Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A continued conversation with Paul

This is my second conversation with Paul of Arena of Ideas. He had few questions for me about the situation in Iraq:

Paul: What is the situation on the ground right now? (e.g. are they stabilizing, getting worse or just more of the same?)

not much happened since our last conversation the four major effective powers in Iraq still doing there best to gain control ( the Government and the American forces on one side, the Militia and al Qaeda on the other side ) of course the Militia and al Qaeda are fighting each other.

Paul: What was the Iraqi reaction to Democrats winning in November, or do they understand the American election process?

When I speak about Iraqis I have to divide them depending on the way they believe or see things. Most of the Iraqis are living in the grace of conspiracy theory and they believe the American policy will remain the same no matter who would win the election, while the intellectual people started to fear that this would be the end of the American presence in Iraq.

Paul: What has been the Iraqi reaction to Bush's announcement of adding more troops in Baghdad?

The people feel more relief for more American presence in Baghdad. People started to hate the heinous acts of the Militia and Qaeda. People started to feel unsecured because neither the Militia nor Qaeda can protect them from the attacks. What is really going on the ground is very simple Qaeda attacks innocent people (Shiite mostly) and the Militia retaliate on innocent people too (Sunni mostly).

Paul: A recent poll came out which said 49% of Democrats hope that Bush's plan to stabilize Iraq fails. What would you say to those people?

If this poll is right then it would be really surprising and shocking. I can't imagine how civilized people like the Americans can think that way, I mean letting the factional competition affect the American image all over the world. If democracy succeeds in Iraq, we will be grateful to the American people regardless of the differences they have inside.

Paul: Many Americans feel like most of Iraq is in civil war and we should pull out. Could you explain to the average American why it is important for us to stay?

Iraq will be in civil war right after the American withdrawal. In fact the only thing preventing Iraq of being in a total civil war is the American presence in it. The American forces should stay in the region not only for Iraq. They should keep a large presence because of the new changes happened the past few years in the Middle East in general. As you can see that there is a wide disturbance in the area extremists started to emerge and get control over things, for example Hamas in Palestine, Ahmedi Nijad in Iran and al Qaeda in Iraq. Those groups have only one goal to achieve and that is killing the largest number of people in the name of God.

Paul: How do most Iraqis view ethnic lines (e.g. Sunni, Shia, Kurd, etc) and how important is it to your culture.

Before the pluralism we have now, there wasn't such a thing. In fact no one could have imagined that things will turn this way. Anyway the differences are facts now and the politicians are deepen these differences to make benefits from them and get elected in the name of the sect or the ethnicity

Paul: If there was a single thing you would hope us, as Americans, could learn about your culture which could help us understand the situation, what would that be?

The Arabic and Islamic culture in general is a tribal one based on Winning and Losing. They don't believe in middle grounds like sharing and the only language they understand is force. That’s why dictatorships and families ruled the countries of the area very well. Democracy will need long years to be adapted in the region because in comparison with dictatorship democracy will appear like a weak and tolerant way of ruling. For example, the Sheikh of the Tribe won't accept to be ruled by his subjects, so the more powerful you appear and control things they will fear you and respect you, the more tolerant you be they will disobey and despise you. This kind of mentality is what we are fighting in Iraq right now hoping we can make them change.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saddam's execution: right thing done the wrong way

It is ironic how good things turn to be bad in Iraq. Justice served and Saddam got what he deserved. Like many Iraqis remembering his days, I believe the execution is the least he deserves, but let us see how the right thing was done!

The TV channels that covered the event did not play all the video. One of my friends emailed me the full video link to see it. The procedure went normal until they put the rope around his neck and one of the attendants started to shout "Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada" another one shouted "to hell" others said many other things that I couldn’t recognize, there was a weak voice in the background saying "please don’t" trying to make those people stop of saying wrong things.
The scene was a real shame and lacks any kind of professionalism, you can't even feel that he was hang in a state respect the law or know anything about it!

Just like always, to make one step forward we end with three steps backward! Showing Saddam's execution like a Shiite revenge will only deepen the gap we have now.
I know the Iraqi government is weak and have a lot of troubles but I couldn’t imagine that I would hear Muqtada's name in the execution room.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Saddam meets his inevitable fate

Finally, we folded the book of tyranny in Iraq. It was not surprising to hear the death penalty, Saddam killed more than anyone can imagine with his wars and the countless atrocities against his own people, but it was surprising to see a good bunch of whiners grieving upon the tyrant.

I saw the reactions on TV most of the Iraqis were celebrating while the Arabs were grieving! Many whiners from different Arab countries who hate to see Saddam hang but they like to see the Iraqi blood spilled in the name of "resistance".

