Saturday, April 24, 2004

Dear Faiza...
I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Baghdad the summer before the
first gulf war. It was some of the most beautiful days of my life. I met
my husbands family for the first time, we sat out in the garden in the
evenings till 2 in the morning talking and eating and drinking. I played
with my nieces and nephews; we went to the museums, to the market, to
Babylon, and to a Mosque. I experienced as much as one possibly could in
the three short weeks of my stay, however my family would not allow me
to sleep on the top of the house, I really wanted to try it one night,
but they refused and were worried about my comfort.

The following summer is when Bush Sr. invaded Iraq. What Saddam did was
bad, but the US coerced him and gave him the green light to go into
Kuwait. They tricked the Saudis into supporting us convincing them that
Saddam was building troops near their borders which later was proved to
be not true by satellite photos. Bush Sr. to me is just as evil as his
son. My heart was crushed when the first bombs started to fall. All I
could think about was my beautiful family, my precious little nieces,
how scared they must be. I was so torn apart, I felt so guilty, I was
so depressed. The worst thing was, that I felt like I was the only one
that saw what was really happening. Everyone in America seemed to
support Bush. No one saw the hundreds of thousand of innocent Iraqis
that lost their life, fighting a war that they wanted no part of.

Then came the sanctions..the horrible, horrible seemed
that my dreams of ever going back to seem my family again were
diminishing. We would try and send money via the black market when we
could. I remember telling friend at work how hard it was to sneak money
into the country, and she had the audacity to ask me if I felt guilty
because I was breaking the law sending money into Iraq. I could not
believe my ears that she even asked me. Wonder if it was your sister
there I asked her, with no money to feed her family, would you not do
everything in your power to help her? They do not see it like that. Just
because something is the law does not make it right. Even Hitler had his
laws, and what Bush Sr. did to the Iraqi people was just as bad as
Hitler, only he was able to hide his sins in the American Flag and came
out looking like a Hero.

When George W cheated his way into the White house, my husband and I
looked at each other across from the kitchen table, and our hearts just
sunk as low as they possibly could go. We both said it together at the
same time, and we said it out loud, we said it before 9/11, we said it
before the threats of weapons of mass destruction, we said "there is
going to be another war in Iraq during this administration. And I hate
to say that we were right.

But Dear Faiza, there is one thing that is different before and after
this war, then the first war. I don't feel alone this time. I feel
like there are a lot of Americans that are standing with me. They are
beginning to realize that this Administration needs to go. There are
still a lot that stand behind Bush although I just don't understand why,
I have even argued with my own family how even though they see what he
has done to my husbands family, they believe in him because he is a
Christian and he does not believe in abortion. A Christian I ask, what
kind of a Christian would stand up for war but not peace, what kind of a
Christian would sacrifice his troops for oil knowing full well they
would find no weapons of mass destruction, he is the wolf in sheep's
clothing. He has succeeded in fooling many Americans that he is a man of
God, but I see otherwise. I see beyond the flag and the church from
which he hides, I see that his heart is not pure, and I have a strong
feeling that his days are numbers. History has repeated itself many
times so far, a father and a son became president, a father and a son
started a war, a father and a son failed at war, and a father and a son
will both only serve one term in the White house.

I may be putting to much hope in Kerry, but I will do everything in my
power to help him get the vote. All I know is that this administration
does not have the heart to do what it takes to help Iraq. They are so
wrapped up in there own greed and their own ego to truly care about the
Iraqi people. I really hope that a new administration can do something
to change the image of America to the rest of the world that we are not
as evil as the powers above us. While we are at home sleeping, they are
off in the world doing their evil deeds and we don't have a clue what
they have done, until something like 9/11 comes along and jolts us up
out of a dead sleep and we wonder where did this come from. They tell
us that the terrorist hate our tell me then why did they
not attack Canada....they hate our freedoms?????? Someone sacrificed
their life because they hate our freedom??????? Come on.....this kind of
sacrifice was one of revenge, and I want to know what they are revenging
for! What did you do to make them hate us?? This surely is not about
freedom.....I may be blind, but I am not stupid, please give me that
much credit.

I am sorry for ranting on like this. I just want you to know that I
understand, and I see what has been happening. Others are now starting
to see as well, more than I ever dreamed was possible. Dear Faiza, you
are helping to bring peace to your country by sharing your view with the
world. I will stand by your side and as more and more people stand up
together, we can make this happen. The power of people is stronger then
the power of money. Bush will face his falling days just like Saddam.

There is a saying in the Bible that if you have faith even as small as a
grain of mustard seed, you can move mountains. I can visualize the
mountains of hatred being removed and replaced with a loving peace.
Just keep visualizing it, and it will come.

Much love to you and your precious family,


Friday, April 23, 2004

Friday 23/4
Good morning, again...
Today is the weekend...thank god we are all home
I always hated this day, weekend, since it has always been the day when i am supposed to finish all the house work that wasn’t done during the entire week.
And I used to feel that it's a long boring day...
But now, and considering the bad security situation, this day became such a relief, since we all stay home, hiding, it saves us the panic of moving around the city, where you never guess when the next bomb will explode.
Everyday in the traffic, i keep staring at the cars around me and think which one is going to explode now and kill us all?
And when i am home, at night, while I am in my bed, I hear explosions coming from a distance, then it start to come closer and closer, and I keep thinking that maybe a bomb will fall on our house by mistake, shoot by Americans or Iraqi people, what's the difference?
Each side has his reasons, and we pay our lives in the end, is people's lives that cheap?
Yes, in war times, all values fall down, starting with the value of life and its meaning.

I go back and think of the website that I referred to yesterday, the one that talks about American soldiers finished serving in Iraq, and they had conflicts with the Iraqi army, during the war...
Then their job as peacekeeper after the war, and their involvement in conflicts and shooting against civilians.
Most of them were young and fresh, and were in confusion most of the time, that pushed them to make the decision quickly and pull the trigger...
The question is: whose fault is that?
What did his military supervisor, his officer tell him when he sent him to Iraq?
Go to get Saddam, and kill civilians? Or help them, they are not the enemy?
And how can a soldier that was trained to fight, enter cities as peace keeping forces?
This mission should be handles by completely different people, trained to face situations with civilians with extreme caution and minimum loses.
Does the American administration really care about the lives of Iraqis?
Unfortunately, most of the events that happened say that they don’t.

It happens that reporters and journalists always ask me the same question: why did you decide to do this work? Blogging? And I always give them the same answer: to build bridges, between us and others, bridges to decrease the gab and help understand each other's point of views, not bridges of hate and disrespect.
And the emails i get always make me happy and confirms that this possible, except a small minority that stick to their opinions and an aggressive way to express their points of views.
My life taught me many things, and this blog taught me more...
I learned how to love people even if they come from another religion and carry different principles, specially the peaceful ones, who tell me simply that they are not believers but that they would pray for us...
One of the readers, who I still treasure, and feel sorry for him, i think of him as if he were a child that lost his way, and I always pray for him to change in a positive way, we have been exchanging emails talking about our life, our religion, women and hijab, he used to say that he doesn’t agree completely, but that he respects my point of view as long as i believe in it, when i asked him about his wife and kids, he said that he is in love since many years, with a man, and that they have a relation ever since...
Of course I, the conservative Muslim, saw that as a disaster, a disaster that hit the humanity, and I wrote an email to him apologizing of continuing our friendship, he said that he understands, and that he will keep praying for me, I asked him: who is your god?? Is he the same one I know? He said: yes! And he loves me.
I smiled, and said nothing.
I said: when you change yourself, write to me and let me know so we can be friends again, I am still waiting; hopefully he will change his ideas and life style.

And I thought that after Saddam we are living in freedom, the freedom of speaking and expressing yourself, but decision making remained in the hands of another medium, maybe they just don’t care about what we say...
The difference between him and them, is that he didn’t allow speaking, and did whatever he wanted, but now, we can say whatever we want, but still, they do whatever they want, isn’t that cheating?
Now i started t o see the picture, the newspapers express their opinions and fight among them, and people express their opinions and fight about it, but decision makers are in another world, they meet together and decide what they want.
Is this freedom and democracy?
I find it a wicked way to create chaos and prevent people from concentrating; while decision makers still united nothing keeps them away from concentrating.

And I think of the coming elections and the hopes we have...
Either Bush wins and disasters continue to dash on us, or Kerry wins.
But those who Bush obeys them, who can guarantee that Kerry wont?
They would either kill him or make a scandal for him, like they did to Clinton, or would be programmed the way they want him to be...
That's what we can see now, and i don’t know what the coming days are hiding for us...

