Thursday, June 30, 2005

The In T View: Akbar From Iraq Rising And So Is He



Boy Puzzled - MG/DC



He Posts Thoughtfully. That would be Akbar, standing out amongst the Second Generation of Iraqi Bloggers with his Fine Blog:
Iraq Rising
, Akbar is a Iraqi Engineer living in England far away from his Beloved Homeland, a Place he Dreams of returning to some day...

It's: The In T View: Akbar From Iraq Rising And So Is He

MG: Hello Akbar, How are things going for you?

Akbar: On a personal front, not too bad. I suppose that living in a western country does give me the piece of mind to say that. But my thoughts are always with my relatives in Iraq, and so i worry about them constantly.


MG: Do You come from a Large Family? Have lots of Brothers and Sisters?

Akbar: I have one brother and one sister, both much younger. And like most Iraqis and Arabs in general i have a very large extendid family. My father has 6 brothers and my mother has 5 other siblings, so you can imagine how many cousins i might have..lol


MG: Do you have a Pet? Can you tell us something about your Pet or Pets at the moment?

Akbar: No pets at the Moment. I used to have a dog named Saddam actually, but he died from a broken heart.


MG: What do you find Sexy in a Woman?

Akbar: Besides a beautiful figure I like women who are artistic and kind hearted.


MG: Are Americans too sensitive to Criticism?

Akbar: Not sure about that one. Most of the Americans that i have met in person can take a joke pretty well, but i do find the blog commentators to be too sensitive. I suppose its the subject matter at the end of the day.

MG: Are Iraqis too sensitive to Criticism?

Akbar: Iraqis are sensitive about everything. We are all psychologically disturbed. Majnoons.


MG: So are the Saudis ever going to allow the Ladies the right to Drive?

Akbar: Not in this millenium. I doubt it. The Saudis are cursed with being the so called keepers of the faith and Ka'ba. They will be the last nation on earth to free themselves from the shackles of religion.


MG: Why do Iraqis find Pringles Potato Chips irresistable?

Akbar: Hehehe, I don't know. I guess its the pop and crunch.


MG: You say in your Blog, that America and the West, "have always dealt favourably with the majority of the dictators of the region for as long as they continued to serve Americas economic and geo-political interests at a time when the cold war and the communist threat was the priority for the Pentagon." My question to you, Akbar, is what Democratic Regimes were in effect at the time, for the U.S. to deal favorably with?


Akbar: Ohh dude, this question is too deep for me to answer today..Maybe i'll write another blog about it..Ill Pass if you don't mind...lol


MG: And could you name some of the Great Islamic Democracies of the past 1000 years, when the U.S. or the West's support for Dictators was non-existent or minimal?

Akbar: Well IMO Democracy is a relatively new creation and has very little to do with religion....To answer your question..I guess there hasn't been any.


MG: In other words, Akbar, where were all these Great Eastern Islamic Democracies, when the West wasn't involved in the East? To me, it doesn't seem like a whole lot of Democracies were flourishing in the Islamic East, Pre- or Post-Western Influence.

Akbar: Again...I'll pass on this question..


MG: Akbar, are Islam and Democracy Really Compatible? Or is Democracy mainly a function of a Western Heritage?

Akbar: Democracy only thrives in plural non-religious based societies..So i doubt Democracy and Islam are compatable in that sense...But they can coexist if the two are seperate...


MG: Akbar, what is a Dream Date to you?

Akbar: With Nichole Kidman on a desert island.


MG: What's a Dream Meal to you?

Akbar: My mother's cooking.


MG: How did you become interested in Blogging, and how did your Blog:
Iraq Rising
come about?

Akbar: Like everyone else after the war i wanted to know as much as possible about the latest developments going on in Iraq, and eventually i found out about the Iraqi and non Iraqi blog scene.. the diversity of views and opinions eventually drove me to put my two cents in, so to speak, and create Iraq Rising. I really just wanted to have a forum to tell the world about my opinion regarding Iraq and Arabs.


MG: Are there other Blogs besides your own that you like to read and can recommend?

Akbar: Most of the Blogs that i like i have linked to at my site...My favourate of which is 'Karfan's' at Syria Exposed..He is just too funny. And his writings about the Ba'ath regime in Syria mirrors those of Saddams Ba'ath in Iraq when i lived there.


MG: How were you or your family members affected by Saddam and the Baathists?

Akbar: I don't think there is a single family which wasn't affected by Saddams crazy Ba'ath. even those who were part of his gang have in some way or other been greatly damaged by that currupt and disfunctional system. Personally we kept ourselves to our selves and tried to keep out head down as much as possible. My parents are in the medical profession so they managed to escape most of the bullshit. However my aunt's Husband was executed by Saddam in the 80's on account of being a political activist. (a long and sad story, which i will write about one of these days).


MG: What would you say Is or Was Special about your Mother?

Akbar: She is one of the kindest and most couragous people ever. She, like most Iraqi women suffered greatly in Iraq. She spent most of her time in Iraq treating and caring for sick children as a professional Pediatrician. I always remember her crying when she couldn't save a baby or child for lack or medicines or medical resources. I hope that the next generation of mothers will never have to go through all of that again.


MG: Akbar, How Many Fingers Do I Have Up At The Moment?

Akbar: Do ghosts have fingers??


MG: Akbar, what's the Funniest Joke you ever played on a Family Member?

Akbar: I drove my fathers brand new car into a lake one day. I was trying to reverse, but went straight ahead into the water... (He wasn't amused.)


MG: What makes you Laugh?

Akbar: At the moment i'm a South Park nutt...Love it....''Screw you, I'm going home''' Cartman


MG: What makes you Cry?

Akbar: I never cry..I'm a full blooded macho Arab.. we don't do that sort of thing...


MG: What's your greatest hope for the Children of Iraq?

Akbar: Never to know what the sound of an explosion or a gun souns like.. I still have nightmares about things like that.. I still wake up in the middle of the night when i hear a loud thud...And its been 15 years since i last left Iraq.


MG: Akbar, if you had $10 Dollars American to Spend on either
Birth Control or Beer, what would you choose? And why?

Akbar: Beer my friend...Beer... A nice bottle of Ice Bud


MG: Have you ever Cheated an Iranian?

Akbar: Not possible. don't even try...Iranans are just too damn smart.


MG: Should Iran be allowed to develop Nuclear Weapons?

Akbar: Not while the Mullas are in charge...they can't be trusted..


MG: What's the Biggest Mistake the U.S. has made in Iraq?

Akbar: Not jacking off Saddam in 1990.


MG: What's the Best Thing the U.S has done for Iraq?

Akbar: Do I really need to answer that..It's obvious..no?


MG: What's your favorite place to visit in Iraq and why?

Akbar: I want to go back to the days of my childhood where my cousins and i used to go fishing in the tigres every day in the summer...Beautiful.


MG: Favorite TV Show of All Time?

Akbar: Star Trek The Next Generation.....Captain John Luc Picard was my hero.


MG: What Book that you read had the most influence on your life?

Akbar: Computers for Dummies. LOL


MG: What World Leader do you Admire the Most?

Akbar: Living...Tony Blair. Dead..Winston Churchill.


MG: Would you Invite Moammar Ghadaffi to your Birthday Party?

Akbar: Why not...Maybe he can bring his crack squad of Female Body guards with him..we can all sip taquila and smoke cubhanas in the back yard.


MG: Thanks Very Much, Akbar, for a Nice Interview, and Final Question: Have You ever Seen a Ghost?

Akbar: No bother at all... Only you my little Ghosty friend.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Don't Worry, Faiza Jarrar Has the Answer!

Faiza Jarrar has returned to her penthouse apartment in Amman, Jordan, her "second home." The best parts of her latest blog entry are those personal encounters she has with other students at the "peace building" seminar and with Americans she meets on the train to Washington, D.C. Then there's a section where Faiza steps back, looks at the big picture, and asks some very good questions:
How come that we, Arab Muslims, have lived since thousands of years with Christians and other religions, in our countries in peace, without violence?

Why weren't we terrorists all our lives? Why was a deformed picture of Islam sent there? Why did the American government support manufacturing that deformed picture? Why was that picture used in the Media, so that whenever the word "Islam" comes into the news broadcast, we hear words like "extremist" or "fundamental" with it? As our British teacher…..from South Africa says?

Why weren't we, the Arabs, with the message of Muhammad living among us, implemented in our lives, the sample of Muslims in the Media?

