Faiza Al-Arji and her sons, Raed, Khalid, and Majid – 2006-05-31 23:16:57
A Family in Baghdad
Mother: Faiza, sons: Raed, Khalid , and Majid writing down their diaries. Father: Azzam is not interested.
Wednesday, May 24th, 2006
posted by Faiza Al-Arji
The formation of the new Iraqi government was announced, after more than five months of negotiations between the various rivals who participated in the elections, to reach the least minimum level of agreement.
The Interior and Defense Ministries remained without announcing the names of their respective ministers, as the debate still goes on, to choose professional characters, unbiased to their Parties, like what happened in the former Interior Ministry, with the Minister’s partiality to his Party, and the sect he belongs to.
And many transgressions and assaults took place against another sect. And whenever he was asked, he denied his knowledge of the crimes committed by the personnel of his Ministry, saying; these people do not belong to the Ministry, even though they wear the official uniforms of the Police force, and use cars and the official mobile phones of the Ministry. And so was the case when the scandal of the cellar belonging to his Ministry was uncovered, with detainees in it, and he promised to carry out an investigation, but we didn’t hear a thing.
And the good news here is; that this Minister, with all his bad reputation now in the hearts of Iraqis, will receive another Ministerial portfolio in the new permanent Ministry, as if nothing happened.
So; why do they say Saddam Hussein killed the Iraqis, and it is time to get even with him?
On the same scale, why don’t we question these new killers in Iraq?
Why is the Iraqi blood so cheap to them?
People are being slaughtered on the streets day and night, but no body stops the bloodshed; neither the occupation forces take the subject as a priority, nor the interim former governments gave the issue much care.
And now, all the complicated, difficult agendas, which found no one to solve seriously for the past three years, are being thrown over the shoulders of the 4-years-elected Iraqi government, to untangle all these accumulations, destruction, corruption, and ruin.
What magical capabilities they possess, to solve all these calamities?
They will either give all their efforts, but will fail in pulling Iraq out of the swamp in which it sank, and then will fail to gain the trust of the miserable Iraqi citizen who has been waiting for three years. Or, they will succeed, and that’s what I wish, with all my heart, as every Iraqi who loves his country, would.
But at the same time, I say- experience taught us not to be dreamers, making wishes only. But to look at the ground, see reality, and analyze it, to find out what are the expected percentages for the success of the elected Iraqi government, in order to be able to solve the problems of Iraq, by the light of the existing conditions on the Iraqi field, and by the light of the prospects and the authorities of this government.
We should not forget that this elected government is not the highest authority in the country; there is an occupier, and he is the higher authority in Iraq now.
The military and political command is in the hands of the occupier. Then what command is in the hands of the government?
In my opinion, the present government should solve, or patch up, the disasters that the occupier brought into Iraq; by trying to control the sectarian leaderships who own armed militia, which are racking havoc in Iraq for more than three years now, waging a war which is sectarian on the face, but political in the core, to enforce the idea of federalism in Iraq.
These leaderships are entangled in stories of administrational corruption, theft of the public funds, the illegal smuggling of oil and selling it to neighbors, and cashing millions of dollars into their pockets, while the people suffer the lack of security and main services, the lack of jobs, and the increase of unemployment and poverty rates… or the calamities committed by the occupier himself, like destroying the infrastructure of the country. Very well; if you came to remove the dictator, why would you destroy the country’s infrastructure?
And many more disasters; like disbanding the Iraqi Army, thus leaving the boarders loose for anyone to enter; the intelligence forces of the neighbors, from Iran to Israel, in addition to the CIA who came with the occupation, the private American security institutions who work for other formations there, like the Ministry of Defense and others, plus- suicidals who want to get revenge against the American occupation.
That is in addition to strange, weird organizations, from which God and Islam are innocent; organizations that kill, slaughter, and put films on the Internet and Al-Jazzera Channel, to deform the image of Islam, and that of the Iraqi resistance against the occupation. God only knows who invented them, or who finances them, and they are, all the while, the furthest possible as can be from Iraq and the Iraqis. But at the end, they land at the occupier’s benefit; because they justify its existence.