الجمعة 23/4
صباح الخير مرة أخرى...
اليوم العطلة الأسبوعية...الحمد لله نحن في البيت.
كنت طوال حياتي لا أحب يوم العطلة هذا حيث فيه الكثير من الأعمال المنزلية المتراكمة طوال الأسبوع ,
وكنت أراه يوما طويلا مملا ...
أما الآن , ولسوء الأحوال الأمنية في المدينة , فقد صار هذا اليوم مريحا..حيث نظل مختبئين في المنزل..
بلا رعب التنقل بين مناطق المدينة..وشوارعها, التي لا تحزر متى ستنفجر فيها عبوات أو قذائف أو سيارات مفخخة...
كل يوم عند الإزدحام ...في أي شارع أثناء النهار, أظل أحدق في السيارات الواقفة , وأفكر مع نفسي أيها ستنفجر الآن وتقتلنا؟؟
وفي البيت ..في سكون الليل. وأنا في السرير , أسمع أصوات انفجارات بعيدة ثم تقترب , وأقول مع نفسي ربما ستسقط علينا قذيفة بالخطأ أطلقها عراقي أو أمريكي ..ما الفرق؟؟
كل واحد عنده أسبابه...ونحن ندفع الثمن حياتنا...اهكذا هي الحياة رخيصة؟؟
نعم في زمن الحروب , تسقط كل القيم...أولها قيمة الحياة ومعناها.
أعود وأفكر بالموقع الذي أشرت اليه أمس, والذي يتكلم عن جنود أمريكيين عادوا من العراق, وكانت لهم مواجهات مع الجيش العراقي, أثناء الحرب..
ثم عملهم كقوات حفظ السلام بعد نهاية الحرب ...واشتراكهم في مواجهات واشتباكات وإطلاق نار ضد المدنيين.
معظمهم كانوا من الشباب صغار السن والتجربة, وكانوا في حالة ارتباك في معظم المواقف , اضطرتهم لإتخاذ القرار بسرعة والضغط على الزناد...
السؤال هو : من المسؤول عن هذه الأخطاء؟؟
ماذا قال له القائد العسكري الذي ارسله الى العراق؟؟
اذهب وأسقط صدام , ثم اقتل المدنيين ,أم ساعدهم فهم ليسوا أعداء...
وكيف يمكن للجندي الذي تدرب على القتال , أن يدخل المدن , كقوة حفظ سلام ؟؟
هذه يقوم بها أناس آخرون تماما...تدربوا كيف يواجهوا المشاكل مع المدنيين بطريقة حذرة وبأقل الخسائر في الأرواح...
وهل تهتم الإدارة الأمريكية حقا بأرواح العراقيين؟؟
للأسف ...معظم الأحداث التي حصلت تقول ان الجواب : لا.
دائما عندما يسألني مراسل صحيفة أو محطة تلفزيونية: لماذا فكرت بفتح هذا الموقع والكتابة؟؟
الجواب نفسه: حتى نبني جسورا بيننا وبين الآخرين...جسورا لتقريب المسافات ووجهات النظر..
لا جسور حقد أو عدم احترام للآخرين...
والرسائل التي تصلني , معظمها تسعدني وتؤكد ان هذا ممكن..الا القليل الذي يتشبث بغباءه وقصر نظره
وحبه للعدوانية كطريقة تعبير عن رأيه...
علمتني حياتي اشياء كثيرة...وهذا الموقع علمني أشياء اكثر...
تعلمت كيف أحب الناس حتى لو كانوا مختلفين عن ديني ومبادئي في الحياة..وخصوصا المسالمين منهم.
الذين يخبروني بكل بساطة انهم غير مؤمنين لكنهم سيصلون من أجلنا...
وواحد من القراء ما زلت أعتز به واشفق عليه...أراه مثل طفل أضاع الطريق, وأدعو له دائما أن يغير الإتجاه
نحو طريق أفضل...
كانت بيننا مراسلات وأسئلة وأجوبة عن حياتنا وديننا والمرأة والحجاب...وكان يقول انه غير مقتنع تماما
لكنه يحترم وجهة نظري ما دمت مؤمنة بها...
وعندما سألته عن عائلته وزوجته وأطفاله...قال انه يحب رجلا منذ سنوات طويلة وبينهما علاقة كزوج وزوجة...
طبعا انا المسلمة المحافظة رأيت أن هذا كارثة...كارثة على الإنسانية...وكتبت له أعتذر عن استمرار صداقتنا..
وأجابني انه متفهم, وسيظل يدعو لي ..عدت فسألته من هو ربك ؟ هل هو نفسه ربي؟
بعث رسالة وقال نعم وهو يحبني...ابتسمت, وسكت.
قلت له عندما تغير طريقك اكتب لي لنكون أصدقاء...
حقا مازلت انتظر لعله يغير افكاره واسلوب حياته...
وظننت بعد سقوط صدام اننا نعيش زمن الحرية...نعم حرية الكلام والتعبير..
لكن القرار ظل في ايدي فئة اخرى, ربما لا تهتم بما نقول...
الفرق بينهم وبينه انه لم يكن يسمح بالكلام...ويفعل مايشاء..حسنا, الموضوع واضح بلا خداع...
أما أن تقول انك اعطيتني حرية الكلام وأبقيت حرية القرار لك وحدك, فما جدوى الذي اعطيتني اياه؟؟
اليس في ذلك خدعة ما؟؟؟
الآن بدأت أرى الصورة بطريقة أخرى...
الصحف تعبر عن رأيها وتتقاتل فيما بينها...
والناس يعبرون عن آرائهم ويتناحرون فيما بينهم...وأصحاب القرار في عالم آخر...يجتمعون ويقررون ما يريدون؟؟
هل هذه هي الحرية والديمقراطية ؟؟
انا اراها وسيلة للفوضى وتشتيت أفكار الناس بطريقة ماكرة..
وأصحاب القرار يظلوا متماسكين متحدين لا يشتتهم شيء..
وأفكر في الإنتخابات القادمة وما ستحمله من توقعات...
اما أن يفوز بوش وتظل الكوارث تتوالى على رؤوسنا نحن والشعب الأمريكي..
أو يأتي كيري..
وما الذي يقدر أن يفعله والديناصورات تحيط به من كل جهة...
اولئك النواب المحافظين المتشددين الذين يضغطون باتجاه التصعيد والعدوانية .
والذين يرضخ لهم الآن الرئيس بوش...
من يضمن أن كيري لن يرضخ لهم ؟؟
اما سيقتلونه أو يدبروا له فضيحة مثل كلنتون, أو تتم برمجته ليوافق على رؤيتهم...
ويكمل ما بدأه بوش
هكذا تقول الصورة الآن..
ولا أدري ان كان ثمة مفاجأت أخرى ستأتي بها الأيام...

well ,Bush keeps sending troops with tanks and helicopters ..
and the internet keeps sending lovely letters from American friends
thanks God...

Dear Faiza,

I am amazed at the news here every day. I read many different places on the Internet—newspapers, blogs, media sites. A little TV news but I don’t trust it as much. Even CNN. Finally things are coming out from where they’ve been hidden. Every day so many more lies uncovered by the Bush administration.

I feel bad for Colin Powell in some ways. He has been their fool, they really used him badly. He was always known so much for his integrity. It was HIM going before the UN with supposed proof of the weapons of mass destruction that swayed so many. With his name, his belief behind it, suddenly it seemed that there must be real evidence if Colin Powell would say this.

Now it’s being revealed that he has been ‘out of the loop’. That they told Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia about the planned Iraqi invasion before they told Powell, the Secretary of State!!! That the information they gave him may have been falsied. (Wow, that wasn’t hard for the rest of us to figure out by now!) He is still trying to save face in the media now, but he has been badly tarnished.

It’s like a ‘magic spell’ has been (and still is) over this country. I mean where is the outcry! Impeach Bush! I think people are slowly waking up. Or liberals are waking up and speaking out more. Will it make a difference? Hard to say. He has the ‘reigns’ of power in hand, and we can talk and shout and shake our fists but if nothing changes, we just stirred the air around.

I also think part of the problem is conservatives are just more vicious. They get on television and ‘foam at the mouth’ with their anger and hate. And stir people up to destroy things. That’s what they did for Clinton. They spent millions and millions of dollars trying to find anything to destroy him. All they could find was that he had trouble ‘keeping it in his pants’. Like that’s so unusual for a powerful man.

So they try to impeach Clinton, the President of the United States for lying about receiving fellatio.
I know that we were the laughing stock of the world. How ridiculous. How can you take such people seriously?

So we didn’t, and now look what has happened. All the lies and the deceptions. The hundreds and hundreds who have died, thousands have been wounded. Billions of dollars spent—yet neither of our people are any wealthier. And there sits Bush/Cheney. Safe as can be. It makes me so sick and disgusted.

And who am I talking to? A woman who must listen to the sounds of War every day, and deal with the aftermath in her life in ways I can’t begin to imagine.

Many many years ago, back before the end of the ‘cold war’ there was a television mini-series that aired over several evenings. . I think it was called “Amerika” (with a ‘k’ instead of ‘c’). In that series, the Soviet Union had invaded our country and defeated it and colonized it.

It was very realistic. Night after night we watched Americans deal with being the oppressed. I still remember watching a parade, where the families in the program were forced to salute the “new” flag. It still makes my stomach hurt to think of it.

The outcry! The outrage! Showing Americans as such losers! I don’t watch a lot of television, so maybe they have shown it again. I've not heard it mentioned. I wish they would show it every year. Especially to military before they go off to another country, even if it’s just to be stationed. And to anyone who thinks going into another country and telling people what to do is a good idea. I wish watching it all the time would teach empathy for how being occupied must feel.

I’ve read that most services in Bagdhad are non-existant. Do you still receive packages and hand written letters from the Postal Service? Or United Parcel Service? Is there something you wish you had, some little thing maybe I could send to ease your life a little? I’m not sure what, but if there is, please let me know.

I must go back to studying for a test. Please take care and stay well.

Love and warmest wishes, Pam

Good morning...
sometimes the best Iraqi bloggers ARE from my readers...

hello faiza,

my name is david and i'm from malaysia. i came across your web entry over the internet, and i must first of all, express my condolences over your country. i think the american occupation has been very wrong- no thanks to george bush. to create the idea that iraq has weapons of mass destruction when it has none, has been a grave error. and it's even worse that bush decided to attack your country, that has outdated weapons with their hi-tech 'weapons of mass destructions'.
north korea has not hidden the fact that they have nuclear capabilities, and yet, the americans decided to attack iraq.
it's about oil. it's about greed.
the irony is that, the american media portrays their soldiers as 'victims' of wars: how much they have to suffer psychological turmoils, despite killing so many civilians. the media also portrays the iraqi as 'sub-humans' and as statistical figures. they lack the point of views of the iraqi people.
your people fight the americans because they just don't want them to be there, but the americans use the word 'freedom' and 'liberation' often, which makes them look like the good guys. but good guys don't kill civilians and don't instill fear and terror into the very people they want to help. the only way that iraq can gain stability is for the UN to take over the US in iraq. but then again; bush proved to the whole world that the UN is incapable of even stopping the invasion of iraq. and if bush gets reelected once again, the world is going to be on a brink of destruction.
it's funny, but your country's situation is greatly related to the crisis in the middle east. when stability is created and sustained there, every other countries in the world would be at peace.
i hope and pray for peace to eventually take its place in iraq as soon as possible.


