Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Monday, July 4th., 2005
Good evening....
I would like to talk about the summer course I have taken in Brattleboro city/ Vermont, in brief, because I know there is no chance for every body to go there, participate, and listen, because traveling is tiring, highly expensive, and the family would grumble from the absence of Mama or Papa…. But it is an excellent chance to look around and see things as they truly are, to equip oneself with knowledge and news, and these are the best of supplies, every time, everywhere.
The institute has an electronic website, for whoever wishes to visit it, and learn about it.
All the participant's fees were paid by international or local institutes, but I was the only one from Iraq, so I paid the traveling and the course's expanses from the family's funds.
I gained a lot of benefits from this participation…
Before leaving the institute, I arranged to have a one-year study course online, I chose the subject of "the Civil Organization's role in societies". Hoping to come back to Baghdad, and find away to help the Iraqis during this dark, hard period in our history…
The institute's site online is: (WWW. Sit.edu)
The hard days passed on, thank GOD I am back again with my family, and these are the nicest moments for every mother, then I am thinking in arranging my return to Baghdad, in spite of the depressing, horrible news coming from there…but I have learned the rule; when you live inside a war society, you soon get used to the situation, and your heart becomes brave, in spite of the deteriorating psychological condition, of which you do not feel until some time, when you find that you have changed a lot of your habits because of the bad security condition; no sport in a club, not even walking, or a morning jog in the street, no visits to friends or relatives, no going to a public library or buying new books, no visit to a coffee shop to have some tea, or to a restaurant to sit down with friends and have a quiet talk about the public affairs…. Depression shall sneak into your soul little by little….
A human cannot live isolated from his surrounding environment…. And that who lives in the shadow of panic, the constant fire shooting, the noise of helicopters and tanks shaking the whole house when they pass, without deep, comforting sleep… bombings, killings, kidnappings and robberies, in the morning and night stories….
Whoever lives here is not like that who lives in safety, with the whole world open in front of him, morning and night…
But that who lives in Iraq now a days, feels himself suffocating, morning and night….
May GOD help the Iraqis, until this new anguish passes on…
In the days of Saddam we used to say likewise, especially in the days of the embargo, then the war came on, carrying with it the promises of hope, and the happy future…and we all saw, so far, what the happy future in Iraq looks like…..
And we always say that whatever catastrophes are taking place in Iraq were caused by one of two possibilities: either that the occupation forces, the new Iraqi parties, and the present Iraqi leaderships do not know what they are doing, and how to transform the country from the state of chaos to that of peace, security, and stability….
OR, they mean and intend this ruin and devastation, so they would remain on their seats, leading Iraq where they want him to go, according to their interests.
We studied in the institute about building peace in societies living in a sate of conflict…
At the beginning we talked about the causes of the conflict… the professor said; there are some evident, simple, and clear causes, and some deep, unseen causes, like a hidden ice burg… and of course, the hidden causes are mostly evil, like greed, interests, and intentions….. And most people do not comprehend the hidden…
The official media market the ideas about the reasons they want to call "the main and real reasons", and of course, they usually lie, and hide the truth from the people….
Then we studied the phases of the conflict; we drew a curve like the picture of a mountain, that starts flat, ending with a peak, and its phases from bottom to top are: Disagreement, Quarrel, Problem, Violence, then, the peak of the curve – The Civil War…
Of course, there are some miserable losers who killed themselves in order to start a sectarian war in Iraq, but that didn't succeed…by the mercy of GOD, in the first place, and because of the Iraqi's awareness and intelligence, in the second place…
The other side of the curve moves downwards, until it reaches the ground again, where peace and agreement in the society would reign, the steps are: A Seize fire, an Agreement, Rebuilding, Rehabilitation, then, a National Reconciliation, and Peace….
We agreed that a peace builder should be someone who harbors peace inside his soul…meaning; not an extremist, a biased person, or inflexible…
How can you convince people of peace, while you are an aggressive biased?
As to those who are now in Iraq, the Americans, or the Iraqi politicians in the government, most of them are regrettably aggressive, or biased, or their minds are under the spell of delusions, hatreds, and myths which wouldn't enable them to be free to look at things with calm, stable eyes and minds….
It is as if the whole of Iraq has lost its balance…..there is a bunch of haters who beat the drums of revenge and malice, to drag the country into the abyss….followed usually by the those who are young in age and minds, believing them, hailing them, just like those who followed Saddam Hussein, and lost the path with him, they clapped for him, then discovered later how foolish they were….and how much they were deluded…
Alas, history repeats itself on the same spot, by different names, as for the dumb, foolish, irresponsible behaviors, they are the same…
When I was young, I used to think that all the mature grown ups are wise… I used to think that all men (not women), are wise, intelligent, and comprehend more than women do, because women are ignorant and fools…
And when I grew up, I discovered how mistaken I was…
The wars, devastation, and destruction on earth was led in most cases by grown up men…..
Earth needs peace builders….
I think it is time to stop those maniacs from destroying earth… whenever you listen to the news you find that those who hold power, wealth, and the decision in their hands are usually the villains….
By GOD I am not making this up to accuse them….there is always corruption, and mismanagement, and the villains always help each other out…while the good guys are few, and scattered…
That is why there is no positive change on earth…
The oppressed people's faith in the Security Council, the United Nations, and the Human Rights Organizations has fallen down…
The forces that dominate and do the job are strong financial forces, like the "International Treasury Fund", and that is a tool of pressure and humiliation for governments and nations in various world countries, and there are the military forces, like the military alliances to wage wars on the countries that possess resources and wealthes, under different excuses like democracy, freedom, and some silly talk to fool the foolish….
And the truth is; there are some beneficiaries…..and that is enough!
