Under a Sky of Diamonds.

Only a few days ago, I quoted that song by the Eagles : " Hotel California".
A friend who is a rock addict (as in music) told me that this song was about drugs. The hard shit.
Well got news for you . That hard shit has reached Iraq.

I did mention in earlier posts that drugs were virtually unknown in the Iraq of "before".
I also did mention that since the "after", all kinds of drugs circulate in the market.
I also noted that members from the death militias of the "nationalist", "patriotic", "anti-occupation"(hahahaha), loving version of Mahatma Gandhi - Muqtada Al Sadr and Co, are regular users of drugs.
That may partly explain their total numbness when on their drilling fix.

But now the "breaking news".
Just read that opium is being grown in Southern Iraq. Under the agricultural expertise and auspices of Iran of course. Iraq turning into a poppy field, turning into an Afghanistan?
Not far fetched at all. ( Read full article here) .

Now let me get this right, maybe am missing something here.

Alcohol shop owners are arrested, tortured and have their shops burned down because they are engaging in some "haram" (prohibited) behavior.
Women are forced to veil and keep a low profile otherwise they would be engaging in "haram" behavior...
But hey it is ok to grow opium.

Smoke it, sniff it, inject it ...that 's absolutely cool.
The Mullahs said so and they may even partake in your sanctified ceremonious activitiy every now and then.

So Iraqis are not only getting tortured, raped, slaughtered, blown to pieces, massacred.
They are not only made destitute and impoverished.
They are not only turned into refugees.
They are not only polluted with chemical and biological weapons.
They are not only deprived of water, electricity, food and basic services.
They are not only stripped of any basic rights in their own country...
No, there has to be more...
They will also be turned into drug traffickers and addicts...

What else can Iran and the U.S think of to exterminate us? Any more constructive loving ideas?

Is that not wonderful? Don't you just love this new Iraq of the "beatniks"?

Why don't you pass the joint, pipe, syringe and... lie next to me in my new roofless den.

We can then both contemplate our lovely Iraqi sky and see a thousand heavenly diamonds shining like bright stars...

But shhhhh....Don't tell the mullahs. It's haram!

Painting: Iraqi artist, Delair Saad Shaker.


Anonymous said…
lucy in the sky with diamonds
Anonymous said…
"A friend who is a rock addict (as in music) told me that this song was about drugs. The hard shit.
Well got news for you . That hard shit has reached Iraq"


very good link
Layla Anwar said…
jr, yeah that is the song.
But am listening to Omar Bashir right now...Fantastic iraqi oud , called the latino oud...A fusion of Flamenco and Iraqi oud...
Just heavenly...
Anonymous said…
anyway doesnt matter, patrick cockburn made that story up cos he was bored, theres no drugs so nothing to worry abt on that score
Anonymous said…
is omar bashir the guy with the tache? yeah i luv his old stuff....sends shivers down my spine
Layla Anwar said…
What is a tache?
Omar Bashir is the son of the late Munir Bashir, the GREATEST Oud composer and player ever.
Anonymous said…
yeah im sure he is. no i dont like oud the instrument pisses me off. if hes so great why r u listening to his sons music and not his???
Layla Anwar said…
jr, is there anything, anything at all that does not piss you off?
I am listening to his son because his son is GOOD , very GOOD.
You should try listening to it too...Will mellow you out, will mellow you in...
Anonymous said…

Layla, the above link is intersting article abour drugs and GNP, estimated between .59 and 1.5 Trillion dollars.

About opium! Technically it was never metioned in the Quran. Also, the distilled liquer was not mentioned either. It is a known fact to the Iranians that Khomainy smoked opium. The justification is simply not mentioned in the Book. When people need food or weapons riligion goes out the window.
by the way how can I get my hand on the oud playing by Omar Bashir. I love the oud. I have a CD for Nazem Al-ghazaly.
Anonymous said…
well i might consider downloading it if i can find it anywhere.....but im a bit busy these days......(im buying a house just for you info)......not really my thing but im always willing to give anything a try at least once
G.Gar said…
I think I have to thank you for introducing me to the world of Iraqi art.

