Sunday, October 29, 2006



The official spokesman for the "Anbar Salvation Council" has just appeared on the Al-Iraqia T.V. He announced that the Americans told the Council that if it tried to enter Ramadi to chase the terrorists out they would be confronting the American forces !! An astounding revelation which leaves one dumbfounded. From my own private sources, I heard many times that the Americans are not encouraging anti-terrorist elements to launch any large scale action against the enemy. Now this is stated openly by one of the official spokesmen of the Council. I wonder what is the real strategy of the Americans? I am mystified.



There is a popular Iraqi proverb known by everybody around here. Roughly translated it goes like this: “She neither got to keep her man nor managed to get Seyid Ali” (لا حظت برجيلها ولا خدت سيدعلي). The meaning should be obvious but still we explain it. It is about a woman who tried to get another man “Seyid Ali”; but the result of her flirtations was that she lost her husband and did not manage to get the other man who was only fooling around with her. The moral of this proverb should be clear.

At a time when the Sodomo-Ladinists proclaim the establishment of the "Islamic Republic of Iraq" which includes Baghdad (!!), and when large chunks of the capital (especially in the west) have virtually fallen to the terrorists where normal life has virtually come to a standstill, and innocent citizen are murdered in their own houses, and where shops are closed and street vendors are murdered on side pavements, and where corpses strewn in the streets and on pavements including men, women and even children have become daily sight; and when all this is taking place under the noses of the American and Iraqi forces; at this time it is concluded by some, that the problem is in areas outside the control of the abovementioned gentlemen, and we find the American forces surrounding the neighborhoods of Karadah and Sadr city, although it is only in such areas that any semblance of normal life goes on. And it seems that the problem is only the Mahdi army and that the Qaeda, the Mujahideen Shura Council, the Isalmic Army, Jaysh Muhammad, Ansar Al-Sunna, etc. etc. are harmless charity organizations that pose no danger and whose “human rights” are the main concern.

Of course, in a normal society, you don’t have armed groups running around outside the official law enforcement forces that alone have the right to carry arms and the duty to protect citizens and uphold Law and order. You only have to dial 999 and the police will come to your door. But do we have something like that here? A friend of mine had his son kidnapped for ransom last year, when the situation in Baghdad was much better by comparison with the present time. He went to the police asking for help. Do you know what they told him? They told him that they could do nothing about it and cheerfully reassured him not to worry as the gang was bound to contact him for ransom, and that he would do better to learn good bargaining technique to reduce his losses. The neighborhoods of Ghazaliya, Amiryah, Al-Jihad and others look like ghost towns at the moment. Many of the inhabitants have fled leaving their houses and all their belongings at the mercy of terror gangs to save their lives. Now that the death gangs (who do not all belong to the Mehdi army, by the way) ran out of Shiaas to murder in places like Amiriyah, they have turned against even the Sunnis. I can recount many horrific stories that I personally know for sure, but I would rather spare you the sordid details. I don’t mean to deny that the Shiaas are also guilty of retaliation and violent acts, but you have to remember who started this vicious cycle, and you have to remember that this was a premeditated plan that Al-Qaeda has been planning and implementing for a long time, as was explicitly described in that famous letter by the accursed defunct Zarqawi.

