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Iraqi Expat

Friday, May 27, 2005

Short Break

I am going away on holiday for the weekend and will be back on Monday. I probably won't have internet access there, so I will have some catch up to do then!

Have a great weekend y'all, and be good!

Iraq News Update

Iraqi civilians have captured two terrorists in Haifa Street in Baghdad and sentenced them to death and hanged them in the street to deter other terrorists. [Arabic link]

You might think this is wrong and they should've been handed over to the police. Probably! But not when you being terrorized by these low life criminals. It is hard to not judge these terrorists when you get hold of them after all Iraqis have been through because of them. I think this is good; there is not stronger message to the terrorists than this.

An officer in the former Iraqi Army has been sentenced to death in al Hila for his involvement in terrorist bombing and killing activities. [Arabic link] A Tunisian terrorist has been sentenced to 15 years in the same court for his involvement in terrorism.

I have a question; why Iraqi terrorists are being sentenced to death, while foreign terrorists aren't? Are the cases against these foreign terrorists different? Or are we not allowed to sentence them to death? I really don't know! But I know that they have no probably in killing innocent Iraqis!

The grip on terrorists has been tightening with the launch of a new offensive of 40,000 troops and 600 checkpoints in Baghdad. "These operations will aim to turn the government's role from defensive to offensive," said Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabor. Mr Jabor said he is "not sure whether [Zarqawi] is dead, but we are sure that he is injured."

Omar has more on this here and here. And from reading Iraqi news websites, many headlines are referring to these operations and the arrests that have been made so far.

Athena is doing a great job in covering al Zarqawi story. She started by reporting his injury, then she analyzed whether he's in Syria or not, then she provided us with another update, and finally she asked who's in charge?

Meanwhile, people are praying for al Zaqawi to get caught, get humiliated, get a painful death, reach hell asap, etc. at Chrenkoff.

Sami, on the other hand, thinks that the capture of al Zarqawi is irrelevant, as a new person will become in charge. But even though, we want justice, we want him captured, humiliated and then get a painful death and rest in hellfire, don't we?

Apparently terrorists are having recruitment problems; so they are now headhunting cows [Ali] and dogs [Fayrouz], while Mister Ghost tells the sad, but funny, story of moojahdeen.

Iraq Sandstorm Photos

I have received amazing photos of April's Sandstorm in Iraq.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Lies of Galloway

Kudos to Seixon for a magnificent job in showing the lies of the disgraceful Galloway in his testimony before the Senate Committee.

[Hat Tip: Roger L. Simon]

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Terrorists tried and sentenced in an Iraqi court

The first death sentences, since the fall of Saddam, have been given to three Iraqi terrorists who were convicted of 20 operations that involved killings of Iraqi Policemen, kidnapping of Iraqis and raping Iraqis girls.

Two Syrians, who entered Iraq illegally and got captured in al Falluja, were convicted of arms assaults and sentenced to life in prison.

The hearing lasted for five hours, while fifty Iraqis, most of whom were families of the victims, were present in the court room. The death sentences will be executed within 10 days. [Arabic link]

I watched part of the trial on Al Iraqiya TV. The statements of the witnesses and the terrorists were very very gruesome, I don't think you want to hear it. Death is too good for these low life terrorists!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Iraq abolishes Saddam's alcohol restriction law

Ministry of Interior in Iraq abolished Saddam's alcohol, night clubs and casinos restriction law which was introduced in the 90's. The law has been abolished because it interferes with and limits Iraqis personal freedom. Businesses, however, are required to obtain a licence from Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health. [Arabic link]

Who would've guessed that al Jaafari government would do this? I must say, I'm impressed.

Was Al Jazeera on the take?

This probably is old news for many; but if you still have doubts, then you should check Uday's Oil-for-News Program.
Recipients of this Baathist largesse appeared to include a former managing director of the influential Qatar-based government-subsidized satellite network Al Jazeera, Mohammed Jassem al-Ali. The videotaped meeting between Uday and al-Ali occurred on March 13, 2000, when al-Ali still worked as Al Jazeera's managing director. [...]

Uday goes on in his videotaped conversation with al-Ali to mention that some people have relayed to him al-Ali's comment that Al Jazeera is the station of Iraq's Baathist regime "both literally and figuratively." Thus, Uday says, "It is important that I share with you my observations about the station."

In response, al-Ali never denies saying that Al Jazeera was Saddam's station. Instead, his cloying remarks provide Uday every reason to believe that this is so. Al-Ali gives Uday his "unequivocal thanks for the precious trust that you put in me so that I was able to play a role at Al Jazeera; indeed I can even say that without your kind cooperation with us and your support my mission would have failed." Al-Ali also tells Uday that, in his mission at Al Jazeera to serve Iraq, "the lion's share of the credit goes to you personally sir, yet we would be remiss not to mention our colleagues here who constantly strive to implement your directive."

Al Jazeera isn't the only Arab media outlet implicated in the Al Hurra tapes. It was recently discovered that Hamida Naanaa, a Syrian writer based in France who was known for her pro-Saddam slant, had received coupons under the Oil-for-Food program in exchange for her favorable coverage. [...]

[...] After Uday greets Naanaa, she gushes, "Hello to you, the dear son of the dear and the precious son of the precious. Hello, is kissing allowed?" Kissing was indeed allowed.
Oh dear Naanaa, have you no shame?

Now pray with me for the Devil, a.k.a. al Zarqawi, to reach his eternal destination (hell) ASAP.

WE have a problem and WE must solve it

I have always believed that when a system is malfunctioning, no matter how much pressure and efforts outsiders put to change that system, it will not change unless insiders work twice as hard to change it themselves. Take Islam for example, no matter how much the western world is going to talk about Islam and try to enlighten Muslims, Muslims will have to work twice as hard, if not more, to enlighten themselves, their Muslims brothers and try to reform Islam. Outsiders will never be able to change anything, unless those who are part of the problem do it for themselves and for others.

