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Iraqi Expat

Monday, August 22, 2005

On a Break

Dear friends,
I am very sorry for disappearing without notice. It wasn't planned. I had to take a break. I needed the break because I got sick and tired of many things, and because I was - and I am still - preoccupied with some issues, among other reasons.

So I think I will stay away for a while until I clear my mind.

Thank you for all your messages, I am fine.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Sick and Tired

I am getting tired of this. Especially, from sick people who don't seem to have any self-respect or any sense of righteousness, people who praise and or defend animals like Saddam, and people who praise and or defend animals like the Baathists and Islamists who are fighting in Iraq and terrorising Iraqis to bring their fascist murderous regime back. Needless to say, that I am sick of the shameless lowlife Baathists and Islamists.

I am getting tired of all this; hence, I don't care anymore whether or not justice is served, I don't care anymore whether or not Saddam gets a fair trial and hanged; all I care about is that he dies, and with him dies all the shameless lowlife animals ("freedom fighters").

In my dictionary, there are no human rights for animals, there are only animal rights and these are for real animals; therefore, Saddam, his loyalist Baathists and terrorists, in Iraq and elsewhere, are entitled to one right only, the right to apologise and cry for forgiveness before being hanged. Apology will not be accepted and forgiveness will not be granted, of course.

Call me what you want, I don't care; but a human who does not treat other humans humanely, loses all his/her rights. That does not mean that all criminals have no rights, but wicked criminals who commit inhumane crimes have not rights.

During a tour in the Middle East, my favourite apologists for lowlife animals, Mr Galloway spoke!
Mr Galloway claimed the insurgents were ordinary Iraqis defending their country against "foreign invaders".

"It can be said, truly said, that the Iraqi resistance is not just defending Iraq. They are defending all the Arabs and they are defending all the people of the world against American hegemony."
It can be said, truly said, that your words are full of hate. Your contribution to Arab backwardness has been noted.

I have a serious concern, though; when did Galloway learn to speak like a Baathist? Was it Saddam or Tariq Aziz who taught him that? I mean, they really did a great job here.
In one speech, the MP said: "These poor Iraqis - ragged people, with their sandals, with their Kalashnikovs, with the lightest and most basic of weapons - are writing the names of their cities and towns in the stars, with 145 military operations every day, which has made the country ungovernable.
Ungovernable? Is that what you wish for, Mr Peace-loving-hateful-hypocrite? Or are you not a peace loving person and only participate in the stop the war protests because it serves your interests?

No to war, you said; but you are encouraging war and fighting now, you are praising the "fighters" and the killings of innocents or do you call them "collaborators"? Of course, that is the only way to bring your fascist friends back; but it will never happen!
"We don't know who they are, we don't know their names, we never saw their faces, they don't put up photographs of their martyrs, we don't know the names of their leaders."
Did he call them "martyrs"? Since when children murderers are "martyrs"? Man, this is making me sick. But, I believe peace-loving-hypocrites have their own logic, don't they?
He told Syrian Television: "Two of your beautiful daughters are in the hands of foreigners - Jerusalem and Baghdad.

"The foreigners are doing to your daughters as they will.

"The daughters are crying for help and the Arab world is silent. And some of them are collaborating with the rape of these two beautiful Arab daughters."
Inflammatory remarks, incitement of hatred and violence from an anti-war peace-loving-hypocrite, are you surprised?
Mr Galloway said Tony Blair's idea of a "war on terrorism" was absurd as terrorism was a tactic, not a strategy.

"It's not the Muslims who are sick. It's Bush and Blair and Berlusconi who are sick. It's not the Muslims who need to be cured. It's the imperialist countries that need to be cured."
I am sorry Mr Galloway, but you've got it exactly the other way around. You and your Muslim friends are sick and need to be cured. Look at the pictures here, and tell me it's not sick!

But then comes his disRespect party and says:
Mr Galloway's Respect party stresses that it and the Bethnal Green and Bow MP condemn suicide bombings, whether in London or the Middle East. Any loss of civilian life is profoundly wrong, says the party, but it blames the US-UK coalition for turning Iraq into a war zone by their invasion.
Really? Well, if Mr Galloway condemns suicide bombings and consider any loss of civilian life is profoundly wrong, why did he say all the above? Why the inflammatory remarks? Why is encouraging Arabs to go and fight in Iraq? Isn't he aware of what his "resistance" doing and how they kill civilians? What a despicable anti-war hypocrite!

Mr Galloway, you make me sick.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Go Iraq Go

Iraqi U16 Team won their first match against an British team from Oxfordshire, 3 - NIL, in the Arsenal International Soccer Festival.



Today they will play against another British team from Berkshire, wish them luck!

Update:
Iraqi U16 team lost the second match, 1 - 4, to Finchampstead. Tomorrow they will play a team from the States, and as long as they don't lose they will go to the quarterfinals.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Iraqi U16 Team Arrives in UK

Fifteen Iraqi youngsters arrived in the UK on 1st of August 2005 to take part in the annual Arsenal International Soccer Festival at the Royal Holloway in Surrey, England.
This is a great first for the annual Arsenal festival to receive an Iraqi team and the organisers were very impressed with the team's skills, overall technical ability and discipline.

This young team will face two British sides on Tuesday (2/8) and Wednesday (3/8) before playing against a team from the USA on Friday (5/8) and hopefully make it to the semi finals and finals on Sunday (7/8).
This is great, I am gonna have to go and see them. By the way, there is an error on that story, it reported that the team arrived on 31st of August!

Fixures and Results (Arsenal International Soccer Festival)

President Hussain hailed by Iraqi fans in Patra!

President? Hussain? hailed? Iraqi fans? Patra? WTF?

I couldn't resist not to laugh at this!

For those who don't know "President" Hussain Saeed; he was the captain of the Iraqi football team in the 80s, and he is currently the Iraqi Football Association President.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Fighting Terrorism

A must read recommendations of Arab reformists:
  • Europe Must Change its Lenient Treatment of Muslim Extremists
  • Incitement on the Internet Must Be Stopped
  • Arab Intellectuals Must Stop Speaking in Two Voices
  • The Terrorists Must Be Separated from Their Sympathizers
  • Muslims Must Denounce the Terrorists; The West Must Stop Being Naive
  • Muslims Must Ban Suicide Bombings for Moral Reasons
  • The Religious Institutions Must Take Practical Measures Against the Terrorists
  • The Muslims Must Form a New Religious Culture
  • The Silent Majority Must Speak Out Against the Terrorists
  • The War on Terrorism Requires Extensive Intellectual, Political and Educational Activity
[Hat Tip: Stefania]

Thursday, July 28, 2005

What a Nice Gathering

Stop the War Coalition:
Public Meeting - New Time 6.30pm
Thursday 4th August, Friends Meeting House, Euston. Speakers include George Galloway (MP), Jeremy Corbyn (MP), Tariq Ali, Shami Chakrabati, Lindsey German, Anas Al Tikriti.
What a nice name you've got, Anas? Where from Tikrit are you, exactly? Didn't your father go to school with Saddam, and spent three years in the same classroom? And your grandfather was the head teacher of that school, right?

Ah, but Anas says that Saddam is not his relatives! Never mind, now I feel much better about this "Stop the War" Coalition; I was worried you might be a relative!

Well, that might be called prejudice; but wait, there is more! Anas is the spokesman, and former president, of the Muslim Association of Britain (the Muslim Brotherhood of Britain)!

While talking about MAB, another member of this Islamic "peaceful" organisation that resides in Britain and supports the anti-War movement, Azzam Tamimi talked to Tim Sebastian on BBC HARDTalk, in November 2004! According to "Dr" Tamimi, killing Israelis indiscriminately is not murder, it is "struggle" and it is legitimate! And if he gets the chance he would blow himself up! [Interview text]

I feel like I am going to miss this meeting! What a lovely gathering, don't you think? I mean think about it, a Tikriti, an apologist for Saddam (George Galloway) and a bunch of terrorist supporters meeting to say stop the war!

Give me a break; at least have some decent people in there, otherwise you will not be taken seriously! I mean how do you expect to get respect? Ah, I forgot about Galloway's RESPECT party! They got that, so they don't need more respect!

Harry's Place has more on this.

By the way, I know few decent Tikritis; they are rare, but they do exist!

In Case of Emergency

This is a very good idea and can be adopted internationally.
East Anglian Ambulance Service have launched a national "In case of Emergency (ICE)" campaign with the support of Falklands war hero Simon Weston and in association with Vodafone's annual life savers award. The idea is that you store the word " I C E " in your mobile phone address book, and against it enter the number of the person you would want to be contacted "In Case of Emergency".

