Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Sunday, November 14, 2004
As additional note to the previous post, I would like to add the following very hurried remarks, due to the urgency of the situation.
Effective control of the capital and its approaches, especially to the south will facilitate all other tasks and should create manageable situation for the vital part of the country from the capital Baghdad to the shores of the Arabian Gulf. Reconstruction efforts can then proceed in reasonable safety in the Southern part even before achieving full stability elsewhere; which besides can be an example for other regions of the fruits of stability and peace. I strongly believe that the correct strategy for future action should be based on this premise.
After appeasement of Fallujah it is absolutely imperative to turn attention to the southern approaches to Baghdad. Armed bands have effectively severed the road leading south through the triangle of Latifiya-Iskandariya-Yousifiya. This is a belt separating the south from Baghdad. The demography of this belt is characterized by tribes who had very close links to the defunct regime. Awful crimes are being perpetrated on these roads. People are being murdered simply for having the wrong names. It is a deliberate attempt to ignite a sectarian war. In fact a sectarian war has already been declared, unfortunately, by elements of certain tribal and sectarian affiliation. Some southern Shiaa tribes are already calling for armed committees to combat the armed bands who are killing people on the road. There are reports that the bandits are moving to cut the other road that bypasses Latifiya, which means severing the capital completely. This is a serious situation, and urgent measures are required before a general conflagration of a sectarian nature takes place on the southern approaches to Baghdad and in Baghdad itself, which can isolate the Capital and complicate things beyond control for the Iraqi Government and the MNF.
I repeat this is more important than any other thing, and should be addressed without delay before it gets out of control. Securing the capital is more important than anything that might happen to the provinces. Securing Baghdad is at least 80% of securing the country as a whole.
URGENT, URGENT, URGENT; I hope this message reaches some right places. Protect the roads- lift the siege on the capital. It does not require nearly as much resources as the Fallujah operation; but if the matter is left without swift remedy, it might escalate into something very serious and ugly indeed.
AASH AL IRAQ
YOUR OTHER BROTHER
Friday, November 12, 2004
Due to urgency of the situation I find myself obliged to increase this blogging effort as a kind of contribution to "thinking" about the appropriate courses of action, and to stimulate constructive debate. I would like to state briefly some personal thoughts and ideas of mine that I feel are relevant to the present situation.
The article quoted in the previous posts specifies certain areas and “logistic trails” for the current insurgency in Iraq. Most of these locations belong to regions mainly inhabited by Sunnis. Now I would like to explain my own position regarding this sectarian issue. I don’t mind mentioning some personal details that might be of interest in this connection. My own family background, like so many other city folks in Iraq is a mixed one from the point of view of sectarian affiliation. For instance, my mother comes from a Sunni family while my father is a Shiite by birth. Similarly my wife also is a Sunni. I have always told my children not to pay much attention to this question, and even left them the freedom to practice religious rites when they do, in whatever style they like, and since they spend most of their time with their maternal grandparents, they do that mostly in the Sunni fashion, influenced by them. I would say that this attitude is fairly typical amongst the liberal Baghdadis of real Baghdadi vintage. Bigotry and bias mainly reside in rural areas. So it is with dismay and sadness that I watch this sectarian divide being deepened and inflamed at these awful times. The degenerate practices of the Saddam regime contributed a great deal to the spread of this sectarian antagonism.
It would be wrong and disastrous to portray the current struggle as a fight against the Sunnis of Iraq, but rather for rescuing them from the evil influence and grip of extremists and dangerous elements whose danger is more damaging to the Sunnis themselves before anybody else. And I must say that some of the excess enthusiasm of Shiaa groups, especially the religious ones, might contribute in arousing fear and suspicion amongst the Sunnis in general. It is necessary to allay these concerns while pursuing a firm policy against the terrorists and saboteurs. No effort should be spared to contact and negotiate with the sensible leaders and dignitaries of that community, if necessary through secret and discrete channels, to reassure them and prepare the ground for reconciliation and a political solution in the near future as soon as the “insurgency” is effectively suppressed. What is worth mentioning is that the moderates are always the majority essentially, but it is usually an unarmed and peaceful majority, so they are naturally weaker and easy prey for the armed and violent minority. This must be taken into consideration and measures to strengthen the moderate’s hand should be considered. All this should go hand in hand with an iron fisted approach to quelling the armed and terrorist revolt.
