20 March 2004

Let us Rewind to Fast Forward: Wars, Facts, Half-Truths____Afghanistan to Iraq to ...

History was yesterday. Let's learn together together today, so we don't needlessly die tomorrow. Killing won't create the proper example for democracy to flourish. But we are here now, so what will we do with this moment? Allow for the status quo of the last several years to continue? Or learn that hearts and minds are more important than money, prestige, power...and geostrategic control of resources and land-masses. If you are Iraqi or Afghani, what is in your heart or mind at this moment? Are you inside Iraq or Afghanistan? If you're reading this, probably not. So this is directed at another audience. From some extremely hard-working and diligent members of that audience... So, this anniversary will not mark a moment of silence. But it will mark a moment of candor.

A friend of mine, a history professor at Stanford, researched with his Afghan-born associate at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C Atiq Sarwari and some of their findings were published in the Los Angeles Times. Here are two articles ripe for the reading.

First, "Afghanistan Hangs on a Thread" Los Angeles Times, 15 May 2003. This is a PDF, here's it in html.

Second, "Echoes of the Bad Old Days: A return to central rule in proposed constitution slights minorities" appeared on 14 December 2003". I was looking for it online...even on the Los Angeles Times website. Yet it's no where to be found (at least from my computer). So, here's a copy I made from the link I originally read on that day.

There, in those articles, is some sweat and tears from a very dear friend and his associate that I thought are important and extremely poignant and relevant to the moment, to Afghanistan, to Iraq, to both regions, and to the lives of each of us that are so luckily able to read these articles. They spell out some things that politicians and power-brokers don't want people to understand. Why? So in probably 50 years or so our kid's kids will understand it...??? WTF! Why can't we understand it NOW?

What is Afghanistan and what continues to happen there all about? It is truly shrouded in extreme mystery. Special Ops abound. Our proudest fighting machines. Or are they the Marines? Well, I'm slowly learning of an interesting rivalry of the two. It is kind of irrelevant to the point, though. What is Iraq and what continues to happen there all about? First, Iraq is no Afghanistan. And if people think it is, they will be sorely mistaken. Second, could we all agree on acheiving a better degree of transparency in matters of nation states and the workings of a few extremely powerful puppetmasters, especially concerning these two states? (Probably not...yea yea. BUT WHY NOT? Why are these things slipping into oblivion and nobody's counting? What is all this, "We don't do body counts" talk? That is like saying "we don't be human"..."we don't care" "we don't have mothers" "we don't have loved ones" "we don't exist" WE is really the key word here my friends.) So, is transparency a NEGATIVE or POSITIVE thing??? Is DUE PROCESS a NEGATIVE or POSTIVE THING? Is having prostitutes taunt Muslim men for information on an ISLAND in the Carribean the most bright thing at the moment...and in the interest of NATIONAL SECURITY? Is REVEALING JOSEPH WILSON'S WIFE'S NAME IN THE INTEREST OF NATIONAL SECURITY?


Is that too much to ask for? Will history ever be told with integrity? Or will people still believe that Iraq had something to do with what happened on 9/11? Will the record EVER be SET STRAIGHT?

Politics has very little to do with truth. But when you're on the ground and you see that things are not quite right, what do you do? Scream because you're a minority? Why not? Scream because you're a majority? Again, why not? Scream just to scream for somebody to hear you? Definitely yes. Will killing more solve anything? Definitely not if you respect the value of human life. Not if you value an Iraqi from any minority or the majority's life as much as you respect an American's life. Will propping up puppets of Iraqi and Afghani blood be in the best interest of each of these supposedly soveriegn states? Of course, there are people with very harmful agendas out there. And perhaps the puppets are good...but if you get rid of ONE DICTATOR, shouldn't you GET RID OF THEM ALL?...And then, what about nation states with harmful agendas that over extend and break the RULE OF LAW? Is rogue en vogue (for both nation-states and "non-state actors")? What is it about preserving one's life that makes us so fatalistic as to create negatives and then proceed to prove them in a stunningly crypto-fascist manner by bombing people that created writing and civilization into a so-called democracy? Somebody had to ask it. And why not an Iraqi-American? Who are Americans to say that we are democratic? Well, I can say these things and point out certain information. So, that is of truly great worth. But will I be seen as an enemy of the state for being frank with people in the democratic forum that is the internet by searching for facts that lead to more sanity in this world? What is it that makes the Patriot Act so Orwellian? Is this the Brave New World Huxley warned us of? Why do we invite it so willingly? (Indeed, I have many questions. And I want to preserve the right to keep on asking them. That is precisely why I am asking them...because I can.)

WHO IS ACCOUNTABLE? Read my lips...no new wars. Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what you can do for your community and the world.

I asked somebody that was in charge of Nike Hercules' (Nuclear Artillary Systems that lined the East Coast...it is no secret anymore) during the cold war about what he thought about the next 50-100 years. I ask him, "What will be the role of the nation-state and the idea of borders in the next 50 to 100 years? He said that there will either be very few or we'll be back in the dark ages. Now what does that tell you? It tells you just one person's idea...one person that had his finger on a button that could have led to a very warm war indeed. A person who's only job was to protect the borders of the United States against Soviet agression.

Well...I suggest if anybody would like to have a life, to be indifferent to injustices.

BUT to be accepting and to be passive are two totally different things.

Which are you?

And what do you think about that same question? Yes, I'm asking you.

I love Tiger Woods.

Borders? Bring em' down like Tiger did. I love to hear him destroy other golfers on the golf course...and he doesn't hurt anybody.

We need to defend ourselves, but will our "defense" lead to our destruction?

Again, somebody has to ask these things. So, I'm asking.

19 March 2004

30 Journalists Walking Out of the Room Powell Walks Into in Iraq


This anniversary means nothing when you cannot walk down the street at night in your neighborhood.


If there's to be a success in Iraq

The war profiteers Chalabi and his associates that pushed the war in the Pentagon must be kicked out. They are not making the situation better. In other words, if they stick around, Iraq, Iraqis, and the region are in serious trouble. But America doesn't really care about the region as long as the oil flows at a higher rate each day. The day the interim constitution was signed the oil levels in iraq were reported to have reached pre-war levels. Which headline is more important to the western world? Of course, the latter. But OIL is a finite source of energy to be exploited for major profit by hallibOrton and other non-bid winning contractors...tho many oil fields are "unexploited"...I believe it's such a peculiar word to use when referring to Iraq in any manner. UNEXPLOITED???

I hate to be all gloom and doom. But what is true is true. Like "Sam" (Salem) Chalabi told my sister in London that she should "go back to America...that [she] will never make it in London." Well, "Sam" needs to go back to London, because he'll never make it in Iraq. My sister DID make it in London, though... dirt on my shoe, you.... ....but "Sam", his Uncle, and cheney, wolfy, rummy, and anaconda's war made London less safe. (What a deliberate and willing tool you are.) Who could deny that but the slickster puppet mouth Tony Blair? Livingstone might tell a different story...Mr. Mayor? Joining Labour or what?

Then you say you gave Iraqis liberation? You are not from Iraq "Sam". and you were one of the "principle writers of the interim constitution" that does nothing but say Book'rah (tomorrow) to everything. We know there'll be tomorrow at this rate. Where's liberation? I cannot even call my family in Baghdad yet. I know I know, the BBC poll...but what about the Pew Research Center poll? Isn't that the guage for the current admin?

The real scare is when all the SYMBOLS of saddam are destroyed and Iraqis look for and find a different source of their current troubles. What will become the most hated symbols, then? And what will be inflicted on these symbols, be them animated(human) or unanimated(objects)?

18 March 2004

Times like these need some (Emile) Habiby

His novel, "The Secret Life of Saeed: The Pessoptimist"

Let us be bent on happiness and survival. Let us rise up together and be true to ourselves. He died in 1998, but with him...not the hope for a better future in the Arab World. That was when I was very troubled by what Clinton was doing in Iraq (Sudan style bombings). Let us all be pessoptimists...and discover ourselves. Discover how to speak out. How to help one another. How to unite. How to turn from collaborator to a true countrymen and women. Let us make collaboration a clean word again. Let there be some peace, please...for God's sake. It's so easy for me to sit from here and say this...but we must work together. But we must travel this road and learn together, too. Laysh? Ya Laysh? min Iraa' le Philustine? Why do we continue to be manipulated by outside forces? I think we must learn this road together and refuse to be accepted as second class citizens of this world. When ihath says, "Don't Shoot...I have another story to tell you." I echo that sentiment. Iraqi bloggers are all bridges...priveleged people. Some bridges are more stable than others ( possibly interpreted, if you like to think of the architecture of a bridge, that some have family on the other side (in Iraq mostly) that we worry about constantly and some don't.) Of course, if we have family in Iraq we are more worried. Funny how LOGIC works. So... Where does self-interest lie? Does self interest lie? (harhar) Of course. Let us put that aside and become naive and innocent, once more, like Saeed. Let us be PESSOPTIMISTS that survive and be happy in the end.


Rocket or Car?

