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Saturday, July 31, 2004
Iraqi border patrols arrested 60 Afghanis as they were trying to enter Iraq illegally 80 km south of Basra. Spokeman of the Iraqi Border Guards said that "Only 16 of them were carrying passports" He added, "They were not armed"
Spokeman of the ministry of internal affairs said that infiltrators will be dealt with firmly and they may face long years in prison.
(Al Sabah)

Does the Iranian government really think that anyone will believe that hundreds of foreigners and thousands of Iranians pass the Iranian-Iraqi borders without their knowledge? And some of those traverse the whole country! It seems that the Iranian government is no longer afraid or concerned that their support for terrorism in Iraq may be obvious. Maybe they think because Iraqis are not willing to go for another war and because America is busy in Iraq and may not be able to take very aggressive actions against them, that they can go on with their filthy plan of destroying Iraq without being punished or stopped?

I think they’re playing a very dangerous game and pushing their luck, as such actions cannot go unquestioned and when combined with their refusal to stop Uranium enrichment, it’s hard to believe that the world (Even the European countries that have good relations with Iran) will leave those mad mullahs alone.

Iraqis are far from being ready to face such a threat, as the Iraqi army is still under training and it lacks necessary weapons plus that Iraqis in general totally reject the idea of going to war again despite what the Iraqi defence minister said lately about Iran as he described them as Iraq's 1st enemy (although this is how most Iraqis feel). Still we can't sit and watch those mad mullahs destroy our dreams and frankly I think Iraqis will be very glad to give all the needed support if the free world decided to take serious actions against Iranian regime if they continue with their destructive atittude.

However I think the best we can do now is to continue watching the borders and try to convince the Iranians that their policy will bring serious harm to both Iraq and Iran, hoping that these mullahs are not as insane as they seem to be. I really don't like to think about the consequences of diplomatic failure here, as it's very scary even if we win.

::Baghdad Dweller posted a photo for Iraqi athletes (body builders) celeberating the 57th birthday of Arnold Shwarzenegger in Baghdad.

Iraqis are very angry.
:: Probably the most prominent event in Iraq in the past week was the bloody suicide attack on the police station in Baquoba city. 70 people were killed and a lot more were injured.
The BBC Arabic provided a forum for Iraqis and Arabs to post their responses to this attack and terrorism in Iraq in general.
As usual, I translated some of these responses for you to give you an idea about the reactions in the Arab world and Iraq regarding this issue.
All the Iraqi commentators condemned the attack except for two who describing the IP and ING as collaborators who deserve to die. (Fedayeen ?)

I’ve seen that most of the Arab commentators sympathize with the Iraqi people in these tough days, actually I saw a change in their attitudes as some of them used to prize the “resistance efforts in fighting the occupier” but now that most of the attacks are targeting Iraqis, whether civilians or security forces members, some of the Arabs seem to have realized the nature of the “resistance”. Some of the commentators even apologized to the Iraqi people and admitted that they were deluded by the media that modified the facts and showed a picture that doesn’t reflect the truth. As a matter of fact, many Iraqi commentators suggested that the government must take some action against some Arab media channels. This time you can feel extreme anger and determination to fight back in the words of the majority of Iraqis which is the case in the streets mixed with disgust to the doings of the media that show terrorism as resistance, and to the help the neighboring countries provide to the terrorists. On the other hand, very few Iraqis blamed the "ocupation" for the security problems or asked to end it! While this was the "obvious reason" for most Arabs to cause these tragedies.

There are always people who believe in conspiracies but they represented a minority this time, and those usually don’t miss a chance to accuse the “invaders” or the Israeli intelligence of being responsible in one way or another for the attacks that kill Iraqis but it’s interesting that those people cheer the “resistance” for performing similar attacks to kill the “collaborators and the occupiers’ agents”.

Here are some of the comments:

“Those groups made the police their primary target and any sane human being knows who are the enemies of the police; they’re the gangsters of course but when shall the cheering and clapping for those gangsters end and until when shall these crimes continue using the lousy excuse of resistance.

The media don’t show the slightest care about hundreds, no, thousands of innocent lives. All the media care about is to spread lies as solid facts. For example some media sources reported that jet fighters flew over Ramadi (where I live) and broke the sound barrier, which didn’t happen. Another example: they reported that the American army bombed a house, while the fact was that some mortar shells fired by the so-called resistance men hit the house and this was not the first time; tens of mortar shells fell on residential areas in my town. What can I say, I’m talking to the deaf”
Mohammed Al-Taa’i - Ramadi/Iraq.

“I closely follow the news about suicide attacks and the operations that target Americans and Iraqis because I was about to become part of this game.
The suicide attacks are performed by Arab fighters who’s first goal is heaven while the brains who plan for these operations have deep strategic goals but they will fail because Iraqis have recognized and hated this game. As for small bombs and IEDs; these are planted by a mixture of ex-criminals (hired right now) and intelligence elements from some countries and also those who were privileged before the change in Iraq”
Shahin Abdul Sattar-Baghdad.

“It’s time for you Iraqis to rise and unite your efforts against terror and terror-supporting countries. We will continue to water the tree of freedom with our blood and woe to the enemies of the people whether Arab or not. Woe to the hypocritical media. We will all build the new Iraq, the Iraq of hope and freedom and let the enemies of freedom go to hell.
Here I ask those who call such crimes resistance? What about our children and the poor workers and salesmen? Are they agents too?
Thanks to the Arabs who care about us and share our concerns and I say to the Arabs who consider us their enemies: we’re moving forward on the road of freedom and you can keep your course if you like but we will never waste the time or the chance to build the Iraq of peace and freedom”

“The filthy suicide attack killed 68 honest hardworking Iraqis among whom there were husbands, fathers. This attack and others similar to it are the last breath of these coward groups that hold Jihad as a slogan and use Islam as a cover.
The corrupt media that is bribed by the neighboring countries is morally responsible for these tragedies because they try to give legitimacy to these coward attacks by using the term “resistance”. The government is strong and its steps are supported by all the honest. Time will be on our side”
Mohammed Abdul jabbar-Baghdad.

“This is the “resistance” killing innocent people and threatening peace in Iraq. Is this Jihad? They kill innocents and they justify their doings by saying that Iraqis cooperate with the occupation while the truth is that these poor victims were people who loved and served their country by joining the IP to bring stability and peace to Iraq where coward terrorists established their stronghold. If those terrorists were the least brave they would’ve shown their faces when they appear in front of the cameras of the anti-Iraqi, poison-spreading satellite channels”
Um Noor-Iraq.

“There’s no doubt that only a desperate, full of hatred coward can commit such a crime. We should all respect the feelings of the Iraqi people. As you see, this resistance has reached the extremes of crime and brutality but it’s also approaching its miserable end right now. Wait and see”

“I’ve always listened to the conversations on your station because their time usually coincides with my return to home after work but when the conversations discuss the situation of our brothers in Iraq I usually tune the radio to another station to listen to some soft music to get some relief because I have tachycardia, tension and abdominal cramps when I listen to opinions from our misled or blindly fanatical Arab brothers. Anyway, this sad incident came to end the doubts about the sick and barbaric nature of those who commit such unforgivable crimes. This also includes anyone who tries to find excuses for their doings.

May God bless the souls of the poor Iraqis who lost their lives in that dark era under Saddam’s reign and may God bless the souls of the Iraqis who sacrificed their lives in this new time; the time of liberty and hope”
Nahidh Mohammed Salih-Dubai/UAE.

“These are the ways terrorists use against freedom lovers. The freedom that Arabs lack, and the freedom that terrorists want to destroy before it spreads. Woe to the enemies of freedom”
Mohammed Ubaid-Dubai.

“The reason behind these attacks is the American occupation and I believe that bringing Saddam Hussain back to power is the solution. He succeeded in a task (which is security) that 20 countries including the US failed in. Iraq was secure in president Saddam’s days “in the dark night we miss the moon” Iraqis will never enjoy security unless all the invading forces withdraw from Iraq and what happened till now is the proof”
Al-makashafi Al-Khidr - Amderman/Sudan.

“This is an insane, sadistic, terrorist attack but he blood of Iraqis will not go in vain.
Here I call the Iraqi government to sue the satellite channels that take part in these incidents through providing publicity to the terrorists and their supporters.
Martyrs of Iraq, heaven is yours”
Bashar Al-Baldawi-Iraqi in Oman.

“I condemn killing innocent people but martyr operations is the only way to defeat the Americans. We can’t wait for a peaceful voluntary withdrawal. Let’s remember Palestine and Lebanon and make a comparison”
Sayed Hasan-Egypt.

“The Egyptian brother is describing killing innocents as a struggle and way to defeat the Americans, not the opposite. According to his theory, I, as an Arab should kill Palestinians to scare the Israelis and force them to withdraw to the borders of June 4 1967.
Killing innocents is a struggle? What kind of logic is this!!”
Amr Ali-Egyptian in Canada.

“Is this the resistance that resists the occupation? What resistance? And what occupation?
The American soldier is trying to protect me from the terrorists and the American president saved me from Saddam’s regime. If this is an occupation then I show my deepest respect to it and if such suicide attacks are called resistance then let the resistance go to hell”
Hoshyar Zakhoi-Duhok/Iraq.

Friday, July 30, 2004
:: The Greatest Jeneration criticized Sen.Edwards for his last speech and wrote:

"Sen. Edwards, we've already achieved victory in Iraq!
Saddam's awaiting trial in a humble cell, the rape and torture rooms of his are closed forever and the new democratic Iraqi government is sovereign and hard at work
Read the rest, here.

:: Some journalist from the Sydney Herald Morning is shooting at blogs but Vodkapundit is taking position to defend the blogosphere.

:: Fayrouz has an informative post about the "Iraqi Ambassadors To Athens 2004"

:: Najma has posted a bunch of funny jokes. You've got to read them if you feel you need a laugh.

:: Zeyad is back to blogging and in his first post after a long pause he listed a number of new Iraqi bloggers who recently appeared. Some of these blogs are run by teenagers. The new blogs discuss different subjects, politics, poetry, health care in Iraq and even pets!

:: Tom Villars sent me a message requesting some help with Arabic translation and English proof reading. If anyone is willing to give him a hand, please contact him.

Thursday, July 29, 2004
:: Who said that the traffic policemen are not doing their job?
New Sabah (page in Arabic) reported that the patrols of traffic police in Baghdad have released 79723 violations tickets in the last five weeks in Baghdad only, with a total of 1.78 billion Iraqi Dinars (about 1.2 million $).
The violations ranged from reckless driving to driving vehicles without registration plates and also 3722 vehicles and 409 motor bikes were kept in custody.
If they continue like this, tickets can make a good source of income!

::Increase in electricity supply in Baghdad except for four areas.
Although this will not solve the whole problem, it's good to see an improvement inspite of all the current obstacles, especially in summer season when demands for electricity are at peak levels.

:: Muqtada Al-Sadr called his followers to remove his pictures from the walls and streets in an attempt to show his modesty. He also claimed that he has nothing to do with the atrocities and abusive actions of "some" of his followers.
I don’t know why you remind me of Saddam, Muqtada! To be more accurate; you’re a stupid Mullah (and Mulahs are already stupid) with the criminal attitude of Saddam and some comic qualities of Ghaddafi.

By the way, his pictures are already being torn and disfigured everywhere, and probably this is why he’s asking for their removal, as his followers were posting his pictures on the walls everywhere since the end of the war and only recently Iraqis' rejection and contempt for him have grown and they have expressed this through tearing his pictures and erasing his name leaving only his father’s name, as it’s part of his malicious propaganda to put the two together, along with the Iraqi flag so that no one would dare to tear the poster.

Sometimes you make me sick, sometimes you make me laugh but you always make me wonder; what kind of world is this that allows an imbecile like you not only to cosume some of earth's Oxygen but also to pollute the lives of millions of people by forcing them to see your, uh.. VERY handsome face and hear your eloquent speeches everyday!? As if we don't have enough problems already!

This picture is for one of his posters in an elevator in our hospital that I took about ten days ago. Most of his posters in the hospital were torn in a similar way.


:: Black five posted a great story about two members of the ING who sacrificed their lives to save the lives of 250 Iraqis who were trying to join the National Guard.
This story was also sent to us by one of the readers.
Thanks a lot to all those who spread the truth about how Iraqis do everything and even sacrifice their lives to secure Iraq, protect their freedom and establish a new, democratic Iraq.

 Some people call us "paid off CIA agents" just because we support democracy in Iraq and the efforts of the coalition in fighting terrorism and building a new Iraq.
Well I guess they can say what they like about us but I dare any of them to say the same about those two heroes or the hundreds of thousands of ING and IP members who risk their lives everyday for the same reason. In fact I dare them to say anything at all about these heroes whether good or bad because they can’t say something bad about people who sacrifice their lives for their country’s safety, and they can’t say anything good as well because it contradicts what they have been whining about since the beginning of OIF. Therefore they choose the golden solution and remain silent!
I see this as a good choice, only if it lasts forever.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004
This is what you support.
 Tens of victims in a barbaric action committed by those terrorists leaving pain, sorrow and a deep wound in the heart. Once again, civilians pay the highest price and once again terrorists show how cruel they are, reminding us of their hateful presence and their lust for killing and destruction.
What hurts more than this daily terror is the soft way the world is using to deal with the situation.

I believe that the presence of this terror is just a matter of time, as hatred and deception can’t last forever, but the reactions of some parts provide it with the support it needs and give it a second chance. Yes, all we need is the will and determination to crush a company that is so close to bankruptcy but the disgraceful doings of some parts postpone it once again, like what Spain, Manilla and Egypt lately did.