In an emergency situation ambulance and hospital staff will then be able to quickly find out who your next of kin are and be able to contact them. It's so simple that everyone can do it. Please do. Please will you also forward this to everybody in your address book, it won't take too many 'forwards' before everybody will know about this. It really could save your life.

For more than one contact name ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 etc
ICE Website
East Anglian Ambulance Website

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Glorification of Islam

Somehow when I read this, I remembered when Bill Gates and the Pope converted to Islam!

These things really makes me laugh, because they show not only stupidity, but also the need and desperation for proof and endorsement. It's like Muslims are trying to convince themselves and the world of something they have doubts about. Pathetic!

This is no better than the pitiful Sheikh who said Monkeys practice Islam!

Sharm Relief

Karim, Sandmonkey and Twosret have set up donations fund for the victims of Sharm al-Sheikh terrorist attacks through Pray4Peace.org. Go to SharmRelief.com to donate.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Saddam's Friends and Family Sell Him Out

I bet he thought they were loyal to him because he was the "great hero"! I am sure there are lowlife stupid shameless people who love Saddam and are loyal to him because they think he is the "great hero"; however, I am also sure that members of the rotten Baath regime only loved him and were loyal to him because of their shameless selfishness, greed for power and money, and fear of the devil.

So, after realising that Saddam is history and that they are history too; they are now trying to save themselves, wishful thinking! But never mind let them burn each other, I don't mind that at all.

The judge Raed Jouhi said that Tariq Aziz, Barzan al-Tikriti (Saddam’s half brother) and Ali Hassan al-Majid (Chemical Ali) have made statements that incriminate Saddam during preparations for the trial against him and former aides. Al-Majid said during a hearing that "he had done nothing without an order from Saddam Hussein himself”. [English source, Arabic source]

Jouhi also confirmed that the arrest warrant that he issued for Muqtada al-Sadr is still effective, and that al-Sadr is still wanted by the court for his involvement in the assassination of Abdul Majid al-Khoei in April 2003. [From the Arabic source]

Will they ever arrest al-Sadr? I doubt it!

Muslims, Terrorism and Conspiracy Theories

I am sure that UK Muslims feel under suspicion, I feel under suspicion; however, that article forgot to mention that Brits, including Muslims such as myself, feel unsafe around other Muslims.

I have met many Iraqi Muslim friends this weekend, and most of them expressed how uncomfortable they feel when they see a Muslim or an Asian in a bus or in a train. A friend of mine was in the tube last week when a bearded Muslim boarded that tube, and everyone, including my friend, felt unsafe. The bearded Muslim, suddenly, started yelling "Allah o Akbar" for no reason, and everyone in that carriage, including my friend, ran away from him.

Another friend got off a bus two stations before the destination and walked because there was a bearded Muslim on the bus and felt unsafe. There is a reason why Muslims feel under suspicion, you know?!

How would I know that the Muslim standing next to me in the bus is not a suicide bomber? How would the English person standing next to me in the bus know that I am not a suicide bomber? How would the police know that we are not suicide bombers? I wish there is an easy way to tell, but there isn't.

Recently I have been noticing a shift in blame! The "it's Americas fault" line is no longer being used, or at least it is not being used as much. But of course, the new line doesn't say it is our fault! As usual, it is someone else's fault and we are just a bunch of powerless, unfortunate victims, targeted by some conspiracy or another.

Yesterday, I was at a party with friends, and when the recent terrorist attacks in Egypt were mentioned, someone said "it's Israel". I was astonished, though I heard this line before. I heard that all terrorism is the creation of Israel! But unfortunately, I didn't hear the logical explanation behind it, yet.

Anyway, I asked why? And the answer was even more astonishing: Tourism! Israel wants to get the tourism revenue that Egypt is getting! Interesting. Apparently, the day before the attack, it was reported that Egypt have made $6 billions from tourism; and therefore, Israel attacked Sharm al-Sheikh the very next day.

That explains a lot, don't you think? I mean think about 9/11, Bali, Spain and London! I can see people falling for this. But to tell you the truth, I was speechless at the moment! I mean, what would you say to this? Well, I didn't have to say much; because the smile I saw on the faces reassured me that Israel will not cut off our oxygen because we are consuming too much of it!

But then someone else said what I've heard before, "it's all Israel"! Terrorism in Iraq is being orchestrated by Israel! And here is why: Because Israel does not want to see Iraq stable. But why? They just don't; it's part of their Zionist plan. Yeah, but how does that help them? It doesn't matter, they just hate Iraq; remember Babylon? Please, you've got to give me something solid, something more logical; but nope, there is none. Mind you, this person is pro-US!

So, while all our miseries are always the result of America's actions and inactions, terrorism is being orchestrated by Israel, and we are nothing but innocent, unfortunate victims who feel under suspicion for no justified reason and have no power to change the situation.

Oh God, please help us!

Short Update

I'm OK, thanks for asking. I'm sorry haven't posted the last few days. I didn't post or reply to emails because I was busy, not because I became famous I stopped posting :)

Anyway, I'm trying to catch up with what's been happening. I see that Karim, Sandmonkey, Big Pharaoh and others have been busy standing up to terrorists. Kudos to you my friends, I wish I was there with you, even though I am not Egyptian.

Karim launched the Pray4Peace web site last week, but this is still in its early stages.

Am sure you are well aware of the situation in London and the failed attacks, and the would-be suicide bombers who are still at large.

That's all for now, but will try to post more soon.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Quoted on the BBC

Mustapha's No to Terrorism banner and my post, Your Silence is Killing Me, made it to the BBC Website.

Friday, July 15, 2005

United Against Terror

Everyone should sign and link to the United Against Terror statement.
Terrorist attacks against Londoners on July 7th killed at least 54 people. The suicide bombers who struck in Netanya, Israel, on July 12 ended five lives, including two 16 year old girls. And on July 13, in Iraq, suicide bombers slaughtered 24 children. We stand in solidarity with all these strangers, hand holding hand, from London to Netanya to Baghdad: communities united against terror.
Muslim blogger,
Why the Muslims Againsts Terrorism sign is not on your blog, yet?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Your Silence is Killing Me

In the aftermath of the Terrorist attacks in London, there were mixed reactions in the Arab/Muslim blogosphere. Some were condemning and apologising, others were explaining how these terrorists are not Muslims, and their actions are un-Islamic; hence, there is no need to condemn and or apologise.

While I do believe that these terrorists are only Muslims by name and that their conduct is un-Islamic, there is a considerable number of Muslims who sympathise with these terrorists, are happy to see western countries suffer, and try to explain why these terrorists commit such crimes, in other words, try to justify terrorism.

We can not deny the fact that when the twin towers were hit, many Muslims celebrated in the streets. We can no deny that fact that many Muslims to this day consider suicide bombers in Israel and Iraq “freedom fighters”, even after all their barbaric and inhuman killings of innocent civilians and kidnappings. They killed and maimed children, for God’s sake; which is appalling and outrageous, and I offer my most sincere condolences to their families.

Many Muslims to this day believe that the elected Iraqi government – which is probably the most legitimate and democratic government in the region - is illegitimate, and instead consider the “resistance”, legitimate and noble. We can not deny that there are such Muslims and Imams who support these views, and even worse; but I don’t want to go there.

Disagreeing with these people and or explaining how they do not represent us is not going to change the fact that they do exist, and that their views and existence allowing the terrorists, who hijacked our religion, to spread their poison.

One of the things that you would notice once you walk the streets of London is that if you accidentally hit someone with your shoulder that person will instantly apologizes to you, even though it could’ve been your fault, and you will learn to do it too; whereas if the same happens in any Arab country you would end up in a fight, because neither will apologize. Do you think those Westerns don’t have pride and we do? No, it is our fake-pride, our unwillingness to apologize or admit mistakes and our unwillingness to accept responsibility. And when we make mistake, instead of apologizing, we try to explain why it happened; which makes matters worse.

Some long time ago I watched a program about entrepreneurs, who became millionaires, then lost almost everything, and then bounced back and became multimillionaires. It was very interesting to watch, and there were a team of experts analysing the entrepreneurs’ personality and skills. The last part of the program was the most interesting. Richard Block and David Quayle are the founders of the DIY retail chain B&Q. After leaving the business and collected a considerable amount of money, each of them started a new business. Both failed and lost, but one of them bounced back and became millionaire again; and the experts were asked to identify which one bounced back. After a serious of psychological and physical tests, they answered correctly. Quayle bounced back, but not Block who ended up working in a super market. They both started up different businesses and failed more than once; but the difference is that Quayle always knows when to leave the failing business and learn from his mistakes, while Block waits for the failing business to die and blames the economy, or the government, or the market.