Rumsfeld always justifies the presence of armies in Iraq to push out these organizations, like the imaginary Al-Zarqawi, who was shown in a video recording walking about in some desert. Who knows where was he walking; in an Iraqi desert, in Nevada, or in Colorado? For he is a doll that was invented to justify keeping Iraq occupied. And the Iraqis inside touched no real trace of the existence of these weird, fantastic organizations in the reality of our lives.
Even thought the former Iraqi interim government used to support the occupation’s viewpoint, saying from time to time that they caught some cell belonging to al-Zarqawi, but who believes that miserable government, that killed more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein did?
The occupation, and the government that came under its canopy, have common interests; so, there is also a common speech. But that speech is full of lying and falsehood most of the time, as we saw in the past years.
For example; the story of the attack on Al-Adahmiya District some two months ago. All the residents there agree to one story: they were attacked at night, by men dressed in the uniforms of the Interior Ministry Police. There was random shooting, and the young men who were present as night watch groups were assaulted. The attack lasted for 9 hours, until the occupation forces came along (how lovely!), and stopped the engagement.
There is a collusion between the former, corrupt government and the Interior Ministry, and the occupation forces.
And that collusion became more evident when the official statement about the incident was issued; the official statement was issued by both the government, and the occupation, each- separately, but with an identical viewpoint, as they say. The cover- up letter of the story was one.
The official cover- up letter said: A group of insurgents in Al-Adahmiya attacked the governmental Police station, and the police answered their fire back.
Now; if you lived in that same district, and saw that incident with your own eyes and ears, but the media sent a totally different story from reality, what would you say?
This story is but a small example of what has been happening in Iraq for three years and more. Meaning that someone living in Baghdad, doesn’t exactly know what is happening in the different districts of the same city.
And if he goes to read newspapers, listen to the local radio, or to the governmental TV stations, he will hear explanations formed by the government together with the occupation. And with time, the miserable citizen will lose his trust of the government, and turn into anger and indignation, and probably into negativity and hopelessness, so he would no longer hope for the good in what is to come…
I do hope, as other Iraqis do, that the performance of the elected present government shall be better, and more elevated than the previous ones.
Even though I know that some 80% of the present government’s symbols are corrupt, supporters of the occupation, and nothing good is hoped from them to Iraq; for they think only of their interests. But I know there are some 20% of honest, national people, who will do all their best to correct the devastation that had befallen the country.
There is hope… but a small one.
And Blare came on to bless the elected Iraqi government, and to say that this step makes him happy, and supports his viewpoint that he was right when he decided to wage the war on Iraq, and topple the regime. And so stood Bush and his wife, with the fireplace behind them, feeling happy. And Bush said that this government proves the success of the idea of war on Iraq, and toppling the regime.
The Iraqis like me look at these losing criminals, and understand how opportunist they are; living in their luxurious houses, in safety with their families. As for us; we either immigrated and left our houses, after the violence, the panic, and the terrible stories we lived through, or we remained, living in patience to the kidnapping of our children, the killing of our loved ones, through the shortages of services — the water, the electricity, the fuels, through the daily terror of random shooting in streets and cities, the trapped cars, and the exploding bombs. We lived the daily terror of hell for more than three years.
And what did Bush and Blare give us to ease the daily hell?
The occupation forces riding on tanks?
And now, with every step full of Iraqi blood-shed, while we want to build a better future for us and our children, Bush and Blare come along to invest in the Iraqis’ anguish, saying with all insolence: I was right when I decided on the war against Iraq.
Have you seen the Iraqis happily picking flowers, you fool, and came to boast that you are the donator of this achievement?
The Iraqis now are blinded by pain and sadness; they want to get out of the war’s calamity, and what negative aspects it exuded to the society, and to the country’s future. Iraq now is but a heap of rubble, a ruin. We want to know where to start? Thousands of complicated problems need solving in Iraq.
We need time, efforts, and money to repair the dumb calamities that Bush and Blare are responsible for.
