Showing posts from December, 2006

To Saddam Hussein.

When I hear a piece of news , a verdict, or a story that touches me deeply , I freeze.
I usually can't comment on it straight away nor gather my thoughts and feelings in any coherent form. It takes me time to distill , digest and absorb.
I am not a journalist , I cannot report "things". Reporting takes a certain detachment and when it comes to Iraq , am not detached . I am very attached. Terribly attached.
Such piece of news reached me yesterday . That of your Execution.
I will address you as Saddam Hussein, Sir.
Even though I still consider you to be the legitimate President of Iraq, allow me not to use any formalities here. Let us forget titles , ranks and the rest .
When it comes to Death , all protocols fall. Death has this even power - We are all equal in the face of it. Death knows no kings, no heads of state, no generals. It strikes and it leaves. And you know that too.
What remains though is the Legacy left behind. A Legacy made of words and acts.
When I compare for inst…

To a voiceless Iraqi Sister.

My Dear Sister ,

I really don't know how to start this . I am short of words. Seems like all the idioms of the English language will never convey to you what I feel. I will keep it simple. I believe in simplicity.
A holocaust survivor from the Abu Ghraib chambers related your story.
I had heard it before . But I can never hear enough of it .
I am with you in this cell . I am watching it all as it happens.
Your cries and screams went unanswered . Your cell mates could do nothing, they were castrated whilst you were being raped by the Americans.
They heard you shout :" Help me my Iraqi brothers, help me " and they only had their prayers to offer you. Don't be angry at them , they were "detainees " like yourself.
Your story and I have heard many of them , reminds me of this famous line by the Iraqi poet Muddafar al Nawab. He was addressing Jerusalem in it , but I am addressing it in Your Honor.
He said: " Jerusalem is the Bride of your Arabhood, welcome , welcome…

And the Truth shall set you Free...

Condi Rice , yesterday in an interview , said that American "investment" in Iraq was worth it in terms of lives and dollars. An eerie reminiscence of M.Albright famous quote "The price was well worth it." Chilling !
But I really need to laugh out loud here...
What an amazing people !
You have been royally defeated . It is as clear as day light.
Yet you are adamant about hanging in there. Just a little bit more , just a little longer.
Send more troops, send more mercenaries, pump more of "our" petrodollars in - You are still defeated.
Torture, rape, steal, kill, massacre - You are still defeated.
The writing is on the wall . What is it about D.E.F.E.A.T you can't understand?
The beast in his last throes , struggling for breath ?
Let me laugh some more...

It is not simply a question of saving face. This is only one level of the Truth.
It is not only about Oil . You are so hooked on the Oil theory, you will be drinking the damn thing soon.
It is not only about geo-s…

A Christmas Present ...

Today, The Emperor Bush declared :" More sacrifices will take place in Eye Raq."
Take it to mean : More Iraqi blood will be spilled , more death, more carnage, more torture, more mayhem, more rape, more theft...more of the same . A Christmas present.
Maliki, the not so smart , not so bright puppet said to the effect : " Ok I agree, more troops. On condition that we finish off the Resistance, contain the lunatic Muqtada and oh well , as for the Badr Brigades and the Magawir of the Ministry of Interior - later, later."
They gave him Nejef as a token of appreciation and handed it to the "Iraqi Army." Another Christmas present.
Brace yourselves for a massive attempt at a deadly blow to the Resistance.
Resist , we have and we will. Nothing can stop us now.

But let us leave aside realpolitik for a moment . Let us concentrate instead on the spirit of Christmas.
Since America is being so generous with her presents ,I, as a good hospitable Arab would like to reciprocate.…

Defiant , I stand.

I am sick and tired of listening to Iraqis whine about "their " failed government. Whine about how they have been duped by fake elections and false hopes, cursing the hour they agreed know what !
I am sick and tired of the crocodile tears and the "oh those poor Iraqis,who can blame them" line.
I am sick and tired of - let's atone in public , now that we know the truth- tirade.
Liars and Deceivers.
You knew the Truth all along .
The Truth was out there right in front of your very eyes whilst you were sitting in Baghdad, Teheran, some dump in the U.S , Amman, London or God knows where else.
The Truth was on every single lamp post in Baghdad . The Truth was in Firdaus Square, the Truth was marked in bright red colors on American tanks when they rolled into your "darling "city for which you whimper now.