Does this ring a bell? I say it is very much like the Arab Parallel Universe. Blaming others will not solve the problem, but instead it will make the problem worse. Arabs always have someone to blame, but never try to learn from the mistakes nor try to solve the problem.

Acknowledging one’s mistake or problem is half the solution. I have said before, like others including Friedman, that Terrorism is our problem and we have to solve it. We have to fix it. We have to stand up to those who hijacked our religion. Why are we unwilling to acknowledge that it is our problem? Why some think that we don’t have to show our opposition to the terrorists? Is it the fake-pride? What is it, because I don’t understand?

We don’t have to do it for the West, but for ourselves. We don’t have to do it to show Westerners that we are against terrorists, but to show the terrorists and their supporters that we are against them. We don’t have to do it to save the world, but to save ourselves.

Blair said today the "moderate and true voice of Islam" had to be mobilised. He told Muslim MPs "In the end, this can only be taken on and defeated by the community itself," while discussing how to tackle "this evil within the Muslim community".

Shahid Malik, Labour MP for Dewsbury, told the House of Commons the events represented "the most profound challenge yet faced by the British Muslim community". He said "condemnation is not enough and British Muslims must, and I believe are prepared to, confront the voices of evil head on".

This does not only concern Muslims in Britain; but everywhere in the world. This is the war of the 21st century and we have to fight it, we have to get our religion and identity back, we have to stand up to the terrorists and show them that we are against them. Iraqis are fighting these terrorists everyday, at least do it for the Iraqis and for Iraq, and show the terrorists that you are against them. Don’t pretend that it is not your problem, because if you do and the terrorists knock on your door, and they have done before, we will tell you it’s not our problem.

Show the terrorists and their supporters, that Muslims are against terrorism. Do you say that the majority of Muslims are against terrorism, against Bin Laden, against al-Qaeda, against Zarqawi, against killing innocents, against violence? Prove it. Prove it to the terrorists, show them that you are against them and against what they do.

Update:
Alykhan Velshi, a Muslim, said in an article in the National Review, "Choosing sides - the challenge for Muslims": [Hat Tip: Mark]
Sadly — dangerously — it is not uncommon for U.S. and British Muslim groups to be evasive when discussing the war on terror. Of course they’ll condemn individual terrorist attacks, though more out of sympathy for the victims and their families than out of a sense of solidarity with the West.
Sad and dangerous, indeed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Sheikh al-Azhar sides with the Iraqis

Grand Mufti of al-Azhar, Dr. Muhammad Sayid Tantawy, called for the Arab and International cooperative efforts to work for the stability of Iraq and to end the bloodshed before it results in a sectarian war. He asked the Iraqi government to attack, with an iron fist, those who participate in explosions against civilians, and he described these activites as "the worse form of mischief on earth".

Sheikh al-Azhar confirmed during his meeting with the Iraqi representative Abbas Fadhil al-Hassan that "anyone, who participates in the killing, explosion and sabotage activities that are happening on Iraq's land, is impossible to be Muslim, he is a saboteur; and stopping those mischievous is a must, and standing up to them is a legitimate duty." [Arabic report]

I think this is a very positive statement, especially coming from the highest Sunni authority in Egypt. My hope is that this will be followed by similar statements from Imams in other Arab and Muslim countries; and then maybe, Arabs and Muslims wake up and realise that the so called resistance is just a figment of their imagination. Or am I asking too much?

When I read it, I thought I thought this is big and it must've been reported somewhere; but I was wrong, I didn't find it in the MSM. However, someone did report it, guess who? Juan Cole! Yes, Mr Cole reported it; but read what he wrote, and tell me if it has the same meaning as to what I've translated above!
The Grand Imam of al-Azhar Seminary, Shaikh Muhammad Sayyid al-Tantawi --a preeminent Sunni religious and legal authority-- called the bombings in Iraq "the worst form of corruption in the land." The latter phrase is from the Quran. He called for Arab intervention to stop the country sliding into civil war.
Mr Cole, why did you translate only parts of it? What were your intentions by reporting it the way you did? You are not trying to twist the information, are you? Or is that how "informed" you are? Tsk!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Not In My Name

A candlelight vigil was held in front of the British Embassy in Bahrain to show solidarity with the British people, and to express rejection of the terror attacks in London. It was attended by over hundred people and there are some great pictures. [Hat Tip: Fayrouz]

Another vigil was held by 60 Jordanians outside the British Embassy in Jordan's capital, Amman, to protest at the London terror attacks and express solidarity with the British people. [Hat Tip: Natasha]
"We are here to say loudly 'no' to terrorism and to tell the world that Arabs and Jordanians are not terrorists and they condemn such acts," said Nidal Mansoor, head of local non-governmental organisation The Center to Protect Journalists.
This is great, and it says a lot. I am really glad I found this; however, I am a bit upset that these people and others didn't do something like this for the innocent Iraqis, nor did they show solidarity with them in any form, or did they? Especially the Jordanians, why didn't they? Or do they not think that what happens in Iraq is terrorism? Let's hope that they will realise that terrorism is terrorism, and it is barbaric and wrong no matter where it happens.

Muslims Against Terrorism

In the wake of the barbaric attacks on London, a couple of interesting ideas have been presented by fellow bloggers and commenters, and I see no reason why these ideas do not become one combined project.

Mustapha has designed the "No To Terrorism" side-bar banner that I placed under my profile. Some commenters, including myself, prefer to see no reference to Arabs on this banner; i.e. it should read "Moslems Against Terrorism".

Karim Elsahy has an interesting idea that would require some hard work and sponsorship to materialize:
Well here is an idea. It is actually something I've been working on for a while. It's called Pray 4 Peace (www.pray4peace.org, still under construction)

I want to specify a date and time (probably two years in the future) were everyone in the world would pray together (gama3ah) via real time video feeds. It would be a Muslim thing but anyone would be welcome and encouraged to join in. It would be held in front of every countries most recognizable monument.

Imagine millions, if not billions, of people praying in unity in front of the Eiffel Tower, The Mall, The Pyramids, the Great Wall, Pisa, and the Petronas Towers.

All from one voice in Mecca, all in harmony despite time zones, war zones or any other type of barrier. Carried out on every major network, joining billions.

World Solidarity as we pray for peace.
I would like to see both Mustapha and Karim working together, and working with the Free Muslims Coalition.

My idea is that while working towards Karim's goal, Mustapha's design can be used to produce pins, buttons, medals, posters, key holders, etc. to promote the project, show solidarity, raise public awareness and raise money to fund the project. I would also suggest wristbands, probably green, which are becoming quite popular.

The Free Muslims Coalition can become the main sponsor, organizer and promoter of the project working with Mustapha and Karim. The FMC can also attract sponsors for the project; but it has to extend its international activities to reach more Muslims around the world.

Any success in a project like that would be remarkable, even if it was only to show solidarity through pins, buttons and wristbands. What do you think?

Update:
Mustapha has created more banners, and these new banners don't say "Arabs and Moslems Against ..." but "Moslems Against...". He is also in process of producing PDFs for posters, but he needs help with hosting the PDFs.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Shame, Embarrassment, Time to Wake-Up

Yesterday I said "My family and I are ashamed of being Muslims". Many of you asked me not to be ashamed for obvious and logical reasons; however, I can't help it but feel ashamed.

I was more angry than ashamed when Arabs and Iraqis killed - and still kill - innocents in Iraq and sabotage Iraq's resources. I feel more anger because I expect the criminals to be ashamed even though they are shameless, and because they are attacking their own people which clearly show what kind of people they are.

I was ashamed when Muslims and Arabs committed the evil 9/11 attacks; I was even more ashamed when Muslims and Arabs celebrated these attacks in the streets. I despise them all.

I was ashamed because those murderers have stained our faith and heritage with dishonour. For similar reasons I was ashamed when Saddam was in power, he damaged the image of Iraq and Iraqis when he destroyed our country and committed mankind's most evil atrocities against his own people and against others.

Yesterday I was ashamed, because Muslims have attacked innocents in the country that has given to Muslims more than any other Muslim or non-Muslim country. I was ashamed because of the wickedness and ungratefulness of those who call themselves Muslims.