US military says Car. Iraqis say a missile.

US vs IRAQ Is this what will bring security? NO. Reconciliation will...and there needs to be a supplement of truth in order to acheive that goal.


does the U.S. take Iraqis for idiots, or is just me? ...Oh, it's that American VS Rest of the World Audience thing. PSYOPSPECIAL part two coming up.


17 March 2004

Karrada: The location of my family's first home in Baghdad...my grandparents' home

So, we have this now. The streets my father walked on when he was my current age. This is the latest site of another terrible tragedy. Will it stop? And when it stops, will it have been worth it? I hope so.

Democracy in Iraq is an Idea...and only exists as one at the moment.
Just Like Palestine as a state is an Idea...and will probably remain so for our lifetimes.

Sorry, my cynicism is palpable at the moment. I feel naive one second, and completely aware the next. But those two things I am certain of at this moment.


Anybody care to answer the question?

I urge those who don't like the propoganda their being fed anywhere you are to CREATE YOUR OWN PROPAGANDA.




That's just one example. We must use our voices. STOP BEING SO PASSIVE PEOPLE!!! WHAT IS DEMOCRACY ABOUT? PASSIVITY? NO!



L to the L
16 March 2004

Who is accountable?

A PsyOps Special Production.

I believe if Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today he would ask, "Who is accountable?" So, that's what I'm asking...I initially wanted to do a better production, but time is short. These are some images. I apologize to all those who have a slow connection...many many images.

I am happy and honored to have met Fayrouz and her Texan/Chilean husband. What an interesting and adorable couple. I've never seen such a large beer in my life. We had a very fun time...I learned a lot of new things about a lot of different topics I couldn't have imagined existed before. Then I went to our family friend's house who are Iranian, IN TEXAS, and met an amazing man of 98 years old who still exercises and translates books from English to Persian and from Persian to Spanish. Another beautiful family! One of my father's best friend is an Iranian surgeon (that escaped the current regime in Iran) who actually served in the Navy Reserves. I ended up talking to his 98 year old uncle (that says he's "27") for hours...and he showed me the 4 books he translated in the last 3 years...and recommended others that he was translating. I was enamoured by his vitality. Fayrouz' husband and he had interesting commonalities...wow, when I think of it. Fascinating and overwhelming day to say the least.

So, indeed, my sister is married to a Texan Republican from a fine family. I love his family so much. His grandfather is such a gracious man. I only wish to approach his stature and kindness. My sis' husband seems suspect of me (or maybe he was just tired because of not sleeping for the first 10 days from baby girl being born)...he seems suspect because our politics are practically opposite. But it makes for interesting conversation that leads to nowhere...always. That's okay though.

They got married a month after 9/11 happened. They were in love. You can't stop love. And I love him for loving my sister. My sister was of course against the war...and they had many arguments because of it. Why was she against it? Because we had so much family smack in the middle of Baghdad. LOGIC, U know? But it is an insane trip into another reality being around them now that I have such a beautiful neice. Talking politics is almost out of the question. I'm so lucky when I come to think of it. But I want to make it easy for her to understand who she is...unlike myself who went through quite difficult times in my life because of all the wars and sanctions I've seen in person or witnessed on TV. Talk about psychological warfare and identity crises. I don't want my neice to see such times. I want her to be proud of who she is at all times. And I'll make sure she will be. I bought her a really cute white dress with purple flowers on it with a matching sweater, pants, and socks...oh and a hat. I love her so so much. I could go on and on about her! She is a bridge, really. And such a cute & delicate bridge at that...but with love and Mommy's food she's going to be a strong girl! And for the record, I would like to announce the following: My approximately 40 family members in Iraq, from my father's side, are Assyrian Orthodox. We are Christians. Old-School Christians. YES, INDEED, THERE ARE CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ!!! AND WE ROCK! But most of our friends ( U SEE, we are a minority) are Muslims. There is a whole stigma thing between Iraqi Christians and Muslims still...and I want to bust that up into peices so that Iraqi Christians will not all FLEE Iraq. That would be an absolute travesty. I firmly believe it is avoidable. But it will be extremely difficult. We must join hands with our Muslim (SHIA AND SUNNI), Turkoman, and Kurdish brothers and sisters.

And I don't think Fayrouz and I disagree on everything. That is my point of view, at least. I think she believes Chalabi is the "worst" (if I'm using your words correctly, Fay)... Let me know if I'm mistaken. I'll correct it on here if you like. (I probably wouldn't have had the gaul to meet with Fayrouz if we didn't have some views in common. And it was a mutual decision to meet. We were both full well in control of meeting with one another!!! It wasn't just your decision...see we're arguing still. LOL ) This is interesting now, tho...Two Iraqi bloggers meeting. It was a fascinating experience.

And Fayrouz is right...Iraqis are a special breed. We are a great people with a special sense or something. I don't think "craziness" is a good word to use in any combination tho, LOL. We have been through a lot. And that affects us and makes us very sceptical and cautious of others, even outside Iraq. We do maintain our sense of culture even when we leave Iraq. And it is there even if we haven't lived in Iraq our whole lives--if you're lucky enough to have the means and the love from family or spouse relations to maintain this sense of honor and dignity. Honor is essential for Iraqis. And if you turn on one, it can be tricky or easy like Fay said. Usually, it works out. That is encouraging. Fayrouz has been through a lot and fortunately doesn't have family in Iraq (again, correct me if I'm wrong). And, me, like I said... I have a lot of family still in Iraq. So I must remain anonymous...I don't care how easy it is to track me down. If you can be 1 percent more cautious, than I prefer that...And plus it is my duty to my father because he is concerned. And this is a part of Iraqi honor. I almost told my father today, after he got very concerned about my blog again, that I would stop doing it completely (this was during Fay and I's disagreement). I have no choice but to uphold the honor toward my father and mother as much as I can. Sidenote: It's always heart-warming to see NIPR.MIL coming to this blog and bakazay everyday. Welcome! How are you guys/gals??? :)

Again, for emphasis and so people get to know my family a bit better...I want everybody to know that I am Christian (well, from a Christian family...I am, at the moment, a philosopher and cultural theorist, tho) and there are a lot of Christians (especially in south Iraq) being tormented since the Invasion. My family is Christian...they are in danger and in more danger each day. The INC is not N-I-C-E to anybody though...and it seems they don't discriminate between any ethnicity or religion. Free Iraqi Forces??? Isn't that what they call chalabi's army? Please people...they are a para-militaries. And whomever calls what is going on a liberation is wrong at this point. Until there is security there is no liberation. And democracy in Iraq? Don't make me puke. Dream on for the time being. But dialogue is the first ongoing step in a long and painful process. We absolutely cannot stop communicating with one another. We are extremely priveleged to speak out on the Internet. But I hope this empowers other Iraqis, Iraqi-Americans, Iraqi-Canadians, Iraqi-Australians, Iraqi-New Zealanders, and Iraqis that have been displaced or harmed to SPEAK OUT. Tell your story. I'm slowly learning how to blog. And I will tell you mine.

So this is an ode to all those PsyOps Warriors, including the archetype Rummy. We love you baby.

15 March 2004

I have some fascinating encounters to blog about, but I am so tired...so, I say this...

I do not endorse this silly joke of a temporary constitution. It will serve only to divide. I've read most of it now...and, please please please.

What fool's gold for the expat slime balls. They will grab for it. But because they are such slime, it will slip from their grasp.
And I'm not saying they will not get what the power they tickle each other for illegitamately.

Because they most probably will. Let's be realistic. When u got rummy in the rear payin you up to the tune of 340,000 clams a month and still saying they will find wmd (or plant them...that what the "officeof special plans" means to most iraqis, to be blunt)...you're willingly on the side of using iraq as an experiment for future warfare. the Lebanese expt. failed miserably...so now they have a flat city with a bunch of doors to knock on.

But they have no clue what kind of deep shit they r in if they don't reconcile the military mindset with the cultural sensitivities.

click left for video

what's so funny??? hm?

and this is just politics...ha. duugin cheb ya chalabi


13 March 2004

Robert Fisk's latest report & A Story I was Afraid to Tell

Click here to read it. Integrate and streamline for knowledge to spread faster and with more ease.
The anniversary approaches.

God bless those in Spain...my thoughts and my mentor from my higher education are with you at this terrifying moment. I hope they are all right...I'm so frightened for them because they're schedule coincided with these tragic events. I have yet to hear from any body in Spain. Bless you from the bottom of my heart...and from all my family.


