Fresh Impressions from Baghdad.

I have a distant relative who lives in England. He went to Baghdad a month ago via Erbil, no visa required in his case as he holds the British nationality.

He stayed in Erbil for a few days and went to Sulaymania.

In Erbil, he says he needed "a translator" as Arabic was hardly spoken there. Thankfully, he managed with English.

He stayed in Sulaymania for a few days then head to Baghdad to visit his family and his in-laws whom he has not seen in several years.

These are his impressions of Baghdad today.

- Overall, most Baghdadis he met, both Sunnis and Shias are totally fed up with the Mullahs and their doctrines. Most Iraqis really want a "secular country" and a "secular government." ( Well they had a secular country before their "liberation" - bunch of Idiots!)

- The Baghdadis he met, both Sunnis and Shias (his wife is a Shia by the way) are quite happy to see Muqtada go for ever. They are sick and tired of the Mahdi Army and they see Iran's DIRECT hand over the latter. They also understand that Iran's new game having backed the other Iranian puppets (Maliki & Hakeem) is to weaken the present "government" so it can have another center of power more loyal to it than Maliki and Co who "looks as if he is too much in the American Camp."

- Sadr's support is not widespread as "analysts" in the West like to believe.
Sadr's support is limited to his own militia. According to this relative, even people who live in Sadr City are fed up with him and his gang, since the residents are forced to pay on a monthly basis some "commission" to the Mahdi gangs - a form of tax that goes directly to support the Sadr militias.

- "Iranian tourists" have swamped Baghdad. You can find them freely roaming there, with big concentrations in Al-Khadhem area (lieu of a religious Shrine). Next to Iranian "tourists", one can also find "lots of Bahrainis."

Even though this relative didn't visit Nejaf and Kerbala this time around, but he said he heard that both these places are full of "tourists" as well.

- In the "all sooooooooooneee" Ghettoes, like Aadhamiya, people are aware that Maliki is an Iranian backed sectarian, son of a bitch, but in support of his latest move against Sadr, whom they detest and with good reason since he exterminated half of the Sunni population, they even put up Maliki's pictures in a few grocery stores, encouraging him to finish off the Mahdi militia. I don't blame them.

- According to this distant relative, most of the Sahwa members are young men aged between 18 and 25, they are trying to keep some sense of law and order in the Sunni ghettos by keeping both the AQ and the Shiite militias away from them - which means that today "Aadhamiya has become one of the safest places in Baghdad." Hope it stays that way.

- There are two other neighborhoods that are relatively safe today in Baghdad; Al-Mansur and Karrada. And these three neighborhoods, Aadhamiya, Kerrada and Al-Mansur are the places most frequented by the Baghdadis. Curfew is still in place from 10 pm to 7 am all over Baghdad !

- Since Baghdad is clearly divided into walled off areas, areas like Al-Amil, Fadil... are no entry places. They are considered "most dangerous pockets where both militias and gangs reign."

- Again, according to this relative, "there's an upsurge of secular thinkers and publications in Baghdad", which according to him is a healthy reaction to both the sectarian ideological Shiite political climate and to Iran. (Again, what a bunch of sell-out idiots. You had that before!)

- The majority of women in both "predominantly" Sunni and Shiite areas are veiled, and it is rare to find a woman walking around with an uncovered head. YET, the cafés by the river are back to serving alcohol. Well, the ones he visited.

- In Basrah, the minute the Shiite militias of Al-Mahdi were "conquered" the cafés serving alcohol re-opened in no time. Seems that Iraqis are very secular indeed when it comes to their regular drink but not when it comes to women.

- "Baghdad has become ugly" this relative says. Concrete, wires and checkpoints everywhere and he adds "It will need ages before it returns to what it once was."

End of Report. Enjoy your "liberation."

Painting: Iraqi artist, Haidar Al-Basri.


Unknown said…
Thanks Layla. The actual view of Iraqis is totally absent from the media in America
even though it is the main thing we need.
Anonymous said…
I myself never had the heart to blame the Sahwa, after all not every man is a hero and one has to survive...but the problem is their local success against the sectarian agents provocateurs has played into the Americans' hands as they were able to claim that the Iraqi people were turning in favor of their fucked-up "democratization" process.
Someone should tell those guys that it is not about choosing either the US occupation or the Iranian theocracy, both enemies are allied with each other and working at the same divide et impera plan, all howls and barks, Mahdis and Qaedas between them are just theater, and there can't possibly be a way of co-operating with one without automatically aiding the other.
For goodness' sake, where is Iraqi deep sight and shrewdness...gone numb with grief ?
Anonymous said…
In pre-war Iraq women were allowed to go around veiled or unveiled and dressed as they thought it best and Arab macho men were educated to respect their rights and freedoms as per the egalitarian and progressive social model.

Decades of patient hard work sent up in smoke, what rage...
KM said…
Bankers 8

People of the World 0
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
Talking of stupid, do you think it was wise to inform the security services, who no doubt monitor your blog, that you have relatives in Britain, who have just been to Iraq?

