21
Mar
08

Letters from Baghdad

There are several of you in Iraq who subscribe the WHYS Daily Email. I asked you all if you’d send me your feelings on the 5th anniversary of the war. These are the replies I’ve received. The rest of you are welcome to leave comments or questions for Rania, Lubna and Zainab. They’ve promised to reply.

FROM JULIE

Hi Ros

Firstly after hearing my Mum’s versions of living through World War 2 I was petrified of the impending war in 2003, but when it happened the hardest thing was what to do with your time.

It was like life had stopped and we were all standing still waiting for our lives to dramatically change. The aftermath of the fall of Baghdad was looting and people going wild. For me the chance to talk to someone from the US was great .

I spent days walking around talking avidly to the soldiers listening to what they thought of Baghdad. Five years on was it worth it, yes I believe so as life under Saddam and the sanctions was becoming unbearable. Consumer products were unavailable and work was badly paid and so it was getting harder to live.

Five years on life is back to that point, work is badly paid, if you are lucky to have a job, you are not safe, electricity is the pits, and we don’t have even the basic health standards we had before.

Like when you open the tap for a glass of water, you don’t know how much bacteria you are drinking. And having no electricity means sweltering in the summer. You know like when you go into a sauna and your inner nostrils burn, that’s what summer is like with no respite from that.

Winter means not having hot water to even have a bath. Washing dishes in cold water which through rubber gloves pierces through until you feel numb.

That’s what daily life is like and being totally on edge all the time, explosions and never knowing if you are going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time !!!!

The only good thing is the blue sky which you see every single day and despite the loss of life, there is in my area anyway a great community spirit which like a punch-bag gets battered but always stands strong.

So there is hope for Iraq to become the great nation it should be, after all it is the cradle of civilisation.

FROM RANIA:

Hi Ros,
This is ironic, I live in Iraq, in Baghdad and in one of the most dangerous districts there, and I had no idea that we are approaching the 5th anniversary. How involved in this situation are we!

There is so much to talk about; yet I can hardly find anything to write.

Let me start by telling you the major change in Iraq: five years ago people were killed in a silent way, away from the media, where no one hears of them, nowadays bodies could be seen on the open. That is the most noticeable change, otherwise nothing inspiring has really taken place.

Immigration, that is another on-going activity, whether voluntarily or otherwise. Concrete blocks that make movement nearly impossible, lines of wires, sectarian division among people of the same city.

Now, I know that people will say that I am being too pessimistic, but let’s get real, Iraq has not witnessed anything that might give hope to people, and had there been any positive change the rest of the world would have definitely noticed it.

People thought that after this last war they will be free, that there will be prosperity in the country, but just like Blair said, “The harsh reality is that having been liberated from Saddam, Iraq now has to be freed from terrorism.”

Saddam ruled for 35 years, and that’s one person, so how long would terrorism be running things in the country? There has been a dramatic shake off in this country, but it was a change of the ruling powers, nothing for the people.

Yet, the amazing thing is the way people accept their reality, if the political figures around us never gave us that hope people have faith and that’s what is keeping them alive. We always look at that past, live the present and aspire to a better future.

FROM LUBNA

Hi to all of you my precious friends. Today marks 5 years since the Coalition forces invaded my Iraq and overthrew Saddam’s regime. Lots and lots of things have changed in my life since.

May be it’s worth mentioning that to me and to many Iraqis overthrowing Saddam’s regime was a good thing. Saddam was an evil dictator and a brutal criminal, and thank God that he’s not in power anymore.

But…….. 5 years ago I was 17 years old, and at that time I had so many hopes and dreams for my own future and also for my Iraq’s future. Right now I’m 21 years old, and my ultimate dream at the moment is that I and all my loved ones would stay alive.

I miss feeling safe a lot. I just don’t feel safe inside my own neighbourhood. I just wanna stop being so scared. I wanna stop being so horrified of bombed cars and roadside bombs. I just wanna stop being so worried about me and all my loved ones.

Every loved one I lost has left a scar in my heart that will never heal. And each time someone I love dies, there’s a little part of me that keeps asking : ‘Who’s gonna be next ?!’

If I wanna describe the current security situation in Baghdad to you guys then I’d say: fluctuating. No war but at the same time no peace. But there’s still always a place for hope. And I’m sure that our dawn will come soon Inshallah.

With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

FROM ZAINAB

Hi Ros,
Well, of course I am so interested in your suggestion. And this is my first comment on this situation on Iraq after 5 years.

Five years have passed since the US and the Coalition forces have invaded Iraq claiming that they came for promoting DEMOCRACY (of course it is one of many other reasons, like, ending TERRORISM and etc…).

Well it is a day that we must celebrate in, because we’ve got rid from Saddam. but instead we curse that day. It was five years of death, terror, immigration, and …Etc. One of my relatives has lost two of his sons, others have left their houses, my two brothers have kidnapped (and Thank Allah they are among us now) and many other things.

Things are going from worse to worst. All that, is because the American have committed big mistakes at the beginning. One of those mistakes is their misunderstanding of Iraqi people. But what makes me surprise is that they don’t ever try to understand us, but they keep on committing mistakes!!

Last Tuesday (March, 11,2008) the American troops intruded on the campus of Baghdad University (at Bab Al-moadham), and they behaved in a very strange way, as if they were acting in one of the action movies. Well I don’t know whether they’ve been told before that this is a sacred place where people can get education SAFELY, or not?

But what is so clear here is that after 5 years, they are still away from the Iraqi’s thoughts and beliefs, and they don’t want to build a good relationship with us. All they want is to show their guns.