Thursday, April 22, 2004

hi all:
i would like you to check this link, its about american soldiers who served in iraq and went back home, they are not like jo soldier that i posted his letter before, the are another type of soldiers, read it please.
thank you.

Well this one was angry email...I received it many days ago..
then yesterday she sent me a new hateful one
between love and hate??
I`m realy confused :(

Dear Faiza,
IraqNet Information Network :: For a Free, Democratic and Prosperous Iraq When I found your blog on the above website, I sent you a beautiful loving was long but thought out with love and understanding....I told you it was from a Mother to a Mother....I told you how I prayed for your and your family and hoped for peace....I told you many things from the heart...and I also told you that not everyone in this country hates our President...what I didn't do was to criticize my country which I love...I did not demean our President..I did not say terrible things about our troops...I tried to make contact with you for understand and friendship....but based on the emails that you publish daily...out of the many that you receive...(I am sure there are many like mine) choose to show only the emails from disgruntled Americans who have political agendas and letters that support hatred for the Americans....I am surprised and disappointed...for what you are doing is simply spreading the mistrust and hatred instead of trying to form bonds and friendships as a first step... Faiza, I think what you are doing is an injustice to your people...perhaps you might want to rethink the purpose of your it to promote understanding between our two people or to ferment hatred.....and more misunderstanding.....I still pray for your words are not out of anymosity....they are out of the true desire to sow seeds of understanding..

P.J. God..
This is my new friend today :))

Hi, my name is McKenzie and I know this probably sounds to young but I am 10
years old. I am from Berea, Ohio which is in Cleaveland. I would like to
know more about Iraqis. I think that you are great people and am so happy
that Saddam is gone. I think that it must be fun to live in Iraq! Also, I
know it must be scary to have fighting going around right were you live. I
am sorry that you used to live in fear and I hope that you do not again to.
I think that none of the Iraqi's should live in fear. I got your site from
an article in the newspaper called: Iraqis enjoy new freedom on Web
Journals. I would like to talk to you so if you could please e-mail me back
that would be great!

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

April 21

I woke up before seven in the morning….the sound of birds turned my attention to the tranquility. I haven’t heard the sound of birds for such a long time. I remembered the Dutch journalist who came to visit us a week ago, who said that he woke up to the sound of tanks and helicopters in the morning…and then after a few hours he heard the sound of birds….I laughed and told myself, look at this bourgeoisie man - we have forgotten this, romantic sages from antiquity.

“What are the Americans doing here?” He said, confused, “Either they are stupid….Or they don’t want to use the path of dialogue with Iraqis.” That day the events of Falluja were on fire, day after day…And in the south, was Muqtada al-Sadr, and in my head I was just as confused as he was.

Last night I stayed awake reading a letter from an American soldier, Joe. It resembled most of the lovely letters I receive from America. It carried within it good intentions and apologies over what has happened. And good wishes that what ever may come, perhaps it will be better. And I thank him for his wishes and I respect that. But it’s not enough, in order to go beyond what has happened. There must be some review of past mistakes in order to enter a new phase of building trust, and a new Iraq.

First of all, how were the rioters and looters treated? Yes, the satellite channels broadcasted pictures of looters while they were stealing and laughing immediately after Baghdad fell. We in our houses were crying…And Iraqi émigrés who saw these awful pictures were crying. And we were all saying, “No, these people are not Iraqis. These are ignorant criminals.” But the media agencies were enjoying themselves, broadcasting pictures that hurt the reputation of Iraqis. As if they were saying from the first day: Look - How do you expect these people to rule themselves?

This was the second shock we faced, after the very first shock, when Baghdad fell with betrayal. I want to emphasize this word, betrayal. Baghdad fell in a cheap way, with no heroism in it. Those who sold Baghdad and those who bought it.

The soldiers opened the doors of the presidential palaces and told looters to enter. At the door. And the cameras came, photographing awful, embarrassing pictures, showing it to the American administration. Rumsfeld sees them and laughs, I can’t believe how many flower vases they stole from the palace! As if every camera recorded the looters carrying the same flower vases and laughing….while we stayed in our houses crying over a country that has fallen. Criminals standing in front of cameras, stealing. But the high class criminals went into Baghdad museum, and the culture of the ancient Iraqis…away from the cameras.

The national library was burnt, the university libraries were burnt, and the rare historical documents – who did this???

And who is responsible???

The looters also???

They were groups of destructive people, hateful of Iraq, hateful of its people and history. They entered Iraq before or after the Occupying powers, with or without their knowledge. But this is what happened.

And after months these ancient relics and documents appeared in European countries, and others….who transported them to there??? Don’t tell me the flower vase looters. And at that time, we all saw the tanks, guarding the Oil Ministry. While most of the other ministries were burnt down or destroyed. We haven’t forgotten. The wounds are still pulsing with pain.

Then there came the phase of killing Iraqis in the streets. Stealing their cars or kidnapping and demanding money. And there are no Iraqi police, no security and no army, because everything was destroyed. We used to make excuses for the American soldiers - saying they are soldiers in the squares of war, but they are not police - and what did the Administration do to resolve this problem???

All we do is read subtitles on the American and Arab media that the Americans are studying the possibility of sending organized forces to ensure security in Iraq and nothing is sent. It’s as if they are looking at us while we are dying a slow death. Exactly like an injured person in the emergency room of a hospital, trying to breath, and speak of the accident he’s just had. And the doctor thinks and waits, and organizes a meeting for the doctors, in the future. It’s not important, because this issue is not a priority, and perhaps, if the injured man dies, then the problem would be resolved completely. This is how we feel the American administration is treating us.

And we ask ourselves night and day, did they plan for this war? And along came the soldiers and the airplanes and the tanks and the maps and the military plans. But they don’t know what to do for the next phase? Who believes that???

These days the American congress has a series of commissions, and during that, senior officials from Bush’s administration, including Paul Wolfowitz –the brains behind this war – or so he’s called – and the assistant to the Secretary of State, Mark Grossman, and General Richard Myers – I hope the commissions are transparent and honest – so we and the Americans can know who is behind this lack of responsibility. And to find out, what was wrong – the planning, or the implementation?

And there’ll be another commission, with the officials and experts responsible for rebuilding Iraq – where has it gone, and what has happened to it?

And the plans to calm down the rebellion in Falluja and in the south. Yes, there must be some time to stop, to appoint responsibility, and to ask. There were major, glaring mistakes made – and its smell reached the American people- there even over the sea. And there are no more opportunities for lies and cover-ups, as they have been doing for the past months. If the commission issues an admission of mistakes made, this will be a positive step for a new start. It will be more honest, it will do something. But if it’s a cover up, and insists that things must end as they have began, then this is a disaster, and the upcoming shocks will be worse. And that’s what Iraqis don’t want.

I want to complete my answer to the soldier, Joe, “the Opposition groups and their militias entered with the Occupying Forces.” This caused, without a doubt, the campaign of assassinations and score settling. In this lawless, new state. And the governing council which was imposed on the people – representatives known to the American administration, and unknown – and unwanted by Iraqis. And the new administrative law of the temporary state, which is causing so much debate and arguments and fights. Ever new law issued has its problems, in addition to the issue of the Sunnis and Shiites, and Islam, and what rules will rule us. We have been herded into useless, endless debates….which divide and don’t unite, which make delays and don’t make progress.

And Iraqi oil has began to make an impact on the world, even as we are without work and opportunities. Business owners don’t have the bread to even place in the ovens of their empty houses. Hundreds and thousands of unemployed, these are always the fire wood of any revolution or rebellion.

No plans, no clear, transparent, open projects to talk to a people about….Is Bremmer working alone? Who gives him the green light? These politics are clear: depressing and destructive to the dreams of Iraqis.

And I want to turn the American administration’s attention to an important thing that was said some days ago. Iraqis aren’t stupid. And they cannot be dealt with upon that basis. Because during all the years of Saddam Hussein, we learnt how to live to governments and deceive. We learnt all the means and methods, and we will accept no more that people will deceive us. Who respects us, we will respect and trust them, and we will be loyal and sincere to them. And who ever hurts us or disrespects us - we will turn their lives into hell. And the days that passed witnessed that.

The dialogue is open to return trust to the two sides. And there is a way to talk, and it must remain open, like lines of communications or bridges to bridge distances, to explain mysterious events. Because ignorance in the other causes enmity, and ignorant people are enemies, or or that’s how the saying goes.

I hope these upcoming days come with peace for Iraq and Iraqis, and for everybody who loves them and wants to help them.


Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Good Evening.

The hour right now is four in the afternoon in Baghdad.

It’s sunny and a little hot.

Yesterday the weather was cool and it rained during the day

And it was tiring and depressing

And I wasn’t able to think or write

I was feeling like I had nothing to write

And even the process of thinking was tiring and there’s no point to it

After the events of Falluja and the surrounding of Najaf and the assassination of Rantissi

As if there are devils who surround the world who determinedly carry out their evil will

And the destruction of beautiful dreams with events

On a small patch of this earth

Which is drowning in sadness and chaos

Or is it that others live happily and we are the ones, beyond place and time?

