Thursday, May 06, 2004

Thursday 5/6

Good morning….
Baghdad is quite. There was less traffic since the publishing of the torture
photos from Abu Gharib. It feels like the whole city sank into sadness and
disbelief. People used to talk about such incidents but as they had no
proof, it was nothing but gossip. Then the pictures were published and it
turned into a fact.
I want to stop for a moment at the incident of killing 4 Americans at
Now we know that they weren't civilian contractors. They were working for a
private security firm; a firm that trains men to perform assassinations and
engage in fighting and similar actions.
I remember now a comment made by my neighbor that I didn't believe at the
time. Now it surfaces into my brain again. After the Falluja incident I
called her and we talked about different things. She works for the ministry
of health and I know that those working at government offices know some
secrets the regular citizen finds about much later. I told her how amazed I
was and that I refuse such acts of killing and burning people in the
streets. She said: Don't be amazed Um-Raed, they were involved in torturing
and mistreating Iraqis in prisons.
I said: what prisons?
She said: You didn't hear about it?
I told her I didn't and then changed the subject because I didn't believe
Now we know that they found out about the torture as early as January 2004.
That's 4 months ago.
Iraqis and Americans knew nothing about it except for a small minority who
knew about it and didn't say a word.
What a scandal…
That minority who knew about it have every right to hide it. It hurts and
destroys Iraqis' feelings. It tears their pride apart. It's humiliating and
makes them hate the occupation even more.
It was a shock to the American people. They didn't believe that their
government would do such a thing.
That's mainly because they believe totally in their government, its honesty,
Right and justice in the US and abroad.
Then the truth was out.
Iraqis say that the women arrested and tortured at Abu Gharib weren't
accused with committing any crime. They are sisters and wives of Iraqi men
suspected to have connections with the resistance.
That's just another slap on our faces.
What will they start the interrogation with?
They raid houses, show no respect to the residents, take women if men
weren't available and then they mistreat and humiliate them….
Where do I start?
Where are the American values the President Bush mentioned: civilization,
mercy and justice?
I ask this once again: who gave them the orders?
And who followed those orders?
What did they tell the American soldiers going to Iraq?
You go there and mow the lawn…Raid their houses and mistreat their men and
women…We'll cover you up and no one will find about it…?
Maybe Iraqis are lucky because this is elections year and there are some
Bush opponents who are willing to unveil the bush administration scandals.
It's a sign from God that he's with the oppressed Iraqis.
God revealed the truth and the exposed the liars. Now they are confused; how
will they explain, how will they apologize?
They sent notes to the tortures….. Oh thank you! You crushed them with such
harsh punishment and scared the hell out of any other torturer.
President Bush is on TV speaking so softly and calmly.
That's the first time we see him speaking in a decent soft manner.
We are used to watching him threatening, anger evident in his eyes, his
hands gesturing doom and gloom…
Who will believe him?
Will his speeches solve all our problems?
Shall we believe him, smile and forgive?
We have a long list of mistreatment of Iraqis by occupation forces.
We Iraqis now aren't in trouble now.
The American administration is in trouble.
It's supposed to prove that human rights, mercy and justice it has been
touting are for real.
It's supposed to build trust on the Iraqi and the American side by actions
not words.
It's been over a year now and the mistakes were numerous.
It's not just about some foolish soldiers. No!
This is about a foolish leadership who can't make plans and perform them in
a mature rational way.
We Iraqis don't hate the American people.
It is quiet the opposite.
We now feel that we are like them, victims of the misjudgments of this
But the difference is that this administration needs the approval of the
American people because they finance the war.
Out of the American people come the money, Men and women needed for this
If the people there got angry this would mean the end of the support and the
end of this war.
The president will of course appear on TV to apologize. Not out of respect
for the Iraqi people but to sooth the feelings of the Americans, who were
shocked, ashamed and sad because of the atrocities committed in their names.
But no one cares about the Iraqis, their feelings or their pains.
For over a year we have been talking and yelling about mistreatment and no
one cared enough to listen, believe or apologize.
Now that the pictures were published it became a case that can't be just
simply ignored.
The Americans stopped to think: what went wrong?
Yes we need people to stop and think: what went wrong?
Where are we heading?
We wish that the mistakes are corrected. And we all head towards a better
path, a path where the Iraqi are helped to rebuild their country starting
from rebuilding the destroyed streets filled with garbage, to rebuilding the
We want peace. We want stability. We want security.
We want that for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.
We want to build a beautiful free country, a bright progressive model, a
country that doesn't attack its neighbors, a country that doesn't lose its
characteristics, an Arab Muslim homeland believing in justice, mercy and
No one would draw its future but us…
No group of mysterious men approved by the USA and mistrusted by the Iraqis
will take over its leadership but an Iraqi leadership out of the people; it
would love them, defend them and guard their dignity….
The old flag represents all that.
Who wants to tarnish our beloved symbols?
The old flag was there before Saddam and there is no association between the
two of them.
The old flag tells the story of our ancestors and their beautiful values we
are proud of.
"White are our good deeds…..Black are our battles….Green are the oases where
we spend the spring…..Red are our sharp swords"
That was all in the flag.
White, green, black and red…. (T. note: It's to be noted that the Jordanian,
Palestinian, Kuwaiti flags are made of the same 4 colors, while the
Egyptian, Yemeni, Syrian flags are made of 3 of them. Almost in any Arab
flag one or more of those colors are present)
Who has the courage to erase those words so special to us and replace them
with what suits him….An Iraqi living abroad for decades…What's Iraqi left in
It's such a weird time.
You can't differentiate between your friend and your enemy anymore.
Your enemy comes from within…..
That's the worst thing for Iraqis…
Their enemy emerges out of them, starting form Saddam Hussien.
You may add whoever neo-Saddam you like to the list.
They are nothing but neo-Saddams with different names and faces.

{translated by Mohammed, from Egypt }

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