I feel very bad..........I wish there was something I could do for you princess, apart of some humble words. It is a pitty how impotent Arabs have become. It is a shame.
Anonymous said…
i think your hero gabrielle might b coming back
Anonymous said…
sorry layla......i didnt mean to bore u
Anonymous said…
Despite the seriousness of the article, the exchange between the two of you, Jr. and Layla, is funny!!! Jr., you are a big TWIT!!!! And, although you can be irritating sometimes, Jr., you do bring a smile quite often - so, thank you, silly person!

Layla, I have read the article about growing poppies in southern Iraq - nothing about Iraq horrifies any more. The senses are numbed; just left with wonder and revulsion about how low the 'they hate our way of life' variety will stoop to attempt to destroy Iraq - and the rest of the Middle East. Also, the biggest consumers of drugs originate from their lands, where they need to dull their senses in order to carry out their goals of building 'empire' on foundations of blood and destruction.

My question is: 'Is this the beginning or is it the beginning of the end of this grotesque monster?' Praying that it is the latter, based on awareness world-wide, where people suddenly see the U.S. (and 'coalitions of the willing') for what they truly are..

As for neighbouring states, they don't seem to realise that the destruction of Iraq is ultimately the destruction of their own lands.
Anonymous said…
Very sad, I'm an arab with the blues. I had these blue's for years(911) and now I can only seem to shake them free through my fingertips. Soundwaves from an oud also seem to reduce these blues inflamations within my elb.. I will pick up Omar's cd
Anonymous said…
Please check out iarabs.com, it's a new arab news network
Anonymous said…
The production of Opium is covertly high on the Bush agenda.
How smart must you be to think we are "chasing" Osama Bin Ladin (which we are not) and allowing Afghanistan to grow and grow and grow as much opium as they want?
It is because the Bush cartel is big on drug import/export/sales.
All transactions ran thru the CIA in clandestine undisclosed locations.
Since the occupation, Afghani growth has went up as well as sales of the product.
Does ANYONE think king George has quit his cocaine habit?

And it is documented and out there for all to see.

Again (as always) I will not elaborate, but it is much worse than one could possibly imagine.

Picture the drug scene on a scale as massive as the death toll from the occupation and you will have a very small idea of how grand these operations, both home and abroad, are....
Anonymous said…
I must say your a fantastic writer.

You words have
my emotions

I will add a few of your postings to www.iarabs.com
LostHere said…
Oh Yes!
And not only is Omar Bashir very good, but his music is also very different from his father's. I listen to both depending on the mood I am in (or want to be in).
How come it does not surprises me that Jr. finds the Oud upsetting?

Now Layla, it is not new to hear of the big drug market in Iraq, and the availability of said drugs, what is new (to me) is the growth of poppy... I guess it make sense, where ever there is war and a need for weapons, drugs become a great resource of liquid cash.
But what I really want to talk about is... and it is difficult to frame, but in my opinion, we can blame everything you want on exterior forces, USA, Iran, Israel, and mind you, I know they have, and are, creating the conditions for, but at the end it is Iraqi people doing a lot of this deeds and atrocities. It is Iraqis against Iraqis not matter how we look at it.
Yes, I understand that under President Saddam there ware no drugs (to speak of), in fact, under president Saddam there was not much dissent between the different "classes" of Iraqis because that was definitely "repressed". It is a part of what made him a "dictator" in the eyes of some (the rest, just like parrots, they repeat what they heard).
Freedom and Democracy is often, like so many other things, misunderstood or mislabeled.
Many years ago I was an idealist for sure, but I am of the opinion now that giving the state of humanity, where greed and misogynistic tendencies rule, sometimes we do need a strong ruler that believes in equality and respect for one another.
We now have another example of the making of a "dictator" ... Hugo Chavez. Without comparing him to Saddam or Venezuela to Iraq, in fact there is much between them both quite similar, and it is based on their love for their country and dedication to the betterment of ALL their people.