Jeff Pudewell described part of my problem very well in a private email, he said:
I was fascinated by the account of your feelings. I tried to imagine myself in your place. For example, if the terrorists claimed to be Christians, all Christendom would condemn them and do their best to find them and either kill them or prosecute them and send them to prison or execution. In that case, I would be proud to be a member of a faith which disciplined itself so sternly.

You would probably be proud of Islam as well, if Muslim politicians and community leaders were condemning them, Muslim police were hunting them down, and Muslim Imams were preaching against them every Friday.

So I guess that you are angry and disgusted with the Muslim faith not because a few fanatics bomb innocents in the name of Allah, but because the great mass of Muslims from Imams on down actually sympathize with the bombers and will neither condemn nor discipline them. Do I guess correctly? What is to be done about this?
Yes Jeff you are right, if Muslims were doing what you have said, I wouldn't be ashamed, or at least I would be less ashamed.

Today on my way to work I was listening to BBC radio five. A Muslim caller named Abdul said he was "sorry" for the victims, and then quickly jumped into attacking the security forces and called their methods and arrest of terrorism suspects as bullshit and not based on enough evidence. He was angry and he strongly condemned the police actions, yet he refused to condemn yesterday's attacks; he refused to say that those who died yesterday, died unjustly. He was "worried" that the Muslim community was being alienated! He thinks that the evidence, under which 2 or 3 Muslims from his area, who were held under the terrorism act, are flimsy.

I was so angry I didn't know what to do, I wanted to call radio five, but didn't have the number. People like Abdul shouldn't live in this country, they should be denaturalized and sent back to the shit-hole the came from.

I calmed down however, when I heard the Imam of Birmingham central mosque advices Muslim to full corporate with the authorities and to be proactive and inform the authorities of any suspicious activities. He asked Muslims to stand united with the rest of the country against terrorism.

And then Lyla, a Muslim female, said that she was embarrassed to leave her home, embarrassed to go shopping, because she wears hijab. She is embarrassed to be seen in a hijab after what "Muslims" did yesterday. I feel and understand exactly what she means, I felt the same thing because of my Middle Eastern look.

Muslims should be embarrassed and ashamed, not ungrateful, disgraceful and shameless like the criminals and like Abdul. Until Muslims stand strong and united with all humans of all faiths against terrorists, I will feel shame for some have brought that shame to our faith and heritage. I know these are extremists and minority and I have nothing to be ashamed of, but not all of their sympathisers are so extremists and not all Muslims are against those extremists. Hate is in the heart of many so called peaceful Muslims, and that is shameful.

This country and the rest of the free and democratic world must wake up and put a stop to fanatical Islamic organisations that promote terrorism, recruit terrorists and or simply sympathise with terrorists. Radicals who sympathise with terrorists must have no place in these countries and must either be sent back to the shit-hole they came from or sent to Gitmo. Organisations like al-Muhajiroun and Hizb ut-Tahrir, and people like Abu Hamza al-Masri and Omar Bakri should have no place in this country. Either that, or say goodbye to this way of life.

Did you know that terrorists are shameless disgusting parasites? Did you know that the scournful Hizb ut-Tahrir organised a protest in April in London against the anti-terror legislation and some (few) shameless Muslims actually participated? Did you know that extremist Muslims consider voting as un-Islamic and against the Muslim faith? I guess that explains a lot, doesn't it? But it doesn't explain why they live here! And some of them demonstrated against the Iraqi elections, all of whom are non-Iraqis!

For these reasons, I would like to see tougher laws, more anti-terrorism acts, arrests, denaturalisations, deportations, less freedom for religious organisations and more monitoring of these organisations. And I would love to see moderate Muslims, moderate Islamic organisations and Muslim countries to call for outlawing of radical organisation, to call for deportation or arrest of radical Muslims, and to fully and unequivocally support GWOT, and then I will be a proud Muslim.

At the moment and until then, I am a proud and grateful Iraqi who finds it hard to call himself a proud Muslim or a proud Arab; because many Muslims and Arabs are shamelessly ungrateful and disgraceful.

I will leave you with these lines that I've just received by email:
You come to place your bags of hate
On bus and train, you made us late
Yet we’ll be back again tomorrow
We’ll carry on despite our sorrow

Your bags of hate caused some to die
Yet we stride out strong with heads held high
You’ll never win, we will not bow
You can’t defeat us, you don’t know how

This London which we love with pride
Is a town where scum like you can’t hide
Don’t worry we will hunt you down
Then Lock you up in name of Crown

We’re London and we’re many races
Just look you’ll see our stoic faces
We all condemn your heinous act
You will not win and that’s a fact

We’ll mourn our dead and shed a tear
But we will not bow to acts of fear
You’re out there somewhere all alone
There’s nowhere now you can call home

Olympics ours we’ve won the race
Your timing then a real disgrace
Our strength you’ll find remains unbowed
We’re London and we’re very proud.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

State of Rage

First of all, I have to offer my deepest condolences to the families of the victims of today's coward and wicked attacks in London.

Today's attacks must - and they will - strengthen our commitment to defeat this barbaric hateful terrorism. We will not bow - I will never bow - to these despicable terrorists, even if my life depends on it. What happened to London today was an outrageous evil act by shameless criminals who, sadly, call themselves Muslims. Today, my family and I are ashamed of being Muslims.

I had, and still have, so many mixed feeling, but the most dominant feeling of all is rage. And to tell you the truth, I reached a point today when I hated Islam and all Muslims; I know this is irrational, but you get to a point that because of anger, all logic disappears. My father actually, in his irrational moment, said that the UK government must send every Muslim with a beard and every Imam living in the UK to Gitmo; I couldn't agree more with him in my irrational thoughts.

Fortunately I am fine, and so is my family and most of the people I know in London who I was able to reach either by SMS or phone. My uncle, who is a doctor, escaped one of the attacks by luck while on his way to the hospital; he called us and told us that he's fine and busy with casualties.

Thanks to all of you for your kind messages, I am overwhelmed by your kind support.

As for George Galloway and his scornful remarks today, I can not say more than what I have said before; you are despicable, you are no better than the animals who perpetrated these attacks and killed and harmed innocents indiscriminately.

God bless the brave people of London who helped so efficiently, professionally and courageously the victims and those involved in these barbaric attacks, my heart goes out to all of you and to all those involved.

Update:
I am still in shock. Seriously, I do not understand how people of any faith can attack those who provided them, and 100s of thousands if not millions others, with a safe haven? It is disgusting.

A very good friend of mine was lucky to escape the Kings Cross train bomb. He got off the train by mistake and decided to go for a fag. He then got into the train that didn't blow and missed the tragic train by 2 minutes. Others weren't so lucky.

Another good friend, who is a doctor, got back home from the hospital around 10:00 PM. The hospital was on red alert and the staff were not sure if the next shift will make it to the hospital or not, considering the state of public transport. Therefore, everyone in the hospital waited for a replacement to arrive before they left, and their replacements did arrive; don't ask me how. Those who are on-call made it to the hospital to let those who worked so hard today to go home and relax. That shows courage, professionalism and commitment.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The In T View

My interview with the brilliant Mister Ghost.

Monday, July 04, 2005

My Dear American Friends

Your forefathers have created a great nation for you and your children to live in. You must be very proud of what they - and your fellow countrymen and women - have achieved, and thankful for making sure that your children will have a future.

Cherish what you have, many people are willing to kill and die to have half of what you have, to be able to live the American dream, to make sure that their children will have a future. Your forefathers created a great nation, keep it great.

Happy 4th of July and God bless you.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Did you know?

That Saudi women, who are not allowed to drive, to vote, to go out with strange men or be seen with strange men, whom the government is planning to employ, buy their lingerie from strange salesmen!

Yes, they buy their underwear from men! That would include asking strangers for different types of underwear in different sizes and colours! Oh come on, that allowed and driving is not? What logic is that? Could it be the logic of public humiliation and oppression, and never mind what's not public?

Sounds pretty strange to me, but don't worry they are going to "fix it"! Of course, by "fix it" I do not mean allowing women to drive, to vote and to mix with men, but changing the staff in the lingerie shops!

The Baathist Regimes

A great post from Shirko about the Baathist regimes and their policy of terror in Iraq and Syria.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Saddam the Novelist

Update: Jordan bans Saddam's latest novel.

Saddam has written four novels in his time. I haven't read any of them in the past, and I am not interested in reading any of them in future.

