December 5, 2008

A Bad Hair Day...

Goodness gracious me, what a day! An avalanche of bad news, bad conversations, bad encounters -- today...

Bad Hair Day 1 - Prison Stories.

Finally some news from Kamel - news that don't make sense, but that really make sense. Kamel who is now in his third year in prison, with no charges, no trial, and a rapidly deteriorating health, keeps being transferred from one location to another.
They told us get a lawyer. So we did. His wife borrowed money, and so did we.
The lawyer's fees so far totals 6 million Iraqi dinars in exchange for his so-called release.
First, the guys who run the prison, even though it is an American prison and Kamel is under American custody, are the sectarian Shiites sons of bitches. They asked for money too, so they got it. Each month they say - more money and we will release him, and each month more money is paid and Kamel is still rotting away in an overcrowded cell. The man is over 67 years old for God's sake!

The lawyer said - give me more and I will guarantee his release, he got more and Kamel is still rotting, withering away... His wife has gone bezerk and has sold ALL of her furniture and personal belongings, even her bed !!!

Everytime we think that's it -Kamel will be released, they come up with another story. This time they are accusing him of participating in an insurgents attack that took place 6 months ago !
He cried out - For heaven's sake how can I be part of any insurgency when I have been behind bars for 3 years !!!

I believe that the lawyer is cheating us and I believe that they are finding all kinds of false justifications to keep Kamel in detention and that he will never be released, whether he is under American custody or a Shiite one.

We are expecting the worst. I am totally heart broken. Kamel is such a kind, God fearing man and has done good all of his life. Done good to his family, his neighbours, his community...He has helped countless people expecting nothing in return...

As for Omar, with a name like Omar - typical Sunni name, do you think anyone dares ask about his whereabouts or if he still alive ?! Last heard, he is "somewhere in the South" in some prison there, under Shiite custody. We keep getting mixed information, one minute they tell us he died and one minute they tell us he is alive. Omar has been arrested with no charges and no trial, the only alibi is his name - OMAR. He was 17 when he was arrested. His mother talks to herself all day long. I am so aggrieved for them and for us.

Bad Hair Day 2 - Lost Homes.

Since we lost the house, and that we will never recuperate it, it was decided that we sell it. Why let these sectarian whores live there for free !
Now getting a lawyer and an estate agent - honest ones, in today's Baghdad is impossible. The old familiar names we were acqainted with, no longer exist. They were either killed or are exiled somewhere. So you never know whom you will fall upon. The lawyer in all likelihood will turn out to be another sectarian whore ditto for the real estate agent. They will first rip you off and swindle you in the end, this we know already. It has happened to so many people who found themselves in a similar predicament, some did not even cash in their money -- so we are expecting the same.

Furthermore, we need to give a proxy to someone to receive the money, should the sale go through. Since gangs are roaming Baghdad and every day we hear a story of someone being stolen at gun point or kidnapped for money and YES IT IS SILL HAPPENING, we fear for the person whom we will give the proxy to. So this is another mind fuck we need to solve as soon as possible and frankly I do not know how. It is bad enough losing one's home and now this. Everything is difficult, complicated, dangerous, energy and life draining in Baghdad. And I fully blame America and its whore ally Iran for the situation we find ourselves in, today.

Bad Hair Day 3 - Over a Drink.

Seeing that I am in such a state, R suggested we go out for a drink - so " maybe you'll get a new perspective on things and your mood will change " she added.

I accepted. I needed to get away from my mom's stoic, iron silence hiding a drawn out, sad face that appears to have aged a hundred years...
Again, I feel heart broken when I see her that way, heart broken and angry, angry at my own powerlessness...and raging at anything American.

So we go to this place and we order our drinks. R. receives a call, and R's calls are no ordinary ones. They are long, protracted conversations. R. excused herself and I was left alone at the bar. Two seats down, was sitting a huge pink elephant. He looked English or American. These people are so nauseating to me that I did not even want to look in his direction. I wanted to obliterate him from my optical field... but,

But the pink elephant struck a conversation, a stupid, idiotic opening line...

- Excuse me, how do I get to X ?
- Me without even looking at him - take a cab. Yes he was American, from the East coast.
- Nice country you got here.
- Not my country.
- So where are you from ?
- Next door.
- Meaning ?
- Eyeraq
- So what do what you think of Obama, looks promising, right ?
- If you consider the handing over of Iraq to Iran as promising, then yes it is promising.
- Iran ? What has Iran got to do with it ?

So I found myself having to explain it all over again, to another dumb American.

- Geez, folks back home are unaware of all of that. You know my brother served in Iraq in the 90's. So what is the difference between Iranians and Iraqis ?
- Layla losing her patience. Iranians are Aryans and Iraqis are Semites, for the most part Arabs.
- Kinda like Irish Catholic and Protestants ?
- Not quite...
- So what is the best scenario for you ?
- That you scum leave Iraq and that you take with you all the filth that rode on your tanks...Maliki, Sadr, Badr, the whole lot...and that you be tried for war crimes, crimes against Humanity.
- The pink elephant coughed when he heard the word war crimes and swiftly changed the subject by asking -- am not familiar with any of these names, who are they ?
- They are the ones ruling Iraq today and which you have put into place. They are all affiliated to Iran.
- Folks back home don't know all of that.
- Folks back home can't be bothered to find out about anything. You guys live in la la land...
- So if the Americans leave and those guys stay in power what will happen then?
- The Resistance, what you call insurgency will finish them off.
- Resistance ? you mean the terrorists ?
- Let me ask you something. You live in X neighborhood in New England. Someone comes and knocks your house down, kills your father, arrests your brother, rapes your wife, what will you do ?
- I will seek legitimate means to defend my family and myself.
- OK, what if the whole neighborhood is invaded and occupied that way, what will you do ?
- I will join the rest and push out the invader.
- And would that be legitimate in your eyes ?
- Hell, yes!
- So there is your answer about Resistance.

The pink elephant frowned. He did not like the logic even though he found it hypothetically legitimate had all the above happened to him.

- Why are you frowning in such a perplexed manner? Are you shocked that am not grateful to you guys ? I have presented you with facts.
- Well, am not saying you're lying, but back home we hear none of that. That is not the stuff we read.
- Am an Iraqi and am telling what has happened and what is happening, are you going to deny my reality so it can "fit" what you read back home ???
- No, this is not what I meant, but...
- Listen, there are no buts here. Not only you guys need to get out and take the vermin with you, but you are to pay and reconstruct with your own money and with your own efforts all the damage you wrought. It is called reparations...You are to repair everything you destroyed. But however much you repair, you will never repair our lives and the lives of millions of innocent ones on whom you have waged your war of occupation based on LIES. You are a DISHONEST, DECEITFUL PEOPLE. Not just government but people. You are the people of the LIE. You and your stinking English buddies...

The pink elephant was not too happy hearing that, he excused himself and walked out...Finally !

R. made it back.

- I noticed that you were having a conversation with this guy - anything interesting ?
- Was trying to get a new perspective on things and change my mood as you suggested.
- And ?
- Same shit, still a bad hair day...

Painting : Iraqi artist, Ihsan Al-Khatib.