I decided from yesterday morning to go to the exchange and put in a complaint

To fix phone that’s been broken for three days in the house

And I returned home depressed, because there’s nobody to speak to there

It’s all chaos and derision of citizen’s complaints

And then the garbage truck went by very quickly and didn’t stop in front of the house because it didn’t see me

Because it’s prepared to offer services, if they see people inside who can pay bribes.

Responsibility has gone to hell - along with the city’s cleanliness

The world is drowning in corruption and nobody cares about anything

And here, there’s nothing called government anymore

Which would make employees in the service industry more vigilant about carrying out their duties

The streets are crowded and there’s not enough traffic police to lighten up the jams

And everything is tiring and depressing and makes you wish you wish if only I could disappear from the map of this earth

You and your thoughts and your sadness

Because nobody tries and nobody cares

And everybody drowns in their own world

And there’s no ability to absorb somebody else’s problems or their sadness

As if they say to each other

Go to hell

My problems are enough for me

That’s how we’ve become here

It’s a hard, difficult project and you are forced to complete it

And there’s nowhere to run

Face your pain alone daily

And learn how to deal with it in your own way

And you keep going, swimming against the tide of this life,

Which flows without mercy

With you, or without you

These letters that reach me lighten my sadness

And I put some of them on the page

I enjoy it, when I read letters, when I read different points of view

And I love to understand how others think, because that brings distance closer

And the letters that say that you are not in need of more bombs and tanks. Or confused soldiers, or those who fire indiscriminately. Those letters make me smile and I say within myself, Thank you, this is true,

And letters that talk about women in black sad clothing

And it’s so true so I also put it on the page

And also the letter of the American soldier who is now in Iraq

I will put it up with his permission

I am with him in everything

And he asks like me, and does not have an answer for his questions

Yes I am like him and like many others like him; We want to be friends, Iraqis and Americans

And to use our energies for this;

But right now the first responsibility lies with the American government

It is the one that is able to plant these principles and apply them with Iraqis

…To listen to them politely, with requests of the people and their representatives….and respect them, and not to keep them ignorant, and not to call them names of enemies, and not to put in place representatives that America knows and is relaxed with, but that the people don’t want and are not comfortable with. As the saying goes:

A harmful Lord can be beneficial

….That these events have been harmful and painful for both sides

but perhaps it will be a lesson for both sides, to be more cautious in facing off the other

and more wanting in understanding and bringing us closer

to build an Iraq that has security and peace

and to build new relations that have respect for the other

and respect and trust need both sides – not one side

just like love –

it cannot continue if it loses the spirit of cooperation

will we succeed?

I hope so from all my heart

Out of respect for those who have died from both sides

To take the methods of peace instead of a warring dialogue

So that no more will fall

If only the prophet Mohammad was alive, so he would know that the people can be merciful to each other. And if only the prophet Jesus was alive to see how people can love each other. And if only the earth would return to be a beautiful, safe place without wars. If only, if only, if only

But who is listening? And who cares? For the evil work on their plans and their conspiracies. And the innocent are busy with their sadness and their wishes.

And God above smiles in his highness

This is the way of the world


Dear Faiza,

...... and I live in Vermont in America. I wrote to your son Raed" a few days ago and he suggested that I write to you. I wanted to read some of your blogs and the responses to them before I wrote to you.

I have a daughter in the United States Army, she is in Baghdad. She didn't join the Army to fight a war, she joined to learn some skills and to earn some money towards a college education. Here is some of what she writes. "I get worried everytime there is a mission and soldiers go out, I look at their faces and wonder if I will see them again alive. I would like to go out and meet the people here, make friends, take pictures, and shop. I ask myself if it is worth my life and the answer is no, so I stay in camp all the time and work (building shelves) and pray. I am OK with myself, and I think the Creator is Ok with me too. If it is my time then it is my time, I am ready. I don't know what life is like after death, but it can't be worse than this."

My daughter's name is Melinda and she is 24 years old. She is as much a victim of the War Hawks in America as you are.

I can not speak for all Americans, as we are not all the same. This is a very large country with people of all nationalities and religions. Our family was against any military action on the part of America. While its true that we don't have a draft, anyone already in the Military has to follow orders or they will go to jail. Many of the troops in Iraq were in the Military Reserves, units that met on one weekend each month and for two weeks each summer to practice their skills. They never expected to be called to War, we've had lots of years of peace and thought War was behind us.

Why did we think that? For one thing the media here was just not reporting on what was going on in the rest of the world and we had our heads in the sand. The question heard around America after 9/11 was why? Why do they hate us so much? Why would they want to kill us? I am as guilty as anyone else, I didn't understand why either.

Any American that wants the truth has to get on the internet and read, and read, and read. The American media is just now starting to let little bits of the truth trickle into the news, and this is in response to questions from Americans. One viewer emailed a TV show tonight and asked why the media reported the number of American deaths in Iraq every day and never said a word about how many Iraqi citizens died? The answer, "because the government doesn't want you to know." I know only because I read Aljazeera in English every day.

Americans are not completely without rights. We still have the right to free speech, the right to demonstrate, and the right to vote. All our representatives in WA have email addresses and we can write to them to let them know how we feel. We can write to the president and let him know too. Now I am not foolish enough to think that the president is going to read my email, but I know that there is someone in charge of counting the emails that are against the occupation and giving that information to the president, he wants to get elected again after all.

And thank God, a president can only remain in office for two terms of four years each. As Bush has demonstrated, a lot of harm can be done in just one term, but at least we know that unlike a King or a Dictator, it won't last forever.

In one of your blogs you spoke about how men justify violence and killing in the name of God. It reminded me of the time I was talking about the American Civil War to a group of young school children. We were reading letters written by the Generals on both sides. The Generals were all sure that God was with them. An eleven year old boy asked me "which side was God on". I had to tell him that I believed God hated war and was not on either side.

War is always the same, the old men plan it and use the young people to fight it. You are only a terrorist if you are on the other side, otherwise you are a brave soldier. It is so stupid that it is hard to understand why everyone in the world isn't just saying no more killing.

It is not surprising that the largest groups of protesters before the Iraq invasion were in New York city. The people there had a taste of killing and wanted peace more than they wanted revenge. Many other Americans wanted revenge, someone to blame, someone to hate. I guess that is human to a certain extent, but its still wrong.

I was raised a Catholic but I don't go to church anymore. The only thing I'm sure about is the 10 commandments and I do try to live by them. One of the commandments (that I believe to be the words of God) is simply "thou shalt not kill". God didn't say "thou shalt not kill except if you are in War".

I remember when my youngest son (who is nineteen now) was seven. He was trying to read the bible and he said, "Mom, I'm so confused. I want to be a good man when I grow up, but I can't figure out what God wants of me". I told him God had ten rules and if he followed them he would be a good man. He asked me to write them down and I did. After he read them he said, "this is easy, if this is all God wants I can do it, I can be a good man."

I am sorry if I rambled in this email. I have so many thoughts to share. I don't expect you to write back, I know you are very busy. I will write again and tell you more about myself and my life.

You and your family are in my prayers. I pray myself to sleep every night, my list is very long and I hope that God is patient with me as I recite the names each night.

May God keep you safe,

Dear Mrs Faiza.

I'm a U.S. soldier currently in Baghdad and scheduled to be here for a while. I've been reading your blog and other Iraqi blogs since before the war started. I was reading, intently, the words of Salam Pax when the cruise missles were being launched, and even earlier when the world was debating how, when, and if military force should be used in Iraq.

I want to thank you, and others bloggers like you, for offering me the opportunity to understand better the people and culture of this country and what it must be like on the other side of the uniform. This letter is in a sense a letter to you, at the same time it is my letter to all Iraqis.

It is an apology of sorts.

As I mentioned before I am a Soldier, more specifically, I am a soldier in the Army reserves. I have a life and a proffession seperate from my military specialty. As a civilian i'm a researcher and junior analyst for a geo-political "think tank". It is because of this that I may have a different understanding of this war, and it's aftermath.

It's because of this understanding that I want to apologize for how things have happened so far. U.S. involvement in Iraq has been, at the very least, a mixed blessing. A tyrant was removed at the cost of both american and Iraqi lives, unfortunately a vacuume was created that allowed chaos to come crashing into the country. Prisons had been opened, and weapons had been flooded into the street previous to his fall.

There was nothing anyone could do about that.

After the fall of Saddam there was the rash of looting and crime that swept through the country. Soldier were shown standing there watching it happen and doing nothing. What could we do? what prison would we put them in? Who did we have to watch them? We did not even (at that time) have the handcuffs or bags to restrain them with. The only thing we could have done, was kill them.

Looting, as criminal as it is, isn't a crime that is deserving of death.

Though there are stories of military units that did fire on looters, I didn't personally see it. Though I will admit that my not witnessing something personally, does not mean it could not have happened.

As I mentioned before, I am a soldier, and as a soldier I am proud of my military. Even so, I know that we are limited. We have been trained to fight and win on a battlefield, we were never trained to be peacekeepers and policemen. Except for certain small units, we have not been taught how to deal with rebuilding a country, and dealing with what is to us a strange foreign culture.

I should apologize for this, because in this way we have failed the people of Iraq.

It does not take a great deal of foresight to realize that once Saddam had been removed from power, there would be other issues that would need to be dealt with immediately. However, it seems that we were so concerned with winning the war swiftly and with minimum loss of life, we failed to prepare for the work that would need to be done after the war.

Again, I want to apologize for this, as in this way we also failed the people of Iraq.

