April 29, 2009

Slaughtering Iraq's Minorities.

I don't think you have read this in any of your news outlet.

Someone jumping from the 10th floor in some dump in Indianapolis is more important than the slaughter of the minorities in Iraq, in particular the Christians of Iraq whom you generously came to "liberate" along with others...

Two days ago in Baghdad, a Sabaen/Mandaen family was murdered in broad daylight. Their only crime was their religion.

Yesterday, 5 Chaldeans from Kirkuk were murdered in cold blood. They belonged to two families. They were just sitting at home, trying to keep safe. The names I was able to memorize are : Bassem, Mona and Suzanne.

The Chaldean Archbishop, Louis Zako issued a plea for the world to save the Christians of Iraq from murder. He textually said :

" This is a deliberate policy on the part of the government, they fail to protect us...they want us to leave Iraq. We are Iraqis through and through. This is our land too. I ask my congregation to remain steadfast and not to leave this land..."

Another archbishop from Erbil added - "Since 2003, our situation has deteriorated greatly. Persecution of Christians and other minorities first started in Basra, then Baghdad. In 2008, in Mosul (the Nineveh Province - North of Iraq), entire Chaldean and Assyrian families were kicked out from their homes. And today it is Kirkuk.
The government is not protecting us despite several of your pleas. The government refuses to give us information as to who is committing these murders even though it knows their identities. We are helpless. Someone help us please."

Hundreds of Chaldeans, Assyrians, Sabaens/Mandaens, Shabak, Yazidis have been forced into exile since 2003.

The Christian population of Iraq has dwindled from 2 Million or so, to less than 600'000.

The Chaldeans were the first to embrace Christianity in the Middle East. Their history dates back to Babylonian times and some say they were the ones who built the tower of Babel. Their language is still Aramaic.

The Assyrians, another ancient minority, came about a 100 years after the Chaldeans. They too embraced Christianity.

Both Chaldeans and Assyrians are one of the oldest, most ancient communities in the Middle East.

They are the first surviving inhabitants/communities of this land. They are Iraq. Iraq is not Iraq without them.

During the reign of the "tyrant", they and other minorities were the most protected and safeguarded.

Millions of Dollars were offered to the Christians of Iraq to build new churches, and they were allowed to practice their faith in all freedom. Ditto for the other smaller minorities.

Never, and I repeat never in the contemporary history of Iraq, and I defy anyone who will tell me the contrary, anyone belonging to a minority group -- been harassed, discriminated or persecuted against because of their religion. Killing a Christian because of their Christianity was unheard of.

It took "Christian" America, the "Christian" West, to obliterate the oldest living people in the Middle East.

I wonder what Jesus Christ has to say about that ?

I find myself making another appeal. Seems to me that since 2003, we have done nothing but appeal to someone out there...

So am appealing again -- In the name of Allah, God, Jesus, Mohamed...STOP the persecution, forced exile and killing of Iraq's minorities.

They are part of us and we are part of them. We are one blood, running in the same veins. They are Iraq and Iraq is not Iraq without them.

Painting : Iraqi artist, Khaled Rahal.

April 27, 2009

An Appeal -- UPDATE II

Paola Pisi, editor of URUKNET, kindly forwarded me some fresh, official info from the latest UN report as to the rough composition of the bulk of the Iraqi refugees. You can always trust Paola to dig out the exact information for you, and for that am most appreciative.

According to official sources - and please bear in mind that official sources only take into account the Iraqis who officially registered with them. So accordingly,
the figures/ratios are as follows as per the January 2009 UN Report on Refugees.

And I am quoting : " There are also trends in Iraq's refugees. 55% of those registered by the United Nations are Sunnis. Another 18-20% are minority groups such as Christians, Mandeans, Yazidis, Turkmen, and Shabaks, even though they only make up 3-4% of Iraq's population." That leaves only 25% Iraqi Shiites who have also been exiled since the American occupation, since 2003.

What is most evident, is that the bulk of the refugees are made of Sunnis -- 55%.

That, even for a layperson, points very clearly to a deliberate systematic policy of ethnic/sectarian cleansing undertaken by the Shiite militias who now form the current Iraq puppet government - the puppet government under American Occupation.

These Iranian Shiite militias's deliberate policy of ethnic/sectarian cleansing was undertaken to change the DEMOGRAPHY of Iraq and it served one purpose only -- to turn Iraq, at least the Arab part of Iraq (excluding the Kurdish parts of Iraq) to an all Shiite "satellite" country, a DIRECT sphere of Iranian influence in the region. In the North, such as the Nineveh Province and Kirkuk, the Kurds have and are undertaking their share of ethnic cleansing by pushing out and displacing all non Kurds (Arabs, Turkmens...) out of the Northern areas so as to render the place an all Kurdish region only.

Hence all the previous bullshit about Iraq being majority Shiite, in particular Baghdad turned out to be another LIE. And one of the major cornerstones for the idelogical rationalization/justification of the Occupation, was the spewing of the all too familiar crappy broken record -- Iraq is majority Shiite, and they were brutally oppressed by the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein...etc..etc.. Ditto for the Kurds.

Frankly if you cannot put 1 + 1 = 2 by now, you have no business babbling on about Iraq, Iran, the U.S and politics in general, anymore. Go take up some other "hobby" instead.


Human Rights First, “How to Confront the Iraqi Refugee Crisis,” December 2008

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, “Humanitarian Update Iraq February 2009,” 2/28/09

UNHCR, “UNHCR Iraq Operation At A Glance – January 2009,”1/9/09

April 25, 2009

An Appeal.

This is an Appeal to all people of good faith and particularly addressed to those who are currently involved with Iraqi refugees.

You see, the truth is being buried even deeper and I, as an Iraqi woman will never accept that to happen without putting up a fight...

The truth is being occulted with a black magical spin...and I, will never allow that to happen...

But am not God, nor some mythical Super Woman and I cannot do it alone. I need your help.

We all know what the American occupation forces have been guilty of in Iraq and in particular Baghdad. Their crimes are more documented at least by the victims. Maybe not in full details because of the huge cover up that the Iraqi puppet government and the American admin and media are engaged in, but nonetheless, the gross abject crimes committed by the Americans are relatively well known in comparison...

In comparison to the vicious, sadistic crimes of the Shiites Militias...These on the other hand have not been documented because the cover up is two fold.

- the puppet Iraqi government consists of those militias in civil garb and

- the aura of deceit and secrecy revolving around the real nature of these Shiite militias because they are AFFILIATED to IRAN and even though everyone barks against the horrible US and Israel there is a DEADLY SILENCE regarding Iran and its lethally armed death squads in Iraq and the carnage they have committed.

I will not go into ALL the details - I have covered enough of those on my blog and if you are too lazy to dig and read, I am sorry I cannot do it for you.

So this message is not addressed to those who are still trying to figure out which end is up insofar as Iraq is concerned. This message is an appeal to all those who have or are working with Iraqi refugees, particularly in neighboring countries. It is also addressed to the UNHCR.

Why the UNHCR ? Because, no Iraqi can apply for official refugee status unless he/she fills an application form with a detailed historic of why he/she fled the country.

In other words, any allegation of torture, rape, kidnapping, killing etc...must be backed with some form of evidence.

I personally know of a number of Iraqis who had to show pictures, letters, any evidence backing their claims. Those who were unable to do so, would undress in the UNHCR cubicles and show their scars and wounds...from torture. From torture by the Shiite militias.

Those who survived testified (a few survived but the majority of non Shiites, particularly in Baghdad, did not survive. They are now dead!).

Those who deal with Iraqi refugees be it NGO's or the UNHCR know all too well the exact identity of the culprits and they are als very aware of who constitutes the majority of those forcibly displaced outside their homes - they happen to be in MAJORITY -- Sunnis, Christians and other sects like Yazidis, Sabaaens...

Now these NGO's and the UNHCR know that because as I mentioned earlier on, the application forms need to be completed backed with evidence. But again, there is a politically correct silence surrounding these refugees and when you read a good deal of the articles, you are left guessing...

Well I do not wish people to guess anymore. Hence my appeal.

I appeal to all of you out there, who have dealt with Iraqi refugees to start telling it AS IT IS. To give a FULL picture, a precise, uncensored pictured of WHO constitutes the BULK of those refugees, including their religious affiliation, ethnicity and sects...You have the vital information and it is MORALLY incumbent upon you to divulge the FULL truth and to release the information.

I am also appealing to the victims, and I tell them fear not. Get together and document, document and document. Your testimonies are crucial. As crucial as your wounds and scars.

I am also appealing to the Iraqi Rabita (Iraqi League) and others, you are in touch with many of the victims, please prepare a complete dossier - change names if necessary, because the threats are STILL very much real, but please do it...

This genocide within the grander genocide MUST BE MADE PUBLIC in ITS FULL DETAILS.

And the real culprits and their sect affiliation and political/party affiliation must be made known clearly to all.

Because, just as the Americans are guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, your valuable information, will show to the world, that Iran and its militias in Iraq, that Iran and its sectarian puppet government in Iraq are AS guilty as the American Zionists, in this Iraqi holocaust.

Enough lives have been completetly ruined because of your hypocritical politically correct stands and your not wanting to rock the boat - the boat has sunk already.
Please do it, lest you want to be considered a partaker in the Iraqi Holocaust, as well.

Thank you.


Just saw this very recent video from Al-Jazeera - "No safe return for Iraq's forgotten people" dated 2.04.09. I am glad that Al-Jazeera comes up with some truths every now and then. An added confirmation to what I have just written above.
Watch it carefully please.