"Alaa,This link: http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/has a great deal of analysis of the current battle and future plans for gutting the insurgency ……..
Thanks Bridget, the articles you are referring to are indeed very interesting. It is a fact that the so-called “insurgency” is not simply some isolated actions by angry men, but a secret army with a certain degree of organization and logistical support. Geographically it is situated in certain provincial “Sunni” areas which are listed in the article you refer to. What is going on now is a real continuation of the military campaign as the enemy has fallen back and regrouped rather than accepting defeat and getting involved in the political process.
I would venture to say that the leadership and main backbone of this “insurgency” consists of members of the deposed regime, i.e. Baathists, especially those belonging to the various military and security organizations of the regime. Some of these men have adopted new religious garbs, perhaps not entirely as pretense, but a kind of psychological conversion trying to find a moral base after the collapse of the old Baathist ideology. However, to say that Baathism had an “ideology” is to give it an unmerited distinction. It was such a hotchpotch of ideas and words which you could hardly make any sense of. Many of these modern secular movements with sparkling poetic names ( Baath means resurrection in Arabic) degenerated into very thin and poor disguises to some much older and traditional prejudices and divisions. This regrouped secret baathist army controls and makes use of religious groups and foreign volunteers, as well as considerable local and foreign funds and resources. Politically, one of their main objectives is to polarize all the Sunni population on their side, using all means possible, mainly, intimidation and inviting retaliation from the authorities which could hurt uncommitted people and then use that to inflame passions and anger. Therefore, regarding the battle of falluja, it is essential that the Iraqi and MNF forces provide escape routes and safe areas for the civilians caught in the cross fire.
But again I refer you to a post which I have made longtime ago about the rural problem in Mesopotamia. I still believe that the main problem stems from this unruly and backward peasantry, in all regions and not only in Sunni areas, with reactionary mentality stuffed with the prejudices and hatreds of centuries of religious and ethnic strife and division, and ever ready and eager for any opportunity for mob behavior, looting and thieving (Farhood, as it is called in local jargon). The Saddam regime itself was nothing but an expression and predominance of these provincial forces. It takes an iron fist and ruthlessness to restore law and order and the governance of the city, i.e. civilization.
Quoting from one of the articles referred to above:
“Allawie has also crossed his Rubicon and so, perhaps, has CENTCOM.”
Let us hope that the forces of civilization, both Iraqi and Western have the willpower and stomach to finish the daunting task properly.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
You have surely heard of the kidnapping of the relatives of Dr. Alawi, his cousin, aged more than seventy years old, the cousin’s wife and his daughter in law. The daughter in law is said to be pregnant. Immediately afterward, an internet site announces that they will be beheaded if some impossible demands which can be summarized as total surrender to these miserable Dead Enders.
Can you imagine this; beheading a pregnant young woman whose only fault is being a relative of the Prime Minister. Now you know the kind of people who are terrorizing the majority of the Iraqi people and have been terrorizing them by the same methods for decades. We, Iraqis are not surprised, because we have seen countless examples of worst brutality over many years. It is Allah’s wisdom that the baseness of these creatures be exposed to the whole of humanity in this most scandalous fashion. Erstwhile, crimes used to be committed in the dark, unseen and unobserved by the rest of mankind. Now you see, and there is no doubt and no disputable claims and no uncertainty.
Now, Dr. Ayad Alawi, is a wealthy man, a highly qualified and successful physician, and could live quite comfortably in London a very decent and even affluent life, where he is holding a British passport and can enjoy all the benefits and amenities as any other British citizen. However, he chooses to serve his country and sacrifices his safety, security and the blood of his family; his brother had been assassinated before by the same Saddamist thugs during the rule of the defunct regime. This is Dr. Alawi, this is the patriot who is paying by the blood of loved ones, for his love and dedication to his country. Office, in these terrible times is no luxury, no sought after prize; it is a dangerous and excruciating responsibility.