When I first read that Sunni mosques in Baghdad have been closed as part of three day protest; the first thought that came to my mind and many others was, why they are protesting now and didn’t protest when innocent civilians, Shiites, Iraqi Policemen and Iraqi National Guards got killed/executed by terrorists? Or do the clerics of these mosques call the terrorists “freedom fighters”?

I believe this was one of the worst moves of the Sunni clerics, because it has, whether we like it or not, widened the sectarian rift between Sunnis and Shiites. By doing so, they said that Shiites are killing Sunnis in retaliation and that they are protesting against them or against their actions. They are almost saying that they do not care much when others die (even when Sunni IP or ING die)! They are saying that Shiites are retaliating against Sunnis and that is totally unacceptable, but when others die its only pitiful.

They are basically saying that they shouldn’t be punished for crimes done by others, which is absolutely right but they should work harder to denounce those crimes before they say we shouldn’t be punished. They are doing this to prevent civil war, when they should’ve done the same to prevent it when others got killed.

Do I blame westerners for hating Islam or having prejudice toward Muslims? Absolutely not; why do we expect them to love us when there are so many of us (Muslims) hate them so much? Unless Muslims work hard to denounce those anti-Westerners, we shouldn’t expect much from them.

The problem is that some Sunnis believe - or try to believe - that there is a real patriotic resistance and there is terrorism, as if that resistance would be in Iraq’s best interest, but never mind! Most Sunnis, however, even those who believe there is resistance, condemn terrorism but at the same time try to deny that terrorism is more of a Sunni problem.

Yes, I know, terrorism is more of a Wahhabi problem, but are those Wahhabists acting alone? Who feeds them? Who harbour them? Who helps them? Who is working with them? Baathists and some Sunnis, and since most Baathists are Sunnis anyway; then most of those who are working with the Wahhabists are Sunnis. And that is why it is more of a Sunni problem.

I know that most Sunnis are against terrorism; hence, I believe that Sunnis need to acknowledge the problem and work harder than anyone else to eliminate it. Criticizing, blaming and changing oneself takes courage and conviction, and that’s what Sunnis need. They should denounce all terrorists, be it Wahhabists, Baathists, Sunnis or Shiites (like al Sadr, but that should be denounced more by Shiites). If Sunni mosques close for three days when Sunnis get killed, it should close for six days when non-Sunnis or when IP or ING get killed. Sunnis should preach against terrorism twice as much as Shiites do. Sunnis should try to get involved in politics twice as much as others do. Sunnis should try to denounce every terrorist no matter which sector that terrorist belongs to twice as much as others do. If that happens, terrorism will then be defeated easily.

We have to act now, before it is too late; both Sunnis and Shiites must get their act together and work together for the good of the nation and not for the good of their sectors. Baathists do not deserve another chance, but they shouldn’t be persecuted either. Sunni clerics and politicians must not align themselves with al Thari and his ilk, terrorists or Baathists; they must not try to legitimise terrorism as “resistance” and or try to bring Baathists back to power; instead, they should be against terrorists and Baathists more than others, at least for preventing them from participating properly in the elections.

The Shiites have behaved badly too and they should get their act together too; they shouldn’t play the winner card every time they try to form a team. They should outcast al Sadr; in fact, he should be arrested and put on trial for the murder of al Khoie, if not for his other actions.

Iraqis must force their representatives, clerics and politicians to behave for the good of the nation. When Shiite individuals, clerics and or politicians do wrong, Shiites and Sunnis must protest; when Sunni individuals, clerics and or politicians do wrong, Sunnis and Shiites must protest. If Iraqis act as Iraqis and Muslims act as Muslims, then politicians will have no choice but to act for Iraq’s best interest.

I accept that this might be too optimistic, but we must try and protect each others interests; and we shouldn't be afraid of identifying problems within our community and sector, because if we keep ignoring them, the problem will only get worse.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Chemical Ali and Chemical Sally

The Sun published the above picture of Saddam'’s frail notorious murderer cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as Chemical Ali, and Saddam's biological weapons chief Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash, also known as Chemical Sally and Mrs Anthrax.

The Sun also responded to the woolly-minded liberals:
Our extraordinary photos yesterday of Saddam in jail got the whole world talking and woolly-minded liberals into a predictable lather.

They bleated on about infringing his RIGHTS apparently forgetting who this depraved monster is.
Apparently! But how sad?!
How sad for Saddam if he feels humiliated. The fact is these images are simply the most striking demonstration of exactly how much Iraq has changed in the last two years.
Does he? And we are suppose to feel sorry for him? Why? Didn't he feel humiliated by the images of Iraqis slapping his toppled statue and his portraits with their slippers and spitting on his face? Or when he was captured in the spider hole? Or when he didn't have the courage to shot himself?
A bloody tyrant who forced 20 million people to grovel at his feet has finally been humbled and what better way to illustrate that.
I would say there are many ways, Iraqis are full of ideas if you know what I mean; nevertheless, this is a good one, so thank you for publishing the pictures.
The man who showed no mercy is jailed in humane conditions. Unlike his tragic victims, he will face a fair trial by a legitimate Iraqi court.

But make no mistake, this man is hardly entitled to a single human courtesy.
All the Iraqi people I know or have met on the streets of Basra or Baghdad will give you the same answer.

The evil brute -— and his cruel henchmen -— deserve no one’s sympathy for anything.
What can I say, you said it all!

Update: I was talking to a friend and he pointed out, quite correctly, that this women is not Mrs Anthrax, it is Rihab Rashid Taha, also known as Dr Germ. I think he is right and the Sun got it wrong!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

More pictures of Satan

After decades of oppression and tyranny, after owning a country and living the most luxurious life; it is nice to finally see Saddam sitting on a pink plastic chair in prison washing his own clothes!

I am, however, disappointed that he is being treated with dignity and freedom that thousands of his prisons and victims did not enjoy. Why he is still allowed to have some luxuries? Why does get dye for his hair? Why his living area is fully air conditioned? Shouldn't he be treated like any other prisoner, if not less?