I have no doubt this will result in a visit to him, by them, at around 4AM, using a sledgehammer to gain entry.
Anonymous said…
Hi! Layla,
Talking about Baghdad becoming ugly.
Viewed that USA blight of corporate concrete which now infests 104 acres of Iraqi land. (Uruknet) This reflects the ultimate symbol of the 'biggest and best' world criminal, the USA. While it murders, tortures, imprisons,maims and deprives Iraqi people of homes, and the basic necessities of life on a mass scale: again, on a mass scale,it steals $740 million of Iraqi peoples' money to illegally build this monstrosity now effacing the shores of Iraq's Tigris river. This is akin to having a USA monumental shit heap thrown in ones face. Instead of it being referred to as the 'big dig' perhaps the “big USA stink” would be more appropriate.

One can only hope that when the Iraqi people take back their rightful land, this ugly heap of concrete which has been built from lies, deceit, theft, mass murder, and slave labour, will be one of the first bastions of USA criminal infestation of Iraq to be dismantled. And if you need a hand I would be delighted to bring my pick-axe and wheelbarrow.

And as an afterthought,in most countries one has to apply for a Planning Permit. But in this case I suppose those illegal Iranians in the illegal USA Iraqi Puppet government said "help yourselves mates!"
Anonymous said…
Despite the mindless stupidity of the Americans who voted for George Bush and sheepishly went along with his war, and the gullible masses who take every word from the U.S. media as gospel, there is some light coming from the darkness. You've got to check out this antiwar video from a principled American politician:

Austin, TX
Anonymous said…
When Juno is set free, Jupiter comes down to earth, whispers an "end of a knight" tale in our ears...goodnight.
Anonymous said…
One good thing is between a walk round hell and another your relative possibly took a bath again after years of Britishized lifestyle.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
I suggest after the liberation behaving according to or even talking about one's affilitation to Sooooooonism or Shittism outside one's home closed doors should become punishable by law
Anonymous said…
The Iranian fucks are stupid to tears, they don't understand that Zion laughs at their regional imperialistic ambitions and would dispose of them once they have achieved their part of the job, that is dividing the Arabs so the whole ME can become Israeli.
They will never get what they want in any case, so better they cut the evil alliance and get off Iraqis' backs NOW, at least they can save whatever is still saveable in their shithole of a country through some real popular revolution.
The same applies to the robot-like death machines from Zionized Amerikkka, more puppets damning their souls for their pupeeters' major glory.
Anonymous said…
Layla Anwar, ya become my personal Monica Lewinski and I'll pull the troops out of Eyeraq. Deal ?
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
Hi Layla,

I've been away to you-know-where so haven't had the chance to keep up with your blogs. I will comment when I've read them all.

I managed to visit two 'new' nations this time, and it was quite an enriching experience.

In solidarity.
Cecilio Morales said…
As others said, this was excellent and very informative.

I particularly enjoyed your comment "Well they had a secular country before their 'liberation' - bunch of Idiots!"

Could you tell us whether there is any remnant of the Baathist Party? I understand it was originally social democratic, secular-minded and modernizing, is this a fair characterization?
Anonymous said…

By Dahlia Wasfi

If America were invaded by violent foreigners who coveted our resources and brought death and destruction, we would fight back—NOT to defend the Bush administration and Congress, but to defend the people and lives we love.
Layla Anwar said…
talking of stupid anonymous,

Maybe you'd care to give me your full name so I can forwarn my relative when you come to visit him at 4 am.
Layla Anwar said…
Hi Curt and thanks for visiting.
Layla Anwar said…

Very good comment but please read my latest post " a response" that will furthr clarify the predicament Iraqis find themselves in.
Layla Anwar said…
pissed off,

I totally agree with you and if there is one aspect of this fucked up occupation that is not sufficiently dealt with, it is precisely the points you raised. Great comment!
Layla Anwar said…

GREAT POINT. I didn't mention the Embassy but you did. Told you before you fill in the blank spaces.
One wonders with this huge ugly palace for the Americans being finished on the Tigris River, and which has cost Iraqis their blood and money, will Iran not furhter accomodate having this ugliness next door.
Layla Anwar said…
George W,

Go suck a cigar...
Layla Anwar said…
Hi Little Deer and welcome back.
Layla Anwar said…

Yes your characterization of the Baath ideology is fair and accurate even though I am not Baathist myself...

Any remnants ? Not sure how to answer this.
128'000 baathists have been murdered. The core group either lynched or in prison. supposedly Izzat Al-Duri is still around. I hope so. Others have been joined and voted for the sectarian shits of the puppet govt, others joined the syrian wing....A sad ending for the Baath in my opinion.
Layla Anwar said…

I take Dahlia Wasfi with a huge grain of salt. Dahlia Wasfi is only interested in the Iraq of her sect.

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