A Story I was afraid to tell (i repost it here for those that dont want to click again to bakazay):

My Cousin >THANK GOD< Missed Being A Casualty of the UN bombing by minutes BECAUSE Women have lost their RIGHTS in IRAQ
She needed an escort each day to work for Mr. de Mello. Ergo, with emphasis, she had to leave work a bit early each day with an escort because it was too dangerous for her without a male relative or friend to drive her home. So she was saved because she lost her rights. Does that blow your mind? It still blows my mind. The year anniversary is approaching...and so are many problems that many wish to ignore in these dynamic times. U tell me something good that is happening in Iraq and I can tell you 5-10 things bad that are happening as a direct result of this war without an end. Now, what we do is crucial to how the situation in Iraq and the world at-large either improves or deteriorates. God bless those in Spain that have suffered...God bless their families and friends too. Why? Did it have to be this way? And why do ridiculous and avoidable mistakes continue to be made? Do I have the right as an American and a deeply concerned Iraqi to ask these questions? We must speak out. We must tell our stories. Or else we are nothing...we fade away into history similar, in a way, like the Japanese at the Internment Camps. But they never had the chance to so quickly state their case and tell their stories. We are marginal and meaningless when divided. When united, our voice may be a beacon of light to empower Iraqis to actively seek a brighter future one day at a time...for security, for peace. So, to accomplish this we must be efficient and willing to sacrifice some time, some peice of mind, and take care of our loved ones at all costs necessary.

I was speaking with my dear brother today and he asked me what was the percentage of the population of Spain that were on the street protesting. We came up with a rough number of 15-25 percent, between 6-12 million people out of just over 40 million people. We both said we want and wish the same percentage of people to go out on to the streets in a non-violent manner and protest this war without an end, here, in the US. That would be roughly 40-75 million people. We laugh at each other in frustration. But then part each other with words of encouragement. And encouragement is all I shall ever offer anybody that will tell THEIR story. Make no mistake, my dear friends. Tell YOUR story. Furor scribendi!!! LOVE PEOPLE not places. DO NOT just love what you can GET OUT of people or places.
10 March 2004

Close Encounters With the Slimey Kind : I had no idea until today.

Story time: (here's an outline, will finish in prose later...I just cannot believe it and I got to get this up on the blog.)

My sister N. is an extremely intelligent and ambitious Iraqi woman that has degrees, both law and business graduate degrees, coming from some of the best schools in the world. She met with Salem "Sam" Chalabi because of a Clifford Ch. connection through a friend of the family (who is not Iraqi,) so that she may possibly work for this Firm...one of the biggest and most reknown in the world. Now, it gets personal. Turns out he ("Sam" Chalabi) treats my sister like shit from the very first moment he meets her. This is, of course, still a subjective account of his treatment of her. But there is specific empirical evidence that I may point to that shows beyond a doubt that the guy is a complete asshole. And nobody treats my sister like this...I don't care who it is. Yes yes, I am an over-protective Iraqi brother. Mind you, I wish no harm upon anybody. That is not the manner to solve such situations. But he better apologize to my sister for being such an asshole. But, of course, I doubt that will ever happen...unless his home freezes over. Boy oh Boy do I have a mouthful more to say about this first-hand account of such a self-righteous asswipe. In time, my friends...in time...I just found this out today.

I'll flesh out the story later. But for now...that lifts a bit of the burden of this entirely new news off of me.
09 March 2004

what a foolish chalabi...& sistani...euuufffff ya irani!

Check this article out. (also a hlink below)

It's about time the mainstream press grabs onto the hypocrisy and actually writes soemthing about it.

Chalabi wants to be "everybody's man" because that's the only way he'll have an iota of power after sovereignty is "transferred"....uhm'ah bih'ain'OH!!! What a power-hungry butt-muncher. heeheeeeee....Reminds me of Gollum, not Smeagol mind you. Only the Gollum side of that creature.

And the Pentagon seems to still like him that way. Even after all the uproar about his role in providing "evidence" of WMD. Their own little willing-scapegoat, insatiably power-hungry, Iraqi ex-pat that has a nephew that's opened up business with Douglas Feith in Iraq already. (Beside (Salem, that is) being one of the principle writers of the interim constitution who walked out of the signing of it after women got their rights back and sistani objected (?) --but Sistani did for other reasons, I know I know. [anyway...pardon me, but really, what the hell is going on?]--remember that name Salem Chalabi--Google him if you have the time.) This guardian article by Brian Whitaker includes some good background of what I speak of above. Imagine the Likud party in Israel and what I like to call the Chalabites in Iraq. A match made in... well, depending upon what perspective you have....

Here's the slate article again. And here's a Newsday article that has some more information for you, my Habibis.


L to the L
07 March 2004

The Brzezinski Factor

Zbigniew Brzezinski was the national security advisor for President Carter. That aside, the man wrote a compelling book called "The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives" that I recommend for anybody to check out. There are excerpts of it all over the place online. Google it. It verges upon prophecy at times. But it's intelligently written and ominous. Not to mention it was a book that was put on some sort of "watch-list" to see who would check it out of libraries in the US. A friend and I read this book in 1998...you could imagine, if you've read it, what I'm talking about when I say it is ominous. At the time, though, we photocopied the entire book because we didn't want our precccccious (heehee) US gov. to know we knew what was in it. You see, we were visionary revolutionaries or idealistic youths...either or. harhar matey! Or better yet, casting bad conotations aside, visionary youths. Now Brzezinski has contributed to the NY Times, tomorrow's edition, 8 March 2004 with a peice called, "The Wrong Way to Sell Democracy to the Arab World" It's worth a read...(click!)

Torshe, as for who did it?...who knows. confusion seems deliberately rampant. my gut tells me something smells funny, but my heart tells me that worse things may approach yet...and this is but a normal step in an already sick situation. I'm blunt mitil imm'i...what can i say. my brain...well, my brain is just filled with too much information regarding the incident. dissemination underway...brain working like the hourglass on the screen. i hate that.

and just to make this clear. i am a very spiritual person...but particular religion (systems) slow down my ability to render my thoughts discernable to others in a manageable, coherent, and dignified way...and, it's a matter of my age I think. I'm not mature enough to just say, "oh yea, the One God...He is Him...and All..." I say, for instance, why cant He be a She? Why does He have to have long hair and look like that? I must question everything....And so, right now, I'm a philosopher and I will remain one until I get "born-again", God speaks to me, or something like that...seriously. I'm being serious...religion makes things simple and more cumbersome at the same time. I greatly admire those with faith in any monotheistic religion...or any religion for that matter (that believes in good, honor, dignity, and things of this nature). My family are many of these wonderful people. But I'm too curious to resign to any particular religion. I do enjoy the Assyrian Orthodox mass that i grew up with...the remarkable chanting in Aramaic, Latin and Arabic, the traditions are so vivid and beautiful...what fabulous spectacles that send chills down my spine just thinking about! And finally, I do believe in something greater...and this always keeps hope alive in me. And that something greater cannot be articulated as a person living on earth. So, Bush, Cheney, Feith, Perle, Ken Lay, Martha Stewart, Michael Jackson, and even the Pope (pardon me to all the Catholics reading this)...NO, sorry. they are not greater than you or I. In the event God exists...(lets assume this)...He or She or It is everywhere. God touches everything...and He/She/It neither leaves a single soul behind....nor nothing out. I repeat, God is everywhere.

ominscience and omnipotence...is that what God is about or only part of what God is about? Answer me this. Isn't this too simple-minded? or is it just me? I know...big question that must meet many interpretations, but try to answer it as in exercise in your faith. And of course, I'll be most interested to hear your replies. Email me.


small advice: celebrate difference! do not make it a point to divide peoples...brothers should NOT kill brothers as they did in Lebanon. We must avoid this type of situation at all costs.

L to the L
06 March 2004

So who did it ?

I’ve been watching fingers pointing at every direction, some ppl blame it at the “Resistance”, but who are the resistance, are they Iraqis, are they foreign fighters, at this point I don’t know. Some ppl say its American/Israeli made, to drive the county in to civil war dilemma, so that they can control the resource of Iraq, The funnies on of all this is a post I read saying that its Kuwaiti hands that planned and executed this.

Now lets look at it. Why would the American/Israeli want to drive county to civil war. If civil war started I don’t think anybody can control anything any more, and that means no oil, “knowing that the oil pipes are being sabotaged at this point and there is not civil war yet” and its not only oil, how about the market and everything else, which means that no money in return for all the spending to this war. On the other hand I’ve been hearing about the assassination of the academics, now this is scary and this is a different story.

Resistance or foreign fighters. Al Zarqawi this is a name that comes to lights recently. I personally don’t think Iraqi will kill other Iraqis, I really find this hard to believe. We all know what is happening in Faloga for example, that I believe, I’ve heard that they are carrying the pictures of saddam over there, am sure they don’t want him back, and the only reason that they are doing this is to piss the Occupation forces. Which take us back to foreign fighters, finally after 1 year the American figured it out , WE NEED TO SECURE THE BOARDERS, Iraq is an arena now, “that’s how I sees it” everybody want to come and punish the American in, so yes I do believe that the bombing at Karbala and A’thamia was made by foreign hands to drive the county to civil war and thus makes it un controllable which will make the occupying forces life un bearable and so ours.

Now to the funnies one, Kuwaiti did the bombing , but why would they want to do that, what are they going to benefit by doing this, this one still confuses me cause I person who gave this info didn’t mention anything else, and the source was a closet connection to someone who works inside the Ministry of interior affairs. ”yeah right”.