It is funny that Al Jazeera did not show the pictures! I guess showing terrorist videos and Abu Gharib's pictures is more ethical and professional! Instead they published an old picture of Saddam with the article. Interesting, no?

I think these pictures have two important messages. One, it shows that Saddam is nothing but a prisoner who is living with no or limited luxuries; and two, is that he is NOT coming back, he is weak and counting his days.

But unfortunately, losers, who were insulted by these pictures, will always be losers and there is nothing they can do about it. Personally, these pictures provided a much needed insight and gratification.

More to come, stay tuned.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Saddam in his pants!

BTW, The Sun is not showing the pictures online!

The Sun is under fire over Saddam pictures:
The US military has condemned the Sun for publishing photographs of a captive Saddam Hussein and said it was "aggressively" investigating who took them.

Today's paper carries a series of photographs showing the former Iraqi dictator in his cell, including one on the front page showing him in his underwear. Another shows him washing clothes under the headline "Tyrant? He's washed up".

The Sun says it obtained the photos from "US military sources" who handed them over "in the hope of dealing a body blow to the resistance in Iraq".

"Saddam is not superman or God, he is now just an ageing and humble old man," the paper quotes its source as saying. "It's important that the people of Iraq see him like that to destroy the myth."

But in a statement issued today, the American military in Baghdad said the photos violated military guidelines "and possibly Geneva convention guidelines for the humane treatment of detained individuals".

"The source of those photos is unknown at this time. It is believed the photos were taken over a year ago."

Okay, maybe it's a violation of Geneva convention; but I know that I am happy to see these pictures, aren't you? Don't you like to see Saddam washing his clothes? I know I do, and I also know that most Iraqis do too.

After all the suffering he put us through, now he is living how he should've lived all his life, in prison washing and cleaning, not only his clothes but also the floors and the toilets of the prison. Man, I will never get enough of seeing him humiliated, suffering and treated like he should've been treated all his life, like an animal. I mean didn't you like the picture of Samir holding Saddam, after punching him? I love that picture!

I know you will say that I am evil and two wrongs don't make a right; but, first, I am just a human who want to see justice and can't say that I don't want vengeance. Second, I do not consider him human; therefore, I don't think he deserves any right. And third, nothing in the world that can be done to him could be compared to what he had done to millions of innocents.

I am getting a lot of SMS messages today asking me if I saw the Sun's front page! I know that Iraqis are loving it. I will certainly keep a copy of the Sun. By the way, I will try to scan some of the pictures and upload them later, probably tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Mother of all Smokescreens

It seems that Galloway learned to talk like his friend, Saddam. Do you remember the mother of all battles in which Saddam defeated the zionist imperialist west in 1991? Well, Galloway said that the accusations levelled against him were the "mother of all smokescreens"!
Mr Galloway denied being an apologist for the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

He said he had been a long-term opponent of Saddam, and had a much better record of opposition to the Iraqi leader than members of the American or British governments.
Very funny Mr Galloway, you almost had me there!

It seems that today is the International Joke Day!

Brotherhood between Shiites and Sunnis

The defense minister, Sadoun Al Dulaimi, announced that the government had ordered the army to stop raiding mosques, arresting clerics and "terrifying worshipers."
At a news conference in the Defense Ministry, his first public appearance, Mr. Dulaimi said the order extended to college campuses and Christian churches, and applied to Shiite as well as Sunni religious sites. He said raids had been "terrifying worshipers," adding, "The holy places must not be violated by the security forces, nor religious leaders arrested, and that will not happen anymore."

He said that the security agencies under Mr. Hussein had spread "terror" among Iraqis in the name of protecting Iraq, and that the new government was determined not to do the same by attacking places that Iraqis had the right to consider immune to violence. "A sense of public security cannot be achieved by spreading fear," he said.
Scores of mosques have been raided in the past 18 months, arresting dozens of clerics and often carrying away large hauls of weapons and ammunition, including bomb-making equipment and antitank rockets.

Personally, I think it is wrong to raid mosques, arrest clerics and terrify worshipers; HOWEVER, when these clerics and worshipers violate the sacredness of these holy places, store weapons and ammunition, and advocate terrorism, then these raids will clean these mosques from those who are abusing it. It is a holy place for god's sake; it should be used for worshiping not for terrorism!

Ayatollah Sistani met with Ibrahim Al Jaafari at his sanctuary in Najaf, and gave the prime minister a message emphasizing the need for Shiites and Sunnis to work together on the country's future.
Dr. Jaafari told reporters that Ayatollah Sistani "insisted on the need for brotherhood between Shiites and Sunnis, and the need to include our Sunni brothers in the constitution-drafting process."
Of course this is good news which happened after US pressed the government to boarden the role of Sunnis. Condoleezza Rice urged the government to keep up the momentum and continue to forge a democracy that represents all ethnic and religious groups.
"The next step and the next challenge is to have a constitution that is written by people that are broadly representative," Ms. Rice told Fox News in an interview from Baghdad.

"And so we've been talking about the constitutional drafting process that's about to take place here. It is true that Sunnis did not participate in large numbers in the elections and therefore are underrepresented in the national assembly," she said.

"But I found an openness to the idea - which is really an Iraqi idea - that Sunnis must be represented in this constitutional process because this has to be an Iraq that works for all Iraqis. That's the only way that everyone is going to see the political path as a way to a better future."
Spot on Ms. Rice, my sentiment exactly!

Joke of the Century

Sit down, breathe slowly and relax.

Yousef Makki, a Saudi writer, wrote the most gibberish column of all time, in which he thinks that Al Sistani do not deserve to be nominated for Nobel Prize or for King Faisal Prize for serving Islam. He was nominated for his efforts to hold elections in Iraq and his calls to calm down the Shiites and prevent a civil war.