The day will come, when Bush, Blare, and those who joined them in their war on Iraq, will pay the damages; for every side walk their tanks destroyed in Iraq, for every building, every street, every bridge, hospital, school, state office, and camp. For every house destroyed, and every human killed or wounded by the occupation forces.
That day will come, after the Iraqis will go out of the whirlpool of destruction and ruin, into which they entered because of this war. A war in which the advantage of the Iraqi people was the last item, at the bottom of a long list, full of advantages to imperialists, capitalists, thieving business and wealth men from all nationalities, to various companies, leaders who are thieves and criminals with militias, and many, many more, of which the long list is full.
And, as a last item at the bottom of the long list, perhaps they added: the advantage of the Iraqi people.
This is what we perceived on the ground, after three years of the war against us.
All the beneficiaries got their benefits, but so far, we are the only losers.
Sunday, May 21st, 2006
posted by Faiza Al-Arji
The news from Baghdad are sad and frustrating, as usual.
Everyone is waiting for the announcement about the formation of the new government, which is supposed to be the first elected permanent government in Iraq, to remain for four years.
And now, five months of that government’s life span is gone, and the government isn’t formed yet. Why? Everyone is asking.
Why is the forming of the government so delayed, like a difficult, long birth delivery?
Even the American administration practiced all kinds of pressures, interfered, and threatened, in order to hasten the birth of the new government.
And the answer is; that that government should be according to the American standards: sectarian, and ethnic, following a principle of “shares” in every step. It is then a difficult delivery, for an infant not without deformations.
This government, in spite of all deadly attempts to make it satisfying for all, but I do not expect it be the government the Iraqis hope for; to express their hopes and ambitions, and one able to solve the intensifying crises of the country; the bad security, the spread of chaos, the gangs, the armed militias ruling the daily streets- killing, robbing, and kidnapping, and which no one can control. The situation is deteriorating, for five months, till now. The questions are growing: How will this government solve the calamities of Iraq?
What have they got, more than that of Alawi’s or Al-Jaffa’ree’s, to create miracles?
And what is the role of the occupation forces? Will it be positive, or negative, in solving the accumulating problems of Iraq, since three years?
I want to talk of my viewpoint; how do I see the reality in Iraq after three years of war against it, and after the occupation; pushing the country into certain choices, which appear now very clearly on the ground….
There are some clear blocs, with clear political and intellectual speech, which isn’t a deep or genius speech, but it is clear, dominated by the subjective, sectarian interest, more than by the public, national interest. And these blocs drag behind them millions of powerless people. These millions were pushed to participate in the elections, and vote for candidates or the new constitution, on a mere sectarian, racist ground.
Those I am talking about, are the two big clear blocs in the field after the occupation: the Kurd Parties bloc, and the Shia’at Parties bloc. The leaders of these blocs put the interests of the sect or race they belong to in front of their eyes, and dragged their public into a hatful sectarian, ethnic speech, teaching them the intellect of malice and revenge against the past, and told them that (…this time is ours, to rule, be victorious, and get revenge for our “suppressed” people…).
And under these slogans, the public is usually deceived, running to elect the wise leadership that will defend the people’s rights, the formally suppressed. And both leaderships have a complete conviction about the issue of Federalism, written by Premer, in the Iraqi State Law draft.
And this is the password to all who want to participate in the politics of Iraq after the occupation.
All the killing and violence that is filling the Iraqi streets, committed by gangs and armed militias, dressed in the uniforms of the state police, with state vehicles, or by others, takes place under the canopy of the Federalism implementation program, forcefully on the land of Iraq. And this stalling in forming the new government, flows into the interest of these militias, to execute, on the ground, as much as can be of crimes, killings, and bloodshed, to force the Iraqis to accept the idea of Federalism, addressing a letter to them, saying: Your lives will remain like hell, your souls threatened, and your cities will not see stability, until you agree to Federalism, and the country will be divided into three very clear regions: Kurdish, Sunnie, and Shia’at. In the north and the south the oil riches are concentrated; so, give the Sunnies in the middle region some of the oil revenues, for peace to reign and everyone to keep silent. And each leadership will hold the solving of each region’s administrational, security, and financial problems in the ways they see fit; meaning – putting the decision into the hands of a small, leading faction, controlling everything; meaning – small dictatorships in the regions, who own militias ruling the regions, and controlling everything in it, specially the oil wealth.
