Sunday, October 10, 2004

Sunday, October 3rd., 2004
Good evening….
This is the month of autumn…the sky is cloudy sometimes, but the weather isn't cold yet, nor the rain fell… perhaps by next month we'll see the cold and the rain, by the will of GOD…
This month holds special meanings for me…it contains the Birthdays of two of my sons, Khalid and Majid, in its last week. The age difference between them is four years and two days… when they were young, I used to arrange a joint birthday party…and when they grew up, they revolted, each wanting his private party, and invite his friends only. The selfishness of children is very funny…but it is the beginning of their personality's independence. And that is a positive aspect of this selfishness.
In the last years they became grown young men, so they invited their friends in a restaurant or the club, in their birthdays. The house became no longer suitable a place for their meetings, laughters, stories, and secrets. I used to give them only the expanses of the invitation, a gift, and a beautiful musical card, with a drawing of roses, with a few words written inside, containing a Mother's love, and her beautiful wishes for her children of a happy life, and a successful future….they usually laugh, perhaps saying in their minds: Boring mother's words ….
But today I feel the sting of Majid's absence, with his birthday at the end of the month… I wish he would spend it with his new friends in Canada, hoping GOD would always save him, and grant him success, and happiness, wherever he is…..
Majid is the pampered little one….and parting with him is heavy on my heart…but I stick to patience…perhaps his life away from here is better for him than our daily life, filled with violence, killings, and blood….
I wish he would finish his studies, and come back to a settled, safe Iraq, so he could join in building a new country… a beautiful country…..
I wonder how people change with time… does the circumstances change?? Or is it a matter of getting older, and a change of priorities??
I think the circumstances are the most influential reason… then the subjective factor of a persons own reaction. For I have seen in my life some people who lived the same way in life and thinking, regardless of the changing circumstances, but they were not influenced, and their inner world kept going by the same rhythm until they died….
I do not know whether this is a sign of stupidity, or strength??
I was invited with Khalid last week to a wedding party for a relative's son at the Hunting Club. I hesitated a lot, for my mood did not welcome such partaking, I had no wish… and last week was eventful of bombings and violence… but Khalid said: Mama, don't be at fault, they will be upset, and you wouldn't be able to justify your absence…let's go, even if for half an hour… I reluctantly agreed….
The club is at the Princesses Street, which it is an old, beautiful, wide street, but the Villas in it are mostly new and modern…even the old ones are beautiful and characteristic.
Before we got to the club, there was a burned, black car on the curb, its doors were clearly defined, the rest of its parts weren't completely burned, and I didn't find out whether it was originally black in color, or the explosion had rendered it so, and changed its color… I knew there was a trapped car that blew up in this street two days ago, as it went through an American vehicles convoy that was passing the area… I do not know whether this was the trapped car, or it was the car of an Iraqi civilian victim?
I saw the black banners on the street corner, bearing the names of the victims, Iraqi civilians: a young man, (his name), and his nephews, (their names, so and so), Mr. (so and so), and his family, Mrs. (so and so), with her daughter and son, ….. I do not know…. Sadness shrouds my heart, and the hearts of all innocent Iraqis, who were forced into this black nightmare, without any fault…
We entered the club, Khalid and I, and asked the driver to come back for us in an hour…Music was surging out of the Hall, we entered, and saluted the Groom's family, wishing them happiness. Then we sat at the table that gathered the relatives… we have not seen each other in months…and we used to visit each other weekly… life after the war is no longer safe, we contact each other by phone, but do not meet each other frequently…even relationships became cold. As if separations have killed some beautiful things in them, yes, it has killed warmth and vitality.