As about the situation here in Iraq after these 5 years, well there is a slow improvement in the security conditions, but still there is no real life.

And I can tell you something that is really hard and hurting to say but it is the truth: People are SIGHING for Saddam’s days. Imagine a woman that lost her son at the hand of Saddam, is sighing for that ugly dictator!!!

Yours truly,
Zainab.


51 Responses to “Letters from Baghdad”


  1. 1 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 12:41

    Zanaib: I don’t really see how you can blame the Americans for the problems now. It’s the Iraqis killing each other. Maybe Americans went into some school, I’d surely want some soldiers going into a school than using chemical weapons to kill residents of a village like your old leader did. Obviously Saddam was good at keeping iraq together, as the people obviously hate each other. Perhaps it’s time to split the country up? You realize that once the Americans leave, you will look back at the violence of today and think “those were the good old days”

  2. March 20, 2008 at 12:53

    For BBC WHYS: The War In Iraq was based on lies. The Best Way to resolve this is to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible and for the Republicans and Democrats who voted for the war to leave power by peaceful means in favour of a Libertarian Government [after elections of course].

  3. 3 John
    March 20, 2008 at 13:01

    Very moving letters from those who are actually in the midst of a brutal tragedy; what now can be the solution? We Americans (That is G Bush and his subordinates) placed us in a war built on deceit. We seem to know that when we leave there will be more bloodshed, but if we don’t leave, then we will also be in the crosshairs of those who hate our arrogance, our inability to make an attempt to understand different cultures, and our compulsion to WIN! Here in the U.S, the war is sanitized, we get numbers of our dead, but we never see their coffins, their burials, and we never see the wounded. (And we very rarely heard about the numbers of Iraquis killed either.)
    War is such a primitive method to solve political solutions, but what is the remedy now?
    I wish I knew the answer . . .
    John (Portland, Oregon)

  4. 4 Dan
    March 20, 2008 at 13:20

    Iraq was a war never thought through well or perhaps at all.
    The United States should have dealt with Iran BEFORE Iraq which was strategically positioned to stymie the regional aspirations of Iran. Now with the Iraq “blocking” out of the way we are be faced with a nuclear Iran and soon nuclear terrorism. Meanwhile in Iraqi Muslims continue to kill each other and blow up their houses of God further devaluing Islam.
    The Arab Muslims have no concept of Jeffersonian Democracy and certainly no traditions in that area either. Their feudal mentality is geared toward a strongman.
    Once that person is installed, the US must get out.

  5. 5 Sue
    March 20, 2008 at 13:51

    To our three friends from Iraq that wrote, I send blessings and a prayer for peace. Having said that, I would ask that everyone try to see their point of view and where their mindset is, having lived through so much. But in return, I ask that our Iraqi friends please see the sacrifices many Americans have made. Most Americans did not choose to go to war and we had no say in what the government did, contrary to the general belief. Many families have been torn apart. Those families who have lost loved ones will never forget or completely heal, just as when you have lost loved ones. The many, many Americans who have serious wounds and injuries will spend a lifetime suffering too. While I admit, the war has been sanitized, it is also a fact,that many of us ache for some kind of peace in this world and if we could bring that about, we would! Everyone of us should do everything we can to understand and learn about other cultures and try to have empathy. All people in any war suffer. It’s not just one side. The sooner we can all realize that we are all human and the vast majority desire peace, it will go a long way to getting people to notice our similarities instead of only our differences. It’s vital we get to that point, in order to ever have a hope of living in harmony with our fellow humans.

  6. 6 Amy
    March 20, 2008 at 14:21

    I echo Sue’s sentiments. The Bush administration did little or no planning and as a result the US Armed Forces were ill prepared, especially when it comes to cultural differences. Once everyone begins to respect each other, learn about our differences and embrace these differences we may be on the way to finding a solution. I hope and pray that the scars suffered may one day begin to fade and we all can look to the future with hope.

    Amy (in Beaverton, Oregon)

  7. March 20, 2008 at 15:24

    The current situation in Iraq will shape its history .It will affect the current and the next generations who will remain affected by the memory of lost loved ones due to terrorist attacks and “mistaken” attacks by the US army.

    The Iraqis spent five years killing and mistrusting one another because of sectarianism. Others have become refugees in their own country or in bordering ones. It takes one man to have the lead to influence how a whole community should think and react. Considering the current conditions of Iraq, thinking independently of the rest of other factions means the perpetuation of internal struggles that erupt in violence.

    Occupation is now a fact. Violence is a deadly fact. Iraqis of all sections should find a common ground to end violence through give-and take compromises. If they keep wrangling just about self-interests, Iraq will find it difficult to be stable again. The preoccupations of the Iraqis will be just how to live another day, disregarding the national potentials they should exploit for a better tomorrow.

  8. 8 Justin from Iowa
    March 20, 2008 at 15:36

    The war as it was prosecuted was wrong. The United States going in like a bunch of cowboys without serious world support was wrong. Mistake has compounded upon mistake. This war has NOT been a success. There is no “winning” in this situation, whatever the Bush administration might shout for propaganda.

    My greatest question, is why do we not hear about the Iraqi military any more? Was that not one of the cores of the American effort there, equiping and training forces so the US could withdraw? It takes a matter of months to train a US soldier, Iraqis are just as capable as their US counterparts (arguably more, they live with more bloodshed and exposure to violence than most American soldiers)

    Integrating different groups into the government, eliminating BOTH US and Iraqi corruption, and training and equipping the Iraqi Defense and police force remain the PRIMARY goals and paths to anything that might be called”success” in Iraq.