For the past year or so the Americans have been the main champions of Sunni rights and Sunni participation and all that. Of course it is right to uphold the rights of all communities and minorities, and it is right that the U.S. should not be seen to favor any particular group, sect or community. Everybody should have equal rights and equal opportunities. However, equal rights do not include license to terrorize and murder others and to insist on imposing the will of a minority over the majority, including demands to annul the political process altogether and cancel the results of the elections and the constitution which was approved by nationwide referendum. It got so far that there are secret negotiations between the Americans and “the resistance” in certain neighboring countries. The negotiations are mainly with the Baathists. There are reports that the U.S. has asked certain Arab regimes to intercede with the “insurrectionists” to beg them to lay down arms in return for God knows what kind of promises. And what kind of gratitude did the Americans get for their pains: the highest casualty rate since the end of major operations in 2003; and these casualties were not inflicted by the Mehdi army nor any other Shiite group for sure. In fact the Sodomo-Ladinists see all this as a sign of weakness and admission of defeat and are elated and are proclaiming their success and the soon to be achieved “final victory”, at the top of their voices in their propaganda organs whether on the internet or through their thinly disguised sympathizers and sponsors in certain Arab and non-Arab capitals. And the din of propaganda is getting more and more deafening from all sides. The objective of all this is so obvious. It is to break the will and morale of the American people above all, and to confuse the American leadership and lead them astray to policies and positions that are self defeating and counterproductive to say the least. And please don’t get me wrong, I still have the highest esteem, admiration and even affection for President Bush whom I think to be the most sober and clear minded of the lot. Yet the President is being subjected to terrible pressures from all sides and maybe some bad counsel too.

It is always important not to forget the fundamentals of any particular situation. And the fundamentals of the Iraqi issue consist of remembering which elements of the population have interest in the success of the new order and which other have lost privileges and interests and are trying with all their might to subvert and wreck the new system, with the hope of restoring their previous hegemony over society. They cannot seem to understand or accept that the previous state of affairs are quite impossible to bring back; that their stranglehold has been broken once and for all, by the American action; that not even America, which has been the main agent of the change cannot turn the clock back, even if we assume, for argument sake, that it wants to do that, which is highly unlikely. It is important not to lose sight of the essential facts on the ground; not to be so confused by the fog as to cease to distinguish who the real enemy is. Just ask yourselves the following questions:

- Who is responsible for most of the casualties that were suffered by the coalition forces.
- Who is responsible for beheadings, kidnappings, car bombs, attacks in market places etc. etc. ever since liberation in 2003.
- Who is responsible for sabotaging the essential services, electricity, water etc. etc.
- Etc. etc. etc.

Ask yourselves honestly and earnestly, and do not let propaganda and misinformation confuse you. I am sure the answers to the above questions are amply clear. The nature of the “insurgency” and its main perpetrators have been known and perfectly understood for a long time. President Bush himself has explained very clearly this matter on several occasions, not to mention other American and Iraqi officials. So let us not be like the soccer player who turns back to score in his own goal. But I am glad to see that there is at least one sober and wise person who understands this more than anybody else, and that is President Bush himself.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006



Actually, I think one of the most important developments recently is the situation in the Anbar and the rise of the anti-terrorist movement there in more developed and explicit form. This movement should neither be underestimated nor overestimated. But it is certainly real and a considerable split in the Tribes of the Dulaim. The U.S. forces have done a lot of work in this front since the beginning and have put in quite a lot of effort and have tried various approaches. In the Anbar, the Iraqi Government does not really exist at all, and it is only the American forces that have any real presence there apart from the various terrorist groups of-course. In the last year or so it seems that the Americans have been using a more subtle approach in trying to corner the enemy in certain locations and surround him without confronting him directly. It seems that he was allowed to concentrate in certain points (in and near the city of Ramadi) and almost given the freedom to exist and fester within these narrow boundaries. Thus the hapless inhabitants of these towns, such as Ramadi, were given the dubious honor of experiencing all the pleasures of living under the yoke of these hordes of Mujahideen who actually surpassed the Taliban in their zeal for various Godly practices.

For instance, here are some of the things that were declared haram (forbidden), not to mention the usual prohibitions of Islam that everybody knows:

- It is haram for men(let alone women) to wear shorts and even jeans, indeed the captain of the Iraqi tennis team was murdered in Baghdad for just this sin as he was leaving his house wearing one (to play tennis).
- It is haram for women to drive. Many women were murdered for this particular sin.
- It is haram to listen to music.
- Haircuts and hairdressing is haram and barbers and barber shops have been favorite targets.