April 24, 2009


These days, when there are news of explosions going on in Baghdad and its vicinity, like daily, I avoid reading the full story. I just read the headlines.

I don't want to know anymore.

I don't want to know the number of dead, I don't want to know the exact location, I don't want to know how it happened, who did it, what time, the names, age and sex of the victims...I just don't want to know anymore.

I say to myself, if it is anyone I am related to, I will find out about it...sooner than later. Right now, I just don't want to know because -- am saturated.

I am saturated with deaths, killings, explosions, people disappearing, people in detention, people in need, people in distress, people losing their homes --- am saturated with numbers, with names of places, with stories and memories that have developed a life of their own now - settling themselves in my mind, in my waking and sleeping hours, like unwanted tenants who have appropriated your private space, like armed gangs who have taken over your home...and there is absolutely nothing you can do to evict them.

I just don't want to know anymore.

I just want an ordinary, petty, boring life...where my energies and thoughts revolve around doing my nails, checking out the latest fashion fad, cooking and complaining of too much housework. A petty, boring life, where I can sit and gossip for hours about nonsense, beauty tips and how to land a guy according to his star sign...

I want to be able to enjoy simple things, like listening to sounds without having to jump from my seat everytime a door bangs, or break out in sweat everytime I receive a late phone call, or tremble inside every time my cell beeps with a message...

I am saturated. Just like Iraq is saturated...We are both saturated with bombs, bullets, ruins, misery, sadness, grief, loss, uncertainty...

Saturated with explosions and implosions...saturated...

Even the word ENOUGH has lost its meaning. They crossed it out from our language dictionary. We can't even go shopping for it in markets, or order it online, or even negotiate for it as some package deal...We search for ENOUGH, and we can find it nowhere. It has gone missing...abducted, kidnapped and no amount of ransom will bring it back. No amount of dead bodies, no amount of mourning, no amount...It has simply disappeared.

At times, I imagine I have met ENOUGH and I shrug my shoulders, saying -- okay ENOUGH, that is enough for me now. I don't care anymore.

At other times, I play the ostrich, at intervals, hoping that I can breathe easier when my head is buried deep in the sand...

And sometimes I pretend am someone else and imagine am a woman from a different history, from a different continent, from a different reality...where I have never heard of Iraq or seen it on a map before...I feel light when I imagine that. So light, like a breeze...

But those tenants and their noise catch up with me...they start banging on the tiny door of the only room they have not occupied yet...Their knocks are like explosions, like shouts, like screams of agony, like me...searching for ENOUGH.

Occasionally, I would try to calm them and me down. We would all sit together and discuss rationally, so as to salvage some Sense, bit and pieces of Meaning left, like sewing a patchwork made of rags...and while we are doing so, we secretly hope that ENOUGH will show up at the horizon...

But we know, that this "liberation" is like an atomic bomb, an explosion in our lives, a surge of Greed, a surge of More...

So how can MORE bring ENOUGH.

This "liberation" was devised so that ENOUGH never shows up in our lives again.

We mourn It daily as we mourn our dead and offer It the prayer of the Absent.

Another martyr gone...

Painting : Iraqi artist, Qais Al-Sindi.

April 23, 2009

Truth and Idols...

Very impressive, don't you think ? Very impressive the "ouverture" by the "anti-imperialist" "anti-zionist" representative of the Iranian government, bearing the title of President and who goes by the name of Ahmadinejad.

I, too, was very impressed.

What audacity ! What balls !

The President of Iran rightly exclaimed - Israel, the Jewish state of Israel supported by 99% of the Jews living on stolen land - to be a racist and cruel entity.

His "propos" are absolutely correct on that count.

And look at the outrage and indignation of the Europeans, all ruffled in their holocaust sympathies. How come they do not extend their holocaust sympathies to the Palestinians living under a brutal occupation for over 60 years, a brutal occupation inflicted by those same holocaust survivors ?!

And I do understand the elation and exaltation of all those "well meaning" "anti-zionist" supporters. I can even go as far as to say that I can understand their adulation and idealization of the President of Iran...if it were not for...

If it were not for the blatant facts, the reality check list, the inescapable, inalterable truth - however much you try to deny it, suppress it, tamper with it, justify it, rationalize it, analyze it, dismiss it, falsify it, cover it, hide it, negate it...

The truth that will come your way, you -- the "anti-zionist", "anti-imperialist" supporters of Persian Iran, whatever your nationality, including you -- the Arabs, the Iraqis (Baathists included), and in particular you - the Palestinians.

The truth that you have spat on, for over 6 years now, like spitting on the corpses that were mutilated and murdered, corpses that died carrying it...corpses that are still being uncovered in mass graves, in rivers, in morgues...corpses that paid the price of your Persian, Iranian idolatry...

The truth that so many of you out there, in particular the so-called anti -imperialist, anti-war, the despicable left, liberals and progressives alike, the bad faithed anti-zionists...the truth that you refuse to acknowledge, adding insult to injury, adding lies to the deceit, adding more carnage and mayhem to the occupation, the truth...ladies and gentlemen, nothing but the truth...

The Truth...

The Truth ...who will salvage the Truth ?

The Truth...

Had it not been for the FULL and unequivocal COLLABORATION of Iran with the Americans and the Brits - those same hypocrites who professed outrage two days ago,
Had it not been for that undeniable FACT - You would have witnessed with your own eyes, your brave boys and girls packing up and leaving in full defeat.

In other words, had it not been for the full participation of Iran in the imperialist, colonialist, zionist, racist, cruel, brutal, murderous, American occupation of Iraq, the Iraqi Resistance would have by now, already showed you in full technicolors, the V sign of Victory.

Had it not been for the despicable, cunning, filthy, role of Iran, there would have been no sectarian ignition of civil war in Iraq. It is thanks to that same vile Persian government that you praise o' so much , thanks to that sectarian, all shiite, all fascist, all racist government of Iran that you idolize o'so much that --ghettos have been built in Baghad, that militias have drilled non shiites in Iraq, that ministries have been transformed into torture dungeons, that puppet governments have been erected as the most corrupt, ideologically criminal entities witnessed in the history of Iraq...

It is thanks to your fake god and idol of "anti- imperialism" and "anti-zionism" that thousands upon thousands of Iraqis have lost their lives to shiite militias working for Iran and for the Americans, it is thanks to them and to you too, that women, children, the elderly, men, gays, sunnis, christians, arabs, non shiites (except for the rotten Kurds) have been tortured, sodomized, raped, drilled, abducted, kidnapped, mutilated, murdered, injured, insulted and exiled...

It is thanks to the full collaboration of your precious Persian idol with imperialist, zionist, America, that thousands of Iraqis are living behind tall walls of segregated ghettos, that they have been displaced, that they have been evicted from their homes, that their homes and even their lands have been appropriated by the sectarian shiites who work for your precious Persian idol, that their fields have been turned into poppy land, producing drugs instead of food, that even the exports from your fantastic Iran are all contaminated with toxic, poison, expired goods that are being dumped on us in the name of "good relations with neighboring countries" - a motto that even the Baathists, the so-called "spearhead" of the "Liberation", the "beacons" of a free Iraq, are repeating these days...

It is thanks to that monster called Iran, and to its militias, and its "revolutionary" guards that Baghdad, the Center and the South of Iraq have been turned into play fields made of smugglers, smuggling Iraq's history, art, antiquities, oil...to Iran for FREE.

It is thanks to your idolatry that Iran continues to support the racist, chauvinist, Kurds who are being trained by guess who ? Trained by Israel, trained in the art of torture of non kurds, trained in the art of land appropriation and expansionism, trained in the art of theft...

It is thanks to Iran and its shiite brainwashed ideological freaks that-- what once was a secular, progressive, egalitarian country, which protected minorities, encouraged creativity and art, pushed women to excel, provided free health care, invested in education and higher learning, nationalized its resources and oil and used it to build its infrastructure and civil society -- a country that had its say and weight in the world of nations...a once upon a time country...now gone - thanks to your idolatry.

Had it not been for Iran, you would have not witnessed Iraq turn into a backward, gender oppressive, corrupt, degrading, sectarian, criminal...theocracy of turbaned shiites, who rule with cunning, deceit and an iron fist - under the banner of American freedom and democracy.

Had it not been for your fake Islamic republic, your racist, chauvinistic, exclusive, oppressive, fake Islamic republic, maybe the noble message of Islam would have not become so deformed and so perverted as it is now in Iraq.

And last but not least, you bad faithed, politically corrupt, ideologically bankrupt, opportunistic leeches, supporters of your Persian Idol...had it not been for Iran and its militias, the Palestinians of Iraq, the ones you keep crying over their fate, would have not dwindled from 35'000 to less than 6'000. Murdered and still lingering in tents in no man's land or being granted asylum in Sudan, Somalia and India !

Yes the truth, ladies and gentlemen...

The truth is that Iran is worse than Israel, a hundred times worse.

Israel, we all know its true colors, but Iran -- the republic of Deceit, has fooled you and others with cheap jargon and slogans and its fake "Islamic" bent...suckers that you are.

And some of you know all the above, but being the political opportunists that you are and yes that includes some Palestinians and their supporters, would continue denying it in your idolatry...

We know differently. We have public parks turned into cemeteries, mass graves, morgues and ghettos waiting to testify for us. We have over 1 and half million dead bodies, 5 million refugees, 3 million widows, 5 million orphans waiting to testify...and for Truth to be told...