I say we failed the people of iraq because I believe that we are obligated to provide security and rebuild the country since we removed the stabilizing influence in your country. As horrible as it was, the regime did keep the streets secure and there were jobs, at the very least more jobs than there were now. I believe that it is our obligation to at least fill in what we took out. I do not regret what the Army did in removing Saddam Hussein, but it is much like pulling a bullet out of a wound. A painful thing, but one that needs to be done, regardless.

Rebuilding and restoring is never easy. Through history it has never been easy and it is reasonably to believe that it never will be easy. For all our technology and wealth there really is no way that we could have gotten the electricty up in weeks or even a few months. There was no way that we could have installed a police force or Iraqi military force in weeks or a few months. There was no way we could round up all the weapons and criminals that flooded the streets.

For everything that we have, we still did not have the ability to do that. It was in the realm of the other things that we could not do, such as see through clothes with our nightvision goggles, or have personal air-conditioners in our body armor. All things which I'm sure you have realized aren't possible. (though I pray someone invents the body-armor airconditioner before this summer).

I also want to speak about the governning council. I'm fairly certain that what the iraqi people needed after the fall of Saddam was strong leadership to see them through these times. Instead what we offered was the governing council. Admittedly I am not familiar with the all the people who are sitting on the governing council. However, it seems to me that with the fall of the old regime, there was a need to place a governing body in charge that could be trusted. However, the only people that could be trusted were people that we (yes, I mean the coalition) already had been dealing with. Unfortunately it seems that this has turned out much like hiring ones friend or relative for a job and then realizing they aren't much suited for it, or merely are lazy.

But what could we do? Who else could we trust?

There is also the matter of who "we" are. When I use the word "we" do I mean "we" in the coaltion or "we" the people of Iraq? It is safe to say that the two groups don't necessarily have the same goals or desires. WE don't necessarily have conflicting goals and desires either. I won't lie to you and say that this war was all about deposing Saddam and his regime for the liberty of Iraqis and that there was no gain on the part of the United States in this. I realize that most of the people in Iraq know this, and I am guessing that the fact that none of the U.S. representatives or the coalition are willing to say what the gain is, makes you all nervous.

It know would make me nervous and suspicious to say the least.

My understanding of the situation is that this had little-to-nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, It had little to do with freeing the Iraqi people, it DID have to do with eliminating Saddam, and I PERSONALLY think it probably had quite a bit to do with fostering and nurturing a friendly and NON-fundamentalist government in the middle-east. however, that is just the opinion of this soldier.

I wish I could go on at length as to the probable motives of my government regarding Iraq, but the affairs of countries being what they are, it would take up an entire book and read like directions through a labrynth.

I also want to say (because it keeps comming up) that any of the actions in the middle east by my country have nothing to do with religion. In general I'm sure you've noticed that Americans are a pretty irreligious group. This has it's benefits and drawbacks since it makes us more tolerant of other religions, but at the same time it's often harder to go through life when you have little that you believe in. When I was sent to afghanistan I asked an interpreter there if he thought we were part of a crusade against muslims. He said " no, I think that's silly, you've never done anything to the muslims here, you guard us when we pray and we guard you when you sleep."
"But what about the taliban?" I asked him.
"those were not muslims." he said "Men who do the things that they did are not muslims, no matter how many times they say it is for Islam."
"Then what do you think we're here for?" I asked.
"Well, judging from what you do, I'd have to say you're here for the food." he said.
"The food?"
"Yes, you seem to like going to restaurants a lot."

Afghans have an interesting sense of humor.

I think that one of the issues between the Iraqis and American soldiers is the lack of dialogue between us. How many soldiers have you actually spoken to? How many iraqis have the soldiers actually had a conversation with (outside of a checkpoint)? I'm almost certain this is the reason behind all the issues with soldier's behavior with Iraqis.

That is something else that I have to apologize for.

Soldiers in general are not the most polite people. I know that is no excuse for what they do while in another country (in essence, in another man's home). However, it is somewhat the reason. I also believe that part of the problem is "culture shock". A large number of these soldiers are young men who have never been in another country. least of all an arab country that does not share the same western mindset that they are used to. I've had other soldiers come to me when we are on missions and ask... "there's a group of Iraqis comming this way, what do you want us to do?"

"Are they armed?" I asked.
"Well, then you should probably say something like, Asalaam alaykum."

It's the little things that can often mean the difference between a conversation and an argument. If only we had taught our soldiers about Arab customs and explained the importance of these we could have avoided a lot of the hard feelings that has been developed between us. Adding to this difficulty is the stubborness of some of our soldiers and commanders who don't understand the importance of learning and practicing these things. They are war dogs and behave as such. Also adding to these difficulties is the targeting of Iraqi translators. I fully believe that the majority of the problems between U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civlians stems from lack of communication. When Iraqi interpreters are targeted for "working with the coaltion" it bothers me immensely. How else are we to understand each other? How else are we to get past the mistakes that we have made to the civilian population so far? How else are we to hear about what has gone wrong, what is GOING wrong, and what we need to concern ourselves with when it comes to our behaviors. Interpreters serve as our guides and to some degree our concience when it comes to matters of etiquette and understanding. We would be lost and cut off without them, and I think the extremists know this. Who else benefits from a lack of dialog. Only those who preache hatred benefit, because hatred is bred of ignorance and ignorance is bred from lack of exchange.

But all that I have spoken of so far comes down to words and apologies. I look out a window when I write this and Baghdad is still the same. Things are still moving as slowly as ever, even though they are indeed moving. All my apologies and explanations come to nothing if they do not produce action. But who is to act and how? I am just one soldier and although I can struggle to affect what little I can touch, I am just one of thousands. I cannot do this alone. The Coalition army is also just few among many. Even though there are thousands of us in Iraq, there are millions of you. There are those in this country that do not like it, but the simple fact remains that we are all in this together now. As a soldier here in Iraq, my fate is tied to your fate. We're bound by our situations to either be set against each other or to work beside each other. Personally, I would rather have it be the second thing than the first.

We all (both the coalition and Iraqis) have to ask ourselves what we each can do to make this situation work out. To make all the sacrifice and suffering show fruit and not be made in for nothing. We cannot give up and till this is done. I know that some of you have already given everything you have to this. You have given sons, daughters, fathers, uncles, brothers or sisters in the effort to turn this situation for the better. I cannot thank you enough for what you have suffered, I feel I cannot ask you for more. I can say that the work is not done yet, and that we cannot rest yet. This is a long road that we are on, and we cannot afford to sit and rest until we reach our destination.

Find those among you who are leaders and who are willing to show the way to rebuild this land. Do not doubt, if you read this words and wondered what it is you could do for your country without thinking of the gain you could secure for yourself, it is probably you who should be leading. If so, do not be afraid to shoulder the burden, this struggle is bigger than any one person, bigger than either of us, perhaps bigger than all of us. Either way, we must persist, we must march on.

Do what you are able, and I'll do what I can.

