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 daily basis is beyond comprehension. Nothing can explain it.
No international politics, no oil theory, no geo strategy, no economic equation. Nothing.

To be frank, I can no longer recognize Iraqis. What has happened to us , what on earth is going on here ?
Where has this violence and brutality been stored all this time , in which secret hideout ?
Since when do Iraqis abduct women , rape them, mutilate their genitals and then kill them.
Since when do they drill holes in skulls and pluck eyes out from their sockets? Since when do they massacre innocent labourers in search of their daily bread? Since when do they blow up children in market places or immolate people in prayers to be charred alive, since when are worship places set on fire? And many more heinous acts .... Since when ?
Yes I no longer recognize this place.What is this telluric hideous ugliness painted on the walls of this city?
What is this vicious cruelty that erupts from the belly of the earth and spreads like a tumor in every street and in every neighborhood? What is becoming of us ?
Maybe Zaynab is right .
Maybe this is our curse . A first Gulf War waged by Neolithic Barbarians that knocked Iraqis down , followed by 12 years of sanctions that killed millions , followed by yet another War of "shock and awe" that took back the country to the Stone age era, followed by a ruthless occupation that has stripped thousands of their basic human dignity and killed thousands in the process. Finally allowing evil, monstrous, thuggish cronies to rule whilst these Cavemen actively engage and guide from a distance.
Bestiality is indeed contagious.
Yes this is definitely our curse but how long will this curse go on ?And more importantly who cast this evil spell ?
A displeased Deity , an angry Sumerian Goddess, a malevolent Genie , a blood sucking Vampire or Lucifer himself ?
I don't know who this being is . But I tell you one thing . I am willing to go to any length to remove this curse.
I am willing: to learn Old Shakespearian English , decrypt ancient Hebraic texts, delve into Farsee phonetics and am even willing to be born again and speak in Tongues .
Anything that will stop this carnage , absolutely anything that will end this Genocide .

Painting : Iraqi Artist Salman Shalhoob


Anonymous said…
I hope this genocide stops soon.... but a lot of the violence (I think ) is PTSD. It is a horror what has been done to Iraq, especially by the Bush administration.
datta said…
Thanks for another amazing post Layla. You always leave me speechless.

I don't know about curses from gods or devils, but the greed of BIG OIL Companies makes the oil reserves of Iraq a real curse.
US&OTHER MULTI NATIONALS would (and probably will) kill millions more to control it.
It's the Jackals Wedding.
Layla Anwar said…
Datta and Anonymous.

Today I feel optimistic. This nightmare will be over soon and you guys will have contributed something very precious to its ending.
zig said…
Dear Layla,

This post of yours, in which you wonder (I would say very lucidly) if a curse has fallen upon Iraq has inspired me to try to articulate in writing some thoughts I've been having for at least two years now.

First of all let me say since the beginning of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, I decided to follow it as closely as possible, for I thought we were watching a replay of the invasion of Poland by the III Reich im 1939.

My main objective was to see how clear a picture of events I could get, irrespective of what my wishes about the outcome of the invasion might be (obviously, that the IV Reich would lose).

This said, the thoughts I started entertaining as the crimes commited in Iraq rose were not at all that a curse had fallen upon the country, on the contrary, that Iraq was indeed chosen for the noblest purpose imaginable on earth, that Iraq, where civilization was born, is where civilization will be REBORN, or in fact is in the process of rebirth.

You may think I'm being very idealistic and utopic, but I really don't think so. I'm trying to understand what is really going on, and by doing so these are the outcomes that seem most likely to me.

Let's take a very practical and realpolitik example: AFTER (not if) Iraq defeats the US, the mightiest power in the known universe, what other country will want to wage war on any other country? What I'm suggesting is that one of the consequences of the Iraq invasion may be that for all practical purposes WAR WILL BE ABOLISHED FOREVER ON PLANET EARTH AS A MEAN OF SETTILING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COUNTRIES!

Unfortunately this only can come about through a monstruous price to be paid by the Iraqi people. In fact, it may well be that the worse it gets in the short and medium term for the Iraqis the more likely such a scenario is.

There's just another thing I'd say for the moment, for as you'll guess these aren't thoughts easily expressed in writing.

And that thing is: there has NEVER in all recorded history existed a more noble and brave people than IRAQIS! I can imagine a future world based on on 3D folk tales of their exploits!

For instance, there's a whole new world of environmental awareness waiting in the wings, and WHEN that world comes about it will be BECAUSE OF IRAQ!