Me personally, I think it’s a foreign hands, I don’t see the America/Israeli would start a civil war and thus another Afghanistan and thus another environment for another organization, similar to Al Qaida.

That’s all I just wanted to share the confusing with u guys.


OKAY OKAY, I'm the OVER-REACTOR...leave me alone.

Salam is fine.

And me...ha! I was writing, "God be with you"....me of all people. But, I was honestly scared...and when you see the terrible events unfold in the ever-over-dramatized manner as they were on Arab and Western media...well, you can't help but fear the worst.

Those of you who wrote...thank you. I'm sure Salam appreciates it. (I can't guarantee that tho! lol :) )

Sounds like Kerbala was an amazing experience...and my father tells me so many stories about that place....don't start me.

So all is well...I'll try to cross post this to Bakazay, but for now....Salam is fine. And we are thankful.




SMELL THAT SMELL....oooo IT'S MOM'S COOKING. Yella, I'm hungry...ciao,
04 March 2004

This is not a laughing matter or a witty palindrome: Where is Salam?

Many in the Iraqi Blogosphere are extremely concerned about Salam, his family, their whereabouts and well-being. Email me to pass along well-wishes to his friends in the Iraqi Blogosphere and to others that know him. Frankly, I'm freaked out about what has happened. The consequences of this horrific day have yet to resonate across Iraq and the region. And so, I hope both Salam and his kin are safe and in good health. Because many of us knew, River and I...and many many others, according to a post he wrote that he would be making the trip to Karbala with his family this year. So...email me. I will later post these emails on the Agora and my blog, bakazay. We want to know where Salam and his family is and how they are doing as soon as possible.

Ma'ah salaam,
24 February 2004

History in Reverse: The Appeal of Blogging

A dear friend of mine says, "We should teach history in reverse." When I first hear him say this I am studying both western and eastern classical authors, dead white male philosophers, and newer ideas in academia like post-colonial studies (which could be banned from being taught in the U.S.---more on that later perhaps) and woman studies. I was (and am still) a person intermingling and finding the associations between the hard sciences and the social sciences. So, it makes sense.

Being a person who has been able to reflect on my own past, study ancient and modern history, while studying, experiencing, and reflecting on modernity(the times we live in today)...I agree and immediately feel like this must be applied somehow. Teach history in reverse. Makes sense. If we're going to save ourselves from ourselves, one way we might be able to do it is by teaching history in reverse. This deserves some adumbration(-by yours truly-) and attention by those who've never thought of the idea before.

That is why I am attracted to blogs and blogging. In many cases, you essentially see history in reverse when you go to a person's blog. This is a very powerful mechanism that changes the manner in which time is perceived both by the viewer and the writer. Contextually, it's quite complex. But just stepping back from context, and thinking about time and space (i.e. chronotope, which is context), it is a beautiful thing. (I could rephrase this as, "But just stepping back from context, and thinking about context, it is a beautiful thing.")

The question I have for those in the blog, if anybody is still there (I don't mind talking to a wall, but I like talking to people better), is the following: How can we first understand that "power" in this mechanism--blogging--better, then harness it for a creative and free means of expression that will lead perhaps some people to understand other perspectives and connect dots that have thus far remained unconnected?...yet should not be! (in my opinion)

Another question:

Should there be dots that remain unconnected in (((((current)))))) chronotope? There is this argument, but...morelater,

22 February 2004


So, I got a quote, too!

“What we are watching today, I believe, is a culmination of 10-15 years of mounting barbarism of the American culture the world over, crowned by the achievements of science and technology as a major weapon of mass destruction. We are witnessing manhunts and wanton killing of the type and scale not seen since the raids on American Indian populations, by a superior technological power of inferior culture and values. We see no corrective force to restore the insanity, the self-righteousness and the lack of respect for human life (civilian and military) of another race. Science cannot stay neutral, especially after it has been so cynically used in the hands of the inspectors to disarm a country and prepare it for decimation by laser guided cluster bombs. No, science of the American variety has no recourse. I, personally, cannot see myself anymore sharing a common human community with American science. Unfortunately, I also belong to a culture of similar spiritual deviation (Israel), and which seems to be equally incorrigible.”

--Eminent physicist Dr. Daniel Amit, University di Roma, serving his notice of his refusal to review US colleagues’ papers, 9 April 2003



(The word “Terrorist” seemed totally inappropriate. It is a term too frequently applied by people to certain other and serves only the shore up there own prejudices. ‘Some terrorist wear pin-striped suits, they hide there terrorism behind institutions and law or social regulations that have more to do with control than liberation. This terror maintains the status quo and power brokerage in the hands of a select few. Democracy has become a myth-word. It has a magical quality. One has only to speak it and people bow down to it and worship it without knowing there own surrender.)

I was reading a book and I found this piece of paragraph in it really interesting, I thought it would be nice to share it.
21 February 2004


Mark my word...

Check Sistani, der speigel interview...(if anybody wants links, I'll provide them when I have the chance...) [i.e. if there are riots and killing in the streets of iraq's cities in september and october, bush doesn't get elected. and honestly, i've always thought (besides one or two moments of hope) that he would be re-elected. but now...very interesting.]

Certain Iraqi voices around me mutter that they will kill Sistani. BUT that would be the most foolish thing to do...esp. if the U.S. is worried about Iran. (THEY SHOULD BE GUARDING HIM.) What they had in IRAN on 20 FEBRUARY were NOT legitimate democratic elections. What Sistani wants is just that, DIRECT ELECTIONS...one wo/man, one vote. But he also wants the UN to be involved, passing a resolution making the process more legitimate to Iraqis and the world community. Calling on Sharia, is a new one for him. So what's the result? Sistani is beating the USA at its own game...politics.

Isn't it all so ironic??? An invading force (USA), occupies a place (IRAQ), then the people of that place(IRAQ) have the power to decide who stays in power in the place (USA) that invaded that other place(IRAQ) to begin with. One breath...in........ out........ WHY DOES DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ THREATEN THE US?



So that's why they want to have a "lunar space station" and go to Mars! Silliness. Har Har to the futurists...who do you believe?

Got to a CPU and was somehow inspired.

Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us

· Secret report warns of rioting and nuclear war
· Britain will be 'Siberian' in less than 20 years
· Threat to the world is greater than terrorism

Mark Townsend and Paul Harris in New York
Sunday February 22, 2004
The Observer

Who are we kidding, tho? We knew (well, some of us perhaps knew) it was gonna happen. But this soon? Oh come on! I wanted to be alive long enough to be able to afford a 20 foot plasma television. Damn it!

Should one believe the Pentagon? In an odd way, it is alarming...don't you think. (that is indeed a statement)

But come on really, we've got problems enough.


20 February 2004


I couldn't sleep, so I had to get this off my chest before I leave for a while. Also, I was feeling quite depressed because of certain events taking form and (what seems like) so little action and the quality of information I am seeing used and consumed by Americans...but now since I've been energized by new news, I'm very hopeful. Anyhow, one of my fellow Iraqi bloggers emailed me about this in a very thoughtful and concerned manner in what amounted to the following idea expressed. All Iraqis think they are right. It is something I would like to just state, first. And then perhaps hear what anybody has to say about the topic...or "fact"...! :)

Also, I plan on making more jokes if I continue blogging. Beware. Laughter is one of those tools we must use at all times. My spirits are high now. All Iraqis should celebrate their correct-ness today. I commend you all for being right-on-the-money at all times! GOOD JOB!

With that, I'll leave you alone to ponder.

Love over Fear.

17 February 2004

15 February 2004

ALERT: A Television COUP D'ETAT...THIS IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT...stay tuned for further information.


UPDATE: Possibly a mild over-reaction. I don't regret it, though. The program will be shown in one of my readers' area at 3am NOT "IN THE THREE TOWNS only," just to CORRECT THAT...I apologise for this. But it is only scheduled on WNET in New York at 1 a.m. February 16. Also on WETA in Washinbtgon, D.C. at 12 p.m. Feb 15 and 10 p.m. Feb 17. Thank you to the reader of Bakazay that sent me this information. Also, thank you for the reader who said, "You are correct that some stations which air Frontline apparently do not plan to air this particular program (I believe one is WHUT in D.C. which lists Beyond Baghdad as online only)."

Another reader reported that it was shown in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
And another reader also said it was shown in Humboldt County, CA at 9pm on Thursday. The next post I will try and put every PBS station that showed the program during a "primetime" slot. We will get to the bottom of this...again, I do not regret over-reacting. And I want as much of the truth out as possible. Perhaps this happened for a reason. I will be more cautious next time. I am very concerned about such matters, though. I know my sincerity will not go un-noticed, at least.

This information needs to reach as many people as possible. I've already written to River and Salam about mentioning it or linking to it...and I cannot stress the importance that all of their readers know about this...let's see what happens. It is again, Frontline:BEYOND BAGHDAD You can see it on the internet . The possible confirmation of my initial fears made me even more upset, at the time. I am going to find out more about what stations are playing the program during primetime hours, like I said. I want the truth out. Keep reading this post. Watch the program. People need to get this information immediately.

