Monday, June 07, 2004

Saturday, 5th. June, 2004

Good evening… It is now the afternoon in Baghdad, the weather is hot, the electricity is off, only the generator is buzzing outside…
We are looking for some good news… and who wouldn't want to hear the good news?? But unfortunately, looking for it is very hard these days…
Today I saw some workers of the Municipality of Baghdad painting the street curbs in black and yellow. I stood by one and asked if he would be here tomorrow, for I want to take a photograph of you?
He laughed and asked: Are you a journalist? I laughed but didn't answer.
He said: You might find me tomorrow, or you might not, for we are supposed to work on many sites in Baghdad, far fetched from each other.
I do hope I would see him again, so that I would put his photo on the site.
Just imagine how frustrating our lives are, making us feel happy by the mere sight of painted curbs in the street. It is a very small matter, but to our lives, our many disappointments, we find it a good start to the accomplishments we hope will grow and show-up, so that we could rebuild our cities, our lives, and our souls… all over again.
When I got back from work, tired and hungry, I found the airport road closed, so I was stuck in the traffic jam, the car fumes, the loud air horns of trucks, the shouting of pedestrian salesmen, and, the terrible heat…
I finally got home an hour late, after so much torture, where I lost my appetite. I knew after I got home, by reading the subtitles on T.V., that a Land cruse convoy was attacked while passing through the air port road, and some of the cars were burned. These are almost daily occurrences, and you can't imagine the size of the jam in the streets around the high-way that has been closed. I am seriously thinking now of leaving this house and looking for a new one in another area, safer and closer to my work. It will be summer soon, and I can't put up with the heat, and this daily ordeal…
Between the airport road and the residential areas surrounding it, there was a cement-block wall built during the 1980's. Two days ago, the American military shovels hit that wall, and destroyed parts of it. The people came, along with many trucks, pick-ups, even small cars, and carried the blocks away to other places, for sell or personal use, for it belonged to no-one now…
Why did they demolish a wall a few kilometers long??
Because some people hide behind it and shoot the coalition troops, through small gaps in the wall, while they wouldn't be able to shoot back.
Now, the whole area is clear, and anyone aiming at them, will be shot at, randomly… even on the residential area, so, let civilians die, or get wounded, let houses be damaged. We might even see on newspapers, the picture of a woman, crying, mourning a dead family member, or a demolished house…
A few days ago, after the declaration of the new government, there were some students studying at an old café’ overlooking the river Tigris, at the Al-Karkh district, called Al-Bayruti café’… every year, Khalid and his friends go to study there, where they gather, and stay late at night. Usually students from poor familes go there, because they don’t have generators at home. And as the café’ has one, it means providing them with electricity, cold water, tea, coffee, and light to study till morning. This year, I have forbidden Khalid from going there, because it was very far away, and the situation unstable.
Last Wednesday night, some students were there, studying, around 10 p.m., and there was a American tank standing in the street near the café’. There are some large gardens, with heavy shrubs and palm trees on the opposite side, from which a missile was fired upon the tank. The soldier turned around, and opened fire on the café’, killing some students, and wounding some more. A part of the café’ was destroyed.
Funiral parlors were set up at the victims houses the next day…. So, instead of going to the exam halls, these innocent people went to early graves….
The question is : who is responsible about such conduct? And to whome the victim’s relatives would complain?
The American soldier would kill any Iraqi civilian in front of him, as revenge from those who bother him, and shoot upon him.
The Iraqi people always pay the price…
The American media always say that this soldier has come all this way to sacrifice his life for Iraq and the Iraqis.
Oh, yes… I believe that completely, as I see and hear, and as all the Iraqis believe with me…
The truth is : the Iraqi is paying his life for the American.
A hundred victims for one American. As was the case in Fallouja.
How many hundreds of Iraqis died, paying the price of the foolishness of a few? Why are we the cheapest item in the bargin? Bush and America would feel sad when they recive the body of an American soldier who died in Iraq. What about us??? What do we do about the bodies of our victims?????
It is as if the coalition forces are telling the Iraqis: we will keep on killing you, wounding you, and destroying your houses as long as you resist us. As for the explosions that kill Iraqi victims, Ah, well…, we don’t know who is responsible for them. But their only result is more dead and wounded Iraqis.
The criminal is always un - known….
His identity, and intentions,…. Un-known.
As long as there is an occupying force, the situation will remain complicated, and unsafe…
As quick as these forces withdraw to the outskirts of cities, then outside the cities, then outside of Iraq as a whole, as it would be possible to provide safty and quietness…
And if we ask an innocent question: what is a tank doing inside a residential area??? Waiting, for a bullet or a missile, shot by an un-known, to kill the residents and destroy their houses???
There is a lot of un- necessary foolishness and stubbornness from the coalition forces side. And only the Iraqis pay the price of another’s foolishness…
We do not suppose these forces are there to monitor a night- time watch, for the civilians…
For such a watch could be arranged by the residents themselves, to protect their neighbourhoods, and that’s a small solution to the problem.
A strong Iraqi government, with a wide sovereignty…
A strong Iraqi army, with enough personals and equipment… so with an Iraqi police force ….
This is what Iraq and the Iraqis need… so; whoever wants to help in that, please…go ahead…
The path is clear … the goal is clear…
We don't need any occupation force… killing our youth and children, stepping on the streets of our cities without mercy, crossing over the curbs without any kind of respect to our feelings. If it would have been an Iraqi soldier doing this, we would have said: where did this idiot come from? We would have found somewhere to complain against him. But, this is an American soldier, above questioning and complaints.
And … they say he came to die for you??
Well, thank you, we don’t want you, nor want you to die for us…
Go home in peace…
And let us posses the chance to live peacefully, as all other nations on earth…
Bush is in Europe today, in France and Italy.
He says the forces will remain in Iraq, by consent of the temporary government.
This government will remain in office untill the end of the American elections. This government, on which Bush is placing, bets, to give him a recommendation. To declear that he has accomplished the task of the American forces in Iraq in the best possible way.
While we, the Iraqi people, want this government to achive all that is good to the people.
We want independence as soon as possible… we want the occupying forces out of our lands.
It is clear that Bush is in agreement with the temporary Iraqi government to let the forces remain in Iraq indefinetly. So he would accomplish the political goals of his own, to save himself from a dark future.
We, on the other hand, want to raise banners saying: Thank you, America, for throwing Saddam Hussain off. Then, we turn the banner to the other side, and read: Get your forces out of Iraq. There is nothing to gain by staying, except Bush’s political interests.
I wish a popular movement would start among Iraqis in this direction. I wish I would be a part of it, and with me all those who love Iraq and the Iraqis…
It is time to be independent, and build our own beautiful country…
A new free independent Iraq..
One hand…one heart…one Iraq
Built by Iraqis, suni, shiaa’, Arabs, kurds, Turkmen, Muslims, Christians, and Baptists…
{translated by May, Baghdad}

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