is that whilst walking from one polling station to another I noticed a sign suggesting that a bank is going to be built over a public park that's in the middle of a residential area. The park is a mess right now, but it has so much potential... It's also the place where I got high the very first time.

Saminkie enjoyed the day:
I woke up at 11:00 am. Woooow. It feels so good. I will be as lazy as I want today... I finished my coffee and took my clothes and went to vote. My name was not in the first school, nor in the second. They told me to check a third school which was little far. I went sadly and frightened that I won't find it but I found it and said with a loud voice: "Here it is!"

In the voting room I saw very beautiful women. They were all smiling. They were very very kind as if from heaven. I voted. They said: "Thank you". I said: "thank you" with a smile and went walking. I saw many families walking happy. The father's and mother's index fingers are colored by that ink. I saw him coming. We greeted each other with kisses like Iraqis usually do. I went back with him waiting while he voted. He didn't ask me for whom I voted. Nor I did ask him. We are Iraqis with different views and this is our way to show respect to each other. We went back walking slowly and talking about memories of how our quarter was so beautiful before hoping that it will regain its charm while we were proud of our violet fingers.

And on the day of the election Caesar of Pentra was in two minds about what to do:
To be quite honest, I wasn't sure that I should vote this year for many reasons;

a. No specific candidate in mind to vote for. I'm not convinced with the majority of the parties and candidates listed in the election card.

b. Being skeptical about the integrity and impartiality of the elections. Rumors say that the last elections in 2005 there were several incidents of forgery reached a percentage of 30% of the whole voting process.

c. The curfew of the motor-vehicles, and the nearest voting center is about 2 km far.

d. I don't want that stupid ink stain to stick on my index...

Honestly, I felt that it would be a waste not to participate in such "democratic" processes. If I wanna criticize the performance of the government, the parliament, or the local councils, I should have at least participated in making the decision by voting for the side or the candidate I like. And to be more honest, I felt so f***in' bored and it would be a great idea to walk out to get some refreshing air in such a beautiful winter sunny day.

I went to an election site and marked the same old bloc I voted for 4 years ago. They are secular but they didn't win many seats at that time. Hopefully this year they win. In fact, I hope everyone who wants to serve Iraq in real wins.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

George Bush and Iraq: 'Shoe'denfreude?


Muntazer al-Zeidi, "hero of the Iraqi People" by Carlos Latuff
Will this become one of those moments in history? In years to come will you recount to your grand children where you were when an Iraqi journalist, Montather Al-Zeidi, threw his shoes at the president of the United States? For me I was at home just getting my kids ready to sleep when my father called me insisting that I simply had to switch on the television immediately.

Iraqi bloggers reacted in much the same way with a number who wrote their first new post in months just to make their comment. Abbas Hawazin went as far to predict that shoe throwing will now be part of mainstream culture and has gone to look for a good-sized shoe to carry in his pocket, "in case I need to make any public expression of anger should the case arise."

Word from the Streets

Last of Iraqis broke his once-a-week frequency to share his opinion on the incident. "In the Iraqi traditions or may I say Arabic traditions in general; it's the maximum insult a man can do…it's the maximum humiliation no word can accomplish", he writes. And he gives his view of the Iraqi Street:
Today I went to work as usual and all the people I saw were very very happy, it was like a national celebration…A female patient came to me for a filling and as we were waiting for the Anesthesia to take effect she said "do you know doc. That yesterday was an Eid to me; I haven't celebrated Eid for the past 3 years because the Americans "accidentally" killed my husband and son and Bush is the reason why they are here so yesterday some of my revenge has been taken" …all the staff said the same thing "A statue should be built for Muntathar" in fact many of them have used the photo of Muntathar as a background for their mobiles but the really beautiful thing that made me even happier was that no one referred to his sect or anything…they were all proud of him...

So what will happen now? Will he be considered a terrorist? Will throwing a president with a shoe be a terrorist act?
I think there will be two scenarios of what will happen…either he will continue his life in jail for countless charges and die there or he will be released within few weeks and after some time he will be dead and of course they will say for natural causes or he might die in an accident.