What’s even worse and disgusting is that these governments smugly come and ask the admirably determined nation Australia to apologize while it’s them who must apologize to the whole world for their awful mistakes that encouraged terrorists and reassured them that their criminal tactics can work.
These countries have found excuses for terror and gave the terrorists the motives to carry on with their plans as long as these plans can make "sovereign countries" yield in front of a true criminal action.

They’re cooperating with the criminals and they make it easier for terrorists to increase their activities in Iraq and elsewhere. This is the goal of terror and this is what these countries offered the terrorists on a gold plate. They’ve said clearly "do more of your work, as it will definitely bring an outcome that satisfy your sickness and illusions".

Perhaps it’s become obvious that the failure of terror is getting closer, and tightening the control over its resources is what made terrorists adopt this new strategy of asking for millions of dollars as ransoms for each hostage saying that this money will be used to pay compensations for the victims in Fallujah.

This reveals the fact that the terrorists’ resources are no longer sufficient to their expenses and this is what made them seek financial support through these criminal operations.
Ok, we know now that they’re close to bankruptcy and here come two countries to reinforce the terrorists position by withdrawing from Iraq. And people here in Iraq believe that Manilla paid several millions of dollars to free the hostage just like what the Egyptians did when the Egyptian embassy announced that the operation was more about money than about politics.
Do you know what this means?

Millions of dollars mean hundreds of victims. They’re funding terror in one way or another and I find it very stupid that negotiations take place through the help of a highly under suspicion-group like the "Sunni Muslim Cleric Council".

There’s a deal to fund terror in a different way than before and there are groups and countries who support this and maneuver to override the obstacles.
Negotiating with those thugs provides them with legitimacy let alone submitting to their demands and funding them.

This is totally rejected and it must be dealt with firmly while those who submitted to the terrorists must apologize; they gave a broke company a new chance.

What happened today is a crime and these countries are partners in this crime whether they accept this fact or not. No can make us believe that these governments care about their citizens more than the governments of the USA, Italy, UK, Australia and other coalition members. Can anyone answer the question why those governments didn’t submit to the demands of the terrorists in their own lands, like Abu Sayaf in Philippines?! The same applies to Egypt when dealing with the Islamic groups. Why was the sound of gunfire the only sound we heard when dealing with terror in their own lands? I believe the answer lies in the hypocrisy of these governments. They don’t care a sh*t about the lives of their citizens but they do care and A LOT about their individual and partisan interests. They follow the mob instead of leading them to what’s better for their future.

A good and wise government should be able to see farther than the average simple citizen and also to share this vision with him and let him see where his/her interests and security lie. What these governments are doing is the opposite, as they use the simple and instant reactions of the crowds to strengthen their position saying "we have fulfilled your demands and acted just the way you wanted" However what the people want, and especially when they are faced with a shocking and a threatening situation, is not necessarily what they need.

Can you answer the question what will be the response of Iraqis towards these horrible attacks? I’ll help you; These victims came to volunteer to serve their country as IP members and this is not the 1st time this happens and the response of Iraqis to such attacks was always more volunteers and longer lines. What does that tell you Philippine and Spanish government? If this is bravery and wisdom, then how should your actions be labeled? Maybe it’s not your business? That would’ve been a more honest answer had you said it, but you’re not just cowards or stupid, you’re also hypocrites. This include all the "anti-war" crowd with all the clowns there such as Michael Moore and George Galloway and their likes. You make me SICK when you support the "Iraqi resistance" and call these killers a revolutionists. Did you watch your "resistance" today? This is what you support and this is how history will view you; supporters of murderers and criminals, and for what? Fame and money! Enjoy it. It won’t last, as the truth will soon be revealed and you'll be exposed to all as the disgusting parasites you are.

I doubt that we can forgive you all for your cowardice, stupidity and hypocracy just as we’ll never forget the sacrifices and the help of the Americans, Australians, British, Italians, Japanese and all the other coalition members.

-By Mohammed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004
::A telling carecature from New Sabah.

Monday, July 26, 2004
Arthur Chrenkoff has posted his second roundup of good news from Afghanistan. It's a great post that was posted in the Opinion Journal as well. Check it out.

Sports and politics.
Iraqi football team qualified to the 2nd round in the Asian Football Championship after wining against Saudi Arabia 2-1 in their last match in the group. Uzbekistan qualified as the 1st in the group with 9 points followed by Iraq with 6 points while Turkmenistan and Saudi Arabia failed to qualify after scoring 1 point each.

This is the 2nd time we beat the Saudis since 1988. The 1st time was this year also when the Iraqi Olympic football team beat the Saudi to the Olympics in Athens.

The game was a difficult one and both teams had a chance to qualify and there was also the match between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to wait for in case Iraq-Saudi Arabia match ended in a draw, but our boys seemed determined not to leave anything to luck and started attacking to score the 1st goal in the 50th minute. After that our team retreated a bit which resulted in the Saudis scoring the equalizer only 4 minutes later, but our team kept fighting with high spirit until the 86th minute just 4 minutes before the end when they managed to score the 2nd goal and settled the issue without needing to wait for the result of the Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan match.

It’s worth mentioning that almost all the Chinese crowd in the Stadium were supporting Iraq, and so were most of the Arab commentators in most of the Arab channels even though the match was against another Arab team! I think it’s understandable as these guys look at Iraq as a victim and as people who need support due to the extraordinary situation they’re facing. However and although we thank them for their support, I must say that they support us for the wrong reason. When it comes to sport and despite the difficult situation in Iraq, the Iraqi team is the closest team to be living in normal healthy conditions among Arabs at least!

Before the liberation and under "normal conditions" Iraqis failed to achieve anything worth mentioning and there was a continuous deterioration in sport as years passed under the "wise leadership". This was the result of deterioration on all levels and what made things worse was Oday’s interference in sports in general and football in particular. He used to punish players severely when they lost a match, and actually the word is "torture" and not punishment. He used to interfere in the plan of each match and in who’s going to play and who’s not until the Iraqi team was no longer Iraqi and became Oday’s team.

I never cheered that team and I even felt relief and joy when they lost, as at least it made Oday upset, and also because I know that any win would’ve been used to serve their propaganda. It was not strange at all to watch songs supposed to cheer the Iraqi team cheering and glorifying mainly "the wise leadership". One of those songs included the exact phrase, "If it’s a game for them, then let them know it’s war for us". Saddam and his son wanted the Iraqi team to qualify to the Olympics in Atlanta badly just so they could instruct the players to show Saddam’s picture underneath their shirts when they score a goal. This actually happened in one of the international matches and you just have to imagine how shocked Iraqis were as they were celebrating a goal and at the same time forced to see Saddam’s ugly face shown as the reason and goal for the players’ efforts.

However I always felt sorry for the players who had to endure all that pain and humiliation for playing the game the love and for trying to honor their country’s name. This is only the story of the Iraqi team, as it happened in all the Arab countries. Just as an example is what happened to Ghada Shua’a, the Syrian Olympic gold medal winner in the Decathlon. When this girl was injured just before the world championship, I saw many Syrian sport analysts turning into political analysts accusing the poor girl of being a coward and even a traitor!!

Nowadays The Iraqi team is free from all that garbage. They are not playing for their masters as all the Arab athletes. They are playing for themselves and their country, as they are free now and no one will torture, humiliate or share their hard earned money -they make from playing outside Iraq- with them.

Most of my friends couldn’t stop supporting the Iraqi team at those times and were amazed of how I could cheer against them. After the war, they thought and because of my strong support for the coalition that I didn’t care much about Iraq! Today I went down to the cafeteria after work to watch the match with my colloquies. One of them asked me teasingly, " So who are you going to support today?" I replied in the same teasing manner, " Is this a question?? We’re playing against the Saudi’s! Your question would’ve been justified if we were playing against the American team though!"

Today I cheered the Iraqi team; my team; our team and I was so happy when they win but like the Chinese and Arab commentator, I felt sympathy, only it wasn’t for the Iraqi team. It was for the Saudi team and all the other Arab athletes who still play to satisfy their leaders. We were stronger today mainly because we are free.
Go Iraqis Go! For more victories and more celebrations!

-By Ali.


Sunday, July 25, 2004
Firas at Iraq-Iraqis is back posting and has something to say about electricity, security, income and the Iraqi Stock Exchange.

Decades of hatred teaching vs a moment of truth.
 After decades of malicious ideological teaching a former Iraqi officer met one of his "eternal enemies". What happened after that changed the Iraqi officer's life dramaticaly. Such story happened many times and are still happening in Iraq but they don't get the coverage and attention they deserve. Some of you may have read this but I've just found about it through an e-mail sent by one of our dear readers. Check it out, it's great! Here are some pictures from Iraq you don't see every day. ( from the same source)
Hat tip Steve in RI. 

Saturday, July 24, 2004
A joint force from the Iraqi National Guard and Iraqi police launched a crack down on dens of terrorism in Haifa street.An authorized source said that the operation started Thursday dawn in Haifa and the  near sites after reported accurate intelligence information on the presence of large number of terrorist groups and supporters of Saddam or those coming via the Iraqi borders from different nationalities.The source added that the Iraqi National Guard undertook installing check points in front of the compounds of the terrorists.The operation resulted in the killing of a number of terrorists from different nationalities and arresting not less than 165 persons among them 20 from different nationalities further for confiscating about 275 pieces of weapons."The accuracy of the intelligence information and the success of the operation contribute lessen the casualties among the national guards men and the Iraqi police ". The source clarified.Thanks to the consciousness of the Iraqi National Guard, the terrorist coalition lost its logistic support in the cities. 

  This operation seems to be a continuation to the one that took place on the 10th of July. It’s worth mentioning that this area has always been a source of trouble (as the people who inhabited Haifa St. Were almost Syrians who supported Saddam and were given flats in those buildings for free in the early 80s) since the end of OIF. This area lies just across the river opposite to the hospital where Ali works and he said that there was heavy gunfire and explosions almost everyday (mainly at night) coming from that direction but lately there has been a considerable decline in such hostile operations and that now you can hardly hear any gunfire.

 In another operation the National Guard and IP in Najaf confiscated 123 mortar and 225 rockets type SBG9 and lots of short-ranged missiles that were prepared to be launched towards Najaf city. The governer of Najaf made this announcement and said that a bunch of people escapede the scene where the weapons were found just as they saw the the IP patrols.
Details from Al Sabah.

So the guy who caught Saddam was an American with Iraqi descent!. God bless that fist Samir. That punch was from ALL Iraqis.

Friday, July 23, 2004
The land of "spies".
Yesterday I went to the barber to have a hair cut. This hair dressing shop that I usually go to ( and have made a sort of friendship with the owner) lies in Adhamyia district, the neighborhood that’s known to be the most anti-American and that showed the most notable resistance to OIF in Baghdad. This is the place where Saddam was seen in public for the last time before his regime collapsed. There’s hardly a day pass without hearing explosions and gun fire in this area, and as one enters this area he’s faced with slogans condemning American presence and the members of the new government written on the walls and other slogans cheering Saddam signed by Baáthists and Saddam’s Fedaáeen.

In this neighborhood lies the tomb and mosque of "Imam Abu Hanifa al Noman", the imam that has the largest number of followers among Muslim Sunnis all over the world. This mosque often witnesses demonstrations against foreign presence and American policy in Iraq.

The barber’s shop was a place where I could know more about the situation in this highly unstable neighborhood. Everyone here talks about politics but you can sense an evident fear when talking about Baáthists and Fedaáyeen here, unlike most of Iraq, as no one dares to say that what happened was right. Everybody is afraid of the revenge of the brutal criminals who are more than ready to kill a man or a woman for just one word and in the most horrible ways.
The last operations carried out by the IP and the National Guard with support from the American army had directed strong blows to these gangs, minimizing their capability to move and carry attacks, as they have found themselves in a defense now; a position that is highly unfavorable for guerilla fighters who find themselves more comfortable with the ‘cut and run’ tactics.

However the remaining members of these gangs and as a result of the death and arrest of many of their leaders and symbols and feeling being almost besieged and with hostility everywhere, have started to show more aggressive attitude, as they know that their neighbors and probably relatives must have a role in detecting their moves and supplying Iraqi and American intelligence with the necessary information to transfer into the aggression.

Now everyone is their enemy and "woe" to anyone who dare to say anything against them or the so-called resistance or even to show the slightest support to the changes taking place in Iraq. They’re now taking cover in the narrow streets that barely let a car pass through and carrying revenge attacks killing many locals believing that they might have been suppling IP with information. There are rumors all the time of these Feda’aeen beheading "traitors" and informers in public. These of course are exaggerations but these thugs know that terrorizing people with such rumors is their strongest weapons left taking advantage of the fear that still inhabits the hearts of many Iraqis from the nightmares of the recent past.

I was sitting there waiting for my turn when someone came in and after "Al Salaamu Slaikum" and "Allah bil khair" he asked the barber, "Did you see the last list of the agents and spies in street no. 20?" "No, how many names are there in this one?" said the barber.
"This one is short. There are only 250 names in it" said the guy. No one commented on this, as it may be dangerous to say what you really believe in this neighborhood. I volunteered to break the silence, "250!! These are all traitors? If there are 250 traitor in one single block then how many honest people are left in this street?" one of the guys said, "Very little. This place is filled now with agents and spies."

I smiled inside as I remembered the days of Saddam when we couldn’t dare to speak fearing Saddam’s agents who seemed to be everywhere. I was living a somewhat reversed picture from the past and it was a bit amusing. I went adding, " I don’t think it’ll take a long time before things get better" This phrase could be interpreted in 2 different ways but still no one dared to approve of what I said. People here are still afraid of a very small criminal group that is capable of everything and believe they’re the only ones who are right and who have honor while all the rest are cowards spies who should be killed without hesitation.

