Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Friday, 25th., June, 2004
Good morning…this is the week-end day, the day to stay at home and do all the heavy house hold chores.
The conditions in Baghdad are much in tension; explosions have become a daily occurrence, and in streets heavily filled with civilian pedestrians…and this is a sad, fearful situation.
Day and night, we ask GOD to send his revenge upon those responsible for these explosions, and expose them to the whole world, to give us the patience to endure the hardships of hard days, and for the future to carry the good, well-being to Iraq and the Iraqis…
I am still reading books about the Modern history of Iraq, by Dr. Ali Al-Wardi, and Mr. Abdul-Razzak Al-Hassani. Each says that the information sources are documents of prior periods of Iraq's history, from the National Documentation library, or some other documents Dr. Al-Wardi used from the British Documentation library in London, which spoke of Iraq in the days of the British Deputizing. Of course, in Baghdad, the National Documentation library was burned during the first days of the American occupation last year…so, if any one wanted to make a research or a study about the Iraqi history during the Monarchal period, or prior to it, or later to it, I do not know if they would find any official documents…it is really very sad, but this is only a small part of what has befallen us…. And what is hidden remains much worst, as the old poet says…
I read the history, then put my hand over my head…I close the book, and fall in deep thoughts of astonishment, and sorrow. Then I re-open the book, to read again: Iraq falls under the Ottoman domain for the years 1516-1914. Four centuries of the worst periods of darkness, ignorance, cruelty, backwardness, and a continuous plunder of the wealth of Iraq. A continuance repression of a continuance flow of revolutions and up-risings, executing honest, freedom-seeking men who demand the independence of Iraq, and the evacuation of Ottomans…
Then World War 1 came, and new coalitions were formed between nations against the (Sick Man), as the Ottoman Empire was called in its last few years…and when the war was lost to the Ottomans, their wealth was divided between the coalition states, I mean the countries that came out victorious in the war… so Iraq became a part of the wealth that England inherited, along with Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
The British troops entered Basra in 1914, then Baghdad in 1916, then Mousel in 1917. The occupation was not confronted in a clear way at the beginning; there was some coolness in the first stages, then hesitation, because most of the population carried feuds and ill- feelings towards the former Ottoman authorities, and that made them believe the British announcement that (we have come as liberators, not conquerors), as General Modd said in his speech. But the popular uprisings started in a short time, against the British presence…
1917- The uprising of Al-Najaf and Kuffa.
1918- The uprising of Al-Najaf and central Euphrates region cities.
1919- The uprising of the Kurds (Karkook, Hallpcha, Dania).
1920- The famous revolution that spread all over Iraqi cities.
1922- The formation of the Iraqi Kingdom, and the announcement of King Faisal 1st., as the King of Iraq.
1926- Demonstrations against the British and their policy in the country.
1930- Demonstrations against the treaty with England.
1931- Demonstrations against the same treaty with England.
1932- The announcement of the pseudo independence, and Iraq joins the Nations League.
1936- The military insurgence of (Baker Sidky), and the formation of a new government.
1937- The assassination of (Baker Sidky), and the return of the old government that has fled the country.
1941- The insurgence of (Rashid Aliie Al-Gaylani), and a new government, then England interfered, threw down the new government, executed its leaders, then re-established the old government.
1947- The Iraqi Army going to Palestine…but no serious war occurs, no bullets shot. There were the rumors of (No Orders). Then Palestine fell, and the state of israel was announced the next year.
1948- The uprising of January, martyrs fell in demonstrations against the Prime Minister Salih Jabur, and the Portsmouth treaty.
1949- The Forming of parties loyal to Britain, by Nouri Al-Said, and Salih Jabur.
1951- Demonstrations against the forged elections, martial law, the shooting of demonstrators and political prisoners inside their cells.
1952- An uprising, and martyrs.
1954- An uprising, and martyrs, against a new treaty.
1956- Demonstrations against the Trio-aggression upon Egypt, (by France, England, and israel).
1957- The forming of the National Unity Front, between the Iraqi National Parties.
1958- The 14th. Of July Revolution, the announcement of the Independent Iraqi Republic.
A long history, filled with pain and sacrifices … the Iraqi people are really, a nation of dignity, pride, and heroism…
The British occupation lasted more than 40 years, so, what progress took place during that time?
History books say, that agriculture remained back-wards, because the British engrossed the former state property lands, or farmer's property, then give them to thanes, or heads of tribes who were loyal to them, to strengthen their positions, and their power against the poor, miserable people.