I sat gazing at the newly weds, then at the circular dance floor in front of them, I did not have the feeling of joy and dazzlement in my heart, as I used to feel in the past… I used to attend weddings with a feeling of enthusiasm and happiness, saying to my self, this is a new family, and a nice, intimate relation between two, a man and a woman, I used to look upon them happily, joyfully, seeing in them a new experience, and wishing them all happiness, with all my heart…
But today, I do not know where did all my feelings go, evaporated?? Here I sit, in a daze…watching people and things…as if I am from another world…as if they are from another world…
The young men and women danced to the sounds of music and songs…they wore their prettiest clothes…had smiles on their faces, and laughter…perhaps they were hiding their fears behind it…perhaps they were trying to forget the hell in our daily life, with these noisy dances and laughter… or perhaps their young years, and fresh hearts, empty of experiences and sorrows, made them live moments of innocent joy, while they were unmindful of it.
I looked with a smile, but stifled the urge to cry in my chest… since when haven't we laughed, danced, or clapped?? We used to attend weddings here, join in the dace and laughter, talk and babble about every thing, with joyful hearts, not knowing what sorrows the days kept in store for us….
At the front of the hall, in a large, gilded line… a verse from a long poem was written, by Al-Jawahiri, GOD bless his sole, which he wrote in his exile, away from Iraq..
I don't know why the tears crowded in my eyes, as I stared at those words. Words of love and longing, to a river, and a homeland….
What is left today of that homeland?? Where is that which they loved, and longed for??
The Groom's mother came and sat by me… she said they had bought a lot of gold for the Bride, but today, due to the bad security conditions, will not enrobe her with it…they will have another party in a weeks time, at home, and present the gold to her…
I looked at her and smiled, said: My dear, who cares about gold these days…people want only safety, and the peace of mind…
No one really cared about appearances any more….
I remember…when I used to live in Amman, in the summer, there were so many weddings, for in the summer the expatriates come, the Jordanians and Palestinians, to get married with their parents… and of course, there had to be a Hall, a party, dinner, sweets, guests, and beautiful gowns and suites for the couple…
Then, there is a strange spectacle, some families perform, sometimes… the Groom's mother comes, carrying a tray, full of various pieces of golden jewelry… and start enrobing the Bride, in front of the guests… I used to feel ashamed of such conducts, while I looked on with people…
What does that mean?? We have bought you with a high price?? We boast in front of people with what we present to our Bride??
I do not know how these people think… if there was love and respect; it can be expressed in away devoid of boasting and show- offs, like this… I find this a manner far from truthfulness and transparency… I smell in it insincerity and flashing.
I thanked GOD they didn't do this here today, because of the bad security conditions.
Why do some people keep thinking in a naïve, foolish way, when expressing themselves in front of others?? Why do they tend to lies, hypocrisy, and glamorization of words and deeds?? I do not know…
As I move on in age…and my experiences increase … I realize that simplicity and clarity is a grand secret, owned by prophets, and the great ones… modesty and simplicity are the most beautiful of the human traits, and the most noble. Why wouldn't some people realize them, and keep on spinning in the eddy of tiring courtesies, that drags behind it hypocrisy, stupidity, and foolishness???
I don't know…
Is it a personal matter? Or some society rules that dictate themselves on the individual??
I believe that the freedom of thought is something that lives inside us, in our brain cells, first, and then spreads to the human's comprehension, his behaviors with others.
It's an internal, personal decision… a disengagement from silly matters that have been controlling our minds for a long time.
When we grow up, and become mature, we posses the ability to distinguish between silly things and beautiful, and do not remain as dumb parrots…
I breathed freely when we went outside, to the crowded streets… it was a Thursday evening, weddings were a plenty, because it will soon be Ramadan, the Fasting month…when weddings stop.
I smiled again from behind the car window, as I looked at the lights of commercial shops, the car lights, and heard the noises of pipes, songs, and clapping, coming from the wedding cars… here is a wedding procession…it is very crowded…
Then another…the traffic jam gets mixed up… I was not annoyed; at least we were stuck in a beautiful jam…full of Brides, songs, and laughter… I wish all traffic jams were like this….
