Monday, September 20, 2010


Overview on Iraq now....

Monday 13 September 2010
Peace be upon you

Let’s continue our description of new Iraq as a post war community. What are its characteristics and the threats that women, men and young people are facing? What is stored for it in the future?
And what is the influence of foreign interferences: Military, Politics and civil organizations.
What are the pros and cons so far?
I will try to write my thoughts here as brief and clear as I can. I hope that this would be useful to readers to know what has happened in Iraq after the war.
I want to talk about Iraq as an example of what is happening in the world nowadays. Because of foreign interferences on political and social levels, the unified strong national identity has been divided into various sub ethnic and sectarian identities. The identity was unified under the dictatorship authority of Saddam Hussein according to what is promoted after the occupation of Iraq. Now it’s time for democracy and free expression which caused all grudges and differences to explode in a very natural way. It’s time to achieve justice in dividing power and wealth among different factions and the rest of the non sense talks and lies which appears to be righteous, but hides sleaziness, lies and other opposite intentions.
During my studies last year on conflict transformation and peace building in post war communities, our books were filled with western colonial theories that say that any community with diverse nationalities, religions and sectors are inevitably subject to conflicts to reach power and wealth.
I objected to this theory since the first semester and I said that these western theories don’t apply on our communities in the Middle East where we lived thousands of years. While coming from different origins, the nations learned to cope with each other and learned how to respect their existence and their right to live regardless of diverse ethnic, religious and sectarian origins. These nations learned how to live under one central identity like an umbrella protecting everyone under it. It is a one cultural and national identity that includes various colors and that is the secret behind its beauty and ability to survive for many centuries. This umbrella covered different types of religious and cultural rituals and different food, cloths, music, arts, customs and traditions. But they all remained under one unified system that is a social and cultural system connected by a unified cohesive national identity.

This happens in many countries in the world like china, India, and Pakistan. These countries are rich with diverse nations, religions and cultures just like Iraq.
What happens in wars and occupations?
The system collapses especially if the invader comes from a foreign country aiming to weaken the country and subject it under its military and political control. They start to spread discriminating ideas among community factions that lived as one unit in the past. They are addressed differently now. Power must be divided among all these factions. The wealth must be divided among all these factions as well. As a result, a new era of conflict and differences has started and leaders surfaced for each faction to participate in this conflict…

Hard strokes have been directed to rip the unified community infrastructure and dissemble this beautiful unified system.

Thus the role of local, hypocrite and opportunist leaders that used to live in the dark is becoming more distinct. No one knows these leaderships and no one acknowledges it. It’s time for this leadership to take the stand under the light spot and claim that it is the nation’s legal representative and its public speaker. Therefore, it enters the election process strongly and wins with the highest numbers of votes regardless of used methods. The occupier prepares all logistics requirement to grant this leadership local and international legality status. That way the nation and the world buy this lie… and these retarded, hypocrite, opportunists, ethnic and sectarian leaders are the legal representative for their citizens and will make up for the oppression that people have been subjected to in the past and will elevate their status and will…and will…and will…

Years then pass by and the people discover that nothing is achieved and that these leaderships are liars, dictators, oppressors and a bunch of thieves, but who can take them out of power now?
A new phase of conflict starts between the people and the corrupted leaderships. Of course under normal circumstances, people can take those leaders out of power easily via civil or military methods. But the presence of an occupier as a powerful party in the country deprives people from their freedom to take action. Military is not as independent as it was in the past. The local national leaders will not have the same effect influence in the community to rehabilitate and change…
The country go through and endless spin and will lose hope because there is no balance of power on earth.
People start to lose hope and withdraw from this worthless spin that exhausts their life, efforts, ambitions and dreams.
This is exactly what is happening now between Iraqis who live inside Iraq. When you ask someone, how do you perceive the future of Iraq?
The answer always would be: There is no future, Iraq is gone and will never come back as long as they are still here.
This answer hurts me and takes my breath away. I can’t blame them and I can’t ask them what they mean by “they”. Do they mean the new Iraqi political leaders or the occupier forces? Or do they mean both?
Same story happened in Czechoslovakia after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early nineties. The plan worked 100% and Czechoslovakia was divided into small weak countries after the social unified and beautiful fabric has been ripped to pieces. It used to live under one unified Czechoslovakian identity for centuries. They also promoted the Tito dictatorship that fed all the grudges and differences, then, it exploded after the fall of the communist system in Czechoslovakia…