And I will find out if you could call this a black-out.


coup d'état
- n. (kü-dA-'tä)-a sudden and decisive exercise of force in politics;
especially the overthrow of a government by a small group of persons
in positions of authority. [French - literally, a "blow to the state"]

Happy VD! here's an anti-VD site to send e-cards to all your loved ones....

Now I'm going to describe to you what I call a "Public TV Coup D'etat"...There's this program that I respect very much that PBS (Public Broadcast Service) produces called Frontline. Normally, it is broadcast first on Television (all public TV stations across the US), then sometimes they move it to an online version. An archive of all the former Frontline programs that are now online can be found here.

Now, I know today is Valentine's Day and Al Hurra was just launched in Virginia and the Prez is in alotta hot water over his poor performance on the Oval Office interview with Tim Russert...but this program, Beyond Baghdad, went straight to the internet. That's like a big Hollywood movie going straight to video as far as I'm concerned. Now let me explain why.

This program that had producers Martin Smith and Marcela Gaviria risking their lives visiting Mosul, Hawija, Suleimaniya, Kirkuk, Tikrit, Baquba, Baghdad, Fallujah, Kufa, Najaf, Shatrah, and finally Nasiriyah did not get the public screening it deserved. And I'm upset about it. They were in Iraq traveling for five weeks from November 12th until the day of Saddam's capture. I think they found out a couple of interesting things about Iraq and its people that certain people in positions of power in the US didn't want to be broadcast on Public TV. Many americans cannot afford cable TV anymore, so this was a dangerous program. Bush would have lost a few votes if this program saw TV-time. Check it out yourself and be the judge. Luckily, those who have internet connections (low or high band) can see it from anywhere. I recommend checking it out if you don't believe me. You will see it in six segments of 5-10 min (in either Real Video or Windows Media).

Damage control are the key words in the oval office these days. The last thing they need is the de facto governor of Baquba, a woman US commander, Leitentant S.G., saying...we "ran out" of money.

(From a segment of the show, Beyond Baghdad, below.)
Martin Smith, one producer notes in this section. "We had come here at a critical time. It has not been widely reported, but in October reconstruction money, so important to winning hearts and minds, dried up."

Click here for a low-bandwidth version of that... (Approximately, 2:03 minutes into this 12:47 minute clip)

" 'Hello, hi there,' Lt. SG says she ran out of money (Martin Smith speaking) while trying to set up a police force. 'What happened was initially (Lt. SG speaking) when we arrived here we used coalition money, and then, you know at some point, you know, it ran out. And honestly, for a few months, we were really at a stand-still. I couldn't get weapons. I couldn't get uniforms. Patrol cars...I have a couple of police stations that only had one patrol car. ...we cannot really work on public works if we don't have the security to protect the workers that are there. We can ask all the contractors in the world to come out and build a sewege line and everything else, but you know what, someone can come right behind them throw a couple RPGs at it, and what'ayou have? We need the security first in order to allow the civilian contractors to get out and do their job." (Aproximately, 3:36 into 12:47 min. clip)

LOW BAND, click.

And the "mayor" of Fallujah, who "says he is pro-American," (according to Martin Smith) says (in translation from Arabic) "Most Americans have a military mindset. They don't bother to know or learn about our culture or customs. They have a misinterpretation of Iraqis. When somebody kicks down a door to search a house, does he expect to be loved? (the mayor smiling...). (approximately, 7:54 into 12:47 minute clip)

I checked and re-checked our local public TV website for the time they would show Frontline: Beyond Baghdad...but there was no sign of it on the schedule. I wondered why because, again, it is not usual for the program to go directly to the internet. Then I quickly used deductive reasoning and figured there could be only a few reasons why they are not broadcasting this to over 100 million (probably closer to 200 million) homes. 1) It is negative news about Iraq during the months of November and December, which were supposidly high times, esp. after Saddam was caught. So this would basically confirm things were NOT doing well in Iraq, when they were in fact NOT doing well...while the likes of, (insert one White House or Pentagon high cabinet official's name here), in the Bush Administration continued to say they were making great progress as they were fighting off Howard Dean's position (who in turn woke up the Democratic party with the unfortunate help of REAL tragedies occuring in Iraq). Facts and reality are tough pills for most Americans to swallow. But I believe that once swallowed, there is a great chance of swaying an enormously powerful sleeping giant in the spirit of what is good: American Public Thought.

Then Saddam was caught. And the Bush administration's position was saved. But only temporarily. Honestly, I was initially shocked and melancholic. Unbelievable. "Arrested" ??? Yet I was happy in the strangest possible way and uniquely affected when I first believed it was true. I don't even think "happy" is the right word, because I knew it would have no bearing on the terrible ground situation. Even so, I wanted to share the moment with my father. It was a historical water-shed moment.

Let me tell you how I found out. I was online (it was early early in the morning) when I saw what I thought were rumors on a Iranian Kurdish news web site...I translated it into english. (I first saw it as "Breaking News" on the BBC...u know, when there's no story. So I Googled it, found the exact news site it derived from. I can even supply you with these initial discoveries, because being Iraqi and a organisational and information freak...I've kept records of them) So, I first sat back and thought, this is most probably a double. Then I double checked another Kurdish site...and it starting to sink in...it seemed to be real. I was beside myself, pacing back and forth. I assumed I woke up my father because I was making more noise than usual...and Iraqis can be very suggestive when they get over-excited. (It's a personality trait of mine.) Besides, I was being loud in the middle of the morning, and that's not too respectable in my family. Anyway, I approached my parents' bedroom...and he was snoring so LOUD!!! OMG! (FACT: My Dad snores so loud...it is like an airplane in the room.) I thought to myself...he shouldn't lose any of this excellent sleeping over such a trifle. So, I left a note at the foor of his doorway for him saying "They arrested him. -son" I did not sleep that night. A few hours later my dad comes up to me in a daze. I was glad I didn't wake him. He rested so well. (U know, I admire people who sleep well...so so much. I'm a terrible insomniac.) We hugged and made some extremely funny jokes that I will not mention. Meanwhile, BBC streamed on the internet while the Arabic whispers of a female Al-Jazeera anchor floated in audibly from the other room. My dad was shocked and asking me ten questions a minute. I responded like a robot. My mom slept. We remained in this state of shock-question-response-internet/Tv-media-absorption until we smelled the "gah'weh"...(coffee) My dad and I drank "Chai"...(tea)

Basically, this was the Coup the Bush Administration needed (and I'm not saying it wasn't a good thing in and of itself), but this was the event that I thought--at that point in time--was enough for Bush to ride-out on and win re-election. And so, while I was so oddly and violently happy (not like bjork tho). To be completely frank, I was perversely freaked out. I was weary of Howard Dean very early on...but I commend him for waking up half the country. Now, bye bye baby. Wisconsin, Shminsconson.

So it helped Bush and co. tremendously at the time...Bush's approval rating shot up and suddenly the war was justified. And Dean looked like a hippy. This powerful symbol of "rogue-state," "smoking gun as a mushroom cloud," "WMD," "spit-in-the-face-of-American" (though invented by America) was wrapped in American justice and even given both a medical exam and clean shave (and let him hold onto what little bit of manhood he had left, the moustache). How kind. (This was actually one of the most humiliating things to do to this person...and it satisfied many people, while it left many Arabs, even Iraqis, kind of astonishingly impotent. While many would not admit it...it was a clear slap in the face of Arab pride, whatever that is. So, it was an odd event that I felt very oddly about...because immediately I knew what the reactions would be. And that is the capture of Saddam, while intrinsically good, was going to be an event representing nothing that is close to reality and make matters seem peachy-keen on the surface in Iraq (to the American populous) while they are actually get much worse (underneath the surface). We all have to look underneath the surface at some point.

BTW, Mr. Bremer, when you said "We got em!" that was a phrase that completely backfired on you. I must be blunt. Very unintelligent...and directed at an American audience. You would have made things better for American troops and the Iraqi people if you had let an Iraqi announce his capture. That's my opinion. And it is pretty much a no-brainer.

What would have happened if this program Frontline: Beyond Baghdad had aired on public TV, as it was meant to have been? That is my question. You tell me. Email me, right now. Click the orange writing here.

I think once you lie, you have to cover it with another lie, then that lie gets bigger and bigger but nobody notices or cares because they are too comfortable with their narrow minds. Until somebody has the backbone to reveal the truth, like Daniel Ellsberg did during Vietnam, there will be one huge lie that is backed up by consistent white-washing and continued, sometimes self-inflicted, delusion to facts.

America Today = "Brain-wash....then, Brain-rinse." -KRS-ONE said it.



"Bremer Opens Iraq Human Rights Ministry" (AP)

And... What took so long? ___? We will NOT forget Amiriyah, 13 Febuary 1991.
10 February 2004

In the Cockpit of the B1 Stealth that bombed Al Mansur

Shameless Crossposting & addedums, edits:

It was supposed to be a "decapitation attack" to take out a bunker underneath Al-Sa'aa restaurant where Saddam or "the big one" was supposed to be at the time. Now, we all know for certain there was no such bunker. So, I'd first like to thank the Department of Defense for providing the transcript that includes an hour of questions from reporters while the pilots are still in the B1 Stealth Bomber.