    We must quit trying to fight this war alone and causing more harm than good, and actually do what we stated we’d do from the start. Give Iraq a base, train the people who need training, and pull out to remove the disruptive presence of American troops and interests.

  9. March 20, 2008 at 15:41

    That any American can stand by an illegal, vicious and murderous act, carried out by a corrupt administration headed by an undemocratically elected (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2000) blooper of a president, brings to mind a previous WHYS: “Are the Americans getting more stupid?”. The question is how much more stupid can people become?

    Number Of Iraqis Slaughtered Since The U.S. Invaded Iraq “1,185,800”
    http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html

    Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged)
    In America’sWar On Iraq 3,991
    http://icasualties.org/oif/

    Cost to date: $503,878,883,763
    http://www.nationalpriorities.org/costofwar_home

    Population of Iraq 27,499,638 (July 2007 est.)
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/iz.html

    Should have just given everyone in Iraq $30,000 each to ask Saddam to leave, or just given Saddam $500,000,000 and asked him to leave. I am sure he would have been most agreeable.

    Would have saved money (do the maths, and Bush just prints the stuff on demand, it doesn’t cost anything except paper and ink etc).
    It would have saved lives, would have saved America 4000 coffins and countless trashed lives.

    But no. It wasn’t about Saddam, or any other of the phony terrorist mumbo jumbo.
    It was quite arguably about very few people getting very rich, and not just in cash, and not being picky about how they get it. OK, maybe this is human nature, but that 150,000,000 voters let them get away with it is not smart.
    And it encourages the others. Also not smart.

    Look at the mess.

    Was it worth it? Is it worth it for another minute? Just tuck the flags away for a moment and consider it from a basic humanitarian point of view.
    I think No is the snappy answer.

    Malc Dow
    Berlin

  10. 10 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 15:51

    Malc Dow:

    There are no time machines, so talking about the past is pointless. We have to deal with reality as it is. So what to do? Just complaining isn’t going to get anything done. And you know if the US leaves, there will be a slaughter. So what do you propose? Rather than just criticize, why don’t you suggest something taking into mind that if the US withdraws, there will be so much killing that what is going on now will seem like campfire song singing.

  11. 11 zainab
    March 20, 2008 at 16:00

    hello all,
    hi Steve how are you? well of course i blame the American POLITICANS cuz they are those who came to us claiming that they want to free us from the dictator. we iraqi do not hate eachother and will not kill eachother. we live in one country for years there is nothing of what you’re talking about.
    look i don’t know what is your media telling you about who’s killing, but it is not the iraqi. it is just yesterday that the American have killed 3 iraqi policemen(in a wrong way as they said).anyway i don’t blame American people but, the American government.
    how are u Roberto Carlos Alvarez,i agree with u. the withdrawal is the best way, but they must withdraw the HYPOCRITES men who came with them).
    yours truely
    Zainab

  12. 12 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 16:19

    Zainab:

    I’m not sure how you can say Iraqis won’t and don’t kill each other. There are bombings every single day there.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7304444.stm

    While yes, US forces killed three Iraqi police, they did so mistake. That’s different than strapping on a bomb and blowing someone else becuase they are different than you.

    There have been many deaths in iraq, and it’s iraqis killing other iraqis. Iraqis blowing up mosques:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4738472.stm (done by sunnis against shiites)

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6731303.stm
    (shiites attacking sunni mosques)

  13. March 20, 2008 at 16:22

    We should not blame the Americans somone says. Then who should we blame. Think how many people would still be breathing the same air you and I do? Think of the mothers who are denied to see their children grow up and to be at their wedding. Invading and occupation of a sovereign state should not take place ever without extreme provocation. Kuwait was such provocation and that was resolved. America was not quick to respond to Poland being invaded by Hilter? Britain had to be smashed up for a few years before America came to see the light? These people live a life we can’t imagine and too many Americans do not spend their valuable time reading this stuff. They would much prefer to go see a funny or romantic movie or go to dinner or watch American Idol. Too many are either ignorant of what is happening to the avarage Iraqi or choose to only believe those they worship like Bush Boortz Limbaugh and Hannity. They all run America and are proud of it. In ‘Hotel Rwanda’ the movie there is a piece where a US newsman is collecting horror images and an African is so pleased that America will see it. The news man says ‘they will watch it and go to dinner’. He was wrong. They will not watch it. If it is not stated by their ‘leader’ it did not happen. If is is not sanctioned by their ‘tribe’ it matters not. Oh Yes, tribes in the USA. Republicans are the main tribe. They ALL think alike. They will all answer the same way on a list of twenty questions on national and international matters. They are all one on ‘Iraq’ climate change’ ‘abortion’ ‘gays’ ‘free health care’ ‘taxing the rich’. You name it. Then you have other tribes and they are trying to get a hold. There will one day be a Hispanic Tribe who are fed up of being criminalized and kept from having even a driving license and a bank account. They will be kept in the shadows havng been suckered for years to the good life. They ARE here. They rebuilt Pensacola after the hurricane. They cleaned up ground zero to their bad health. They made a lot of people rich. Now they are the target. There IS a ruthless attitude and it shows in Iraq and it shows at home. Go Figure.