Immediately after that, an extremist, ethnic, and religious leadership surfaced. This leadership shredded the country and and forced them into a series of civil wars and bloody conflicts that were extended for more than 10 years. Czechoslovakia was then divided into small countries like the Black Mountain, Bosnia, Hersik, Croatia, etc. We studied Czechoslovakia in our books last year as a modern age example of civil war conflicts.
The same scenario was applied on Iraq after 2003. Iraq is not divided to federal countries yet. But I think that they planned for a war in Iraq and they are still waiting to reap their harvest on earth turning into ethnic and sectarian federal entities.
The chapters of war on Iraq are not finished yet even if they claim that they have withdrawn from Iraq.
I think that I talked before about the feeble security, military and political systems that were created in Iraq post 2003. These systems are based on splitting shares, ethnicity and sectarianism. There are penetrated and weak. Thus they cannot perform their duty in a successful and professional way. This is not a coincidence. This is a result of a long term plan to keep Iraq a fragile and weak country that needs the occupier around for tens of years. There is no air force under the Iraqi authority yet, they don’t have any advanced equipment or modern navigation systems either. They only have limited power to keep them under the patronage of a greater occupying force.
Even Iraqi militants, security officers and politicians, no matter how patriot and loyal to Iraq they are, don’t have the absolute power and complete sovereignty to decided what is the appropriate thing to do for the future of Iraq.
This is a clear subject and doesn’t need a long argument.

As on the economic, agricultural, industrial and infrastructural levels, Iraq is back to dark ages. Agriculture has deteriorated due to lack of planning and caring from the government. Most of displayed vegetable and fruits in the local markets are imported from neighboring countries. Iraqi factories have been either dissembled or robbed and remained idle without any production or work plans.
Iraqi markets are drowned with products that are imported from china, Malaysia, and other neighboring countries especially Iran and Turkey.

As for the infrastructure, the sewer, water, and electricity systems remain unfixed. Streets, bridges, schools, hospitals and telecommunication networks have been bombed in 2003. Some of these buildings have been fixed, but remained limited and unnoticeable because, up until now, destruction and retardation are more visible to spectators in all these sectors in Iraq.
Oil is a vital file, but remains a mystery. We don’t know where the Iraqi oil money goes? and it is not used to improve the country
Is it being used to pay off Saddam Hussein’s war against Iran?
Or, Is it being paid to compensate Kuwait and Saudi Arabia?
No one knows. These secrets are hidden by the government and the occupying forces. There aren’t any clear answers since 2003.