This was the way Saddam and his assistants used to think. They thought that if they had to sacrifice 24 million Iraqis for the rest to live "honorably" then that was what they would do with clear conscience.

These people who are still fighting think in the same way. They carry Saddam mentality ; they and only they are right while everyone else are wrong and there’s no other solution for this problem in their minds other than exterminating them. There’s no place for a dialog in their dictionary and with these you can put the extremist Islamists like Bin laden, Zargawi and even their ‘child’s play’ Sadr. I want to say that I think there’s no use of negotiating with these people who process the absolute truth and are willing to kill everyone who oppose them even if by words. Firm dealing with their ill mentality that’s polluted by illusions from the remote past is what we need and what we should not hesitate to apply.

It seems that the vast majority of Iraqis have agreed to become "spies" and offer help to the IP, national guard and the Americans, and maybe the last series of operations carried in this area as well as other places with similar demography prove that such change in people’s attitude is real. There’s a high coordination between the people and the IP, new army and the Americans, and it has become a regular thing to read in the newspapers about locals giving information about land mines or foreigners in their neighborhood with suspicious behavior and several successful arrests were made and many lives were saved as a result of this cooperation.

These facts will certainly lead those criminals to act more hysterically and they may appear in the streets in a suicidal manner to show their presence and their strength just as they did before in many occasions in futile attempts to reverse history.
Everyday passes make me surer than before that Iraqis have made up their minds and that there will be no turning back.

-By Mohammed.

Thursday, July 22, 2004
:: In a dramatic match, the National Iraqi football team achieved victory upon the team of Turkmenistan 3-2 in the our 2nd match in the Asian championship.
The Iraqi team was the first to score in minute 14 but Turkmenistan soon replied with a goal in minute 16.
The result remained 1-1 until minute 80 when our team scored the second goal but it didn’t take a long time until Turkmenistan scored another goal in minute 84 from a free kick.
The winning goal for our team in this game came in minute 87 to save the team from an undesired draw especially because our team lost the first match against Uzbekistan 0-1.
Now the Iraqi team has a second chance to qualify to the quarter finals of this championship but still our chances depend on the results of the coming match between KSA and Uzbekistan in which a draw can make qualifying easier for our team which will need only a draw in the last and 3rd match against the Saudis.
Till now, there’s no gunfire to celebrate the win but I saw convoys of cars carrying flags and playing traditional Iraqi music in the streets soon after the match ended.
Congratulations to the Iraqi team. They worked hard and they deserve the win.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004
:: The ministry of financial affairs have announced plans to raise the salaries of retired government-employees starting from this month. The raise will range from 10%-90% of the old salaries and this new system will depends on the rank, years of service and ex-position of the retired official which divides the retired into 4 ranks.

The old system has classified the retired into three ranks only which made many of the higher ranking ones complain of being paid the same payments that low ranking officials get.
The details about this subject were published on Azzaman paper.

This afternoon, I watched a report on Al-Hurra TV about a couple of successful operations for the Iraqi security forces in which huge amounts of weapons and ammunition were found; one was by the IP in Najaf city while the other was by the National Guards in Baghdad.

This not the first time of course we hear of such successful operations but the new observation this time is that some of the confiscated weapons and ammunition are not from the ususal origins you can see in Iraq (automatic rifles other than the Ak47, bazookas other than the RPG7 and other devices) and these weapons don’t belong to the stuff left behind by the old army after the 9th of April 2003.

This finding leads to the conclusion that these weapons were smuggled from outside Iraq; an operation that definitely cost a lot of money as the prices of weapons outside Iraq are much higher than they used to be in Iraq, and this leads us to two further conclusions:

- There are some groups (or countries) with high financial capabilities involved in the smuggling of weapons. This isn’t new information of course but today’s pictures have added to the evidence we have.
- Acquiring weapons and ammunition from the ‘local market’ has become a difficult process for the following reasons:
1-Due to the rising prices because the 'local market' is running out of such stuff which were either used, destroyed or  confiscated.
2-The continuous efforts of the Iraqi security forces and multinational forces in chasing and busting weapons dealers are making it more dangerous and difficult to purchase weapons locally and makes it easier to smuggle weapons from outside in case of Najaf for example which has common borders wit Saudi Arabia.

This is a good sign indeed because when getting weapons becomes more difficult and a lot more expensive than before we should expect a decline in the frequency of terrorist attacks in Iraq. 

A lesson in English.
One of the readers sent me this document that was published about 2 years ago in the Guardian of London newspaper in which anti-war American artists declare their rejection for the American government international policy and war on terror and ask for support. Since such protests have never stopped, I decided to take a look and see what can I make out of it.
I was surprised by the numerous grammar and spelling mistakes in that document. Maybe the guy who wrote it was not really American? Or probably not very educated? Anyhow and as a member of the human race who wants to help whenever possible, I decided to offer my help to the peace movement in the world and do some editing to some paragraphs, as it may harm their reputation to leave those mistakes there.

Yes I know it seems funny that an Iraqi help some Americans in writing in English but I thought I have attained some modest experience in writing in English throughout these months that probably made me more American than they (linguistically, I mean). Here are the edited paragraphs with the corrections in bold letters:

We believe that peoples and nations have the right to determine their own destiny -and when they’re ruled by dictators the right will be legally transferred to their rulers -free from military coercion by great powers. We believe that all persons detained or prosecuted by the United States government should have the same rights of due process. We believe that questioning, criticism, and dissent must be valued and protected. We understand that such rights and values are always contested and must be fought for, and that these rights are only ours and not for people who live in totalitarian regimes and thus don’t know or appreciate the meaning of democracy and freedom.

We believe that people of conscience must take responsibility for what their own governments do -- we must first of all oppose the injustice, as we see it so even if it brings tyrants like Saddam to trial and save their people, that is done in our own name. Thus we call on all Americans to RESIST the war- any war even if it freed millions of people- and repression that has been loosed on the peaceful Arab and Muslim dictators and the terrorists by the Bush administration. It is unjust, immoral, and illegitimate and will cost *us* more taxes. We choose to oppose this war even if it lead to make common cause with those who oppress the people of the world.
We too watched with shock the horrific events of September 11, 2001. We too mourned the thousands of innocent dead and shook our heads at the terrible scenes of carnage -- even as we recalled similar scenes in Baghdad, Panama City, and, a generation ago, Vietnam. We too joined the anguished questioning of millions of Americans who asked why such a thing could happen but that’s all what we can and want to do.

But the mourning had barely begun, when the highest leaders of the land unleashed a spirit of revenge. They put out a simplistic script of "good vs. evil" that was taken up by a pliant and intimidated media. They told us that asking why these terrible events had happened verged on treason. There was to be no debate. There were by definition no valid political or moral questions. The only possible answer was to be war abroad and repression at home. So you must realize that we are risking our lives by signing this document. It’s not like saying "no" to a guy like Saddam or Ghadafi; This is GWB!

In our name, the Bush administration, with near unanimity from Congress, not only attacked Afghanistan but arrogated to itself and its allies the right to rain down military force anywhere and anytime. The brutal repercussions have been felt from the Philippines to Palestine, where Israeli tanks and bulldozers have left a terrible trail of death and destruction just for their own amusement. The government now openly prepares to wage all-out war on Iraq -- a country which has no connection to the horror of September 11. What kind of world will this become if the U.S. government has a blank check from the congress that represents the American people to drop commandos, assassins, and bombs wherever it wants? Possibly a free world but that's not the point.

In our name, the government has brought down a pall of repression over society. The Presidents spokesperson warns people to "watch what they say." Dissident artists, intellectuals, and professors find their views distorted, attacked, and suppressed. The so-called Patriot Act -- along with a host of similar measures on the state level -- gives police sweeping new powers of search and seizure, supervised if at all by secret proceedings before secret courts. We are afraid that we may be going to live in a place that looks more like Iraq or Afghanistan!
President Bush has declared: "you’re either with us or you’re against us." (We hate him so much by the way but this is not personal!) Here is our answer: We are against you even if it means we’re with the terrorists because we don’t mean to be with them! We refuse to allow you to speak for all the American people. We will not give up our right to question. We will not hand over our consciences in return for a hollow promise of safety. We say Don't free them, NOT IN OUR NAME. We refuse to be party to these wars and we repudiate any inference that they are being waged in our name or for our welfare. We extend a hand to those around the world suffering from these policies; we will show our solidarity in word and deed, but excuse us if we can’t come closer to you because frankly, WE DON’T GIVE A SHIT.

Let us not allow the watching world today to despair of our silence and our failure to act, and prevent ANY action. Instead, let the world hear our pledge: we will resist the machinery of war against terrorism and repression and rally others to do everything possible to stop it and we will offer no alternatives, as it's not our buisness!

Join your voices to ours and lets DO NOTHING.

P.s we sent this document secretly to one of the newspapers and by the time you read it we’ll probably be lying in some unknown mass grave in the large desert of Nevada that contains the remains of most of those who opposed GWB.
-By Ali.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Have some guts Allawi.
Although he’s still wanted for justice by an Iraqi judge warrant, yesterday, the ban on Muqtada’s radical paper got removed.
Is this how we are going to build democracy?! By making compromises with gangs and radical groups that are still trying to impose their vision on the others!?
Today, this group started to launch attacks on liquor dealers In Amara city; burning or blowing their stores, and one of their spokesmen declared that the Mahdi army will not stop until they get rid of all alcohol dealers to implement Share’a laws.
This announcement makes people suggest that this Mahdi army is responsible for similar attacks in other Iraqi cities, as people in Basra recall that Muqtada’s thugs attacked liquor stores in Basra last year to monopolize this prosperous trade.
Some firm action is needed to stop this gang that frankly declares that they will not obey the Iraqi law.

Another 'sovereign' government.
 The Philippines government have withdrawn and submitted to the kidnappers’ demands and the hostage got freed.
In my opinion -and I think many people agree with me- it is a very bad move to submit to the demands of a small group that represents no one but itself and pay no attention for the demands of the whole international community to rebuild and stabilize Iraq and help democratic changes in a very politically- turbulent area. This is a huge mismanagement of a crisis that the government in the Philippines should be ashamed of.
Where is that great example that you offer to your people when you tell them " yes, I'm willing to adopt the opinion of a very tiny group of extremists rather than that of a whole nation asking for our help".
The people of the Philippines should look cautiously at this government and not put their trust in it, as it is isolating itself from the rest of the world, a world in which interests intermingle in a considerable manner that makes such attitude an irrational one.

Not so long ago, the American government provided a lot of support for the government of the Philippines to confront the dangers of the growing terrorism there. The US offered money, experts and advice to assist the Philippines despite the fact that the terrorists were holding an American citizen as a hostage among tens of other hostages.

Is this how the government in the Philippines express its gratitude to the US and the world? Are they trying to say that their lives are more precious than ours or the Americans? Did they think they won’t need help again, and why should the US keep helping them when they betray her?
Why was America willing to sacrifice her sons in the Philippines while the Philippines decided to abandon us?
The war on terrorism isn’t limited to Iraq alone and terrorism exists in the Philippines too and many other parts of the world. So, why don’t they take the risk and accept the sacrifice?
 This is not the way to show care for citizens' lives and to prove sovereignty. Sovereignty means commitment and not Yielding  to threats when it comes to the country's vital interests which ensures citizens' prosperity and safety on the long term. Sorry but you and the Spanish government are not the least bit sovereign and your citizens should worry to whom you're going to submit the next. When you refuse to respond to the US demands you don't show strength simply because you don't fear their punishment since democratic nations don't take revenge or act according to emotions, and when at the same time you submit so easily to a group of thugs you do show how weak and incompetent you are. I'm not sorry that you left, as what we need now are strong and determined allies, and we have them. 

Monday, July 19, 2004
 Mahmood has a great post in which he explains the effect of dictatorship in the Arab world on average citizens' behaviour and thinking, and its serious consequence which may reach the degree of acceptance of terrorism. Thank you Mahmood for putting it so eloquently, I totally agree with you.

The Big Pharaoh has a funny cartoon. Check it out.

How is life in Iraq? Depends on your point of view. A bunch of us were talking the other night; one friend, very angry, said: "Did you see what happened today in Antar Square? The Americans came, blocked the street and attacked the toy store. They were smashing kid's bicycles!" Another friend, listening carefully, asked: "Was there a big loading truck with them?" Yes, came the reply. The second friend then told his version: it turned out he'd been at the store buying a bike for his son. "I was in the middle of tough bargaining with the shopkeeper when two Humvees and a truck stopped out front. One of the Humvees waved all the cars to pass. Soldiers from the second Humvee said they wanted to buy some bicycles. It didn't take a long time, as they didn't bargain, and they bought a huge number of bicycles and filled the truck with them and left." Whom to believe? Here are two good friends and both were on the scene. As for me, it didn't take a lot of effort to figure out who was closer to the truth. Those bikes have probably been delivered to a local school.

-By Mohammed.

Like all Iraqis, I hate Americans. Of course. Here is why:
l The Americans, although they brought us freedom, acted without authorisation from the United Nations. Arrogant Americans
l The Americans, although they rescued us from Saddam Hussein, defied the will of many nations. Insular Americans.
l The Americans won't leave Iraq, say newspaper reports. Get out, Americans!
l Other newspaper reports say the Americans want to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible after throwing us into chaos. Stay here, Americans!
l The Americans spent tens of billions of dollars to liberate Iraq and help it become a prosperous democratic nation. Don't Americans care more about fixing their own problems? Crazy Americans.
l The Americans started this whole war because of oil. That is why fuel costs are at record high levels in the US and is cheaper than water in Iraq. Selfish Americans.
l The Americans are not using the necessary force to keep Iraq safe and secured. Lazy Americans! The Americans are also using excessive force in Iraq while dealing with the security problems. Brutal Americans!
l The Americans support the Israeli terrorist government instead of the good peaceful people of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Says it all. Violent Americans.