Isn't it more merciful than a jam of ambulances, dead people, explosions, and American armors, pulling machine guns in you face??
Two days later, my friends came to visit me in the shop… we talked quickly, asking about each other, and our news…then one of them asked, laughing: Did you hear the speeches of Bush and Ayyad Alawi in the Congress, and the white House?? I smiled and said: Yes.
She said: Did you hear?? They drew a picture of Iraq as if it is full of happiness and roses…
We all laughed…
We went, my friends and I, to attend a lecture about Democracy, and the Elections. The lecturer was an Iraqi lady, who said she attended some work-shop discussions about the subject, and she'll explain it to us, so we could explain it to others.
She spoke about the meaning of the two words, and their relation with each other. Then she spoke about the methods of elections, and their traits, then the civil society and its role in elections, the relation of the civil society with the parties, and the danger in the party's dominance over the civil organizations.
Then the elements of elections, which are: The Base, The Candidates, and The Campaign; and the method of delivering a message of every candidate to convince the public…
She said The Base consists of three elements:
- -An Element who had fixed his opinion, his candidate, and sticks to him.
- An Element who decided not to vote.
- And an Element who is wavering, and he is the one to whom all invitations and debates are addressed, to convince him to vote for one of the candidates.
She said every candidate has a message, which he keeps repeating to people's attention until they memorize it…
I smiled........... imagining the poor American citizen these days…they all fight, and debate, giving him the headaches, as they try, each separately, to say he is completely right, and the other is completely wrong…and whoever votes for the opponent is a complete fool…
Ha, ha, ha…
A game that gives people the headaches…as if you are in a Bazaar…each is calling for his merchandise, wanting to sell it more than the others.
But people's lives and destinies are decided here…inside this chaos, shouting, and headache-promoting noise…
I don't know…as if I see the propaganda, the competition, and the debates, are subjected to a lot of acting, and show-offs, more than honesty, calmness, and rationality.
The media plays its role here…where truth gets mingled with lies, justice with false…and facts get lost.
A very dangerous game….this is Democracy.
And the bad people could maneuver it, because they play like jugglers, in a circus. And the audiences are poor….who could easily be tricked.
I buy the newspaper everyday…and I don't read it. Then, a week or more later, I open them, one by one, according to date, and start reading… and by GOD, I discovered that this method is very smoothing to nerves.
First of all, it eases away the daily tension that grips you when you read the everyday news … and burns your nerves.
And by then, a week later, it becomes old, but the accumulation is useful, as it completes painting a picture of the events, and which way they are moving…
So, reading the newspaper becomes a useful, fruitful event…not a passing one, which you throw aside, and forget quickly.
I always noticed some implying to the presence of Arabs, or Iranians, after each hot event, in Fallujah, Sammarra, Haifa st, and other places… except in Najaf, and the southern cities. This story can't be sold…for there is another explanation for the clashes with Al-Sadder, and Al-Mahdi Army…(they want to build a model of the Iranian leaders in Iraq).
That is a naïve story, and whoever lives in Iraq laughs when he hears it, because they know it does not concert with the nature of Iraqis, and their view point to matters…but it frightens the American citizen, and he believes it.
The Iraqis do not have an extremist vision of religion, as do the Iranians. It is the nature of the people there, in Iran, that they love worshiping the religious personals, and exaggerate in this worship. As the way they look upon Imam Ali, Hussein, and Fatima, (may the peace of GOD be upon them all).
They have this great love, as if it is a worship of these religious symbols, and they have habits, like striking their faces, and knocking their heads with iron, and so on, in the anniversary of Imam Hussein's martyrdom, (peace be upon him).
At the times of the Shah, he was trying to erect a European model in Iran...but the Khomeini's revolution, after years of the Shah's dictatorship, and his injustice to the people, came as a violent reaction to the Shah, his policies, and his directions...
So, the masses of people rallied around the new religious leadership…and a dissension began, between a moderate religious faction, and another, an extremist.
