March 22, 2007

Over 6000 Days of Solitude...


A few days ago, I learned that Kamel, 56 years old, has been detained by the Americans.
They stormed his house at dawn, took him out in his pyjamas and since that day we have not heard from him or his whereabouts.

I have been unable to sleep. I twist and turn in my bed, counting the minutes...
I keep wondering what "they" are doing to him...
Are they torturing him? He is sick, are they giving him any medication? Are they brutally interrogating him? Does he sleep standing up amidst hundreds of others?
Are they giving him water? Do they feed him? Did they kill him? Is he dead? Where on earth is he? What has he done? Did he perhaps glimpse Omar in the crowd of the 100'000 prisoners?
And so it goes in my head, on and on...running in circles.

What I did learn though is that an "informant" blew the whistle.
But I know for a fact that Kamel being the quiet, pious man, is not involved in any "activity".
Sure, he does not appreciate and is not "grateful" for the occupation, but then who does apart from those agents and informants ruling Baghdad today.
It seems that he was overheard talking to a friend after Friday prayers. He was telling his friend "We do not fear Death, we trust in Allah..." So his wife told me.

Seems that sentence was enough to abduct him from his family in the wee hours of the morning and make him disappear...
Will I ever see Omar and Kamel again, ever?
I just don't want them to hurt him...He is a kind, kind man...Very religious, sufi-like and compassionate towards everyone he meets. He still has it in his heart or maybe not anymore...

I could not go with another sleepless night... Besides which, a fever is raging in my body.
I noticed it came on after I was told about Kamel being kidnapped from his bed.
Fever followed by cold chills and the heat strikes again.
And I sit in my bed, one minute shivering and the other feeling I am in the pits of a Fire hole...

Then I remembered something I heard when I was a child. "Count sheep" the voice told me...
I cannot recall who exactly uttered this sentence but I do remember vividly imagining a flock of sheep and my counting them 1.2.3.4....and sometimes on the roof terrace where we used to sleep in summer, I would count the stars and that would do the trick.

I see no stars so I decided to try the sheep... It did not work.
So this brilliant idea flashed across my mind and since I am so bad in maths, they bore me to death, I thought I will engage in simple mathematical equations...you know, nothing too complex, simple arithmetics...
Surely this will do the trick and I will be able to fall asleep at least for a couple of hours and maybe when I awake, I will hear news from Kamel...I lost hope about Omar though.

So I started multiplying 365 by 4 . Hey that was easy - 1461.
I needed something more to trigger me into dozing off...
So I went for 13 multiplied by 365. That was more difficult - 4745.
Now I added up the two figures in my mind - 6206.
Six thousand two hundred and six days...

That is over 6'000 days since the barbaric embargo and the occupation...
Over 6'000 days of savagery, brutality, violence, destruction, rape, torture, imprisonments, starvation, neglect, abandonment...
Over 6'000 days of living in the obscurity, to the blind eyes and deaf ears of the rest of the world...
Over 6'000 days of being left on the margins of the international community, marginalized into shadows, into ghosts with no names, into a subhuman category, into a void of total despair, left to fend for ourselves...

First, during the 13 years of the most brutal sanctions that history has ever witnessed followed by another 4 years of the most savage occupation known to any living human...

And so we are dumped collectively with our ruins, debris, sickness, garbage, poverty into a convenient forgetfulness...rotting away...on the fringes...in our homes, in our streets, in prisons you have constructed specially for the occasion...for people like Omar who is not 18 yet and for Kamel who is 56.
Rendering the whole of Iraq a huge detention camp that people try to flee and escape from, only to find themselves prisoners of lack, poverty and rejection in other countries.

Iraq is over 6'000 years old and it took you just over 6'000 days ....to cut us off totally from the world, from any form of civility, to uproot us and destroy us...Why?

I cannot sleep and I need to know WHY?

Saddam was a dictator is that it? Do you really believe your own lies so readily?
Even your so called anti neocons "fighters"...they STILL have the audacity to keep spewing this deceit till this very day - after 6'000 days of collective torture and death...
"Saddam was an American puppet, Saddam was a CIA agent, Saddam was a mass murderer, Saddam was a tyrant..."

6'0000 days later and you still repeat that like idiotic sheep ....
6'000 days later and over 600'000 dead and you still have the audacity to repeat that...?
What bloody hypocrites!