-Joe Soldier

صحوت قبل السابعة صباحا..صوت العصافير لفت انتباهي الى الهدوء...
لم أسمع صوت العصافير منذ زمن بعيد...
تذكرت الصحفي الهولندي الذي جاء لبيتنا قبل اسبوع, وقال صحوت على صوت الدبابة والهليكوبتر في الصباح
ثم بعد ساعات سمعت صوت العصافير...ضحكت وقلت في داخلي : انظروا لهذا البرجوازي..نحن نسينا هذه
الرومانسيات منذ زمن بعيد...
ماذا يفعل الأمريكان هنا ؟ قال وهو محتار...
إما انهم أغبياء...أو انهم لا يريدون أن يتعلموا لغة التخاطب مع العراقيين..
وكانت يومها أحداث الفلوجة تشتعل يوما بعد يوم...وكذلك في الجنوب مع مقتدى الصدر...
اومأت برأسي موافقة ومحتارة مثله...
قضيت مساء الأمس أقرأ رسالة الجندي الأمريكي جو...
هي تشبه معظم الرسائل الطيبة التي تصلني من الأمريكان ...تحمل بداخلها النيات الحسنة وكلمات الإعتذارعما حدث ...وامنيات طيبة بأن الذي سيأتي ربما سيكون أفضل...
وأنا أشكر هذه المشاعر وأقدرها...لكنها لا تكفي لوحدها لتجاوز ما حدث...
لا بد من مراجعة لأخطاء الفترة السابقة حتى نمضي بثقة نحو مرحلة جديدة من بناء الثقة...وبناء العراق .
اولا : كيف تم التعامل مع موضوع اللصوص وعمليات النهب..
نعم كانت الفضائيات تبث صور اللصوص وهم ينهبون ويضحكون ..بعد سقوط بغداد مباشرة..
نحن في بيوتنا كنا نبكي...والعراقيون في الخارج الذين كانوا يرون هذه الصور المخزية...كانوا يبكون..
وكلنا كنا نقول...لا , هؤلاء ليسوا عراقيين...هؤلاء جهلة ومجرمون, لكن وسائل الإعلام كانت مستمتعة
بعرض هذه الصور وتشويه سمعة العراقيين...وكأنهم يقولون منذ اليوم الأول...انظروا, كيف تتوقعون شعبا كهذا
يقدر أن يحكم نفسه؟؟؟
هذه كانت اللطمة الثانية التي وجهت الينا, بعد لطمة سقوط بغداد بالخيانة....اريد أن أؤكد هنا على كلمة الخيانة
سقطت بغداد بطريقة رخيصة لا بطولة فيها...للذي باعها وللذي اشتراها...
ولكن العراقيين هم الضحايا فقط .
وكان الجنود يفتحون ابواب القصور الرئاسية ويقولون للحثالة ادخلوا....علي بابا...وتأتي الكاميرات وتصور المشاهد المهينة المخجلة ويعرضونها على الإدارة الأمريكية فيضحك رامسفيلد ويقول: لا أصدق كم مزهرية سرقت من القصور؟؟ كأن كل الكاميرات نقلت ذات اللصوص ومزهرياتهم بأيديهم...
هناك يضحكون...ونحن هنا نبكي أسفا على وطن سقط....وحثالة وقفت أمام الكاميرات تنهب ....
أما الحثالة الراقية فقد سرقت محتويات متحف بغداد وحضارة العراقيين القديمة...بعيدا عن الكاميرات.
وأحرقت المكتبة الوطنية ومكتبات الجامعات والوثائق التاريخية النادرة...من فعل هذا ؟؟؟
ومن يتحمل المسؤولية؟؟؟
اللصوص ايضا ؟؟
بل هم عناصر مخربة حاقدة على العراق وشعبه وتاريخه...دخلت قبل أو بعد قوات الإحتلال...بعلمها أو بدونه
لكن هذا ما حدث...
وبعد شهور ضبطت بعض المسروقات من تلك الآثار والوثائق في دول أوربية أو غيرها...من أخذها الى هناك؟؟؟
لا تقل لي انهم لصوص المزهريات نفسهم...
ووقتها كلنا رأينا الدبابات تحرس وزارة النفط...وقد احترقت ونهبت معظم مباني الوزارات الأخرى...
لم ننسى بعد...ما زالت الجروح تنبض بالألم...
ثم جاءت مرحلة السلب والقتل ضد العراقيين في الشوارع...ساب سياراتهم أو خطفهم وطلب فدية...
ولا جهاز شرطة عراقي ولا أمن ولا جيش...فقد تحطم كل شيء...
وكنا نعطي أعذارا للجيش الأمريكي...انهم رجال قتال في ساحات المعارك لكنهم ليسوا شرطة..
وماذا فعلت الإدارة هناك لتحل هذا المأزق ؟؟
فقط نقرأ سبتايتل على الفضائيات العربية والأجنبية بأن أميركا تدرس امكانية ارسال قوات نظامية لحفظ الأمن في العراق...
ولم ترسل شيئا...كانهم كانوا ينظرون الينا ونحن نموت موتا بطيئا...
تماما مثل مريض دخل غرفة الطواريء في المستشفى...كأنه يلفظ أنفاسه من الحادث الذي تعرض له...ومدير المستشفى ينتظر أن يفكر ويعقد اجتماعا لللأطباء في وقت لاحق ...لا يهم فالموضوع ليس من الأولويات..
وعسى المريض يموت, فتنتهي المشكلة تماما...
هكذا كنا نحس كيف تتعامل الإدارة الأمريكية معنا...ونظل نتساءل ليل نهار..
طيب خططوا لهذه الحرب , وجاءت الجيوش والطائرات والدبابات والخرائط والخطط العسكرية..
ثم المرحلة الثانية لا يعرفون كيف يتصرفون؟؟؟
من يصدق ؟؟؟؟
هذه الأيام تبدأ سلسلة تحقيقات يقوم بها الكونغرس الأمريكي, يستدعي خلالها كبار المسؤولين في إدارة الرئيس بوش,من ضمنهم مساعد وزير الدفاع بول وولفوتيز, المهندس الفكري للحرب هكذا يسمونه..ومساعد وزير الخارجية مارك غروسمان, والجنرال ريتشارد مايرز رئيس هيئة الأركان.
اتمنى أن تتم التحقيقات بشفافية وصدق لنعرف نحن والشعب الأمريكي من الذي قصر في مسؤوليته؟؟
ومن الذي أساء التخطيط أو التنفيذ ؟؟؟
وسيكون ثمة تحقيق آخر مع مسؤولين وخبراء عن جهود اعادة إعمار العراق اين ذهبت وماذا تم منها؟؟؟
والخطط بشأن تهدئة التمرد الذي حصل في الفلوجة والجنوب...
نعم لا بد من التوقف والمحاسبة والسؤال...
ثمة أخطاء فادحة ارتكبت...ووصلت رائحتها للشعب الأمريكي , هناك, خلف البحار والمحيطات...
وما عاد ثمة وسيلة للكذب ,وتغطيتها بعدما تمكنوا من ذلك طوال الشهور الماضية .
لو صدر من اللجان اعتراف بالخطأ...فهذه اشارة ايجابية بأن بداية جديدة ستكون أكثر صدقا , سيتم العمل بها .
وإن تم تغطية العيوب والتقصير...وتكملة المسيرة على نفس النمط...فهذه كارثة..
والتصادمات القادمة ستكون أشد...وهذا ما لا يتمناه العراقيون...
واريد أن أكمل الجواب للجندي جو...
ثم دخلت مع قوات الإحتلال احزاب المعارضة والميليشيات التابعة لها...وهذه المسؤولة دون شك عن حملة الإغتيالات والتصفيات...في دولة اللاقانون الجديدة...
ومجلس الحكم الذي فرض على الشعب...رموز تعرفها الإدارة الأمريكية ولا يعرفها الشعب ولا يريدها...
ثم قانون إدارة الدولة المؤقت المثير للجدل والنقاشات والمنازعات...
كل جديد يصدر فيه مشاكل وتفرقة...بالإضافة الى قصة السنة والشيعة والإسلام والى أي قوانين نحتكم...
أدخلونا في متاهات بعيدة غبية لا معنى لها...تفرق ولا تجمع..تؤخر ولا تقدم...
والنفط العراقي بدأ يضخ الى دول العالم...ونحن بلا وظائف بلا فرص عمل...وأرباب عوائل ليس لديهم ما
يضعون به الخبز على موائد بيوتهم الفارغة...
مئات الآلاف من العاطلين عن العمل...هؤلاء دائما الوقود لأي ثورة أو تمرد...
لا مشاريع ولا خطط واضحة شفافة صريحة تخاطب الشعب..
هل كان بريمر يجتهد في هذا وحده ؟؟؟
من كان يعطيه الضوء الأخضر؟؟؟
كنا نسير نحو الهاوية...كانت تلك السياسة واضحة...محبطة ومدمرة لآمال العراقيين .
واريد أن تنتبه الإدارة الأمريكية لنقطة مهمة قالتها أحداث الأيام الماضية...
ان الشعب العراقي ليس غبيا..ولا يمكن التعامل معه على هذه القاعدة...فطوال سنوات حكم صدام حسين
تعلمنا كيف تكذب الحكومات وتزور...وانكشفت أمامنا كل الأساليب...وما عدنا نتحمل أن يضحك علينا أحد أو يحاول....
الذي يحترمنا...نحترمه ونثق به..ونكون له أوفياء مخلصين ..
والذي يؤذينا ويحتقرنا....نحول حياته الى جحيم...
والأيام التي مرت...تشهد على ذلك.
اذن الحوار المفتوح يعيد الثقة بين الطرفين..
ثمة برنامج للحوار ينبغي أن يظل مفتوحا كقنوات اتصال وجسور لتقريب المسافات
وتفسير التصرفات الغامضة...فالجهل بالآخر يسبب العداء..
والناس أعداء ما جهلوا...هكذا يقول المثل..
اتمنى ان تأتي الأيام القادمة بالخير والسلام على العراق والعراقيين
وكل من يحبهم ويريد مساعدتهم...