All that is very well but wait for this:

- “Turshi”(pickled vegetables) is haram. I am told by some of my Ramadi acquaintances that jars of “Turshi” are secretly passed around much in the same way that drugs are traded elsewhere.
- Sammoun (bread that is baked in what is considered western style) is haram, and hence the many attacks on bakeries guilty of this practice.
- Last but not least, spoons forks and any such cutlery are haram !!!! The pious Islamic way is to eat with one’s bare hands.

The list can go on and on, with increasing absurdity. It gets to a point when it is clear that they want any excuse to murder people.

Can you imagine what it is like to be living under such regime, adding to that the lack of essential services and the total collapse of almost everything? In addition to that, the terrible murders and aggression against all kinds of ordinary and prominent people alike, including academicians, tribal leaders etc.; all that has resulted finally in the majority of the people of the Anbar reaching the limit and finally realizing the real source of their misery. And thus I can tell you with certainty, and based on personal acquaintances with people from that province, that the anti-terrorist movement there is real and widespread and given the right support and encouragement it could result in totally cleaning the Anbar in its entirety, which would be an important turning point in this war.

The fact that this "Anbar Salvation Council" that has proved its commitment against the terrorists is composed of the most Sunni of Sunnies, has the important effect of counteracting the sectarian tensions. And indeed already, strong expressions of support from the South and from Shiaa quarters have been expressed. The importance of this development should not be lost in the midst of the general “mess” (as expressed lately by President Bush). It is, in fact an opportunity to clean up this most strategic province and achieve an important milestone in this struggle. However, it is right that this movement should be carefully controlled and integrated within the framework of the Law and the Government. The locals have quite superior knowledge and intelligence of the nature and identity of the various terrorist groups, and have proved on several occasions their effectiveness against such groups. It is after all their homes and families that they are fighting for and they are not going to go elsewhere once they are in full control of their towns and villages. This is a genuine uprising of ordinary decent citizens who are thoroughly sick and tired of the scourge of this Sodo-Ladinist-Criminal gangs of zombies and vampires who do not represent any real ideology or civilization but are the putrid decomposing and stinking remains of a way of life that has died long time ago.

This is an urgent appeal to come to the aid of the risen decent tribes of the Anbar and to put this matter at the top list of priorities. You want some decent Sunnis to uphold, and redress the balance in the new political system? Well, here you have the right candidates. Help to boost, empower, organize and enable the "Anbar Awakening and Salvation Council" to launch the offensive and clean up their province and restore Law and Order. Do not allow the enemy to regroup and launch their counter offensive which is expected any moment now. Help the valiant Dulaim people accomplish what has eluded the U.S. and Government forces for more than than three years. It is in the Anbar that the problem has started and it is in the Anbar that it may end.

Wa Al Salmu Alaykum Warhmatullah

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The problem with the Mahdi Army is that its fortunes have changed dramatically particularly since the start of the civil strife (which we shall refrain from calling civil war). You should remember that when the 1st Mahdi Army uprising during the Alawi provisional government time, most Shiites shunned the Sadrists and despised them and the uprising was put down relatively easily. However, since the destruction of the Samara shrine, the Sadrists have emerged as the main active participants in the internecine civil struggle, and are seen by many Shiaas as their main defendants against the extremist Sunni attacks. Many Shiaas, particularly in the Baghdad area will tell you that if it hadn’t been for the Mehdi army not a single Shiite would have been able to stay in Baghdad. It must not be understood that I am trying to defend this Militia, but what I am trying to do is to state some facts that exist on the ground these days. I was planning to write to warn of this dangerous situation in which I have one of these feelings that the American are about to commit one of their big blunders.