Back to my point, we can find blame on all the external influences and forces, but at the end, it is some people against other people for whatever reasons they choose. Iraqis killing Iraqis, Palestinians killing Palestinians, Lebanese killing Lebanese... ad nauseum!

Please excuse my ramblings, Layla.
Anonymous said…
for gods sake get to the point
Anonymous said…
You words have
my emotions


another pretentious muppet
Anonymous said…
losthere u clot......instead of wittering on for half a page, if u'd sed "outsiders are exploiting arabs, but arabs shudnt be so thick and easy manipulated" i think we wud hav got the point....idiot
Anonymous said…
i think amre el-pervo fancies u layla........either that or he is a perv into eldery women.....yuck
Layla Anwar said…

hello...Do you sell optimism by any chance and if yes how much the kilo? :-)
Distilled liqor is not mentioned in the Quran? How do you explain al khamra? Fermentation of something or the other no?
Opium is not mentioned nor is crack, nor LSD, I guess that must be ok.
Re: Omar Bashir. This is his official website
http://www.omarbashir.hu/content/omar.html. Do check out his albums. They are sooo good.
He will be playing in Morocco with a Gypsy band in July. I wish I could be there too.
Layla Anwar said…
Hi Ike, good point as usual.
Layla Anwar said…
Amre, am glad you enjoy iraqi art as much as I do.
Amre please meet jr. jr please meet Amre...
Layla Anwar said…
Hi Tarek,

lol...I like that. You got the blues since 911. I assume that to be from the 9th century onwards...clever!
I checked the website you gave me. The borrowed computer goes crazy there. I think there are bugs on this site that you may need to check...I simply could not open any article plus other page display problems.
Thanks for the rest too.
Layla Anwar said…

I agree with you and I still don't agree with you fully...
Did you read my reply to your last comment on the other thread or was it to Ike? Please check it out, it is valid for the points you are making too.
Do ramble on...these are what blogs are for...partly.
Layla Anwar said…
Little Deer,

Hello. You said "As for neighbouring states, they don't seem to realise that the destruction of Iraq is ultimately the destruction of their own lands. "

Sooo true...When my elders (and JR no, am not an elderly and even if I were, there is nothing wrong with being an elderly...We need a life too!)used to tell me that Iraq is the backbone of the ME, I took that with a grain of salt. But now I understand what they meant by that. Iraq's unity and sanity had to be preserved at all costs...The breakdown of Iraq and you are correct Little Deer, will bring about the slow erosion and eventual breakdown of the neighbors... Already there is smoke in the air between the Turks and the kurds and am sure we will witness more smoke between Iran and God knows who...And in Lebanon the smoke is thick and ditto for Gaza...The situation is overall very very precarious indeed.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for the link. I shall buy them all. I took your word for it. If someone writes this beautifully, must have a tast for music.
Layla, I hate to tell you this, but you need to take a break and laugh. Remember I told you in one of my comments that my secret is to be phylosophical. Of course I don't mean for you to take a break from writing, that would be haram.
The khamra, fermentation, is haram. But Vodka is not fermentd. I'm talking logic here, and we must assume God is logical. And God knows what the future will bring. We can't second guess God. If God wanted the vodka and opium to be forbidden, he would have said so? Of course it is bad for your health. But you see hard liqour and narcatics are bad for health are not haram (not mentioned) in the book. And while wine, with moderation, is good for your health, but haram.
I don't know how to make you laugh, but I'll think of something. But at least please pretend and laugh.
Optimism for you is on the house and I'll even pay you, compliments, just keep writing.

LostHere said…
I must be an idiot indeed, because I have no clue what you talk about most times...
No, it has nothing to do with Arabs, it is a condition of humanity that I was talking about. If my post was to a blog about anywhere else in the world I would have the same comment pretty much, just change the denomination.

Layla, if we look at history, it has always been warfare and not only between neighboring states, but often between the same tribes or even families. And mind you, I am not talking about Arabian history, but everywhere. The history of my native country for example, as I am more familiar with than any other, had very brief periods of calm until modern times... and yes, my country was one of the components of the "coalition of the invaders". They are now out of Iraq, but still serving the bosses in Afghanistan.