The verdict came at the right time when few sick minds started to promote a rumor that he will come back to save Iraq from the mess! Most of the whiners say that the verdict came out under American influence and to those I would like to say: what did you expect? That he would go out free clear from all charges. Can anyone deny that about 80% of the Iraqi people are happy with this verdict? One may see the rate high somehow but it represents the Shiite and the Kurds and I am fully confident that they are dancing of happiness now. The Sunni Iraqis reaction came disappointing since the leaders remained silent and we heard news about people demonstrated against the verdict in Sunni areas and provinces, anyway I will leave this subject to another post but now excuse me, because I want to celebrate the day!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Few things about the situation in Iraq

Through few emails I exchanged with Paul Seale of Arena of Ideas he asked me few questions about the situation in Iraq, I would like to share our conversation with you

AA: Could you tell our readers where you live?
Sooni: I live in Baghdad-Iraq

AA:Many talking heads here in the United States have said recently that Iraq was better under Saddam. What do you believe and what do you say to those people?
Sooni: Saddam was a dictator, a murderer, and a warmonger. He assumed power in 1979 since that day Iraq got only backward, and part of what we are going through today related to him and what’s left of his family and followers who are still spending Iraq stolen money on funding terrorism. Saddam ruled by killing a whole family for suspecting their son, if the current government would rule that way you will see a peaceful Iraq two months from now. Iraq situation is bad now and no one can deny that, but what do you expect a battlefield would look like? Al-Qaeda, Iran, Syria, many other Arabic and Islamic countries and Islamic groups fight the Americans in Iraq and when they realized that they cant defeat the American Army they started to attack the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi police also provoking the sectarian violence. They think if they can make Iraq fall down then they will be able to hinder the American project for the region. All those regimes feel threatened and they chose a clever indirect confrontation where they do not lose much more than money. If they really think it was better under Saddam then all we have to do is to let the government hands loose and a small massacre like what happened in 1991 uprising will bring back stability to Iraq!

AA: How do Iraqis view Americans as a people? What about American Soldiers?
Sooni: I can’t speak here in the name of all Iraqis, but I will try to illustrate what different groups and sects think about that. To have a better approach our parliament consist of 275 seats and Iraq population is around 27,500,000 so when I will mention a (seat) you will know how many population it represents. Iraqis love American movies, songs, and life style, I didn’t meet anyone who hates the American people, but when it comes to politics and of course the American soldiers are part of the politics we have different opinions: the Seculars and Liberals (28 seats) and the Kurds (55 seats) understand and appreciate what the American done and doing. The Sunni groups (58 seats) speak frankly of their hatred to the American policy and soldiers. The Shiite groups (130 seats) consist of many parties, trends, and individuals so I wont go far and I will say only (25 seats) of them are pro-American. At the beginning (the early days of liberation) most of the Shiite used to be pro-American because of the big favor of toppling Saddam, but later some tense started to appear when they disagreed over some political issues and after the American lunched few operations against Mahdi Army of the Sadir trend (30 seats). You can reflect those numbers on the population and you will have a good idea about the American Image in Iraq.

AA: During this election cycle in America there are politicians proposing to pull American forces out of Iraq and move them to other places in the region. If you could say something to these people, what would you say?
Sooni: Iraq is now on the edge of all-out civil war, the American troops act now like a safety valve and it is definite that Iraq will explode if those forces leave now.

AA: How might such a plan effect the average Iraqi?
Sooni: The civil war will mostly take place in Baghdad, Diala, Kirkuk, and Basra so I guess we are talking about more than 10,000,000 people will be affected directly from it and this effect will continue for many years.

AA: Could you explain the issue of federalism to our readers?
Sooni: The first group who talked about federalism was the Kurds and they put it as a condition to participate in the political process. Later the Shiite liked the idea and start talking about the “Southern Region”. The Kurds want to practice more independency away from the central government while the Shiite pretexted of providing more security to the south part of Iraq. The Sunni and part of the Shiite (al Sadir trend) refused it totally saying it will lead to partitioning Iraq.

AA: When you hear American politicians and media discuss partitioning Iraq off into sections what are your thoughts? Again, how might this effect the average Iraqi?
Sooni: The Iraqi street is a little bit confused about this issue, we hate to see Iraq divided. From the practical side I expect this will lead to endless fights and blood feuds among Iraqis. Just imagine it this way partitioning Iraq will create a small Iran in the south of Iraq and a small Afghanistan in the middle of it!

AA: From your vantage point, how bad is the sectarian violence in Iraq?
Sooni: Very bad since people get killed everyday on sectarian bases, we are only one-step away from an all-out sectarian war, any move like partitioning Iraq or the pull back of the American troops will definitely start it.

AA: What do you believe is the main cause of this?
Sooni: Too many reasons to count, but I will try to put it this way: Saddam planted the seeds and al-Qaeda reaped.

AA: What does the average Iraqi believe is the main cause for the violence?
Sooni: That will depend on their backgrounds, believes would vary from blaming al-Qaeda ending up with blaming the Jews!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Islamic state in Iraq!

Al-Qaeda's declaration of an "Islamic State" in Iraq came and went unnoticed by most of Iraqis. One of my friends said when I told him about it "what difference would it make? They've been killing people on daily basis so what makes you think they will stop and start taking care of them and act like a responsible government like they claim to be?"
As an Iraqi I know they can't control this "'State" but they chose an area of influence where they can use their "hit and run" tactics to declare a "State" in, moreover, the declaration sounded more like a challenge to the Iraqi Government and the Coalition forces than a real declaration of a state.
I guess my friend was right, there will be no change in their actions towards people but still I have a few points I would like to mention about this new "State" and its surroundings:

It seems that al Qaeda quitted the idea of "liberating" the entire country. I guess that from now on they will be busy "defending" the newborn "State".