In industry, the only section that saw any progress, was the oil connected industry, no major industry that was something notable was built, and the foreign goods (British and others) invaded the Iraqi market, so that Iraq would become a consuming place for their goods.
And, they refused to leave the country, the excuse being their fear the Ottomans, or someone who supports them would regain power.
Isn't history laughing and gloating, while repeating it self all over again???
Then came the Republic rule, and Abdul-Kareem Qasim, in July, 1958.
There were trials for the former politicians; the nationalists were released from prisons. I remember the Iraqis killed Nouri Al-Said, who was the Prime Minister during the kingdom time, and his body was pulled in the streets, in revenge for his victims, the nationalists Iraqi young men who were killed in the streets and prisons. Miss Bell said about him in her diaries: He is the most loyal Iraqi towards England, the most faithful to its justice and noble values, its most ardent defender.
And as I read the history, I can not blame them for what they did to him; it looks like the rage of the crushed, poor Frenchmen who broke into the Bastille prison, then it was the revolution, and the beheading of the king, Louis the16th. And his lovely wife, Marie Antoinette, for they didn't feel the pains of the crushed ones, nor their hunger, and lived in splendor and wealth, so they met an ugly death, just like their foolishness and selfishness.
Going back to the 1958 revolution… in the same month (July, 26th.) the Temporary Constitution of the republic was announced, then the Personal Affairs Law, which gave the Iraqi woman, for the first time, equal rights to the man. The parties went to public activity, instead of secret, and in September, the Agricultural Reform Law was issued, which stated the top limits of land ownership permissible, then distributed land to the farmers.
The government started an Industrial Development Program, signed commercial contracts with the Soviet Union, to import the machines and equipments needed at the state organizations and establishments.
The republic annulled the 1954 agreement with Britain; the British soldiers left the military bases at Habbania and Shiaba in May 1959, and the Iraqi flag was raised upon them. On the same day, a decision was made to disband the agreements with the United States, in 1954-1955, about military and financial aid. Iraq officially withdrew from what was called the (Baghdad pact) in August, 1959.
Do you believe that an attempt was made to assassinate Abdul-Kareem Qasim on that same year, in October 1959? Its main figure was Saddam Hussein, who was then in his early twenties. Did he appear on his own? Or did someone train him then put him up as an enemy for this nation and its people??
Anyway, the attempt failed, and Saddam Hussein run away out of Iraq for years, then returned before the toppling of 1968.
In 1961, the government issued Law No. 80, by which Iraq regained back the Oil Privileges Lands that used to be monopolized by western oil companies. But, then, who would let Iraq enjoy security and rest? My father always repeated, while laughing, a saying by Gandhi, leader and liberator of India from the British occupation: (If two fish fought at sea, be sure that England is the cause of it.). I don't think he meant England by name, but rather a symbol of imperialistic countries. Of course, problems and inquietudes started in Iraq… the Communist party, from one side, demands to join the government, and the Ba'ath party, from the other side. The government tried to take a balanced position from parties, not to lean on the side of one party, to the cost of another…but failed to achieve that equation. The conspiracies against the government continued, until the 1963 insurgence, and Abdul-Kareem Qasim was killed, the power was seized by conflicting powers, Ba'athies and Militants. I do remember violence, conflicts and nettings between the Ba'athies and the Communists, that used to make people very worried, as they refused these shameful acts.
Then came the insurgence of 17 th. July, 1968, the Ba'ath party seized power.
To tell the truth, at the beginning they did make good additions to the lives of Iraqis… education improved, universities multiplied, a program against illiteracy was implemented, there was free medical treatment for all citizens in the hospitals, the Nationalization of Iraqi oil, and the National united front for different Iraqi political parties. There was a very clear movement of building and development in all of Iraq.
But Saddam was in the front…the president then was Ahmed Hassan Al-Baker, whom I found no Iraqi, till now, who hated him, or mentions him in a bad way. He was a polite, peaceful man…we never heard his name mentioned in a song, nor saw a cruel, dictatorial, or vicious behavior from him. But Saddam Hussein came along and put himself in the picture, put the man into retirement, then installed himself as president of the Republic, and supreme leader of the Armed Forces….since that day, Iraq went back to living in hell. He seized power in 1979, then started netting the leaders of the Ba'ath party who formed some kind of danger for him. He imprisoned most of them, and executed others by false or made-up charges. He made war against Iran, used chemical weapons against Kurds in Hallabcha, dealt with Iraqis in violence and force, a wave of killings and executions started, a long, miserable, movie that the Iraqis lived through, filled with sorrow and pain. Since those days, Saddam put his hand in the hands of the west, became their public allay, so calamities started falling upon us once more.