Why was Islam deformed, making it the enemy No. 1after the fall of communism?

Why do we see, since1990 , that most conflicts in the world have an Islamic party? And it wasn't like that before the fall of communism?
All good questions, right? Hey, for Faiza, the answer is very, very easy. No problem. She has already hinted at the answer in those questions, right? Who is responsible for this "deformed Islam"? Guess. Muslim Brotherhood? No. Sayyid Qutb? No, not even close. Zawahiri and Bin Laden? Please, no chance. Who then? Yup, you guessed it. The Americans. I kid you not.
Even the war between Iraq and Iran, two Muslim countries, started by the devising and encouragement of the American government to Saddam Hussein.

Even the backwards government of Taliban, that deformed Islam, assumed power in Afghanistan by the support of the American government.

Do the people are stupid??

When people come to our countries, they find out the amount of peace in the hearts of Muslims, and the amount of mercy. The Arab and Islamic people still honor the guest, respecting and welcoming, even if he was a citizen of a western country whose government is an enemy, and their history is full of injustice against us…

But Al-Zarqawi and Bin Laden are the deforming children of Islam… they are the children of the American government; she produced them, raised them, and then turned them into bombs, planting corruption, destruction, and evil, in the name of Islam….
Islam is innocent of all that….
According to Faiza, Zarqawi and Bin Laden are the "children of the American government." What can I say but that the ARAB PARALLEL UNIVERSE is alive and well in Faiza's grey matter.

Faiza, unable to accept that moderate Islam in under assault by extremists within her own religion, charges the United States with creating the very people who are killing Americans. This inability to acknowledge the seriousness of the problem within Islam mirrors the same blindness that allowed Faiza and Raed to live under Saddam Hussein and not see anything wrong with the fact that hundreds of thousands of their own citizens were being butchered while they drove around Baghdad in their three Mercedes and lived their privileged, comfortable life.

*

Would you like to travel around Europe this summer but can't afford it?

No problem.

Cyber-travel with the Columnist Manifesto. He was in Europe for about a month and blogged along the way.

If you would like to start at the beginning of his trip, go to the Archives section, click on "May" and go to the entry for May 19, 2005.

In his last blog post, he looks back at traveling around in Poland and includes lots of GREAT PHOTOGRAPHS and interesting commentary.

*

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Muslim Dignity?

Steven Vincent reports from a coffee shop in Basra, where he is talking to his friend Layla and a Dr. Basma, a history professor at the nearby university:

In walks a man, who plants himself in front of the TV. Even as Dr. Basma recounts how increasing numbers of students are shrouding themselves in hejab, this worthy sits transfixed by the televised bevy of dark-eyed houri prancing and dancing and rotating their heads until their long, thick, black-as-the -Kaaba tresses spin like propellor blades. The irony is not lost at our table, although we don't mention it.

The man, however, feels no such discretion: soon, instead of Lebanese teens in adornment-revealing half-cut tees and crotch-level jeans, he's staring at us--staring with the same blank, dull, malevolently stupid glare I've encountered so often in this country. I tense; Layla, sensitive by now to my misplaced gallantry, cautions, "I know, I know, just ignore him..." while Dr. Basma talks gamely on, trying to blot the intrusive gaze from her consciousness as well.

But I can't restrain myself, it's hackle-raising, this constant stare. "Eindak mooshkelah?" I snap, ("You have a problem?"), the man starts, garbles something in Arabic, looks back to the TV for moment--then turns to glare at us once more. By now I'm thinking, What would happen if I punched this guy? when fortunately, Layla leaps up, murmurs with exasperation, "It's me, it's me..." and proceeds to re-abiya herself. Muslim dignity restored, the man returns to oggling the video vixens in their chadorless abandon, hair, limbs, hips moving with the freedom Iraqi women experience only in their dreams.
Muslim dignity indeed.

*

Kevin from Boots on the Ground has returned to the United States after being stationed in Iraq two times. He offers his honest thoughts.
It would be a lie if I said I liked Iraq. My experiences the first time were good. I lived by a good neighborhood near the green zone where the people were very friendly to American forces. This tour we were in a much tougher part of town and much poorer. So it was a big difference. I am a professional and we all did our job as professionals, but most will tell you they hated it there.
Thanks Kevin for courageous duty in Iraq!

*

If you haven't read any of blogger Michael Yon's dispatches from Iraq, then you have some reading to do, my friends.
Occasionally a journalist passes through for a short embed, but they don't really see much by "drive-by reporting" as this kind of ride-along is called. Since I am not a journalist, and prefer to spend long periods with units, I see things others miss, and sometimes it's impressive stuff. Some of the technology and various forms of intelligence that Deuce-Four uses defies the imagination. I hope that someday the Army clears me to tell the whole story.

Despite the high-tech flourish, most of the genuine intelligence actually comes from detainees who cough up their cellmates like cats choking on hairballs. Another source of reliable intelligence is the local population, who are ever more confident in the effectiveness and staying power of the new government, and increasingly angry with the depravity of the terrorists.

Today, some locals found a very large and well-made shaped-charge (a special type of bomb) buried in a road that could have caused significant damage. The locals didn't just report it; they actually dug it up and removed it from the road! When our guys came by, a kid waved and pointed to the bomb. They may have saved American lives. They definitely sent a powerful message to insurgents who have infested their community.
I suggest reading the entire blog. I guarantee that you will learn a lot about the situation on the ground in Iraq. No question about it.

*

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Swara: Five Minutes Alone In A Cell With Saddam



Bifurcated Man - MG/DC


So, what would you do Swara, just you and Saddam alone in his cell? Would you kill him? Scream at him? Ask him why he acted the way he did? Beat him with your law books? Ask him to face up to his crimes? What would you do?

Thanks very much.
Mister Ghost


If I was in a room with Saddam?

I don't know I would want to kill him, but death would be too good for him. I think leaving him
to rot in a tiny cell like the ones in the Amni
Sur (the Mukhaberat Building) with no sun light or sanitation facilities so he can wither away in his own excrement.


Friday, June 24, 2005

FEAR AND IRAQIS: A COMMENTARY



Roses by MG


FEAR AND IRAQIS: A COMMENTARY
Written and Edited By DC
Co-Edited & Artwork By MG

Fear - Inaction

Iraqis are no different than any other human beings, when it comes to fear. They possess the same fight or flight reaction to fear as we do. Fighting in Baathist controlled Iraq, would leave you severely punished or perhaps killed, so "flight" was much safer. There are two ways to "fly away": By crossing the border, getting away from Iraq, or by staying put and giving up, paralyzed like a deer in front of a oncoming car. Say nothing, hear nothing, do nothing. Those were the options for the ones who stayed behind.

Thirty years of such paralysis would make true communication between Iraqis extremely difficult, preventing a blossoming of a Democratic Society.
However, thanks to the high degree of education and ingenuity among the Iraqi people, they have shown a greater capability than others in the Middle East to establish such a Modern State. Though there is still much work ahead of us in the West to nurture such a representational society for both Iraq and the Middle East at large.

What Fear Does In Our Everyday Life

Through exchanges with my Muslim Friends, especially those in the ME, I realized that they tend not to say directly what is on their mind, rather wrapping thier message in "gentle - safe - ways". There are very good reasons for this. Often in the past, saying what one truly thought in the Middle East, could get one in very deep trouble, or at the very least, cause oneself to be ostracized by the group. This reality made it very unwelcome to question authority, whether by religious leaders, governments, or even husbands. In the soul searching rational West, this lack of freedom to critique oneself is fortunately missing. But for those living under terror and dictatorships; another set of rules prevails, one where they have to manipulate their way to survival, a process very tough on self esteem, Living under the apparent danger of being crushed by "authority", neither the people nor the State can advance.

The Plan To Free Iraq For Good

We could ask the anti-American crtics the question: What could be the ideal plan to remove a furiously mad and ambitious dictator in one of the most explosive areas of the world? Saddam was not willing to negotiate his departure, as he proved many times. We all knew that Iraq was his life, his property, his heritage to his sons, and his "gift shop" to his supporters.