Makki gave reasons such as the elections were held under occupation and that many Iraqis disagree with it, Al Sistani cooperated with the invaders and that Nobel prize is no longer important to Arabs since it has been given to terrorists like Yitzhak Rabin, therefore it represents the persons relationship with America!!!

I told you, it's jargon; hence, I won't bother with translating anymore.

But hold on, here comes the joke. Makki thinks that there is someone else who deserves to be nominated for King Faisal Prize for serving Islam. That person, Makki thinks, was responsible preventing civil war and intolerance; he is a patriot who acted for the people and against the occupation selflessly!

That person who Makki thinks deserves the nomination is Harith Al Thari! The same person who speaks for the terrorists, who the families of hostages negotiate with, and who was in charge of the mission of writing the Quran in Saddam's blood.

Harith Al Thari? Very funny. It would've been funnier if he had nominated Saddam or Zarqawi!

Makki, wake up man and be serious! I mean, who would take you seriously after writing something like this?

[Hat tip: Saudi Jeans]

Monday, May 16, 2005

News Round Up

There's been a dispute going on between an Egyptian called Cipherrus and myself. Well It started between Ciph, Athena and others, and then I ended up debating with this guys who believes in a united Islamic nation, Islamic Passport and terrorism.

Anyway, it started at Athena's site, then Isaac replied to him in 2 post [1, 2]. What amazes me is that he justifies terrorism in Iraq! I mean, who gave an Egyptian the right to justify anything that goes in Iraq? Can I justify terrorism in Egypt? Do I have such right? If I do, then hell, I will justify terrorism in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi, Syria; what the hell, let's justify it in all Arab and Muslim states and blow up everybody in every capital there!

I wonder if his family get blown up in one these attacks, would he still justify it? Anyway, read the arguments and try to understand the mind of those who want take us back to the 7th century; it's a long story but worth it. By the way, there were few errors in my replies, but I can't edit the comments, so I didn't bother and I am sure you will get the message.

Akbar had some worries regarding the misrepresentation of Sunnis in the new 55 member commission that will responsible for writing the constitution, and he is also worried about the de-baathification. Fayrouz has wrote about the commission too.

I believe the Shia bloc has shown their dark side by not allocating enough seats for the Sunnis in that commission. I understand that some people, especially Shiites, are frustrated with Sunnis boycotting the elections and then demanding representation, it sounds completely unfair; but if I want this process to work and not just to prove that they were wrong in boycotting and that they got what they asked for, then I want to include them.

This is not a game of who got more in the elections get to rule; this is about writing a constitution that will shape the future of Iraq; and therefore, it is imperative that people get represented properly.

To be honest, I wan't worried. Let me tell you why; first, the Kurds will not let the Shia get away with religious law; second, Allawi stood up to the Shia and refused to head the commission because the Sunnis are misrepresented; and last but not least, the US will not stand by idle watching the Shiites, or anybody, messing about without doing anything. And they didn't stand idle, and the Sunnis today have welcomed Rice's call to have a great Sunni representation. I mean were would we go without the Americans, eh?

So, this will be sorted out; don't worry Akbar.

As for the de-baathification; well, if you know me by now, you would know how much I despise the Baathis; but, we can not persecute them just because they were Baathis. Therefore, while I fully support the de-baathification process, I believe it must be just and those who didn't commit crimes and behaved honourably should have a future in the new Iraq. It is not an easy task to separate the bad Baathis from the good Baathis; but we can not just outcast all Baathis. I don't think we can do that; even though I wish we can, I think it would be very unwise to do so.

What else? Saddam lawyer said that Saddam is so afraid of execution he cries and pisses himself! Nice, eh? Way to go Ibn Sabha! (Ibn=son, Sabha is Saddam's mother) [Hat Tip: LadyBird]

And another hat tip to LadyBird; Sajeda, Saddam's wife, and his daughter have bought 55% of Al Jazeera! They paid $180 million through some fake company registered in British Virgin Islands. I wonder were they got that money from! Later, I told my father about this transaction, he said; what's new? It was Saddam's channel, anyway!

So, it seems like Al Jazeera which I adore so much, is going to be the official mouthpiece of Saddam and the Baathis! But seriously think about it, this is good news; I mean we don't have to put up with morons who keep defending Al Jazeera anymore.

On Friday, some friends came over; we were having a drink and chatting when they mentioned the Hezbollah-Israeli clash! I was shocked and I turned the TV on to watch the news on Al Arabia, but I had to wait half an hour for their news bulletin! So, one of the guys said Al Jazeera has a news bulletin now; but I said, no way man, I am not going to watch Al Jazeera! So, I tried BBC, CNN, etc and couldn't find anything and had to check the web for details and then watched Al Arabia half an hour later. Therefore, I don't care whether Sajeda, Raghad, or even Saddam himself owns Al Jazeera, it is not a channel that I would watch anyway!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Are We Patriotic?

I think many Iraqis are not; but let’s examine it and maybe I will change my mind by the end of this post.

What is patriotism? Patriotism is a feeling of love and devotion to one's own homeland. Generally, any selfless act that directly benefits the nation is considered patriotic.

If we look at our modern history, three leaders stand out; Saddam Hussein, Abdul Karim Qassim, and Nuri as-Said.

Is Saddam patriotic? I am certain, without a shadow of a doubt, that some Iraqis and many Arabs will say yes he is. But how is that possible, I say? And they would answer with some Arab-Nationlism, anti-American, anti-Zionist rhetoric, and that to them is patriotism. But in all that, where is the selflessness and the benefit of the nation? Nowhere, it’s not important. Did Saddam benefit Iraq? No, he benefited himself, his family and his henchmen. Was Iraq any better because of him? No, the world, including all Arab nations, moved forwards and Iraq moved backwards. Are those who worked with him patriotic? Of course not, they did it to benefit themselves.

If Saddam had any patriotism, he would not have forced the Iraqi people to go through three wars.