No wonder an article stated that "the anti war movement this time around...(because it seems you had many times around before - thanks to YOUR Tyranny and Dictatorship around the world) lacks vibrancy..."

I wonder why it lacks vibrancy? I tell you why...because Iraq is not Guatemala, nor Vietnam, nor Salvador, nor Chile, nor Korea, nor Japan...
Iraq is Arab that is why. And that explains why you were so lovey dovey with the kurds and whoever was willing to put his hand in yours...
You just hate Arab nationalism...Forget nationalism...
You, all of you, left and right, hate Arab patriotism...You hate Arab pride. You hate Arab dignity. You hate Arab Honor...
You have inherited this hatred from your Masters, the hypocritical Brits...They hated it too.

You want us like sheep...same as the sheep I am supposed to be counting in order to fall asleep.
Like the sheep I have to count because you took my loved ones away never to be seen again, in the name of Freedom...
You want us to have your so called "democracy" by violent force. And you are so collectively stupid you cannot even see the absurdity in all of that. Or maybe you do see it and it suits you perfectly well...

Yes this is what you want. Nice "moderate" read compliant, obedient, sheep (slaves) to your ideologies, your way of life, your habits, your consumer goods...
Consume, just consume and give us your monies...Don't think, don't question, don't argue, don't perceive, don't debate, don't contradict OUR truth...
If WE say you live in a dictatorship that means you live in one...If WE say "he was a tyrant and too bad it was a botched up job that turned him into a martyr" then he is a tyrant.
WE will collectively fabricate the evidence and you will have to believe us...And eventually WE will believe it too...
If WE say you are not free, that means you are not free...
If WE say you are being oppressed, that means you are being oppressed...
And WE will come and liberate you and save you from all of that...Because WE,the killers, the abusers, the rapists, the torturers, the thieves, the tyrants, the dictators...have the Truth.
WE are the enlightened ones, the rational ones, the empirical ones, the scientific ones, the analytical ones...WE know .
And you, a people over 6'000 years old don't know and you happen to have the oil too...
And to top it all off you are Arabs ...What a combo!
No, you definitely need our freedom, our human rights, our democratic institutions...
WE will first starve you, render you ill, give you cancer with our Depleted Uranium, bomb the shit out of you, rape you, torture you, kidnap you, imprison you, kill you ...so you may be ready to receive OUR gift of democracy and freedom...
But hey if anything goes wrong, be prepared, because WE will blame you. Blame you for being incapable of receiving that wonderful present...And WE will call you tyrants, terrorists, dictators, backward, hopeless...

What a lie you people have collectively bought into.
What a disgusting, deceitful, evil lie...
And 6'000 days later you have the gall to call a man who kept the unity of this country and who sacrificed his life at your altar and your altar is nothing but a gallow, a tyrant?

Despicable, truly despicable...

Over 6'000 days, abandoned in solitude and silence...A deafening silence despite the cacophony that your anti-war movement prides itself on...Oh but I forgot, it does lack "vibrancy".

Maybe an insufficient number of your brave boys died...
The brave boys of Abu Ghraib, Haditha, Mahmoudia, Ramadi, Falluja, Baghdad...
The brave boys who piss on dead corpses. Who rape and mutilate...The brave boys who keep dead brains for trophies...The brave boys who burn people alive...The brave boys who ask 10 years old kids if they "fuck donkeys"... (do watch the video) or maybe the brave boys who paint the crucifix on the Koran and in mosques - here is another video for you.
Yes brave boys indeed...3'000 something is NOT enough...Maybe if we double it and make it 6'000 maybe you will regain your "vibrancy".

6'000 of yours for our 6'000 days of suffering, pain and torture...
See how merciful I am...I am not even saying 600'000 of yours...just 6'000.

So let me count again... hmm....that makes 1 for each day spent under your collective lies, punishments and crimes...
Not bad for a mathematical equation don't you think?
See, there is an upside to everything, you have taught me how to count correctly now.
And lo and behold, am not even bored by the whole exercise.

I still need to sleep though...I will pick Gabriel Garcia Marquez and re-read "Love in the time of Cholera".
Summer is approaching and thanks to you, Cholera is too...Except I have absolutely no love to share with you.
Blame it on the raging fever that has gotten hold of my body...
Blame it on over 6'000 days of solitude in Hell.

Now where did I put those darned sleeping pills ?


Painting: Iraqi artist, AbdelAmeer Alwan.