Action In Maturity

Why is the Middle East less open than other areas of the globe, like India? Why is the ME not better off, considering all of its resources? The answer is at the top of the pyramid, and goes down throughout its entire social and tribal structures. Fear - terror - is the way of life, and the ultimate tool for dictators there. The results of this are terrible for growth in all aspects of Middle Eastern life, because living in fear, simply prevents any development. No wonder, Iraqis and others Middle Eastern people are not accepting fully their responsibilities as "adults", instead they complain and use scapegoats like Israel and the US as a justification for their own misery. It also suits the over controlling and micro-managing leaders of the Middle East, that their people turn their hostility outwards rather than reform their own states.

The phenomena is not only found in the Middle East, we have this right here in Quebec, Canada. In this part of the world, like in France, we have been indulging our selves in anti-American, anti-Anglo-Saxon and anti-federalist rhetoric as a justification for our evident lack of progress, and the erosion of our cultural identity. So, guess what we do here? We whine - and drink wine - instead of moving forward, growing up, and participating in our own success. Our politicians feed on that, and so did the Liberation Front of Quebec, our own terrorist organization back in the seventies. So, is it a surprise that we in the Province of Quebec and Canada did not support the coalition in Iraq: Operation Freedom? The decisions made for partisan political interests, spoke louder than our strategic national interests.

The Apparent Curse

Oil is both a curse and a blessing, depending on what "we" do with it. This curse results from the poor actions or inactions of the owners of the resource. Farred Zakaria, in The Future Of Freedom deals with this curse by arguing that counties which rely on a single commodity such as oil won't develop to thier full potential. Under those conditions both political modernization and economic growth will
be hindered.


But of course, it is better to have resources than not. Provided with a strong oil base, Iraq has the ability to develop a modern society and we can offer both our support and understanding to them, so such a development can take place.

I have lots of hope.
"Tant qu'il y a de la vie, il y a de l'espoire." As long as there is life, there is hope.

DC
Written as a follow up to Fayroux's excellent Post: ( Stop Whining And Start Rebuilding )


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Bil Doritos, Bil Cubanos, Nifdeek ya Saddam!

“Bil rooh, Bil Dem, Nifdeek ya Saddam” (with life, with blood, we sacrifice for you Saddam).

In case you missed it, a couple months ago Akbar of Iraq Rising wrote a blog entry in which he described how he and his classmates were bussed to the side of a highway where Saddam Hussein, Raed Jarrar's NATIONAL LEADER, was scheduled to pass in a motorcade.
We waited and waited...1 hour 2 hours, 3, 4, finally after 5 hours had gone by we get the order to stand by the side of the highroad; Papa was coming and we can hear him coming nearer just by the increasing loudness of the chanting. And it was nearly our turn to show our appreciation in the way all loyal Iraqis had learned to do so well. Saddam’s convoy was almost upon us and we began to shout that famous Iraqi chant “Bil rooh, Bil Dem, Nifdeek ya Saddam” (with life, with blood, we sacrifice for you Saddam).

His open car convoy approaches slowly, His special bodyguards line up next to us pushing away any over excited kid who might in someway pose a danger to papa. His convey gets nearer and nearer and I’m gripped with both excitement, fear, and curiosity, Then I see him in his open hood car sitting there no more than 5 or 10 meters away from me, next to him this strangely dressed Gulf Arab Sheik. Who is this other man I thought immediately?

The convoy passes by and the moment was gone forever. A few minutes go by and we get back to our busses. Our teachers gather us back onto the busses and we head back to college. Of course we had to wait for a couple of hours more for the ok from the security/ army people that the road is finally clear. And with the ok given the thousands of students and the hundreds of busses began their jostle back to Baghdad,
I got back home around 9pm at night. My mother was worried and in fits of tears, she thought I was kidnapped or killed or something. A natural instinct.

So who was that man and what really was going on?

It turns out that the King of Saudi Arabia was honouring us with his visit, and naturally to honour this esteemed guest back, Papa Saddam had decided to demonstrate his power, and the love of his people, by lining the whole of the 10-15 mile highway with children and school kids.
There will be one more motorcade ride for Papa Saddam, when he is transferred to the building or scaffold where he will meet Death and have Eternal Judgment passed on him.

*

Right now Saddam Hussein, the Arab Saladin (the real Saladin was Kurdish), sits in a small jail cell and refuses to eat Fruit Loops. Upon learning about Saddam's current situation, Vahal has a few pertinent questions.
Okay I have a question, why the hell does this monster get served doritos anyway? Whatever happened to the good old loaf of bread and a cup of water? Or is that a violation of human rights? Doritos is a snack, a snack is a privilege, a privilege Saddam took away from millions of Iraqi children during the decade of the sanctions.

As if that's not outrageous enough, the soldiers also said that Saddam spends his time reading poetry while smoking cigars. Cigars? What is it a prison or a bar? Where does he get his cigars? Whose tax dollars pay for this genocidal monster's cigars?

There are more pressing issues, but effective immediately, I will not buy Doritos (sorry I know it's not their fault but I can't have anything in common with that savage). Also, I will change my cereal to Fruit Loops only!
Hey, Doritos must have some connection to Halliburton, right?

*

Fayrouz has posted a blog entry called Stop Whining and Start Rebuilding, and it has generated by far the liveliest discussion this week on the comments pages of the Iraqi Blogosphere.

*

Hey, whatever happend to Rachel, a Brit in London? I haven't seen her anywhere on the comments pages. Could she have relocated to Baghdad and joined Riverbend, the Doleful Dame of Baghdad, on her couch in the TOP SECRET BA'ATHIST BAT CAVE? With Riverbend, it's not about the glass being half-full or half-empty. For her, it's ALWAYS EMPTY, year in and year out.

Hm. Riverbend as Batman and Rachel as Robin. Could work.

Rachel to Riverbend: Holy Dorito-Chomping Saladin, Riverbend!

Zaaaaaaap!

Swaaaaak!

Pow!

Zooooonk!

Stay tuned! In NEXT WEEK'S EPISODE, Riverbend and Rachel battle the democracy-loving Iraqi citizens! Riverbend and Robin working to bring back their NATIONAL LEADER! Der Fuehrer!

*

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Saddam's WMDs: The issue that will not die

Christopher S. Carson discusses the Duelfer report on the fabled Iraqi WMDs at FrontpageMag.com

Carson points out some lil' biddy parts of the report and the aspects surround it's compilation that weren't widely reported and that Duelfer himself didn't highlight.

For instance, Duelfer wrote his report after concluding his investigation early. He said Zarqawi “tried to get me and my follow car. Two of my guards were killed and one was badly wounded. My hearing's not been right since." After that, Duelfer decided he had gathered plenty of information regarding the possible transfer of weapons to Syria to write his report.

Carson says:

"These aren’t exactly ideal working conditions. Duelfer and Kay had other problems as well: Zarqawi and the ex-Baathist terrorists were also killing off as many Iraqi scientists as they could. According to Congressman Steve Buyer last year, at least nine Iraqi scientists questioned by ISG were assassinated within the year after Operation Iraqi Freedom and another fifty scientists simply fled the country. Mr. Duelfer told Congress that he was struck by the "extreme reluctance of Iraqi managers, scientists and engineers to speak freely."
"struck" indeed. Ho ho ho.

"Duelfer’s Report suffers from curious lapses. In the months and years immediately before Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Saddam was not nearly as WMD-free as Duelfer surmises. The Report is valuable for what it does reveal, but it certainly does not serve as any basis for the media’s and administration critics’ angry claims of a harmless Iraq."
So why does Duelfer surmise Saddam acted so guilty if he was in full compliance with the U.N. ceasefire demands? According to Carson, the Duelfer report says
"Saddam wanted to have WMD capabilities as long as he could, because WMD had saved him from Iranian human-wave attacks in the 1980’s and from the Shi’ite rebellion in the south after the Gulf War. Chemical weapons were good for gassing the Kurds into intimidated slavery as well

"... By the turn of the millennium, Duelfer writes, things were going well for Saddam. A few years of bribing foreign governments and businesses through Oil-For-Food had managed to erode the sanctions regime entirely. The U.S. was quickly becoming the last holdout in favor of continuation. The Baghdad International Fair in November 2001 was attended by hundreds of companies, and 'the Oil Minister was treated like a rock star.' The end of UN sanctions was finally in sight. Duelfer believes that Saddam, who had already been heavily bombed in 1998 for not complying with UNSCOM’s inspections, thought he could keep his WMD human expertise (but not his visible stockpiles) preserved but inactive, and wait out the sanctions.
So much, so good. This is pretty much what I have supposed for the last year and a half. But Carson says that "a great deal of information in Duelfer’s own Report contradicts his tidy model of a disarmed-but-coyly-pretending dictator." Hmmmmm. And there is Dr. David Kay's report and discoveries after the liberation of Iraq further undermine it. The conclusion Carson draws is one of a Saddam with much more to hide than a naked spider hole.