If these criminals make good their threat and slay these innocents and the young pregnant woman, and Dr. Alawi is not likely to pay the slightest attention to their demands; then, although they won’t realize it of course, they will be slaying for good the slightest glimmer of hope for their rehabilitation and restoration to the human race. And they and anybody who sympathizes or apologizes for them shall be condemned by God and decent humanity until judgment day.
It is this kind of enemy that the young men and women of the MNF and the new Iraqi Army are facing. Can anybody even with an atom of decency doubt the justice and righteousness of their cause?
Monday, November 08, 2004
The killers who are loose in Dialla province this morning have murdered policemen in cold blood and distributed leaflets warning the population to stay away from government offices and schools; imagine this: schools! So what do they want: to stop life altogether? Their spite is driving them berserk. They want to murder everybody and everything. What do they mean: schools? That is very significant in understanding the psychology of these creatures, who by the way are the very same people of the old security forces of Saddam; the perpetrators of the mass graves.
I want to draw the attention of all the people of the world to the mentality of these, our home grown monsters. What they mean by “schools” is a direct threat against children, Iraqi children; because, children are the dearest things in the world; because if one can withstand all sorts of tortures and even death, still the thought of harm to one’s children is something unbearable. That, they know very well and therefore they want to use it and it is typical of these animals. That’s how they used to twist our arms before, for so many years, and they are at it again. It is not fear of death that used keep us subjugated. In fact we learnt something terrible and very real. Death is not the worst thing that could happen to you; it is not even in the “top league” of “worst things”. And they have hurt children before, and have tortured children before, and killed children before. The spite, hatred and cruelty of this race is something beyond the comprehension of normal human beings. And it is clear that the existence of the normal Iraqi human being and these is mutually exclusive. It is either “them or us”, as you say.
For the valiant soldiers doing battle in Falujah today: like the medieval knights, you have engraved on your shields severed heads of kidnapped victims, murdered children, the hundreds of thousands of the dwellers of mass graves. You are the instruments of the Lord’s retribution. Have no mercy on this vermin, they do not deserve any.
God bless you and protect you for you are doing his work.
Of course the terrorists have to be dealt with in this way. They are heartless murderers and their hatred of the people is attested for by their behavior during the past and by their actions after the fall of their regime; the beheadings, the cold blooded murder of policemen and children etc. etc. Anybody who thinks that a soft approach can succeed with these zombies does not know anything. The only problem is how to protect your back when you are attacking. They are hitting hard in other areas. The notion that you can put poor policemen in normal police stations or have them standing in the streets as in normal times is quite irresponsible and very cruel to these poor youth, when these callous gangs are out to murder and hunt them like lame ducks. The police must be heavily armed and heavily defended. Police stations have to be guarded as military garrisons, since they are the target of large scale attacks, especially in the hotspots, including Baghdad. To continue exposing the IP to these daily pogroms will soon lead to the disintegration of this force. The Government and the MNF must listen and act before it is too late.
As we have said the terrorists will try to launch a terror campaign in Baghdad. This is already happening. Emergency measures must be put in place in the capital immediately, otherwise this could spiral out of control and distract from the action in Falluja. They have just launched most blatant atrocities against churches, a hospital and several other targets. They are roaming the streets in cars. Measures should have been in place to considering that this was expected.
Ziad is posting again. With each posting from him my appreciation and respect for this upright man rises one notch up. You see, Ziad is a Sunni by birth, but a free and upright person by mind and education. This gives the lie to the idea that the problem in Iraq is solely due to the strife between religious sects and ethnic groups. The problem and divide is between intelligent cultured people and the ignorant. And Ziad is a fine example of a cultured person whose strength of character and conviction is stronger than all the pressures of sectarianism and fanaticism. The same applies to many fine men in Iraq today, and it is our hope that sooner and later the waters will calm and the true bond of “Iraqiness” will triumph over the ignorance and foolishness of extremists and peasants of all sorts, Sunni, Shiaa etc. etc.
Ziad is my favorite blogger and he has been my inspiration for starting this blog. I wish to send him all my heart felt greetings and best wishes from this humble forum.
