Occupation 101

Compared to this occupation, even colonialism looks like a nice ride.

At least, colonialism still managed to build a road or two, a couple of schools and maybe a health dispensary.

But tell me, what has this occupation done apart from destroy ?
Do you understand the word DESTRUCTION ? Do you know what it means?

Ok, let me refresh your memories since you do not know what destruction is.

Remember when you had two towers crumbling to the ground, in a mass of rubbles, with fire shooting all over the place ?
Yes, that is destruction.

Ok, let me refresh some more since you happen to have a few amnesic lapses.
Do you remember your 3'000 dead and their families still seeking therapy 6 years down the line?
Yes, that is destruction.

Do you remember how that tiny spot looked so desolate, empty, ravaged, afterwards ?
Yes, that is destruction.

Do you remember the people crying, shocked, lost ?
Yes, that is destruction.

But that was no occupation.

Occupation is multiplying that one episode of destruction by 1000. Nay, by 1'000.000.000 and you get the full picture today.


Your tanks rolling on pavements where people are meant to be walking, destroying the pavements and the lamp posts on their way and running over a couple of civilians. That is OCCUPATION.

Your guns shooting innocent civilians at checkpoints just because one of your shits is having a bad day. That is OCCUPATION.

Your jets roaming the skies day and night and bombarding neighborhoods and villages and killing children, women and men. That is OCCUPATION.

Your especially designed prisons filled with innocent "local" detainees, for years without trial. That is OCCUPATION.

Every single street, building, school, office, in rubbles and ruins. That is OCCUPATION.

No water, no electricity, no food, no functional hospitals...That is OCCUPATION.

Arbitrary arrests, arbitrary killings, daily house searches, ransacking, pillaging from the "locals". That is OCCUPATION.

Raping women, girls, boys, men. Torturing them, spitting on them, humiliating them, insulting them, castrating them, sodomizing them, burning them, pissing on them.

Destroying houses of worship, burning Holy Books, and drawing crucifixes on the walls, pissing and shitting inside, and shooting the elders. That is OCCUPATION.

Having 1 million widows dressed in black, orphaned children eating from garbage dumps, 70% unemployed, villages where famine is rampant, 4 million "locals" with their homes and belongings destroyed and now living in squalor, begging the streets.

Seeing young women and mothers sell their bodies in exchange for bread and older women sleeping on sidewalks. That is OCCUPATION.

Having your children, boys and girls, either sold to strangers, kidnapped as sex slaves, or caught in pedophile rings. That is OCCUPATION

Having your schools, universities, libraries burned down and emptied. That is OCCUPATION.

Witnessing the fleeing and/or the slaughter of your academics, researchers, scholars, doctors, nurses, engineers, scientists...That is OCCUPATION.

Seeing your palm trees, your fields, your parcs, your rivers, your soil either burned down, or razed to the grounds or filled with garbage and dead bodies, or contaminated with toxic waste, radiation and Depleted Uranium. That is OCCUPATION.

Turning your agricultural land that used to sustain you into poppy fields, open for drugs traffickers and mafias. That is OCCUPATION.

Walking out of your doorstep and stumbling on rotting cadavers, immersed in pools of sewage and have your neighborhood turned into a junk yard. That is OCCUPATION.

Having your loved ones kidnapped, abducted, tortured, mutilated, raped and dumped in some street. That is OCCUPATION.

Seeing the "locals" riddled with disease, cancer, allergies, asthma, swellings, inflammations of all sorts, skin lesions due to your "smart" bombs, plus the fact that they can't get treatment for already existing ailments. That is OCCUPATION.

Looking at your cultural, historical heritage in ruins. Seeing your museums, art galleries, musical conservatory...emptied. Seeing your archelogical sites turned into military bases and the walls of your ancient towers either destroyed or filled with yankee graffitis. That is OCCUPATION.

Having neighborhoods sealed and turned into ghettoes, building huge walls that suffocates you in. That is OCCUPATION.

Seeing your family ripped apart, either because you are christian, sunni, shia, yezidi, sabaean and having your friends disappearing or be driven out in hordes. That is OCCUPATION.

Not being able to walk the streets, go out at night, curfews, bombs, snipers, explosions, mortars, militias, armies, mercenaries, contractors...That is OCCUPATION.

Having your life reduced to survival and catching your breath. That is OCCUPATION.