For example:

  1. Secret biological laboratories hidden throughout Baghdad that were never found by UNSCOM, Blix, or UNMOVIC. They were "all in egregious violation of the UN resolutions on disclosure and disarmament" and were only discovered by invading Iraq.

  2. "Dr. David Kay reported to Congress in October 2003 that one scientist was ordered to conceal reference strains of [bioweapon] organisms like anthrax, ricin and Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever in his own refrigerator. The scientist knew of other seed stocks but these were missing when ISG investigators showed up to collect them. "

  3. A special IIS unit that was was conducting “secret experiments on human beings, resulting in their deaths" the aim of which Duelfer posited “was probably the development of poisons, including ricin and aflatoxin..."

  4. “According to Dr. Mahmud Farraj Bilal Al Sammarai, a senior official involved in the weaponization and testing of CBW agents, the aim of the viral [bioweapons] program was intended for the weaponization of smallpox." They used camelpox for testing purposes with the intention of ultimately arming them with smallpox. "Dr. Bilal claimed that he “did not know for a fact that samples of smallpox existed within Iraq.”

Oh, well, thanks Dr. Bilal. I feel better now. Here's something that will keep you up tonight:

"Could Saddam have kept smallpox stores and concealed them from the inspectors Duelfer’s technical advisors believe the answer is yes, particularly in liquid nitrogen freezers. And “several institutes” in Iraq had such freezers. One “institute” had an interesting story attached, according to Duelfer:
'ISG learned of a television news report that was broadcasted on Western television in mid-April 2003 that reported the CPHL had been [recently] looted of highly infectious virus such as smallpox, polio and influenza. ISG visited the latter and interviewed senior researchers who described the incident….ISG did identify a “secret lab” that was operated there, which had been vacated in December 2002. The nature of the research in that laboratory was not determined [by ISG]. '"

For those who don't remember. December 2002 is three months before the invasion of Iraq while we played Parcheesi with the French and Germans.

5. "American soldiers literally found some of Saddam’s purchase orders [from 2000] for mustard gas and 'malignant pustule,' a known code-phrase for anthrax (according to UNSCOM) in a government building. What is interesting are the amounts of the WMD and the dates: five kilograms of mustard gas on August 21, 2000, and three ampules of anthrax on September 6th, 2000. The orders came with protective equipment."

6. When it became clear that the US was coming Saddam began dumping his "mustard gas barrels and cyanide in the Euphrates, never minding that the local people use this river for their drinking water. The US Marines found “significant quantities” of the poisons in the river near Nasiriyah in June of 2003."

7. Since the invasion, Carson notes "the Polish Army actually purchased cyclosarin (five times deadlier than sarin) rockets from the black market in Iraq to keep them out of the hands of Zarqawi's terrorists."

Before the unrealists poo-poo all this as pale ghosts of the stockpiles that the US, British, and French intelligence agencies thought were there, remember that after 9-11 our concern was not that Saddam would get in a boat and invade the US with these weapons. It was that he would give them to one of the terrorist groups he was hob-nobbing with and/or shielding.

Carson currectly notes this as the major concern reminding us that:

[Saddam's] men trained foreign al-Qaeda and other terrorists at Salman Pak in aircraft hijacking...kept Zarqawi, Abu Nidal, and Abu Abbas as house pets, tried to kill former President Bush, tried to blow up Radio Free Europe, and apparently sent an active colonel in the Fedayeen Saddam to baby-sit the 9-11 hijackers in the 2000 Malaysia planning summit, for starters.

Carson concludes:

"It’s really too bad about Duelfer’s work being “cut short” because of Zarqawi. The trail of WMD isn’t cold. It leads to Syria and the Bekka Valley of formerly Syrian-occupied Lebanon, according to a Syrian defector to US intelligence. Gen. Tommy Franks himself leans this way...Duelfer’s next stop should have been Damascus. With Syrian President Bashar Assad now admitting that he has stockpiles of WMD, perhaps it should be ours."

There's plenty more there to wallpaper your most horrific nightmares. It's cheaper than a Wes Craven DVD. The Jarrar's ex-customer, Dr. Germ, and The Angry Arab get mentions as well. Check it out.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Jarrar Family Coming To America


The Jarrar Family Coming To America by DC - Please Click On Image For Full View

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Faiza in America

May has translated Faiza Jarrar’s blog entry for her first day at the Conflict Transformation across Cultures summer program at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.

On the first day in class she noticed that many of the people participating were Europeans and North Americans who had worked in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. She wondered why these people would leave their countries to try to help other people. She concluded:
I think that when the western people collide with the truth of their live's emptiness of deep, noble meanings, they go in search of them in other countries, helping other people…their western governments were, in most cases if not all, the reason in destroying those countries, forcing the immigrations of those innocent inhabitants…

There are people here, in the west, who are honest, their consciences are alive, not corrupted yet, who suffer from deep spiritual crisis. I do not want to ridicule or make fun of them; for if I was living in that empty, contradicting culture, which is controlled by capitalism and materialism, that emptied life of its deep, beautiful meanings, I would have ended up with a deep spiritual crisis, like them, and I would have left my country in search of an experience with poor, tortured people on Earth, to help.
According to Faiza Jarrar, Europeans and North Americans help others because they suffer from “deep spiritual crisis” in their own countries.

And then Faiza Jarrar, ever the good Ba’athist, begins her diatribe against the evils of capitalism. She writes that “capitalism is a deformed creature, without a family, bearing grudges against those who live within families that keep principals, and the beautiful concepts that respect life. Capitalism strives in all ways to destroy and shred principals in societies; like religion, civilization, and the customs that give people a referential binding them under an umbrella of its own.” Yes, it does sound like she’s reading from a leaflet handed out by the Socialist Workers Party, doesn’t it?

This comes, however, from a woman who is herself a capitalist to the bone and whose husband maintains as many capitalist projects as he can finance. This comes from a woman who in the middle of Operation Iraqi Freedom made sure to get contracts signed to sell some water-treatment appliances to an Italian company! And yes, that was the water-treatment company that for nearly two years featured photographs on its website of top Ba'athists in full military uniforms.

On Monday, March 31, 2003, Faiza writes in her diary:
Our door bell was unexpectedly ringing!
A Red Crescent car parking outside our door, and a group of young men and women came out of the car.
I remembered them when they entered our guest room.
They came before the war asking for some water purification units for hospitals, and they took some catalogues and price lists at that time…
Now they came to buy some units.
We had some filtration units in our house, under the stairs.
We wrote the contract between us and them, and drank some coffee.
An Italian NGO was with them, Un Ponte Per, as a funding agency for the project.
We discussed the currant events, and criticized Bush and his administration.
I don’t think he cares for our critic.
We are going through this Hell alone.
At the time I wrote in a blog entry called “War and Its Discontents”: “One thing you have to admire about the Jarrars is that even in the middle of a war they have the presence of mind to sign contracts and make a profit. This is not a family to discount. They will prosper in Iraq whether democracy prevails or whether Uday and Qusay rise from their graves to take back Dear Old Dad's Country.”

Perhaps Faiza Jarrar should move to North Korea, a "socialist paradise."

North Korea
Population: 22 million
GDP: $30 billion
International estimates indicate that 1/3 of all North Koreans are malnourished, and this is with international food aid. How many North Koreans die each year of starvation is unknown.

South Korea is a EVIL CAPITALIST COUNTRY.

South Korea
Population: 48 million
GDP: $925 billion
South Korea is a prosperous, capitalist nation. It should be noted, however, that even though some Koreans are atheists, while others are Buddhists and Christians, they do not consider themselves as "soulless."

I guess Faiza Jarrar, as a good Muslim, would like to see all the Kaffirs executed anyway.

*

Helena Cobban, Faiza's friend, born a Brit but who now lives in the Great Satan (surprise, surprise!), reveals in an essay entitled "Religion and Violence":
I grew up in England, as an Anglican, which was really a sort of religious “default option” there. My first professional work as a journalist I carried out as a foreign correspondent in Lebanon, mainly in the 1970s. In April 1975, eight months after I got there, the civil war started. (It was very good for my career, by the way. I had my byline on the front page of the London Sunday Times several times when I was still just 23 years old.)
Heh heh. Indeed.