Abdul Karim Qassim, was he patriotic? Well, this is a tricky one. Many will claim he was. He died without owning anything, he slept in his office in the Ministry of Defence and he used to give half his salary to his sister to cook lunches for him, and these lunches contained no meat because the money was not enough. So he acted with unselfishness; however, Al Mahdawi court witnessed many injustices during his short reign and most those who were convicted in that court were sentenced to die.

What scares me about Qassim’s, Saddam’s and many other Iraqis’ version of patriotism is that they believe that they know what is best for the country and therefore they believe they have the right to rule that country. They act upon their belief and kill anyone who disagrees with them.

Do they know what is best for the country? Or what is best for them and their clan or their faction? What does Iraq mean to them? Does it mean it is their country and it should become best suited for them? Are the rest of the Iraqis not really Iraqis, or they shouldn’t live there?

If any of them was really patriotic he would have acted on the countries best interest, in general; and not their faction’s or their idea’s best interest.

Nuri as-Said, was he patriotic? Well, I believe he was; simply because he acted for the country’s best interest. Al Baath Party told us that he was to be considered a traitor because he was a strong supporter of the British and the west; and therefore, many Iraqis do consider him a traitor. He became the prime minister of Iraq many times, including the first and the last before Qassim’s coup. And while being a PM, he was overthrown few times by those who thought they know what it best of Iraq! He signed the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty in 1930 which led to Iraq’s independence in 1932, and he also signed Baghdad Pact in 1955 with Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and Britian, while Jordan refused to join.

He was pro-Western, and that’s why he was a traitor! Does it sound familiar?

Is patriotism only restricted to those who believe in pan-Arabism? What if the nation’s best interest is to be pro-Western? Isn’t patriotism acting for the nation’s best interest? Well, Saddam and his Baath Party taught us that any pro-Western stance is traitorous, even if it is in the nation’s best interest.

Therefore, some Iraqis do not know what patriotism is. Some believe that being anti-Western is patriotism, no matter whether it is good or bad for the nation. That is what we’ve been told.

Let’s say that I hate America, Israel and the west in general. Let’s also assume that I believe in all the conspiracy theories that incriminate America, Israel and the west in general. And let’s assume that I think that all our misfortunes are cause by America, Israel and the west in general.

That said, I still hate and despise all the Baathists and their supporters. But above all, I hate Saddam, his family and his henchmen. Or do these contradict with the above?

If I am patriotic, then Iraq’s best interest would certainly be my priority, right? Having got rid of Saddam is definitely something I should be happy about, right? But believing in conspiracy theories and hating the west is a hurdle. If Iraq’s best interest forces me to work with the west then I have to choose either to love Iraq more than anything and ignore my feelings about the west, or to hell with Iraq because I can’t stop loathing the west.

So, which is it? Do I love Iraq more, or hate the west more? And is it in Iraq’s best interest to work with America?

From looking at Iraq’s history and the damage it caused, I strongly believe that we need the west to help us rebuild Iraq. But, my hate to the west tells me that I should not work with them and I should say we can depend on ourselves and we can do it without help. But then again, if we can, why didn’t we do it before? Why didn’t the top Baathists advice on making Iraq democratic? Why didn’t Qassim or Arif or Al Bakir do it? Because once they sit on the chair, they think they can do it all by themselves. Because they think they know what is best and to hell with what Iraqis think.

Now that could be debatable; but let’s look around us, is there any country in our region, apart from Israel which I am suppose to be hating right now, that has a democracy? But why? Can Arab not do it on their on? Do they always have to be pressured by the west to do what is best for the country and the people, i.e. to become patriotic?

Why we don’t want to be pressured and forced to implement democracy? Because then it proves that our government don't care about the people and the country as much as they care about their seat and what they think is right and best.

Maybe it is that male thing that makes us prefer to get lost than to ask for directions, only Arabs have it ten times more than the rest of the world! I call it the fake-pride, and we have a lot of that in the Middle East.

So, back to Iraq’s best interest; if I want democracy and I have doubts that we can achieve it, plus there is this idea that scares me about someone thinking that he knows what is best for the country and decides to fight the rest to rule the country, which is what the terrorists are doing now, then I think we need the west, America and the rest of the world to help us pass this and build a new free and democratic Iraq for all, and not only for a specific faction.

But I hate the west! So do I love Iraq more? Do you? I do, and therefore I am willing to ignore my hate. And maybe when Iraq becomes free, stable and democratic then I will start hating the west again; but for now Iraq’s best interest is above any other feeling I have. But that is not how most Iraqis think! Many Iraqis either they hate the west more than any love they have for Iraq, or they believe that to become patriotic you must be anti-Western pro-Arab!

The world knows that America is divided; left and right. It was also divided in early 2001, was it not? But what happened after 9/11? All Americans put aside there differences and stood together as one nation. They all rallied behind their leader, his approval ratings reached 90% and they supported their troops when they went to Afghanistan to get the perpetrators. There is not better example to show what patriotism means.

Iraq is being attacked by terrorists who want nothing other than to destroy the country and kill innocent people, yet still some Iraqis sympathise with these terrorists. Is this patriotic? Is killing Iraqis, sabotaging oil pipelines and construction, patriotism? How is that going to help Iraq? Please, someone explain to me. Of course, it is not about what is good for Iraq, but what is good for a group of Iraqis who think that they own Iraq and they know what is best for Iraq.

Probably Saddam would consider it the highest degree of patriotism; but not me, not the eight millions who voted, not the victims of Saddam and his wars, not the victims of these terrorists and their atrocities. No they are not patriotic, they are destroying the country, and their supporters are not patriotic too.

I believe that most Iraqis are against these terrorists. But a year ago, the terrorists had much more support than what they have now; and the reason because of the messed up concept of patriotism that we’ve been taught. Many Iraqis thought and believed that these are not terrorists but pure patriotic Iraqis who were fighting the occupation.