"This poem was written after a successful battle that was fought despite warnings from astrologists, who predicted that the time wasn't auspicious for it.A bad translation of some more of it:
The sword is truer in tidings than the books,On its egde lies the border between gravity and sport.
Blades in their whiteness, not pages in their blacknessArray to sweep away uncertainty and doubt.
Knowledge is in the fire of spears,Shining between two hosts, not in the seven spheres.etc.
Michael, US "
Thanks Michael, this is a better translation. Are you a scholar of the Arabic language? It would be interesting if you could post more translation of the poem. I hope you appreciate the symbolism of remembering this particular poet in these days.
Sunday, November 07, 2004
I have just been watching “Al Jazeera” Television, although it is something very distasteful to me. They are at it again. When will people realize that this terrorist organ is a real menace and an enemy propaganda mouthpiece? There is no longer even pretence at neutrality and factual reporting. When will the American government take action, considering that this station is sponsored and financed by the Qatari regime which is supposed to be on very good terms with the U.S.?
Al Jazeera has been actively engaged in hostile propaganda and has played an important role in inflaming the situation and jeopardizing American and allied soldiers, not to mention the Iraqis. It has become the official agent and mouthpiece of all the terrorist groups and the means of delivering speeches and statements from the likes of UBL and all manner of masked men, be-headers and hostage takers. Is this not a time of War? Were not the Iraqi T.V. stations taken off the air during the battle against Saddam? Why are these any different? I am telling you that despite being banned in Iraq they are still obsessed with biased and inflammatory coverage of the situation. Enough is enough and something drastic must be done.
It is generally accepted that the greatest Arab poet ever was “Al-Muttanabi”, an Iraqi who lived in the middle ages and had a very turbulent life that ended with his murder somewhere near the actual city of Kut today ( if my memory doesn’t fail me).
This is one of his most famous verses:
السيف اصدق انباءا من الكتب------------ في حده الحد بين الجد واللعب
It is very difficult to attempt translating such high language nevertheless I shall attempt it:
"The Sword is more telling (educational, informative)than Words
Its edge (blade) is the divide(separator, sharp edge, border) between seriousness and play"
The translation does not do justice to the power of this verse which has the power of the descending sword.
This man paid his life for a poem composed cursing the leader of a band of brigands (very similar type to the terrorists of today)
"Could someone please post the link to the Zarqawi that is in English. I am unable to find on Alaa's blog.Thank You
I am putting the link permanently on my side bar, as I believe this is an all important ducument for understanding the enemy and his plan which he is actually implementing on the ground. However, the translation is not very good and in many instances even wrong. I don't have time to correct the full translation. Nevertheless the general sense is there.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
The ink has not dried (figuratively speaking) on my previous post in which I predicted that the insurgents will attempt to strike and escalate terrorist action in other places, that we have today the horrible terrorist actions in Samara particularly and elsewhere. Coordinated well planned brutal assault with 4 suicide car bombs targeting police and ordinary people in Samara, cold blooded slaying of 12 civilians in Latifiya, not to mentions the attacks in Ramadi and elsewhere. It is clear why the terrorists should target Samara in particular. Because Samara was a success, and because the citizen of Samara, mostly Sunnis were happy to be rid of the terrorists, so they had to be punished.
It is now amply clear, that the time has long passed for “negotiating” with the enemy. The Saddamist-Sectarian-Foreign Extremist enemy has opted for bloody conflict, murder, and intimidation long time ago. The talk about negotiation and a peaceful solution is almost demoralizing when we are confronted everyday with beheadings, kidnappings, cowardly murders and car bombs targeting children and people in the streets. For instance, a small peasant town, called Latifya (part of the so-called Triangle of Death South of Baghdad), has been the centre of the most appalling crimes and attacks against completely innocent travelers who happen to pass nearby, not to mention that is certain that it is the very place where the American and British hostages were incarcerated and beheaded. It is now established that the British Engineer escaped in the fields near this town before he was recaptured and murdered. Now, despite repeated claims by the government that arrests and raids were made in this area, we still see continuation of the atrocities from gangs based in this town and its environs. The situation has become so bad that illegal check points manned by terrorists are set up here and there asking people for “identity” papers and according to religious sect or more importantly whether they happen to be police or ING, kidnapping or outright execution may be perpetrated against them.