Running from morgue to morgue, cemetery to cemetery, counting the 1 Million massacred. That is OCCUPATION.

Becoming an undertaker, coffin maker or a professional mourner because that is the only lucrative affair today. That is OCCUPATION.

Dismantling the State apparatus, the "local" army, sacking civil servants or killing them, taking over ministries and government offices. That is OCCUPATION.

Installing a puppet government made of corrupt thugs, criminals, spies, bandits, psychopaths, sectarian, chauvinistic fundamentalists, and embezzlers...That is OCCUPATION.

Dividing your country, enabling its cleansing, partitioning it along sectarian and ethnic lines when these lines were non existent before, even forcing couples to divorce as a result of these new maps. That is OCCUPATION.

Emptying your country's treasury of its wealth in billion of Dollars, making fraudulent contracts and stealing by every mean possible. That is OCCUPATION.

And last but not least, witnessing your smelly shits, squatting the palaces of the legitimate President that you slaughtered. That is OCCUPATION.

And I can write a thousand more lines on occupation...So forgive me, Iraq, if I have missed out on something.

So tell me, what part of OCCUPATION don't you understand?

Painting: Iraqi artist, Sabeeh Kalash.


Anonymous said…
"Compared to this occupation, even colonialism looks like a nice ride."

Thats a great line!
Anonymous said…
One is filled with such intense rage, Layla - thank you for this blog.

Damn this filthy nation called USA. Perhaps the only way it will understand pain and suffering is if it gets a good dose of it, too. Hopefully, their dollar takes care of that, together with the rabid dogs who return from Iraq and continue with the killing spree on their own people.

Your words fall on deaf ears there, dear Layla - they are too busy stuffing their obese and bloated bodies and shopping, shopping, shopping, just as their satanic 'leader' advised them to.

By the way, have you read the article on education in the USA on the ICH website (We can't get no educashion!!!)? And they want to bring 'democracy' to Iraq, when most of the nation (96%)isn't capable of interpreting information from print and that even children as young as 12 take drugs and alcohol? Stupid, ignorant morons don't seem to understand (guess it's their inability to interpret) that the majority of Iraqis have superior education, something the morons could only dream of, if they have that capacity at all.

In solidarity.
Anonymous said…
Dear Layla

Many thanks for responding to my comment about the Australian benefactor and his relationship with the family in Baghdad. And thanks, too, for your words today on the meaning of occupation.

I would like to share something with you, for what it's worth. I first went to Iraq in 1997 as a terribly naieve "witness to the effects of sanctions" on the Iraqi people. I wanted to become an effective advocate in the U.S. for ending the sanctions.

But then I kept returning to Iraq at every opportunity. I found something there I had never experienced here in the U.S. I met many families, and they took me into their homes and into their hearts, and we became one family. And it has been one long heart break for me to be separated from my family through these four years of war. We call each other, we exchange emails, we fantasize about one day re uniting in some place like Amman or Damascus, and always we re-live our times together, like taking the children to an amusement park in Baghdad and ridiing the Ferris wheel, or playing children's games in the living room, or my attempts to tell folktales in mime and broken Arabic.

And something else, Layla: since 1998 I have kept a fund for my families in Baghdad. It started as a simple wish to provide a little something a few times a year for the basics. I didn't see myself as someone who was giving charity. Rather, I saw myself as a member of the family who was contributing from overseas by sending money back home.

Now, nine years later, I'm still at it. I rely entirely on donations in order to keep on sending support to six related families, two of whom are now living as refugees. The money I send helps out with food, medicine, clothing, housing costs, and emergencies that come up all too frequently. It's not enough. It's never enough. And I know there are thousands upon thousands of Iraqi families who have no one to help them, in Iraq or outside Iraq.

I want to do more--for them, for all the people. I think the best thing I can do is work with all my heart to end the occupation. And then maybe one day I can return to Iraq and be with my family once again.

That's all I wanted to say today. Goodbye for now.