As for the civil community and its participation in the country post 2003, I want to mention mainly two types of organizations: a type that is specialized in offering programs for women and a type that is specialized in directing programs for the youth, which are the two most important factions of the community.
Programs appeared since 2003 and enforced by a western funding agencies. It started with areas related to election and democratic process. It geared after that toward subjects related to women such as equality with men, violence against women, gender, CEDAW treaty and other United Nations’ resolutions that pertain to women rights and prevent violence against them.
These are international resolutions and I certainly respect, but I don’t find Iraqi women in need for. What is the purpose of giving her a lecture about women right and CEDAW while she’s being starved and deprived of basic human needs?
She might have lost a care taker after the violence that the whole community lived through. May be her husband is missing, jailed or handicapped. This woman doesn’t care about CIDAW rights. She wants practical solutions so that she can live decently. She will hear what she believes is useful to her life and as much compassion and honesty she perceived. I want to think with her in a way to find a better life and establish a stable source of living for her and her family.
I am one of the people who love the family and perceive it as the nuclear of a community. If it grew as a righteous one, the community becomes righteous. And if it grew rotten, the community will go rotten as well. Therefore, I am against any stream that instigates women against men for the purpose of destroying that family. I am convinced that there are many ways through which we can strengthen a woman to become a real and strong partner and a decision maker in the family without smashing this family through divorce or any other foolishness.
Even women who are beaten must learn a technique that will prevent men from beating them and changing their behavior. They can ask for the interference of a relative or a friend. They also can call the police, send him to jail, and then resolve to divorce option when it turns out that he is unfixable.
In any way, I like to see that a woman is strong and has the ability to make decisions. She has an ability to bear responsibility and has trust in people. She has principles and knows where she’s going in life. These are all positive traits. I don’t like to see women weak, stupid, subject, and fly like a feather in the wind.
This woman is responsible for raising a generation. A generation will not be alert, patriot and affiliated if his mom is weak and ignorant…
The rate of illiteracy has increased in Iraq. There are no official numbers, don’t bother. There are no ways to get those numbers in Iraq. Search for any subject yourself and get a feeling of people’s needs like illiteracy programs. During my work with local and international agencies, illiteracy program is the highest demanding need for Iraqi women post 2003.
I want to focus on another point. What is the meaning of violence against women?
Is it in the nature of our communities? Or is a new practice due to wars and occupation?
Of course, all post war communities experience violence as a negative social phenomenon that needs cure. People need to be educated about this subject. It shouldn’t be handled from a domestic violence against women angle claiming that our society is sick and oppressing women. This is a rejected nonsense.