Hammorabi goes some way to explain the anger behind the man who preferred a shoe to a well-worded question:
This journalist have seen the US troops killing women and children since 1991, children died from the use of Depleted Uranium ... because the USA has prevented importing such treatment under the 12 years sanction since 1991 Gulf war. He has seen the USA many times since 1991, destroying the Iraqi infrastructures, hospitals, mosques, houses, schools, universities, historical sites, factories, and so on. After the invasion in 2003 he has seen the American and their allies’ troops humiliating, assaulting and torturing the Iraq civilians in Abo-Ghreeb prison and in Basrah city by British troops. It is in front of his eyes and every Iraqi eyes the US soldiers and the American security companies such as Black Water killing the Iraqis, humiliating them, and behaving with arrogance and superiority ... Iraq became the country of death, killing, lack of services, diseases such as cholera, corruption especially in oil, and division. Many and many other consequences since 1991 US wars in Iraq. All these in mind no wonder why the Iraqi journalist hit GWB with his shoes. GWB was wrong to say this is so the journalist wants to bring attention. It is not but it is the response after all these years of misery by the USA in Iraq.

We feel that the journalist could have asked GWB some questions however that might pass unnoticed and he chose the way that he likes to express his anger against the US wars in this country.

Khalid Jarrar broke a six-month silence to list reactions on his Facebook page. He writes:
Believe it or not, a lot of people think that this guy, Montathar, regardless of the beating he probably is still having, deserves a statue in the middle of Baghdad. I am willing to fund it myself :D

One person who does not think so is Nibras Kazimi who stood alone among Iraqi bloggers to defend George Bush:
Personally, I got angry. Very angry.

I will make a public promise: should I ever run into a certain reporter called Muntather al-Zaidi, presently of Al-Baghdadia TV, I will seriously consider beating the crap out of him... See, I will forever remain indebted to President George W. Bush. He is my hero. He liberated Iraq, and that's how I will always see it. Had there been no President Bush, then Saddam would still be Saddam.

The usual suspects are ecstatic over what happened, especially the US-based media and Iraq-watchers. I would like to beat them all up too, but I think that would be a tad bit excessive. The best revenge is to make them watch Iraq's democracy strengthen and prosper.

Baghdad Treasure is torn between professional pride and being an Iraqi:
As a journalist myself, I found what the reporter did was extremely wrong. Journalists have their voices and pens (and now the internet) to express whatever they want to protest against. However, I was kind of relieved. As an Iraqi citizen, I believe Bush deserved this ending that the entire world will remember and cherish. I mean what wrong the man had done was huge. His failure to prepare for an invasion aftermath caused Iraqis and Americans hundreds of thousands of souls, not to mention the destruction of an entire country, the millions who have migrated and the creation of terrorism in Iraq. Well, you know the rest. There is no need to go into details here...

Anyways, now Bush has one last thing to have the world remember him with. If I were him… Nah, I’ll keep this to myself.

Free Montather

Several bloggers are concerned for the journalist and call for his release. Raed Jarrar has started an online petition. He writes:
Some of my contacts in Baghdad assured me that the Iraqi Journalist who threw the shoes at bush today was heavily beaten (you can actually hear him scream in pain in this released video)

After beating him, the Iraqi authorities arrested Mr. Al-Zeidi.

Layla Anwar adds:
We were also filled with grief and recited the Fateeha, because we knew that Muntather Al-Zaidi signed his own death warrant. This guy is finished.

Mom added that he will be tortured first, most probably with shoes before his execution...

I therefore urge all people of conscience, in particular Journalists without Borders, any syndicate or union of journalists anywhere in the world, to mobilize themselves for the release of Muntather before he gets executed.

And Finally

Ladybird reports on the inevitable computer games that will be spun from the shoe throwing incident. She links to an "Educational" one from a Norwegian newspaper where the player can calculate the right angle and force.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008


So says Neurotic Iraqi Wife. Overall Iraqi blogs were positive toward president elect Obama, but not all bloggers were happy.

Layla Anwar only forsees doom for Iraq during Obama's presidency:
So Obama, the booma, won the elections. [Booma means owl, but in Iraqi dialect it also means someone very stupid]...

the vice president for the booma Obama is none other than J.Biden. J.Biden, the Zionist, is an ardent supporter of the partition of Iraq into three statelets. No wonder Maliki and Co were also backing the booma along with Iran... I am glad that the evil, bastard Bush is out. No doubt about it. But I shall not congratulate you on your 44th president. He will simply finish off what the other Zionists had started -- The final partition of my country.

To hell with all of you and all of your presidents.

To say that Neurotic Wife is pleased with the US presidential election would be an understatement. She writes:
Change, change, change. Change is on its way. Change to the vicious Bush administration. The Bush administration that lied, tricked, conned the world, and most of all conned the Iraqis. ... For me, this is not just about history, this is about someone who was able to bring down the very people that broke my country. It’s a great punch to the very people that destroyed the individual Iraqi. And that to me is an enough victory.