-By Ali.

I was working in a village north of Basra a few weeks ago when news broke of the attack, apparently by Americans, on the Imam Ali shrine. I thought to myself: "That's it. Tomorrow there will be an uprising that will involve all the southern 'governates', and I'll be trapped here alone." I couldn't sleep that night, as I was preparing plan B and plan C to find my way back to Baghdad (I assumed the roads would be blocked when the uprising began). But the next morning kids were walking to school in the regular numbers I see every day, there were many cars in the street, and everything seemed normal. When I got to my clinic, I asked my assistant, Abu Hasan, a local man, about this strange peace. What did he think of the American attack? Abu looked shocked: "Dr Omar, this was a very naive try from Muqtada al-Sadr to drag us into his war. We all know that his fellow thieves are responsible for the attack, we know where he positioned his guns and we know where the Americans were. It can't be anyone but Muqtada." Here I got really confused. No uprising? No civil war? The Americans didn't attack the shrine? Then I realised, because I'd spent several earlier months outside of Iraq, that I'd begun to believe the media.

-By Omar.
The above posts were published in the Australian newspaper "The Bulletin" on the 30th of June by help of Tim Blair who intoduced us to the Australian readers and lent us his column. I thought of posting it again in case anyone missed it. Thanks a lot for Tim Blair for trusting us with his column and for his help in editing.

Details here. 

:: Arthur Chrenkoff posted the 6th part of his series (Good news from Iraq) and it was also posted on the Wall Street Journal under the title (Taking Power).
It’s a huge post that contains a lot of information and analyses. Check it out.

Sunday, July 18, 2004
:: Female Iraqi National Guard soldiers take part in preserving security.

Was it legitimate?
:: The debate about Lord Butler’s report has taken a large space in both, the western and Arabic media. As most of you probably know, Iraqis care more about the results of operation Iraqi freedom rather the causes and whether these were legitimate or not.
Because Iraqis have a lot to deal with regarding their daily life needs and the fact that we’re not a major player in international politics, it becomes understandable that they pay less attention than the rest of the world to the legal complexities of the war and most of them see this war legitimate simply because it lead to their solvation and freedom.

You cannot tell a man that saving him and his family from torture, humiliation and death was a mistake and it should’ve not been done because it’s illegal. This is almost an insult to Iraqis to hear someone saying that this war was illegal. It means that our suffering for decades meant nothing and that formalities and the stupid rules of the UN (that rarely function) are more important than the lives of 25 million people.

Still, this is not only about us and despite how inconvenient the present international law is, we do care about preserving normal and healthy relations among all countries, especially the strong ones. As the future of the world will be endangered if there was a lack of coordination among these strong nations not to mention a dispute.
 I always find myself wondering; what is legitimacy? Is it ink on paper that some beaurocrats in the UN agreed on and have used it for decades to suck the blood of poor people while they give their "legitimate representatives" like Saddam, Gaddafi and Omar Al-Bashir comfortable seats in NYC to say all that crap about "the US breaching the international law, violating human rights and threating world's peace" while these regimes slaughter their people in millions?
 To provide more insight about the reactions of Iraqis to this issue, here are some translated comments from the BBC Arabic forum:
"The report of Lord Butler reflects the respect for the laws in a country that has no written constitution. From my point ov view I think that the report is incomplete because it didn’t mention a (thank you) to Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush for doing this honorable job which is toppling the pervert dictator and crushing the iron security grip for the worst tyrant in the world. The soldiers who died in Iraq gave their lives as tributes for freedom. Thanks to all the soldiers who risked and lost their lives for the sake of others’ freedom."
Mohammed Abdul Jabbar-Baghdad.
"The world is busy discussing the points that should’ve forbidden the war. Iraqis were dying and no one bothered himself to ask about the "legal position" when Saddam was murdering Iraqis in thousands.
This issue has many aspects: first of all it’s a proof for the democracy of the west that doesn’t allow to rush into wars without reasonable excuses, unlike the Arab regimes that goes into a war just because the leader wants to be the "hero of the Arab Nation". Another point is that we, in Iraq believe that Saddam and his co-butchers were the real WMDs. Iraqis are benefitting from the mistakes of the British intelligence, so we thank them for this mistake!"
Haider Muhyeddine-Najaf.
"I think that Bush and Blair are the heroes of democracy, humanity and the war on terror and state terror. It’s possible that some intelligence reports were exaggerated but the result at the end is in the interest of the Iraqi people. Those two men deserve all appreciation and respect.
I can say that there was some exaggeration in the criticism also because Saddam did use chemical weapons against us and against Iran."
Zana sefeen-Iraq.

"Who said there are no WMDs in Iraq? The most dangerous WMD exists and the American troops captured it. It’s the weapon that exterminated five million Iraqis and hundreds of thousands from our neighbors impoverished, detained and tortured. Saddam Hussain is the WMD in Iraq. Isn’t a weapon with such capabilities worth to go for a war to (disarm it)? Saving twenty million people from that weapon, isn’t that worth the effort?"
Hasan Al-Shammari-Baghdad.

"America and the UK have offered the human race the greatest favor ever by toppling the ghoul of Iraq. All the debates and the investigations in these two countries are motivated by political ambitions and jealousy rather than the protection of the country and constitution. Bush and Blair deserve a Noble Prize for peace"
Abdulrahman Al-Alwani-Syria.
"Tony Blair made a decision for which we thank him. He’s the man who rid us of the worst dictator in history. Yes, he did a mistake when he didn’t find chemical weapons but Saddam Hussain is more dangerous from those weapons for the Iraqis and Saddam had the money, the scientists and the programs and if he had remained in power he would’ve continued producing WMDs. A world without Saddam in power is safer"
Abu Mohammed Al-Shammary-Danmark.

" The clear statement in Lord Butler’s report that emphasizes that there’s no evidence for any bad intentions for Mr. Blair in taking the decision to participate in the war, this statement confirms that his (Blair’s) conscience and humanity motivated him to rid the region and the 3rd world of the ugliest dictator in the 20th century.
 Blair’s approval of the report results and admitting that there were some mistakes uncover the courage of this young leader who reminds us of his former colleagues; Jim Callahan, Dennis Haily and Michael Foot who helped the oppressed people wherever existed. Bearing the responsibility on behalf of others despite the mistakes they made is a sign of nobility which is an important character for a good leader.
There’s no comparison between a leader who buries his people alive and a leader who offers the finest men in his nation in tribute for freedom and to defend human rights. This report reminds us of the 80s days when we were defending the hero; Nelson Mandela. while he was in prison, we were in college, collecting signatures for support. It’s the same principles Tony Blair depended on when he decided to help Iraqis get their freedom and their pride back from a butcher who’s today shaking and waiting for his destiny in a cage. We wished the report to include some words to thank Blair and his party for their role in saving human rights in Iraq."
Harith Al-Aadhami-Baghdad.

"They shouldn’t have started this war on Iraq for any reason. Life in Iraq in President Saddam’s days were much better than life under occupation and Iraqis say so. That’s why this lie about alleged Iraqi WMDs is the biggest crime against Arabs, Muslims and Iraqis"
Abu Al-Majd-Syria.
"The least I can say about this investigation commission is that it’s a play produced to save Tony Blair once again and it’s very strange to see that Blair when stood in front of the parliament approved of everything in the report. And why would he not when it’s the report that saved him from falling?
Strange also that he still insists that his decision was right. He just keeps being a follower for Bush.
The most strange thing is how could this government take the people’s minds so lightly.
Blair is only good at holding microphones for speeches"
Jamal Mousa-Rafah/Palestine.
" If the British and American Intelligence have made a mistake and this mistake lead to the decision of the war on Saddam and liberation of Iraq from the hands of what was probably the worst tyranny ever, then what a wonderful mistake! The truth is, Blair was brave in his decision and defied all difficulties in this decision. How can anyone imagine that this was wrong? They gave us back our lost freedom and dignity"
Fakherlddine Sharif-Iraq.

I join my voice to theirs. How could it have been wrong!?

Saturday, July 17, 2004
The fifth authority.
 Our Muslim and Arab leaders are good at making their worst defeats look like great victories and they’re great experts in this field. And I see that the free world is an expert in making their great victories look like defeats and this is the reason why Arab leaders lose again and again while the free world triumphs again with less sacrifices.

 The sharp criticism to each process enables you to avoid the mistakes of the previous experiments and turns errors to useful lessons, and this is great. But this time I see that the western media has went beyond the limits of objective criticism and rational pursue for truth.
The media are not displaying their view point leaving the decision making to the audience. I see that the media are pushing us to adopt their opinions and this is totally unacceptable.
The media is losing credibility among audience and this is happening so fast and it is a huge mistake.
 I want to say to the media: by continuing like this you’re taking the dictators and terrorists’ side and you’re feeding their arrogance when you say "We were wrong when we went to Iraq" or "Iraq was better off before the war and Iraqis and the world are suffering because of the war" and you’re using the failure to find the Iraqi WMDs and the casualties among Iraqi civilians as a weapon in this media war.

 It seems that we need to review the past for a while to remind ourselves of what happened; Saddam produced WMDs and this is a fact that no one can deny because Saddam himself announced in a speech in April 1990 that he had such weapons and he threatened to "Burn half of Israel". Saddam used these weapons against Iraqis and against Iran and he sought to possess WMDs as he declared in many occasions. He was trying to possess what others don’t have to satisfy his lust for power and he wanted the most lethal weapons to make himself beyond the reach of anyone while he continue his oppression to his people and while blackmailing his neighbors.
After the 1991 war, Saddam declares that Iraq has destroyed all those weapons and the only proof available is his words. So could we had to depend on his words and promises? This is insane of course but let’s assume for a minute that he decided to get rid of those weapons. What guarantees that he wouldn’t try to produce WMDs again? UN inspectors?!

 Did Saddam’s regime deal with these teams with transparency? Were they really able to track and uncover Saddam’s programs? I don’t think this was a good choice to make because Saddam imported 300 missiles (of unapproved range) ten years after the 1991 war in an illegal way that violates the agreements he made with the world.

 It was simply a regime that you can never trust and it’s a blunder to trust such dictators.
I think you should take in consideration here the Iraqis’ vision regarding this subject because we know about dictatorships more than anyone else as we lived for so long under one of the worst of them and we know about the dangers of WMDs more than many others because they were used against us and Saddam’s programs to produce these weapons depleted our resources. Although you suffered from terrorism we’re more able to explain the dangers of terrorism because Iraq has become the main field terrorists chose to fight their war in. Don’t tell me that this’s a bad side effect for the war, instead you should know that terrorism chose to fight this war because terrorists knew that the war is aiming at them.

 Now, let’s see what was the actual result for operation Iraqi freedom and the question here is: what are the greatest dangers that threaten the world?
- In my opinion, the first danger is dictatorship because it represents the source for terror, ignorance, poverty and organized murder. It leads people to despair and loss of confidence and with the aid of extremists preachers, make men seek to end their lives either as individuals or they decide to take others’ lives with them.

- The second danger is the spread of WMDs or the possession of these weapons by crazy regimes.

- The third one is terrorism that targets everyone and tries to kill everyone.
Here, I’m going to suggest a poll that differs from the polls that are designed to serve a private agenda.

 And I’m going to list what I see as the most important questions that must be asked to verify whether the operation was a success or not and whether it served Iraqis and the world or not.

-Do you think that Saddam had he been left alone would have developed WMDs?
-Do you think that Saddam’s regime represented a danger to his people, the region and the whole world?
-Do you think that Saddam, and had he been able to produce WMDs would have threatened his neighbors and possibly the west?
-Do you think that dealing with such threats, if you believe they existed, was a matter of urgency?
-Do you think the inspection programs were effective, safe and cheep?(think about Iraqis’ money here too)
-Do you think that Iraqis were going to revolt against Saddam soon and what would it have cost Iraq?
-Do you think the parties who would have carried such revolt would have been moderate?
-Do you think there’s a real possibility for a totalitarian regime or a dictatorship to rule Iraq and kill millions of people again?
-Do you think that more than 200 thousands of Iraqi security forces (with their families), the government, all the parties that are going to participate in the elections, the Kurds, a good percentage of the She’at, some unknown percentage of Sunnis (including some influential clerics), all other minorities and most of the government employees (with their families) who have benefitted from toppling Saddam’s regime want and are helping in making the change?
-Do you think the fact that Iraqis keep volunteering to serve in the new army, police, National Guard; doing their jobs in every field; preparing for elections despite the terrorist attacks is a good sign that gives hope in the future?
- Do you think that future governments in Iraq will plan to build WMDs?
- Do you think that future governments in Iraq will be an ally for terrorists or make Iraq a training base for terrorists?
- Do you think Iraq now has a better chance to be a democratic peaceful nation that will not threaten anyone than before?

 After answering these question we’ll be able to find out whether the world is really safer without Saddam or not.

 We always support the free media as they watch the authorities, criticize them and expose their faults and corruption but it seems that the media's role has increased considerably lately and about to become more like a first authority rather than the fourth one as its role in affecting governments decisions and policies has expanded and this great expansion in power has given the opportunity for corruption to creep in, which gives rise for the need of another power to watch the media while they perform their honorable job; a power that has less interest in disfiguring realities and hiding facts and a power that is more attached to events on the ground. Here where the internet and fast communications among people can do a great job to put the "power of people" into action.
I want to say to the media: keep watching them and we’ll keep watching you. 
By Mohammed.

Friday, July 16, 2004
:: The Questing Cat had posted a very nice piece of poetry. Go read it.