And You and I, know all too well, that no testimony of Truth can come forth from idol worshippers.

Painting : the late Iraqi artist, Issam Al-Said.

April 21, 2009

Soul -- Walk Away.

You know something, there is something worse than an outright occupation...

That something worse, is when people try to fuck with your brains...They distort reality, truth, to such an extent, that you are left busy trying not to go crazy....Just in case, you have not noticed, but this is what resistance to torture is all about - not to go crazy.

Every time reality hits me, the reality of Iraq hits me, I try to push it away...the ugliness is too much to contend with. The UGLINESS in capital letters.

I am sure those who devised this occupation are not too concerned with aesthetics...

The Ugliness is not just physical...I wish it were just that.

The Ugliness sieves through so many levels, so many levels it is hard to articulate.
But if I ask you to trust me on that one, and tell you that I am not the only who feels it that way - will you believe me ?

The average Iraqi is used on all levels. When I say he/she is being USED, I mean USED. Used like an object. Used like a thing. Used like a no one...

The average Iraqi, the innocent one is being used by all kinds of people.

His land is being used, his earth used, his resources used, his feelings used, his cause used, his distress used, his grief used...

God help me explain to the ignorant ones.

Let me dig and find concrete examples, since you are such an "empirical" people.

NGO's use Iraqis to further their own cause/brand, individuals use Iraqis to further their own cause, charities use Iraqis to further their own ...Everyone is using Iraqis one way or another...

The greed is all pervasive. They covet your resilience, they covet your strength, they covet your passion, they even covet your truth...

They covet your broken poem lines, they covet your art, they covet your soul...

They even covet your pain, since they are numb themselves, numb to life and numb to themselves...

The soul of Iraq, the pure Soul of millenniums...the Soul that was left intact, through words, through pictures, through paintings, through relics...the pure soul...

Seek it, conserve it, preserve it, safeguard it, jealously so...hide it and walk away...for now.

Walk away - for now.

Picture : Ishtar rising

April 19, 2009


Some of you are already familiar with my dear relative Radhee. Radhee who lives in an all sooooooneee ghetto, in a ghetto where to cross to the other side requires huge detours and being searched through endless checkpoints, and there is no guarantee that he can make it back to the ghetto alive. Radhee stopped going out unless it is imperative.

Lately his heart condition has worsened to the point of necessitating angioplasty. Impossible in the "new Iraq " to undergo such a thing. Hospitals don't even have catheters to start with.

As I mentioned before, even during the brutal embargo years, Ibn Sina hospital used to perform open heart surgery. Radhee tells me that now he is being followed by a junior MD who has not even graduated and is not specialized in anything.
Radhee says there are no doctors left. And rightly so, since over 70 % of the Iraqi medical body has fled. And they are not planning on returning either.

Many a times I found myself calling his "doctor" and advising him on how to treat Radhee best. I remember once telling him - Did you ever think of statins for starters ? He went - Uh, oh right, yes that is a good idea!

And of course, there is a more urgent problem should Radhee try and shop for another doctor if he can find one. Will that new doctor not be some undercover sectarian Shiite freak who will finish him off ?! So Radhee has to be extra careful in his very limited choices...he is stuck with this junior jackass for now.

I suggested to Radhee that I arrange for him to come and seek treatment here. His "doctor" advised him not to, since the 19 hours ride from Baghdad means a serious threat of thrombosis plus the added problem of entry visa arrangements, sponsorship and the rest... Radhee says he prefers to die in Baghdad.

Radhee is very dear to my heart. Not only is he a relative but also we share a common spiritual bond. He is the one who would always accompany me to visit the shrine of the Grand Sheikh of Baghdad - Sheikh Abdul Qader Al-Gilani to whom my late grandma claimed to be related...I later found out that Radhee used to participate in dhikr circles at the shrine, but he always kept it secret out of humility.

And even though he is pious, he has a wry sense of humor that never fails to crack me up. He does not take himself seriously at all and by consequence does not take anything else seriously either...

I remember once he came over to visit, a couple of years ago. It was the worst period in Baghdad, he was supposed to stay for 3 months until the sectarian storm of torture and murder abated or so we thought...He lasted only 10 days, here.

He said :

- Khalas, I've had it, am going back...

- Radhee are you crazy, how can you go back ?! They will kill you...

- Le them kill me, it's so boring here. People don't smile, don't laugh, they are too self important and too serious. I miss the mortars and the bombs...This is ghost town here...

- Radhee you are definitely crazy...

And he just tilted his head back and laughed it off...and said - I prefer to die in Baghdad.

Yes, am very worried about Radhee.

But I/we have reached a point where the smallest piece of "good news" is an extra bonus. A gift. A bit like beggars receiving crumbs and rejoicing at it...

So when I speak to Radhee and hear him laugh, his usual laughter - that is good news to me.

When he tells me he is on a special diet (which I never believe) to help his heart condition - and that he has eaten so many grapefruits that he has started to look like one , that is good news.

When he tells me that he ventured outside the vicinity of the prescribed radius of his immediate ghetto and made it back alive - that is good news.

So you can imagine my joy when Radhee calls me and tells me :

- Layla, we have news from Omar ! (another detained relative)

- Oh my God, oh my God, Al Hamdulillah, al-Hamdullilah, he is alive, right ???

- Yes, he is still alive.

- Where is he ??? With the Shiite freaks or ....

- La' la' wadh'a zayn, ahssan meen ghayra, huwa wiya al Amrikan - No no, his situation is good, better than the others, he is still with the Americans...

- Al-hamdullilah, God is merciful.

- Akeed, for sure. Imagine if they hand him over to the Shiite forces, what will happen to him !

- Yes for sure, insh'Allah they will release him since he has not been charged with anything, but if they insist on keeping him, then I hope he stays with the Americans...

After I put the receiver down, I realized the surreal nature of the conversation I just had with Radhee...

I put the receiver down and broke down in tears...just like a beggar who has just received a small piece of stale bread and in his hunger pretended it was a huge piece of his favorite cake, only to realize, seconds later, it was nothing but old, moldy, rotten, crumbs...

Painting : Iraqi artist, Sabah Kalash.

April 18, 2009

Against All Odds...

I woke up with a wonderful feeling this morning. I have not felt that happy in ages. Like when you wake up with a smile on your face...I was smiling. I knew then, that something has been sorted out during my sleep.

The troubles with the blog have been sorted out, so it is up and about and running again...but my users stats is still frozen but at 33'000. The detainees have been adding up, I suppose. RELEASE DETAINEE 33'000 NOW ! Unfreeze the bloody thing NOW!

And when I woke up, I checked my inbox -- my morning ritual, I found several mails.
Great ones for which I thank you all. Very touched.

One in particular got me thinking, with racing thoughts, I could not ignore.

This person who is VERY committed to my beloved - Iraq, enquired about why my blog was blocked and said to the effect -- Iraq can be forgotten now and the so-called anti-imperialists, the Arabs and the Palestinians can dance over the corpses of 1 million and half Iraqis and celebrate the US-Iranian alliance.

Sometimes it is one word or one sentence that suffices...more of a reason to keep IRAQ alive and not forgotten - against all odds.

So all of you out there who have supported my Beloved, in your own ways - you too need to keep her alive and not forgotten.

I have throughout those 3 years of blogging given you enough information, enough material, enough evidence, enough food for thought, and to some, enough inspiration. Now the ball is in your court so to speak...

If you are intelligent enough to read this blog and it does require a certain measure of intelligence, then you are intelligent enough to do your share.

Bless those who walk the talk - against all odds.

Painting : Iraqi artist, Ibrahim Rabie

April 15, 2009

The" New" Iraq for Dummies.

My cousin Bakr (typical Sunni name) calls me.

- Please help us, we must really get out, it has become totally unbearable...it's unlivable, we simply can't continue...

Everyday there is an explosion, we can't even make it to the gates of the house. We are surrounded by Iranians and Shiite militias. Even the police cannot be trusted. I never knew the Shiites to be like that. You know X, Y and Z, they had to embrace Shiism, they had to, they had no choice. Your uncle is going crazy, he can't believe what has happened to us. I can't find a job, am too scared to seek one. Your other cousin is too scared to venture out, what if they kidnap him. We can't afford it anymore. We have no more income, no savings left...everything is too expensive. We can't afford it anymore. Nothing functions anymore...I am tired of hearing Persian spoken here and they block all the roads every time an Iranian dignitary passes by... Qum is ruling us. I am too scared for our lives...Please help us.

- And what about the Americans ?

- They are idiots and hayawanat ( = animals in Arabic.) They understand nothing. It's out of their control now. So can you do anything for us ?

- I will try

- No Layla, you cannot just try. Get us out of here. I beg of you...

The line was cut --- Dead at the other end of the receiver.

April 10, 2009

The Fall of Baghdad as seen by an American - 2

Since most of you out there have short attention span, and reading long articles does not "turn you on" - I am presenting you with part 2 of my interview with Malcolm Lagauche - hoping you have already digested part 1 of the "Fall of Baghdad."

- Layla : Hello again Malcolm, let's continue...

If I "hear" you right, Americans absolutely had to demonize Saddam to get to Iraq. I am thinking if it was only a question of getting rid of Saddam Hussein, they could have gotten rid of him without having to destroy Iraq and the decades of hard work. Why did they need to destroy the Iraqi infrastructure, the cultural and historical "patrimoine" and more importantly why did they need the collaboration of another country on the axis of evil - Iran - to achieve their aims ?