These leaderships who are in the government now, of Kurds or Shia’ats, have militias whom they refuse to disband, because they want to give these militias the legitimacy to survive, to protect the regions in the future.
These same militia were used to stand over the voting boxes in the north and the south, meaning- they threatened the voters, one way or another, distorting democracy, and turning it to panic, to force the people to elect the new, historical leaders, the new dictators in Iraq.
When I criticize these people and these policies, it is because of my sadness to what happened to Iraq. After all the sacrifices, the ruin, and the devastation that happened, did any real change happen, in the quality of speech and the quality of leaders, after the Saddam Hussein regime?
The answer is: No.
These new leaderships are walking on Saddam Hussein’s pattern, in aspects of the narrow, group mentality (our people), and in trying to dominate power and decision, one way or another, by using all the unclean methods, with a mobbish mentality; a mentality of bandits; we plunder all we can, and we’ll show whoever objects- we mean; kill him, or banish him from Iraq.
Perhaps Saddam Hussein was ashamed of showing all these things in public, so they used to talk about secret lockups, secret mass- graves, and secret police. But with the new leaders, God be Praised, everything is in public for them; the militia is public, the detention camps and prisons are public, the torture, killings, and throwing the bodies in the streets are in a public way, stealing the oil, smuggling it to neighboring countries, and putting the money in the pockets of the new leaderships is done in public.
Whom should they fear, and of whom would they be ashamed?
From the people?
Huh, a joke; for who are the people! A bunch of sheep slaughtered day and night, with no one to stop their bloodshed on the streets.
From the occupation?
It is the occupation who is blessing these leaderships, and wants them to stay, because they will carry on its plans: A divided Iraq, a weak Iraq, an Iraq whose wealth is plundered, and divided among these leaderships, and the leadership of the occupation. How would these leaderships not grab the seats of rule with nail and tooth now?
This is what they have been doing for three years, and the occupation is present to support them and stabilize them, because they are the best help for it, to remain on the Iraqi land indefinitely.
These leaderships need the occupation to protect them. And the occupation needs these leaderships to give it the legitimacy to stay, and to be called – The Multi-national forces that liberated Iraq.
This is the reality of things in Iraq now. And these are the major playing forces in Iraq now, collaborating with one another, to push Iraq into the direction that serves its present and future interests.
What other forces are there?
There are some Parties which decided to get in and join in the political process, in the last elections. Some are Sunnie Islamic Parties, or mixed National Parties (original Iraqi, mixed, not deformed sectarian or ethnic). This faction in suffering now from oppression, marginalization, crippling, and continuous assassinations, to curb its role. These Parties have more Nationalistic, and less sectarian and ethnic, demands. They do not have militias; they are not entangled in administrational corruption, stealing the state funds, or Iraqi oil. These Parties are the small hope for the Iraqis who still want a secure, united Iraq; not a sectarian, ethnic, or dictatorial Iraq.
But they, as the reality says, will remain weak and marginalized, and will not have the decision into their hands, may God help them…
And beside these clear factions, there is a dozen of other factions who have been playing in the Iraqi street for three years, each with its own interests and private agenda, from outside and inside. And these could be controlled if Iraq had a really powerful government, not a government of dolls fighting over ministries; I want a dominating ministry, not a secondary or a service one.
What is the most important, then?
Fighting over ministries, or agreeing upon a National program to save the country?
Did we elect you so you would fight over seats?
Where are the responsible behaviors, and the maturity of these leaderships?
Since when getting dominating, secondary or service ministries became the priority in governmental programs?
And what do the new terms, like: an electoral entitlement, mean? Meaning; I got such and such votes, such and such chairs, so, I should have such and such ministries.
Is this an American way of ruling the country, and pulling it out of the crisis?
It seems that this is the way of administering Iraq under the occupation, and the American ambassador is always there to lay down conditions, and hamper everything.