It is not enough just to dispatch some eight hundred British soldiers to the area, notwithstanding how good they may be. The town must be surrounded, without previous warning and reliable Iraqi forces (the ING have proved to be more reliable than the IP) should go into the town and thorough house to house searches carried out and afterwards the town should be permanently held by these security forces.
Also it is most important to make information public about whatever terrorists are actually caught. The policy that has been followed since the fall of the regime of keeping the public almost completely in the dark about the identity of the perpetrators of terrorist acts, is almost a cover up of the crimes and encouragement for the criminals. Repeated calls for public exposure of the criminals have been very strangely ignored both by the CPA before and by the Government now. Also this policy helps the enemy to spread his propaganda and slander against the very forces of liberation and freedom. For instance, you always hear the accusations trying to put the blame for particularly atrocious acts on the Allied Forces, the Zionists etc. etc. For instance, Zarqawi is an invention by the CIA, and so is his famous letter, and beheadings, car bombings etc. are actually engineered by the Americans or the Zionists and so on. This kind of talk is very widespread, and you remember how an individual used to be always at hand when car bombings started, to claim in front of the Media that he had seen an American helicopter fire a rocket or something of the sort. We have yet to see one public exposure of any group or individuals connected with terrorist acts, despite claims to have caught many.
Friends and allies: this is War and a very serious and dangerous one too. Do not underestimate the enemy. In Iraq you have at least 80% of the population on your side and desirous of change and success in creating the new society. Anybody who tells you otherwise is simply a liar. Wars are terrible and cruel but what must be done must be done. Remember what it took to defeat Nazism, Fascism and Japanese Militarism- the flattening of most of Europe and Hiroshima and Nagasaki, horrible as that may have been. Yet both Europe and Japan recovered and eventually enjoyed tremendous prosperity and peace, and the outcome of the horrors of war was entirely in the interest of all the “conquered” peoples. Why was that? Very simple! The right side won the war. The right side must win this war too, for the sake of our future generations and world peace.
Friday, November 05, 2004
It seems that tempestuous events don’t allow much time for leisurely “thinking” and careful contemplation. And since impending action seems inevitable, I feel that it is my duty in this humble forum to express thoughts, fears and ideas. Nobody who knows my blog should have any doubts about my position regarding the overall objectives, and therefore anything I say comes from care that no mistakes should jeopardize the goals that we all are anxious to achieve; namely the pacification of the country and creating the conditions that will enable the elections to be held in satisfactory manner. In other words, it is peace and tranquility and to be able to get back to normal life and reconstruction that we are longing for, and not vengeance.
It does not please any Iraqi to see any city or town in our country suffering the kind of fate that seems to await unfortunate places like Falujah and Ramadi; but whose fault is it really? Were not the people in the town given every chance to reform their ways and stop sabotaging their own country, only to have the place hijacked by extremists who turned the place into a safe haven for killers, kidnappers, be-headers and suicide bombers exported to Baghdad and elsewhere? Extremists turned the place into a Taliban like hell where ordinary people were subjected to the most ignominious and cruel treatment, and I refer you to the few reports that came out from inside the town, and also to the letter from Dave (link on the side bar) where he reports incredibly, that some of the residents are asking the American forces to bomb their own houses which have been occupied by terrorists.
But enough of that kind of talk! What is important now is a careful assessment and solutions, real solutions that will lead to real improvement.
It is a fact that most of the inhabitants of the town have left their homes and sought refuge outside it. Many hope that the matter is settled as quickly as possible, so that they can go back and live their lives, although they may not publicly admit that. Sure the insurgents and terrorists are going to be wiped out if they are foolish enough to stay inside. The important thing is, however, that in the aftermath of the action real aid and massive support should be ready in time to help the returnees and show them who their real friends are. And it must never be forgotten that in the final analysis it is a political problem and if military action is necessary its successful outcome can only be assured if a political solution is found after breaking the back of terrorism and insurgency.