Malcolm : The propaganda was all aimed at Saddam, yet some politicians realized that the country consisted of more than one person. By publicly demonizing Saddam, it was automatic that the U.S. citizenry would extend its hatred to Iraqis as well.

The scenario leading up to the March 2003 invasion was quite bizarre. We kept hearing that Saddam was a butcher who did not allow students to have pencils. There was not one word saying that the U.S. would not allow pencils into Iraq during the embargo. One leftist journalist wrote an article in 2006 titled "Education System in Iraq Is in Danger." I thought to myself, "Finally, a look at the reality of the invasion." He began by saying that Iraq had a great education until Saddam came to power. Then, he ruined it. The writer claimed that no teacher could leave Iraq for any reason. If he/she did, the penalty was death. I was aghast to read this. In 1973 and 1974, Iraq sent thousands of teachers overseas to obtain advanced degrees. I wrote to the scribe, yet never received an answer.

The U.S. tried at various times to get rid of Saddam. They were all unsuccessful. In 1996, Allawi, the British citizen from Wimbledon, had wormed his way into the good graces of the U.S. He planned an overthrow of the Iraqi government using Kurdish troops. From day one, the Iraqis knew all about the plan. When the Kurds began to march, they were massacred by Iraqi forces. That was the last direct intervention the U.S. had in trying to kill Saddam. From that time on, the U.S. government used proxy elements, such as Ahmed Chalabi to try to do the job. As we now know, they all failed. These attempts made the Keystone Cops look like world class detectives.

From early on in the Bush II administration, the U.S. kept hearing that the Iraqi people hated Saddam. Once a force was assembled to invade Iraq, the people would welcome it. This story was re-hashed so many times that even those who made it up began to believe it.

The main battle plan did not work. In it, the U.S. troops were to easily take Baghdad, wait a few days to get their stooges in place, and then march toward Syria and Iran. But, something called the resistance changed all that.

With all the experts talking of an easy victory, not one mentioned how Iraq had transformed itself from an almost medieval society to a modern one in just a few decades. The U.S. did not take this into consideration, but the Iraqis did. Not one U.S. "expert" said that the Iraqis would fight back.

Originally, the plan was for a quick move to Baghdad after the city had been bombed heavily. Along the way, Iraqi forces would be given the option to change sides. They would meet up with an American unit and then side-by-side would march on Baghdad. The commander of every Iraqi unit had received messages from the U.S. military of this. But, not one Iraqi unit changed sides. This was the first miscalculation that the U.S. experienced. Next, they did not expect the Saddam Fedayeen to fight so relentlessly.

Another problem was the supply lines. Once the Americans moved on, the Fedayeen would appear and cut the U.S. supply lines. Still, the U.S. had Iran and Syria in its crosshairs. The staged events of April 9, 2003 benefited only the U.S. public. They thought the war was over, but the Iraqis took no notice of this. Sure, a few stooges went in front of TV cameras and said they were glad that "freedom" had come to Iraq.

Something happened on April 10, 2003 that threw all predictions out the window. The Iraqi resistance made its first attacks. Each day saw more movements against the U.S. forces. Plus, there was no surrender document, so the fighting was only beginning.

The original plans had Iraqi soldiers marching with U.S. military personnel on Baghdad. The residents would then line the streets and welcome them. The U.S. would quickly either kill Saddam or find him and the, what the U.S. thought, small handful of people who supported him. Then, they would make Saddam, or the highest ranking government official available, sign a document of surrender. Next, they would find some unheard of general called Ibrahim Ahmed Ibrahim Mohammed Ramadan Imaschmuck and make him the new Iraqi leader and he would praise the U.S. and promise elections in six months. About 50,000 U.S. troops would remain in Iraq and gain the adoration of the Iraqi people. Then, the two-pronged invasions of Syria and Iran would begin, after the U.S. had heavily bombard them.

This may seem like a preposterous scenario, yet every night, each national TV station in the U.S. had "experts" talking of the same results: the Iraqis hated Saddam; they would welcome the U.S.; not even the Iraqi military would lift one finger to defend Iraq. Also, there were the Iraqi "experts" who talked of the "liberation" of their nation. Most had either never lived in Iraq, or they had been out of the country for decades. Ahmed Chalabi played a major part as a true patriot wanting his country to experience freedom. Nobody mentioned that Chalibi left Iraq in 1958. His only other appearance in the country came in 2002 when he spent two weeks in the Kurdish area. In that time, he bilked the Kurds out of eight million dollars. Then he left.

By the time George Bush declared victory on May 1, 2003, the plans for Syria and Iran had been scrapped. At first, the U.S. tried to make a case for demonizing both nations to soften up public opinion for a future invasion once they had taken care of the resistance.

It soon became evident that Iran could assist the U.S. in tempering the effects of the Iraqi resistance, as well as create sectarian violence, an occurrence that would benefit both Iran and the U.S. From that time until today, both sides have worked together. I tell people, "Iran is helping the U.S. too much and the U.S. is helping Iran too much for them to go to war." If you remember, a couple of years ago, there was much talk of a U.S. invasion of Iran. Anyone who held only a nominal knowledge of what was happening knew there would be no confrontation. At that time, many of my colleagues said the U.S. would invade Iran and that I, of all people, should be able to see this coming. I am not a betting man, but I did make some wagers with friends in which the loser had to take the winner out to lunch. Most of the time, we ate at a restaurant run by Mahmoud, a Palestinian-American. Every time I came into his restaurant with someone at lunch-time. Mahmoud laughed and said, "I see where you just won another bet."

To encapsulate an answer for your question, the U.S. did try to take Saddam out on various occasions. The results were disastrous for the U.S. Then, they tried to mobilize the Iraqi public against him. Again, that did not work. As we saw with Saddam’s imprisonment and subsequent execution, the Iraqi public, even those who were not fans of Saddam Hussein at one time, solidified their nationalistic views and made it more difficult for the U.S.

At first, Iran was on the U.S. target list, but ensuing occurrences changed that. Today, there seems to be a balancing act that benefits both countries in the occupation of Iraq. In early 2003, neither nation could see itself allied with the other. Today, their actions in Iraq that assist each other make them inseparable partners.

- Layla : Much food for thought here...Several things come to mind. After the "capture" of Saddam Hussein, the Resistance did not stop its anti-occupation struggle. The anti-war movement and its liberals called them "insurgents" using the same language as the occupier. Furthermore this same movement kept parroting "its all about oil". I noticed you did not mention oil- not even once.
The second thing is Iran. You mentioned that Iran was next on the target list of the axis of evil. However, all the so-called Iraqi opposition were formed and landed mainly from Iran. The U.S administration knew that and Iran helped the US in Afghanistan prior to 2003. So my next question is -- is it really all about oil with Iran becoming the main geostrategic player in the region and what do you make of the current state of the Iraqi resistance ?

- Malcolm : Of all the groups involved in the Iraqi fiasco, the so-called "left" or "anti-war" groups must be held as the most disingenuous people of all. At times, they made Chalabi look legitimate.
Shortly after I began my column in October 2003, I began to receive messages from them telling me that I was all wrong. They mentioned how Iraq had been rid of a brutal dictator and, although the country had been blown to smithereens, it would recover and be a beacon of freedom in the Arab world. They also said that Iraqis hated Saddam and it was a good thing he was no longer in power. A popular statement from U.S. anti-war people was: "No to occupation. No to Saddam." How sad it was to read the explanations of these idiots. Not one had a clue of Iraq’s history or culture.

Then, when the resistance became stronger, they distanced themselves totally from it. United for Peace and Justice, an organization representing 1,400 peace groups actually paid for an advertisement in a Baghdad newspaper commending Malilki on his work and welcomed him to the U.S. when he visited the UN. And these were supposed to be the people who opposed the war.

Finally, when pressed about their attitudes of the Iraqi resistance, Phyllis Bennis, the guruess of the anti-war movement, made her opinion quite clear. She said that not only did she not support the Iraqi resistance, but she opposed it. This was a sad day for humanity.

I haven’t mentioned oil because the subject is so evident. Plus, the "peace" groups only mentioned it because they had no idea of any other matter concerning Iraq. To me, the murdering of three million people; the re-writing of Iraq’s history; the dismantling of Iraqi culture; and the amazing hatred produced by anti-Iraq propaganda far outweigh the subject of who controls Iraq’s oil. The oil is still there, but the three million dead are not. I have left that to economic writers to describe. Some have done a wonderful job. But, to me, the oil, although a major factor, is far less important than what happened to the people of Iraq. The U.S. could have easily gained control of the oil without wiping out 5,000 years of history and culture and making Iraq a non-entity.

The subject of Iran is complicated. The U.S. did accept Iran’s help in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. Iran thought it had bought a "get out of jail card" by assisting the U.S. However, Iran soon learned that the U.S. would turn on the country even if it did help the U.S. The allowing of Chalabi and his court to reside in Iran was more of an anti-Iraq move on the part of Iran than a pro-Iran stance of the U.S.

There have been reports by many U.S. officials in the know who maintain that Iran and Syria were on the list of targets. If you remember, at the beginning of hostilities against Iraq, Iran complained of U.S. jets flying over its territory. This was a warning from the U.S.

What the U.S. did not anticipate was the sectarian divide that Iran could create in Iraq. Once this became clear, Iran became safe from being attacked. As I mentioned before, both countries are helping each other so much in Iraq that a U.S. invasion will not occur.