Of course the Militia problem must be solved; of course the generally reiterated position regarding this issue whether by American or government sources is theoretically correct; however the problem is how to go about it. I don’t have much time today, however, since fighting has already started in Diwaniya and is likely to spread elsewhere, I feel it is urgent to sound the alarm. I am not condoning sectarian tit for tat reprisals; in fact only yesterday we have lost three members of our extended family who happened to be Sunnis at the hand of some sectarian gang. Nevertheless, I will state this emphatically, the U.S. army should not be enticed into any kind of military confrontation with the Mehdi army; as this can be quite disastrous and opens up a hellish new front and will not lead to any results other than driving this militia underground to splinter into proper clandestine terrorist organizations.

Another point that requires much explanation will be said today hurriedly. It is a strategic mistake to lump all events in the Middle East region into one basket. More specifically and frankly; the Israel-Lebanon conflict, the Iranian Issue, and the Shiaas in Iraq are three quite separate subjects. It is true that the main protagonists in all three can be labeled as Shiaas, but the common denominator ends there. The first is a border dispute about a farm and a question of prisoner exchange and not much more despite all the flamboyant rhetoric and high emotions. The second is basically the same old ancient Persian illusions of grandeur and nationalistic ambitions cloaked in religious garb. The third, i.e., the Shiaas in Iraq is a much more complex situation and is pivotal for the success of the mission in Iraq, which in itself is a key to influencing the other issues.

Allow me to pontificate a little, since this is the crazy cybernetic world of blogging; and hence let me imagine myself as some great theoretician and therefore I shall enunciate my views as some Laws:

Alaa’s first Law: The relations between the Shiaa’s of Iraq and Iran are reciprocally proportional to those between them and the United States. In other words; the worst the latter gets the closer becomes the first and vise versa. Therefore this question must be dealt with, with the utmost caution to avoid quite undesirable results.

Alaa’s second Law: The best way to confront the theocratic regime in Iran and all other dictatorships in the region is for the Iraqi experiment to succeed; that is something that is clearly understood by all around us, which explains their desperate efforts to abort this project. Therefore it is wise to concentrate on this matter and avoid opening new fronts at the moment.

Alaa’s Third Law: The United States of America has become the Sole Super Power in the world of today; and has been cast into this role almost despite itself; its success has been so unbelievably complete, especially after the dramatic collapse of the Soviet block, that it finds itself charged with such global responsibility that is almost unbearable and for which it may not be entirely prepared. Just look around you: which other nation has such armies and fleets and economic involvement spreading over the entire globe? Consequently America has become the obsession of friend and foe alike, world wide. Just listen to any standard discourse of our Arab commentators, for instance. You will hear the word America or something to do with America, in every other sentence; if not in each one. America is deified, demonized, believed to be the source of everything that is happening. My son once told me that one of his teachers (of wahabi sympathies) emphatically told his pupils in class, that it was America that caused the Tsunami that struck the shores of Asia. Ordinary American folk may not quite realize or understand this; it is rather like some of these fairy tales when some quite ordinary person finds himself crowned as King or something of the sort.

The question is this: Is the American political and social system really fit and prepared for such huge responsibility? That I shall leave to friends to ponder about.

What I really wanted to say in this respect is that American policy cannot afford to be subservient to any one particular concern, interest or pressure group. It has to take all aspects and all sides of issues into consideration.

Of course the issues that I raised today need to be discussed at much greater length and clarity. What I want to emphasize for today is an urgent advice to the Americans to deal with Sadrists in quite a different way from last time, i.e. politically and through their still great influence, while there is time. I am throwing these views into wide open debate and would be very interested to read the opinion of my friends.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006



It was quite sometime ago, in the early days of explosions in Baghdad, maybe a couple of years ago or more; I don’t remember. Those days almost seem to have been peaceful compared to nowadays. The scene was not particularly the most violent of what has become routine daily life around here. Yet, for some reason it continues to haunt me and always comes to my mind. There was this explosion near a house in the middle class neighborhood of Harithiya, West Baghdad. It was reported on T.V. and the reporter was near the house interviewing the neighbors etc., as this kind of event still made news then. The house itself had suffered some damage though not very extensive. It was one those typical villas of this part of Baghdad, with a nice garden and the kind of usual quite good hardwood furniture made by local carpenters out of teak wood. No doubt the owner of the house spent the better part of life in building a family, acquiring the house and furnishing it. You entered the guest room to see all the little trinkets and souvenirs that were collected for many years exhibited proudly to impress the guests, a valuable Persian carpet on the floor, and the inevitable sofa set which has been there most likely for many years. To cut it short this was the kind of family very similar to ours.