  14. 14 Steve/Oregon
    March 20, 2008 at 16:41

    To my dear friends the Iraqis:
    Zainab: I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I know for a fact Iraqis is killing Iraqis I have seen it with my own eyes. I have seen a sector of Iraq go from a generally peaceful almost 1st world country neighborhood, and then Muslim extremist moved in a man was killed because I gave him a box of MREs for his family. Another man was killed because he was a barber who was cutting men’s beards. Numerous women were killed because they chose to not cover there hair. All of this happened in about 2 month’s time. Then the ambushes IEDs and snipers started. So I do not mean to hurt your feelings but can you tell me who bombed on of the most sacred mosques in Baghdad numerous times? I will give you a hint: It wasn’t Americans…… What I would suggest if you do not like the Americans being there then stand up. When we come to your town and you know the people who planted the bomb on the road up the street….. Tell the Americans. Withdrawal wouldn’t solve the issues in your country, what would is for Iraqis to stand for themselves as Iraqis not as Sunni or Shia or Kurd or Extremist or moderate Muslim but as IRAQIs. Stand together against the insurgents and I could guarantee peace would be around the corner. According to you last comment Iraqis would be happy if the Americans did the same things as Saddam? Wipe cities from the map? Murder people in neighborhood centers till someone tell them who attacked them? Make saying something bad about George Bush (whom I severely hate for destroying America and Iraq.) punishable by death? No that is not what you want because then the Iraqi people would say we attack Americans because they act the same as Saddam.

    Best Regards;
    Sgt. Miles U.S. Army retired
    Due to wounds received while on 2nd tour in Iraq

  15. 15 Rania
    March 20, 2008 at 16:53

    to Zainab and Steve,
    You both are trying to defend your own people. It’s your right, but let me make this clear: you have to know that your points of view are both right and wrong, Steve, maybe when the coalition came to Iraq we got freed, but we are still suffering the side effects. And Zainab, your are patriotic, you love your people, but some Iraqis just do not see this from your perspective.
    This is something I’ve always wanted the whole world to know: so long as this ,or any, tremendous change in this, or any other, country is not brought by its own people, they will not be able to control it, they will just not be able to figure out how to deal with it or how to preserve it.
    Steve your being realistic, that’s good, but try to see it from other peoples’ perspective, that would be fantastic and humane.

  16. 16 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 16:54

    @ Patrick

    Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.Make mass generalizations about groups of people, have problems with us having laws (do you mind if I come to britain illegally and not pay income tax and get free health care?)..

    Sorry we didn’t enter WW2 earlier, but if you look on a map, we aren’t located in Europe and dont have ancient hatreds of european nations like europeans have.

  17. 17 zainab
    March 20, 2008 at 16:55

    well Steve you can come to Iraq to see whether we are killing each other or not! these terms of Sinni and Shiite were there from a long time, it didn’t make any difference.
    And about the bomb cars, you can come and see who is putting the bombing cars??First the American block an area then after they leave it.. a car is bombing !!!to kill many innocent people.

  18. 18 Chris B
    March 20, 2008 at 17:02

    Dear Rania, Lubna, and Zainab, I am amazed at your fortitude. Angry at my countries blundering, and sad for your misery. No one should have to live in constant fear. I can’t offer anything but sympathy and a promise that my vote in fall will be cast with this in mind. It is a bitter consolation for me, so I imagine insulting to you, but it’s all I can do.

    Chris B. Los Angeles.

  19. 19 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 17:13

    @ Zainab:

    Trying to imply that Americans are conducting the carbombings in Iraq is even going to alienate even the most far leftist USA bashers. BBC rules require me to respectfully disagree, but when you make up something like that, It’s kind of hard to. Care to share your opinion on September 11 so the readers can know more of your opinions in order to determine how large of agrain of salt they should take with them?

  20. 20 Rania
    March 20, 2008 at 17:20

    Talking about the Iraqi army, and just as Malc Dow said, America did not invade Iraq for the sake of Iraqis, neither is it to get the world rid of Saddam, they just came here because they wanted to, becuase they find their interest there. And granting the Iraqi army the credibility would mean NO MORE USA IN IRAQ, NO MORE BASES OF CONTROL IN THE MIDDLE EAST. I do not hate the coalition or the states that represent it, but everbody knows that they came to Iraq just to boast their power and influence and to make sure that there is one more country that cannot do without them. It is true, the coalition messed up in Iraq, but had they left the country, it would get even more darmatically messed up. Bitter sweet.

  21. 21 zainab
    March 20, 2008 at 17:55

    hi Chris B how are you?thank you for your kind feelings, i just want to tell that what is happening here in Iraq is not your (or anyone of the American people’s) fault, but it is the strategy of the US government.
    the coming US president will do nothing other than his ancestors have done.
    yours truely,
    Zainab

  22. 22 David Malinda
    March 20, 2008 at 17:57

    I would like to refer every one to the comments by the Iraqi people and the posting by Malc Dow. It makes me cry. Unless we are all very stupid and have big heads without brains, we can say Iraq is better now that 5 years ago. And we can say we are liberating the Iraqi people. The day Iraq will be better of is the day America and its so calle allied forces would leave Iraq. But let us make no mistake, if the oil is still in the ground, it would be better for the Americans to finish the Iraqs or get finished than leave. You just need to listern to John MaCaim. Listern to his brain ticking, I think this person would be ‘Bush on steroids’ if he ever got to the White House. In fact he would turn the white house red. God help the world.

    I was one of a million people who opposed the war in the first place. I put my signature on paper and my family did the same thing. When I see the statistics with 1,185,800 iraqis slaughterd since the war started, so many American young soldiers and allied soldiers lossing their lives and the resources lost, I ask myself, where is God? why has he not acted?, but again as a christian I have read the bible and understand it.