Also it must be understood that the insurgents have many cells and other basis and they will try to retaliate with stepped up terrorism especially against soft targets in Baghdad. Therefore emergency measures must be in place including curfews, close surveillance, restriction of movements, and security clamp down on known hotspots particularly in the capital and its environs before and during the planned military action. The Allied leadership must understand finally that the security of the Iraqi People, State and Infrastructure is the real key to producing the environment that will help with the security of their own soldiers and personnel. It should also be finally realized that providing security is something different from military action and much more difficult. This was the problem right from the start. The American and allied forces are superb as fighting forces against visible enemies, but when it comes to maintaining security and civil order; well, we have all seen what happened!
All what we are hoping is that the political and military leadership in the U.S. and other allied countries as well as the field commanders and the Iraqi government learn from the lessons of the past and rectify the mistakes and do it right this time; especially now that the mandate of the American people has been clearly given to finish this job; and finish it well.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
I would like to thank all my friends for the kind words of encouragement and support on the occasion of the 1st anniversary of this site. It is mainly this encouragement and support which give me the ammunition and energy to continue writing.
But as I told you: let’s get down to business.
The “negotiating” team from Falujah has written a letter to the government stating the terms and conditions for solving the crisis from their point of view. It is an arrogant letter demanding more or less surrender and reinstatement of the apparatus of the Saddam regime under thinly disguised pretexts and carefully crafted sentences. These conditions were described by Kassem Dawood the minister of Security affairs as “laughable”. It is noteworthy that this minister himself is a Sunni.
It is important to tell you that apart from the Saddamists, their religious extremist allies do not properly belong to any established Sunni sect. So it is a common mistake, even by many ill-informed Iraqis and Moslems, to imagine that the branch of Salafi Wahabists who advocate and practice violence, are Sunnis. In fact they are against all established denominations of the Islamic religion. The origin of this creed is a small breakaway fringe group that migrated to the Arabian Peninsula long time ago and remained a small obscure sect until the advent of “Muhammad Abdul Wahab”(and hence Wahabism), and his puritanical preaching, in what is now called Saudi Arabia, more than two centuries ago. The founders of the present Saudi dynasty used this movement first to expand their power and eventually gain political control of the Arabian Peninsula. Later on the Saudis themselves clashed with the movement and brutally suppressed the so called "Ikhwan" rebellion in the 19th century. Nevertheless Wahabism remains the official creed of the present regime in S.A. and some other Sheikdoms and small states in the Peninsula. This is not to say however, that all Wahabists are terrorists and extremists. Mostly it is just another of these religious sects and people tend to inherit these labels from their ancestors. The rise of the current dangerous terrorism in its present form, in the name of Islam, is quite a recent phenomenon, and as I have said in a previous post, has a lot to do with the cold war and its aftermath; and can be precisely traced to the events in Afghanistan and Iran in the seventies and eighties of the last century.
Well, the above is just some background information for my friends to help them better understand the “terrain” of the looming battle so to speak. The point that I am really trying to make is that these fringe groups see in Iraq today a golden opportunity to hijack the general Sunni population and convert them to their ways, something which they have always dreamt of and which is deeply imbedded in their historical subconscious, considering that it was exactly this Iraq that was the center of theological speculation and conflicts in the heyday of Islamic culture and civilization; and the place from which they had to escape in ignominious flight way back in the middle ages. And again I remind you of that famous “Zarqawi” letter; a document which I can never forget, that really sheds light on all the events that have taken place ever since these groups started their activity after the liberation; and a document that really merits careful study and analysis by specialists both historical and military strategists. Sadly, the macabre plot laid out in that fateful letter is being implemented to the letter, and successfully too, as we have to admit with heavy heart.
This preamble is just an introduction to a series of posts which I hope to write successively as time permits to assist in exploring the battlefield as it were, and perhaps assist in “thinking” about the right strategy to deal with the present alarming situation. For this is a battle which neither we nor you can afford to lose, or to allow dragging for too long without decisive conclusion.