:: Today, Alaa at The Mesopotamian sent a letter to our "Arab brothers" and Sheiks. Interesting post

The dangers of ancient communications.
 Each visit to the suburb hides an unexpected adventure, sometimes these adventures are fun but in other times an adventure may actually be a saddening experience.
So, in the following lines I’ll be telling what happened one morning during my last visit to Basra :
 I jumped out of my bed, there was a lot of shooting outside. I looked at the clock to find that it was only 5:50 in the morning. "This is not the usual time for a wedding!" I told myself.
 I recognized sounds of many kinds of weapons: pistols, Ak 47s and even machine guns.
The shooting continued for exactly 55 minutes until it suddenly stopped.
 I was hesitant to go to work, so I decided to ask the guards first about the reason behind all this shooting and when I did, the guard replied "shooting?!" I was really surprised by this silly ‘answer’ and stressed again "There was a lot of shooting about an hour ago. WHAT THE HELL WAS ALL THAT ABOUT?"
"Oh, you mean that shooting, it was only the funeral of an old (Hadji)"
I had a mixed feeling of upset and relief; relief because this wasn’t because of a battle and upset because all that terrifying shooting was for nothing.

 I was born in Iraq and I saw a lot of funerals and people sometimes fire a couple of shots when they lose a young man in an accident (anything other than natural death) but I’ve never seen something like this, I mean this is totally ridiculous, why the fire!? the old man is already dead and it’s only dawn.

 Shooting in the air in funerals or weddings-or when something important happens-is an old tradition used in Iraq and in some other nations, originally as  communication means to inform the neighborhood and to call them to gather and participate in the occasion as there was no other *fast* way of communication at that time. Also the shooting is used to show the (muscles) of the tribe.
Strangely, this method is still used even after cell phones have become available!

 When I reached the health center I discovered that not only one man was dead; a woman was killed and three other people (one of them is a 7 year old kid) were injured by the falling bullets. In addition to that, a bullet had penetrated an eight thousand gallon gasoline tanker that was waiting to be evacuated near the gas station and it blew up causing a huge damage to the station (the suburb suffered from a severe shortage in gasoline for 5 days after that).
I also discovered that this wasn’t the first time for such accidents to happen. People told me that several similar accidents took place in the last several months but I wasn’t aware of those because I spend a considerable portion of my time in Baghdad.

 This accident made me believe that strict measures must be taken to avoid the recurrence of such unnecessary loss because sometimes this random shooting in the air in a residential area can cause casualties not less than those caused by a car bomb and actually it did more than once; I recall that in 1988 when the war with Iran ended there was enormous shooting that lasted for a whole night and the result was catastrophic; hundreds were killed and more than a thousand were injured and last year, when Uday and Qussay were killed, sources from the ministry of health reported that over 70 people were killed and a larger number injured. This wasn’t because of some clashes or bomb attacks, it was because of the free falling bullets.

 The local police often try to control this bad habit but how could some cops face a strong tribe that has hundreds or sometimes thousands of armed men. This is the case most of the times in the suburbs especially when few strong tribes make up the whole population. These tribesmen often have mortars and RPGs in addition to small arms. I have to admit that they’re not using their force against the police but they’re not allowing them to do their job. More than that, the policemen belong to these tribes too and the tribal traditions prevent then from taking action against men from the same (or another) tribe.

 I realize that we have more serious problems to worry about at the moment but we should never ignore any sign of lack of discipline especially when it threatens human lives.
:: here is an example for what falling bullets can do.

Thursday, July 15, 2004
:: Las week, there was an agreement between the governments of Iraq and Syria to form a special force to guard and watch the borders between the two countries in an attempt to put an end for the movement of intruders from Syria to the Iraqi lands.
This issue attracted a lot of attention in the Arab world and on the Arab Media. So as usual I’m presenting here a bunch of the responses (translated of course) posted by Arab readers on the BBC Arabic forum.
There were 81 comments until the moment when I finished preparing this post and I’ve chosen 14 of which that I found interesting or in some cases, weird!
However, to show you the whole picture about what I found in this forum, I performed some statistics work. And the results were:
- 32 % support the agreement but still doubt that the Syrian government is honest regarding the promises given to cooperate with Iraqis to control the passage of fighters across the borders.
- 17 % support the agreement unreservedly.
- 10 % are against the agreement and were critical of the new Iraqi government and the performance of the multinational forces in Iraq.
- 16 % totally against the agreement either because they don’t trust Syria (4%) or because they feel that it will disrupt the unity of the Arab world(12%).
- 19 % denied the whole subject and they think that no foreigners are entering Iraq to give the “resistance” a hand and this is just a Zionist-American conspiracy to control the region
- 6 % were not clear in their statements and didn’t reflect a definite inclination.

“I don’t think that Syria will show any minimal effort to secure the borders with Iraq. The presence of an unstable Iraq will serve her interests because this will impede the progress and democracy in Iraq. That’s why we ask our government to bear the whole responsibility of securing the borders instead of counting on an unelected dictatorship that cares only about protecting its heads and crushing uprisings”
Abu Yusuf-Baghdad/Iraq.

“Yes, Syria is helping the terrorists and every day some of those terrorists are getting caught. In Saddam’s days terrorism was exchanged between the two parts but today with the absence of the Iraqi Mukhabarat, Syria and Iran found open doors for their mercenaries to act under the slogans of Jihad. I think that the Syrian government acts wisely only under threats so I believe that Iraq should hold up the club that’s fit to scare wolves and bugs”!

“I’d just like to remind you that Al-Asad is the only Arab leader who described the “resistance” as legitimate without the slightest care for the feelings of the Iraqi people.
Also there are large numbers of our Arab “brothers” in the Iraqi prisons now and those were caught either while carrying out their plans or because of their suspicious movements in Iraq. It’s so obvious that some of the Arab countries, especially the neighboring ones are working hard to ruin the democratic process in Iraq. They’re trying to show terrorism and organized crime as pure Iraqi resistance in an attempt to tell America that the Arab world can not understand democracy and political reforms.
Sealing the borders with Syria and KSA is more than necessary in this stage and until things are clear”
Riyadh-Iraqi in Qatar.

“A good decision for the government in Syria and it will change it’s policies toward Iraq. Although it’s late, it will help to preserve security for the Iraqi citizen. Yes, Syria encouraged Syrians to go and fight in Iraq, especially after the fatwa and the call for Jihad released by the Syrian higher religious instructor and such fatwas can only be announced with the approval of the government.
They persuaded the young Syrians with hollow speeches that we still hear till now.
I thank president Bashar for waking up before it’s too late. I think it was the religious trend that pushed the Syrian government to the negative attitude toward Iraq”
Ghasan Ibrahim-Syria.

“Frankly it’s the best way to stop the intruders from crossing the borders and I wish this will be applied on Iran and Jordan until things cool up and return to normal”
safaa Al-Asadi-Najaf/Iraq.

“The decision cam late because the Syrian government had already sent most of it’s reserves of terrorists to Iraq before the war. More than 2000 Syrian extremists entered Iraq according to an agreement between the two governments before the war. Those were all religious extremists who belong to Al-Qaida. Saddam provided them with training camps and weapons. That’s what we saw on TV and in the streets before the war. Well, now the Syrians are using the Jihadists card to mess with America and the Iraqi people will receive the eventual harm”
Awadh Al-Taa’i-Baghdad/Iraq.

“I managed-with some colleagues-to cross the borders to Iraq with help from some Bedu tribes that live near the borders. It was a piece of cake but I had to return to Syria because I was wounded during the war. Neither the Iraq government, nor the Syrian government can stop me from going back to Iraq; the borders are so long and it’s so easy to get across”

“We-the Iraqis-have lost trust in any of the neighboring countries except for Kuwait. We need work, not words from those who try to settle their accounts with America on our land. I tell them: Iraq is not Lebanon and you’d better go and try to free your own land, or have you forgotten that you still have part of your land occupied?”
Shakir Al-Ajeeli-Babylon/Iraq.

“When I hear in the news that some Arabs coming from Syria were arrested, a question comes to my mind: why would a Palestinian come from Al-Yarmook camp (in Syrai) to fight and get killed in Iraq while he’s living only 50 km away from Al-Joulan? Why does a man come to Iraq from Yemen using a Syrian passport and how could he cross the borders if his passport was faked? Can hundreds of unemployed young men really cross the borders and the Syrian government knows nothing about their plans? Why is the Syrian president calling for a real government? How is this supposed to look like? Is he asking us to copy and use the process of his “election” as a president? I won’t answer but I ask the Syrian brothers (outside Syria)to answer me, just to avoid the embarrassment”
Mohammed Hasan-Iraqi in Dubai.

“We want the Syrians to control the borders with Iraq to prevent terrorists from entering Iraq with the same strict and serious way they use to protect the Syrian-Israeli borders. We all know that the Syrians don’t allow a tiny fly to cross the borders and enter Israel or Al-Joulan to perform terrorist attacks or “resistance” operations there. Will Syria do this? I don’t believe their promises as we have history with them and it’s not in their interests to see a free, democratic, federal and peaceful Iraq next door. This will be the end for the Syrian Baáthe reign. We shall wait and see.
By the way, Syria is still hosting a lot of Saddam’s followers who murdered the Iraqis. All these facts prove that Syria is not being honest when it comes to Iraq”
Mohammed Al-Khafaji-Babylon/Iraq.

“If Iraq is planning to live in peace then the Iraqis should consider building a wall similar to that one Israel is building to separate Iraq from any other Arab or Muslim country”
Omar Saif Al-Deen Al-Mashhadani-Baghdad.

“I can’t believe that 200 000 US soldiers in Iraq are incapable of watching the borders that are less than 1000 km in length. Let’s be more obvious; if the Americans wanted to seal the borders, they would’ve done it time ago”
Ali Mohammed-London.

“The puppet government in Iraq is only trying to attract attention in any possible way and I don’t think that the intruders are responsible for the resistance. The resistance is carried out by men from Iraq. Is it possible for a foreigner to find a place to hide and work in Iraq if no one wanted him to be there? The Iraqi government has to find other solutions to secure Iraq and this should be from inside not outside. And Iraqis should consider the neighbors as loyal friends not suspect friends”
Abdullah Al-Jahafi-Yemen.

“Sealing the Iraqi-Syrian borders is the first step on the way to seal all the borders among Arab countries and later, all the opportunities for Iraq and the Arab countries to prosper will be sealed”

Tuesday, July 13, 2004
:: The IP carried out a huge campaign yesterday to clean up Baghdad from criminals.
I heard in the news that hundreds of suspects were detained in the operation but I didn't believe the number until Al-Sharqiya TV broadcasted pictures for the arrested suspects and the scene was awesome; the detainees looked stunned as the operation was quiet surprising and unexpected as this kind of preventive strikes by IP is totally new.

Many people may think that the number is so big, and I myself had doubts that maybe there were many innocents among the detainees but knowing that the operation was performed in Bab Al-Sheikh and Al-Kifah neighborhoods explained everything.

These two areas have always been recognized by Iraqis as rich habitats for many gangs responsible for drug dealing, car jacking, murders, looting and burgling and I even believe that there are still many more of them to get busted but hopefully when those watch their colleagues being captured they will think twice before they continue with their crimes.

Something that worth mentioning is that when you walk in these areas you can see pro-Saddam slogans covering most of the walls and in my opinion there’s a strong relation between ordinary criminals and the “resistance” as each group serves the other’s interests; as a thief would love to see chaos spread everywhere and would make use of attacks that target the security forces because this would provide a favorable environment for his work. On the other hand, the “resistance” and their allies would like to see more crimes to prove their theory that things were better off in the past and that the change in Iraq has made things only worse. The routes through which drugs are being smuggled are most likely to be the same ones used to smuggle explosives.

This operation was accomplished with almost no casualties among the security forces and in a remarkably short time. The action was highly organized and performed in coordination with the special intelligence department in the IP, as a senior officer stated in an interview for Al-Hurra TV, he also mentioned that satellite images provided by the multinational forces made the job much easier as it helped to specify the exact locations of the suspects and prevented unnecessary casualties among IP members or civilians.

This is the second time in this month where IP (with logistic support from the multinational forces) carry out such a large operation; the first one was in Battaween area which is another stronghold for criminals and more than 150 gangsters were arrested.

Monday, July 12, 2004
One square kilometer.
There’s an Iraqi proverb that says “when two Iraqis sit together to talk then politics will be there”. This saying was famous during the period of pluralism Iraqis lived before the 1958 military coup and shortly after.

This saying remained suitable in all times as Iraq was, and still a zone for international conflicts that had an impact on our psyche and on our ways of thinking.

Whenever we start a conversation about something we find ourselves somehow dragged into politics, the current events and the political history of Iraq.
This rule applies also to my house, where many friends gather every night to spend some time in chatting after a tough day of work. My group of friends includes people from different segments but still I don’t doubt the good will and nature of any of them.

Although our points of view regarding the change in Iraq vary from one to another, we all believe that getting rid of Saddam was a beautiful dream that has become a reality we live in and we all believe that the transition to a new life requires sacrifice but I feel that some of them have started to lose patience when they face a problem, which is a daily routine.

As in Baghdad’s extremely hot weather these days and when the electricity goes out the house becomes hot as hell which makes you curse even yourself and I don’t blame anyone for feeling so, since we have beared a lot and we know we have probably years before electricity in Iraq becomes stable and impatience remains an original part of human nature even if a better future was obvious and awaiting remains a burden that all humans share their hate for.

But when pessimism reaches an abnormal level then I’m totally against it and I’ll fight it strongly because it will hinder work and spread despair which is the last thing we need these days.
Yesterday the course of discussion lead to a debate about the economy of Iraq and if there was a hope for it to recover and also what has been accomplished since the end of the war. Was there really a reconstruction or not? And at what rate this process is going ? Is it at the desired pace?