The declaration came when their lighting began to fade so to speak, so they came up with a move to attract some of the lost attention back; they need to once again to be in the spotlight to insure the flow of recruits and funds.

They have chosen four provinces of Sunni majority where they have few supporters adding to them Baghdad and Kirkuk where they have fewer supporters. Baghdad and Kirkuk (which has a sizable presence of Shia militias that rarely gets involved in action) will witness a fierce war between al Qaeda and the Shia militia because the militia will try their best to show that the two cities do not belong to al Qaeda.

The Iraqi Government and the Coalition forces have their own war against al Qaeda and the militia, so what we will have is like a compound war where each one of them will have to fight at two fronts simultaneously.

I think their strategy will retain the same methods of killing more Shia civilians in the hope to provoke an all-out civil war.
Killing Shia civilians will lead to retaliation acts form the militia against Sunni civilians living in Shia neighborhoods, so more forced displacement will take place in the coming few weeks. Neither the Government nor the Coalition forces can do much about the sectarian killings and forced displacement because they usually occur through assassinations and intimidations that are difficult to notice and trace by the security forces.
I don’t think deploying more forces would solve the problem but "smart" forces may have a better chance.

The al-Qaeda should not be given any chance to choose the time and the place of the battle. The moving patrols of the Iraqi and Coalition forces are very simple targets and most of the casualties happen among them. The best way to deal with both al- Qaeda and the militia is to keep "hunting" them in "sudden strikes". They should live in fear all the time not knowing when it will happen.
The Israeli techniques in hunting down their opponents would go perfect for the coming stage. Eliminating their threat is more cost-effective and prevents unnecessary casualties that might result when trying to capture them.

Monday, September 11, 2006

A day to change history

Five years ago some people imagined that the time has come to attack America and teach the whole world a lesson. Those people divided the world to "us" and "others". They imagined that God (Allah) will stand by them in their holy war against "crusaders", "infidels", and all the "others". They killed innocent people thinking they will be safe in their holy land (Afghanistan) protected by Allah. I remember that I watched the event live on TV that day, it was really shocking.
The reaction came fast when the holy protected land wiped away and the "heroes" ran hiding. The great loss that day resulted in a new American policy to follow the criminals and bring them to justice the first attack on Afghanistan criminals was successful and the second attack on Iraq criminals was successful too. One may ask what Iraq had to do with 9/11 attacks? The answer is simple! The criminals though they have different trends but they share the same hate to the free world and kept on feeling threatened by the free world (without the free world Saddam would have invaded more than Kuwait and without the free world Kuwait would never have returned to its people). So the criminals kept working in a net though they didn’t declare it, from where do you think the terrorists have this much fund to carry out attacks this big? Or keeping there operations alive? It’s a big net contain all the regimes who fight freedom and repress their people.
Two from the list are gone forever and yet many to come. What I hope is that the whole free world keep remembering this day because it’s the day that started the War on Terror. I know that the voices calling to stop the operations and pull back to the United States are rising more and more, I think they have forgot or at least started to feel safe, well they might be wrong, the hatred is still big and only small portion of it eliminated. If you stop now you will give them the chance to regroup again and soon you will see another attack in the United States and don’t forget what happened in England few weeks ago when the criminals tried to conduct a massive attack there. They are trying their best and you are trying to retreat leaving them more space to prepare themselves better!
I refuse to link between what is happening in Iraq right now and the War on Terror. If Iraq now in a mess I guess that what the Iraqis themselves did. Operation Iraq Freedom was totally successful in saving the area from a real threat and what happened in Iraq next have many causes these lines wont be enough to deal with, I hope I will have more time in the future to discuss them individually.
I don’t want to keep going far from the main reason I wrote these lines for, its for the memory of those people who died for no reason but being in a free country in a free world where some criminals hate those values and think that killing is the best way to express their hatred. To you and to all the people who fall as Freedom Martyrs I raise my prayers. I want to tell you before 9/11 innocent people used to die and nothing would happen but your death changed history forever.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Woman day in Iraq

This year the Ministry of Woman Affairs had a celebration in one of the Iraqi social clubs on the occasion of woman day in Iraq but sorry I wasn’t there nor was my brother, my brother was in a press conference held by the Organization of Woman Freedom in Iraq where they showed some drawings condemning the terrorism and the woman abuse in jail in the name of the law and I thought you would like to see some of those pictures. The drawings were made by the prisoners themselves inside the women prison in Iraq. The two events shared the same day but in a different way. I wrote this not to be against or with but I thought its something worth posting.

This picture was drawn by a prisoner mother who lost her daughter in a terrorist act while she is in prison.

One of the prisoners painted this picture and wrote "stop injustice against the Iraqi woman"

This one is asking the Muslims about the mercy of God upon the women because the devil is torturing them in the name of the law.