But before I end this post I must make one urgent warning. It would be one of those serious mistakes, in my opinion, to rush into battle in Fallujah without protecting and thoroughly securing the rear in Baghdad and surrounding area.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Congratulations to all American people and to our Iraqi people for this great outcome of the American Elections. This was a great statement by the American people; a statement showing the quality and backbone of this people and affirming their worth and qualification as world leaders. Now that this matter has been settled in satisfactory manner, in my humble opinion; we should emphasize that this is no time for division and rancor. Senator Kerry has acted in very dignified manner when he did not allow the matter to drag, and has shown his patriotism and sense of responsibility and awareness that the interests of the country at these times require national unity and putting this election campaign behind our backs to concentrate on the momentous tasks ahead. Yes at times of war and conflict, the unity of the nation and putting higher interests above partisan considerations is the mark of a great people.
All those who have been following my blog from the start should know how I feel towards El Bush, the Avenger, the Lion-Heart and I cannot hide my happiness for this outcome, purely from a personal feeling of gratitude for what he has done for us, despite all the pain and hardships that we suffered and still do. But the objective is so great and so important that all sacrifices and difficulties pale when contemplating the benefits and goals that are hoped for.
And now that we have this campaign behind us, it is time to roll up our shirt sleeves and attend to the urgent business ahead. We are liberated from electoral worries and can start talking business. So for the near future I plan to tell you some of my ideas in plain and frank terms in the hope of stimulating a serious debate about how to win this war and achieve the desired objectives.
Meanwhile I don’t want to spoil this sublime moment; and raise my hand in military salute to honor our great Allied American people and their fighting men and women, who have demonstrated their true fiber and true worth through civilized democratic choice.
Hail the People’s Republic of the United States of America. It is you who have the right to use such a title and no one else.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Al Salaam Alaykum,
Friends, tears came twice to these old eyes yesterday; once in sadness, and once in happiness. The first was because of a sad event. Sheikh Zayid Bin Sultan Al Nahayan the ruler and founder of the United Arab Emirates passed away. Now this man is one of the very few Arab leaders who really had the affection and appreciation of the Iraqi people. He led his barren land which has no rivers, no mountains and hardly any assets apart from some oil, and not much of it, to be one of the most prosperous and advanced countries in the middle east. His wisdom, mildness and kindness helped to create a real gem on the shore of the Arabian Gulf. God rest the soul of this friend of the Iraqi people and great benefactor to his people. Inna Lillah Wa Inna Ileihi Rajioun.
The second time they were tears of emotion and happiness. As I saw the American people turn out in record numbers, to say their word. And it seems to be the word of defiance and courage. Despite all the propaganda and the feverish campaign, the American people have proved something very important, although the final conclusion still seems to be not official, but every indication is that this is only a matter of little time. This is a most significant and far reaching event. It was most gratifying to see the discomfiture and hardly disguised rancor of Al Jazeera commentators as the results started to take a definite direction. I believe that this outcome and the record turn out have largely for their motivation the considerations that we have in common and which I mentioned in my previous posts.
I shall withhold my real comments on the subject until the final outcome is established officially. It is worth mentioning something, though. One of the Arab networks was interviewing some American Arabs. One lady, who was probably of Syrian or Palestinian descent, was saying that most of the Arab Americans were going to vote for the Democratic candidate as kind of anti-Bush gesture. However, she added something very interesting. She said that however, amongst these, most of the Americans of Iraqi origin, were voting for President Bush. Now did you know that there is a considerable number of these, estimates range from half million to more than one million. I have the pleasure to know that our Iraqi compatriots in the U.S. may have made some real contribution towards the happy outcome we are awaiting with confidence “Inshallah”.
Monday, November 01, 2004
So tomorrow is the big day. For us the Iraqis, naturally, there has never been an American election of greater interest and importance. Well, I think that I have made my own views quite clear, and I still think the same. I have nothing personally against either the Democrats or Senator Kerry. I am not sufficiently well informed about the internal political situation in the U.S., so my own sentiments are naturally influenced by the situation in our country and the future course of the War on Terror and the conflict that is ongoing here. I am convinced that all pro-democracy forces in Iraq as well as all those defying murder and terror and bravely going on with their lives despite the nightmare; All these have quite a definite idea: It is better and more prudent that President Bush is re-elected. However, this is something which the American voter will soon decide. So whatever is the outcome, we wish the U.S. people well and hope that they decide wisely.