I noticed you have stopped parroting the "Saddam this, Saddam that" broken record. A little "démodé " perhaps ? Or have the 10…

A letter to an American G.I.

When I watch pictures of your dead buddies on and I read some of your naive childlike poems, I feel sorry for you. I honestly do.
I feel sorry for you yet at the same time I feel anger.
It is a very confusing mix of ambivalent, contradictory emotions.
On the one hand,I would love to strike you and on the other hand I say to myself, it is not really your fault.
You chose it yet you did not choose it.
From your perspective you are only "executing orders" . Yet hard facts on the battle ground tell me that you also enjoy the humiliation you inflict on these "alien" "evil " people-the Iraqis.

Despite your own neediness and your being in "it" because "it" will give you a grant, a green card and maybe the famous passport with an embossed striped eagle , you still believe you are superior, a better race, a more advanced one, a purer one.

I see the pictures of your dead buddies and I think of their mothers and fathers and the bitterne…

New age Me and I'll New age You...

Another American Soap Opera .
James Bond and the Cowboys report. Oops , sorry meant the James Baker report which basically summarizes as follows : Change course and think of our long term oil interests.
Now the cowboy G.Bush stated only yesterday that :"The Enemy has not been defeated yet. "
Danger is still looming . How about another 5 million Iraqis dead , will that attenuate your fears? Not important, let's not get side tracked with details.
George.W.Bush says that he has a plan. A plan dictated by none other than God himself. (and yes politically correct feminists, in this instance it is definitely a HE, so lay off my back.)
I will relay to you what exactly happened.
G.W.Bush retreated into his holy grounds , kneeled down and prayed for guidance.
God himself manifested his glory to Bush and told him : "Son, your job ain't done yet, go get em' Georgie .The anti Christ six headed Beast is still lurking somewhere in Baby-lawn."
God usually manifests himself …

The Curse.

My good old friend Zaynab , a shi'a (just in case you wondered) rang me today.
She was hyper, frantic and on the verge of hysterics.
"Layla , stuff your political analysis . I don't care to hear it anymore . I am telling you, we Iraqis are jinxed. A curse has been placed upon us. We have been abandoned,we are a no good people. I am telling you, God is punishing us. We must be deserving it ..."

Now my knowledge of Psychology tells me that it is very common for the Predator to blame the Victim and very "normal" for the Victim to blame himself/herself . A classic way to find justification and rationality for what the mind can no longer comprehend or absorb.

My rational part, or what is left of it , wanted to brush Zaynab's outcry away. But deep down, I must confess, a part of me shares her belief . Not only me but countless other Iraqis I have spoken to and met , from all creeds , echo Zaynab.

Who can blame us ? What ordinary Iraqis witness and live on a d…

News Flash News Flash News Flash News...

Yesterday I let you in on my call to Radhee. Radhee calls me back today. He reports that:

- Abu Saleem's son , Othman, 13 and half years old was kidnapped by the Iranian backed Death Squads whilst he went to buy some candies from the grocery shop.
His kidnappers asked for a ransom of 20'000 USD . Abu Saleem is a poor man , out of work for nearly a year now. He told them all his belongings did not amount to this sum.
He received another call later on during the day. The kidnappers have bargained down the price-10'000 USD or else...
Abu Saleem tried to negotiate with them . He offered that they take his house and all his belongings, he just wants his son alive. Later on in the evening, he received yet another call: "You son is dead , his body can be found in Kerbala."
Othman's mother wanted her son's body at any cost so he can have a proper burial .
As it is too dangerous for this sunni family to go to Kerbala , a relative of the family , a shi'a, offered hi…

Lucky You !

We have a ritual that we share on a daily basis.
It is an unspoken agreement.
No matter what the distances are , whether we are next door to each other or miles away , we call each other daily just to "check".
This ritual helps us preserve whatever familial and social fabric we may have salvaged , a protective wall from the total disintegration around us.
Today was my turn to call.
Radhee was on the other end of the line .
We have skipped asking the usual "How are you".
The sentences are short and usually start with "Is everything ok? Am just checking".
Radhee spoke very fast and went into a litany of all the woes around him .
Auntie Salma cannot make it to the doctor , it's too dangerous .
Uncle Wassem has run out of medication and it is nowhere to be found . Trying to cross the city to another district to find it, is too dangerous.
Cousin Reema , a widow, has not been getting any of her husband's pension, she needs to go and search for a job, but what'…

An Eye for an Eye ...