The scale is still trying to balance…..
In Iraq, it is different….
Saddam Hussein fell, and the Iraqis did not seek a religious leadership like Iran… the Iraqis have a moderate temperament in religion…not extremist, nor exaggerated. Neither like the extremist Shi'aa in Iran, nor the extremists Wahabis in Saudi Arabia.
Yes, historically, the Iraqis respected their religious leaderships, but they never made Political leaders out of them.
They were spiritual leaders, but without politics.
This is how the reality is here….
Even when I read the Iraqis revolution's history against the British imperialism, I found a spiritual, religious leadership, in Najaf, like the Sistani's is today. And I found a national leadership, of politicians, and party men, working to fulfill the Iraqi people's hopes, and these leaderships meet, every now and then, each respecting the presence of each other, and co-coordinating together, to the best interests of the Iraqis, and Iraq.
The books of Dr. Ali Al-Wardi, and Abdul-Razzaq Al-Hassani are my references.
Why would America want to convince the world, that there are some clerics, like Al-Sadder, who hate democracy, or anything good, to Iraq and the Iraqis, and that these leaderships must be eliminated, or, put down to scale??? Why do they say that these leaderships want to reproduce the Iranian sample, here?? Who said so??
This is like the story of the civil war, that they want for it to start in Iraq, everyday…in vain.
These seem to be the illusions in Bush's administration's heads…as he strikes the opposition here, heaping accusations upon them, fabricated in his mind. And the people in America believe him, and support him, saying to him: We are with you, we don't want the Iranian sample in Iraq.
But who said the Iraqis want the Iranian sample in Iraq??? Who ever spoke so???
Even Al- Sadder in his speeches did not portray himself as a political leader of Iraq. The man spoke of the homeland, the occupation army, and perhaps he said that resisting the occupation is legitimate, perhaps he was honest, and doesn't want personal benefits, or maybe he wants to put pressure to gain a post, or a representation percentage in the Parliament, or so…
Why wouldn't they allow someone like him to have an existence in the Parliament, and the next elections? Doesn't he represent a faction of Iraqis?
Even if they were a faction less educated, and has less of a vision than others, time is capable of developing such factions, or eliminating them from existence, people learn their experience with days, and choose the better leaders… that is how the process of maturing people's experiences goes on, all along human history…
Why wouldn't we allow a percentage of seats to the people of Fallujah, Sammarra, Ramadi, and others? Why do we attack, kill, and change town's maps, and elections?? Why would they come up with declarations, that the highly- tension areas will be excluded from the elections.
Is it logical that the whole Parliament, and the coming Iraqi government, all of them support Bush's view point in life??
This is an injustice….and Democracy means justice. This is stupidity, an increase of violence, tension, and a runaway…
In order to absorb anger and violence, give the other party a chance to express himself, do not oppress or kill him, thinking you have eliminated evil… more likely you have created evil, and gave it the strength against you… day by day, violence will increase…and problems shall not be solved, but rather will be more complex, by stupidity and stubbornness…
If you do not give a chance to the opposition to speak up, and have a dialogue with them, you might as well have pushed it to the paths of evil and darkness… as was the case in Chechnya against Russia, and the extremist Palestinian formations, that appeared on the field, after all attempts of logical dialogue between the Palestinians and the israili government failed, a government as frozen as Bush and his stiff mentality, and his lack of ability to absorb the presence of the ''Other""…. He controls the media, speaks about himself and the ""Other""…accusing his opponents of always being criminals, dark people, who wouldn't want Democracy, or freedom… and the events of September is the fruit of a stupid policy, which created enemies, whose number and size can't be counted…
The fruit of a stupid policy, and here is the world paying its price in more victims, and endless violence…
Violence gets more violence…and dialogue isn't weakness….dialogue is strength. Dialogue opens the doors to peace…and peace is a victory to all humans…
In my mind now, I thought of : The Noble Peace Prize… why wouldn't they start a prize for those who wage wars?? Because they are fools…and plenty, and the way of war is easy, and a rushing, foolish, decision…
But the way of peace, as the way of virtue, is hard and difficult to cross, and only great ones and geniuses can go through it…. Making by that a bright history for humanity.