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

مساء الخير
الساعة الآن الرابعة بعد الظهر في بغداد
الجو مشمس وحار قليلا
بالأمس كان الجو باردا وأمطرت طوال النهار
وكنت متعبة جدا وكئيبة
ولم أقدر أن أفكر أو أكتب
كنت أحس بلا جدوى الكتابة
وحتى عملية التفكير متعبة ولا فائدة منها
بعد أحداث الفلوجة ومحاصرة النجف واغتيال الرنتيسي
وكأن ثمة شياطين تحاصر العالم وتصر على انجاز ارادتها الشريرة
وتحطيم الآمال الجميلة بحدوث تحسن ما
في بقعة ما على هذه الكرة الأرضية
التي تغرق في الحزن والفوضى
أم أن غيرنا يعيشون سعداء ونحن اصبحنا خارج المكان والزمان
قررت منذ صباح الأمس أن أذهب للبدالة لتقديم شكوى
لتصليح التلفون العاطل في البيت منذ ثلاثة أيام
وعدت للبيت محبطة حيث لا تجد من تكلمه هناك
حالة من الفوضى والإستهتار بشكوى المواطنين
ثم مرت سيارة القمامة وهرب ولم يتوقف أمام البيت لأنه لم يراني
لأنه مستعد لتقديم الخدمة لو رأى أهل البيت ليضمن البقشيش
ولتذهب المسؤولية أو نظافة المدينة الى الجحيم
العالم يغرق بالفساد واللامبالاة
وهنا ما عاد ثمة شيء اسمه هيبة الحكومة
هو الذي يجعل الموظفين في قطاع الخدمات أكثر انضباطا وحرصا على تأدية الواجب
الشوارع مزدحمة وشرطة المرور غير موجودين بكمية كثيفة تخفف وطأة الإزدحام
وكل شيء متعب ومحبط ويجعلك تتمنى لو تختفي من على خارطة الكرة الأرضية
انت وأفكارك وأحزانك
فلا أحد يصغي ولا أحد يهتم
وكل واحد يغرق في عالمه الخاص
ولا قدرة له على استيعاب هموم الآخر أو أحزانه
وكأنهم يقول بعضهم لبعض
اذهب الى الجحيم
يكفيني ما عندي
هكذا أصبحت الدنيا
مشروع صعب شاق مجبر أنت على انجازه
ولا مكان للهروب
واجه آلامك اليوميه لوحدك
وتعلم كيف تعالج الموقف بطريقتك الخاصة
وتستمر في السباحة في تيار الحياة الجارف
الذي يمضي بلا رحمة
بك أو بدونك
ويخفف أحزاني الرسائل المتعاطفة التي تصلني
ووضعت قسما منها على الصفحة
استمتع حين أقرأ رسائل القراء ووجهات نظرهم المختلفة
وأحب أن أفهم كيف يفكرون فهذا يقرب المسافات
والرسالة التي قالت انتم لستم بحاجة لمزيد من القنابل والدبابات
أو الجنود المرتبكون والذين يطلقون النار عشوائيا جعلتني ابتسم واقول في داخلي
شكرا نعم هذا صحيح
والرسالة التي تحدثت عن النساء ذوات الملابس السوداء احزنتني
وهي صادقة تماما فوضعتها على الصفحة
ثم رسالة أخرى من جندي أمريكي موجود حاليا في العراق
سأضعها بعد موافقته
أنا معه تماما في كل شيء
وهو يتساءل مثلي ولا يملك أجوبة عن أسئلته
نعم أنا مثله ومثل كثيرون غيره نريد أن نكون أصدقاء
الشعب العراقي والأمريكي
ونبذل جهودنا من أجل هذا
ولكن المسؤولية الأولى الآن على الحكومة الأمريكية
هي التي تقدر أن ترسخ هذه المباديء وتطبقها مع العراقيين
بحسن الإصغاء لطلبات الشعب وممثليهم
واحترامهم وعدم تجاهلهم وتسميتهم بأسماء فيها عدوانية
وعدم فرض رموز تعرفها أميركا وتطمئن اليها لكن الشعب يرفضها ولا يطمئن اليها
وكما يقول المثل رب ضارة نافعة
اي هذه الأحداث كانت ضارة ومؤلمة للطرفين
لكن عساها تكون درسا للطرفين ليكونا أكثر هدوءا في مواجهة الآخر
وأكثر رغبة في التفاهم وتقريب وجهات النظر
لبناء عراق جديد فيه أمان وسلام
وبناء علاقة جديدة فيها احترام للآخر
الإحترام والثقة تحتاج الى طرفين لا طرف واحد
مثل الحب تماما
لا يمكن أن يستمر وهو يفتقد روح المشاركة
هل سننجح
اتمنى ذلك من كل قلبي
احتراما لأرواح الذين سقطوا في المواجهات من الطرفين
نتخذ اسلوب السلام بديلا للحوار من العنف
حتى لا يسقط مزيد من الضحايا
ليت الرسول محمد على قيد الحياة فيعلم الناس الرحمة مع بعضهم
وليت السيد المسيح على قيد الحياة فيعلم الناس كيف يتحابون مع بعضهم
وليت الأرض تعود فتكون مكانا جميلا آمنا بلا حماقات أو حروب
ليت وليت وليت
ولكن من يسمع ومن يهتم
فالشرير منشغل بخططه ومؤامراته
والبريء منشغل بأحزانه وامنياته
ورب العالمين يبتسم في عليائه
هكذا حال الدنيا

Dear Faiza,
Many years ago, a Jewish Mother and a Palestine mother had had it with loosing their children.,
They dressed in black and just silently went to the town square to ask for Peace.
Out of this an organization has sprung that is called 'Women in Black'.
They dress in black and silently stand in the town square at noon one day a week to pray for peace. This is going on ALL over the world.
There are groups of ' Women in Black' everywhere and in many, many cities, even way before the war in Iraq.
No marches, no leaflets, no meetings, no shouting. Just standing , ther edressed in black, as a symbol that war does kill.
My friend JoAnne has started doing this since 2002. We are a small 'town', 5000, maybe more in Summer.
JoAnne has stood there every Friday at noon, I join her as often as my bones allow, sometimes in a wheelchair or with a cane. ( I have a badly healed broken hip)
Sometimes, it's just the two of us, sometimes people join us. in a blizzard, snowstorm, rain or sunshine, we are there at our 'town square', which is our one stoplight :)
I made us a black banner with a white peace dove, that's all we carry.
We are fully prepared that people might throw things at us, so far nothing like that has happened. More the opposite, a lot of people honk in support, give us a smile .
I just wanted you to know that people care and pray for Peace to come.
Does it matter what language we pray in? I don't think so, we all believe in the same God, his first children, born right there where all the fighting goes on now.
I wish that most of the soldiers would truly understand the rich history of your country, maybe they would have more respect.
But learning about history is sort of a vague thing here. I was born in Germany in 1944 and people here like to call me Nazi...well, it gives you an idea about the level of education we have here. Nothing like I had in Germany, I know that. I had to teach my children many things and subjects myself, so they are well rounded in their knowledge.
I also remember occupation, we had British occupation in my hometown, it's a humiliating thing, no matter in what disguise it comes.
I read your blog daily, Raed's too. You have become dear to me, I want you safe, I want you to be able to go on with live, have many grandchildren who should live in Peace. I will keep on praying.
In Peace,

Dear Faiza, I love reading your family blogs. My heart
goes out to you. I can't believe that the country I
have loved and trusted all my life has started such a
devastating war.

Saddam was a bad leader but I can't believe this was
the only way to help Iraq.

i wish we would send an army of peacekeepers and
workers and materials to help rebuild your country
and bring the troops home. You don't need guns and
bombs and tanks and scared young men and women
shooting at anything that moves. From what I hear a
huge number of the National Guard (what a misnomer)
enlisted because they didn't have jobs and/or wanted
to further their education. Most of them are so young.

I have been standing for peace with the Women in Black
since before the war started. We stand together every
Friday at noon. We have been accused of being against
our troops and unpatriotic by some. Nothing could be
further from the truth. We just want war to become

Thank you and your sons for sharing what is really
happening there Bless you and your family

Mari in Oregon


Dear Faiza,

Your comments about how things are in Iraq touch me very deeply. We
Americans hear very little of what real conditions are in Iraq and the
Middle East in general.

Many people outside of the U.S. do not know it, but the majority of the
media here is not much more than an outlet for "official" propaganda,
so we hear little of real events happening in elsewhere. If news
agencies ask the wrong questions or print the wrong slant on the story,
they will no longer be invited to the press conferences. There really
is no true “free speech” in America.

I'm not sure what the U.S. wants to do with Iraq (besides subjugate the
people and steal their oil), for we are clearly not a democratic
nation, as much of the world already knows. Mr. Bush's election
(fraudulent) proved that. The second observation would be that
democratic nations do not overthrow other nations. This is an
impossibility if they had a true heart for democracy.

I feel very sad that the U.S. Government must continually thrust
themselves into the affairs of foreign peoples. It saddens me greatly
the American thinks it has the right to dethrone or set in place the
one that should run a foreign government. It saddens me greatly that
thousands must be killed so that the American God can rule the world.

As an American citizen I must confess that most American's are not
really following the commandments of God. If they were following God,
they would love the Iraqi people (their neighbors), and not shoot and
bomb them. I have to say, that they really do not follow Jesus either.
Jesus said to "love your enemies", and "turn the other cheek". It is
obvious that this is not being done. No, they do not follow God or

My observation is that most Americans only think of themselves. They
think about where their oil is going to come from and about
profiteering and merchandising other nations. They do not care how it
affects the other peoples of the world, but only how it affects them.

I want to apologize for what is happening to your people in the name of
God. I want to apologize for the killings, the suffering and oppression
that the Iraqis are enduring. These actions are not coming from the
heart of God. As one who lives in America, I have altered my lifestyle
so that I no longer support and pay for the atrocities that America
does in the name of freedom/democracy, and in the name of God.

There are some, who do have a true love for the Iraqi people.


Monday, April 19, 2004

Today...I feel tired
I didn`t write a new blog...but I have a new friend by internet
she is jewish :)
I want you to read her email
and about my translation I don`t actually do it my self . It is done by
Raed or Khalid sometimes...or volunteers like Mohammad or Diaa (female)
my thanks for all....

Dear Faiza,

I have been reading your blog for a long while now. You are a great writer. How did you learn to
write so beautifully in English? I wish to ask you to write a book of your thoughts about this
war and send it to publisher's in the US, so that people can understand better what is happening
there and how Iraqi's feel about it.

I also wanted you to know that I am Jewish, because I don't want anyone to think that all of us
Jewish people are killers or filled with hate. I love my people. I love the same God that you
love. I love my children and my country and my history. I am afraid for my people. I am afraid that
the Hamas will kill them all and never let them live there even after so many generations of Jews
have lived there. I don't know what to do about it. I don't have any answers. I just want peace
and forgiveness.

I also want to know if it is ok if I pray for you. I ask you this because here in the US many of
the Christians want the Jewish people to convert to Christianity and they "pray" for us and I
don't think that is right. I only would pray for someones safety or health, I would never pray for
them to believe what I believe and I would not want to pray for someone if they thought that it was
offensive. I hope you can understand that, but I guess if you haven't had people trying to
convert you to their religion for as long as I have you might not understand this:).

Faiza I think you should be the president of Iraq. You would be my first choice. You have all of
the qualities that a good leader needs. I wish I could make you the leader. I am so tired of men
running the world. They have done a very bad job of it. I think women could do it a lot better.
We would form friendships and peace and not have all of this violence and war.

I am very torn apart about this war. Our president lied to us and many people believed him. I do
believe that Sadaam Hussein was very bad for torturing people. I am glad that he is gone but now
I do not know what to think about Iraq. I read the Iraqi blogs and everyone has a different view
and that is good. But I worry so much that if we left your voice would be silenced. What if the
really strict religious people came to power? I would not want you to have to live like that.
The radicals of any religion (including mine), treat women bad. How could I ever forgive myself if
I go out and protest the war, and my country leaves Iraq in chaos, and something awful happens to
you? I truly do not know what to do.