*

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Are Iraqis Crocodiles?

Steven Vincent has written a profile of an Iraqi stringer in Basra. One humorous comment he reports comes from a Multi-national Forces soldier in Iraq:
I think how a Lithuanian soldier I met recently described Iraqis: crocodiles, possessing big mouths to speak, but little hands and feet to do actual work.

Heh heh.

*

Faiza Jarrar, after her "peace-training" in Vermont, now clearly sees that the Americans are responsible for all the deaths and chaos in Iraq! Since January 1, 2005, the Baathists/terrorists have killed over 2500 Iraqi men, women, and children. But like her son Raed, Faiza disregards the actual people doing the killing and lays the blame on the Coalition forces and Iraqi soldiers who are trying to protect Iraqi citizens. To me, there is no more heartless and hypocritical view of Iraq than that.

"It's become clear to me that they [the Americans] have been trying to stir up the conflicts inside the country rather than help help solve them," Faiza Jarrar tells Helena Cobban. "Before I came to the course, I wasn't sure whether US policy in Iraq was the result of ignorance, or mismanagement, or what. Now it seems clear to me that stirring up the internal problems there has been part of the plan."

*

Helena Cobban, a blogger here in the US, visited Faiza in Boston recently and blogs about their day together.
She said her visit to the US had been a little hard at times, seeing so many people here just sitting around insouciantly enjoying themselves while her own country is-- as a direct result of US policies there-- living through truly hellish days. But still, she felt that the course she's been taking-- at the pro-peace "School for International Training" in Brattleboro-- had helped to open her eyes. For example, she has been in a course with people from many, many different wartorn parts of the world. "One day, they asked us all to draw a conceptual 'map' of our different conflicts... and the main feature that was the same on each of the maps we produced was the involvement of the US government in stoking the conflict."

Also, "They showed us how to analyze the steps that are needed to de-escalate a conflict, if wea want to build peace. And everything the US has done in Iraq has been the direct opposite of that. It's become clear to me that they've been trying to stir up the conflicts inside the country, rather than help help solve them... Before I came to the course, I wasn't sure whether US policy in Iraq was the result of ignorance, or mismanagement, or what. Now it seems clear to me that stirring up the internal problems there has been part of the plan."

*

Christopher Hitchens on the Midget's Kingdom of North Korea.
In North Korea, every person is property and is owned by a small and mad family with hereditary power. Every minute of every day, as far as regimentation can assure the fact, is spent in absolute subjection and serfdom. The private life has been entirely abolished. One tries to avoid cliché, and I did my best on a visit to this terrifying country in the year 2000, but George Orwell's 1984 was published at about the time that Kim Il Sung set up his system, and it really is as if he got hold of an early copy of the novel and used it as a blueprint. ("Hmmm … good book. Let's see if we can make it work.")

Actually, North Korea is rather worse than Orwell's dystopia. There would be no way, in the capital city of Pyongyang, to wander off and get lost in the slums, let alone to rent an off-the-record love nest in a room over a shop. Everybody in the city has to be at home and in bed by curfew time, when all the lights go off (if they haven't already failed). A recent nighttime photograph of the Korean peninsula from outer space shows something that no "free-world" propaganda could invent: a blaze of electric light all over the southern half, stopping exactly at the demilitarized zone and becoming an area of darkness in the north.

*

Instead of asking if Iraqis are crocodiles, Akba asks, "Are Iraqis insane?"
I feel sorry for Americans, I really do. When they liberated Iraq they never expected to find a population as insane and dysfunctional as the Iraqi population is. They never factored in the psychological damage that 30 years living under Saddam Hussain has done to a population of over 25 million people.


*

Salam Pax is back.

*

Check out Abu Aardvark.

*

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Sam (Hammorabi): Five Minutes Alone In A Cell With Saddam


Tree Water, MG



So, what would you do Sam, just you and Saddam
alone in his cell? Would you kill him? Scream
at him? Ask him why he acted the way he did?
What would you do?

Thanks vey much.
Mister Ghost


Dear MG,

Five minutes with Saddam is not enough to ask him about his crimes; however a creature like Saddam
is not pleasant to sit with even for a moment.

Having said that, one may say to him the following;

You killed millions from your people and the
others; the 8 years war between you and Khomeini destroyed both countries economy and people; you killed your fellow Bathists; your family; you
used the gas and weapon of mass destruction
against the Kurds and Shiites; you invented
new ways of tortures and killing against any
one who may disagree with you; you used for
that starving dogs, choppers, burying alive,
and many other. You did the worst environmental disaster which is the marsh drying and attacked
many other countries not only Iraq. As a result
of your crimes 5 million Iraqis migrated away
from their country and those who remained inside they just lived in a big prison called Iraq with
out hope or dignity and any one of them can NOT guaranty his life for that day. You sent your
dogs in the security systems to intimidate, kill, and threaten and torture people.

When you entered the last war as usual you
pushed the Iraqis to the Holocaust and hide
your stinking self behind the women and
children or in the tunnels, just a timid
like rat. By the end you escaped from the battlefield, a crime that you used to execute
the simple soldiers for it when they slightly retreat from the field with Iran. You remember
when a field officer decided to pull his
soldiers to avoid total destruction to his
unit, you ordered your dogs to take his wife
and raped her and you send him the video with
a message saying, if you don’t obay orders
again the same will be done with your sisters
and mother. Your crimes are countless and
needs 35 years or more to finish them.

Now you just returned back to your origin, a
thug. You got a choice now how would you like
to die? Either in a cage and your victims choice the way to humiliate you or apply on you all the ways that you used with your prays? But there is yet to come the judgment of God and his punishment on the day which count every thing even if it is
the size of a mustard seed.

And We shall set up balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it. And Sufficient are We to take account. Holy Quran: 21: 47

Friday, June 10, 2005

Ali Fadhil: Five Minutes Alone In A Cell With Saddam


US Marine returning baby to her mother, Iraq, 6' x 3', DC


So, what would you do Ali, just you and Saddam
alone in his cell? Would you kill him? Scream at him? Seek him to admit to his crimes and ask forgiveness? Ask him why he acted the way he did? What would you do?

Thanks very much.
Mister Ghost



Hi Mister Ghost,

Thanks for the mail and I'm sorry for my late response. I wouldn't like to spend 5 seconds with Saddam, and in case I had to then I wouldn't say anything to him. There's simply no use in talking
to scum like him, as the distance between them and humanity is so huge that there's no longer any common language between us and them. I'm also not interested in any revenge, but I want to see justice
taking place, and I'm more interested in putting to trial the beliefs and stale ideologies that paved the way for Saddam and all Arab presidents to the absolute power most of them still have.

I hope this answers your question.
Best regards,
Ali.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Hand Me That Fascist Tool

Over at Kurdistan Bloggers Union, Xosh 7al has posted an entry on a heated exchange between himself and an acquaintance (here called Iraqi Guy).
During one of the matches, he mentioned the Iraqi topic. The conversation was as followed; I will be labelled as X7 (Xosh 7al) in the conversation and he will be labelled as IG (Iraqi Guy). X7... that's an awesome name!!!! I feel all stealthy, syphillitic and covert-y.

IG: "There are no good leaders in the world".
X7: "Aye there are, Tony Blair for example".
IG (in a startled manner): "No way!! He and Bush are the biggest Kaffirs!! (Kaffirs = atheists in arabic... but the manner he was using it in was quite offensive)"

At this point I thought to myself... oh crap what did I just start here

He went on about how America is the root of all evil blah blah blah he also mentioned some crap about Zionism blah blah .I phased out there coz I was really pummelling him in Pro Evolution Soccer 4 and I knew that he was a stubborn fella with whom there was no point of arguing.

The conversation continued. (I'll only leave the interesting bits)

IG: "What we need in Iraq is Islam to run it all"
X7: "Fuck that... That's what is causing the world to go backwards"

Now most people that know me know that I say things that I don't mean or that I have a crap time of expressing myself. The above phrase is an example of that. I did not mean to insult Islam, I was insluting what it had become; a fascist tool used by clerics and leaders to fulfill their own agendas. Anyway at this point he paused the game and stood up and said the following. Well more like screamed.