I believe that Saddam can offer me nothing in his novel, and I am not trying to sound too smart here, but I believe that even if I want to understand how this monster thinks, all I need to do is look at his atrocities and read about history and what other dictators have done. And I think that from what I know and what I've seen, I know how he thinks; the short version he is a stupid gangster.

Normally when Saddam writes a novel, he send draft copies to Iraqi and Arab critics and intellectuals. They read the novel and then send it back with recommendations and corrections, and after few revisions the novel becomes eligible for publishing and it gets published signed "Its author".

His latest novel, "Get Out, Damned One", was written just before the war. Some Jordanian publisher then published the novel after the war, and it was signed "Its author". People assumed that this publisher has obtained a copy from one of the critics and or from Saddam's daughter. Excerpts from the novel also appeared in different Arabic newspapers.

As I said, I am not interested in wasting my time reading what Saddam has to say. However, a friend of mine bought the latest novel in Jordan and read it; and he told me that it was laughable and extremely weak dramatically and grammatically. He recited some paragraphs for me in Arabic, that was shockingly unprintable. But hey, Jordanians love Saddam and wanted to publish his novel, so they did.

A rumor I heard about Jordanians a while back that one of Jordan's private schools have waived the fees for some of the families of Iraq's former regime, because they have suffered a lot and they are in trouble now!

apparently the novel will be republished; or for those who didn't know it was published before, it will be published by a Jordanian publisher. It will also be translated to English and French! And unlike his previous novels, this one will be published under his name. I expect that it has been revised and corrected in way that would not be so laughable. To me it is no surprise at all that a novel written by Saddam, without editing and modifications, is ludicrous, what do you expect?

Raghad Saddam Hussein has dedicated the novel to her father:

"To the beat of the heart, to the eye and to the father of the Iraqis ... to the creator of men and heroes ... to the one who taught us all the great values," she wrote.

Now I understand he is her father, but a little shame would be nice; though these people have no shame. The beat of the heart? The eye? The father? The creator? The teacher? It sounds like Allah. She could've have said "To Allah" and everybody would've understand it's for her father.

I know, Muslims will tell me that what I am saying is blasphemy; but guess what? When Saddam is portrayed as God, I become Satan.

"You, who raised our heads high, the heads of the Iraqis, the Arabs and the Muslims ... we present to you our souls ... to the father of the heroes, to my beloved and dear father, with all my respect and glory to you."

I am going to puke. I am not kidding...

Monkeys are Muslims

In fact, not only monkeys are Muslims, but most animals are too.

That is what the pitiful Sheikh al-Mutawa is saying basically, in yet another outrageous and disgusting programme from the be an ignorant Muslim channel, the Saudi Wahhabi Islamic satellite channel Iqra! The irony is that Iqra means read, yet they don't want you to learn!

So is that what it's come to now, to convince the world that you are right, you compare yourself to animals? Well, I guess you are right, you are an animal [Update: Dcat has a picture of a Wahhabi terrorist training].

One word I have for you, sheikh; pathetic. No wonder the Middle East is a mess!

Shattered Windows

We received a word few days ago from my uncle and neighbours in Baghdad that the windows of our house in Baghdad broke. This has happened before in previous wars, so we weren't surprised; however, we were curious as to what had happened.

We knew that no one was injured, so we weren't worried. In our house live members of the family that worked for us for over 30 years; people that we consider family. So we called and talked to different people to get the full picture, make sure everybody was OK and see what we can do or advice.

Apparently, it wasn't only the windows, but the main wooden door broke as well. A mortar shell had fell in front of the house. Thank god that no one was hurt. Thank god that kids weren't playing in the street, and no one was walking by or driving by.

It's a quite neighbourhood! How low can these low life terrorist and their low life masters and their low life supporters can be? Wake up people, you are digging your own graves; and you are bringing nothing but shame to yourselves, your families and your people. You are simply a disgrace, and I am ashamed that you call yourselves "Iraqis".

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Saddam's Palaces

Nuri Farhan al-Rawi, Iraqi Culture minister, announced in Paris that Saddam's 170 palaces will be converted to cultural centres and will be open to public. [Arabic source]

Syria wants to open a "new page"!

Syrian Foreign Minister, Faruq al-Shara, said Damascus wanted to cooperate with Iraq to prevent militants from entering the country and open a "new page" with its neighbour.
"We are open to fraternal and good neighbourly relations with Iraq in order to eliminate any ambiguity and all accusations (about infiltrations)," Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara said Thursday.

"We are ready to cooperate and open a new page with Iraq," Shara said after a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Li Zhaoxing.
Well, should we trust our neighbour Baathists regime? I have my reservations! This Arabic source has more:
"We are ready to cooperate from now on and open a new page with Iraq, because we will not accept unfounded accusations from now on" al-Shara said.
From now on? Interesting.
He also said "Our ambitions are to achieve the best possible relationship with Iraq, and Syria decided to send a delegation to Iraq to evaluate to two important issues, the first is to open a Syrian Embassy in Baghdad as soon as possible."
First Egypt and now Syria, this is good. Unless, the embassy becomes a command centre and a safe haven for foreign terrorists!
The second issue is to contact officials in the Iraqi Foreign Ministry and other departments to get the truth about the allegations against Syria. The delegation will ask for the evidence to be evaluated by the Syrian Intellegence and Syrian Foreign Ministry.
Am not really keen on giving them evidence to take back to Syria, I still do not trust them. They are Baathists after all!
Al-Shara also said that Syria is not willing to listen, every now and then, to accusations that could be unfounded!
Could be unfounded? Shouldn't you hear and investigate then? Not willing to listen means you are not interested in the truth!

Then he tries to be smart and goes about how drugs are smuggled to America and how that is not the fault of the country where the drugs are smuggled from! I don't understand how that is similar to Syrian Intellegence officers train and smuggle terrorists to Iraq under the government's nose, but he's a Baathi and they have a different logic from the rest of human race.

Sickening Arab Media

When will the Arab media, journalists, politicians, experts, clerics, etc become decent? When will these people become rational and intelligent? When will they start caring about human life and about the people? I don't know, maybe when the US find life on Mars!

I have seen many disturbing shows on Arabic satellite channels, and this just an example:
As expected, all praised the resistance. All presented the daily terrorist activities as honorable and referred to the present government as a gang of traitors and agents. Operation Lightning, according to them, is solely designed to oppress Iraqis because, again according to them, there are no foreigners operating inside Iraq.
What disturbed me the most, though, was a statement by one of the guests, the editor of a daily Egyptian newspaper: "Killing the police and the national guard is a duty for all Iraqis."
There are even worse shows than this one, and I can't watch these programmes anymore because when I do my blood boils, I start cursing and change the channel. I've got hypertension, you know; and one day, one of these idiots might give me a stroke.

So, give me one good reason why should I trust and or love my "Arab brothers"? And why should I believe in one Arab nation? Or one Muslim nation? My loyalty and love is to Iraq and to hell with the so called "Arab world"!

Whine or Rebuild?

Fayrous started an important topic about Iraqis and you mustn't miss the discussion.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

First Arab Ambassador in Iraq

Egypt will become the first Arab nation to send an ambassador to post-Saddam Iraq. This is a very welcomed move by Egypt which will certainly lead the way to having more Arab ambassadors in Iraq.

Ouch!

He flirted with a glamour model on radio.
She sold his £25,000 Lotus for 50p on eBay within 3 hours.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Despisable... Despicable... Disgusting...

Someone called "Anonymous" commented on one of my old entries, "Why Harith Al Thari is not being arrested?". His comments are way too nauseating.
I came across this blog while doing a bit of research about Harith Al Thari. As a British citizen who has visited Iraq three times during the past year as a volunteer in UN aid missions and currently residing in the United Arab Emirates, I can honestly say the irony in all this are comments such as the above. May I ask all of you, including Ahmed, where do you get your information regarding Iraq from? If its from news media hailing from the two major countries backing this war, then Im afraid you are burrying your heads in the sand.
So what are you saying here? That the mainstream media is backing the war and showing a rosy picture? How funny? I've never heard this before; this is a first. And to answer your question, I get the information from people in Iraq, friends and relatives, from Iraqi news sites, Iraq TV stations, from Iraqi friends who have family in Iraq and last from the mainstream media!
Ever wondered why "insurgent" videos are banned in western media? You would think if such videos depict the killings of innocenct civilians then it would be an ace of spades in the hands of the American and British governments in their never ending propaganda campaigns. Truth is, it is clear and evident that the so called "insurgents" take the utmost care not to hurt civilians in any "resistance" operation.
Come again? Utmost care? Who the hell do you think you are talking to here? Someone who just got interested in a country called Iraq and looked up some information about it, visited it a couple of times and became an expert? How do you know they take utmost care not to hurt civilians? Did you work with them? Did you talk to them? Did they take you hostage? Did they break you eardrum? Or ribs? Did they beat you so hard that you told your family to either pay the ransom or come in your place? Did they decapitate you or one of your friends? Were you a bystander in a market when one of your crazy friends blew himself up? Do you even know why they are fighting? Do you?