They never criticized him then, because he was doing what satisfied them. That period was the darkest, most oppressive, and dictatorial for the Iraqis. After his attack on Kuwait, he was in disagreement with the west, so he became their No.1 enemy, and they started a campaign against him. They wailed for freedom and democracy, unknown to the Iraqis, they cried for the Kurds in Hallabcha…. History really is full of funny stories, and as they pass in time, they become clearer to those who observe them, their meanings also become clear, more comprehendible, while at the time they happened, they might seem ambiguous, bearing a thousand and one explanations…as the time moves on, things become clearer, simpler.
How do we go back to make a new, happy Iraq again?
I think the first, and last step would be an Iraqi independent government… independent… independent from the west and its polices, for of all our long history and experiments with them, we gained nothing but devastation, and destruction of our country…
From their greed and meanness comes our misery, they breed fighting, problems among the people, or the parties, or make agreements with a mad man, and make a dictator out of him, supplying him with money, power, and weapons so as to make wars on neighbors, destroy his nation, and we loose our hopes in a peaceful, settled life, for tens of years.
And now, how is our life?
Death, destruction, ruins, mercenaries from all nationalities, roaming around in our land, raking havoc, killing people…so that every day passes to more victims, and a far away hope of a peaceful, more settled life.
And then I get e-mails from people asking me why I say we miss our past days…didn't Saddam fall? Didn't you find a new opportunity for a happier life???
And I remember in Saddam's days, how I used to be afraid of the taxi driver, if I speak to him about the government, he might belong to the secret intelligence, and I might go to hell, afraid of the telephone operator if I speak about a forbidden subject, they might inform about me, then I might go to hell. I used to fear the newspaper employee who takes orders for greetings to the president, which I refused to participate in, fearing he would speak about me, and then I would go to hell. I feared the door bell, ringing at noon time, my heart would fall then, I would say: these are the intelligence men to take the satellite receiver and put us in jail, because it was forbidden.
Today all that is gone, Saddam Hussein is gone…but evil isn't gone from the world…and my fear took new shapes.
I fear a stray bullet from a brave American soldier, who was sent here to liberate the back-wards Iraq, and its monstrous people, a bullet that could kill me, or one of my boys, or relatives, or neighbors, or friends. I am afraid of artillery missiles, thrown randomly upon civilian areas at night; when they receive a missile by an Iraqi resistant fighter. I fear trapped cars exploding in the streets of Baghdad, any time, taking along tens of innocent people. I fear the night raids and searching campaigns, presumably looking for weapons or resistant fighters in the houses… where they get into rooms, opening closets and drawers, perhaps steeling some money or jewelry, as so many people we know told us, who were unfortunate to have this happen to them, but to whom they would complain??
And I fear a dark future to a country occupied by a foreigner who dose not love us…but deals with us as if we are scum, and he is the superior who wouldn't make a mistake…
Then I found my way writing on the internet, only to find thorns and fear…
I receive mean, poisonous letters, because I want the occupation forces to leave Iraq…then some lunatic by the name of Asmar stole pictures from my site and put them in his site, sending massages to companies and magazines, some of them signed in my name, asking them to put advertisements on his site, thus earning hundreds or thousands of dollars, but I have no way to complain against him.
Then came another lunatic, his name is Jeffrey, and started writing against the Iraqi sites that oppose the occupation, and of course I am one of them…spoiling my reputation, saying I am a Ba'athi, then a Bourgua, then a Wahabbi… where is the freedom and democracy that we enjoyed???
We escaped Saddam Hussein, but ended up with ten, a hundred, or more, of those who look like Saddam Hussein, to spoil our lives again.
Do not say we are back-wards…for the long years we spent fighting the British occupation, you spent them building your lives towards the best, developing your industry, and economy…while your governments sucked our blood, and our wealth…have you ever thought about us??? Have you ever felt sorry about us?
Have you pushed against your governments to remove its evil hand from us, and let us live in peace??
No one is better than another…we were borne with similar brains, intelligence, and capabilities…and the Iraqi living in America or Europe, or any country in the world, creates and produces as any other human being…but creativity and production here needs security, settlement, and independence, and this is what the Iraqis want now… security, settlement, and independence … to build their lives all over again…and build the future of their children and grandchildren….without fear…without enemies to poison their lives
Translated by May.

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