There are rural communities that are far from city life and civilization. They have practices that are oppressing to women. Yes, that exists. Therefore I agree with the idea of giving lectures and promoting awareness programs for the whole community about human rights in general, women rights, child rights and the positive role of the youth in their communities. I’d like see an educational and enlightening role for community organizations in their small communities, not just a promotion of imported western ideas. Unknowingly, they fall into the trap of spreading the western way of life. As if the military, economical, political and economical control over Iraq is not enough. We also open the door for intellectual and cultural control through civil community organizations?
This is a very dangerous turn. Every civil community organization worker should be alert for that trap and should not allow himself or his organization to become, unknowingly, a destroying tool for his community while thinking that he’s doing a good thing.
The local active Iraqi organization is usually poor and with limited resources. They tend to accept to implement any project from a western fund raising agency. Otherwise, they will be shut down and stop their activities. So if you look into the CV of these organizations, you will find strange activities that are implemented to pleas the funding agency, but in reality, it didn’t add anything positive to the community. They may also have useless services like training courses without job opportunities. What’s the use of that? The problem is still there. This woman didn’t get a job yet and still suffers from poverty and deprivation. That young man is fed up with lectures and training courses and still unemployed as an idle energy that is wandering the streets all day, knocking on doors without any results.
There isn’t any local funding for big projects that aim to hire women and young people. The government doesn’t fund anything. It complains from lack of money and resources. This is what concerned ministries claim in their speeches such as the Ministry of Women and Youth.
The international organizations didn’t contribute with big projects that hire Iraqi working women and young people.
I’ve heard of a project in the two southern governorates like a carpenter shop that I think is funded by the European Union. I send them my best regards. This is an excellent project that hires hundreds of men and women. It provides them with experiences and stable income. Iraq needs thousands of these projects like this one in different governorates as well. As for the youth, may programs that were implemented by many organizations in Baghdad or governorates were concerned about building self capacities, and aimed to educate about violence, gender violence, election and democratic process.
The Iraqi youth still lives in a political violent environment and under retardation, poverty, administrative corruption and lack of opportunities. These are dangerous points that my force young men to migrate, join the sectarian militias, or adopt a sectarian stream. This is becoming very clear in the minds of young men post 2003 especially in the northern, western and southern governorates where strong ethnic and sectarian streams have appeared.
These streams influenced the way of thinking of young people who live in those governorates. It replaced loyalty to Iraq with loyalty to sectarian or ethnic group to which they belong. This is dangerous on the future of Iraq. Those are the leaders of the future. Those who migrated, some are longing to their home and waiting for things to get better until they are back. Or they may have deserted Iraq and decided to forget the hurtful memories that are carried in their hears and beyond their tolerance or comprehension. Thus, they hated all Iraq…
Young people need productive projects that consumes their energy in a positive way instead of planting grudges and nonsense that destroys rather than builds.
Young people organizations in Iraq need funding for positive and serious projects that aim to build their capacities in a way that benefit their communities and the future of their countries.
Of course, parties take advantage of that in a sleazy way. They exploit the youth’s energy and take advantage of their experience to become members in these parties to spread their ideas and to learn how to be bias and narrow minded that destroys and don’t build.
I always ask myself: would we get to this spin hadn’t have been for the war?
Poverty, hunger, illiteracy, discrimination, and sectarianism. Where shall begin the rehabilitation? And how long will it take?
How far behind Iraq will fall compared to it’s neighbors? When shall Iraq follow them while reaching Dark Age square?
People who participate in the work of the organizations, politics, military or public security come from different ranges and they have different motives.
Some of them participated because they believe in a principle that he is doing good for his country.
Some of them are making a living and are not concerned with details.
And some of them are opportunists and hypocrites who came around to destroy rather than build
God only knows what people intend.
Therefore, I am against bad faith in people who work in these fields and stereo typing them. this is unwise and misjudgment of people. I trust that there are honest and patriot people in the Iraqi government itself, the military, the public security, the civil community organizations, the parliament and the city counsel who want the best for Iraq.
But this stupid chaos that is caused by the occupier is the reason Iraqis lost faith. Everyone is afraid of the other and distrust him.
The spread of corruption and the lack of clear system for rewarding and punishment that is applied by the government cause the collapse of moral system among people. If the bad and the thief are not punished, everyone becomes corrupted and a thief. Who would stop them?
Many of the political and party leaderships in Iraq have committed may trespasses and were accused of many corruption cases. They have become the role model.
The proverb says: if the shepherded is corrupted, the herd will be corrupted as well.
Of course, may funding agencies played a role in teaching Iraqis steeling and administrative corruption. They participated in merging the culture of steeling and monetary corruption. Many of these foreign funding agencies grant In-Kind fund.
What does that mean?
It means that you sign a contract with a funding agency pertaining certain amount of money. Not necessarily delivered to your hand. He will buy everything and keep the invoices. He will pay the expenses and you have no idea how much did he really spent?
There is a big chance of corruption for the funding agency itself. The poor organization that implements this project doesn’t have any choice to object or make them accountable
Who make those foreign funding agencies accountable? There is no clear mechanism till now. This gave them a big window of opportunity for corruption and monetary theft as if it is permissible to do this in Iraq and that Iraq is without laws or punishment.
I have a last observation that caught my attention: Iraqi men and women who are working with foreign organizations for a long time have been deprived or their independent personalities and from their ability to think, analyze because it upsets their superiors.
The western organizations like people who don’t argue the instructions and don’t criticize. This certainly applies to military and public security. It means the foreigner mentality doesn’t tolerate any argument from a civil employee. Would they give a soldier a chance to argue their plans?
This is the mentality of the occupier even if he was working through a civil community organization. He thinks that he is much smarter and wiser in all aspects.
According to American reports of the war on Iraq, the initial budget should’ve been according to Bush’s suggestion between 50 to 60 billion dollars only. Last week, American newspapers announced that this war cost more 3 trillion dollars. They are withdrawing their forces from Iraq now pretending that they have achieved victory. In truth, they destroyed Iraq and made it a lifeless and burnt land with unknown future.
They destroyed the economy of America, Europe and most of the world’s countries by fighting this war.
There are still American leaders who lie to their American people and claim that they achieved victory and democracy in Iraq. I haven’t see such liars and fools in my life?
What are the poor American people going to do?
Can they stop their madness and prevent them from going through another war against Iran for example?
Everything is possible. This the history of America and this is its’ way of living,
Destroying other nations and stealing their wealth so that capitalism survives.
They tell their media that they are heroes and nation liberators. And they are the biggest liars and thieves.
They are the invaders and they are the destruction. This is their sole trait that they can be proud of, if anything is worth being proud of.
There is a big difference between those who build civilizations and those who corrupt, destroy and demolish
Peace be upon you…

