January 11, 2008

A Mesopotamian Riddle...

I am sure you have heard this truism before " Ask the right question, you will get the right answer."

So did it ever occur to you to ask why Iraq ? Why Iraq in particular ?
Why not Saudi Arabia, or Iran for that matter ?

I know you will tell me oil - Saudi Arabia has it and so does Iran.
Nuclear toys ? Iran has them, Saudi Arabia can acquire them, Iraq had none.
Geographical location and geo strategies? Well, we are neighbors, a question of a few kilometers.

Iraq as a "undemocratic dictatorship" - Saudi Arabia is one and Iran is definitely one too.

An fundamentalist system to be overthrown ? Wrong again. Iraq was secular.
And the fundies live next door - in Iran even more than in Saudi.

So come on, think hard, you the supposedly intelligent reader, so aware of international politics and chess games.

You, the one who loves to pontificate from your cushiony computer, expanding and theorizing...

Show me what you are capable of coming up with.

Still no clue?

Am not surprised.

You too, have insured that Iraq, that great nation, goes on the backburner.
Let her slip quietly from the memory, substract her from the equation, she is no longer necessary to reckon with...

Ah, of course, you have more important slogans now, new banners, new flags to wave...while you carefully construct your new "anti-imperialist" theories.

A new charade in a poorly rehearsed circus.

Thankfully, I do not blog for you but I blog for Her.

My mission is to make sure that Her name is never erased.

I will keep brandishing it in your faces, red hot letters, bloody letters, smudged in burnt charcoal, punctuated with a million corpses, a million skeletons, neatly placed, arranged, like one of those delicate flower arrangements that you can admire.

Admire with beatitude. Admire your theories, your slogans, your banners, your jargon, your clichés, your effervescent "revolutionary" zeals...

Ah! the fervor of politics when it grips you and you feel so important.

Little emperors seated on cushioned chairs behind computers.

Feel the power of your surge, the surge of your words, that pool of vomited words, that diarrhea of words, that rolls like an avalanche while you are secretly waiting for the applause...

Iraq made you into a "thinker", "an analyst", "a theoretician", "a brilliant journalist", "an interesting film maker" and it has even turned some of you oafs into "intellectuals" and " philosophers," did She not?

And what now? Now there are more burning issues, right?
The ruins, the debris, the left overs, the shattered lives...Not terribly engaging, right?

Let's tackle the next one, the next hot issue and compete for the scene, the podium, the show...or the hit counter.

She and I constantly mock you.

A black derision, the most sardonic of all humors...
We visit graves and tombs then we sit, have some tea and ridicule you.
We observe you running out breath, we observe you jumping like monkeys, we observe you making excuses and placating...we observe you cowering, retracting and hiding and we laugh...at you.

We have understood the game, the ploy, the plot, the mise en scène, the lights and the projectors. As a matter of fact, we understood it eons ago, when you were still not conceived. And He too, reminds us daily.

How can you erase that knowledge?

You have tried. A re-making, a re-shaping, re-creating a new race.

But we still hold on secretly, in the intimacy of our knowing and our fingers are still pointing in your direction. They did so in the past, and they do so today.

Mistaking our seeming silence for aquiescence is something you will inevitably do.

It is handy and comfortable, and you can go parading yourselves and your little earned medals, prizes, lectures, conferences, articles, publications and the rest of the paraphernalia that clothe your little personas.

And we sit here and watch you and we amuse ourselves...

You may think it is strange, for this is no laughing matter. Oh, but it is.

The simple riddle that you are still incapable of solving.

The simple question that you are still incapable of answering.

They mock you too.

Seven thousands of years of History coupled with numerous civilizations come and gone, leaving a pool of rare genes behind, distilled through centuries of knowing will surely provide an answer. Don't you think?

And what an astounding answer it is and will be.

Painting: Iraqi artist, Fouad Mirza.