In the past in Iraq (and till now in all arab and Muslim countries except for very few, and since Trotsky came up with his idea of the “Everlasting revolution”), any attempt to change the government or even part of it was considered as a “conspiracy against the revolution” and an act of treason that no one would imagine a more horrible crime and a worse punishment for.
In Iraq for a long time a revolution seemed to us to be the only way to overthrow Saddam and achieve our dreams in freedom, justice and democracy. There’s always something fascinating about revolution especially for people like us who suffered for a long time under a very brutal dictatorship. I used to watch the injustice that’s happening allover the world and the people’s silence about it and think that the only thing that’s going to save us is a wide revolution that spreads through Iraq to the neighboring countries, as the only thing the people of the advanced world seemed to be interested in was delivering fast aid to areas in most need for it, to make our suffering less terrible but not to deal with the primary cause that was continuously causing such crisis. It’s a noble and generous effort but it wasn’t enough, as we didn't want to just live, we wanted to live as human beings.
On the other hand the governments of the advanced countries were concerned only with their interests interfering only when those interests were threatened, while some governments openly and without feeling any shame supported these dictatorships even with knowing that they were participating greatly to our continuous suffering.
We thought we couldn’t and shouldn’t depend on anyone but ourselves. Many Iraqis fought Saddam and his regime with outstanding bravery even with understanding the horrible fate that was awaiting them and their families. Others, like us kept trying to gather support, encourage people to take a stand and educate them about their rights, that they should be the ones who decide the way their country is run. However in each time we tried to organize a larger group than just us and our closest friends, we failed to gather the support of more than 5-10 people.
Trusting others was almost impossible and very risky. We had to consider that we were not only risking our lives but also the lives of our family, close friends and relatives and the future of our relatives to the 4th degree! One of these days at Saddam’s time some friends were gathering in our house. We were just chatting and having fun. Our neighbor who is a Tikriti and worked for the intelligence knocked on the door and when I opened he asked me about the cars outside our house. I told him that these were our friends’. He said to me, “You know that gathering is against the law and if it wasn’t for the fact that you’re my neighbor and I respect your family, I would’ve sent you behind the sun. Be careful, as I understand but other people may not” He said it in a warning tone not as an advice!
However, one of these days we decided that we could never accept such life and decided to gather support and confront the government in a long awaited revolution no matter what happens. We were prepared for the worst and it seemed to me that my dream of becoming a true martyr was about to come true.
We contacted some friends and people who believed in the same principles we believe in and we told them about our plan. Some people didn’t like it but we still managed to gather more than 800 people who stated that they are not afraid of saying in public that they want to overthrow the government and do whatever it takes. We heard about other groups trying to do the same and we decide to unite our efforts with theirs but first we had to make the first step alone. The group chose me, my brother Mohammed and a friend of ours to go to the authorities and talk to them, as we were still hoping to do this peacefully without unnecessary bloodshed unless they refused. We knew of course that it might well lead to our death but then the rest of us would carry on using the hard way.
We reached the government main headquarter and entered without much difficulty. We went to one of these offices as we didn’t know were to go as this was our first time there. One of the government employees asked us what was our need. We said our prayers and told him that we want to change the regime. He asked us to wait until he call for the man in charge and I said to myself, “that’s it, they’re calling the Mukhabarat” the guy came back with another man who, after greeting us asked about our group. We handed him a file that contained our goals and a list of the people who supported us. He took it and told us to come back in 3 days after they study it.
“Study it!?” I said to myself “ they’re not going to hang us? Maybe they are letting the small fish to capture the large one?” anyway we went back and spent 3 difficult nights full of worries and nightmares.
On the 3d day we went back to the same place and another man was waiting for us, “are you a representative of this group” the man asked Mohammed, “no, I’m their leader” (man, that was brave of Mohammed! Now he’s gone and I won’t have the honor of being the first martyr in the group!).
“Pleasure to meet you Sir! Have a seat please” said the man to Mohammed and the rest of us with a broad smile. ( a trap! Ok so be it!) Our friend was encouraged by this gesture and asked for tea! They brought us tea and some cockies! (Maybe a last wish grant) After few minutes the guy looked into a computer and asked us about the name of our group. We told him the name and the guy said “Congratulations! Your demand has been approved and you’ll have a chance to layout your plans in public and if enough number of people agree with you, the current government would step down and let you among others take the lead”
“What!? These people are so easy! are they wimps or what? They can kill us just like that, and no one would dare to do anything about it. Alas! There won’t be any revolution and I won’t be a martyr!” such questions were on my mind as we left the place wondering why would someone who has all the power and control in his hands hand it to another one without a fight and without the slightest objection!
That was not a dream, it’s for real and it didn’t happen in the “free and independent” Iraq at Saddam’s time, it happened 3 days ago in “occupied Iraq”.
To summerize it and although many of you know that already but I would like to announce that the party we have formed, the Iraqi pro-democracy party is now officially registered and will have the chance to compete in the upcoming elections.
You can’t imagine the thrill and happiness I felt when I held the document that state that the “Iraqi pro-democracy party” is registered and Approved as a political entity that has the right to participate in the upcoming elections! This was a dream to us, and with the help and support we received from all our friends, the readers of this blog, the dream has now became true. We still have a battle to fight and we’re more than willing to go all the way.
You can find a complete list in Fayrouz blog here.
And by the way, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!