The U.S. has a strong history of fucking over its friends or changing an enemy to a friend. Look at Pakistan. A few years ago, it was a bulwark of U.S. influence in the area. India was apprehensive and thought it would be at a disadvantage if it was attacked by Pakistan. Today, the U.S. is bombing Pakistan almost daily and warning it to change its ways. Just across the border, India is being heralded by the U.S. as a strong up-and-coming world player. In a year or so, we may actually see words of praise for Iran in the U.S. press. Remember Ghadaffi? He was U.S. enemy number one. Then, he became a "good Arab" and all was forgiven. He caved in to U.S. demands.

If you want a good laugh, check out the U.S. annual report of human rights issues of the nations of the world. Venezuela, Bolivia, Russia, China, and Vietnam are perpetual violators of human rights. However, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Colombia and other U.S. stooges are always improving their human rights records, when, in fact, they are getting much worse. Of course, Israel is never mentioned in a negative manner. After all, it is the "only democracy" in the Middle East.

As surprising as it may sound, Iran was still in the U.S. crosshairs at the beginning of 2003. By the end of the year, they were kissing cousins. The statement going around Washington in March and April 2003 was, "Real men go to Iran." This came from military and civilian officials.

As for the resistance today, it is definitely up and running. The days of almost every Iraqi highway being a death trap may be over, but there is still much activity. For one, Baghdad has been ethnically-cleansed. And, there are 28 sectors that are hidden behind 12-feet-high concrete walls. To add a slap in the face to the Iraqis, the cement used to make these walls was purchased from Israel.

In addition, U.S. troops are now conducting "search and avoid" missions. They leave their bases and park their tanks in a safe place, call in to headquarters and say they are on patrol, then return and say there was no action. This has led to a considerable decrease in U.S. deaths.

On the other hand, each day you read about dozens of Iraqi police, politicians or military personnel being killed by the resistance. The resistance is still formidable. Only its targets have changed.

In the next couple of years, I believe we will see an upsurge in resistance attacks for a couple of reasons. The Kurds are now trying to show their military prowess and some Arabs who were not part of the resistance will join and you will see a lot more Kurd vs. Arab confrontations.

The Awakening Groups, the Iraqi resistance fighters who were bought off by the U.S., are finally coming to the conclusion they were fucked by both the U.S. and the quisling group in Baghdad that calls itself a government. Already, some have returned to the resistance, but I think we will see large movements of Awakening Group members re-join the resistance.

To conclude, let me go back to your statement that the anti-war people are calling the resistance fighters "insurgents." This in itself was very inaccurate, but those days are gone. Today, U.S. leftist and peace groups call resistance fighters "terrorists." The U.S. administration does not have to produce much propaganda if its "opponents" use the same terminology about Iraq as it does. With enemies like this, they don’t need friends.

- Layla : You've covered quite some grounds here...a lot of grounds actually and I thank you for that. I am not sure I agree with your analysis on Iran (e.g preliminary U.S strategy vis a vis Iran) but this interview is about you not about me. You have just published a book on Iraq - Mother of all Battles. Why this book and why this title ? As some would argue -- Iraq was defeated with the Fall of Baghdad and there was no Mother of all Battles to contend with.

- Malcolm : Last Sunday, I gave two speeches about my book The Mother of All Battles to different groups. I opened up with a quote from a reader, an expatriate Iraqi professor (forced, April 2003) now living in the UAE. He thanked me for asking him questions about the life in Iraq prior to 2003 and said that most Western writers knew nothing of this. Then, he said he was proud that I wrote an article telling the truth about the capture of Saddam Hussein. I looked at the crowd and said, "By the way, Saddam was not captured in a spider hole. He fought it out with U.S. troops at a friend’s house, but was greatly outnumbered." Their eyeballs popped out of their heads and their mouths opened. I then explained the true story of his capture and they were captivated.

The capture of President Saddam Hussein and the following trial were a sad part of history that has been twisted immensely in the West. There is too much to go over in this response, so I will give a quick analysis. In my book, I go into great detail about the incidents.
The U.S. and its Iraqi stooges thought that by televising the trial, it would eliminate any last support for Saddam Hussein. They were wrong. On the first day, Saddam was a few minutes late. The judge asked why, and Saddam said, "The elevators weren’t working." To which the judge replied, "I’ll ask the Americans to fix them." Saddam looked him right in the eye and said, "You won’t ask them. You will tell them. You are an Iraqi." From that statement on, Saddam had a huge TV audience in which he stood up for Iraq and proved that the cases against him were bogus. The first judge was trying to be fair, but he was taken off the case and later told the press that he did not do what his bosses told him to, which was to denigrate the defendant and not give him a fair chance at a defense. Another judge was also relieved of his duties for making the statement to Saddam, "You were not a dictator."

When the verdict came down, no one was surprised. From that day until his hanging, Saddam Hussein was the freest man in Iraq. He may have been behind bars, but he was free. He never sold out when he could have been given a one-way ticket to some Pacific island and spend the rest of his days on the beach sipping on a drink if he helped the U.S. in stopping the resistance.

The last few minutes of Saddam’s life converted even some of his previous enemies to his side. He did not flinch or show one act of fear. This really upset the U.S. because for years, they had tried to kill him, isolate him, and generally make life miserable for him. Even if Saddam flinched for one second, the U.S. would have claimed victory. But he didn’t.
My book goes into great detail about the trial. I was fortunate to have Curtis Doebbler, one of Saddam's foreign lawyers, write the final section of the last chapter of the book. In it, he compared the integrity of Saddam Hussein the human being and that of George Bush. I don’t have to tell you who came out first in this area.

About a few months after the March 2003 invasion, I knew I had to write a book on Iraq and its destruction. But, it would not be like any other book written on the subject by a Westerner. I took much time to correspond with as many Iraqis as I could. I wanted to know about their housing, the medical system in Iraq, the education system, the social activities of Iraqis and many other things. These subjects were never mentioned in the Western press yet they were crucial to why the U.S. devastated Iraq so heavy-handedly and how Iranian-backed militias and Iran itself took over the country and assisted the U.S. in wiping out Iraq’s history, dignity, and culture. The stories I received from Iraqis differed greatly from those I read in the mainstream Western press.

Shortly after I began my webpage, Lagauche Is Right, in October 2003, I began to receive messages from many Iraqis, as well as other Arabs. They were amazed that I wrote in the way I did. I was quite happy to receive these accolades, but, even though I have my own political views, journalistic integrity came first. I checked out as much as I could to verify the stories sent to me by Iraqis. Sometimes I had to dig hard and deep, but most of what they told me checked out.

My writing about Iraq did not exactly make me the darling of U.S. journalism to either the mainstream press or much of the so-called "progressive" element of the media. I would say that I received more vile remarks from the left, anti-war people than I did from the conservative element of U.S. society. They are so dogmatic in their ways that they will never listen to anyone who challenges them. Plus, they all claim to be intellectuals who are more intelligent than anyone else. I’ve told you that a common statement in 2003 from the left was, "No to occupation. No to Saddam." When I challenged leftists on this, I would start by discussing the once-great Iraqi education system. They would agree. Then, I would speak about the health care system. Again, agreement. I spoke of subject-after-subject of the greatness of Iraq during the Ba’ath years. Then I would ask, "How the fuck could Iraq have these great institutions if its leader and his cronies were all madmen as you say?" Very few could even attempt to answer that.

During the 1990s, I accumulated much information about Iraq from Iraqis living in the U..S. who would occasionally visit Iraq. The Iraqi Interest Section, working out of the Algerian Embassy in Washington, D.C. sent me issues of the Baghdad Observer, a daily Iraqi newspaper written in English. In most matters, the truth emerges eventually. With Iraq, the same is true, but only it was always too late. For years, I would check out what Iraq said about something and then read the U.S. version. The U.S. always said, "You can’t believe anything the Iraqi government says." Most U.S. citizens left it at that. However, I had a scoresheet that showed, over time, every incident was reported truthfully by Iraq and the U.S. versions were outright lies.

When I had to come up with a name for my book, I thought of many. Then, it hit me. On January 17, 1991, when the first bombs hit Baghdad, Saddam Hussein said, "The Mother of All Battles has begun." Everyone in the West laughed. How could Iraqi withstand a U.S. bombardment and ensuing ground war?

Nobody looked into the previous year’s activities in Iraq in which Saddam warned the Arab world that the U.S. was ready to take over the area. He gave many speeches on this subject, the finest one delivered in February 1990 in Amman, Jordan (included in the appendix of my book). He laid out the blueprint for what happened since 1991. In no way was he referring solely to the Iraq vs. U.S. military actions of 1991. He was speaking of a much longer battle that would eventually transcend the borders of Iraq.

In 2000, Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, visited Saddam. He called the Iraqi president his "brother." Chavez went back to Venezuela with information on how Iraq used its oil to produce a modern and functional society. At the time, only Venezuela had a government in Latin America that was not in the hip pocket of the U.S. For years, Latin American right-wing governments, with the assistance of the U.S., held sway.
Chavez used his nation’s oil to improve health and education services. Since then, Evo Morales of Bolivia has been elected president. Also, Correa of Ecuador and Ortega of Nicaragua. Just last week, for the first time in the nation’s history, El Salvador elected a leftist president. All of these people changed the way their nations did business. They began to nationalize their raw materials and use the revenues to improve the living conditions of their people. Only Colombia is still in the U.S. sphere. It is surrounded by governments that consider the raw materials of their countries the birthrights of their citizens, not items to be owned by one person or company and then sold at huge profits to the people

So, the Mother of All Battles is in swing in Latin America today. The Mother of All Battles represents the battle of the forces of imperialism against those of countries who prefer self-determination. Saddam’s statement went far beyond the events of January 1991.