Dear Layla, thanks for the opportunity to set some of my thoughts in writing.
Layla Anwar said…
Dear Zig,

Oddly enough, a very very close person to me has exactly holds the same beliefs that you do. She argues that Iraq the cradle of Civilization will remain the cradle of Civiization, albeit a new one.
I love this comforting thought. Yet I keep wondering why have the Iraqis been chosen as Abraham's sacrificial lamb for this mission.
In the religious texts - take it as mythology - if you happen to be a non believer , God sent a lamb instead to replace the son that would be slayed at the Altar. This time around , there is no animal being slaughtered. It is the IRAQIS themselves that took it upon themselves to become a collective Martyr for the world. Of course on a very idealistic level, it is a terribly noble thing to do, paying with your own life. At least the dead are in peace, but what about those left behind ?
Six months prior to 2nd Gulf war, I had a terrible nightmare. I dreamt that two GI's crucified a young Iraqi boy on a rotting wooden cross and left him to bleed to death. I awoke and I KNEW that another war will be waged. I wrote a piece following that entitled "The crucified boy". I am NOW awaiting his ressurection Zig.
Upon another note, I urge you to write on your blog , your vision and your understanding of what is going on . I believe you have a LOT to offer along those lines.
I look forward to reading it SOON.
zig said…
Dear Layla,

If you don’t mind, for the moment at least I’d prefer to address my thoughts just to you.

When I wrote about Iraq being “chosen” to be a sacrificial lamb I meant it in the least religious sense possible, in fact practically in a geostrategic sense —Iraq’s 1001 Nights oil reserves were certainly one of the reasons it was “chosen”, or why the “curse” fell upon it…

But I see a difference between Iraq and the traditional sacrificial lamb mythologies — the lamb is not supposed to fight back and much less to prevail over its would-be butcher…

Consider the Holocaust — that’s a true “lambs to the slaughter” mythology. There you have to the fullest extent imaginable the predator/victim psychology you address.

But, since it’s now common knowledge that Iraq has prevailed (although it’s usually phrased as “The US has lost”), it looks to me there’s elements of a David vs. Goliath mythology involved.

Iraq was indeed intended to be a sacrificial lamb, but then the narrative took an unexpected turn and the victim actually prevailed in the end. So, however much Iraq may have suffered and will suffer in the future, it rises above being a victim, and its role in the mythology is not of an example of what humans should not do to one another — it fits instead into the very mythological definition of the HERO, that goes through hell but prevails.

You could say that I’m stretching my point, by pointing for instance that the US has lost in Vietnam and nothing much changed — yes, but this time is different, not only it’s a completely interconnected world but the stakes were much higher than Vietnam, this was a direct bid to rule the world like it had never been possible before.

Beyond the oil and the geostrategic advantages, the idea was for the US to be able to say “Remember Iraq…” to any country that stood on its path. As it turned out, “Remember Iraq…” will be remembered FOREVER in human consciusness as having the exact opposite meaning…

REMEMBER IRAQ — now here’s something you and me agree with Bush: the meaning of these two words…

And for that we can NEVER be grateful enough to the Iraqi people — we owe them more than freedom, we owe them LIFE. It’s not that the Iraqis were annointed by God or anything, it’s just that they happenned to stand where they stood at that particular place and time… and happenned to rise to the challenge… possibly any other people could have done ir but history will record that it was Iraqis and no one else who, well, saved civilization.

I often think that if in a few years from now any one of us can go for a walk without worrying about being arbitrarily killed by a ray shot from space we will owe it to Iraqis.

This of course is oversimplifying things but it’s more or less what I have in mind. Also the toughts are a bit disconnected and the writing is confusing, but as it is I’ve been writing this for hours now…
Anonymous said…
Zig while i may agree with some of your post, comparing the yanks invasion and mass indiscriminate slaughter of Iraqi civilians to the Germans responding to attacks by the Poles is completely WAY out there.
The two are COMPLETELY uncomparable, completely.
Maybe you should study history properly and find out the real reasons behind the German acts of self defense against attacks in the "Danzig corridor".
Iraq NEVER attacked the yanks, FULL STOP.
Anonymous said…
It is Lucifer & his army. He is running out of time & waging war on Father's children. I believe in all religion there are nutty finatics who think they are doing what's right & serving the MOST HIGH when they are actually doing Satan's will. They give all religions a bad name. I believe there is one church. Those who deny themselves & lovingly obey Father. You are Abraham's seed. All who seek to serve the TRUTH are from one seed, the seed of LIFE. Let us be LIGHT in this now darkened time. Let us choose to use the power we have been given by the SPIRIT to overcome all attacks of evil upon all our brothers & sisters. Physical & spiritual. May our kingdom come, (Father has given it to us)& His (Father's)will be done. Peace be upon all who know(become one with) the LIGHT.

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