Thursday, May 26, 2005


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


The great thing about blogging and the Internet is that you do not have to worry about what you say; that it may create a problem here or there, or annoy some Tom, Dick or Harry as you say, or some Zayd or Amr as we say. Of course, this is a double-edged sword, a kind of fight to the death where all is permitted, and where there is no referee to intervene.

A friend has drawn my attention to a very interesting site, this, indeed a very sensitive appreciation of what is going on the ground here; particularly, quite an intelligent and perceptive understanding of the nature of the “insurgents”.

Regarding my last post and the peasant question, I am reminded of one of the great English writers: H.G. Wells and his famous “Time Machine”. You all should know that great pioneer “science fiction” work. Do you remember the Eloi & the Morlocks: a society where two distinct races have developed: the one, effeminate, gentle and beautiful, the Eloi; the other, subterranean, cannibalistic and ugly. The Morlocks hide in their underground tunnels only to emerge to prey on the gentle Eloi dragging whomever they can find into their subterranean holes.

I have analyzed the nature of Mesopotamian civilization long ago as being a struggle between the oasis and the surrounding desert; between city and countryside; nomadism and city culture; a struggle that has been going on for thousands of years. This is not only a social process, but also an actual physical phenomenon, where desertification ebbs and flows on the borderlines between cultivation and the surrounding desert, depending on the cycles of rise and decline of the many civilizations that have flourished in this most ancient of lands. This is not my own theory, however, but one that has been most eloquently expounded by one of our greatest modern sociologists, the late "Ali Al Wardi", a great man who has not received the attention he deserves internationally.

Iraq, like all other lands, I suppose, is made of cities and countryside. The countryside is mostly situated at the banks of the rivers the Tigris and the Euphrates (Dijlah and Furat as we call them in Arabic, quite similar words if you look carefully). The name Mesopotamia in Greek means of-course: “the Land between Waters – meaning two rivers”. If you inspect the map of Iraq, you will observe that the two rivers come quite close near Baghdad from a wide divergence; the Euphrates from the west, the Tigris from the North. South of Baghdad, the two rivers form a kind of flood plain, which used to be extremely fertile and covered with very lush palm groves of exuberant cultivation, the soil being continually rejuvenated by annual floods. Further, down to the South a veritable marshland delta is formed, with many fresh water lakes some of which used to cover huge expanses. These are the famous Marshes, which Saddam tried to dry up, upsetting the age-old ecology of the region.

Why do I mention all these geographical details? It is because I believe there is definite and close relationship between the nature of a people and the geography and climate of the land they inhabit. It almost seems that the same attributes applies to both; i.e., the adjectives that may describe the weather and terrain almost invariably are the same that can be used to characterize the mood and nature of a people. Thus, this can be considered an appropriate introduction and preamble to an attempt at understanding a people.

This is the introduction to the analysis that I promised you, which is going to come in comfortable installments, and I promise you to persevere in this effort this time, no matter what happens around me, even as car bombs explode, bullets fly all over the place, and good men fall everyday; that if God’s Wills it of-course (Inshallah).

Good night, for now.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Hi Friends,

There has been so much happening lately, but I was so busy that It was quite impossible to find the time to sit in front of the keyboard.

We had another quite close encounter with calamity, as my brother in Law was caught in another of these car bombings. His car was burnt out but miraculously God again saved us and he escaped with injuries, which, though serious, were operated upon successfully and he is recovering now.

The enemy is now launching an all out assault and using every dirty trick he can, in a desperate effort to derail the political process. Again he is showing the world his true face, a calllous, murderous, gonocidal face.

I have so much to tell you; but I am frustrated for not finding the time. It is hard enough just to keep on living and looking after the family. However, nothing of what is happening comes as a surprise. The situation is very complex, and I pray to God to give the forces of Good the wisdom and will to withstand the onslaught and come on top.


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Greetings to all my friends,

Today, I am writing to you with a heavy heart. Not to alarm my faithful friends, it has nothing to do with anything personal, although one of these car bombs, resulted in breaking everything made of glass in my own house, and the horror of finding a human brain on our roof. Luckily, and I thank the merciful God, no one was hurt, quite miraculously.

The sadness comes from watching on TV the confessions of the “Jihadists”. By the way, some people have expressed some skepticism about these. Now for all those of my friends who know me well, and have confidence in what I tell them; I put all my credibility on the line and assure them that these confessions are absolutely authentic, and mostly obtained without much compulsion. Strangely, most of these criminals seem to be relieved at getting all these awful doings off their chest. This is a phenomenon well worth investigating by psychologists. Some of the characters seem quite ordinary plebeians, or rather peasants. Seldom did we see somebody from decent middle class background involved with these atrocities, at least not amongst those who appeared on T.V.; and quite a lot have already been exhibited, since almost everyday a new batch is shown in the now regular 9.00 pm show. I hope this will not be understood as some kind of class prejudice, however facts are facts and must be looked at objectively and things called by their real names. Also, 99 % of those men belong to particular clans, tribes and a certain sect, that I am sure you will not have much difficulty at guessing which. This is quite painful, because, we in the cities are very mixed and many of our families are a mélange of Shiaa, Sunnis, and even Christians. However, most of these men actually are seen to be of provincial origin. This reinforces my conviction, which I have expounded long ago in some of my earlier posts, and which can be simply expressed as follows:

The problem in Iraq is not so much a sectarian issue, but rather more to do with the nature of our peasant problem.

The whole thing can be traced back to our history, and particularly the Revolution of 1958 that deposed the Monarchy that essentially consisted of a social system based on the hegemony of the cities allied with feudal Lords or Shiekhs ( as they were called here). I believe that all what has happened ever since is a sequel and natural consequence of that particular event, which is of paramount importance in our recent history. This matter requires much research and analysis, and is difficult to deal with in the scope of a brief blog post.

For those of my friends, who are interested in understanding social phenomena, in a scientific way, through sociological and historical analysis, perhaps I shall find time to expound my theories more elaborately in future posts.

Suffice it to say, now, that Iraq is the land of contradiction and dichotomy. You will find the highest and most sublime and you will find the basest and most horrific. Our hope is that the former will predominate over the latter, now that the lid has been forcibly removed, which covered this seething cauldron of explosive social contradictions. For this to happen, external help and the use of suitable catalysts seem indispensable.

But for the time being, I have to bid you goodnight, my dear fellow pajama bloggists.