Why wouldn't America solve matters in a rational, quiet, diplomatic way??
Why does she hold the heavy stick, and hit whoever stands in opposition against her, accusing them with false charges?? Isn't that a weakness, and lack of wisdom in running things??
Is the manner of hitting and violence a civilized manner, in facing the ""other""??
The lady in the lecture said about Democracy: It teaches us how to respect the other opinion… yes, this is the theory, but the reality here is something different…
Here, the American Democracy is: How to destroy the other opinion, and how to wipe it out of existence, by all means…… and the Bush reason is always: they are extremists, who hate us…
Oh, my GOD…who is the extremist?? Who started the violence, the hurt, the " in advance hits"??
The style of the American Administration is distrusting the other…heaping accusations against him, then hitting him, and destroying him.
Is this the Democracy??
I think America is in a fix… where are the beautiful theories, and what were their connection to this painful, ugly, reality the world is living through, because of the bad policies, bad management, and the unlimited aggression against the other…. These conducts indicate a defeated, abortive mentality….like the mentality of Saddam Hussein.
That who is sure of himself, wins the battle quietly, without destroying and disfiguring the opponent…opening the door of dialogue with the other, because he is strong, and full of confidence in himself.
And the loser raises storms to win the round, by terrorizing the others, frightening them, and closing their mouths.
Going back to the story of the Arabs and Iranians in Fallujah, or Sammarra, or the other hot spots. After each American bombing of these towns, or clashes and campaign, the newspapers come out with headlines like: The capture of a number of Syrians, Yamane, and Iranians. That, of course, is in addition to the Invisible Man: Al-Zarqawi, and his gang.
Of course, up till now, we saw no one, either on TV., or in the newspapers, no real faces, no real people who would say they were from Al-Zarqawi gang, or Iranians, or whatever, and would confess their crimes in front of people.
Nothing but mock web sites, and silly, naïve letters, signed by this and that.
Every person can start a web site, and say whatever he wants…shall we believe all this gibbering??
This week I started understanding these stories…
Someone wants to circulate, in America and the world, that these clashes and problems has nothing to do with the Iraqis, that there are some scum of mercenaries or lunatics, who call themselves Mujahideen, who came here to fight America…as for the Iraqis, they are in a state of harmony and contentedness with the occupation forces, no resistance, and no clashes.
Yes, there might be some truth in part of this theory, that America promotes, and work to maintain, by keeping the uncontrolled state of the boarders…where there are no security forces, nor order there, since the occupation of Iraq till now…the boarders are a loose, ignored, uncontrolled area. There is no presence of an American, nor Iraqi, strong force.
So, the situation looks deliberate now….they want to open the boarders to everyone who wants to confront America and fight her, here in Iraq, this new battle zone, so, why go to far away America??
We get two birds by one stone….we confirm our existence in Iraq, with the ploy of fighting terrorism, and control the fate of all the states of the region. And protect America and its people, from terrorism and its people. ( There are two more birds in the story: Iraqi Oil, the free treasure, and protecting the loved, pampered Israel)…ha, ha, ha….
As for the miserable Iraqis who would fall victims to this vicious plans, well, who cares about them?? Who shall count them?? Who will defend them, and stop their bleeding???
No one, of course…
We are an escape goat, so that America, and its people could live in peace, and sleep soundly. And let death and destruction be ours….and happiness and calmness be theirs.
But Bush covers all this by weeping for us, that he wants the shining future and democracy for us, and he must accomplish that one day….so, we should be patient, and wait….