I will only have to say to Mr Obama, don’t let us down. You came thus far, and as an Iraqi Im depending on you. Don’t let dirty politics break your promises. ... I learnt a few lessons in life, and that is to never ever over expect things from individuals, but in this instance I am. I am expecting many things from Obama. And disappointment is NOT one of them. As for all the red neck extremists out there, for all you people who cannot fathom how a black American can be your president, Tough luck. Live with it...

It’s a beautiful clear sky today. A BLUE sky. The start of a new era. The Obama Era…

And Fatima, an Iraqi American is at last proud. She declares:
For me, I am so proud of America right now. Proud of it for overcoming so much, and showing us what it is capable of.
And for me, I really hope that Obama does not disappoint. I hope that he leads this nation to justice and equality for all, and that he stays away from aggression, wherever it may be. I hope that he does not become just another one of them presidents.
And finally, I really do salute John McCain on his work and his speech last night. It was chivalrous, and I hope he rests after his long years of service.

GOOOBAMA! Long Live Justice, Equality and all this is good in this world!

And Finally

I end with messages of congratulations from Iraqis to America.

Iraqi Mojo:
Americans have elected an African American man named Barack Hussein Obama as their next President. God bless America!

Am I happy for Iraq? I don't know. I don't know what will happen and I'm afraid.

Will he pull out the troops?
Will he care enough to reach a good compromise – fair to the Iraqi people?

But in spite of all my fears, I am so happy for America - You have come such a long way. You had the strength, the will to elect this man of change. And with all my heart I hope he puts America on the path to recovery.

To see America again on the pedestal of freedom and democracy, a benign force that heals instead of hurts, unites instead of divides – soon inshalla.
I wish to congratulate you all.

Iraq Pundit:
Over the years I have often found myself defending Americans from such critics as the French or Arabs, who charge the people of the U.S. are ignorant racist idiots. I have tried to talk to those critics, but naturally I got nowhere. Maybe the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States will tell them how wrong they are. Only the heartless were not moved last night when Obama was announced the winner of the presidency. ... So congratulations to Barack Obama. Let no one say this is not an amazing country.

And from Baghdad, Marshmallow26:
Congratulations dear Americans on the elections and the new US president. no matter how the results came out, you hope and we hope that the new president will bring a brighter future to the USA and Iraq.

More than 130 million Americans have been voted. That is a massive number.

What I like the most about Americans is that they didn't put " race" on top priorities while voting, the majority of white people had elected Obama who is an African descent, because they don't believe in colors or religions but principles towards the country and its people...

Once again Mabrook :)

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Who Would Iraq Elect, Obama or McCain?

Is the question Alive in Baghdad asks in a video roundup of public opinion, Correspondents Nabeel Kamal and Ali Al-Le’abiy interview Iraqi's on the streets of Baghdad. AiB writes:
Our sampling was done in a short timeframe and by no means represents a statistically accurate cross-section of the Iraqi public. However, we do feel that you will hear an array of different opinions, and begin to gain a little insight into how the Iraqi public views the American government and electorate, more than five and years after the invasion.

As Nibras Kazimi says, "Perhaps no other country in the world sees itself as directly affected by Tuesday’s outcome as much as Iraq... If any case could be made that non-Americans should be allowed to vote for either Obama or McCain, then Iraqis would get the first go." So who would Iraqi blogger vote for? There is a very wide range of opinions to choose from. Nibras himself gives his whole hearted support to McCain. He writes:
History can be made on someone else’s time, not when there’s a crises afoot; Iraqis need to be vigilant and practical in their choice... Who will be a better president for them? Who will help them defeat the terrorists, curb Iran and stabilize the region?

The clear answer is McCain.

Another Iraqi living in the US, Iraqi Mojo would have supported McCain but was put off by the choice of vice president:
I like McCain. I appreciate his efforts to help Iraq defend itself against terrorists. He has criticized the Bush administration's blunders in Iraq. But when it came time to choose a running mate, McCain chose poorly, in my opinion. I found her comments about "real" America to be strange - they reminded me of Arabs who cling to "real" Iraqis. Palin mocked community organizers and implied they don't have actual responsibilities.