As friends, conversation went among us nice and rational; there was optimism and there was constructive criticism with some exceptions. Our friendly meeting included two generations; ours and my father’s (the generation that ruled Iraq for 40 years and took the chance of three generations without allowing any to take its place). As the discussion heated up , one from the old generation burst out saying “nothing happened but the worst, the war destroyed us, our fortune was robbed and the ruins are everywhere. We haven’t seen in our lives a situation worse than this...” and went on in a criticism that was so bitter to reach the grade of despair which as I said I’ve always considered as a destructive attitude that achieves nothing but hindering, delaying and even destroying our efforts to pursue our future plans. He was parroting Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiyah.

I became really angry, however I waited for him to finish then I asked him if I could answer. “Sure I want to see how you’re going to answer” he replied, putting a challenging face.
I said:
-you claimed that Iraq’s fortune was robbed an that you didn’t see a real change or any reconstruction and I will answer you with a picture that you have to see everyday because it’s within a circle of one kilometer around your house and you have to see this picture every morning while you walk out of your house for whatever business you want to do.
He looked at me and said:
-What do you mean!?
-Ok, let’s start with the first thing you see when you get out of your house . The first building you will see is that of the law institute for higher studies which was destroyed after the 9th of April. Was it destroyed by an American bomb? No, it was destroyed by criminals who carried out Saddam’s plan in “burning Iraq before handing it to the Americans” joined by some selfish people and other ignorant and simple Iraqis who didn’t understand that soon after the 9th of April all the state belongings that were Saddam’s have become all-Iraqis’ belongings. Alright, this institute was rebuilt few months later and now it functions in a way better than before and help to create a new law system that is honest and independent and to me this is another and more important addition.

Ok, now let’s move for few tens of meters and you can find the publishing house that used to publish Uday’s hateful newspaper (Babil) this one also was not destroyed by American missiles and we all remember how the thieves left it as mere walls with the vents missing their robbed air conditioners. Ok, what happened later; it’s working now with full power after it was reconstructed and now it’s printing Al-Sabah news paper that you buy every morning. To me this one was also rebuilt twice; once as building and equipments and once as a trust worthy press instead of the pathetic old propaganda machine. Now I’m going to move for only another ten meters to find the (open educational college) where teachers improve their teaching methods, this one, uncle was also not destroyed by American bombs but by the same way as the former two buildings and now we can see that it was soon reconstructed and a few days ago they celebrated the graduation of a new bunch of their students.

Ok, let’s take a look at the adjacent building which is for the transport department in the ministry of trade. We watched that building being robbed in the same way. Do I have to remind you sir that this building was rebuilt and it’s back to work?
I don’t think I have to; you see it every morning.

I’ll move for another 50 meters and cross the street where lies one of the former evil military institutes that was used to train professional butchers; it wasn’t a target for American missiles but was robbed by some sick people who left it as ruins, and you know uncle how the American unit in charge of this area turned it into a residency for students who come from other governorates to study in Baghdad. Now they have air conditioning, hot and cold water and decent bedrooms.

Ok I’m still walking within this single kilometer that you see every day and I’ll walk for another 100 meters to find the ministry of labor and social affairs; this building was not destroyed by American missiles but the thugs attacked it and ruined and robbed everything they found in it. Don’t you see this building every day with its new look after it was rebuilt and started to function again.

I’ll walk for a couple hundreds of meters in another direction to take a look at the beautiful building of the ministry of financial affairs; looting and fire caused more damage to this building than what a missile would cause, look at it now and enjoy its new look without Saddam’s portrait that was covering a whole side of the building.
Here my father tried to interrupt me but I insisted on going to the end with my speech and I added addressing everyone:
I didn’t exceed an area of one kilometer-that we all see and pass by every day-in this round. I have mentioned a lot of things but I also forgot a lot more like all the schools and public clinics that were rebuilt within this area. Now, do you still have doubts about where our oil money went?
And I’m not talking about the whole country here, have you asked yourselves why the exchange price is 1500 now instead of 2200 in Saddam’s days?
And do you think that a 100 times raise for some employees salaries doesn’t represent a part of the money you were talking about? Don’t you notice the private businesses that are starting and those that are booming?
Here one of my friends turned to our pessimist guest asking him “haven’t you turned an old dirty shop into a network gaming hall?”

Here I turned back to my father’s friend:
Isn’t this an addition to your country? And I see that you’re carrying a cell phone that rings every now and then, don’t you consider this an addition? Don’t you see that goods in Baghdad’s streets are being stockpiled and shown on the sidewalks because stores can’t hold all that stuff. Isn’t this telling you something?
Here I end my speech uncle and I’m not going to mention freedom of speech, pluralism and more than 200 newspapers and a satellite dish for nearly every house and hundreds of internet cafe’s to bring you hundreds of views instead of one.

You’re looking with one eye closed and this will do us no good , we need two eyes, two ears and an open mind if we wanted to locate mistakes and find solutions during this phase.
Giving up and whining is no criticism, it’s destruction.
If you had the chance to make some calculations for what was spent till now I’m sure that you’re going to find out that oil revenues were not enough and I’m sure that someone had given us a hand!.
I wonder who would that be? Russia? France? Germany? Or probably Syria? No, no wait, it must be Iran, right?
Then I told myself: if some Iraqis, living in Iraq, watching the changes being done under their noses fail to see the truth and still depend on the media to tell them what’s going on in their own country then how can we blame people who live thousands of miles away for thinking similarly!?

By Mohammed.

Sunday, July 11, 2004
A good season.

The date palm remains as one of the most important symbols of Iraq and a tree that is very dear to her people, one that fed them for thousands of years till it became holy in many aspects and there’s an Iraqi saying that goes “a house with a date palm will never starve” and there’s a date palm in almost every house in Iraq except in the far north.
We were the 1st country in the world when it comes to the number of date palms and their quality, as Iraq had more than 30 million date palm in the 70s of the past century. Those orchards of palms maybe the most beautiful scene one can see in Iraq and there are almost 400 types of these palms many of which are considered the best in the world.
The date palm starts to conceive after 5-10 years of planting it and this depends on the type of the tree and the nature of the soil and it can carry 5-12 clusters. A good tree can carry up to 100kg of dates. The dates start to mature in the middle of July and can be reaped totally near the end of September.
The date is considered as a fruit and food and you can get many products from it such as vinegar, arak (the most famous local alcoholic drink in Iraq) and date honey (dibis) and the leaves of the palm has always been used in building cottages and furniture in the urban areas of Iraq.
Generally there’s a strong bond between Iraqis and date palms and there’s a saying that is believed to be one of Mohammed the prophet sayings that mention the date palm as being created from what was left of the ashes that Adam was created from, and the date palm was mentioned several times in the Koran.
Like most of living souls in Iraq, the palm was not spared from Saddam’s destructive nature, and as a result of the successive wars and the erasing of palm orchards by Saddam in the areas he believed was against him or was used by his opponents Iraq is left with only half of the original number of palms.
Today there’s a large campaign to bring Iraq back to its special position regarding the date palms and there’s also a plan prepared by the ministry of agriculture to plant thousands of these trees that are considered a beautiful Iraqi icon. The current season promises good outcome and we all hope that one day, the Iraqi desert will be full of this Iraqi symbol.

By Mohammed.

Iraqi army takes initiative.
Last Wednesday I was at the hospital just as any other day. It was an ordinary morning and everything seemed quite except for 2 American helicopters that was patrolling above us. There was nothing abnormal in that but I noticed that they were flying at an altitude lower than usual sometimes maneuvering in between the buildings of the medical center just at the eastern bank of the tigris.

I didn’t expect anything serious as it’s been a while since we heard serious fighting at these hours of the day. Even the gun shots that we could hear frequently at night has considerably decreased in their frequency lately. However you could hear several explosions everyday without any particular timing.

Suddenly and out of no where fire was opened heavily on the other side of the river just in front of our eyes and we saw people running in every direction trying to take shelter. It was unfamiliar at this time of the day but I thought it won’t take long before it gets quite again, but as minutes passed the gun fire kept being heard and grew lauder and was followed by sounds of several mortar shells and RPGs exploding everywhere.

From the sounds I heard I thought that it was a confrontation between terrorist and IP or Iraqi army since the only heavy fire you could hear was that of mortars and RPGs. The strange thing was that it took this long, as after nearly an hour the fighting was still going on and getting more fierce. One of these bombs, and I guess it was a mortar shell, even crossed the river to land about a hundred meter away from our hospital causing the whole building to shake strongly.

All these events made me and the others wonder what was going on. it can’t be a terrorist attack because these thugs usually cut and run whether they faced resistance or not. They come after a certain target and after blowing it up they flee away fearing the response.
Why are they still fighting?
Where is the American support?
Could it be that these terrorists are trapped?
Why are they so confused to shoot in this random way?

My father happened to be at the area where the fighting ensued and he told me later that as he was driving in Haifa Street, a man armed with an AK47 jumped into the street and started shooting into the air! My father rushed back with his car from where he came but he found the entrance blocked with units of the Iraqi National Guard and he barely got away from that place.

After more than an hour of what seemed to be a fierce fighting, 2 American helicopters came in and kept flying above that area but they didn’t open fire. I remember hearing heavy machine guns only once and I think it was American. Few minutes later it was quite again with sporadic shooting every few minutes. I kept thinking about this and it didn’t make sense to me at the beginning as it didn’t simulate any other fighting I saw or heard in the past few weeks. I asked my friends about what they thought and whether they heard anything about it but no one had an explanation to what happened.

The only thing that I thought was logical is that it was a trap or a very well planned attack but I couldn’t tell who was trapped and who was the trapper but I favored the possibility of the Iraqi army attacking the Ba’athists and terrorists who took shelters in Haifa Street’s building although I had a difficulty in imagining that the Iraqi army was already strong enough to take the initiative instead of keep defending its places.

A friend of mine who his relative work in the Iraqi army told me later that it was indeed a trap carried by units of the Iraqi National Guard against the terrorists in that area and that dozens of those thugs were killed and others were arrested. I didn’t really take that to be the exact truth since I didn’t hear or see anything in the local or foreign news to support this story and I’ve seen so many “eyewitnesses” on Al Jazeera and other channels tell stories that only a fool can buy and that appeared to be just lies or exaggerations.

It appeared that my guess and what my friend told me was right as yesterday it was announced that it was a very well planned attack carried by the Iraqi national Guard and resulted in killing and capturing several terrorists. Here’s Al Sabah story:

In an operation to attack dens of terrorism in Baghdad, a platoon of the Iraqi National Guard has carried out a successful operation Wednesday against groups of Saddam's remnants and a number of Al- Zarqawi followers who were gathered in four buildings in the said street. That operation comes as a practical indication to transfer the initiative of the attack to the hand of the National Guard." An accurate intelligence information reported a group of Saddam's men and Al- Zarqawi followers were crowded in four buildings in Haifa street " Mr. Hazim Sh'lan the minister of defense elaborated, adding that the operation started in installing search points in front of these buildings for instigating the hostile elements who thought they could control the battalion of the national guard. Clarifying the details of the operation, the minister said that the battalion was able to be sheltered and specify the hostile fire sources further for cordoning the four buildings in pure Iraqi efforts, saying that the multi –national forces took the role of the monitor by the helicopters. Fighting were occurred from floor to another, from flat to another, about 19 terrorists killed and nine others arrested. Meanwhile one member of the National Guard was killed and 12 others wounded. Among the prisoners and dead were a number of Arab infiltrators.

-By Ali.

Friday, July 09, 2004
Splitting the resistance.
When a group of armed men wearing masks appeared on TV threatening Zarqawi, many people considered it a good development. Some thought that “Iraqis are moving”, others thought that GWB plan of “turn them against themselves” was working. “The resistance” was splitting, they thought and considered it a hopeful sign.

I, however, couldn’t share their optimism and I have many reasons to be so skeptic about this group and its likes, but let’s 1st ask ourselves some questions:

Who are those people and why are they hiding their faces?
What exactly they want and why moving now when Zarqawi’s crimes were so obvious for a long time?
Are they really serious in their threats?

Let me start with saying that I totally reject the idea of civilian Iraqis taking arms to fight militias and terrorists, as this will create a great confusion and will lead to the emergence of new militias that we have to deal with in the future starting almost from where we began, only with huge sacrifices. We have stopped trusting people who ware masks a long time ago, as we should! Why would a man hide his face while he’s doing the right thing and in his own homeland?? Are they afraid of Zarqawi? Or are they afraid of the authorities?

We have a long experience with people wearing masks starting with Saddam’s Fedaáeen and I can tell you without much doubt that these people are not who they pretend to be. They are not ordinary Iraqis and most likely they’re either part of Sadr militias or other similar groups.

But why would such groups do this and what would they gain?!
Anyone who follow the Iraqi issue should notice that the term “resistance” is losing its legitimacy and support among Iraqis day by day. Soon after the liberation, some Iraqis looked at the IP and the new Iraqi army as “collaborating with the invaders”. It wasn’t far when members of the new Iraqi army were wearing masks to hide their faces fearing that they maybe recognized and then they would face serious threats, this is not the case anymore.

Iraqis can no longer sympathize in any way with those who kill Iraqi children and destroy Iraqi infra structure and make their lives harder and harder, thus came new terms for old groups such as “real resistance” and “legitimate resistance”. These people are seeking recognition as the real resistance. They’re saying “killing children and destroying infrastructure is Zarqawi’s followers doing while we are real resistance; we only resist the occupation and we'll do it peacfully” It won’t matter what they actually do since we cannot find who committed this terrorist act and who did that. These people can never, and more important, will never fight Zarqawi.