George Capaccio
Anonymous said…
George, from me personally, thank you.
Anonymous said…
Oh ... George, that thank you was from me *T*.
Anonymous said…
The destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world." David E. Stannard.
"This violent corruption needn't define us.... We can say, yes, this happened, and we are ashamed. We repudiate the greed. We recognize and condemn the evil. And we see how the harm has been perpetuated. But, five hundred years later, we intend to mean something else in the world." Barry Lopez.
"By then [1891] the native population had been reduced to 2.5% of its original numbers and 97.5% of the aboriginal land base had been expropriated....Hundreds upon hundreds of native tribes with unique languages, learning, customs, and cultures had simply been erased from the face of the earth, most often without even the pretense of justice or law." Peter Montague

The population of North America prior to the first sustained European contact in 1492 CE is a matter of active debate. Various estimates of the pre-contact Native population of the continental U.S. and Canada range from 1.8 to over 12 million. 4 Over the next four centuries, their numbers were reduced to about 237,000 as Natives were almost wiped out. Author Carmen Bernand estimates that the Native population of what is now Mexico was reduced from 30 million to only 3 million over four decades. 13 Peter Montague estimates that Europeans once ruled over 100 million Natives throughout the Americas.

European extermination of Natives started with Christopher Columbus' arrival in San Salvador in 1492. Native population dropped dramatically over the next few decades. Some were directly murdered by Europeans. Others died indirectly as a result of contact with introduced diseases for which they had no resistance -- mainly smallpox, influenza, and measles.

Later European Christian invaders systematically murdered additional Aboriginal people, from the Canadian Arctic to South America. They used warfare, death marches, forced relocation to barren lands, destruction of their main food supply -- the Buffalo -- and poisoning. Some Europeans actually shot at Indians for target practice. 14

Oppression continued into the 20th century, through actions by governments and religious organizations which systematically destroyed Native culture and religious heritage. One present-day byproduct of this oppression is suicide. Today, Canadian Natives have the highest suicide rate of any identifiable population group in the world. Native North Americans are not far behind.

The genocide against American Natives was one of the most massive, and longest lasting genocidal campaigns in human history. It started, like all genocides, with the oppressor treating the victims as sub-humans. It continued until almost all Natives were wiped of the face of the earth, along with much of their language, culture and religion.
this is my story like yours what can we do? the us government can do good but won't what if they did my hart is with you peace is not for us all we have is hope A better day will come I hope
Anonymous said…
George, I respect you greatly.

Keep up the great work - it goes with much heartbreak, frustration, rage, despair but to counteract it, there's so much love and joy...and contentment. I'm sure you would not want it any other way.

Thanks for the blog, Layla. Nothing more to add from this end, because I agree with every word you say.
Anonymous said…
everything i wanted to say....you have said it
Layla Anwar said…
Dear George,

First thank you.
Secondly my earnest wish is that you be re-united with your other family in Iraq soon or at least meet them somewhere.
On the subject of money, I get a few mails offering to send money.
Now this is not related to what you said because the offer comes from people on the net. So it is a different situation altogether.
I usually refuse taking any money and god knows how many people I know are in need of it.
What I usually do is direct these well meaning individuals to whatever charity I know is doing some work with Iraqis.
I personally cannot take responsibility to receive any money. For many reasons...
But most importantly, I do not wish anyone and I mean ANYONE to come one day and say we paid Layla Anwar.
I know that Caritas is doing work in Amman and Damascus and helping all Iraqis refugees regardless of their religion. In Iraq, sending money through transfers, at least in Baghdad is dangerous.
The money dealers, if they happen to be part of a mafia, or are related to any thugs or militia, identify the recipient and one then runs the risk of getting kidnapped for ransom...So it is very complicated I try to explain that to people but they don't seem to understand how everything in Baghdad has become complicated and dangerous.

I like this idea of pool fund. If one cannot help Iraqis inside then at least one can help those in Syria and Jordan. Their situation is really VERY PRECARIOUS.

Thanks again George and one day inshallah we will all be re-united.
Best to you
Layla Anwar said…

one more thing, you mentioned that you were in Iraq during the sanctions years. I think it would be very good for the readers on this blog to have a sense of your experience as an outsider of the sanction years.
Would you care to tell us more, or even send me a short article, I can put it up on the blog.
Think about it and let me know.
My email is under my profile.
Layla Anwar said…
Hi Little Deer,

I think you are indeed right. It falls on deaf ears and the genocide goes on and on and on...
Anonymous said…
Personally I have the feeling from living in this nation that the tide will turn for the genocide when the attacks on another nation happen.
Then it might be that the Bear, and the Tiger become enraged and strike.

All I know is I had a dream.
YoUnicorn said…
Thank you Layla
You said it all
This is what OCCUPATION means
I have a dream too

Bless you
Lots of love

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