I can not believe anyone can say that the fall of Baghdad was the end of the Mother of All Battles. It was just the extension of it. In 1994, Iraq began a citizen defense program under former Vice President Ramadan and Izaat al-Douri. In August 2002, at a large parade in Baghdad, various units of these defense teams marched. Getty Images ran a photo of this and anyone can see it by going to Google. Tariq Aziz stated, "We will welcome the Americans to Baghdad, Unfortunately, we’ve run out of candy and we’ll have to substitute bullets." Everyone laughed at Tariq Aziz. No one noticed the civilian defense squads marching in Baghdad. Today, U.S. leaders still say that they biggest miscalculation they made was not thinking a resistance would emerge.

If the Mother of All Battles is done, why are there about a hundred attacks a day on the occupiers, the quisling police, soldiers and politicians. Rarely does a day go by when one does not read of successful attacks by the resistance.

One may say, "Well the U.S. will be leaving Iraq soon." If that is true, the Mother of All Battles will continue, only with different players. But, they U.S. is not ready to leave Iraq. Obama said he will withdraw "combat" troops by a certain date and leave 50,000 soldiers behind. Well, if this is true, what are 50,000 soldiers carrying weapons and riding tanks going to do if they’re not going to be engaged in combat? Plus, there will still be tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of U.S. civilian mercenaries in Iraq. The Mother of All Battles still rages.

The Mother of All Battles still rages...and upon those words, my 9th of April "celebration" of the "Fall of Baghdad" is concluded.

Thank you Malcolm Lagauche, it's been wonderful having you "on board."

For those interested in ordering Malcolm's book, here are the details :

The Mother of All Battles: The Endless U.S.-Iraq War consists of 400pages. In it are 52 pictures that have never been shown in the U.S. before. For ordering information, please visit this link ---> http://malcomlagauche.com/id8.html

The price for the book is normally $27.95. For readers of this blog (Arabwomanblues), please make a notation that you are a reader and you will be given a discount price of $20. The mailing price for overseas (USPS Priority) is $12.95. But, two books can be fit into one USPS envelope, so if you order two books, you will be saving on the shipping charges.

April 9, 2009

The Fall of Baghdad as seen by an American - 1

Some shameless Iraqis and others, will be celebrating 9th of April as a national public holiday - the day of the Fall of Baghdad. Festivities are being planned in the Green Zone on that "special" occasion. Iran will be contributing its poison laced -- candies, tea and pistachios and on the food banquet will lay thousands of corpses...mutilated by its government militias. Fireworks specially imported from America will illuminate the skies of Baghdad - another shock and awe "celebration."

I want to join in the "celebrations" as well, but being the black sheep of the Iraqi "family", I will do it my own way...

So on this "special" occasion, I have decided to interview Malcolm Lagauche. This interview was not structured and intentionally so. I wanted it to flow, so there was no set of specific questions sent forth...it was one question at a time...a bit like our Iraqi lives, one day at time...

- Layla :Hello Malcolm and nice to have you "on board", the first question that comes to my mind as an Iraqi to an American, is why Iraq ?I must admit, when I first read you a few years back, I thought you were an Iraqi borrowing an English name, till you assured me that was not the case. You are very knowledgeable about Iraq and its contemporary History. So why Iraq and what attracted you to it ?

- Malcolm : Before 1990, I had little knowledge of Iraq. But, I was disgusted with the U.S. invasion of Panama shortly before Iraq came into the U.S. cross hairs. After August 2, 1990, we saw in the U.S. a constant barrage of anti-Iraq and anti-Saddam propaganda. I didn’t believe it just because of common sense.
I asked myself, "How can the leader of a country be such a butcher and only now is the world finding out? How can a leader enjoy watching people boil in acid without the world knowing of this? The stories began to become more and more preposterous.

I went to a library and looked at World Almanacs for the years 1981-1989. An almanac is basically a book with statistics and no political agenda. I found out that the UN had praised Iraq’s education system. The UN had also spoke wonders of the Iraqi medical system. Iraq’s credit rating in international business was A+, much better than that of the U.S. In 1987, the New York Times called Baghdad "the Paris of the Middle East." I knew then that I was being misled by my government.

When the first bombs fell on January 17, 1991, I went to the local grocery store at the corner of my street. I knew the owner’s name was Tony, but I did not know his nationality. I asked him, "Tony, are you an Iraqi?" He was hesitant and said, "Yes." I then shook his hand and apologized for the actions of my country. He was relieved and hugged me.

For the next 42 nights, I spent three hours in Tony’s store each night. I spoke to everyone who came in: Iraqis, Syrian, Lebanese, Egyptians, etc. I asked many questions. They all were shocked at the U.S. bombing. However, I received a great education about Iraqi culture and history. It seems every person had a different story to tell: about sports, housing, education, health services, etc. And, the vast majority admired Saddam Hussein.

For about six months after the cease-fire in 1991, I met many Iraqis whom those I met in the store referred me to. I was given magazines, books and newspapers. I got in touch with the Iraqi Interest Section working out of the Algerian Embassy in Washington D.C. I sent them postage stamps and they sent me quite a few editions of the Baghdad Observer. I did this for about five years and learned much from the newspaper. The people at the Interest Section could not spend money because of the embargo, so I had to send them stamps. Here’s an interesting observation. At that time, we heard that women in Iraq were virtual prisoners under Saddam. Yet, the Interest Section consisted of an entire female staff. I would mention this to the naysayers and they would say, "I don’t know about that." I would quickly say, "Well, I do. Why don’t you admit to the truth when it is presented?"

Within a couple of years, I had quite a few Iraqi acquaintances. At the time, in my area, there were about 30,000 Chaldeans. They were split: some hated Saddam and some loved him. Even though I tended to side with the Ba’ath at the time, as a journalist, I always tried to get all the information in case I may have been wrong. I asked many Saddam-haters why they did not like him. The answers were crazy: "He stole old woman’s gold." "He tortures Christians," "He cuts peoples’ ears off," etc. I asked each and every one if he/she ever saw any of these atrocities. The answer was always the same: no. I asked them if they knew someone who saw them. Again, no. I asked them if they ever read any reports or articles about this stuff. No. On the other hand, if I asked the pro-Saddam people a question, most could supply me with a document, or photo, or newspaper article that supported their case.

By 1995, I was giving speeches at book stores (I had written a 120-page book called The Sledgehammer and the Ant: The Real Story Behind the U.S. Destruction of Iraq) universities, various social groups, etc. Ironically, the only groups who shunned me were the so-called "peace" groups. In San Diego, there is one large group, San Diego Peace Resource Center, who seem to filter every leftist through their ranks. I called them about my book and was outright told, "We don’t touch that Iraq thing."
Coincidentally, a Baghdad daily newspaper serialized my book over 30days. A good friend of mine said the translation was excellent.

At first, I spoke of imperialism and propaganda and the results of destroying Iraq. By 1996, I added more meat to my presentations and openly began to speak highly of Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath Party. I had seen Dr. Al-Anbari, Nizar Hamdoon and Tariq Aziz on TV and thought, "what wonderful and eloquent spokespeople." All spoke better English than those in the U.S. administration. Again, common sense came into play. If Saddam was this brutal madman, he would not have such eloquent and astute people surrounding him.

By now, my best friend was an Iraqi-American who was born and grew up in Kuwait. In the 1990s, he bought a house in Baghdad and spent half of the year in Iraq and half in the U.S. He used to tell me, "They know all about you in Iraq." Evidently, in addition to my book, they published articles I had written about Iraq.

After a few years of my quest, I began to admire Iraqis (the good ones, not the idiot Chaldeans who denigrated Saddam), I found them to be very generous and genuine people, more so than most U.S. citizens. Today, I am well-known in the Iraqi-American population of southern California. So, to make things short, in addition to trying to bring justice to Iraq, I also learned Iraqi culture and understood a great portion of it.

I have written about injustices other nations have experienced because of U.S. imperialism. But, Iraq was special. I have never seen so much propaganda against one person in my life (Saddam). I have never seen so much devastation of a country than I have with Iraq. When I first saw pictures in 1991 of the damage, I was aghast. Plus, most of my country people cheered this on. It disgusted me. These are the reasons why Iraq became so important to me.

- Layla : You have been closely following the development of events in Iraq, since the 90's. How would you describe it to the layperson, and what do you think are the core reasons behind what happened and is happening to Iraq and the Iraqis ?

- Malcolm : There are myriad reasons for this, but I’ll keep it simple. Because I am a U.S. citizens who has lived 53 of his 61years in the U.S., I have observations that foreigners may not have. The main two reasons for the destruction and ongoing humiliation of Iraq are xenophobia and ethnocentrism. I grew up here and in school used to hear the teachers tell us to "pray to God" that we were Americans. Other nationalities were either bloodthirsty tyrants or were from destitute countries. Plus, we had the best food in the U.S. I remember a sixth-grade teacher telling us how thankful we must be for having an abundant supply of white bread. She said the people of many countries had to eat that dreadful dark bread. Today, we know the white bread is full of toxic additives and the "dark bread" of many nations is much healthier. So, when an entire population is brainwashed from the age of six, it is hard for them to change their ways. When I was in first grade, we had to say a Christian prayer and also the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. I knew no prayer, but I memorized it as my classmates uttered it. I thought I would be punished if I didn’t say it. And, it is preposterous to think a six-year-old kid understands the Pledge of Allegiance. Plus at every professional sporting event, the national anthem of the U.S. is played.
With all this stuff going on, when one hears of opposing views, they are not taken seriously. We have it inbred in our psyche that we are always right and that any leader of a nation who opposes any part of U.S. policy is a tyrant. It’s in our genes. Saddam’s only crime was to say "no" when the U.S. said "yes." Once he opposed U.S. hegemony, he had to go. It took years, but it happened. The same with Noriega, Castro, Allende, Soviet Union and more recently Sudan and Zimbabwe.