Now that "Eye Raq" is a bloody mess , a stinkhole of anonymous cadavers, The Geniuses in the White House are calling on "Eye Ran " to help them fix it .
So Mr. "Death Squad" also known as Al Hakim,dusted off his robe , re-arranged his turban and pumped himself up like a peacock to be received in private by none other than the President of the USA.
Some of those on the "Left" acclaimed another victory for the "Anti Imperialist forces" so bravely at work in Iraq. In their limited understanding of political power plays, "EyeRan" aka Persia is viewed as the Savior from the grips of ugly Imperialism and its racist bed partner Zionism.
How can people be so politically naive is beyond me .
Do they really think that when the Zionists in D.C - who also happen to be "advisors" for Israel - did not figure it out that :
- "EyeRan" has been arming and funding rebellious Shi'a groups since the 1980's
- That by…

The Uncensored Anger Manifesto - Part II

Warning : This sequel to Part I may contain strong language that may offend some of the readers . To those, I say: Skip it.

To whom it may Concern

So, you are stuck in a quagmire huh?
No shit Sherlock . What did you expect then ?
Did you expect a cake walk or did you think you will be tanning your ass in Baghdad like you do when you go on your yearly Caribbean vacation?

Yeah I know, you managed to have a little fun raping "Eye Raqis " from little girls, to boys , to women and men .
And I also know that a good deal of you managed to pocket a few hefty bundles of dollars .
Some through dubious contracts and some through sheer theft . Stealing the palaces , the houses and even the huts . Don't ever think anything goes unreported.
Or maybe you thought that you can walk into our holy places with your filthy boots, spit and piss on our holy book and kill our preachers and worshippers when in prostration at dawn and we will just stand there and turn the other cheek?
Or maybe you thought…

Paralytic Apocalypse.

I have been feeling numb lately.
I get phone calls, I hear the news, I watch pictures,I read articles and I remain unmoved.
Visitors pass by and recount to me horror stories and I just stare at them . I nod and blink my eyes but when I open my mouth to speak , the words are stuck somewhere deep in my throat.
I am past being shocked anymore. I have resigned myself to this state of paralysis.
Ghost cities like Baghdad with its pools of blood dont affect me .Raped little girls are part of my daily scenery.An unknown limb lying in the street is not even an object of curiosity. Smashed jaws, teeth, eyes, nails pulled out are nothing but sentences for me, anonymous black and white images .
Barren towns, abandoned children, families executed, hospitals raided , lethal injections given to those belonging to the wrong sect are routine . And routine gets deadly boring . A habit forming addiction.
Rampant drugs , prostitution, pimps and killers from the underworld have resurfaced from the wombs of th…

Lebanese Flagomania.

I am not sure the word "Flagomania" exists in the English language.
Oh well, I just invented it .
I could not find any other accurate terminology that would best describe the new Lebanese fervor for Flags.
On the right and on the left and along the whole of the political spectrum, the flag is waving.
On every single house, window, shop, office, car - it is waving.
Some chant with it , some sleep with it , other use it as a bed cover, some wrap themselves in it,others dance with it, some tuck it in , some flaunt it, some claim it to be theirs, others use it a sword and some trade in it ...
So amidst all this flagomania , who is who is hard to say.
I know, I know, you don't need to repeat it to me . There are the ones who are anti and the ones who are pro. I wish these lines were so clear cut to me as they are to you.
I already experienced both and we are still at the very beginning.
It seems almost taboo these days to assert that as a woman , I don't want male clerics dicta…

Stand in line and place your Bets.

I was told today that the figure for the number of dead in Iraq is a 40% increase on last month.
Who wants to bid more ?
Imagine you are in an auction , and don't get all politically correct with me now (it did not help much in the past). Imagine you are at Sothebys or Christies and the bald guy on a commission is shouting:
" Last bid , 1 ,2, 3, who says more ? ".
You don't like this one , it's too morbid for you ?Let me give you another one .
Imagine yourself in a casino , you are gambling . Roulette, Black Jack and Slot Machines . How much do you want to bet that this figure will increase next month. Jackpot?
You don't like this one either ? Never mind then, let me put it to you crudely now .
Queue up and wait for your turn and place your bets .
We have two sorts of body bags . White or Black , which do you prefer?
We may run out of those plastics soon , so you may have to do without them. I hope you don't mind the feel of mud on your skin . If you promise …