Like, Christmas, the Islamic Feast, and New Year's eve were marked by the slaughtering of the legitimate president of Iraq, the hero, Saddam Hussein.
The Persian and Kurdish new Year were marked by the first days of the American "shock and awe" war of aggression.
And now, Passover and Easter are marked by the memory of the "fall" of the city of Peace, or as the Persians call it the God-given one, Baghdad.
Naturally, on this day, I spend the whole time watching the media's coverage of the "fall".
I know it will come as a shock to you but part of me still cannot absorb the fact that Iraq is occupied. And I am not the only one, I know many Iraqis who share this same disbelief.
I usually dress in black which has become my favorite color, prepare a huge pot of coffee, refuse any intrusions and just watch.
I watch everything related to that somber day of my life – the "fall" of Baghdad.
I am glad that Al Jazeerah has been devoting the past 48 hours to this historical "event".
A very important program with Saifdeen al - Rawi, no.14 on the cowboy's list of " Wanted," gave an exclusive two parts interview to al-Jazeerah from inside Iraq.
Much was said. A lof of it of a military nature revolving around the balance of force prior to the fall of Baghdad. The element of surprise that took the Iraqi republican guards, the overwhelming superiority of the American Air force, Iraq had practically none in 2003. The battles of Basrah, Najaf, Kut...and the battle of Baghdad.
Al-Rawi born in 1949 in al-Anbar province, had spent all of his adult life in the Army. In 2003, he was the commander of the Iraqi republican guards.
Thre is no way I can transcript everything here. I retained some important points though and will relate them to you.
When asked by the interviewer about the "shock and awe" war of aggression on Iraq, Al-Rawi replied that Iraq had been engaged in a war for 13 years, since 1991.
He considered the last aggression as nothing but a continuation of the first in 1991, followed by the economic sanctions, the regular bombings in 1998 (400 bombs) in the 33 and 36th parallel which destroyed over 80 Iraqi war planes and paralyzed the Iraqi air force.
In 2003, Iraq had 600 war planes which were unused since 1991. Only 70 of them were operational. There was no real Iraqi air defense, nor any naval defense except for a few Chinese anti-missile batteries (ground/sea) based in Basrah.
And contrary to most claims, Al- Rawi mentioned that most of the military equipment was French, Russian and Chinese made.
The second war of aggression did not come as a complete surprise to the Iraqi government.
Forty eight hours before the enemy's attack, Bush offered Saddam Hussein and his two sons to leave Iraq. Something that Saddam Hussein obviously refused, stating:
"Do they really think we will leave and let the occupiers take over our country and our people?"
Saddam Hussein then added:
Al-Rawi said that they had been preparing for this eventuality for several years before the invasion. And of course, they were fully aware of the unequal military power. But they prepared nonetheless.
Al-Rawi personally trained 800'000 civilians, since 1994, in the use of firearms.
And a couple of years before 2003, whilst the inspectors were still searching for the non existent WMD.s, searching even the personal wardrobes of Saddam Hussein and destroying all kinds of factories in front of the workers, their livelihood, under the same pretext, the Iraqi government did not stop preparation for that day.
The only thing the Iraqi leadership was betting on in its favor was the time element.
They really believed that the ground invasion, will only take place after a protracted period. At least around Baghdad.
The Iraqi republican guards, 150'000 of them including the special forces and Saddam's Fedayeen were fully prepared for this land battle. That battle did not happen.
Seems that the American soldiers are very cowardly when it comes to ground combat.
The enemy's air offensive on Baghdad lasted 300 hours. Continuous bombardments day and night before the land invasion. Battles did take place in Basrah, Kufah, Kut,... and the famous battle around Saddam Hussein International Airport and which came to be known as the "Battle of the Airport." The Americans used bombs each weighing 9 tons, phosphorus bombs and Neutron bombs.
What al-Rawi stated had been previously confirmed to me by a relative who is a doctor and was working 24/7 during the "shock and awe" campaign, in one of Baghdad's public hospital.
In the battle of the Airport, over 3'000 republican guards fought till their last breath and were all killed, more like melted into something unrecognizable.
On a side note, I personally had first heard of neutron bombs being designed during Carter's reign and the following thought stayed with me.
I remember thinking then, goodness, how much more materialistic can the Americans get ?
Back to al -Rawi's interview. When asked if the Iraqi leadership was aware of its neighbors intentions and strategies. This is what he had to say and please mark it well .
"After 1991, we viewed Syria as somewhat neutral. They did fight in the 1991 war but we thought surely with their Baath ideology close to ours, they will not actively engage with the enemy this time around. (Am not so sure of this one myself).
Insofar as Jordan is concerned, we assumed they will not allow full American troops in because the Jordanian people will never accept it. However we were aware that they will authorize American air force and mercenaries to penetrate Iraq and they will provide logistic support. (Touche Mr. Al Rawi).
As for Saudi Arabia, clearly the Saudis cooperated in 1991 and fought the Iraqis in Diwaniyah and Kerbalah. We believed that in 2003, the Saudi people will refuse to allow the enemy's ground troops crossing from its borders. But we were sure that the Saudis will allow American war planes flying from their bases and will provide logistic and other support to them.
Now Kuwait is a different story altogether. Kuwait was a full participant in this war of aggression and all the American military force was mobilized in Kuwait. This latter provided them with everything.