In the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, I had Palestinian-Americans and Iraqi-Americans tell me that the U.S. people were good, but the government stunk. I disagreed and said the government would not be allowed to conduct its genocidal policies if the U.S. people did not allow it to happen. Today, these same people tell me that I was right. After the Gulf War, until today, Arab-Americans have had their businesses blown up. They’ve been arrested for no reason and they’ve endured physical attacks from U.S. citizens. I have a good friend who is a professor in Minnesota. He is a Shi’ite from Basra. He speaks of his great Iraqi education and how he went to university in Baghdad and not only received clothing and free tuition, but a monthly amount of spending money as well. Today, he flies frequently. He tells me that the story is the same. He will be in the middle of a line waiting to board the plane and some goon taps him on the shoulder and takes him into a room where he must strip and be inspected. I ask U.S. citizens how they would like to be treated this way, but I never receive an answer.

- Layla :It is very interesting and informational for me as an Iraqi, to hear your American perspective, unlike the so many others - I and other Iraqis have been bombarded with.
You mentioned vitriolic propaganda campaigns against Iraq and Saddam Hussein. And I could not help but notice that the name of Saddam came up about a dozen times or so in your replies. Some believe that the occupation of Iraq was to "free it from a tyrant" and they cite so many atrocities committed like "torture, gassing of his people, mass graves" etc... others believe that it was a personal issue between Bush - father and son and Saddam Hussein. Some sort of vendetta. How do you view it ?

- Malcolm : Let there be no mistake. From August 1991 until December 30, 2006, in the U.S., the entire atrocities against Iraq were aimed at one man: Saddam Hussein. Rarely did we read about Iraq or Iraqis. It was always Saddam.

Military spokespeople would take to the TV screens and describe actions. It was always "he" not "they" when they spoke of anything. "He will try to bomb (you name it). "We have him on the run." "He’s retreating," etc. It was never written that the troops were doing anything. It was always "he." It was amazing to read in the English language something like, "We’ll get him to retreat to (fill in the name)." It was the soldiers who were retreating, not Saddam Hussein.

Even from the beginning of August 1990, we heard the most preposterous stuff. A psychologist advised George Bush I to pronounce Saddam’s name as "Sodom." This subliminally made U.S. citizens think of "sodomy." It sickened me to see person-after-person go on TV and talk about "Sodom."

The statement, "He gasses his own people" was the most powerful weapon the U.S. had. I met myriad Americans who said, "I could oppose invading Iraq, but he gasses his own people." One person told me that and I asked, "Do you know where Halabjah is?" "Sure," he said, "It’s in Iraq." I then said, "No shit. Where?" He said he did not know. I then gave him a short lesson in geography and said it was close to the Iranian border and many Iranian troops were there at times. Then I asked, "What kind of gas was used?" He scratched his head and responded, "How the hell do I know?" "How was it delivered?" I continued. Again, "I don’t know." Finally, I asked, "how the fuck can you say ‘he gasses his own people?’ when you have no idea of the location or the kind of gas used to kill Kurds?" He then said, "Well, I heard it on FOX News." I gave him a short education and mentioned the cyanogen was the gas that killed the Kurds and that Iran had stockpiles and Iraq never possessed one gram. He became frustrated and said, "I don’t want to know anything about that." This was the typical attitude inside the U.S.

Plus, look at the statement: He gasses his own people. What about Vietnam where tens of thousands of civilians were killed by napalm. Nobody mentioned that. In other words, it’s okay to gas foreigners, but not your own people. There was no logic and there was no scrutiny until just before the March 2003 invasion when people like Stephen Pellitiere wrote articles pointing the finger at Iran. Pellitiere was the head CIA analyst in 1988 and always maintained that Iran gassed the Kurds of Iraq. Plus, about 300 bodies were found, not the legendary 5,000 used for U.S. propaganda purposes. Condoleezza Rice used the figure 20,000.

Here is my biggest argument against Iraq’s involvement in gassing the Kurds. For years, the U.S. has offered anyone who was involved to come forward and tell how Iraq did it and that person would be paid a handsome amount of money. Not one has stepped forward. Not one pilot; not one supply person who helped load the bombs, not one clerk who processed the ordering of the material, etc. No one came forward because Iraq did not gas the Kurds. And, no one can say that nobody came forward because Saddam would kill their families. Saddam is dead.

We heard psychologists on TV say that Saddam was insane because of the angle of his eyebrows. He was beaten constantly as a child by other children and therefore became a sadist. He beat his wife and daughters. The list goes on and on.

Two days before the 2003 invasion, National Public Radio (NPR) held a call-in-session about the impending violence. NPR is regarded by most Americans as a professional and objective news agency. One woman called and said her husband was already to go to help "free" the Iraqi people from the beast in Baghdad. She said her husband was stationed in "Gutter." He was in Qatar, but most Americans pronounced it "gutter," making it a putdown for an Arab country. Of course, Qatar caved in and allowed U.S. troops to use the country as a staging area, but even it had to be denigrated by pronouncing its name as "gutter."

Shortly after, a Iraqi-American woman called. The commentator asked about her view of the U.S. She said she was close to attaining her university degree and had a good social life. The announcer said, "See. She likes this country and now has a chance to have a fruitful life." Then, the woman stated, "Saddam is not all that bad. He’s done a lot of great things for Iraq." There was silence. Not one of the moderators said a word. They hoped no one heard. Then, the woman said, "Maybe you didn’t hear me, but Saddam has done a lot of great things … " and then she was cut off. If they were real journalists, they would have had her explain why she made the statement. What they did was cut her off and not even admit she was on the air. The announcer then said, "We have a caller from El Cajon on the line." They screened the callers and when the woman said she was a university student, they automatically thought she would say something negative about Saddam. When I arrived home, I called NPR and asked, off the air, why they cut the woman short. They told me that they never received such a call. Hundreds of thousands of people heard it, yet they said the call never occurred.

The mass graves are another story. The news always said, "He killed hundreds of thousands." I would tell people he must have been one busy person to do all this himself. It was always "he," not "they." In November 2003, Tony Blair told the world that 400,000 people in mass graves had already been found in Iraq. The world was sickened. The dirty bastard Saddam. USAID, a U.S. government agency carried the story and said that Saddam’s crimes were the worst since Hitler. However, on July 18, 2004, Blair told The Independent daily newspaper that he "mis-spoke" and only about 5,000 graves had been found. This is quite a difference. Not one word appeared in the U.S. press about what should have been one of the most important news items in modern history. Then, I took the time to research the 5,000. Half were found in the north of Iraq and were killed in the 1990s during the Kurdish civil war. These could not be attributed to Saddam because, at the time, Baghdad had no control over the area. Then, I discovered that more than 90% of the other 2,500 were killed by U.S. bombs in the 1991 Gulf War. In the period of nine months, the number of people the Butcher of Baghdad killed went from 400,000 to 250. And, I’m sure most, if not all, of the remaining 250 were soldiers killed in combat during the Shia insurrection in 1991. These are hard facts, even published by the mainstream press, yet the lies persist. To this day, if you go to the USAID website, the number 400,000 is still used.

The Anfal Campaign was another fiasco. The number of deaths attributed to this is 182,000. The figure was assessed by Human Rights Watch. In the early 1990s, a couple of reporters decided to check on this. When they asked the head of Human Rights Watch how he came up with this figure, he said, "We used estimates based on estimates and circumstantial evidence." Unreal. If a lawyer in a U.S. court presented his case in these words, the judge would dismiss the trial and fine the attorney for wasting the court’s time.

As far as I can tell, when asked to provide victims of the "gassing" in the Anfal Campaign, not one Kurd would produce one. Finally, after the press said this may have been a hoax, they produced a victim in Turkey. They refused to let the press in the areas they maintained were gassed in Iraq. In Turkey, a 15-year-old kid showed up as a victim. He had burns on his face. The reporter asked if a doctor could examine him. At first the Kurds said "no." Then, they finally allowed a doctor to look at the kid, knowing that their lies were being reported. The doctor concluded the kid’s face was burned from a household chemical, such as lye, not chemical weapons. When asked where the bodies were from the alleged massacre, a New York Times reporter said the people were herded into trucks and a convoy of 182,000 people made its way to the south of Iraq where Saddam killed them. Someone asked the reporter how such a large convoy could be undetected by satellites. He could not answer the question. Then, he again asked, "Where are the bodies?" The reporter was silent and then said that Saddam probably had a vaporizing ray that made them disappear totally.

As far as all the torture machines attributed to Saddam, I ask the same question as I do about the bodies from the Anfal campaign: where were they? You and I both know that if there were all these torture machines, they would have been discovered by U.S. troops and shown 24 hours a day on worldwide television.

As for Bush wanting revenge for Saddam’s supposed intent of killing his father, that did not have much to do with the entire scenario of demonizing. In 1993, Seymour Hersh wrote a great piece debunking the assassination attempt. Then about eight months ago, the U.S. opened many of the files of the Ba’ath government that they stole from Baghdad. There was not one word about an assassination attempt. At the time, the U.S. government said that the Iraqis kept impeccable records and if anything like this was planned, it would have been recorded. Then they made an official statement that said there was no assassination attempt. It’s great that they told the truth, only it was 15 years too late.