Sunday, September 19, 2010


The Sad Story of Iraq is Endless....

Friday 10 September 2010

Peace be upon you

I apologize for not writing for months as I was busy due to work and traveling. Working is much enjoyable than talking, but experiments and experiences must be documented from time to time hoping that it may be useful to people. I have been observing people and their behavior during my visits to Iraq in the past months, during my work with local and foreign organizations, and during my meetings with all range of people from simple and poor people to parliament representatives, ministers, civil social organization activists, merchants, and businessmen, to employees at government, private sector, and funding international organization, even people at Baghdad airport while waiting for hours for the departing flight.
I wished then that I was a writer like Chekhov, the old Russian writer whom I used to like his style of describing people and their funny behavior, but the hard work consumed most of my time, effort and thoughts and left me little time for contemplate and write a novel!
I finished my one year studies on conflict transformation and peace building on post war communities “Peace-building and Conflict Transformation”. When I returned few months ago, I started looking at everything with scrutiny and tried to analyze things and understand what is happening on earth. My five year absence from Iraq is helping me see the obvious difference. Most of the things deteriorated. I like to remember one positive thing that happened, but I cannot recall it now. May be I will remember it later.
I started to see the characteristics of post war communities in Iraq now after five years away from Iraq. The destruction of the country’s infrastructure is very obvious as well as its need to rebuild water, sewer, electricity, streets, transportation, and communication systems.
The damage of agriculture, industry and water systems resulted in the collapse of Iraq that was subjected to illegal robbing by its neighbors. Iraq now is like an ailing man who is getting robbed by his greedy neighbors and ungrateful children.
Iraq’s wealth such as oil is still a mystery case for which details are still unknown. What is the daily produce of Iraqi oil? Where does the oil money go? What are the terms of the contracts with foreign companies? Who guarantees the right in Iraqi oil in such a chaos that the country is going through?
No one knows. These are hidden secrets and people are repeating rumors here and there.
Of course, in the absences of transparency and real democracy, people live in a world of misconceptions and rumors because they are the only alternative…
Now, Iraq has a weak and failure political system that is based on sectarianism, ethnicity and partisanship. There is no real loyalty to the nation. The army and security systems are also penetrated due to sectarianism quota as well. Where should the soldiers’ loyalty go? Should it be for the Nation or for their Party and ethnic leaders? What is the authority granted for Iraqi politicians in the government, parliament, military and public security?
Do they have a real authorization or is it limited while real authority is in the hand of the occupying force?
The neighboring countries’ interference in the formation of the government is very obvious. Six months have passed without a government in Iraq because the matter wasn’t in the hand of Iraqi’s. The neighboring countries decide who would be the prime minister, the president and the Parliament president. This is called regional balancing and it happens when a country collapses such as in Lebanon after 15 year of civil war. Till now, Lebanon is a weak country while neighboring countries interfere in deciding the formation of a new government there…
Therefore, what is the value of elections in a country like Iraq now?
European and American organizations spent 22 million dollars in Iraq for an election awareness program. I will not talk about the steeling and corruption that took place in this program. All the Iraqi organizations that took part in this program complained about the corruption of fund granting agencies. They had a local organization sign on a certain amount and delivered one third of that amount. To whom shall they complain? To whom shall they submit a corruption report? The defender is the robber. The fund granting agency steels the fund.
Anyway, what was the result of the spent 22 million dollar? After six months of election, Iraq is still without a government. Is the problem due to lack of awareness about election on the part of Iraqis? Or is it because Iraqi politicians were lost in the spin of splitting shares and the balance of power with neighboring countries?