And today, even though most Iraqis are against the terrorists; there are still Iraqis who can’t put Iraq’s best interest before their feelings. When you think of what is best for your faction before thinking of what is best for Iraq then you are being less patriotic. Iraq’s best interest is not to make it best for Shiites, or Sunnis, or Muslims, or Christians, or Arabs, or Kurds, or Turkmen, etc; but to make it best for all. Now how many Iraqis think that way? Sadly, I think the minority thinks that way. And I hope I am wrong; but if I am not, then our future depends on the enlightened minority and the west.

If we agree that patriotism as the love, devotion and the selfless act that benefits the whole nation and all its factions; then I must say that Iraqis lack patriotism. And I don’t care for the act to be selfless as much as I care for it to be for the good of Iraq and all its faction.

Having said we lack patriotism, or we have a messed up concept of patriotism; I must say that does not mean there aren’t any. No, there are many patriotic Iraqis, certainly the eight million who went out to vote are patriotic enough to risk there lives and vote, and the Police and the National Guard who are trying their best to protect Iraq and its people; but still not enough, still we have a lot of Iraqis who have a messed up concept of patriotism that allows them to kill their own people.

I find it funny that some people think that it is insulting to brand an American as patriotic or super-patriotic! If we were as patriotic as the Americans who put aside their differences and stood together when they were attacked, we wouldn’t be in this mess! In fact, if we were as patriotic as them, Saddam would not have found enough Iraqis to support him in the first place!

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Liberal Way

I’ve been planning to post about this issue for sometime now; but I never got around doing it. But, thanks to Brian H, I read a disturbing post about Sweden and I thought that I have to write about the issue.

This post about Sweden, which you must read, is a wake up call. I have believed for sometime that if western societies are going to lose their freedom, democracy and way of life, it will happen because of the liberal mind not because of radical Muslims.

Annie once asked me:

“I was reading about Sayyid Qutb and his writings and found some real irony in the present situation with the Patriot Act that I would like your opinion on.

What I was reading said when he came to America in 1950 he grew to hate America for it's permissiveness especially when it came to teenagers and Qutb cited Alfred Kinsey's report on sexuality, as well as Darwin, Marx, and Freud, as degrading influences on American life. He feared the same influences would invade Egypt.

All of those things he hated were leftist ways of thinking and now it is the leftist organizations such as the ACLU that are trying to block the punishments (you are recommending), and trying to undermine the Patriot Act, etc. What do you think about so much of the leftist thought in today's situation? Don't you find it ironic?”
And my answered was:

“It is ironic! But I believe its all about fear and control! The liberal is afraid of control and Sayyid Qutb is afraid of losing it!

They are both somehow radical in their thinking. The leftists are liberal; therefore, have less control over people's lives. And that's the first reason why Sayyid Qutb and many other radical clerics were - and those living are – afraid. Having less control means people can do what they like, within reason, without being punished. So, not only they are afraid that they cannot apply Islamic laws with such liberal thinking, but they are also afraid that more people will ignore the Islamic teachings.

Second, if people known about this liberal world, how people in the west are living and how attractive it looks, they are afraid that people would choose the liberal world. So, they want to control people's lives by telling people what they can and can't do, which is the complete opposite of the liberal world.

Now if a liberal advocates his ideology in a religious state, the liberal will be easily defeated because he has no rights and the religious leader can decide his fate / punishment for breaking the rules easily and therefore protecting that world

However, if a religious person advocates his ideas in a liberal state, then the religious person will use all the rights that liberal state has provided him with to continue his fight. Therefore, the religious person take advantage of the rights given to him by the liberal; and the liberal will argue that if we reduce these right that means we lost, but in fact without reducing them you make losses and by reducing these rights you can make winning so much easier!”
Today, Islamists are the enemy, but tomorrow you might have a different enemy. Some of those radical Muslims attack by suicide bombs; others infiltrate western societies and abuse the freedom and rights given to them by these liberal societies. They attack the society’s way of life, incite followers against those who tolerated them, recruit people to attack the country that harboured them, change the culture of that society, etc.

The more rights these societies will offer them the more happy they will be, because then they will have protection while they are attacking the country that offered them these rights which they should be indebebted to for the rest of their lives. Instead of being grateful, respectful and tolerant, they want to change that society in way that it would undermine that society’s way of life; that society which has tolerated them and protected them in the first place.

These Islamists will not offer the westerns any rights if they have powers, because they know that these rights will undermine their rule, just like it undermined the rule of the foolish western society that allowed them to abuse it and take over.

Think about it, do these radical Muslims have similar rights in their own country? No. Would they give such right to their people, if they come to power? No. Why? Because they are afraid that when people have rights, they will lose control. Yet, they will be glad to get more and more rights that protect them during their mission to destroy the world and send it back to the 7th century.

It is absurd that western societies must adjust to accommodate radical Muslims, their culture and believes in a way that jeopardise the society’s very way of life. Yes, people should be tolerant, western society should be free and democratic, multi-cultural, etc., but within reason. If Muslims do not think that they can live in a free, democratic, multi-cultural, tolerant western society while being good Muslims then they should not have come here in the first place.

Sanity in this context is to know what is realistic and what is not. If some of these rights undermine the very foundation of a democratic and free society, then no matter how noble these rights are, it is insane to offer them to people. It is imperative for a free and democratic society to protect its freedom and way of life, and to be able to foresee the dangers that could undermine its way of life. This is not only important to non-Muslims, but also to moderate Muslims who will eventually be punished or discriminated against for wrongdoings of radical Muslims. I don't want to be in Britain when the day comes when I would be called bloody foreigner, bloody Muslim, bloody Arab and have to lower my head and walk faster; I don't want to be here when this happens.

Integration is very important in a multi-cultural society; but it is the job of the immigrant to integrate while the native tolerate, accept and respect that immigrant. And by integrating that doesn't mean one should change completely and becomes a copy of the native; no, otherwise it is not a multi-cultural society, is it? One must change to become part of the new society and learn about rather than creating a small society that is specific to his culture. That’s how my family, my friends and I, did it, not the other way around. We integrated, we changed, we learned and we are grateful to have been accepted and been treated with dignity.