Turkey as you know is an ally of NATO and they have a base there. They facilitated the attacks on the northern parts of Iraq, Mosul and the rest of the Nineveh province."
"So what about Iran?" Asked the interviewer.
"Iran is a long story. As you know we have over 1100 km of borders with Iran.
And since the days of Kourosh when he attacked Babel right through to the Shah and ending with Khomeini, Iran is clearly a historic enemy to us.
I will tell you something that was related by Qusay Saddam Hussein, may God have mercy on his soul. When we were in Kuwait, Rafsandajani told us:
"Stay in Kuwait, and we will support you with combatants from the Islamic revolutionary guards who will fight alongside with you". Upon this assurance from him, we asked them to shelter a good number of our war planes. (these planes are still in Iran by the way and were never returned to Iraq after the Kuwaiti episode.)
The Iranian combatants were never sent and not only that, when we retreated, on our way back, the Islamic revolutionary guards attacked us below, on the ground in southern Iraq while the American air force attacked us from above.
(Now, Mr. Al Rawi, when will you learn never to trust Iran ?)
Dear Reader, just in case you did not know, Iraq has borders with all of these wonderful neighbors.
A first war of aggression followed by 12 years of sanctions, great neighbors who all conspired and another "shock and awe" cocktail of neutron, cluster, DU, B.52's, (9 tons each bomb), and phosphorus fireworks...
You must agree it is a miracle Iraqis are still around...well sort of.
Today was also marked by other "events".
The "Duce" Ahmadinajad of Iran, chose the 9th of April to deliver one of his speeches in Isfahan interrupted by some Persian sentimental songs (am glad they are still allowed) and assured his fervent audience that Iran has nearly completed its enriched uranium program and threatened to leave the non proliferation treaty.
On the same day, whilst a curfew was imposed on Baghdad and not even a shadow was seen on the streets, the drill boys and followers of Muqtada al Sadr (who is still in Iran by the way) went on a great show of zeal with so called anti-occupation demonstrations in Najaf.
Huge banners with slogans "no to the occupier, no to the USA" were being upheld amidst Iraqi flags waving.
I remember clearly when Baghdad fell, this same crowd went on demos shouting:
" No to America, no to Saddam".
Today the slogans were limited to " No to America". Of course not one word mentioned about Iran (who has bought off 90% of Najaf and Kerbalah and has colonized Basrah).
Al Sadr in this show of so called "patriotism" in a timely setting coinciding with Ahmadinajad's speech, is trying to achieve two things :
1) cover up for his abominable sectarian crimes against the sunnis and against all true Iraqi patriots and most importantly against the Iraqi Resistance.
2) protect Iran in Iraq (along with Maliki, Al Hakim and Sistani - Iran's watchdogs)
Iran and its dogs in Iraq have never really fought the American occupier.
On the contrary, they have collaborated with the enemy in the fall of Baghdad and its subsequent occupation.
The Americans (and little G.B.) and the Iranians have destroyed Iraq in the South and in the Center and the Israelis and the Kurds have destroyed it in the North. Don't you ever forget that.
And these three and a half, (G.B being the half) have not ceased conspiring against the Iraqi Resistance who is now the ONLY force fighting the Occupation and who is now considered by Iraqis as their ONLY legitimate representative.
Now whether the USA and Iran are foes or friends, does not matter, the Iraqis have paid the price and continue to pay the price.
On the Northern front, Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister did not have many kind words towards the zionist Kurd Barazani. This latter has been threatening to unleash his other branch of peshermagas,the PKK into Turkey, if Turkey does not cease interference in Kirkuk.
Masood Barazani in his typical zionist way is faitfhfully following his father's footsteps who did exactly the same by unleashing his chauvinistic hordes into Iraq from Iran during the times of the Shah's and thereafter during Khomeini's.
Now Turkey and the "representative of Kurdistan" are at each other's throat.
I wonder if Israel is not trying to dig a hole for Turkey. I do not exclude that.
In whichever scenario to come, American, Iranian, Turkish, Kurdish, Israeli, who traps who...
On the 9th of April, all hell was let loose. If you cannot kindle the fire, don't start it.
Trapped in Iraq after 4 years? Oh yes for sure. And who has outwitted them all?
The Iraqi resistance, of course.
Al-Rawi said that the Resistance has enough arms to last it another 50 years. They do not need any outside help.
And please don’t give me this crap about foreign Arab fighters and this al-Qaeda bull.
Al Qaeda – if it does exist that is – is responsible for 1% of all operations.
And the Iraqi Resistance wants nothing to do with it.
News have it (and I believe those news) that the Kurds (Israel) and the Americans are responsible for most of the car bombs. That does not surprise me.
And facts on the ground have it that Iran is responsible for the execution of the sectarian plan devised by the Americans. Sectarian torture and killings through its militias.
Iran funds, trains, backs and provides men and logistics to these militias. If you still doubt that, sorry to tell you then, that you are either not very bright or on some Iranian payroll.
Those who entrapped are now trapped.
The Iraqi Resistance, on the other hand, is neither limited by time nor space.
They choose when, where and how. They are in fact as free as birds now.
This is what I call "Operation Freedom."
Did Baghdad really fall? Is the battle of Baghdad over after 4 years?
" Not over our dead bodies, we will fight them till the last drop."
These were Saddam Hussein's last words to Al-Rawi.
What a wonderful realization !