I wish you could come here to the US and speak to us about what we should do. I don't want you to
be there in harms way. I never thought a person could care about another person as much as I care
about you just by reading their blog, but I do care. I have many womens rights friends. I would
like to know what you would like for us to do? Can we help in any way? I am just so torn Faiza.
I have two sons, age 11 and 14, and I have read them your letters. I want them to know that you
are kind and wonderful people. I never want them to do the things that the soldiers are doing in

The answers are so hard for me to see right now. I want to make sure you are safe and that you
can always write to us, and I don't want your people to grow up to hate the US or even to hate
Israeli people. I am so sick of violence and war. I just don't know what to do. It is impossible to
sort out all of these feelings. I want our people to be friends and work together and visit one
another. It seems like we are making a mess of the whole country, and yet I would come there and
fight for you myself if I thought that someone would keep you from freedom again. I think many
Americans feel the same way I do. We just don't know what to do.

You are a remarkable women and I will try to do what you think is the right thing for Iraq. Just
let me know ok?


Sunday, April 18, 2004

Dear Faiza,

Your post tonight was especially moving. About young men, the ‘age of the
Roses’, seeing your beautiful son, imagining others his age going off to
fight. The parents, the people in power – you wrote it well. It made me

Your writing is so beautiful and poetic in English, I imagine you must be
even more wonderful to read in Arabic! I wish I had time right now to learn
with you, I am glad you are doing lessons. I am working full time and going
to Nursing school full time and these letters that I write to you (thank you
for the encouragement) come from the little extra time I have.

I have read Raed’s post of tonight too. He is so angry! I understand his
anger. But what does he expect us/we/me American people to do???? I
honestly don’t know.

As I’ve mentioned we are a country divided in half. My half is protesting
the war, writing to leaders, complaining, doing what we can to support
ANYONE BUT BUSH to be the next President and so on. The other half—the
parrots---or sheep---—will not change. They will let their sons and
daughters die, I am sad to say.

And no matter what, Bush and his people have the money and power to do what
they want.

If we couldn’t stop him from stealing OUR country in an election....if we
haven’t been able to stop him from taking away OUR rights using the excuse
of 9/ can we stop things in Iraq or Israel?

I think Bush and his people would like more terrorist attacks to happen on
Americans. Then they would have more excuses to take away more of our

I feel so bad, so frustrated. I really think our two countries, and the
Middle Eastern region are being forced into a bigger war by all this
behavior. I read Jo Wilder’s post and I was horrified that American (or
Allied?) soldiers were sniping at unarmed people, at ambulances.

I work on an ambulance. I can identify with her story – but the bloody
people that I pick up have crashed bicycles or fallen off of a horse or been
run over --- not shot at by snipers. When we rush our patients to the
Medical Center we have to contend with traffic, and maybe hysterical
relatives of the patient. But we can focus on trying to help the patient
without being shot at. This is so very very wrong, it is like the world is
upside down.

All groups of people have evil ones among them. I know that the stress of
fighting and killing for months on end can make for bad behavior. But the
Iraqi people have been through much much more than any of the military
forces that have come there. How can these soldiers be so terrible to the
people of the country that they are supposed to be helping?

We had a young man who grew up on our Island serve in Iraq. He came here in
January and we celebrated—just as people do everywhere—that he came home
alive. (He was involved in moving supplies, but still there is always
danger everywhere). He is still in the army, but stationed in Germany now.

I think of this young man, who I have known for many years. He was a shy,
gentle boy. Kind to everyone. His grandmother died while he was in Iraq and
he mourned her when he was here. He cried and carried flowers. I can’t
imagine such a young man as this one shooting unarmed civilians. Shooting
out the tires of an ambulance. I am not saying that I don’t believe that it
happened. I am just trying to imagine the difference, what kind of people
are doing such things???? I don’t think I have ever met such evil people.

One of my great hopes for the future is that unlike all the past wars we now
have the Internet, where we—the actual people of the countries can talk to
each other as individuals. Become friends, share lives and exchange stories.
Tell one another what is really happening, what our perspectives are, what
our lives really are like every day. As you and I do. But right now, I
truly don’t know what else to do. If you know, please tell me.

I know that they (Bush etc.) will not just pull the troops out of Iraq. And
you are right that Kerry would put the U.N. Troops there –and you say that
would be just as bad. Yet, he has to say that. If any leader said they would
just leave, the media, the other government people would destroy them,
calling them irresponsible.

I know the justification for this. And I thought it made sense, that it was
right. Now I don’t know. Because you say that it is better for them not to
be there. That you want them to leave. And I agree, if they are unwelcome
they should leave.

The justification for staying is that ‘we went in and broke your country, by
destroying Saddam’s regime’. So we must fix it, clean up the mess we made,
make sure everything is in working order before we leave. That makes sense.
To leave beforehand, would be bad. Wrong. To go in a country and take away
the government and leave the people with nothing---there would be chaos,
confusion, lack of food, electricity, jobs, basic services. To leave before
those duties are done would be irresponsible.

But I see the problem.....We’ve been there over a year now and we haven’t
begun to fix our mess? It’s only worse! It’s not getting better! What on
earth have all those Military people been doing over there for the past
Bush dressed up like a soldier and stood on a aircraft carrier last May and
said that the war was over. So since then they should have been repairing
and fixing the country, as promised.

They say the ‘electronic grid’ is so old and in disrepair it’s taking longer
to fix it. I REMEMBER them saying that before the war started. So they knew
that going in, they should have brought the people and equipment to do it
correctly, right away. The same is true for the other things. They knew
there would be soldiers without jobs.
They knew there would be problems with non-Iraqi Arabs coming over the
border to start trouble.

I knew these things while sitting on my tiny isolated Island in the middle
of a big lake in the middle of a big country. There is no excuse for this
incompetence. No reason for it to be taking so long.

Over the past month it almost seems like Kimmet and his people have gone out
of their way to upset and anger the people of Iraq. Why?
The only thing that makes any sense to me is this:
W. Bush started having lots of trouble at home, suddenly his people in Iraq
were ‘fanning flames’ trying to create a firestorm of difficulties. So that
those things would be on the News instead of the revelations of Bush’s lies.
The one thing I have learned is to always think the worst of W. Bush and
his people and you will always be right.

Faiza, I can only try and understand how horrible this all is for you, your
family, the people of your country. I wish it wasn’t happening. I don’t
know how to stop it, only to pray. Thank you for keeping your heart open so
that I, and so many others can learn from you. I think that maybe you,
Faiza, are teaching hearts and minds around the world! I am proud to know
you, to share with you, to call you friend.

Love and warmest wishes,
:) Pam

Hi Faiza,

I'm adding this comment to the beginning to clarify something. I fully
support our military, but as a nation, we had no right whatsoever to invade
Iraq and both Emperor Bremer and our military have made a terrible mess of
it since. Also, prior to the war, long prior to the war, I was expressing my
views to a select few, most of whom were gung-ho to invade. I was also
repeatedly pointing out, on WMDs, that Bush and team were making assertions,
none of which were substantiated. I also posted prior to the war that there
would be no WMD found, in addition to pointing out that there was no
planning for the aftermath of the invasion. So much for that.

On draft. Yes, there is no draft now. However, there is talk, and no doubt
at all, contingency plans well advanced, to bring it back if we continue our
screw ups as in Afghanistan and Iraq. There aren't going to be enough
volunteers, because those who would have joined are finally getting the idea
the mission of the military is not simply to send one to college and visit
the world as a tourist.

One young girl had told me a couple years ago that she was going to join. I
suggested that she not do so, and I explained to her the reality, but she
probably thought me too old to know what I was talking about.

I'm reminded as I write the above that a few years ago I was asked to speak
at local high schools to encourage the seniors to attend a particular
military school. I refused on the grounds that I would not lend my support
to women attending (which they do) and entering the profession. Unpopular
position here, but I know the profession.

Yes, the majority of US young who join are entirely naive, thinking of the
military as only a means to a college education and a chance to travel.
Extremely sad. That's the Army. The Marines, however, are very up-front
about it - no misleading advertisements there.

The Marines are excellent for combat. BUT that should only be against an
enemy combat force. Fallujah, in my view, is a disgrace for us. I feel
terrible about what we have done there. From what I read from within
Fallujah, some Marine snipers have violated what we stand for and have
lowered themselves and the honor of our nation. That simply is not what the
U.S. is supposed to be about. Unless all I read from inside Fallujah is in
error, what we have done is shameful.

I have some reason to be of the view that a part of the long delay in
operations there is for lack of fuel due to the Line of Communications (LOC)
problem, i.e., sufficient fuel's been interrupted to effect operations.
Classic strategic objective - hit the LOC.

I hope that there will not be a re-start of major operations against
Fallujah. That would be terrible. Our troops should simply stay out of
there. We've already made it a mid-East Alamo.

Also, I certainly hope that our demonstrable ignorance is not magnified
further by attacking into Najaf. What a disaster that would be for us and
any remote chance of future peace.

As I said up front, I totally support our troops, but some - and that's
multiple - throughout the chain of command appear to have bone-heads, not
able to see consequences at all. Extremely short sighted. Doesn't apply to
all by any means. But it does not take many in the chain of commands to
really screw up everything.

My apologies for the long post.

Warm regards,

Skip - U.S.

Assalam Alikom,Faiza....
Just as everybody is feeling the parallels between US and Israeli
policies in Iraq and Palestine, I'd like you to put these words on the blog.
Azmi Bishara said them after sheikh Yassin's assasination, and I was
reminded of them this evening. Sadly they apply to Iraq too......

"The conflict is between those who occupy, and those who are occupied. The
occupiers are not all bad, nor are those living under occupation all good.
Only one thing is certain -- those who live under occupation are not the

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