A friend of mine stopped going to the mosque for prayers because the Imam always talks about the evil west! Well, if it is evil, then why are you living there? It is frustrating for us because we know that the native will hate all of us one day because of those radicals! And If we allow them, they will simply take away every right we cherish today and everything that is good about any free and democratic society. They will simple make the world stop envy the west or try to migrate to the west, because the west is no longer this place were people are free and have rights and protection.

I have said before and I think it's appropriate to mention it again that the problem is not Islam; backward thinking Imams, blind and unquestioning following of these Imams, tyrants and tribal culture are the problems. The solution, I think, is the enlightenment of Muslims, getting rid of tyrannical regimes, and reforming and reinterpreting Islam. Shariah TV is a simple example.

The perfect example for an Islamist abusing rights given to him by a free and democratic society to destroy that society is Abu Hamza Al Masri, who praised Ben Laden and is a supporter, if not a valuable member, of Al Qaeda.

Britain banned Abu Hamza from preaching in Mosques, yet he continued to preach in the street outside Finsbury Mosque! Then a new law that made sense was introduced which enabled the Home Secretary to strip Abu Hamza from the British Nationality because he acted against UK’s interests; but Abu Hamza appealed his deportation and the appeal could’ve cost the British taxpayer £250,000 if it wasn’t for Ashcroft’s request to extradite him to the US on 11 counts of terrorism.

Today, Islamists are the enemy, but tomorrow you might have a different enemy.

I was watching Fox news the other day. I don’t normal watch Fox news, but I thought I should try it and see how biased it really is and what is all the fuss is about. Anyway, I watched the O’Reilly Factor, when Bill talked about a murder case in which the murderer was sentenced to life in prison without parole about 10 or 9 years ago, not sure. However, the murderer was freed, recently! Why and how? He was freed because the victim’s family wore a small badge with the victim’s face on it; and that might have influenced the jurors! Can you believe this? Do you know how devastating such a stupid decision to the victim’s family?

Imagine they free Saddam because the son of a father that Saddam murdered wore a badge with his father’s picture on it!

Now I appreciate that the law does not allow any banners that could influence the jurors; but this was not something that could’ve influenced the jurors, it was a small sign with the face of the victim and the jurors knew these were members of the victim’s family and they were in mourning. How could it have influenced the jurors?

Liberal judges, one of whom is married to a former ACLU director, freed that murder, and they didn't free him because he didn't do it, but because of the most stupid technicality ever.

My blood was boiling then and I could think of nothing but how devastating such decision to the victim’s family must be. I think it is outrageous and I think that a world that is ruled by such stupid radical liberals would not last long; because it is extremely easy for any fanatical group, Islamists or not, to undermine and destroy such world.

The liberals are just not getting how serious the problem is. And I hope they could think about how life would be if those terrorists and radical Muslims, in Iraq and or elsewhere that they sympathise with, get to power. I can assure you that they will leave you (the liberals) for dessert, knowing how powerless and foolish you are.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

It's America's fault

Everything bad happening in this world, and I mean everything, is America’s fault. The ruler is oppressing the people; it’s America’s fault. All Arab leaders are no good; it’s America’s fault. There are lots of problems in Africa; it’s America’s fault. Saddam was brutal and killed many innocents; it’s America’s fault. Saddam invaded Kuwait; it’s America’s fault. Sanctions were imposed on Iraq; It’s America’s fault. 9/11 killed about 3000 innocents; it’s America’s fault. Islamophobia is increasing; it’s America’s fault. There are terrorists in the world; it’s America’s fault. Someone died in Iraq yesterday; it’s America’s fault. Someone will die in Palestine tomorrow; it’s America’s fault. And so on and so forth, it is always America’s fault.

That’s how the Muslim and or Arab mind works. It’s America’s fault; those are the magic words that when you say, everybody will nod in agreement and then everyone will try to highlight another problem which is again America’s fault.

Sorry my American friends, but no matter what you do; it is always your fault.

I was in a party yesterday and a friend of mine who just came back from the States was talking about the fabulous time he had there and how friendly people are. He went to NY for three weeks on a business trip and he ended up in a presidential suite because the hotel was full. How lucky is that? Anyway, he talked about how friendly and nice people are and it is something we miss here in London.

Anyway, he then talked about the airport and the security checks, which wasn’t too bad for him because he’s been there twice before on business trips and he doesn’t look like an Arab, even though it was written on his British Passport that he was born in Baghdad but still he is blondish.

At that point another guys turned to me and start talking about how bad these security checks can be; and I said yes, but they have to and its there right. And he said, yes I agree with them too and I want these security checks its for our safety; but it’s all there fault. And I said, who’s fault? America’s fault, he said! Interesting. So I asked, how is it that it’s America’s fault. All is America’s fault, he said, they created Israel in the middle of the Arab Nations, etc! I knew were this was going and I didn’t need to here it, so I just stopped him there and told him that it has nothing to do with America’s.

I told him how in the 70s and early 80s, when I was a kid, we used to travel around Europe every summer and when decide to go to a country that we didn’t plan to go to, we just go there and get a visa in the airport, on the spot. I told him how our Iraqi passport used to be respected everywhere like any European or American passport today and he was shocked. He didn’t know because he is a non-Iraqi Arab. I also told him how Saudi’s, until recently, used to get the British visa in the airport and used to get the America visa with no problem. Again he was shocked.

So I told him it’s our fault, we are the bad guys and we brought this to ourselves. So he said, okay, but they should do these security checks on everybody, why they single us out? And I told him, we know that we are the bad guys and they know that we are the bad guys, so why do we fool ourselves? We have a problem and we have to tackle it, if we don’t talk about it and solve it, it will not be solved.

After that, he said, yes Arabs are SOBs; and I said, absolutely, now we are talking. So then he went on how his old parents couldn’t get visa to another Arab country and how Arabs treat other Arabs as second class and how the whole Arab world is messed up. Eventually he started make sense.