Another goal is to tell the world that the coalition and the Iraqi government have failed to provide security and that they can succeeded where the coalition have. How can we ever accept such a statement!? I don’t want the "security" brought to me by thugs, as this is a pure delusion. It’s like the "security" we had under Saddam’s regime.

Moreover if you examine the speech made by this group you’ll find a serious threat to people who give him shelter. Do you have any idea whom they’re referring to? They mean Arab Sunni in general and people of Ramadi and Fallujah in particular. It’s true that those who shelter Zarqawi are most likely Arab Sunni but we don’t generalize this while they will, as it serves their masters’ agenda. It’s enough to just try and imagine what would it mean if a Sheát group started attacking some Arab Sunnis claiming they’re sheltering Zarqawi to reconsider whether this is as promising as it may seem.

By splitting these groups or accepting this as a fact we are giving one of them the legitimacy they desperately seek. These armed groups are all the same, they all pursue the same goal; preventing democracy in Iraq and we should deal with them as one. Splitting the so called resistance might be a good thing for America if this was a war on Islam or on Iraqis, but we must remember-as we may forget-that this is a war against terrorism and thus must be, among other goals, a war for Iraqis and for Muslims.

By Ali.

Thursday, July 08, 2004
We almost thought we were hallucinating!
After the authority handover at June 28, Ali wrote a post about that event and included a description about Paul Bremer’s farewell speech to the Iraqis. We were surprised that it wasn’t covered by the major media and moreover the Los Angeles times even went as far as saying that Mr. Bremer “ left without even giving a final speech to the country — almost as if he were afraid to look in the eye the people he had ruled for more than a year”.

A day after that Mohammed wrote another post in which he included some of what Bremer said in that speech. Still there was no mention in the media to that speech and some readers started to question- and they have every right to-whether we were not telling the exact truth, as how could it be possible that such a story is not only ignored by all the major media but also some of them reported the opposite in the front page and refused to change their statement!?

However few people like Tim Blair and Roger l. Simon had more trust in us than the major media and linked to our story. Then Patterico took it upon them to focus on this issue and it was also linked by Instapundit and dozens of other websites. Of course we were not the only site that reported this story as others did, but I guess we were the 1st and we had more details about it.

We received dozens of mails asking for the script of that speech and we searched everywhere in the internet to try to find a trace for that speech but all was in vain. We tried to get Bremer’s mail and many readers offered their help but we couldn’t find his address. We were very embarrassed as we failed to provide another story that back up ours.

One of our American readers sent a mail to his local newspaper telling the editor about our story but she said she couldn’t get to our website and she can’t print anything without our permission. I sent a mail giving her the address and the exact link to the posts in question and asked her to publish it, but she didn’t respond!

Finally and after more than a week, the Los Angeles Times corrected their statement about the story. Maybe they received many mails and letters driving their attention to the “mistake” they’ve committed. It could be true that this was an unintended mistake but it would be a very strange one.

It seems that some people in the major media still think they’re the only ones who have eyes and ears and cameras and that ordinary people cannot have access to the information except from the major media outlets. They underestimated the prevalence and the effect of the internet in connecting people to each other and making the readers in direct contact with real eyewitnesses at the scene of events. I hope this will serve to make them more careful in the future on what to report, or make sure that they report from a place in which there are no bloggers. Here is the L. A. Times correction.
Thanks to all the bloggers who helped to reveal the truth this time, and thank God for the Internet.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Iran; an enemy or a potential ally?
An Iraqi military check point that is situated at the western bank of Shat El Arab north to the city of Faw at the Iraqi-Iranian border named Shehan was subjected to Iranian fire on Friday. The same thing happened to some Iraqi army patrols between Gazeel and Hadida north to Basra.

Colonel Dhafir Sabah Al Timemi mentioned that this was the 4th time the Iranians have opened fire on Shehan check point during the last week in addition to several other aggressions along the line from the north of Basra down to Al Shalamja.

Colonel Timemi said also that Iraqi border guards have captured 83 Iranians who were trying to cross Iraqi-Iranian borders illegally. He said that these Iranians were detained in Al Shalamcha border check point, interrogated and then were handed over to the Iranian side.

The Colonel who’s the Iraqi border guards chief in Basra said that the Iraqi side showed discipline and did not respond to the Iranian aggression in the same manner. He mentioned that he was under pressure from the British forces in Basra to respond similarly but he refused saying that this was a “purely Iraqi-Iranian issue” and that there’s no place for any interference from the coalition forces operating in Iraq.
Al Sabah.

Hmmm...I think Colonel Timemi’s intentions are good and he probably did the right thing by practicing self discipline, but I seriously doubt that it was purely his decision (and it shouldn’t be). Besides, his statements are in my opinion, are incorrect regarding considering this a purely Iraqi-Iranian issue and also the role of the coalition forces in Iraq, as they still have the major responsibility in Iraq and they will be questioned and blamed for any serious security problem.

Anyway, I think this issue is very serious and it shows clearly that Iranian authorities attitude is a clearly aggressive one and they don’t seem to be keen on at least keeping their efforts to hinder the progress in Iraq a secret. They seem to be very frightened (and they should be) by the democratic changes in Iraq that they have lost their caution and are not considering how dangerous it is what they’re doing.

The Iranian regime (not only the Mullahs)is of course nothing like Saddam’s regime. They’re much more sane and they have a considerable degree of approval among their citizens. They have some sort of democracy, they have a relatively more freedom compared to Saddam’s regime and most of the Arab regimes, the opposition act openly in Iran (some of them at least) and there’s sharing of authorities to a good extent between the major (only?) Two parties.

All the above mentioned factors make Iran and despite her opposition to the USA, all the lack of clarity that surrounds her nuclear program and her lack of complete cooperation with the UN in this issue a totally different story than Saddam’s regime, as there’s absolutely no place for large military operations here and if it is to be done, it’ll be a total failure.

These facts seem to have encouraged the Iranian authorities to go on with their aggressive attitude against new Iraq whether directly like what was happening lately or indirectly by allowing terrorists to cross their borders into Iraq, not to forget the support and instructions they offer to their puppet Sadr through the evil Iraqi cleric "Al Ha’airi" who lives in Iran. This particular Mullah has been the source of many “Fatwas” that were printed and posted everywhere in Iraq and that encouraged violence against not only the coalition but also the Iraqi Arab Sunni in an attempt to start a civil war. It is refreshing though that they have ‘picked’ this idiot ( Sadr ) as their man, as there is no one who could possibly make all their efforts go in vain other than this retard.

The situation in Iran is a very complicated one and it’s not an easy thing to decide which force (conservatives or reformists) have the major role in forming Iran’s policy towards Iraq and on what they agree or disagree on.
There were real democratic changes and reforms that have taken place since 1988 but the theocratic nature of this regime makes it extremely difficult for the reformists to go much further and there is a serious need for some serious changes to make this happen, and in my opinion this can be made without the use of military force, at least not in a large scale. I have great hope in the Iranian people to fight for their rights and achieve the necessary changes and all that is needed from the free world is to give them the support they need.

The reason I’m talking in length here about the Iranian internal affairs rather than dealing with this event as an Iraqi-Iranian conflict is that I think freedom and democracy in both Iraq and Iran are not only very important but also very closely related. Instead of focusing entirely on how to deal with the Iranian threats (which is important of course) we should try to sort out Iranian political powers, decide who are our potential allies and seek ways to support them. By this we can ensure a better future for both countries, although we may have to endure sacrifices in the present and near future.

Of course securing Iraqi-Iranian borders is a vital issue for controlling security and promoting democracy in Iraq and this can include very restricted military actions that show the Iranians that these aggressions cannot passed unpunished and it’s not easy to decide who should carry these and respond to Iranians intimidations.

To sum it up I think the Iranian Mullahs are outraged and thus are confused and making series of mistakes and they’re wright in that America cannot ‘invade’ Iran but they’re misjudging her ability to support Iranian freedom lovers and the pressure she can put on to minimize the role of the conservative Mullahs on decision making.

How to take advantage of these mistakes is a matter of strategy and the tactical points should not weigh against the ultimate goal of democratizing the Islamic world. One just have to imagine how wonderful it would be to have strong allied democracies in Iraq and Iran and the enormous effect this will have on the entire Muslim and Arab world. I know it’s a dream now but I do think it can come true.

-By Ali.

Rock, Paper, Saddam.
I think you'll like this. I did.

On security.
-The security forces in Sulaimaniya aborted a suicide attack on " Al Sulaimaniya Palace" hotel when the attacker drove his car fast into the front of the hotel but the hotel guards were faster than him and opened their fire towards the car which resulted in failure of the attack and the death of the terrorist.
Radio Sawa.

-In Diyala, another terrorist attack was carried by a Syrean suicide bomber who tried to break through the The barricade in front of the ICDC headquarters in Ba’aquba. The ICDC guards opened fire on the attacking car which resulted in the car exploding outside the headhunters. The attacker and a civilian Iraqi were killed in the explosion.

-The explosives experts in the IP managed to disarmed two bombs in Baghdad; one near the railway in Al Dawoody and the other near the Brazilian embassy in Al Mansour.

-Iraqi Police in Kut, 170 km southern of Baghdad, have discovered large quantities of underground stored weapons in a farm near the city. The police arrested a man working as farmer in the farm. As-Sabah reporter says that police and civil defense men loaded a couple of trucks full of weapons ammunition of former Iraqi army left in the said farm.
Al Sabah.

It seems that Iraqi security forces are fighting back harder day by day and soon Iraq will not be that open field for the terrorists.

Monday, July 05, 2004
Anti-war actress changes her mind after visiting Iraq. Via Tim Bliar.

Iraqis write an open letter to the American people. ( from The Iraq-America Freedom Alliance). Via Instapundit.

The Questing Cat has a wonderful post in which he compares the attitude of some Iraqis with that of one of his close friends. I nearly missed this one, you shouldn't.

On Saddam's trial.
To provide the readers with some view of the responses of Iraqis and Arabs to the trial of Saddam, I’ve translated some of the opinions posted by Iraqis and arabs in the Arabic forum of the BBCArabic website.

There were 129 posts at the time I’ve I started translating these comments. 57 of those came from Iraq and the rest came mainly from Egypt, Jordan, the gulf states and other Arab countries. 6 Iraqis out of the 57 were against the trial while the rest expressed great joy and happiness in response to this event.
Among the rest 72 comments that came from Arab citizens, there were 37 posters who opposed the trial for one reason or another while the rest shared the majority of Iraqis their happiness and optimism about this trial. Most of the Arab posters supporting the trial were from the Gulf state, while most of those who opposed it came from Egypt, Jordan and Palestine. Here are some of these comments that I’ve selected:

-Handing over Saddam and his assistants is a positive step and a definite proof that the Americans consider spreading and supporting justice in Iraq as a priority.
Ali Dia’a Al Deen-Baghdad/Iraq.

-If we are to claim arab and Muslim brotherhood, then at least we should not accept the murder of our brothers. I don’t know how can anyone defend a man like Saddam when he killed hundreds of thousands of your brothers in Iraq, Iran and Kuwait.
A fellow Iraqi once said to me, “if Saddam had treated us in the same manner Sharon treats Palestinians, we would’ve sacrificed our lives to defend him!” If the arab nations see Saddam as a hero then I’m not an Arab anymore and congratulations for your remaining “heros” (God bless them!).
Mohammed Mohsin-Iraqi in Dubai.

-We wish, by God we wish! We count hours and minutes to see justice done. Everyone here wants to take revenge by his own hands. Yet, let justice take its course.
Mohammed Al Badri-Nassiriya/iraq.

-This trial will show that Saddam is a hero that will be remembered by history and it’s enough to see that it was broadcasted without the sound.
Mohammed Al Salami-Egypt.

-Let the those who judge Saddam take his place, and if the world want to judge someone let us start with America and Israel.
Khudir Al Dagdad-Amman/Jordan.

-Thank God for this trial and for humiliating Saddam just as he humiliated Iraq and almost destroyed her entirely if it wasn’t for the US led coalition. We (Iraqis not Egyptians or Palestinians) demand his execution and we thank the Americans for saving us from his tyranny.

-Congratulation mother, the day you’ve always prayed for has come. Rest in peace father, now I see with my own eyes what you sacrificed your life for. Thank God Almighty, and all the gratitude to the man; GWB who made this possible and humiliated the Pharaoh of the present time.

-The Americans are the ones who will judge Saddam behind the curtains therefore anyone who calls for Saddam to be judged is a Zionist-American. We in Palestine call for his release.
Al Salih Rami- Al Quds/Palestine.

-To Mr. Al Salih Rami: putting Saddam into a trial is part of Iraq’s freedom and independence, the freedom that you don’t have, and By the way; where can we find this Palestine you’re talking about?

-Congratulations for our people. The tyrant’s hour has came. As for Arabs; congratulations for your slavery and your submission to your tyrants.
Shakir Al Ajili-Babylon/Iraq.

-Saddam and his assistants are valuable national treasure. They should be put in the zoo and anyone who wants to watch has to pay 10$ to the Iraqi treasury. Maybe it’ll compensate for some of the losses and the damages they’ve done.
Ali Al Hussaini-Iraqi in Iran.

-Let the open trail for Saddam be a lesson for all those who don’t know the meaning of freedom in the ME. Here are Iraqis starting a new era. Iraq will be the first and the rest will follow.
Kasim Al Haj Ali-Sweden.

-May you rest in peace, victims of the mass graves and chemical weapons, Kuwaiti and Iranian youths. It’s the justice hour.
The Iraqi government is capable of handling Saddam’s trial, as for the protection, Iraqi armed forces can provide it and there is no harm in getting help from the American army. We’ll send the good news to all Saddam lovers and we will show them how we handle justice and we will not forget to thank the Americans; they are who saved us from him, arrested him and handed him to us and they are the ones who keep their promises. We wish that Al Zargawi and his gang get arrested and face justice soon.
Mohammed Al Khafaji-Babylon.