    Let the the so called coallition of the willing, who have turned out to be coolition of the dealing, free the Iraqi people by leaving Iraq’s soil, and there will be peace in Iraq. Otherwise the war will take forever and eventually will never be won. The Iraqi war now has taken longer than WW1 and WW2. Look at the lives lost, the resurces spent, the money printed for this war, look at how the world think of America and the Aerican people just because of the cowboy type of behavior of a few. I remember a good Scotish friend of mine saying to me “All Americans are actors, the worst of whom are on the stage”. Life is precious, but for some reason the people who take life away are older people who are just about to finish their journey on earth. Your day will come, it doe not matter how much you pray!!.

  23. March 20, 2008 at 17:59

    Steve……these people came over generations and kept your food prices down. They picked crops in the harsh sun. They paid for their accommodation and their food and added to the economy. They did pay taxes and some even recorded their earnings. It was only after 9/11 they became the enemy. Without a licence they will be forced into crime. No one has the humane answer and Bush does have this one right. Look at the map you say? Do you mean the one that shows Poland had no oil? Did you see the Warsaw Jewish massacres? Not reason to intervene? Ask a Pole of that era? Oil and revenge over daddy is more like it. These people will sort it out just as India and Pakistan did after British wrongful intervention. So be it.

  24. 24 Steve/Oregon
    March 20, 2008 at 18:04

    Rania: Thank you for understanding my point of view i do not claim to understand yours or the adverage daily fear or way of life. I try to be as considerate of them just as i was when i was there. That being said my statement wasn’t to “defend” my country though i do love it. my statement was to show everyone who is reading this blog that wat zania is saying is not true. I have seen Iraqi on Iraqi violence on a daily basis. The example i used was in the Taji area during my second tour in 05.

    Zania: I am sorry you believe that we americans are bombing vehicles there i can tell you for a fact that I personally never bombed a car and have given aid to numerous Iraqis and saved there lives. I can only assume that the reason a vehicle explodes shortly after americans form a checkpoint would be insurgents have found them and attacked with the intent of killing whoever in the area because even though the americans soldiers do care for Iraqis it appears the Iraqis do not care for there fellow Iraqis or possibly the insurgent that left that bomb was a forgien fighter.
    Just so you know i was there from march 03- june 04 and again Feb 05 – July 05 (i was shot 2x by a sniper and couldn’t finish my tour.)
    here is the places i have been
    Baghdad
    Karbala
    Al mamuhadiya (spelled wrong sorry)
    Taji
    Ramidiya
    Sadr City
    Green Zone
    A zone just W of Abu Grahib
    and other places that i do not know wat you would call them

    Do I admit mistakes were made during the invasion yes do i admit mistakes were made during this continueing occupation Oh YES with out a doubt. In my honest opinion unless the Iraqis stand up for themselves and band together regardless of personal feelings this will never end. The Iraqi army is incompetant because they lack training and courage i have seen them run numerous times

  25. 25 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 18:07

    Just random comments, somewhat directed at david.

    (1) WW1 and WW2 were a total of 10 years total

    (2) God has acted because God doesn’t exist

    (3) Leaving Iraq will mean the bloodbath will get worse. If you meant by “peace” a lot of dead Iraqis, then yes, you would be right. Death is rather peaceful.

    (4) What’s with “cowboy” references, usually as an attempt to insult. If someone said something about Gauchos would you get labelled as a bigot or culturally insensitive? Let’s stop the double standards. There are cowboys in many nations. You insult them all when you make it a negative connotation.

  26. 26 Chris B
    March 20, 2008 at 18:11

    Zainab, I am good, but I beg to differ on the comment “the coming US president will do nothing other than his ancestors have done”. I am not sure Obama’s ancestors have had much of a chance yet. Let us hope he isn’t full of political hogwash. Fingers crossed Zainab!

  27. 27 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 18:13

    @ Patrick:

    you said: ” Look at the map you say? Do you mean the one that shows Poland had no oil? Did you see the Warsaw Jewish massacres? Not reason to intervene? Ask a Pole of that era? Oil and revenge over daddy is more like it. These people will sort it out just as India and Pakistan did after British wrongful intervention. So be it.”

    First, europe has probably cheaper food prices than the US, and they don’t have illegal immigrants producing the food. Second, not giving illegals drivers license won’t begin them to commit crimes. Them being here already is a crime. Them not paying income taxes already is a crime. Do you honestly think if they’re really that poor, they will get car insurance? To drive a car, you need auto insurance, driving without insurance is a crime. Ever had a car accident with an illegal? I have…. His fault, I had my insurance rates raised because my insurer had to pay for the car repair instead of his, because he didn’t have insurance! That was so kind of me, wasn’t it? I’m so proud to have had my insurance rates raised becuase someone felt like they had to break the law.

    (2) Regarding looking at the map. The european allies knew about what was going on in Poland and chose to do nothing about it themselves. To single out the US for criticism for that isn’t exactly fair. And many american volunteered to fight in the war before the US entered. If we’re going to go down this path of saying the US should have done this, but not that. why Single out the US? Why didn’t Ireland declare war on Germany?

  28. 28 Steve/Oregon
    March 20, 2008 at 18:22

    @ moderator I thought comments posted on the blog were supposed to stay on topic just a observation but there are a few that have absolutely nuttin to do with the blog topic

    Thanks

  29. 29 Chernor Jalloh
    March 20, 2008 at 18:23

    Hi Lubna,and to all the Iraqi participants on this show to day.My questions for all of you there are:Do you support the US presence in your country although many are saying that life uneder Saddam was far better interms of security?

    Will there ever be a solution to calm down tensions among the citizens on Iraq?
    Is it not time for the Iraqi government to talk to the sunni insurgents?

  30. 30 zainab
    March 20, 2008 at 18:50

    hi Chernor Jalloh, i don’t support the US presence in Iraq. cuz we don’t know who’s ruling us “our government” or the US, since the US Army in our land is perhaps more than the Iraqi Army.
    But, there is always solution, from our side we must stand togather.