And there is another fact that says: The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer…
There is no justice on earth… so, where would peace come from??
We talked at the institute about drawing a map of the conflict, learning the common elements in the conflict in a certain country, then analyzing each element to find out its requirements and fears….
Then we talked about the circle of violence and revenge, how to break it, and how to get out of it?
All the topics were important to me, as if they were talking about what is happening in Iraq, and I really want to know how to save the Iraqi's blood, and reduce the violence and the causalities…
We drew the circle of violence, with the victim inside of it, and the aggressor outside…. The victim suffers from the feelings that torture him, consuming phases of his life to change, so he could move on from one phase to another…
· It starts with the feelings of pain, shock, and denial, (not believing what has happened).
· Then the feelings of loss, and panic.
· The feelings of anger. (Why me?).
· Suppressing the feelings of fear, sadness, and grieve.
· Loosing the meaning of things.
· The desire to revenge.
· Hating and dehumanization of enemy.
· Justifying the aggressive acts as being those of self-defense.
And I believe that the Iraqis have lived through these phases for more than two years now….
As for the aggressor, he lives in another world, gradually moving through sentiments:
· The feelings of power.
· The fear of having relations with the victim.
· The feelings of shame and guilt for what he has done.
· Admitting to the wrong deeds he has committed.
After that phase, the two parties move closer to each other, and start working together to build a new relation, like paying compensations to the victim's losses, building a monument for their dead, rejoining the relations, and the beginnings of an interest in the other…until they reach a state of reconciliation, and settlement.
The question is: where are the Iraqis and the Americans now according to the former phases?
The Iraqis are still trapped in the circle; the victim's circle…
As for the Americans, their government moves from the feelings of power to the phase of fearing the relation, while a part of the American people lives the phase of feeling ashamed, experiencing the wish to apologize to the Iraqis for what they did to them; the destruction, and the losses….
A group of American women, who were present at the institute, suggested writing an apology letter to the Iraqi people, or to the Iraqi women, to send it with me to Baghdad…
By GOD I stood amazed, smiled, and asked them: what would the Iraqis do with it?
Would they believe that the American people are innocent of this war, they would ask: Then what about the second elections? You have elected the same administration?
The problem in Iraq does not need apologies, or admissions of shame….
Iraq needs a just solution, and peace on the ground of reality…
Those who love us should stop this violence, break the circle of hatred and revenge that is moving around Iraq now, nourished by the local Iraqi media, and the western media, especially the American…
Some poisons are being spread, and lies that provoke hate, violence, and revenge….
When all these stop, we will believe that America wants to build peace in Iraq….
Then we studied " The Ladder of Tolerance", meaning; the stages or phases of the ability's development to tolerate the other…
If we move towards the lower steps, we find the development moving towards violence, and crushing the other, in stages like this:
At the beginning, looms the stage of not tolerating the other, by rejecting the idea of being equals in rights and status, then by describing the others with descriptions below the humane; like dogs, monsters, pigs,… then by treating them unjustly, not recognizing their political, civil rights, or others…then, leading hostile operations against them, like attacks and hits, then, mass violence, then, mass massacres…
There has been some in Iraq who worked for two years now to implement the stages of such violence and hatred between the Sunnies and the Shia'ats, trying to convince the Shia'ats that their enemies are the Sunnies, who should be curtailed, and eliminated…trying to convince the Iraqis that whoever opposes the existence of the occupation is a dirty, Saddamist, Ba'athi…
Well then, I am against the existence of the occupation, and I am not a Saddamist or a Ba'athi, and I know there are millions of such Iraqis like me…
Who listens to us?
And what are the charges against us??
Then, there is another hierarchy going up, talking about the stages of peace building in society, the acceptance of each party to the existence of the other, and respecting him.
The stages, from the bottom up are:
Accepting the peaceful coexistence.
Realizing the needs and interests of the others.
Mutual learning.
Respecting the similarities and differences between the two parties.
Respecting the variations and diversities.
All that we studies were the experiences of many nations who suffered from wars and conflicts, then found their way to solving the conflicts in society, to live in peace and quiet, each group respecting the feelings and rights of the others groups.
The question is: when would peace building industry start among the Iraqis?
It is obvious now that peace if far away, the interests of those playing with Iraq's fate now are to keep the violence, as an excuse to finish what they want, secretly, or in public.
The fate of Iraq, and the Iraqis is now tied in the hands of a bunch of evil people…GOD only knows what is there in their hearts and minds…..and the painful reality we are living through for more than two years now, is the evidence of the ill wishes against Iraq, and the Iraqis….
Peace in Iraq shall be built by men and women who believe in peace…their hearts love the whole land, and all of its people…their hearts are not blinded by hatred, or greed….. Their minds clean…their ambitions clear: To unite Iraq, to collect the Iraqis under one banner, one identity: We are Iraqis…we are not looking for revenge, or old hatreds.
And all who tries to divide us or categorize us into sub-identities is one of two people:
Either an ignorant who doesn't know what he is doing, and towards what chasm he is heading…
Or a malignant evil who wants to destroy Iraq; the people and the land, for a handful of dirty dollars, stained with the innocent Iraqi's blood….
Iraq needs new leaders…
I know they are there…hundreds and thousands of them….
Time will reveal them into the arena, sooner or later…
They will collect the nation's wits anew…whenever I saw a good man collecting in his hand the beads of a Masbaha, (rosary), after it was scattered…….
The Iraqi's Masbaha beads, scattered by evil hands, shall be collected….
Never doubt that…someday…by the Will of GOD…
We are all waiting for that day, on tenterhooks….
May peace be upon you all……….
Translated by May/Baghdad.

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