Neurotic Wife, an Iraqi who worked in the Green Zone, is not impressed with the argument that American troops needs to remain to keep Iraq secure. She writes about a conversation with her husband and discloses a hint of bitterness towards the current Iraqi government:
Looks like Obama will win, he said. What do you think Neurotica? Wow, I was actually impressed he asked my opinion, for in the past few days he has been pretty sick and not really conversive. I wish Obama wins, I typed. I wish he wins and withdraws all the troops by end of the year. HUBBY was shocked at my answer. How come Neurotica? If the US leaves there will be chaos and Iran will jump in. We cant let that happen.

I Lol’ed so much, for Iran is ALREADY in. The government of Iraq is nothing but Iran’s puppet. “Neighbouring countries should respect the sovereignty of Iraq” is ALL BS. I really really want the troops to leave, and Im serious...

I want chaos to break. YES. I DO. This is the only solution. The only solution to the current Iraqi govt. They are useless, and will continue to be so because even though they say they want the forces to leave, they know it wont happen, and so every night when they go to bed, they're confident that a soft cushion awaits their empty heads. They depend on the forces. I get really angry when I talk about this subject. I get really upset, that such a rich, resourceful country has ended up in such filthy hands. Filthy, corrupt and no loyalty. No loyalty to the earth they are walking on. I want them to suffer...

Yes, Obama, please win. Win and withdraw the troops. Personally I believe the US is wasting its time. Its time, money and effort. Try and save the fallen economy instead with the money you will be wasting on Iraq. Iraq has enough money. Iraq is rich. Unfortunately the wealth is going into Ammar al Hakeem’s pockets, and his repulsive likes. Do you know that he bought properties here in the Emirates worth millions of dollars? No you don’t know that fact. He spends millions while the children of Iraq die of starvation, cholera, typhoid, abuse, rape and torture. WELL DONE Ammar!!! Lets see what happens to you when the forces leave? I want to see you torn apart, exactly the same way a lion preys on his victim. Is what Im saying vicious? I really hope so.

The reply McCain gave when one of his supporters accused Obama of being an "Arab" dismayed several bloggers. Treasure of Baghdad wrote:
I'm sure all of you saw this ignorant American woman rallying for McCain saying she doesn't trust Obama and that she has "read about him and found out he's an Arab." At first, I thought she said "he's an error" which is why I accepted McCain saying, "No, Madam. He's a decent family man…" But when I realized she meant an "Arab" and connected it to what McCain said, I felt very offended. It appeared as if he was saying, "No, Madam. He's is decent, not Arab." I wonder if he said that deliberately to convey that Arabs are not decent and that since Obama is not an Arab, he's decent!

In all cases, I'm not surprised that this came from a McCain supporter and from McCain himself. I wonder what would the Arab Americans feel when they heard this ignorant woman. What would they think when they see the country they built along with their Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, atheist and Hindu countrymen intolerant like this.

Hammorabi puts his outrage more bluntly:
this indicates the hatreds and racial discriminatory attitude that JM [John McCain] harbors toward the others especially Arabs and Muslims.

If JM is going to be the next US president he will never be able to remove the stigma of being racially discriminating against the Arabs neither any one Muslim including the American Muslims will forget for him such nauseating comments. He will be nothing but a failure. In fact whether he is elected or not the American Muslims and American Arabs should lawsuit him for his racial insult against them.

And Finally

Given the obvious embarrassment Barak Obama has shown about his middle name, Hussein, I wonder how the Republicans will take Nibras Kazimi's compliments when he compares John McCain to that great Muslim leader:
‘Hussein’ is a popular name in the Muslim world, in both the Sunni and Shia components of it, because it was the name of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson. There are only two male bloodlines that go back to Muhammad, through the brothers Hassan and Hussein... But Hussein is made more unique because he led a desperate rebellion against a dynasty that had usurped the leadership of Islam. Hussein was led to believe that he enjoyed overwhelming support in the battleground state of Kufa, and he barnstormed his way over there only to find that his get-out-the-vote machine was busted, while that of his enemies had managed to raise an army of several thousand...

Hussein found himself on the plains of Karbala surrounded by a rebel band of a few dozen kinsmen and womenfolk, the mavericks of Islam. All around them were the fluttering banners and ranks of the enemy, thousands and thousands of them, hemming in the rebels from the riverside of the Euphrates...

I will spare you the details of the epic battle... The last man standing was old Hussein. He had just watched his cousins, his brothers, and his sons get cut down one after the other... The story ends with Hussein making his last stand, and the rest is history...