  31. March 20, 2008 at 19:19

    Hi. Any question that’s being asked about the conflict in Iraq is far more complicated than to be answered with either Yes or No. Trying to oversimplify the facts of conflict is too dangerous. Everybody is to be blamed about the current horrific mess in Iraq (the US occupation forces, the coalition’s governments, the whole international community, hypocratic Iraqi politicians and more importantly ordinary Iraqis themselves). Everybody has let us down, including us ! Our hypocratic politicians and neighbouring countries are inflaming sectarian tensions in Iraq. Iraqi politicians do care about everything except the interests of ordinary Iraqis. It’s really heart breaking that those are the very people for whom we risked our lives and went to the polls to elect 2 years ago, and yet we i.e. ordinary Iraqis are at the bottom of their priorities. We wanted despairedly to get rid of Saddam’s regime no matter of what the alternative is. And that was the biggest crime we have committed against ourselves and against our country. How cruel we were towards our Iraq when we allowed our fate to be decided from the White House, by people whose last concern is our interest and our safety. The US government doesn’t care at all about the interests of ordinary Iraqis. And to my good friend Steve I say : Please don’t make generalised judgements. You’ve never been to Baghdad before. I live in Baghdad and I’m Muslim Shiite. One of my best girlfriends Athraa is Muslim Sunni and I do love her like my sister. With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  32. 32 Rania
    March 20, 2008 at 19:31

    First of all, the presence of the US in Iraq is had, not because they care that much about the Iraqis but because they can control the situation in one way or another. As a frist step,and for this situation ao calm down, the Arab countries must spare us the favor and stop sending us their terrorists!

  33. 33 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 19:35

    Zainab: If the US was controlling Iraq’s government, why did the Iraqi President invite the Iranian President to Baghdad. The iranian president presides as “Death to America” functions. If anything, Iran is controlling Iraq.

  34. 34 Rania
    March 20, 2008 at 19:36

    Steve/Oregon:
    Actually, I meant the other steve, nevertheless, I somehow agree with you concerning the fact that some of the terrorist acts are from the inside, but friendly speaking, we owe you the favor of messing up the situaion in the country.

  35. 35 zainab
    March 20, 2008 at 19:38

    Chris B
    O i’m sorry it seems that i missed the word . by ancestors i meant the preceding presidents. and i really hope that, Obama will be a different one
    yours truly,
    Zainab

  36. March 20, 2008 at 21:05

    Hey Precious Chernor. You may be happy to know that I have almost quitted using exclamation marks in my blog post :). The US occupation forces must stay in my country until they clean up the mess they’ve taken part in creating there. I do see American soldiers as occupiers who have not been doing enough at all to protect the lives of Iraqis. But the person who is an occupier to me is a husband, a son, a brother, a friend or a lover to other people living thousands of miles away from me. Everybody has messed up in Iraq, and everybody has a moral responsiblity of cleaning up his own mess. I do have many precious American personal friends. And as Zainab said that it’s not the fault of the American amazing people at all. It’s sad that some Arabs and Muslims still believe that America=Goerge Bush and the neoconservatives, as there’re also some Westerners who still believe that Islam=Osama Bin Ladin and Wahabis. And as for the solution : Establishing mixed political Iraqi parties that includes all different constituents of the Iraqi mosaic. And then involving those newly established parties in the political process and having them gradually replacing the current sectarian parties. With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  37. 37 steve
    March 20, 2008 at 21:20

    Lubna:

    How. How are you doing? Fine I hope. It’s nice that you get along with sunnis, but even if there were .001% of Iraqis that didn’t like each other based upon sectarian differences, there are still daily bombings. People are getting killed over it on a daily basis. I would much rather have someone make a generalization than someone get killed? There’s a SERIOUS problem in Iraq and it needs to be addressed, even if not that many sunnis and shiites hate each other (and if you read about the arab world, they regularly speak out about how one side things the other are infidels, even Mubarak commented on this very recently) it’s still a big enough problem that people get killed over it. We have many different religions in the US, and there are no suicide bombings here. Catholics and Protestants don’t attack each other (though N. Ireland used to be a different story). But I would worry more about the daily killing and trying to stop it than the words someone might say. life is more important than worrying about generalizations.

  38. March 20, 2008 at 21:54

    Hey Steve ! Thanks for asking. I’m alive-as Celine Dion says ! As I said it before that it’s our corrupt, hypocratic, and incompetent politicians in addition to neighbouring countries are the ones who are inflaming the sectarian tensions in Iraq. Iraqi politicians do not have a sense of patriotism or a feeling of belonging to their country. They’ve torn this country apart. And it’s really our fault because we enabled them to reach power. Believe me Steve, all what ordinary good Baghdadis want is to live with each other side by side in peace. Those people who are committing those horrific sectarian acts are criminals and terrorists, and their crimes are strongly condemned by an overwhelming majority of ordinary Iraqis. With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  39. 39 steve
    March 21, 2008 at 11:59

    Hey Lubna:

    I really hope you’re right about what you say, but even your words don’t reveal much hope. You said that “all what ordinary good Baghdadis want is to live with each other side by side in peace”, but not all Baghdadis are good like you, and not all Iraqis are Baghdadis. There obviously much more work, and a lot more people that need to be convinced of this goal of coexistance. Hate to sound pessimistic, but given you are living there in the situation, you of course would know better, I just don’t see that playing out any time soon. I do hope I’m wrong. Take care.