I don’t exactly know, but I see it as a sign of failure, and an ugly exploitation of the miserable voter’s votes, those who risked their lives for the referendum, while these Parties and their representatives are fighting over ministries.
Isn’t the important thing is to be there, as Nationalistic, active blocs, pushing inside the parliament to determine the direction of the country’s policy in the coming years?
Isn’t the important thing is to put realistic, clear programs to solve the problems of Iraq?
Where are the priorities now? I don’t know how these people think…
There is a battle going on for five months now, to divide the Iraqi cake; the Parties are fighting for shares, and the Iraqis are dying in the streets…
God Bless, this is the new, democratic Iraq….
There are people in America, who encourage and support the occupation, for many reasons of their own. And like them, there are some fooled Iraqis who support the occupation, and see it as the beautiful, shining sun. These fools have similar, smart questions:
Well then, why do you talk about the human rights in Iraq now, while you didn’t speak about them in the days of Saddam?
My answer is: America itself knew of his crimes, but didn’t speak about it, but now, the new trend is to talk about it every time, everywhere…. And you, today’s heroes, you became men because you are under the protection of the occupation’s bayonets?
Why didn’t the Iraqis hear your voices in the days of Saddam? Weren’t you working as parts of his regime, then you disagreed with him, and went out to be CIA members, or you used to work within secret Parties financed by Iran, then ran away abroad, to plan to overthrow the government, and seize positions?
God Be Praised; what an honorable struggle past…
This means that the issue for you is only a matter of personal revenge; you are no better than he was, the important thing is to assume the chairs, and care for the personal interests, and the poor Iraqi people is the last thing you would think about.
And here are three years of killings, destruction, and ruin; what have you done to stop it?
Did you object against something?
No, never, all is nice and perfect, as long as my lord and master, the American occupier, wants it this way; very well, sir, all is OK…
Is this the nationality for you?
Perhaps the monkeys are better than you…
Yes, we got out of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, only for this occupation to plant these sectarian and ethnic sick dictatorships for us, with its militias, its domination of the Iraqi ministries, as employments there, are, in most cases, for those who support them, and walk on their path; which means it is like the compulsory entry into the former Al-Ba’ath Party, so you can get a job in the state.
Then why was Iraq destroyed, along with its economy and security, its borders became open for the neighbors, each according to his conscience, if they wanted to interfere or not? After the boarders became open for all and everyone, to enter Iraq, rake havoc, and destroy; starting from the destruction of the Iraqi Museum, the burning of the National Library and the Ministries, stealing the state Archives to learn all the secrets, and opening the doors for organized theft and robbery… the killing of Iraqis from all kinds and types, starting from the garbage man in the municipality, to the university professor, as one Iraqi said.
Why did we endure all these sacrifices?
For this corrupt leaderships to come sit on the chairs, and stick to them?
Who will remove these, after they owned millions of dollars from thefts?
Who will remove them, after they owned militias, TV stations, newspapers, and magazines to market their great ideas?
That is what the occupation planted in Iraq. And the Iraqis are reaping what the occupation planted for three years now.
And the American administration is telling its people that the Iraqis are happy, because today they have elected leaderships, elected and loved by the people, and these leaderships are keen on realizing the Iraqis’ hopes, and their happiness.
But that damned Al-Zarqawi is the only problem in Iraq. Rumsfeld also said so in his latest speeches, and he will strip off a few billion dollars from the American budget to train the new Iraqi Army and Police Force, to throw off Al-Zarqawi.
Huh, huh, huh… I don’t know, whether to laugh or cry?
Where is the truth in these fabled stories? As the money of the American people is being stolen, under flimsy pretexts, and the myths of Bush and his administration, as they delude the American people that they are doing miracles, heroic acts, and sacrifices in Iraq, spending billions of dollars to build a new Iraq; a shiny, democratic Iraq.
And the truth is- they are building the ugliest Iraq known in history; an Iraq divided under the sectarian and ethnic hatrids that were spread in the country, to become an excuse to divide the country.
The division will not benefit the Iraqis with a thing. It will only benefit the corrupt, dictatorial new leaderships, to plunder the country’s wealth, and share it with the American Oil Investment companies, and let the Iraqi opposers go to hell.