John McCain though, fights in the same spirit as Imam Hussein. Faced with incredible odds, he marches on towards battle. There’s honor in his cause, and that keeps him strong, unwavering.

And I guess that’s also where I draw my own strength and commitment in this bleak final stretch.

“Every day is Election Day. Every land is a battleground state.”

Here’s to fighting the good fight!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Iraq: Look at the world - where is peace?

So says Sahar. On the occasion of World Peace Day she writes:
Look at the world – where is peace?

It is shy and illusive.

There is turmoil and war.

There is distrust and fear of the other.

There are hearts bleeding for their loved ones – it doesn't matter where, it doesn't matter who – loved ones are just as precious.

Can we really strive for a day – one day of peace?

One day in which we intentionally look at the half that is full instead of the half that is empty?

Can we take a day to look at what human beings on Earth have in common rather than what divides us?

Can we make the effort?

Today a mixed bad of posts. A meeting of old friends, a little politics, a coin of excellence, a dose of female geekery and, if you read to the end, find out what fasting really does to you.

If you watch no other video this week watch this one

If you listen carefully to the news you may hear the odd glib comment about the concrete walls that have gone up around Baghdad. But, to truly understand the devastation these walls cause to the communities that are divided by them one must listen to the voices of the ordinary Iraqis. Which is exactly what Alive in Baghdad does.

When Birds Die

Where do birds dig their graves,

brown and black ...

and blue?

They crawl at the end of their time

into nothingness

that we will never know...

They respect each others private

last minute

with God...

before the final accession.

They turn their heads

the other way

when loved ones die.

Then turn them again

to bestow all the love of the skies

and flight...

in parting.

Poem by ZZ
Bits and Pieces

A&E Iraq meets his closest friend that he has not seen since they parted in Iraq. The meeting brings memories of times past:
I had flashes from the past, him being threatened by the security forces, there weapons were pointed to his neck, when I started shouting and threatening.
We were always ready to die together, he never let me down...

I kept looking at him, the same smile, the same gestures, and the same childish behavior. I closed my eyes and found myself sitting in his black small car (the one he used to have in Baghdad), as he used to come everyday, ringing the bell, and then we both disappear.
Going out, drinking special juice from (14th of Ramadan street), chatting, listening to songs, eating Falafel or Lahmb3ajeen, and then going back, sit in the car, keep talking, talking about love, friends and future plans.

Last of Iraqis notices the recent prisoner releases by America but finds some ominous signs for the future peace in Iraq:
I can surely say that there is a good number of [Al Qaida] members among those prisoners as a colleague of mine said when he was talking about his neighbor who is a released prisoner:" I can assure you Mohammed he was in [Al Qaida], I'm sure of that as I'm sure of my name…he was released and few hours 4 members of the Awakening came to visit him!! can you believe that…I bet the situation will get worst pretty soon"...

Only god knows what the coming days are hiding for us.

Inside the Green Zone, Neurotic Wife gets an award (picture left) from the Commanding General in charge of her office. For the first time "the woman that can go on talking forever and give headaches to people all over the world", is speechless. But, she does not want to take the credit for herself. Neurotic Wife writes:
I seriously don’t think I deserve this coin, but instead, I believe that this coin should be dedicated to all those who lost their lives in the name of this country. First and foremost I dedicate it to all the innocent Iraqi martyrs whose blood is still running deep. Deep within these rivers. And ofcourse, I also dedicate it to the coalition forces and the multi national forces who may not have sacrificed their lives because they “love” us, but they sacrificed their lives in the name of their own country. And to me, to me all those who sacrificed their lives for THEIR country is the epitome of ones honour. A Pure and Honest Honour…

Ihath finds a Swarovski Crystal pendant that is also a USB memory stick and, as a true female geek, she cannot contain her delight. Ihath tries to explain to the confused shop assistant why this is so cool:
So I began to explain to her that this thingy can be attached to a computer or a laptop and you can transfer you files to it and then you have your files with you all the time but it is also a heart shaped pendant which makes a statement about the love you have for these files. The elderly woman still looked puzzled and asked me “So why is that cool?”. “Well it is cool because you have your files with you in a heart shaped pendant hanging on your chest, which means you love your files and your digital files are important to you and you have them hanging right next to your heart, which says something” I tried to explain. “Aha” she replied, but she didn’t look very convinced.

And Finally

Bookish posts a result of Ramadhan that everyone fasting will find familiar:
This is my weight just before having Al-Futoor.

My weight just after having Al-Futoor. :)

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