And as for the videos, I said before what I think. Anyway, back to your comment.
It is funny that when the US army blows up a wedding party it is passed as collateral damage. But it is sad that you all buy into it when atleast over 20 thousand civilians die because of US and British "collateral damage".
Which wedding party, this?
Dont get me wrong, Im not for terrorism, but I certainly would not go against the God given, and International Law given right to resist occupation and defend your country.
Oh really? You are not for terrorism? Wow! If you are not, then what does one who supports terrorism sounds like? Right to resist occupation and defend your country, how? By killing innocents, Iraqis, and all those that you disagree with even though you are minority? Is that the "resistance" you are talking about? And what about the Iraqis right to live and to choose? What if eight and half million Iraqi do not want violence?
As for those Iraqi's that do die, the striking majority of them are those who have collaborated with the enemy, atleast according to Iraqis. I am sure if this has happened to America, or Britain, we would not be siding with those of us who would ally ourselves with the invading forces. Or do you think that those British who have secretly supported Nazi Germany are not traitors?
According to which Iraqis? Please tell me, because all the Iraqi expats, their friends, relatives and families who live in Iraq, and my friends and relatives in Iraq do not think so! So which Iraqis have been talking to?

"do you think that those British who have secretly supported Nazi Germany are not traitors?" Of course they are traitors, and the best example of such treason today is George Galloway. It seems that you are holding the wrong end of the stick! How about those Germans who secretly worked with the British - or with others - against the Nazis? Or those who helped build Germany after the war? Do you think they are traitors?
Three visits, hundreds of Iraqis from all walks of life, and I have yet to meet one, just one, who supports the American occupation. Let me go further, I have yet to meet one Iraqi inside of Iraq that uses the word "insurgents", no, they are the "resistance".
Three visits? Hundreds of Iraqis? From all walks of life? You sure knew your way around Iraq, didn't you? And you haven't met one? Okay, here are two. But the question is who supports your "resistance"? How many Iraqis want violence? And all those you met called them "resistance"? What can I say, you sure know who to go out with! Here are some Iraqis who live in Iraq and disagree with you and here are some responses from Iraqis.
Let us get over our bias, Al Thari is loved by Sunnis and Shia's alike, specially those more aligned with Muqtada Al Sadr.
Please, be serious, ok? And next time you open your mouth, make sure you understand what you are saying and you can back it up! Don't think that by going three times to Iraq, you became an expert of the Iraqi society and conflicts! Men far better than you, are still seeking knowledge about Iraq, even though they know far more than you do. Do you even know what al Thari does or did? It is funny that you aligned him with Muqtada al-Sadr, because both men are despised by most Sunnis and Shias alike. By the way, don't forget to include this joke in your "research" about al-Thari.
I still wonder why anti-US-UK protest of over 80 thousand Iraqi's in central Baghdad in December of 2004 was casually mentioned in our media, yet a small gathering of 100 Kurdish US backed peshmerga chanting for an autonomous state was plastered all over the news.
80 thousands? In December? In Central Baghdad? Where in Central Baghdad, be specific? I don't have any recollection of such a massive protest! Can someone, remind me here? But did you see the even larger demonstration in January all over Iraq? 8,456,266 went out and protest against violence and voted for a free and democratic Iraq, even though your "resistance" said that it will be a blood bath!
Even if my son was part of the colaition, I would call a spade a spade. Any soldier participating in this farce and unjust war does not die an hornorable death. I will never blame people for defending their own country.
I wish that you are in UAE because they stripped you out of your citizenship; but I know this is wishful thinking. You have just set a new record for being a despicable British citizen, if you really are British! All I can say to you is that you are a disgrace to Britain and you do not deserve to be a citizen of this country.
Time to get our heads out of the sand.
Look at the mirror when you say that. I am sick to my stomach.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Constitution Writing Committee

It seems that an agreement has been, or is about to be reached regarding the constitution writing committee. [Arabic]

It started over a month ago when the 55 member committee was formed with only two Sunnis in it. It was a mistake to assume that a committee with such an important undertaking can be formed on the basis of number of seats gained in the elections. The Sunnis have erred when they boycotted – and or asked people to boycott - the elections; however, that error did not mean that they should be sidelined in the most crucial task today which will shape the future of Iraq.

Having realised the mistake, and after calls from Condoleezza Rice, the Shias decided to include a larger number of Sunnis in the constitution drafting process. The Sunnis welcomed Rice’s move and started negotiations with the Shias, Kurds and the rest.

It has been reported couple of weeks ago that 15 Sunnis will be added to the 55 member committee; however, nothing has been confirmed until yesterday. But even yesterday’s confirmation is not certain; Dr Adnan al-Janabi, a member of the National Assembly and the deputy chairman of constitution committee, said that an agreement has not been reached yet, contrary to media reports. [Arabic]

According to the reports, the Sunnis have requested to have 25 members in the committee; but after negotiations, only 15 Sunnis will be added to the current committee to become a 70 member committee with the Sunnis having 2 members more than the Kurds. And the rest of the 25 Sunnis in the list submitted during the negotiations will have the role of advisors, but are not part of the committee.

If this agreement is final, then I believe it is great news. The Sunnis deserve couple more seats than the Kurds in the committee, so to me it looks fair and square. However, I am not quite sure about other factions!

But what worries me is that the Sunnis – or to be more specific, the Sunni representation – haven’t always acted in an appropriate manner. I believe the problem is that the representation is not the right representation, it is the wrong unelected representation which selected itself, and for some reason the many decent intellectual Sunnis are not part of that representation.

All politicians and representations are prone to making mistakes; but what I consider as inappropriate, unacceptable and way out of line is asking for elements from Saddam’s era to come back and participate or asking for the de-Baathification process to be scrapped completely! Yes, the de-Baathification process is very delicate and must be conducted carefully and fairly, but it is a must for Iraq to move forward. Iraq can not afford to have believers in the old regime or criminals of the old regime to be part of the new establishment.

The Sunni representation, during the negotiations for the constitution committee, has put forward Munther al-Shawi to be a member in that committee. This is the boldest movement by the Sunnis to bring back elements of the previous regime. Al-Shawi was the Higher Education Minister in the 70s, Justice Minister in the 80s, Saddam’s legal adviser in the 90s and finally Justice Minister before the war. I don’t think I need to say more about al-Shawi, do I?

After such boldness, the government issued an arrest warrant for al-Shawi on the basis of new evidence, 102 original execution orders signed by al-Shawi. [Arabic]

Such actions make my blood boils and make me wonder, why there isn’t a decent non-Baath sympathizers Sunni representation. I know that there are many decent, intellectual, democracy-loving Sunnis who are capable of participating and contributing positively; but why only few of them are in the political arena today? If there were enough of those, would the rest of politicians have to negotiate with Baath sympathizers? I don’t think so.

Our problem is, I think, the lack of self-criticism. We have to criticise ourselves and our representatives to be able to progress. In general, Kurds don’t criticise Kurds, Sunnis don’t criticise Sunnis and Shias don’t criticise Shias. This situation is quite dangerous and could make us apologists of our ethnic group or representation, even when we disagree with them.

At the moment, al-Sadr and al-Hakim are the bad elements in the Shia representation, and I know that many Shias will say that al-Hakim is good and his family records speak for itself; but al-Sadr’s family record speak for itself too, can you say he’s good? The problem of al-Hakim is that he is too keen to see Iraq become like Iran and to become Iran’s obedient partner. And unfortunately, al-Hakim is influential.

The Sunni representation on the other hand has bad elements too; like those who are taking advantage of the terror and ask for outrageous demands, such as bringing Baathis and elements of Saddam’s era back. Can they not bring better people to build the new Iraq? And, if they don’t think that Baathis are bad; well how about thinking that they had their chance and failed, and its time to have new faces?

Nonetheless, even though I had no doubt that they will reach an agreement, I am extremely glad that the constitution committee is formed (or not?), and that it has enough and fair representation of the three main factions, and I hope that minorities are represented too.