IG: "Don't you fucking dare insult my religion, I'll fucking throw you against the wall, I'll fucking break your middle finger."

I had no idea my response would provoke the above reaction. This guy was a couple of years younger than me and screaming at me like only parents would. So I stood up and tried to say as calmly as possible

X7: "Don't yell at me, respect your elders and don't fucking use swear words if you want to defend your religion... it kind of defeats the point you prick"

Heh heh. The blogosphere is simply GREAT. How could I have read such down-and-dirty and very REAL exchange before the blogosphere? What? You think this would have survived a journalist's Ratheresque IRONING?

*

Take a look at what RAED JARRAR'S INSURGENTS/RESISTANCE/TERRORISTS HAVE DONE SO FAR IN JUNE.

Don't EVER try to tell me that Raed Jarrar cares about the Iraqi people!

*

Listen, if you really want to learn something, stop by Sandmonkey's Place EVERY DAY. And don't even THINK about coming back here if you don't go over to Sam's first.

Today Professor Sandmonkey takes apart the Egyptian economy.

*

GM over at Big Pharaoh takes a look at the dangers involved with changing your religion in Egypt.
If you’re an Egyptian Christian who decided to become a Muslim for whatever reason, all what you have to do is inform the civil authorities and have your ID changed (our religions are mentioned in our ID). All good, all sound. A problem will arise if you decided to return to your former faith. The Egyptian constitution states that religious freedom is guaranteed and that Egypt is a signatory of the universal declaration of human rights that calls for the freedom to covert to any religion and the freedom to declare it publicly. However, Article 2 of the same constitution mentions that Islamic Law (unreformed Islamic law to be specific) is the main source of legislation in the country*. This entails that anyone who converts out of Islam should be subject to apostasy law that calls for his/her death.

Yup, it always pays to read the FINE PRINT!

*

Nadz addresses the subject of seating arrangements for men and women in mosques.
Having visited my local mosque, I can say that gender segregation is a problem. The men's section is spacious and comfortable, the women's section is small, a narrow area behind the men's space, divided by a wooden panel. I had to enter through the back door into the women's entrance - i couldn't infect the front door with my alluring presence, it seems. Theses divides and the position of women bowing behind men is very symbolic of the entire situation in the Middle East and the Muslim world for me.

*

Akba has an essential post on the state of the Iraqi Blogosphere. I urge all of you who have taken part in the daily debates in the Iraqi Blogosphere over the last two years to read Akba's entry and offer your thoughts on his comments page.

*

Sandrine/Piling: Five Minutes Alone In A Cell With Saddam


Design, MG


So, what would you do Sandrine, just you and
Saddam alone in his cell? Would you kill him?
Scream at him? Ask him why he acted the way he
did? Seek him to admit his crimes? What would
you do?

Thanks very much.
Mister Ghost



Hi,

Well I suppose that I would do nothing, nor tell
anything, and it will be a dull time, because
tyrants are very dull people. They have all the
same language: "I am innocent, the ppl I killed deserved it", or "I didn't kill them, it is a lie", etc."

No there's nothing to do, or to ask. He placed himself outself out of humanity so I refuse to
have any human reaction with him, even hatred.
Only contempt.

And he is such megalomaniac that to ignore him
could be a mortification !

Bye, Sandrine.

Duraid: Five Minutes Alone...George Galloway


Children Assasinated by Saddam Hussein, Karbala, Iraq. The drawing of the children are by Hannah, my dear friend / 4 years old, 7.5' x 6', DC


So, what would you do Duraid, just you and Saddam alone in his cell? Would you kill him?
Scream at him? Ask him why he acted the way he
did? Seek him to admit his sins? Film him in
his desperation? What would you do?

Thanks very much.
Mister Ghost


Ummmmm ....

Hmmmm ...

Tough question to answer.

But in the end, it's irrelevant, as irrelevant as if you chose Hitler, Pol Pot, Gengis Khan, or any other human monster.

What is sad about all this is that it is merely a distraction to the ultimate tragedy going on in
Iraq right now.

It seems more civilians are being killed per month than when Saddam was in power.

How incredibly sad.

Sorry if this reply dissapoints.

We have more important issues to deal with, like
the threat of permanentloss to our culture,
depleted uranium, reconstruction, rights of Iraqi
prisoners (a mojority of whom are detained without charges), etc.

By asking this question, you are playing into the hands of occupation forces, who have stolen and continue to steal from Iraqi wealth (for
more on this, just listen to Galloway's U.S.
Senate hearing. Whatever you think of
him, just listen to the facts).

My best wishes,

Duraid Munajim

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Dr. Truth Teller: Five Minutes Alone In A Cell With Saddam


Water, MG


So, what would you do Dr. Truth Teller, just
you and Saddam alone in his cell? Would you
kill him? Scream at him? Ask him why he acted
the way he did? Give him an injection of truth
serum and get all his secrets? What would you do?

Thanks very much.
Mister Ghost


Hi Mister Ghost
It is very interesting idea. For my self and according to my suspicions, I prefer to Give
him an injection of truth serum and get all
his secrets? I think this will change too
much things including our look to the world
around us.

Akbar: Five Minutes Alone In A Cell With Saddam


Dogs Art, MG


So, what would you do Akbar, just you and
Saddam alone in the cell? Would you kill him?
Scream at him? Ask him why he acted the way he
did? What would you do?

Thanks vey much.
Mister Ghost


hi ghost,
It would certainly be a strange experience to
sit in front of the man that had the power of
life and death over you and everyone else in
your family. The thing is that if i had the opportunity to question him i would probably
pass. Saddam is irrelevant to me now. He is
history. and frankly i don't think that Saddam himself would have the mental capacity to
understand what he did wrong to the Iraqi people. I'm sure that he is still under the delusion that
we all love him..No, let his trial come and put
him in prison for the rest of his natural life.

Vahal: Five Minutes Alone in A Cell With Saddam


Weapons in conflicts of the past decades, 3' x 5' DC - Precious contribution from Douglas Mcconnell. DC



So, what would you do Vahal, just you and Saddam alone in his cell? Would you kill him? Scream at him? Ask him why he acted the way he did? Seek to find out the truth from him? What would you do?

Thanks very much.
Mister Ghost



Dear Mr. Ghost,

I don't think I would kill him, I would like a
court to order his death. I wouldn't scream at
him, I would ask him, "what was it that you wanted?" I would really like to know what
Saddam's purpose was and if I had the chance to
ask him something, I would ask him precisely that question.

All the best,

Vahal

al-Witwity: Five Minutes Alone In A Cell With Saddam


A woman and a man holding a bag of human remains, Mass Grave, Hilla, Iraq, 8' x 6', DC


So, what would you do al-Witwity, just you
and Saddam alone in his cell? Would you kill him? Scream at him? Ask him why he acted the way he
did? What would you do?

Thanks very much.
Mister Ghost



Dear Ghost,

I would like to tell you in this link.

You will fine some advance to the next Iraqi President, and Saddam make reverse this advice to next Iraqi President that I hope don't be do that.

If some one offers me this opportunity I will refuse to Spend Five Minutes Alone with Saddam in His Cell, not this only…. I am sure I will refuse, but if they let me handle Saddam, I will use him to pay Iraq's debts that he made .

Best Regards

Truly Yours

Al-Witwity

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Nancy: Five Minutes Alone In A Cell With Saddam


Art Hill 2, MG


So, what would you do Nancy, just you and
Saddam alone in his cell? Would you kill him?
Scream at him? Ask him why he acted the way he
did? What would you do?

Thanks very much.
Mister Ghost



hmmm...that's a really tough question MG. the answer depends on whether he would be at my mercy for those 5 minutes...if so then I would have a trustworthy media crew with me and I will ask them to tape everything to broadcast to all the Iraqi people later...then I will ask him to get down on his knees and give a long and meaningful apology to all of the Iraqi people especially those that he hurt the most (although I am sure his apology won't be sincere but done out of fear)...and when he's done, and to top off these great 5 minutes of my life I will punch him on the face as hard as I can (I am not a person who advocates the use of violence, but this is an exception).

I would opt NOT to kill Saddam because I believe humiliation is way more painful than a swift and easy death...I want his death to come slowly after suffering just like he made the people of Iraq suffer and die both physically and emotionally for so many years.

best,
Nancy

Omar: Five Minutes Alone In A Cell With Saddam


Soldier In Camo - MG


Question: If you could spend five minutes alone with Saddam in his cell, what would you do?