And there was this boy, he must have had ten years or so, quite decently dressed and handsome looking; and he was talking rapidly in an agitated way as boys do, trying to describe the explosion and how he was somewhere in the house and how he ran out to the street and then came back to the house and a lot of excited babble like that. “There was no one in the house, only Bibi, only Bibi” ( Bibi is the equivalent of Granny in your slang ), “only Bibi, only Bibi,” he kept repeating almost nonchalantly. “Bibi has died, Bibi has died”. I don’t remember exactly the rest of what he said but his bewildered face and excited tone, almost like when kids go on blabbering about something that astounded them and that they saw for the first time. This image keeps flashing in my mind ever since. This Bibi, clearly the grandmother of the boy, most likely on his mother’s side, is so typical of Iraqi households. Both parents, probably, were middle class working parents, usually government employees; and the boy typically brought up by his grandmother from his earliest childhood. Therefore Bibi, was the human being closest to this child; she held him when he was still a baby, fed him his milk bottles (the Mammiyah’s), changed his nappies, wiped his face, washed him, cleaned him; spent many a sleepless night by his side and all in all, was the real mother. The violent death of this old woman must have been a real trauma for this boy.

You see, we have in the house our own Bibi, may God protect her, she is the mother of my wife. We are indebted to her for bringing up all my children and looking after us for many years. She is now very old and senile, and no longer able to do anything. My children, now grown up, still call her Mamma. We would never abandon her for anything in the world. We could not go anywhere without her. She is just the most precious member of the family and in any kind of relocation or travel plan for the family she is a major consideration. I think you can understand why the incident of the boy affected me so much. I shudder as I try to avoid imaging him as one of my boys and his Bibi as our Bibi. It is a kind of nightmare.

I don’t think the Bibi of that boy died from any wounds, because there were few signs of any serious damage in the house. I imagine she must have been startled to death, shocked by something which she did not really understand, something so out of the ordinary. All these years of routine existence, cooking in the kitchen, washing dishes, hanging up the linen, looking after the children, waiting for her daughter and her husband to come home from work; all this ordinary uneventful existence, filled with the worries, little problems and tenderness of family life; all this came to a sudden brutal and violent end. And the little boy, what scar he is going to bear for the rest of his life, if he survives, that is! And how many other Bibi’s, and how many other children and parents and all sorts of ordinary people have suffered and met with such rude and violent end to their lives! You know, it is violence against the weak, the delicate and the frail that really pains the heart.

One of my favorite American writers was the playwright called “Tennessee Williams”. I never had the opportunity to watch any of his plays on stage, but I did see the films and also read some of his plays in print. What touched me most in his work was this compassion for the meek and the frail; for the suffering of the vulnerable and the weak. Violence inflicted upon the helpless is one of the most painful things in the world. Is pity a weakness that we should be ashamed of? One line in one of his plays (Night of the Iguana, if I remember right), has remained engraved in my mind and always remembered in difficult times. This was a verse of a pathetic poem written by one of his typically pathetic characters. The poem addresses a tree, admiring its perseverance and strength in standing erect and high for so long in the face of storms, tempests and hurricanes. I would like to conclude with these verses, hoping that I remember them correctly:

“Oh Courage, would you not as well,
Select a second place to dwell,
Not only in that Golden tree,
But in the frightened heart of me.”

testing testing testing

Sunday, October 01, 2006


It seems that the trouble has not been the result of an attack but a malfunction from Blogger. Now it is working. I think I have something say which I consider important which should be forthcoming soon, Inshallah ( Gods Willing ).