As for the kidnapping gangs, killings, and beheadings on the internet…and the daily trapped cars…the killings of the new recruiters in the Iraqi Police and Army…these are a two-edged weapon… they prove Bush's inability to control the situation, if his enemies were behind them. And at the same time, he uses them to his advantage, a pretext to remain here and clean Iraq of terrorism..
Who opened the doors of hell, and brought them here?? It seems that Bush's plan is to trick them here…making Iraq the area of terrorism, instead of America.
And in all possibilities…the Iraqi people remain the sole loser…and the victim……
Kerry says America is building 14 military bases in Iraq, and the Middle East…
I put my hand to my cheek, and smile…will these bases remain forever?? Shall we always remain like this, to justify the remaining of the bases?? When will we build an independent Iraq, with Iraqi eyes, and Iraqi hands??
Shall Iraq remain an American colony?? Will they keep interfering in our affairs, every thing big or small in our lives, explaining things by their moods??
And what shall the Iraqis do when they hear this good news?? Will they sleep, or escalate their resistance?? Who shall win, who shall lose??
I don't know….. The wisdom of President Bush and his administration has always made me wonder…. For I find no answers to my questions…
The traditional Americans, of old age, or those who wouldn't like accepting new viewpoints, or those who still believe America is the master of the world, and would not make mistakes…those would choose Bush again. And the rational faction, the wiser, the more mature, shall choose Kerry, even though they know he didn't submit a clear program…but they choose him under the notion of choosing the (less evil), assuming he wouldn't commit more evils than Bush…
Most of the Iraqis salute this faction, because they posses a human sensitivity, with the daily sufferings and anguish of the Iraqis…because they look upon the matter that there are people who get hurt, and is paying for the follies of others…their lives has turned into hell, death, murder, and blood every day…and criminals of various types filling the streets. Their lives are sour… and a gloomy, ambiguous future looms on the horizon…and Bush shouts and repeats that everything is moving all right and well, that he is sure of the success of his plan…
A man drowning in dreams there…and people are drowning in hell here.…
This is the reality of the matter….
Yesterday, Bremer, the military governor of Iraq after the fall of Baghdad, was talking to the press in America, about his experience in Iraq, that some shortcoming occurred in controlling the security, and the absence of law… that he demanded more troops from the American Administration, to enforce the order…but the Administration didn't grant him that….
We here in Baghdad lived that experience with him, and have seen it with a different eye….
There was no shortage of troops…the streets were full of tanks, Humvees, and soldiers…the sky full of fighter planes, and several types of Helicopters…nevertheless, chaos ruled Iraq…looting, stealing, and assassinations…
And what were Bremer's priorities?? De-rooting the Ba'ath from the state… discharging General Managers and University Professors from their jobs, because they were Ba'athiees…then disbanding the Army and Police forces, and forming long lines of unemployed in the streets…shouting and calling for retirement salaries to feed their families… these long lines were the suitable seeds for criminals and outlaws to blossom from.
Then he opened the doors of hatreds between Iraqis… instead of helping them to gather themselves, and solve their pre-war problems…he opened the door of strife and malice….(I wrote about that in my war Diaries). Then, with time, after some months, he changed his mind, and started re-employing Ba'athiees again in state jobs. And the Iraqi Police always vows that they capture thieves and murderers, then the American army comes, and turns them loose in the morning…where did they get these instructions???
I would like these questions to be addressed to Bremer…
Who takes responsibility for these grave mistakes??? Is he the author of these thoughts and initiatives, or the instructions used to come from Washington???
I wish the journalists would come here, meet the Iraqi Policemen, and the local Municipal council Members…to tell them about the instructions, and how they were in Bremer's time….and up till now….
This gap between us and the American Media, is used by the Bush Administration, to tell colorful stories…
Come here, and listen to the true stories…
How do we remove the veil from your eyes, and show you the truth?? And there are thousands upon thousands of miles between us….and this is to the advantage of those who wouldn't want you to know the truth….
But you shall…sooner or later…
Translated by May/ Baghdad.

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