What would you do, Omar? Would you kill Saddam? Scream at him? Ask him why? Show him photos of
mass graves? So, what would you do?

Thanks a bunch.
MG


Hi MG,
My answer is:
I don't want to spend even 5 seconds with him, we have had enough of this murderer and now he's gone, he's a dark and painful history that we need to stop thinking of. We've got a future to build and I would not waste time on scum from the past like Saddam.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Ahmad: Five Minutes Alone In A Cell With Saddam


Mourning Father, Mass Grave, Hilla, Iraq, 3' x 4', DC.


So, what would you do Ahmad, just you and
Saddam alone in his cell? Would you kill him?
Scream at him? Ask him why he acted the way he
did? Seek him to confess his crimes? What
would you do?

Thanks very much.
Mister Ghost



Hi MG,

Here is what I would do; I would get in the cell, lock it, place my bag on the floor and then get close to him, slap him and then start punching him. After few punches, I hold him tight and get the leash out of my bag and place it on his neck. While I am doing all that, I never stop cursing him and abuse him verbally. Then I would get the whip out of the bag and whip him wear it hurts and oull the leash and drag him around like a dog. Finally before I leave I would spit on his face and then hit him as hard as I can in the balls, hand the leash and the whip to the next Iraqi and leave.

I wouldn't kill him because I am not a murderer and there are many Iraqis waiting to get in the cell after me and kick the shit out of him.

Regards,
Ahmad

Ihath: Five Minutes Alone In A Cell With Saddam


Iris Project 2, MG


So, what would you do Ihath, just you and
Saddam alone in his cell? Would you kill him?
Scream at him? Ask him why he acted the way he
did? Seek to have him understand his motives?
What would you do?

Thanks very much.
Mister Ghost


Nothing.

I would say nothing and ask nothing.

Fayrouz: Five Minutes Alone In A Cell With Saddam


Iris Project 1, MG


...So, what would you do Fay, just you and Saddam alone in his cell? Would you kill him? Scream at him? Ask him why he acted the way he did? What
would you do,
Fay?

Thanks very much.
MG


Hi MG,

I would make him wear a Hawaiian costume, force him to drink a shot of tequila -- He likes Whisky-- then ask him how it feels like to lose his two monstrous sons.

Just for fun, I'll take Cuban cigars with me and NO, I won't give him any.

This is my type of 5 minutes torture.

-- Fay

Sunday, June 05, 2005

SAMI: Five Minutes Alone In A Cell With Saddam


Mourning Mother lost six sons under Saddam, Mass Grave, Hilla, Iraq - 3.5' x 4.5', DC - Bigger format


Hi Sami...
What Would You Do, If You Could Spend Five Minutes
Alone With Saddam in His Cell... So, what would you do Sami, just you and Saddam alone in his cell? Would you kill him? Scream at him? Ask him why he acted the way he did? What would you do?


Hello Mister Ghost,

its not a distraction at all, i'd love to spend five minutes with him. I know some of the politicans who have been given the chance to sit with him. They were enraged etc....

To be honest I would definitly not kill him, that will not really achieve much... to come down to his level. He is responsible for the mass genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Kurds of Iraq. He is also responsible for an endless number of crimes. For five minutes I would probably sit there and be nervous, its not the right thing to say but how can one not be. I would make sure to ask him a bunch of questions, there is a judge to question him.... I'd much rather ask him about why it is he destroyed Iraq. Does he really believe that the Iraqi people love him and questions of that sort.... ones that will prove his insanity... Finally I'd leave by urinating on him. Not really the same as killing him but it would give me pleasure to humilate him while at the same time being able to tell all my Iraqi brothers and sisters that I pissed on Saddam's face. Yes I know it doesn't sound right but its an innocent way of emrassing him and whatever pride he has left...

Best Regards
Sami

MEDYA: Five Minutes Alone In A Cell With Saddam


Father kisses the remains of his 32 year old son, mass grave, Hilla,Iraq - 2.5' x 1.2', DC


Hi Medya,
I'm doing an upcoming posting at Iraqi Bloggers Central on the following subject: What Would You Do, If You Could Spend Five Minutes Alone With Saddam in His Cell... So, what would you do Medya, just you and Saddam alone in his cell? Would you kill him? Scream at him? Ask him why he acted the way he
did? What would you do?



Thank you Mister Ghost

nice question to ask ,
I couldnt fight with him physical, because I never learnt how to do violence ,If i fight with a chicken , it will defeat me physically , he he
I think i would try to make him shame of himself instead of attacking to him , I would tell him sad stories he made for Iranian , Iraqis and sepcially kurds , just because of his Arabic Nationalism that made him repeat his uncle's saying "Jews Kurds and Iranians" are annoying bees .
I would make him cry and regret for the "life opportunty" that he missed , he could have spend it to make beutifull stories but he spent all of it making sad stories , he also made a bad reputation for Arabs .
no there is no use of killing him ,I would make him conffess make him cry and regret , this can atleast discourage those who like to be like him (the hero of Arab world) I would make him say loudly that he was wrong about Jews Kurds and Iranians.

thanks for asking my idea
Medya (the Pope)

Friday, June 03, 2005

The In T View: Maryam, A Kuwaiti Woman Heading For The Stars

MARYAM ET SERGEI




She Wants To Be A Pioneer In Space. That is Maryam from Kuwait and the Excellent So I Want To
Be An Astronaut Blog
which details her Hopes,
Dreams, Studies, and Desires of becoming the First Arab Female Astronaut or Cosmonaut, as well as
her Admiration for another Space Pioneer, Famed Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalov.

It's The In T View: Maryam, A Kuwaiti Woman
Heading For The Stars


The In T View and Artwork/Photo by Mister Ghost


MG: Hello Maryam, How are you?

Maryam: Pretty good, Thanks for asking!


MG: Maryam, if you could paint the Space Shuttle, any color your little heart desires,
what color would it be? Rose? Magenta?
Blue? I might go for big, big blue and green
polka dots. You know splurge and have fun.
Do you have a favorite color?

Maryam: I like to paint the space shuttle with metallic blue since blue is my favorite color; it's the color of the endless sea and the deep blue sky.


MG: As James Hinton once asked, "Do you
think the sun gets dazzled by its own light?"

Maryam: Hmm no, I don't think so. The
source cannot get dazzled by itself.


MG: You have a case of the Big Time Hots for Russian Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalov, who's about to break the record, as you say in your Blog, "for the most accumulated time in space with about 800 days in Orbit." What is it about Sergei that inspires you to such flights of fancy, such love on your
part?

Maryam: I never met Sergei but I believe he is such a modest, patient, considerate, ambitious and hardworking person with a sweet heart. I enjoy reading his interviews and get to know his personality and what kind of a person he is. He
said once that he doesn't read in space but it's enough for him to look out the window and look at Earth (you can see how thoughtful he is). I admire his strength and mental ability that made him able to make it during his 10 months stuck in space; returning as the last Soviet Union. Moreover he has many interesting hobbies such as aerobatic flying, amateur radio and swimming. He earned many medals either from his career or sports.
He represents the perfect idol for astronaut/ cosmonauts wanna be. Besides, he is a good-looking man *wink, wink*.


MG: Sergei seems to have female admirers --
"Sergei's Girly Fans" -- from across many lands. What makes you stand out as the Number One Sergei Fan?

Maryam: Beside to my "Fetish blog", Sergei inspired me to follow his steps to be an astronaut or a cosmonaut, learn the Russian language, earned Amateur radio license, and I chose Russia as a place where to start off my dream. On the other hand, I think Suzy McHale is also a Number One Sergei Fan. You should check out her website which is dedicated only for Sergei Krikalev.


MG: If you had the opportunity to spend 800 days in Space with Sergei or be on the First Manned Space Flight to Mars, what would you choose?

Maryam: Uh, you are putting me in a big dilemma now! … Can I
drag Sergei with me to Mars, please? Is it possible that I might be mentioned in history books as first and only person who would blow up a chance to be on first manned flight to Mars because I want to spend 800 days with Sergei in space? ;)


MG: And what's a nice Kuwaiti girl like you doing, wanting to be an Astronaut?

Maryam: Currently, I am working a temporary job as a receptionist until this fall I will move
to Russia for the next 4 years at least.
I want to complete my studies, get a Bachelor and Master's degree (maybe a PhD too). Then, I want to work for a space program either in Russia or
Europe.