  40. March 21, 2008 at 15:06

    Trying to blame the Iraqis for attacking each other does not fly. You have a nation under occupation. There will always be division in such circumstances. There are those working for the invaders. There are collaborators. Steve and others are in denial of the existence of such issues. They cannot accept that to many they are purely and simply ‘the occupiers’. They are hated and rightly so by the many. We would be the very worst haters of Arab occupiers. We would be the worst hunters of ‘collaborators’. We would be the very worst ‘insurgents’. Research and accept that the ‘occupiers’ are entitled to shoot to kill anyone carrying anything remotely resembling a spade or a rifle. They also in some cases admit having ‘drop items’ to leave and justify wrongful shootings. Everyone of these missteps cause a feudal knock on effect against America. In occupied France they were cruel to their own in regard to collaboration. There was retribution when the Germans finally left. There was tarring and feathering and worse. There have been German babies born to French girls and there were babies born on my Island of Guernsey which was occupied by the Germans right up to Berlin being demolished. You only find out when the dust settles after the invaders leave what is going to happen between peoples. India divided and Yugoslavia did and maybe Iraq will but it is none of our concern. You will only reach final stability and peace when this sovereign nation is allowed to self govern. Those who have no imagination in blaming Iraqi unrest on their character are blind to history. Unless you yourself have had to tolerate, as a healthy male, the sound of foreign tanks and foreign troops walking your neighborhood you cannot judge and if you have never come across a massacre, from a jet a mile away, of a wedding party walking the streets then don’t criticize. More to the point is how these people seeing the trashy comments of the carnage on UTube will EVER forgive? Thankfully the bloggers may not have access and will never view that stuff but I can and do and I write and video my protests. Google ‘patrick lockyer’ to see them. America IS coming out of the fog and I expect a change. One person such as Steve does not give us answers. Search the net and find the truth. Lets get out and hand back to the Iraqi men their dignity. The dignity we all enjoy as free men. On this ‘Good Friday’ may it be so. Patrick Lockyer
    .

  41. 41 steve
    March 21, 2008 at 15:46

    @ Patrick

    Tibet is under occupation. Are Tibetans fighting each other? If your statement is true, tha tthe occupation is causing the violence, when the violence gets worse after the US leaves if Obama wins, what will your story be then? There will be no occupation, but I’m sure you’ll manage to blame the US for the violence tha tyou know is going to happen once the US leaves. There is a MAJOR schism in Islam that dates back 1400 years, based upon the successors to Mohammed. There’s been violence between the sects for over 1000 years, long before europeans ever even came to america, even the Vikings.. If you google phrases like “shiite crescent” you’ll see how sunni arab leaders are freaking out right now.

  42. 42 Rick, USA
    March 21, 2008 at 15:59

    First, let me say that I supported the invasion and I am deeply sorry that we mismanaged the reconstruction. Who would have guessed that the same county that implemented the Marshal Plan could screw up so bad? I wish the Iraqi people no harm and I sincerely hope that everything will turn out all right. The majority of Americas do not want to keep our troops in your country but we also feel an obligation to fix what we broke. There is also the problem of giving Al-Qaeda a victory by tucking our tails in and running. The way to get the Americans out of your country is to stop the violence and get your government working. Believe me the American public would not stand for our troops being over there if the situation was clearly stable. I understand you are going to hold elections sometime in 2009. Please participate and elect people who can pull your country together and work for the people. I would like nothing better than to see our troops out of your country and your people building a prosperous economy in a free society.

  43. March 21, 2008 at 17:12

    Steve:
    Tibet and Iraq? Do me a favor. That’s like comparing Luxembourg with Germany. The violence might get worse. It will still be America’s fault just as you could say that the tension between India an Pakistan is Britain’s fault. At least I’m not in denial. We fought over Ivory and spices once upon a time. Now it is oil. Steve you are not talking for the world. You have your head in the sand. The world see you purely as ‘occupiers’ and is worried. When will you finally get it? At least you are reading this stuff which has more merit to it than talk radio and Fox News but in reality not many Americans even scroll the Internet and have no clue of world opinion. ‘Possession’ ‘Control’ ‘Occupation’ ‘Invasion’ are what they are. To Rick USA: You still want to talk as if you have some ‘almighty right’ to occupy. There were no Al-Qaeda in Iraq until you got the Muslims all mad at your presence and there are Muslims all over the world now ready to revenge ‘Abu Ghraib’ Etc. Americans should stop talking as if they are the ‘mighty right’. You are isolated and completely out of step and it is refreshing that a hopeful new governing body might ‘get it’. Although it is also quite likely that middle America will insist on someone who ‘talks to God’ and is a pure white as the driven snow and who has no beef about wonderful America leading as before and the world will sigh as they did four years ago. If so then implosion is just one step nearer I suspect. Rome Empire eat your heart out.

  44. 44 George USA
    March 22, 2008 at 03:47

    Rania, Lubna and Zainab

    I am glad you are alive.

    You sit on great oil reserves.

    Better days are coming to Iraq.

    Thank you for expressing yourselves.

    God Bless and protect you in Jesus name.

  45. 45 zainab
    March 22, 2008 at 12:29

    hi how are you all?
    thank you so much George USA, for your kind poem (or is it a song?). Though what is happening in our lovely land, i’m still optimistic about the future.(i believe my friends Rania and Lubna agree with me).All what we want (as Dear Lubna have said), is to to live peacefully, and insha Allah, everything will set right again.
    To Steve, i just want to tell you that i completely agree with you that Iran is controlling Iraq, but Iran is not alone there are Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria as well as USA all these country are controlling Iraq.
    if Ahmadi Nagad has visited Iraq, so what, George Bush has visited Iraq too!!they are both our presidents, aren’t they 🙂
    Dear Lubna, you said it is “our fault because we enabled them to reach power.”
    excuse me but i don’t agree with you, first they are in power since they’ve reached Iraq(i mean since Bush brought them). Secondly we don’t have any experience in the election process, you know how this thing was working during Saddam’s time.