But I am worried that these stupid demands – and previous stupid demands by other factions - will leave ill feeling inside many Iraqis. It is our job to voice our rejections when such demands are made. If I criticise my representation before others criticise them, and if others do the same, we will leave no room for ill feelings, divisions and problems. In fact by doing so, we might force our representations to change their minds.

The Ketchup Email

I just received the ketchup email and I thought this can't be true, but it is. The sucker guy is a senior associate at Baker & McKenzie! Unbelievable!

Anyway, the ketchup email is officially news. Here is the email he sent on 25 May:
Sent: 25 May 2005 15:27
Subject: Ketchup trousers

Hi Jenny

I went to a dry cleaners at lunch and they said it would cost £4 to remove the ketchup stains. If you cd let me have the cash today, that wd be much appreciated.

Thanks
Richard
And what did Jenny do? Replied to him and carbon copied all her colleagues:
Sent: 03 June 2005 10:25
Cc: *LON - ALL USERS 3RD FLOOR
Subject: RE: Ketchup trousers

With reference to the email below, I must apologise for not getting back to you straight away but due to my mother's sudden illness, death and funeral I have had more pressing issues than your £4.

I apologise again for accidentally getting a few splashes of ketchup on your trousers. Obviously your financial need as a senior associate is greater than mine as a mere secretary. Having already spoken to and shown your email and Anne-Marie's note to various partners, lawyers and trainees in ECC&T and IP/IT, they kindly offered to do a collection to raise the £4. I however declined their kind offer but should you feel the urgent need for the £4, it will be on my desk this afternoon.

Jenny
Well done Jenny, he asked for it!

The best comment in the email, which was going around for a while and is full of hilirious comments, was this "this chap should emigrate"! I think he should :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Iraq to resume flights to Europe this month

The Iraqi government told parliament on Tuesday that commercial passenger flights to Europe would resume this month, 15 years after U.N. sanctions isolated the country under Saddam Hussein.

Do you see it? Do you see the light at the end of the tunnel?

Saddam questioned in his underpants

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

About time

A spokesman for the Association of Terrorists and Kidnappers Muslim Scholars (AMS) said that Iraqi and American forces have raided the house of their chairman, Harith al-Dhari. The joint forces have searched the house, confiscated three Ak-47s from bodyguards and left the area. Unfortunately, al-Dhari was not in the house during the raid. [Arabic source]

Addendum:
This could've been triggered by the 75 million dollars ransom that was paid by TV5 to AMS to release the French journalist Florence Aubenas! Sam, at Hammorabi, has more on this. [Arabic source]

When will these governments and organisations realise that the ransom money they pay will help kill more innocent Iraqis? There is a reason why governments don't - or in your case, shouldn't - negotiate with terrorists. Because when you do, you will be rewarding them for what they've done, and they will probably do it again!

They give millions of dollars that will be used to buy low life criminals and build bombs to save one person - or to save themselves, to be more specific - and they ignore the fact that they are paying terrorists to kill innocents!

RSS from an Arabic newspaper

The Saudi newspaper, Asharq Alawsat, has added an English section and RSS. [Hat Tip: Saudi Jeans]

Finally, an RSS from an Arabic news site; I thought they will never catch up!

The Stringer

Steven Vincent writes a heartfelt piece on Ali, an Iraqi stringer in Basra.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Tribal sheikhs to hand over suspects

Tribal sheikhs/leaders in northern parts of Iraq have agreed to hand over suspects to the Iraqi security forces. [Arabic link]

This rare development contradicts tribal traditions which oblige the tribe to protected refugees no matter what crime they have committed. Having said that, I am not sure whether this agreement is to hand over suspected refugees, or to capture and hand over suspects, or both!

Iraqis Rebuilding Iraq

I received this email today, which was forwarded to me by Iraq Volunteer. Iraqi expatriates who would like to go and work in Iraq for few months (up to a year) can do so by applying for one these jobs.
Dear Sir/Madam

The United Nations Development Programme and the International Organization for Migration are jointly implementing the Iraqis Rebuilding Iraq Programme (IRI) in coordination with the Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation of Iraq.

The Programme is designed for expatriate Iraqis with professional and successful backgrounds to undertake short term assignments of up to one year in Iraq. The Programme targets those needs identified by Iraqi ministries which are deemed essential for the reconstruction and development of the country and that are not immediately met by the human resources within Iraq. To date, the participating ministries have submitted to our office over one hundred requests for such experts. Type of expertise needed varies from management, engineering, human rights, IT, social development, environment, medical, law, science and technology, agriculture and many more.

All details on the programme, eligibility criteria, etc are available on the official website: www.iraq-iri.org. Interested candidates will be able to down load the application form available on the IRI webpage, fill it in and send it by email to our Amman Management Unit, at irisupport@iom-iraq.net.

In order to facilitate the access of the Iraqi nationals abroad, we would be grateful if you could pass this information on to Iraqis expatriates that visit your organization. Posters and leaflets are available in English, Arabic and Kurdish. Let us know how many you wish to receive according to your needs, provide as with the mailing address of the organization, and we will send them to you in the coming days.

We highly appreciate your support in promoting the IRI programme among professional Iraqi expatriates in your region and do not hesitate to contact us, should you wish to receive any further information/clarification on the programme.

Thank you in advance for promoting such an important programme to support Iraq and play a significant role in Iraq's new future.

Best regards

Lorena Lando
Iraqis Rebuilding Iraq
Programme Manager
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Iraq Mission in Jordan
llando@iom-iraq.net

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Yes/No Question Update

Thank you all for your participation. So far the answers to the Yes/No Question are:

Verified* No: 16
Verified* Yes: 1

Unverified** No: 1
Unverified** Yes: 1

Last Updated: 11 June, 2005, 21:09 GMT.

By the way, if you are still finding it hard to say yes or no; imagine we have two blocs only in the next election one that says will go back in time and the other one says will move forward, which one will you vote for? If you know, then you should be able to answer the Yes/No Question.

* Known Iraqi bloggers/commenters including myself.
** Anonymous or unknown commenters.

Why NO

I asked fellow Iraqis to put differences and reasoning aside, and to answer a very clear question with a simple yes or no. But not all were able to achieve that and some felt compelled to explain. I can understand why you want to explain; but what you forgot is by saying yes or no, it doesn't mean you are accepting everything in that situation.

We all have more than one reason to explain our yes or no answer; but with too many and different reasons the answer will be lost and a long debate will start instead. The question doesn't ask for reasons, explanations or justification, only the answer to make things clearer and to get a straight answer, no matter what are the reasons.

The explanation could be too long or too short, and people have different reasons for both the yes and the no. Sometimes those reasons are logical and understandable, other times they are not quite so. I believe, through my blog I have expressed my views in so many different post which explains the NO that I will not try to link to these posts. But I will give you a not too long personalised version of the explanation.

I have seen the wars, though not the last one; I have lived in Iraq during the sanctions; I have been afraid all of my life of any government official and the lowest rank police officer who I have to thank and apologise to if he decides to slap me and spit on my face. I simply lost hope.

I used to think that Saddam can be toppled by the people, by an assassination or a revolution; but I was dreaming. It would never have happened, and even if it would, a new dictator would have came a long just like 1958, 1963 and 1968. Otherwise, Qussay would have been next.

If we go back in time to before the war, I would not dare to set a foot in Iraq; but I would do it now, even though I haven't don it, but the idea of going back doesn't scare me now like it used to before. Don't assume that I hold any passport other than the Iraqi passport, because I don't. There is hope today, and if we fail we have only ourselves to blame.

I have lost relatives during Saddam's era. I have seen the brutality of that regime and of the people associated with it. I have a relative who lived all his life in Iraq, i.e. he wasn't an expat, and was kidnapped after the war because he works for some foreign company. He couldn't even afford the ransom and the company paid for him.

I have also lost childhood friends during this war. Two brothers have died in the last few days of the war while driving in Baghdad, and they are very dear to my heart. I have lost people before and after the war; but it is not about me or them, it is about Iraq and giving it a chance to have a better future.

Freedom and democracy doesn't come free and dreams take us nowhere. We may not succeed, but that is our problem; and as Kanan Makiya said "The war made it possible for the country to have a chance—I am not saying a guarantee—of moving ahead in a democratic fashion".

Getting rid of Saddam was never going to be free and easy, and if Iraqis wanted to change the regime, 10s or 100s of thousands would've died. And I even believe that terrorism - or resistance if that's what you prefer to call them – would've happened anyway for many different reasons, mostly because we have people who care too much about themselves and are shameless about it.