-I say, congratulation for the Iraqis, as America is proving that she is keeping her promises opposite to what some Arabs and fundamentalists claim. She promised to topple Saddam and she did, she promised to hand over the authority and she did and she promised to hand over Saddam and she did. She promised to help us have free elections and this will happen by God’s will. As for some of the arabs who weep upon Saddam, they need urgent psychotherapy. I wish some of these people come to Iraq (not in a car loaded with explosives) and voice their opinion here in public.


From the

So sorry for being late in this but Omar and Mohammed aren’t here yet and I had a duty at the hospital yesterday and I have just came now and the 1st thing I want to say is:
Happy 4th of July!
God bless America.
God bless American soldiers wherever they’re.

Happy 228 independence anniversary. This is a happy anniversary not only for Americans but for all the freedom loving people, as this day announced the birth of a great nation that served good and fought evil since that day and rescued humanity several times and prevented evil powers from controlling the world.

We all should be grateful for America; Yes they make mistakes but who doesn’t. We should be grateful for Americans because they saved the world from Nazism, totalitarian communists and we, Iraqis have more reasons to be grateful and to love Americans. They have saved us from one of the worst dictatorships ever, gave us freedom and are helping us so generously as we march towards democracy and as we try to build a prosperous stable and developed Iraq.

And here’s America volunteers again to save the world from one of the most fanatic, evil and dangerous power that wants not only to control the world but also don’t hesitate to declare that their ultimate goal is to destroy civilization targeting it where it stands best, in the USA. We should all stand by America in this war and opposing her for the sake of narrow interests or even standing aside and watching is not only a disgraceful attitude but also one that carries very dangerous possibilities.

Go America Go! And we are with you all the way.

Happy 4th of July my brothers and sisters and I hope you had a wonderful weekend.


Saturday, July 03, 2004
A very deep analysis.
I was sitting watching a program on one of the Arab channels; the program was talking about the latest wave of terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia. The host asked "what do you think is behind the increased frequency of attacks recently in the KSA?" addressing an Arab "political expert", the "expert" replied saying "Iraqi is occupied, you know and her borders are wide open for terrorists to move in and out freely".

The host looked surprised by this answer and tried to tell the "expert" that the attacks were carried out by fighters from Al-Qaeda and KSA is the original home land for this terrorist organization but the expert said once again "The Americans are now ruling Iraq and they drew the terrorists attention to the region". The host started here to look intolerant and said "But these were not the first attacks to happen, KSA was the field of a lot of violence since the 90's".

Maybe you won't believe me if I told you that our "expert's" reply was "Yes, but the Americans are occupiers and the borders are left widely open".

The host said with apparent distress "Sir, but every single human being knows that Iraq is the victim of terrorism and fighters from all over the world are coming to fight in Iraq and they cross the borders from Syria, KSA, and Iran to get INTO Iraq, not out of it".

"See!, this is the point; the borders are open and terrorists can move freely and this is why terrorist attacks increased in KSA" replied the "expert"………………!!!.

This conversation may look funny, but it's actually not that funny because, it really happened.

I've just found this poster and I like it so much that I can't help but posting it. (Caution rough language ahead)

Friday, July 02, 2004
The Devil's Advocate.
One of my fellow iraqi citizens has wrote an article about Saddam’s trial and sent it to me, and I see it worth publishing and I thought it will help readers to have more knowledge about how Iraqis think and feel regarding this trial. If you have any comments, please send them to the original writer’s e-mail.

The Devil's Advocate.

Facing the newly formed Iraqi court today, Saddam Hussein defiantly questioned the authority of the tribunal. Gazing at his surroundings, he sarcastically smiled, calling the set up a mere "theater". Promptly, numerous articles, many written by human rights activists and journalists, have come to signal the difficulties the Iraqi authorities will face in the process of prosecuting Saddam. Stories of missing evidence, unclear chains of command and invalid court legitimacy have come to surface, thus undermining the success of an effective trial.

Saddam, still claiming to be President of Iraq, held that he was immune to the jurisdiction of the court and refused to sign any document without the presence of an attorney. Participating in a bloody coup and ruthlessly rising to rule the ba’athist party are few of the many ingredients Saddam used to cook his so called legitimate presidency, and yet, the man who once shot his minister of health while presiding a meeting speaks of legal immunity.

The theater Saddam claimed to be standing in was also criticized for being a puppetry of stooges, with nothing but hand picked judges. How undemocratic one would say, forgetting that some of the world's leading judicial systems still handpick their Supreme Court judges. Furthermore, Saddam's legal defense team, which ironically does not include a single Iraqi lawyer, complains of the difficulties it faces in obtaining official recognition and a general lack of Justice. A 20 -strong team consisting mostly of Jordanian lawyers was assembled by Saddam's loving wife, and I ask, where are the unaccounted billions of dollars that mysteriously disappeared before the US-led invasion and how is she paying their salaries?

There is no perfect legal system and the people of Iraq thirst for Justice. We have seen the failures of International Law in the handling of the Milosovic case, and though the current Iraqi tribunal is far from perfect, it should follow its course without unnecessary delay. In an ideal world, all humans should be treated with equal dignity and respect. Sadly, those who least deserve this universal right seem to receive greater priority.

-By Zayid Al-Baghdadi

Yesterday we received a 2nd payment of the donations sent by our great friends and readers. The process went more smoothly this time and the transferred money was 5800$; 2700$ for “Iraq-the model” and the rest for A.Y.S, Sarmad, and Alaa. I’ve contacted Sarmad and A.Y.S and they said they’ll come to get their money and Alaa’s (Sarmad’s friend). Omar has left to Basrah and Mohammed to Samawa, so I have no plan yet of how to use this money and I think I’ll wait for their return. Any suggestions would be welcomed. Many, many thanks to all those who helped us to keep and update our blog and of course to the wonderful Mr. Tom Villars for all his great efforts to help all Iraqi bloggers.
For more information, you can visit the Iraqi technical support site. which is run by Mr. Tom Villars.


Thursday, July 01, 2004
Saddam is in the cage.
For fourty years, the Baáth ruled Iraq with iron fist and committed crimes more than any other group of savages did along the whole history of Iraq.
Today comes the moment of justice that Iraqis and all the people who suffered from Saddam awaited for so long.
We reached a state of frustration during Saddam’s reign to the extent that we doubted for a moment that he was a human being or that one day he would die. Some of us even began to believe that he was Iraq’s destiny and that he, his family and his gang would rule forever.

What shall we sue you for, Saddam?
For what?.....For what!?
For murdering millions of Iraqis? For the torture you used against anyone who dared to oppose you or even against those you doubted their loyalty?
Or for the impoverishing Iraq and her people and wasting Iraq’s fortune?
Or for the fear we lived in for thirty five years; the fear that made us die a thousand times a day, we were getting scared to death when someone knocks on the door or when the phone rings or when we see one of your wretched dogs watching us in the street or at work.
We were getting scared to death when we see a look of anger in the eyes of your Mukhabarat and we’d go back to review everything we said that day; have we criticized someone? Did we not smile when your ‘great name’ was mentioned? Did we say anything that offends your "immortal party" even with a hint?
What shall we sue you for?
For your innovated methods to terrify people?
For chopping off tongues, hands and years?
Or for burning the prisoners alive in front of their friends to make them see, hear and smell pain and death?
What shall we sue you for?
For Halabja? The city of tears, pain and sorrow.
For Al-Anfal? For turning the desert of Iraq into a huge graveyard after crushing the uprising? Or for the endless humiliation that forced us to walk bending our heads with our eyes looking at the ground?
For stupid wars that cost millions of lives?
Or for mass graves that we still don’t know their number?
For millions of our educated youths who left the country to get out of your hell?

Where are your supporters and where are your loyal servants?
Why didn’t we see millions cheering your name or calling for your innocense?
Why didn’t any Iraqi lawyer accept to defend you?
We reject you and we’d like to expel you out of our minds forever.
We’re nothing like you and we’re not going to treat you the way you treated your opponents when you grabbed power.
We’re going to get a fair trial and you’re going to have lawyers to defend you and we will listen to you although you refused to listen to us for thirty five years.
We will not start our new life with mistakes like you did; this is a new Iraq, an Iraq that neither you nor any of your fellow criminals can recognize.
The new Iraq is totally different from what you wanted or planned in your sick mind.
This is the Iraq where everyone listens to anyone even to criminals like you.
The people of Iraq have judged you decades ago, from the first day you came to power.
Your denial to the people’s judgement didn’t do you any good; all the killing and all the torture you did will haunt you.
This is the moment to carry out a sentence that was agreed on decades ago.
I cried when I saw you in that cage because it took a very long time to happen and it has cost us a lot.
We hope that the world will never allow such a crime to happen again.
A whole nation had her history written with tears and blood and pain and humiliation and death.
Please do not let this happen again.
Let’s learn a lesson from the suffering of Iraq.
And let’s make it a trial for the history that caused all this to happen, not only for Saddam.

By Mohammed.

From Um Mushtaq to Abu Haider.
I was taking a walk in the street with one of my friends when suddenly I heard a shout “Dr. Mohammed!” I turned back to see who it was and I found that it was one of the nursing staff who worked with me in Samawa and got transferred to Baghdad.
After greetings and asking about each other’s health he said “I was just thinking of you” why?, I asked.
“Do you still run that website?” he asked. I said “yeah”.
-Can you do me a favor?
-Do you know Abu Haider’s (Mr. Bremer) e-mail address?
-No! Why?
-I want to send him a letter.
-What for?
-To say thanks. Actually it’s not only me, it’s my mother Al-Hidjiyah; she made me promise her to send a letter to Mr. Bremer.
-Me too. I want to do that but unfortunately I don’t have his e-mail.
-Can you ask your American friends. Because I really feel bad that the man didn’t get the reward he deserves for his great efforts; we could at least make a party for him or a decent celebration. Did you listen to his farewell speech? it was incredible.
-Yes, it was and I’ll try to get his mail although I think it’s difficult but what did your mother exactly want to tell him?

-Well, Al-Hidjiya said “son, tell this man that Um Mushtaq says go with the blessings of Allah, you have suffered a lot for the sake of our country and we were not able to thank you in person and this makes us so sad” and she also said “although this is not right, because he is not Muslim but I have to say it and I don’t care what others may say”
My friend laughed as he said that.

I should mention that friend is a hard core communist who paradoxically bares strong admiration and gratitude and for America.
-How can she ask for Allah’s blessings for Bremer when she believes that it’s not right for a Muslim to ask so? I said with a smile.
-You know these old people with their old fashion minds but she said she loves him as if he were an Iraqi Muslim.
I said good bye to my friend and thought about what he said, and I thought about writing a letter to Mr. Bremer and I don’t know how to deliver it.

I don’t like to give much credit to an individual no matter who he is, as I believe it’s one of the reasons we’re so behind the others. People in the east generally get attached to individuals more than ideas and the fact that Iraqis support Al-Yawer and Allawi more than they support the government as a whole is just one example of this. However I find myself compelled to write about Mr. Bremer because this man was never given the credit he deserves. That of course includes all the good people who worked with him.

We miss you Sir and we know that it’s been difficult for you too. Your speech has touched the hearts of all the Iraqis I have met just as your efforts have contributed in drawing the outlines of the bright future of Iraq, the new free democratic Iraq and we will never forget you. You worked hard as if you were a true son of Iraq and in fact you’re one of Iraq’s sons, that’s how we look at you.

I never heard anyone talk badly about you, I heard people say a lot of bad things about GWB and the GC members but you were the most respected and loved political character among Iraqis and I can say I’m almost sure that if there was a poll about who’s the most popular person in Iraq, then you would’ve been the winner.
You maintained an equilibrium in a very intricate situation and at a very difficult time and I doubt that someone else would’ve been able to do that.

You’ve understood the mosaicism of the Iraqi people and the desires, fears and demands of each group and dealt with them in the wisest possible way.

You were working hard to convince one group and satisfy another one to guarantee the progress of the process and you faced one crisis after the other and an attack after the other but all that didn’t affect your morale, stamina and high level of professionalism.

You were keen on leading Iraq to the shores of peace despite the harsh environment, and most Iraqis recognize that you succeeded in your mission.

Sir, Iraq loved you just like you confirmed your love in your farewell speech. We were touched just as you were. You have taken a place in our hearts just as you said we’ve taken our places in your heart.
We will be waiting for you to return with your grandchild Sophya (as you promised in your speech) and we’ll share your will to teach her the history of Iraq and I’m sure that she’ll love Iraq as you do.

Yes, we’d like you to come back to your country, Iraq. And we’d love to have you share the moments of joy with us as you shared the moments of sadness.
We would like you to live the moment of victory with us as you lived the moment of hardships.

I was never surprised when none of the western media broadcasted your impressive speech because I doubt their interest in showing the world the nature of the relation between you and the people of Iraq. But I’d like to tell you this:
Iraq loves you just as you love her.

*These are the verses which Mr. Bremer used in his farewell speech. They are too difficult to translate (in fact they’re difficult to understand even for Arabs, as it’s an old verse with difficult vocabulary that’s no longer used in daily life) and I’ll post them in Arabic, but they generally say:

I’ve left my heart in the hands of God in Baghdad
I said good bye to him when I wished instead..
That I would say good bye to the days of my life.

أستودع الله في بغداد لي قمرا ..... بالكرخ من فلك الأزرار مطلعه
ودعته وبودي لو يودعني ..... صفو الزمان وأني لا أودعه

عاش العراق ..عاش العراق ..عاش العراق

By Mohammed.


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