Here is the link (of the hour of questions) to the B-1 Pilot Telephone Interviews on Tuesday, 08 April, 2003 at 10am.

Here are three excerpts. Click the link above if you want to read it all.

And so, we really didn't have time to reflect on anything until after the bomb run was done. And then coming off target myself, as I -- you know, I personally was never prouder to be in the Air Force, if actually this was the big one, which we thought it was, based on everything we heard. And everything went as advertised; the weapons came off. We knew we hit the target, because the weapon accuracy is -- it's going to hit within 40 feet. And so, as the weapons come off the jet, they're going to hit the target. So, not a lot of time to reflect. There was a lot of time to reflect on the two-hour drive back to our base, and at that time, again, just everybody's proud to be doing their job and making it happen.


Q: Colonel, good evening. It's Meredith Buel from Voice of America. You gave us a bit of a technical explanation as to exactly which bombs were dropped on the target in Baghdad at the beginning of the briefing. Would you be kind enough in layman's terms to describe which bombs you did drop on the target, in what sequence, and exactly what the desired effect was?

SWAN: Well, the -- I'm sure that the desired effect was to basically destroy the building, the target that we gave. And again, that goes back to somebody deciding that, you know, we want to minimize collateral damage, since it looked like it was in a suburb- type of an area. So by using a GBU-31 or Joint Direct Attack Munition, Version 3, which is the hard-target penetrator that would bury itself in farther before it exploded, which would minimize the collateral damage around the area, it will take out that particular structure, but it's going to minimize the fragmentation of the weapon and also the target itself into the outlying areas. And so that's why we used that weapon. And it's got a delay built into it so that it penetrates into the ground and then goes off.

Does that make sense?

Q: Yes it does, sir. How deeply does this generally penetrate prior to explosion?

SWAN: It depends on the type of soil or concrete that it's going into. But it's going to go, in rough terms, you know, 10, 20 feet, is probably a good average. And again, it depends on whether it's going through a runway or just going through soil.


Q: I was curious when you were discussing the JDAM before; in an urban setting, how do you approach your weapons loads for an urban setting? I mean, the 2,000-pound JDAM is not known for its utility in that area. I mean, do you really have to rely on the penetrator version for targeting?

K. Pilot: Well, first of all, I'd like to say I don't think anybody has really thought about using it in that kind of area, simply because the weapon is so large, and by nature we tend to think of using smaller weapons in that just because smaller weapons tend to give you less collateral damage. However, when you take the Version 3 of the JDAM, you actually cut the explosive weight of the weapon in about half, so now you've really got, you know, really what amounts to a 1,000-pound class weapon. And by making it a penetrator and delaying the explosion, you're putting the weapon down into the ground before it goes off. So you find that you limit your collateral damage radius when you use that type of weapon, so that it becomes a little more useful for the planners when they look into a dense environment.


It isn't the fault of these soldiers. They were doing their job, one could argue. But who is accountable, then, for all those people that died and were injured in Mansur because of these weapons of mass destruction that were dropped on a target that did not exist?

You tell me? I know many will just blame an "intelligence failure"...but for me, that is not sufficient. I want answers. And those families that had members of their families killed or injured in this attack NEED both answers and DESERVE compensation. But how can you really compensate for a death or the maiming of a loved one???

08 February 2004

Is it a Mall, Airport or a Prison ?

Here is the latest news I got from Iraq, one of them is really funny.

I was chatting with my cousin in Baghdad, He was filing me with the latest about the Situation, electricity, water, gas, and security. He said that to fill your car with gas there’s odds and even numbers and there is a certain days for odds car numbers and even car numbers, this is not the first time Iraqis had to deal with this sometime during Iraqi-Iran war, I can recall when exactly, and he said that its better now, meaning u don’t have to wait 12 ours to fill your tank. Security situations still bad, and I was asking just tell me one thing that is good, is there anything good, are they rebuilding or fixing anything and the answer was yes with not much details, he said they are fixing the Telephone exchange boxes and telephones are getting back slowly “good” and the reason that its not going fast cause they are scared, ok we understand that one. Now to the thing that I didn’t believe.

While I was talking to him he said “hey I ate Burger King Hamburger” and I said WHAT, where did get it from, he said I got it from the Airport,

No way, so this is the deal, they have a Burger King branch at the Airport with some other nice shops, so I guess the Airport is our First undeclared Mall, But I heard its like the Bad Prison, so now am confused,

By the way the :-() Baghdad Burger King is more expensive than the ones in the states.

19 March, 1917, Lieut. General Sir Stanley Maude's Oration shortly after British Forces captured Baghdad

To the People of Baghdad Vilayet:

In the name of my King, and in the name of the peoples over whom he rules, I address you as follow:-

Our military operations have as their object the defeat of the enemy, and the driving of him from these territories. In order to complete this task, I am charged with absolute and supreme control of all regions in which British troops operate; but our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators. Since the days of Halaka your city and your lands have been subject to the tyranny of strangers, your palaces have fallen into ruins, your gardens have sunk in desolation, and your forefathers and yourselves have groaned in bondage. Your sons have been carried off to wars not of your seeking, your wealth has been stripped from you by unjust men and squandered in distant places.

Since the days of Midhat, the Turks have talked of reforms, yet do not the ruins and wastes of today testify the vanity of those promises?

It is the wish not only of my King and his peoples, but it is also the wish of the great nations with whom he is in alliance, that you should prosper even as in the past, when your lands were fertile, when your ancestors gave to the world literature, science, and art, and when Baghdad city was one of the wonders of the world.

Between your people and the dominions of my King there has been a close bond of interest. For 200 years have the merchants of Baghdad and Great Britain traded together in mutual profit and friendship. On the other hand, the Germans and the Turks, who have despoiled you and yours, have for 20 years made Baghdad a centre of power from which to assail the power of the British and the Allies of the British in Persia and Arabia. Therefore the British Government cannot remain indifferent as to what takes place in your country now or in the future, for in duty to the interests of the British people and their Allies, the British Government cannot risk that being done in Baghdad again which has been done by the Turks and Germans during the war.

But you people of Baghdad, whose commercial prosperity and whose safety from oppression and invasion must ever be a matter of the closest concern to the British Government, are not to understand that it is the wish of the British Government to impose upon you alien institutions. It is the hope of the British Government that the aspirations of your philosophers and writers shall be realised and that once again the people of Baghdad shall flourish, enjoying their wealth and substance under institutions which are in consonance with their sacred laws and their racial ideals. In Hedjaz the Arabs have expelled the Turks and Germans who oppressed them and proclaimed the Sherif Hussein as their King, and his Lordship rules in independence and freedom, and is the ally of the nations who are fighting against the power of Turkey and Germany; so indeed are the noble Arabs, the Lords of Koweyt, Nejd, and Asir.

Many noble Arabs have perished in the cause of Arab freedom, at the hands of those alien rulers, the Turks, who oppressed them. It is the determination of the Government of Great Britain and the great Powers allied to Great Britain that these noble Arabs shall not have suffered in vain. It is the hope and desire of the British people and the nations in alliance with them that the Arab race may rise once more to greatness and renown among the peoples of the earth, and that it shall bind itself together to this end in unity and concord.

O people of Baghdad remember that for 26 generations you have suffered under strange tyrants who have ever endeavoured to set on Arab house against another in order that they might profit by your dissensions. This policy is abhorrent to Great Britain and her Allies, for there can be neither peace nor prosperity where there is enmity and misgovernment. Therefore I am commanded to invite you, through your nobles and elders and representatives, to participate in the management of your civil affairs in collaboration with the political representatives of Great Britain who accompany the British Army, so that you may be united with your kinsmen in North, East, South, and West in realising the aspirations of your race.

You can find another version provided by Harper's Magazine with additional resources and interesting timelines. Just click the picture above to go there.
06 February 2004

How Independent is an *Appointed* Iraq Intelligence Inquiry?

just wondering...
Co-Chair of Bush Panel Part of Far Right Network - inter press service
Bush to Pick Panel for WMD Inquiry, Official Says - CNN
Iraq Commission Could Pose Serious Threat to Bush - Reuters
September 11 Inquiry Could Become Election Embarrassment for Bush - Agence France Presse
...oops wrong post! Incidentally, a two month extension was graciously accepted by John McCain (Rep.) today...who will also be on the commission Bush is appointing that shall investigate Iraq Intelligence failures.

fyi . :
27 January 2004

Iraqis and fellow Arabs

I will be commenting on a subject that touches all of us. How the rest of the Arabic population feels about Iraqis right now. For some of you, it will be shocking. I’ve been watching this very closely, I’ve read comments that is so extreme, examples one of them said Iraq has 10.000.000 traitors thus “Shiea”, cause they are not fighting the occupation, Kurds deserve to be Gassed, cause they want to declare independency and Saddam was right when he hit them with chemical weapons. I even ppl how been through this personally, one of my friends who works in Dubai, he almost got fired cause he was going to fist fight with and Jordanian/Palestinian coworker who start calling him traitor with the rest of the Iraqi ppl who pulled down Saddam status in Baghdad the day Baghdad falls. Now here comes one of the bad parts, Rumors now said that most of the Arab fighters who came to defend Baghdad before the war started got shot in the “BACK” which means Iraqis killed them. Then comes the big blow, Iraqis throw Palestinians outside there homes. I heard some stories that I can’t tell how true they are, from friends in Baghdad about a Taxi driver who was carrying 2 Syrians, he stopped at a check point and told the police that he is carrying those 2 foreigners and they are planning an operation inside Baghdad and the police took them away.