The deaths caused by Saddam and his thugs were not being publicised like the deaths that happened in the last two years, but they were on a much larger scale. Terror was the government business and today it is the resistance's business. Until when are we willing to be ruled by terror?

The war ended with little causalities and collateral damage, little compared to the number of deaths of Iraqis if they wanted to topple Saddam themselves. But what happened next? Instead of standing all of us together to build a new Iraq, some of us in corporation with foreign Arab/Iranian governments started a fight and started destroying our own country and the will of the good people. Who do I blame? That some of us!

Why it is better now? Because there is a chance that we might succeed; and if we don't then all those losses during Saddam's era and during and after the war are gone in vain.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Views from Iraq

Throughout today, from dawn to dusk Baghdad time, BBC News has gone behind the headlines to take an in-depth look at life in Iraq. One Day in Iraq: At-a-glance.

Here are some of the comments of Iraqis and non-Iraqis:
I am a British military engineer working to try and improve the Iraqi electrical system. Despite the gloomy news you read from Iraq every day, there is also much good work going on across the country to improve all aspects of the nation's infrastructure. Every Iraqi that I have met has been welcoming, kind and friendly and I consider myself lucky to be in a position to help The rights or wrongs of the war seem a totally irrelevant from where I am sat. I simply believe my contribution here is worthwhile.
Ross, Basrah, Iraq
From BBCArabic.com: In spite of all the bad things we face on a daily basis in Iraq, life is beautiful without Saddam. Today there's a lot of talk about sectarianism but no one looks back to remember who the people Saddam governed Iraq with were. Today even as you see Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds and others in the government there is talk about sectarianism and monopolisation of power by one group. Are 35 years of Ba'athist rule not considered sectarianism! The problem today in Iraq is the breath of Ba'athism and sectarianism that still hovers over the minds of some people and we should fight that to live in peace like other people.
Jalal Baghdadi, Baghdad
Did you read that? Life is beautiful without Saddam.
As an Iraqi, I am uniquely qualified to post on this discussion. First off, life is definitely better under the coalition than under Saddam. Saddam's regime killed thousands of my fellow Iraqis. The only way people in the "West" don't see this is because they have a media with a liberal bias.
Abdul Al Suja, Ramallah, Iraq
Can he be anymore right? Spot on.
From BBCArabic.com: Iraq is a country that has been suffering from wars and bloody conflicts for 5,000 years and what you see now is a decisive episode of the bloody Iraqi saga. Perhaps its richness is what attracts all these wars, or maybe it's the despair of its people - whatever the reason the result is the death of innocents, the spread of fear, terror and injustice. I don't remember any period longer than a year without wars and destruction. Now the dream of every honourable Iraqi is to live in peace and quiet. We have grown accustomed to storing food and the basics of life. My hope from God is to grant the people of Iraq peace.
Heymen, Irbil
Amen.
From BBCArabic.com: Is the Iraqi situation that bad? Yes there are some problems but things are going in the right direction. The residents of any area can make it safe or otherwise. When you shelter insurgents you have to expect trouble. As for the sectarian issue, this is promoted by some Arab channels which refuse to have democratic governments like that of Iraq, and time will prove this.
Ahmad al-Saadi, al-Amara
From BBCArabic.com: I want to say that the situation in Iraq is not good, but we can see that the heroes of Iraq sacrifice themselves to keep the smiles on the faces of the children. Pray to God to preserve the heroes of the police and the army and the guards and every honourable Iraqi who protects the smiles of the children and women of Iraq.
Iraqi citizen, Baghdad
Those heros are the true freedom fighters and may god bless them.
From BBCArabic.com: I have visited my country after 24 years of abroad and I have seen such joy at the downfall of the most tyrannical regime in history that I had never seen before.
Mohammad al-Baydani, Sydney, Australia
There is one question that I would like to see answered by Iraqis in Iraq. "If you could return to your life in Iraq as it was before the allied invasion, would you? A simple yes or no would reveal far more than pages of biased reporting by disinterested journalists.
Al, UK
May I ask all Iraqis who are reading this to answer Al with a simple yes or no in the comments section. My answer is of course, NO.

Life in Pakistan and Saudi

Isaac Schrödinger talks about life in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia during and after the Gulf War. Check this out:

[...] After we finished, I was walking back with one kid who out of the blue asked me a question. “Who do you think is going to win the war?”

“The US,” I said.

“Why do you think that?” he asked.

“Since the US is more powerful than Iraq and has sent such a large force across 8 time zones.”

“No, Saddam Hussein is going to win!” he shot back.

I didn’t like that answer and asked him to explain his choice. He gave an answer that I knew was not right but my nine year old mind couldn’t compute as to why.

“Because he is a Muslim,” he replied.

Hehehe... Yeah, that makes perfect sense! And the kid was right; Saddam did win the Gulf War!

One day, I overheard a conversation between my aunt and family. She had come back from a mosque. She told us about a foreign lady who came to teach birth control to women near the mosque. She said that the Westerners were afraid of Muslims. This talk of birth control was a scheme by the Westerners to keep the number of Muslims low in the world. I knew that this statement wasn’t right but kept my mouth shut. By the way, this aunt had seven children. I am sure that Western lady must have been petrified by her.

Yep, that makes sense too! It's all part of the master Imperialist Zionist Western evil plan!

All Levels of the Iraqi Government were Complicit

Kanan Makiya, the author of Republic of Fear, talks about the nature of Baath, de-Baathification, and Iraq Memory Foundation. Here are some excerpts from the interview - which is worth a read:

MEQ: If Baathism is a form of Arab nationalism, how do Baathists define who is an Arab?

Makiya: To Baathists, being an Arab is connected with the degree of loyalty that one has, not only to the idea of "Arabness," but also to the party that carries that idea, that party's central committee, and ultimately, to the party leader. In that sense, it is fascist. Baathist ideology in the pure original sense means you could have ancestors going back hundreds of years in an Arab country and your first language might be Arabic, but still you are not an Arab in the Baathist view. The quality of being an Arab is therefore a subjective and not an objective attribute of an individual.

[...]

MEQ: Were the highest echelons of the Iraqi government involved, or was corruption a low-level affair?

Makiya: All levels of the government were complicit. Profiteering, black market trafficking, and sanctions-busting became the principal activity of the Iraqi elite. United Nations officials turned a blind eye as top Iraqi officials diverted funds from the U.N.-managed Oil-for-Food program into secret bank accounts.

[...]

MEQ: So the coalition invasion in March 2003 served, to some degree, as a catalyst for changing an unsustainable situation?

Makiya: The war made it possible for the country to have a chance—I am not saying a guarantee—of moving ahead in a democratic fashion. The sanctions could not be removed before the regime was removed, and only then could the country pick itself up again. With the removal of the old regime and the elections, we have reached the beginning of a new era. Baathist ideology has, I believe, been dealt a deathblow in Iraq.

[...]

MEQ: Have any of the states neighboring Iraq played a more helpful role?

Makiya: None. None at all. There is no doubt about this whatsoever: We never expected to have friends in the region, and we still don't.

[...]

MEQ: What are the origins of the Iraq Memory Foundation?

Makiya: In 1991, in the immediate aftermath of the last war, I went to northern Iraq to look into rumors that the Kurds had captured tons of Iraqi documents. With the tacit knowledge of the then-director of Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies [William A. Graham], I sought to gain support to transport those documents outside of Iraq so that academics and scholars could work with them. The project began the following year at Harvard.

[...]

MEQ: Was there anything you found that surprised you?

Makiya: We found registers of Iraqi secondary school students with all kinds of personal information, especially political information: when they joined the party, including their degree of loyalty measured by various criteria; whether they participated in such-and-such an event; the loyalty of the members of their family up to cousins of the third degree. So, you end up with virtually a blacklist of the secondary school population. You can imagine the implications of studying Iraq through the prism of these kinds of documents.

Read the whole thing.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Tide Ad

I just received this by email, and remembered that Fayrouz said it would make a good ad for Tide. I think its great and will definitely use Tide from now on, LOL.



The caption says "My Lady, for cleaner clothes and smoother hands ... Tide"

Pathetic Ignorance of Hypocrites

This is not a joke! It is a true story!

Two Algerians went to a take-away restaurant here in London and their breath smelled alcohol, yet their first question was is the falafel halal?

I swear when my friend who was in the restaurant told me, I couldn't stop laughing! How can falafel be halal? It's vegetarian, use your brain for god sake! And if you are so concerned about halal and haram, why do you smell like a pint of lager?

I bet you that these morons support what they call the "resistance" in Iraq!