  46. March 22, 2008 at 14:25

    To George USA and Steve. Oil reserves are not what counts. As a baby in war torn London I had an air force and an early warning system against ‘doodlebugs’ and an Anderson shelter in the yard and the underground platforms when the sirens went off. Nevertheless London was decimated. Go on YouTube and listen to the conversations between pilots and control, two miles above, as to whether to ‘take out’ a strolling crowd’ in an impoverished dustbowl town. “Can I take them out?” says the pilot. “Yes take them out” says the controller. Then you have the audacity to post that crap on UTube? If that is not a cowardly war crime what is? And American Military have been made immune to war crime accusation by Bush. Go figure? What does the world make of this kind of action? What do you think sensible America? Do you really want another similar hawk in the White House or are you finally going to see the light and see how you really look to the great wide world? Deny all this of course and deny Haditha and Abu Ghraib and Gitmo and thankfully these poor recipients of this brutality don’t routinely have access to YouTube for their radical recruitment stations one hopes?

  47. March 22, 2008 at 14:41

    See here the heroics of war:

    take time to view other such air strike videos of similar heroics?

  48. March 23, 2008 at 17:33

    Hi to all of you my Precious friends, and HAPPY EASTER ! Dearest Goerge : THANKS so much for your extraordinarily kind words. And to my dearest Zainab I say : THANK YOU so much. But as you know, in 2005 when we went to the polls to elect a new government, we had 2 options ahead of us : Either to decide to belong to a particular sect or decide to belong to IRAQ. And sadly we chose the 1st option. But we’ve learned from the very painful experience that we’ve been through . We’ve realised the horrific consequences of our fatal choice. And now we know. Yes, we know. Now we know that only our belonging to our Iraq will protect and save us from this terrible madness. With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  49. March 23, 2008 at 20:42

    Dear Lubna,Zainab,Steve, etc. I am afraid Pandora’s box was opened when the present U.S. administration decided to invade Iraq.No WMD were ever found after practically that whole unfortunate country was turned upside down and neither could any evidence be found to show that Saddam had links to Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, on the contrary it turned out he was opposed to it for fear it would threaten his own skin ! Both were the stated reasons for the invasion of Iraq which are somehow now mostly and perhaps conveniently ‘forgotten’. A lynchpin was removed with Saddam’s removal,bringing the delicate political and military balance of this oil rich area crashing down due to an inexcusable lack of foresight on the part of the so called coalition. There must have been a more subtle and less catastrophic means of toppling a dictator, and this is not with the benefit of hindsight as many voices in Congress had predicted what later happened.Unfortunately no one gave them at least some sensible appraisal at the time.Thousands of American youth and tens of thousands of Iraqis have died violently and needlessly (whatever some may say about that last word) and many more are maimed for life. Iraq , dear Iraq , your only salvation is the unity of your people,forget your differences and only remember your common cause :Free Democracy . Am I being too optimistic ?

  50. 50 Anan
    March 24, 2008 at 12:40

    Dear Peter,
    Thank you for your call this evening. I got your email too and it will be my pleasure to share in your program. In fact, I have waited for your call since 08:00pm this evening, but it seems you couldn’t reach me. You know that our cell-phones net in Baghdad is not always easy to get. I am sorry if you have found difficulty in reaching me. But I could briefly share with you my experience as an Iraqi citizen living in Baghdad and witnessing everything that happened since the American invasion or the so-called liberation.

    I would say as a sensible Iraqi woman, PhD scholar, Instructor at a University level and as a civilian, that there are things in our life are extremely deteriorating and some few others are moving to the better. These few things such as, the increase in salaries, being opened to the world through satellite channels, or cell-phones, or through traveling abroad, though with much restriction, and relatively feeling free to express one’s opinion through TV or Mass media or news papers are unable to keep the balance with the very important thing we miss in our life: PEACE.

    What would you do with money if your life and your family’s is at risk every moment even if you are at home. Fear, bombs, explosions, terrorism, curfew, etc… have become an integral part of our daily usage.

    We keep asking ourselves, how many of us should die in order to have the peace that any country has the right to enjoy. Why is that? What for? Who is responsible for what is happening? Such questions are so difficult to answer!

    Indeed, you may say, Iraqis’ life is going on: true, only because Iraqis have courage, fortitude and determination to move on despite everything we passed and still passing through. For me, I love my country and I love my job and my students, trying to build their minds and souls encouraging them to build their lives,homes and country by knowledge,education,and strength of soul. You know what? The positive thing is that, we have become more compassionate to one another despite all the inside and outside attempts to separate us.That is why we are with any honest, true attempt to help us to reserruction.

    Iraqis will always fight to survive because they have faith in God who will never forsake them.

    Anan in Baghdad

  51. 51 Zainab
    April 3, 2008 at 12:45

    salam Alikcum,how are you all,
    It’s been sometime since I last been in WHYS blog. Well it is because i live in Sadr City. It is under
    a curfew since March 25, we have no electricity,and even if we use our generator it is preferable to turn on the fridge rather than the PC. We cannot go to our college, school, job…etc.
    All that we can do is to sit at home and hear the ugly sounds of bombs and shots and the American planes.
    till now i don’t know what has really happened!!
    This is really IRONIC we are living the 5th anniversary of the American War on Iraq, and we are still in WAR.


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