Why is this happening, this is what I think why this is happening. Jordan is going to be the center of the attention, why? Simple, cause Jordan what the gate to get outside Iraq. Probably most of you know the situation of Iraqis in Jordan, or what is the rights that Iraqis has in Jordan, only 6 months of residency that’s all, your not allowed to work and stay longer than the 6 months that the government giving you, if you passed it then you have to pay 1.5 JD (Jordanian Dinar) for everyday after. I would say I was one of the fortunate to have a work permit and a yearly residency, but what is the percentage of the Iraqis that had the same opportunity, very few, I shared an apartment with 6 other guys, each on of them was working under cover, getting paid pennies, and they have to pay at least $500 - $800 every six months to leave and come back to get the hole next 6 months, but again Jordan is a poor county but there Dinar is a $1.5 dollar. We are human and emotions get into this political situation, “we are giving them cheep oil, we are buying there bad medicine, we are……, why cant they give us more rights, they come to iraq and they can do whatever they want too” but this is not how it works, there is a lot of deals behind the curtains.

It reached a point where Iraqis and fellow Arabs cussing at each others in the discussion forms, calling each others names. Ok I need a break now .

25 January 2004

Mark Fiore flash editorials

check it

UPDATE 17 FEB 2004:

Something to do with iraq...I predict that cheney is dumped (or "leaves the Vice Presidency for health reasons") by the Bushies...and is replaced by John McCain. That'll be like botox for Bush and co.

And they'll get re-elected.

How depressing.

24 January 2004

There is no one answer for Iraq -repost

I am getting too worked up. There is no one answer for Iraq. I only know what I feel. And I need to feel free to express myself these days.

My father came here and sought freedom and a better life for his family. He's done just that (But it's more complicated than just stating this). I am in the highest regard of him and the ideals and principles of freedom. We both feel like what is going on right now is not what should be happening.

I want to get him to join on this blog. But now I feel like I'm not free to speak out for what I feel...everything that is the best about a democracy and that is in the bill of rights turns to dust. and sure, while civil liberties for decent citizens from middle eastern countries seem simply nonexistent in the US, if not slowly disappearing... things are much worse in iraq and i must check myself.
Everything seems very odd to me lately. I just want truth to prevail. What silly idealism I still hold o n to, no?

I haven't got the support I expected...so, I...

I don't know.

There is not one answer and if anybody knows any of the possible answers, please give me a clue. As you can see, feeling a bit helpless, depressed. not thinking clearly. time is going to pass.

I feel sorry for all the families here and in Iraq that are suffering because of this... I wish there was something I could do to ease your pain. I want to avoid being selfish, but state what i'm feeling at themoment. why did it have to come to war to remove that bastard? I say, No, I do not feel safer here today because of it...nor do my family in Iraq. Where is Osama damnit?

I ahve cousins that say war was perhaps the only way to do it. Taht was several months ago, tho. I don't know...I think there is at least a RIGHT way to do something, even if it involves senseless death. And things that are happening now are not right. Being redundant...and re-posting...ugh! I gotta take a break.

I hope it gets going on the Agora. But I am going to sink back into some light,,hopefully, and see what happens in the meantime.

Props to the founders of this country like Thomas Paine who had some "Common Sense".

I recommend Thomas Paine's short book for a read. Click here for it or ABOVE. I hope we'll get OUR (meaning the WORLD's) Thomas Paines BACK.

23 January 2004

On Invading and Breaking Down

...and/or Being Broken Down by conditions beyond the grasp of what we call reality.

Does anybody see a ironic metaphorical parallel to the preventive war (i.e invasion) of Iraq, then the precipitous yet curiously consistent breakdown (i.e. lack of planning and intelligence in every sense of the word) of post-war Iraq after the supplanting of Saddam and the now unfolding invasion of Mars, with a "critical" breakdown?

Interestingly enough, "The Opportunity" is landing on Mars over the weekend and (from the reuters article linked to above) "PASADENA, Calif. (Reuters) - NASA engineers on Friday declared the crippled Martian rover Spirit to be in "critical" condition and said the vehicle would likely remain idle for several days or even weeks.

Meanwhile, the scientists geared up for the landing of a second robotic explorer, Opportunity, on Mars this weekend on the other side of the planet from the troubled Spirit."

So the spirit is "critical" and the opportunity is coming, yet it's too far away(Mars). Does this mean we're (i.e. americans and igc members) delaying the occupation of Mars? Or are we going to pass up the opportunity?

hm. funny.

I know "The Terminator" is governor of the fifth largest economy of the world, California. And the re-creation of the Reagan beat of the drum to the tune of a steeply more fundamental(-ISM), is growing more likely. 5 more years of flailing around in the yellow-muck-racking manners of an adeptly adapted "cultural theorist"-turned-politician is not my idea of a good time.

So, I would like to reluctantly announce I am withdrawing my name as a candidate for the sponsorship of the Democratic National Convention and withdraw from my post on the Interim Governing Council. I will hereforto retire from politics, reclining to the incumbent but I shall continue to serve the public sector in less rigorous forms from the corridors of power.

I shall, instead, focus on energy levels inside Iraq and Califownia, the census, and cutting military spending. I devote myself to these three efforts from here on out...and things of that nature. I now will expect handsome off-shore taxless cash rewards for bookdeals and lectures running in the tune of 75,000 dollars per. Email me if interested, and so on and so forth.

Ret. General Liminal Pericolo (look last sentence p. 214, chapter 6)


put the fundamental ideologies in the museum or linger on the brink of danger-- and consequently fear life-- for eternity...or at least for now.
what's the difference? ...who's asking? you? or am I asking you? Figure it out yourself.

Love over Fear

21 January 2004

Iraq Under Religious rule

Iraq Under Religious rule

As far as I remember Iraq was never under religious rule, we have bars “till Saddam” closed them, but he didn’t ban the selling of alcohol. We have nightclubs and all of use knows about Abu Nawas street.

The way am looking at the situation right now, I don’t think its heading to the right direction. It started with the family law, then you cant access the internet, then you cant have a satellite, and…. and…

I was actually very happy to hear that Iraqi women went to the streets requesting their rights.

Religion and politics should never be combined.

River Just wanted to thank you for the Sistany website.


P.S: Thanks

19 January 2004

On Sharia family law

Do we have to make this step backwards? I am still confused about it. Could anybody fill me in? On a somewhat separate yet related note: I have been checking out Sistani's website and it is pretty remarkable. It's well organised and in many different languages. Wow.

So, when and if this law takes effect (now or) in July (???) ...it makes completely no sense. How do you de-secularise a whole population overnight? Democracy must be a process or it will fail miserably.


after I posted the above (couple hrs later)...

Existing family laws vs Sharia Family Law (I'll try to find a more specific to Iraq Sharia family law asap...if anybody knows of one, please email me)

First Salam says this on the 16th and this on the 14th of January. and most recently, today, Salam says this.

Zeyad says this on the 14th of January.

River says this (!!!) today! I didn't realise you posted River! and this on 15 January.

Juan Cole says this on the 15th. and he say this on 14 January. and he says this on 10 January.

Ays says this on 16 January.

Ali says this on 17 Jan.

Fayrouz says this on 16 January.

Sapphireblue say this on 15 January. Many good Q%A parts on this comment blog.

Omar says something on 13 January (no archive link as of yet)

Deeds says something on 17 January (may have to scroll down a bit)

Mary says this on 16 January.

The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq says this on 14 January. Their objection to a Chalabi-ruled Iraq and how it would be like for women in such a state.

Christopher say this on 14 January and this on 15 January.

Tamsen says this on 16 January.

Nicholas and Charles say this on January 15 in Baghdad.

Roger says this on 15 January.

Conrad says this on 16 January.

Brad says this on 15 January.

Charlotte says this in an article on MSNBC "Iraqi women are fighting prejudice to regain the rights lost under Saddam--and to win themselves a say in rebuilding their country"

Pennywit says this on 16 January. "Who are we to ban Sharia?" (another pt. of view)

This is what the CPA says about Women in Iraq on 9 January.

Before the decision no. 173 was made "Iraqi Women Protest: 'Don't Leave Us Out'; Letter to Bremer Says Women Excluded from Government" 18 December

The entire letter to Bremer from 18 December and more on Women's rights.