All the dreams of Iraqis disappeared, same as the disappearance of the 22 million dollars…
This is a small example of the mockery that happens inside Iraq, what is hidden might be even greater as the proverb says…
I then observed the damaged social infrastructure including social relationships among people or extended family members, and the lost of identity among the youth. People are becoming more materialistic and hard hearted. Everyone thinks of himself. There is the phenomenon of street kids, addictions, female trade in addition to financial and administrative corruption which is becoming a public characteristic…
The country doesn’t have the culture of rewarding and punishment, instead there is tremendous chaos. No one punishes the thief while honest straight living people are starving to death. Therefore people’s conceptions have been shaken. It is clear that there is a need for a strong country with strong laws to be applied on everyone. Iraq is still without a law…
The country lives in political, social, economical, security and military chaos. Everything is penetrated and broken. Nothing is held together…
The humanity of those who live in such communities is crushed and they feel deeply lost and sad. They also lose the meaning of things…
Such people decide for themselves about what to do…
Shall he become a thief and a liar?
Shall he become an opportunist and a hypocrite?
Or shall he stand still and hold on principles?
This is a difficult decision to make given the absence of a country and a law. People shall choose for themselves. Off course the system of values and morals collapses in this chaos…
Poverty, ignorance, and illiteracy have increased noticeably in Iraq
The number of widowed women has also noticeably increased, but there isn’t any clear system of how to deal with them or meet their needs.
There are thousands of abandoned families. The country has not yet found a final solution for that phenomenon.
Sectors and parties take advantage of such war victims during elections. They give them blankets and food with the condition that they elect them, which means that they base their victory on the suffering of their fellow citizens.
A human can be a noble creature or a low greedy creep. Wars and crises reveal the real faces without make up or masks…
The spread of Cancer in Iraq is becoming like flue in other countries. The hospitals in Iraq receive new Cancer patients every day, both children and adults. The spread of cancer is a frightening phenomenon in Iraq but no one is talking about it of course. The reason for this spreading is not only due to the occupation and the past wars, but also due to daily uranium filled explosions that pollute the atmosphere.
I noticed the deterioration of general education and religion. There is no commitment to the sophisticated morals of Islam. There is the moral of sectarianism, which I never liked. It segregates rather aggregates people, and narrows the human horizon causing him to hate people around him and become more hostile and rigid.
I remember that Gubran said once: Alas for a nation that abandons religion and followed sectarianism.
Indeed, Iraq entered a slippery and dangerous road since 2003. I always ask myself: would Iraq collapse hadn’t have been for occupation?
Isn’t what is going on in Iraq serves the interest of occupation to stay for indefinite period of time? It is as if Iraq lives through 1920 period. The neighboring countries are all developing and advancing. Even Iran, that is accused of being the country of Mullas and Ayatullah, have an economy, industry, agriculture and a nuclear energy generating factories! The rest of the Arab neighboring countries are growing and developing while we are the only country that is falling behind…
I always worry about the terminologies related to the fate and future of Iraq: Sovereignty and dependency.
How much sovereignty is left with us? And how far are we going to follow the occupier who is claiming to withdraw all its forces. Everyone knows that it is phony charade…
My heart bleeds for what is happening in Iraq, but I will always have hope. I am still convinced that the Iraq will rise again as long as there are honest men and women who believe, even if they are few and scattered here and there. The hypocrites outnumber the honest people and they are much more visible, but certainly God will grant victory to the believers…
Later on I will write more details
Today is the first day of Eid Al Fitr,
I wish you all a happy Eid,
In God’s willing, Next year, Iraq will be in better place than last years
I wish everyone all the best…
Peace be upon you

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