The point is that these security checks are created because some of us and in our name behaved badly, and it is there to protect the good people from the bad ones.

The problem is that when Arabs / Muslims talk, they blame America for everything without thinking and the worst part is that when someone blames America the rest agree! I mean, if I had let him finish what he was saying, he would’ve ended up with an Arab Nationalism speech and said something like; America created Israel and they help them and they have to pay for being Israel’s best allay. I know where he was going, but I didn’t want to ruin the party and end up talking about the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the right for Israel and Palestine to coexist.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Victory tinged with sadness

Tony Blair has won a historic third term in government with clear and large, but reduced, majority. The 66 majority is not a landslide like the previous 2 Labour wins, but it is undoubtedly large. The Conservatives in 1992, after the first Gulf war, won by 22 majority; this must be much better and it is a clear victory for Tony Blair and Labour. Congratulations Mr Blair.

Amid this wonderful victory last night, came a bitter loss; Labour has lost the seat of Bethnal Green and Bow to the despicable MP, George Galloway! Is this interesting? Yes. Why?

Galloway and SaddamGalloway normally stands in Glasgow; he won there in 2001 before he got expelled from the Labour Party for his traitorous remarks in which he incited foreign troops to rise up against British troops. He was loathed by many for his remarks and his praise for Saddam, not to mention his support for the Iraqi "resistance" which he thinks is legitimate! So, after all that he decided that there is no chance for him to win in his own constituency and decided to stand in Bethnal Green and Bow, in London!

What is interesting about this constituency is that it is a Labour constituency held, or was held, by a black women MP. What is even MORE interesting and gave him a chance for winning is that there are 45,000 Asian Muslims in this constituency! Yes, he knew that to win a seat in the Parliament, he must target the anti-war Muslim community, and he was right; those Muslims elected the man who once stood before Saddam and said "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability", and now he wants to free Tariq Aziz. Those Muslims elected the man who once said the Iraqis should rise up against the British troops; they elected the man who calls the terrorists in Iraq "freedom fighters" and consider the innocents who were killed by those "fighters" as collaborators!

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, those Muslims sickens me because they do not understand nor do they appreciate the meaning of words such as freedom, democracy, oppression, tyranny; and they probably prefer a Muslim tyrant over a non-Muslim righteous. I am not upset because Labour lost that constituency, but I am disgusted that those Muslims voted for Saddam's buddy when they could've easily voted for Lib Dems or Green Party to show their opposition to the war. But to vote for Galloway, Saddam's mouthpiece, of all people is truly disturbing.

I bet you if Saddam was a candidate in that constituency, he would've had a very good chance of winning! Or if it Osama Bin Laden, he would've probably secured his win easily!

I have a problem, I don't understand, I mean I do understand and it is hard to accept! How can a Muslim living in a democracy do not appreciate democracy? How can a Muslim be so backward thinking while living in country full of forward thinking people? Why do they love Saddam? Why do they hate Iraqis so much, or at least, they hate to see them living in democracy? Is it because it is imposed? Well, what about what the Iraqis want? Or do they have to dictate how Iraqis live and run their country? Why didn't they say something when Saddam was oppressing them?

I mean, if Iraqis want democracy, and the west helped them while their Muslim neighbours cheered their ousted tyrant, it's their choice and they should get that democracy, right? No they say, the tyrant is a Muslim! And they didn't only cheer him when he was oppressing his own people; they now cheer the so called "resistance" which is killing innocent Iraqis, they call them "collaborators"!

Now, thanks to some 15,801 voters in Bethnal Green and Bow, Saddam's puppet and the "resistance" glorifier is still in the British Parliament! What a shame!

But thanks to Jeremy Paxman, the Newsnight presenter, Galloway didn't have all the fun he expected!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

UK Elections 2005

I am sorry I haven’t been able to post anything the past few day; I was busy with work among other things.

Among those other things, I've been following the UK elections . I've watched Charles Kennedy, the Liberal Democrats leader, answers most of the questions by looking at the sky, then closing his eyes and signing "Imagine". Imagine what? You become PM? No thanks, I don’t want to imagine that.

Then came Michael Howard, the Tories (Conservatives) leader, and he answered most of the questions by saying; "But we have to look back; we have progressed too much in the last 8 years and it's time to move back"! I especially enjoyed it when Howard shot himself in the foot on the Iraq war! He attacked and accused Blair, and then he went on and said that he would've gone to war for regime change. Then why are you attacking Blair? Howard would’ve done himself much less harm if he had said something like; “I supported Blair’s decision to go to war and I would’ve done the same”. End of story. Why did you have to shoot yourself?

Well, I guess by now you know whom I support in this election! That’s right, the one and only Tony Blair, for he is the only candidate in this election who is a real leader and deserves to be the Prime Minister. I don’t support him only because of the Iraq war and his courageous decision, but also because of his realistic and progressive policies.

I was talking to my parents yesterday and they announced that they will vote for Lib Dems! I was speechless for a moment, but then my father explained it. Labour has no chance of winning that constituency; they lost there in 2001 by about 35%; the Lib Dems won and the Tories lost by 10%. Therefore, it would make more sense to vote Lib Dems than to waste a vote on Labour in a constituency were they have no chance of winning. So, if a Lib Dem won there again, then it would have no effect on Labour.

As most of you know, or maybe not, it has been predicted by most people and pundits that Tony Blair will win this election; which is great. However, unfortunately, I don’t think he will have the same majority in the parliament that he currently enjoys! Tonight I will be watching the election coverage and will be eagerly waiting to see 1) the disgraceful George Galloway defeated and out of parliament; 2) the respectable Tony Blair win a third term with a good majority.

Fortunately, there were no injuries in today’s blast near the UK consulate in Manhattan; but it might become a source for another conspiracy theory!

This picture speaks for itself

[Hat Tip: Minh-Duc]

Update: Read the story behind this picture from the photographer. [Hat Tip: Lisa, NY]