From 1991 to 2003, many Americans told me that they felt sorry for the Iraqi people and would like to see them freed. I asked each one, "When is the last fucking time you ever cared about an Iraqi? You call them camel jockeys and sand niggers, and now all of a sudden you care?" I never received an answer.

During the embargo years, few Americans even knew about the sanctions. A few days before the March 2003 invasion, that piece of shit Oprah Winfrey was a guest on a talk show. She was heralding the brave American men and women who would finally free Iraq. A telephone caller asked her how she could be so pro-war after Iraq had gone through almost 13 years of an embargo. Winfrey replied, "What embargo? I’ve never heard of it." Millions of Americans look to this hunk of garbage as their guide to morals and social mores, and she had never heard of the embargo.

I would say that about 98% of the negative propaganda targeted Saddam. To Americans, it’s easy to demonize one person. It’s much simpler than knowing real facts about a country. Saddam was easy to demonize in the U.S. He was an Arab and most Americans don’t like Arabs. If you look at many of the enemies of the U.S. over the past few decades, they had dark skin and moustaches or beards.

I will conclude by saying that in my lifetime, I have never seen such vile lies thrust against anyone as those used to denigrate Saddam Hussein. They worked.

Here is a very interesting observation. During the Vietnam War, there was much propaganda. It was mostly aimed at communism: If Vietnam fell, the whole area would be commie. This was dispelled when a unified communist Vietnam went to war against two other communist countries: Cambodia and China. That showed how wrong the assessment of the U.S. was.

However, during the war, very little was written to demonize Ho Chi Minh. It was always the commies. But, against Iraq, it was always Saddam, not Ba'athism that was the enemy. Vietnam and Iraq are similar in that the U.S. invaded both for no legitimate reason other than imperialism. The differences were in the application of the designation of the enemy: In Vietnam, it was communism. In Iraq, it was Saddam.

to be continued...I promise.

P.S: I really wanted to post some Iraqi art, but for some reason, it is IMPOSSIBLE to upload any pictures and provide a link to Malcolm Lagauche Website. There is NO compose and edit mode on my blog anymore. I have a feeling I have been hacked or contaminated by 10000 bugs -- again.

April 8, 2009

Another conspiracy from Google ?

I noticed that my users stats in my profile, has been frozen at the number 32'282 for the past 3 weeks or so. I know for a fact that I get more profile views traffic than that. I wrote to Blogger.com and no reply. I demand that my users stats be freed from its detention no. 32'282. And NOW !

April 7, 2009

Verses caught in Barbed Wire...

A friend from Greece, sent me this poem. Thank you Y.
A poem from an Iraqi prisoner, detained in Bucca Camp. Bucca camp where Kamel and Omar are still lingering there...caught like verses in barbed wire...Are they really there or somewhere else ? We don't know...Maybe we will never know.
Maybe one day, they will become ex-detainees too and will compose their "experience" in poetry form...Maybe they will call it "Surviving America". Maybe this is how poets and madmen are born.

When I see you, I see Paradise approaching...
By Abu Izzuddin.

Stop at the ruins and ask the wrecked corner. . . Are my people aware of what's happening to me?

Ask the river, does it still remember me? . . . And the people, do they still hold their noses high?

Are they sleeping in comfort and in peace? . . . With an unembarrassed smile upon their lips

Tell them I am a hostage to humiliation. . . . Oh, my poetry, or have they become deaf

My partner, my passion for you is killing me. . . . In the heart there is flame from a blazing fire

How to reach those who have become so dear a quest. . . . And the longing inside me, my friend, is burning

The hand of days has torn me apart leaving. . . .A deep wound and a sick body

My hue has paled, for my eyes always. . . . Cry for my loved ones, first tears, and then blood

And my soul cries out for the help of the wandering spirits. . . . And in the sea of my sorrows, my worries clash

By God, after our parting life has no appeal to me . . . because my life without you is nothing

My chest is tight with breath that seems. . . . As if it were lava between my ribs

I begged patience to come and console me . . . it said "no," and worry said "yes" to me

Patience, if it comes to me, comes single, but when . . . the worries come to my heart, they arrive as nations

My partner, my mind is lost, is anxious. . . . In it thoughts and suspicions are teeming

I ask the stars about my family and my country . . . and about my little ones I ask the moon: how are they faring

And I said to the wind: In my village there is a man . . . who is of good nature and beautiful face and words

And it said to me: That is Abu Ghassan! I know him . . . in him there is pride, honesty and generosity

Amongst Albu Hamdan he is a man of science and . . . good manners. Most sincere of friends

And in me is grief and pain that hurt me in a way . . . that no pen and paper can describe

Injustice, subjugation and deprivation are crushing me . . . and the wounds of my heart are oozing pus and pain.

When I see you, I see Paradise approaching . . . towards me, and all the wounds of my soul will heal

I ask God to quench my thirst for you by seeing you . . . before I die, that would be the highest bliss.

Poem written June 7, 2007, in Bucca detention center.

Source - here.

Picture : courtesy of the American Army in Iraq.

April 6, 2009

Year 7 in a Musical Ballad...

An online friend, Ed, composed a musical piece with the lyrics from my post Year 7.
His son Joshua is on the piano.

It is quite painful to hear one's own words in music...more so than writing them...

Ed and Joshua, am really touched and I love it. Thank you both and Bless you.

For those interested you may leave your comments on Ed's youtube page here.

Youtube video : everreadyyy 2.04.09
Composer and acoustic guitar : Ed Schmidt
Piano : Joshua Schmidt

April 1, 2009

Contact Dermatitis and other ailments...

I have a tough time falling asleep, hence siesta time or napping is my only way to recuperate...

I dozed off this afternoon, and you know when you are in what I call "the twilight zone", just when you are about to fall into deep slumber, but not quite...Guess who visited me ? Go on, have a wild guess.

In that semi-state, I had a dream (hopefully it's just a dream and not a vision),
I dreamt that Ayatollah Khameini and Ahmadinejad knocked on my door and as I opened it, I was forced by their security forces to kiss both of them on the cheeks (thankfully it was only the cheeks). I tried explaining to the security guards that I had a serious allergy to facial hair, but to no avail...

Meanwhile, I could have sworn I heard some major drilling taking place right next to my ears...

I woke up in a sweat and with a splitting headache...

The major drilling was just the noise of my neighbor's high heels shoes stomping above my head, but when I got out of bed and went to wash my face, I noticed my face break out in a red rash...I must have scratched myself like hell after those "kisses".

I am just hoping the rash will go away by itself...without recourse to a "skin specialist." The positive side -- I now know the psychosomatic cause for my allergy, for my "contact" dermatitis.

I suppose this is a signal that I need to take some time out. So you will not hear from me for some time -- maybe 3, 4, 5, 6 days or more, or less - not that you are going to miss me or anything - just a question of my "condition" clearing up.

Oh and before I log off, I remember they used to produce that stuff called "calamine lotion" for nappy rash they don't anymore. So if you do come across it, kindly send some our way - make it industrial quantities...and one more thing, add some ear plugs too. Thank you.

Till soon, insha'Allah.

Painting: Iraqi artist, Ziad Bakury.

Finger Lickin' Good.

Been told that my posts have no substance...guess what ? I'm going to give you some real substance tonight. Something to sink your teeth into...

I have some real important, substantial news - KFC opened in Fallujah.

For those who are not into globalization - KFC stands for Kentucky (bible belt, bible thumping redneck, heehaaa) Fried Chicken. Got to love being liberated by "middle America".

Why do they call it "middle America"? All of America is middle to me - actually below middle, kind of way below the middle...like way down.

But listen, don't want to spoil the good news for ya. KFC opened in Fallujah...now if this is not "liberation" don't know what is.

Colonel Sanders has blessed Fallujah with his hormones riddled chicken (heehaaa). Now that's a real achievement for democray, don't ya think ?

Bet you, you're into junk food too. So fuckin' lickin' good. Taste buds used to garbage -- yummy so lickin' good.

And democracy demands the export of garbage - your garbage. And where, out of all places ? In Fallujah.

Remember Fallujah ? White phosphorus poured on this city like some junk food salad dressing...so fuckin' lickin' good.

- How would you like your dressing Sir ?
- I'll take it well done, thank you.
- Medium rare ?
- No, well done. Well barbecued. Kind of deep fried...

Like the men, women and children of Fallujah, well done - maybe a bit overcooked for your taste. Carbonized more like it.

But hey, that was so fuckin' lickin' good.

Betcha you, your brave boys licked their fingers afterwards...it was good. So good.

Kinda like the fried chicken from Colonel Sanders, from KFC - deep fried.

Fallujah, where men, women and children lied overcooked by napalm in the streets...
Fallujah where there is over 85% unemployment.
Fallujah where over half the population still lives in tents after the butchering spree..
Fallujah where hospitals have been turned to camps for the displaced.
Fallujah where there are no schools left and illiteracy runs over 50%
Fallujah where its men are still rotting away in detention camps, with no trial, tortured for being Sunnis, Arabs and "Insurgents"...
Fallujah the city of a hundred minarets, all turned into rubbles...

But we have KFC in Fallujah. That should make up for it - Finger lickin'good.

Come on America, lick your fingers.

I, personally, am licking mine....

And not only me...

Ir's comin' and it's so fuckin lickin' good.