Thursday, November 27, 2003

Facing the demons.

Last night I was sitting in the residents cafeteria having tea with some of my colleagues, the Iraqi TV was broadcasting an interview with some officials in the GC and some other independent parties discussing the expected demonstrations against the terrorism in Iraq.
Despite the large letters saying(NO TO TERRORISM) showing on the background, non of my colleagues seemed to be listening or paying any attention.

I turned to one of my friends and asked him: -will you take part in this demonstrations, he inquired (what demos.?) and when I explained the matter to him, his answer was NO. His excuse was that he didn't want to risk his life, so we indulged into a hardtalk, which attracted the others.
I asked them about their opinion one by one, one of them said that he will definitely go, the others refused, and when I asked why, one of them said that it's been organized by the GC which doesn't represent him, others said that it will not make any difference while the rest said that they have nothing to do with it and it's just an old account between the Americans and the terrorists that allied with Saddam and his loyalists.

At that time I felt an enormous rage growing inside , as I remembered the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis lying in the mass graves, the coalition soldiers getting killed every day trying to defend both the freedom of their fellow citizens and that of ours.
I saw the people of jeorgia who marched in thousands and forced shevardenadze to resign. I remembered all the compassionate and encouraging e-mails and comments sent to me from different people in the world offering their help and showing their support.
I couldn't hold myself and shouted in their faces (shame on you) for how long will this carelessness last?
For how long will this coward attitude continue?
When Saddam was in charge, you had some excuses, but now you have none.

The tyrant and his terrible killing machine are defeated, they don't sleep for two nights in one place, haunted by the American hammer, finding no other places than the basements and tunnels to hide in.
you are now free, protected by 150,000 of the coalition troops and a similar no. of Iraqi police and new military, yet you're still shaking of fear for just hearing Saddam's name.
Yes, there's a great possibility that they will attack this demo., but aren't we risking our lives daily as we go to our work or drive near a government building or near an American or IP patrol.
These terrorists are attacking our schools, our police stations, power supply, the red-cross and the UN, most of the time they choose to attack American soldiers as they pass through a crowd of Iraqi people, they plant explosives on our roads hoping that an American vehicle might step on it .
Do you think that your submission to them will make you safer? Maybe, but you will never be free. You always put the blame on the Americans and the GC, you'd better blame yourselves for such a negative attitude.

The discussion went for about an hour, at the end, 5 of my colleagues (out of 10) were convinced and will take part in the demo.
I thanked God saying to myself there's still hope.
After that one of my friends (a committed sheie Muslim) asked me gently: does it really grows inside you, this compassion with the USA?
I replied, if you mean the government of the USA then let me tell you that governments were made not to earn the love or hate of other people, but to protect it's citizens and serve their interests, which -I think-is exactly what the government of the USA doing. That’s why I respect this gov., however I do find inside me a growing love and gratitude to the American soldiers and citizens who continuously provide their money and efforts and even sacrifice their lives to protect their country, yes-but also for our freedom.

Here, my friend said that he agrees with me but asked (do you believe that the American soldiers are here to set you free?)
Well, my answer was YES and I don't find it naive to say so, although I don't deny that many of them came out for duty or for some personal benefits, but I still can feel the love of the people and soldiers of the USA to do the best they can for the sake of other's freedom.
Here, my friend shook his head not completely convinced. It’s your right not to believe it, for you and I can not easily comprehend it, but these men and women earned their freedom long ago and satisfied all their essential needs and most of the -what's considered luxuries for us- and it's a natural thing that when a human being achieves all of these his soul will rise high and he stands to take a look at other peoples' sufferings with sympathy and may not hesitate to sacrifice for them. Of course not all human beings do that, but only the good. On the other hand, the imprisoned and the tortured who lack the most simple human rights cannot do that and it's totally unfair on our side to ask that from him. It’s like asking a man with cancer to feel sorry for someone with a headache (as this is the case in which most people compare their misfortune to that of the others).

At the end, my friend nodded without saying anything, but I felt that he was somewhat convinced.
I hope that I’m not being too optimistic here as the hearts and minds of people change frequently and what was said in the night might well be forgotten in the morning.
Maybe, this demo. will be a total failure , maybe non of my colleagues will show, but I’m sure of one thing :I’ll be there to face my demons even if I walked alone or with a bunch of determined Iraqi people.


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