In the ME... well, you know much better than I, but I can't think of much time of unity throughout history. Of course, I am mixing apples and oranges, because nothing changes the fact that Iraq has been invaded by the USA for not legal reason. Iraq is now the battleground of forces that in reality have nothing to do with Iraq, as a result of that invasion...
Can it really be a war ideologies?
We know well that green ($$$) is our (western) god and reason to be, and the rest? Is it really another era of ascendancy of the Shiite dogma and a fight of conquest and conversion? ware not Saladin's campaigns about conquering and pushing the Sunni dogma into the Shiite ones?

As a child I only knew it to be an enchanted place... now I see nothing but blood and suffering.
Layla Anwar said…
Lost here,

that bit about Saladin where did you get that from?
Saladin Al Ayubi was originally from what is now called the Kurdish areas. This is the FIRST time ever that I hear that he pushed the sunnis into shiite dogma...where on earth did you read this?
Overall I agree with you about your assessement of wars. Wars throughout history, wars within the tribes, within nations, within groups, within families...
Is it human nature, is it politics, is it base instincts, is it economics, is it a natural "selection process" to use a darwinistic term, I don't know...and I don't think anyone knows for sure. Might be a combination of all the above or none of the above...All I know that is is sickening and danger to one's sanity...and a life sucker.

Yeah the orient is that enchanted "thang" as the Americans like to call it...
Layla Anwar said…
optomistic, I must admit that was very funny...
By the way I do laugh a lot. I thought it was obvious. As a matter of fact I crack jokes to myself every day...
LostHere said…
My memory of history sometimes is sketchy, so I could not be certain without checking, but I thought that Salah Al Din? was born in Tikrit, and I seem to remember reading that he united a great number of Muslims to create a unified front against the crusaders... And I may not have expressed myself properly but my understanding is that he was of the Sunni dogma and that he pushed/conquered those of Shiite dogma into a unified Muslim front... but I am not sure I am correct on that. It is just my understanding from what history I knew as a young one.
Layla Anwar said…
lost here,

Ok I misread you . Apologies. I thought you said he was pushing sunnis into becoming shiites.
From my understanding, I do not believe that Salah al Din was into this sunni shia thing...So yes, a unified front was one of his aims to drive the crusaders out.

As for his origins, I once read that he is originally from Tikrit, and once I read he is originally from the North of Iraq. Am not really sure on that one.
Anonymous said…
Thank you dear Layla for another eye opener.God bless your efforts always.
Regarding Salah El Din Al Ayoubi,he was from the north of Iraq.He was not into the shia -sunni buisness, pushing neither into one direction or the other. He was simply a muslim.The area was at the time divided into statelets (we're getting there again unfortunately!)and he united the lot to be able to fight the crusaders.He fought those who resisted the unification regardless of whether they were sunni or shia....
For the benefit of your readers who don't know the intricacies of middle eastern politics (although things are becoming more and more obvious) this sunni shia buisness is a trap that we have to be careful not to fall into. As you have stated over and over, the main powers at play presently are Israel,US/UK,Iran to ensure a non unified Arab front.It's really that simple.
Layla Anwar said…
Thank you Tatiana for an EXCELLENT comment.
Anonymous said…
yes thanks tatiana that was a BRILLIANT comment and cleared up a lot of things for me........great album too
LostHere said…
Thank you Tatiana
Your comment "He fought those who resisted the unification regardless of whether they were sunni or shia...." is provably a more accurate statement than what I expressed.

And I also agree that the whole business of "Sunni/Shia" in Iraq today is more about other things than the animosity between the dogmas. In fact in recent history never seemed to be a dividing factor...

As for the unified Arab front... well, that has never existed than I know of, and possible never will, but yes, it is clear to see what are the real forces at play in Iraq today, and certainly not for the benefit of the Iraqi people.
Satori said…
Drugs, sex and rock and roll will do more to destroy culture than any war. But the free exchage of ideas will set us all free. Keep up the great work.


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