Here will be articles about the new and old law:

Agence France Presse 13 January
Washington Post 15 January
Washington Post 16 January
AFF's Brainwash say this about the situation.
Azzaman (arabic, thanks Salam...didn't see it)

Websites about women's rights in Iraq:

Iraqi Women's Rights Coalition

Help Iraqi Women Fight for Their Rights! (pdf and contact info) A Call to Action flyer

A roll on Dept of State (& other U.S. government agencies) comments regarding the matter:

Taking Exception: Standing Up for Iraqi Women
Paula J. Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs
July 2, 2003 (A response to Elizabeth Goitein's May 24 op-ed, "Stand Up for Iraqi Women")
(Published in the Wash.Post)

More tomorrow...
17 January 2004


If you have any questions about making your post in color just email me.... and I'll help you out as much as I can.

Here's a good site...called ColerMatch Remix. Customize.

I'm figuring out slowly that I have a lot to learn about blogging. New members on their way.


Iraq, Palast, and the importance of context: Derivative? Means to an End? Or Both? Elections vs (S)elections

My apologies to everybody for my swath of posts that amounted to very little discussion...I took many of them down because they were irrelevent.

Approaching Hurria's Post: First off, thank you for your post...several important points, well taken. Now let me tell you my take on your points (one at a time, I hope) and engage in some discussion.

First, I'd like to hear what Palast said in its original context (I'm picky like that...I think context is vital, especially since you said he "stat[ed] unequivocally that the only reason American troops are on the ground in Iraq is to prevent elections" --quoting you. I agree with you in your next couple sentences that it is far from the only reason the troops are there, but I do not necessarily think "he was over-stating his case to the point of inaccuracy" (again, context is crucial here...without it, I wouldn't be able to tell you beyond a doubt what I really think). Now, this is why in all my cynicism (not pessimism, mind you...but the ancient form that is actually positive in nature).

Subtext: I'm not, by any means, trying to defend Palast, because (like you) I do agree such statements need some explanation in order to mean anything at all. But moreover, since I'm familiar with his past writings, I cannot imagine him oversimplifying the situation to such a degree (he is an investigative reporter)...like, say, Thomas Friedman does in the NY Times so often. While I do agree at times with what TF says, he is an oversimplifier or a tourist-journalist(What does everybody think of his War of Ideas series for instance?...Whereas, I see Greg Palast as an over-analyser or an investigative reporter (to both his credit and his detriment at times...so again, context creeps up on me when thinking about what you say. Without the original context, it's difficult to say exactly what he meant by 1) "unequivocally" if in fact he used that word...pretty powerful word I'd say 2) "the only reason" My first question to him would be "How so?"

Now to the meat of the matter. I basically agree with everything you said in your post. But framing it as Palast's mistake to say a certain thing that definitely needs more context and fluidity is a bit premature, I think. So, doesn't the whole plan of Bush and co. to make what Naomi Klein calls "The 500 Billion Dollar Fire Sale" rest on preventing elections and allowing them complete control (behind the scenes, tho we see it as in front of our face) to see who gets what and when?

Elections and the prevention of them is the pivot-point that people stare at and think laboriously about these days. Sistani's powers are unmistakable, but he has also been of great help in calming the Shia population during the occupation. Hence, Mullah Bremer's recently proclaimed "great respect" for Sistani. It is clear to me that the invasion and occupation was meant to bomb people into a democracy, while at the same time pay for itself and for those firms doing the reconstruction (with such close ties to the current US admin.) to profit off the over 30-40 years of suffering of the Iraqi people that was so ironically instigated by Western powers wanting to secure a certain natural resource from the, then, Soviet Republic . Because the Americans and British played it like they had no idea what would happen upon invading (I honestly believe, from time to time, that they knew this was going to be the case.), they have the ultimate scapegoat and slick profiteerer in Chalabi and the likes of him. There is history to confront here, in other words...and the British knows what happened in 1917 up through the years of them getting thrown out of Iraq. And then communism/socialism threatened the US, and the Baathists were effectively installed to avert cold war anxieties. There are so many details I'm leaving out, but you get my point. Conspiracy theories aside, there is actual evidence and lessons learned from history in the region that could have allowed them to predict (and WANT) the current situation to be as it is...in order, to say, give an excuse that there is not enough time to have elections. Just a thought, anyway.

I think this was all very calculated from PNAC beginning in 1998 with this letter, one could even say long before, (look pnac.info) to the rise of the likes of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney as the fundamentalist power brokers they are today. (BTW, I highly recommend the FRONTLINE series on Iraq, if you have highbandwidth or not...called, "Truth, War, and Consequences") A great program...if you have dial-up only there is a low-bandwidth version as you'll see. It may take a while to load, but it's well worth the wait.

To move on, I agree with you wholeheartedly Hurria, that the primary goal of Bush and co.'s "Iraq adventure is to completely reform and transform Iraq's society and institutions so that Iraq will serve their global political, military, and economic agenda." But how would they do that without making sure there is not an election at this time, while both you and I know there could be (because of the UN Food Distribution Program that serves as a good starting point at creating a census).

So, either they were deceived by Chalabi and the INC with what Cheney called "raw intelligence from defectors," (referring to Chalabi and INC sources that made everybody in the US believe that Saddam had nukes and tons of other WMD) or they were willingly deceived in order to carry out they're over-arching agenda in pursuing this inane metaphorical "War on Terrorism"...we all know that this is a war that cannot be won. NO metaphorical wars can be won...like the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, etc. It seems to me metaphorical wars are all pursued because of profit's sake...not, for instance, the sake of Democracy in Iraq.

I truly hope democracy is the end-result in Iraq. ((((It is a process that takes time, though.)))) But the way the current American Administration is framing it here in the US turns Iraq into "the frontline of the War on Terrorism" and it serves as a self-replicating false-pretext to placate the American opinion and allow Bush to say in this election year that the world is a safer place because of the war on Iraq and with Saddam in American custody, to eventually be tried by Iraqis (we presume). The Army War College begs to differ, though. Check out this report recently released by a visiting research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the Army War College, Professor Jeffrey Record. The report warns that the administration's global war on terrorism may have set the United States "on a course of open-ended and gratuitous conflict with states and non-state entities that pose no serious threat to the United States." Here's a shorter article that sums it up, too. (Sidenote: Now read this article by Le Carre in the Times, one year apart...and think about these two in retrospect) But as your final words in your post indicated...the possibility for a major revolt (and difficult chaotic times ahead) are becoming more likely. The Americans had no plan after uprooting Saddam and his thugs...whether this was intentional or not is speculative thinking (whether one likes it or not). What Palast said is merely a derivative and I think it deserves some more thought when put in context.

But each of us know that no matter what Bush and Co. (with the assistance of Karl Rove, chief neocon architect, especially) will do whatever it takes to secure their interests in Iraq and the region while controlling how the American public *perceive* is going on in Iraq. This is nothing new, of course. (For instance, the US administration banned all media from taking photos and video of formal memorial ceremonies at Dover Air Base of soldiers coming back to their families.) Whether that will be enough to stave off civil war and unrest remains to be seen. I am doubting more and more the current American admin. cares that much about the Iraqi people. And that will unequivocally be to their detriment. Throughout history Iraqis have been underestimated...and it just goes to show you that now, with all this talk about a Federal Iraq and dividing Iraqi along ethnic and religious lines is perhaps another apparatus (system) of control that this American administration wishes to implement to their benefit.

I doubt they will manage to do so. But for the sake of all my family and friends now in Baghdad and Iraq at-large, I hope they miraculously do cave in to the will of the Iraqi people or are FORCED to do so by the will of the Iraqi people before things get to much more out of control... The secular people that I know for a fact predominate the population.

This Shar'ia family law is a clear step in the opposite direction...a regression to past times and places, as River so emphatically states in her blog. She always heard about those lavish places with hi-wages, but was more than happy to be and Iraqi Muslim woman with her rights.

Don't get me started on that...the more I read about the change in law, the more it upsets me. I still need to deciminate all the information I'm getting on that in order to give a clear response. But it's forthcoming. And also, that "Thoughts on federalism" post I've been collating and thinking about is still on it's way.

What does ev'body think? I'm going to try to update/edit this post if there are points that seem incoherent...and put more links that will support and adumbrate my opinions further.

And Hurria, Thanks so much for your thoughtful post and picking up that UN World Food Program part...very important people know about this in relation to the census that could be done. And pardon me if I got defensive on the Palast thing...but I think there's more to it...and that perhaps he may have a point, even out of their context. But I understand what you mean when you say it damages his credibility...perhaps perception-wise (for those who don't think or act similarly to him...in other words, he could have a larger audience if he said things in a more tactful manner)....but maybe he has a point after all.

Raed made a potent post about just accepting Americans presence from here on out...why don't they just say it? if I recall it correctly...he's right, why don't they just come out and say certain things, "we're going to control who runs the government in our name," "we're going to control your oil, for x, y, and z reasons..." instead of going about it in a circuitious and frankly-lying-for-public-relations manner.

We should get Raed on the I-Agora TOO!!!