These opposers are a bunch of lowly people, killers, Saddamists, and Zarqwies; this is how they are described by Rumsfeld, and the present Iraqi leaderships, who collaborate with the occupation.
Both the Interior and the Defense Ministers, whose tenure had ran out, were appointed by Rumsfeld himself. And the security conditions deteriorated in their existence, or, it deteriorated more and more in their time. Well then; Did anyone question them? Was any investigation carried out with them, to find out who was behind the killings and the assassinations in the Iraqi streets?
And who are those who wear the uniforms of the state police, use state cars to set up roadblocks, to kidnap people, kill them, and throw them on garbage heaps? Or, they roam the streets at night, in all freedom at curfew time, encircling neighborhoods, breaking doors of sleeping people, arresting the men, and leaving without anyone intercepting them?
Where is the government and its responsibility?
Where are the human rights in Iraq?
Didn’t they invent a human right’s Ministry in the after-war Iraq? What’s its job? Or is it just a name with which Bush brags, as being one of the Iraq-liberation achievements?
And where are the Iraqi Interior and Defense Ministers, appointed by Rumsfeld, the hero? What are their comments on the subject?
If any one of them wasn’t able to protect the Iraqi people, why should he keep his post then? Why would he receive a salary, go to work everyday, with security in front and back of him, while he isn’t able to get what’s needed of his ministry done?
Who keeps them in the government?
The Parties they belong to? Or the genius, Rumsfeld?
What’s the most important now; protecting the rights and interests of the Iraqi people, or protecting the Parties, the occupation, and their interests?
It seems that protecting the interests of the Parties and the occupation in the new Iraq, is the priority, and let the people go to hell.
And they did go to hell, since three years, and are waiting for someone to get them out of it…
And what are the occupation forces doing?
If they couldn’t stop the violence and the organized militia, who are trying to give the character of a sectarian war to what is happening on the Iraqi streets, and if they can’t build up Iraq, improve the performance of the Iraqi police and army, to make them into a national army that would protect its country, and if they wouldn’t interfere to protect the poor Iraqi citizen at his house, work, and on the streets- well then, why are they here?
Are they here to protect our new leaders in the Green Zone? Or to kill and arrest any Iraqi who refuses their existence on the Iraqi land?
This is what I see on the reality ground.
But to the American people they say: The army is there to prevent a civil war, the Iraqis are monsters who do not know how to live with each other, and dividing the country is the wise solution to sectarian fighting. The army is tracking the damned Al-Zarqawi in the Iraqi towns, arresting and killing whoever supports him, because they are aliens who want to destroy the happy Iraq.
And the truth is- the American army is insulting, arresting, and killing the honest Iraqi men, and protecting the coward, vile Iraqis, those who collaborate with the occupation.
The picture is dark in Iraq
But faith and hope are there, in the hearts of some Iraqis.
Some, who didn’t adulate, or clap for Saddam, and didn’t adulate or clap for the occupation, or the corrupt leaderships it brought. Some Iraqis, who do not agree with what is happening in Iraq for three years now….
And this faction of Iraqis is the hope; the hope in building a one, united Iraq, an Iraq thinking by the mentality of: We are all Iraqis, however the details and the names, brought on by the occupier to divide us, differ. We are Iraqis, working to unite people- to collect together their word, unite their hearts, and their aim; a one, free independent Iraq, without occupation, without corrupt dictatorships.
We wait to see what will the new government do, on the ground of reality.
We do not want to listen to speeches, fancy, and empty words.
We want to see accomplishments on the ground of reality.
In a few months, it will be clear whether they were really working for the interests of the Iraqis, and to improve their lives, or if they were just dolls, who have no ability to change conditions.
So, we await the lapse of their duration, until a new election comes along, and we start working early to prepare new leaderships, with minds and speeches more mature, more aware, and more national, to solve the problems of Iraq.
As long as there are some Iraqis who love Iraq more than loving their personal interests, Iraq will be fine.
For their will come the day when Iraq will go back to its good folks…