MG: When did your dreams start of becoming
an Astronaut?

Maryam: I always have such passion for space since I was little kid but I don't remember that I ever wished to be an astronaut. However, I remember the exact moment when it pops out to mind. I was
on campus, online chatting with my friend who was
in Kuwait. I was talking about my future plans and what I want to do. I was telling her my wishes
about being a pilot, sky diver, volunteer,
political activist, minister and one of them is
to be an astronaut. Of course, she laughed out
and she told me I was being unrealistic. At that
moment, I was checking out NASA Astronauts requirements. While I was reading it, I was like "hey, I think I can do this".

In late of 2003, I attended one of NASA
Awareness Day which motivated me and looked at
the opportunities. It was really fun, chatted
with NASA representatives, attended workshops…
I felt so close to my dreams and it is possible
that I can achieve them.

But last year I came back home depressed, screwed
up all the opportunities I could have. However, after watching "Space Station" movie at IMAX Theater, it took my breath away and that's when I
determined to be an astronaut. How odd a movie can change whole person's decisions…?


MG: And what did your parents say when
you first told them of your desire to be an Astronaut? Were they like, "get out, you
are crazy, you're going to get yourself killed!?"

Maryam: Lol! Yes, they were like that. My
mom told me "You're out of your mind, you want to kill yourself?!?" My parents know that
I always want to do crazy stuff such as bungee jumping, sky diving and so on (yeah, I know I
wanna do all the stuff) So they aren't surprised
to know that I want to be an astronaut.


MG: Could you describe what the Space
Program in Kuwait is like?

Maryam: Unfortunately, there is no space program in Kuwait. However its new step for Kuwait to hold the First International Remote Sensing Conference & Exhibit in September 2005 and Dr.
Farouk El-Baz, who participated in the Apollo program as Supervisor of Lunar Science Planning, will attend the conference.

As for Arab space future program is to establish an "Arab Space Research Agency"; headquarter will
be in Egypt. Kuwait discussed about the possibilities of being a member and participating
in space program. I hope it doesn't turn out to be fiction because I cannot find enough information about it.


MG: Is there a Heavy Burden placed upon you, trying to be the First Arab Middle Eastern Woman in Space, a pioneer in her field?

Maryam: Hmm it depends on what kind of
"Heavy Burden" you mean. If you mean from culture and religion aspects, I don't think there will be any difficulties for me to be an astronaut from
that side hmmm maybe some sexism. On the other
hand, I worry that Kuwait or any Arab country
don't think about sending more Arab astronauts
on mission into thespace beside the two payloads which they were sent during the 80's.


MG: You want to be an Astronaut, but you studied Civil Engineering at an American College - Is there a missed connection
there?

Maryam: Yes, I think there is a missed connection. When I graduated from high school
with math major, I wanted to study either
astronomy or mathematics. But the Ministry
of Higher Education was not offering scholarship
for mathematics majors and with astronomy degree cannot do much with it in Kuwait as a pursuing career. So I decided to do engineering as the
rest which my country mostly demands.


MG: Why did you decide to come to the
United States?

Maryam: I wanted to learn new things, new culture, and to have different experience. I
studied abroad in the age of 17 which made me stronger, independent person; grew my self-confidence and I became more capable of handling
my life. From meeting new different people, I
gained a broader outlook on life. Even though I didn't finish my studies but the experience I had was priceless.



MG: What thing really surprised you about
the United States? And what was your biggest disappointment?

Maryam: Oh, Food! Everything is served
with really large meals. I notice that Americans eats big portions of food. Also, I was surprised that cowboys just not exist in the movies but in
real life too ;)

The biggest disappointment was only one thing
that is ignorance. Most Americans I met have poor knowledge about other countries, culture, and traditions. I remember an American lady asked me which country I was from. I answered "Kuwait".
She hesitatingly asked "Is Kuwait a country?"
or some other American thinks Kuwaitis native language is Spanish, wear turbans and women are
not allowed to eat chocolate. Sadly, after the
sad events of 9/11, I suffered from some
discrimination I get as Muslim and Arab.


MG: Maryam, do you think that Stars are alive? See, I tend to believe they are, that they possess a consciousness so vast, it's beyond we
poor mortals ability to understand. What are your thoughts on the subject?

Maryam: Yes, I think that too. When I gaze through the dark sky with my telescope, I tend to think that stars are alive; having conversations between each other, sometimes they even talk about me … Hehe I better stop talking now otherwise I
will sound silly.


MG: If a Black Hole and a White Hole get together, would they make little grey holes?

Maryam: No, I think they will form a big explosion and disappear from the existence.


MG: Were you or your family in Kuwait,
when the Iraqi invasion occurred in 1990? What
was like for a Kuwaiti family living in a War
Zone?

Maryam: I was only 9 years old when the invasion occurred. I and my family lived in the
most intense war zone in Kuwait because
of the big numbered resistance groups against the Iraqi troops. We used to hear almost constant fire machines. One time, a tank bombed neighbor's house which it was only 2 houses away from ours I didn't witness any violent actions or seen disturbing scenes because my parents were so protective.

Later my family had to flee to Saudi Arabia
without my father. We traveled to Baghdad by
a bus and we stayed there for a week. Then, we
traveled from Baghdad, to Jordon and flew off
to Saudi Arabia. Where we stayed, the place was always targeted by the Iraqi scud missiles. Couple of times I saw these scud missiles in the sky. As
a kid I got used to it, learned the chemical protection procedures, putting mask on my little brother since my mom is paralyzed to do anything. Thank God that Kuwait is back and the war didn't last for a long time.


MG: And are you happy that Saddam was overthrown and the Iraqi people have a chance
for a new start in Democracy?

Maryam: Yes, I am happy that Saddam was overthrown but I wished that happened in a peaceful way. And I think that Iraqi people can start a new step in democracy and rebuild their country.





MG: So, what's your favorite Space-Related Movie and why?

Maryam: I haven't watched many of Space-Related movies. I prefer watching space documentary movies such as IMAX "Space Station" movie which is my favorite movie because Sergei appears in it ;). I
like "Apollo 13" too.


MG: Are you a Star Trek fan, as it seems
like a lot of the NASA people grew up being Star Trek fans?

Maryam: Sorry, Star Trek fans. I have to
say that I hate this TV series. I don't know
whether because of the tight outfit or the weird creatures. The space technology is awesome but I
dislike the whole space-universe culture thing.
I hope that NASA astronauts Mike Fincke and Terry Virts enjoy their appearance of the season finale
of Star Trek.


MG: Maryam, there seems to be a great difference in the freedoms accorded and afforded Women in Western Society, as opposed to most of
the Middle East. Is that a factor of Culture, Government, or Religion?

Maryam: I believe that culture plays major part influencing the government and the society on their perspective towards women and what their gender roles should be in the society.


MG: Is Islam a Women friendly religion?

Maryam: Yes, I believe that Islam a women friendly religion. Women have equal rights as men, unfortunatly; people cannot separate culture from religion on making decisions which forms confusions.


MG: Can you explain the Super String theory to me in less than thirty words?

Maryam: Oh it's too complicated! I myself
I don't understand it well. But as long you are asking for less than 30 words, here it
is then:

A wiggling tiny string closed or open loop; can
be Bosons only (particles transmit force) or equal matching with Fermions (make up matter) which we call a superstring theory.

29 words!!


MG: Maryam, how did you become interested
in blogging and how did your Blog, So I Want
To Be An Astronaut come about?


Maryam: I become a regular reader of Mobbloging from Kuwait. I really like the idea blogging photos from cell phone and write
about them. So I started my own photo blog. Then through Mobbloging, I get directed to Kuwait Unplugged which I become a fan of his blog
too. Few weeks later, I felt the need to have
my own blog and write about my dreams and share
it with people in the world.


MG: Your Blog has garnered quite a lot of attention, received some awards and notice, has
that helped you in your quest to become an
Astronaut?

My blog helps me to be more focus on my goals and it's a good way to meet people who have the same interests as mine. So far, my blog haven't helped
me to achieve my dream as an astronaut. I don't expect my blog in a direct way to help achieve
my dreams. So far, I got a T.V. interview request that will be in the end of this year. I hope
this will be a new start for me.


MG: Besides your own Blog, are there other blogs you like to read or would recommend?

Maryam: My favorite blog is www.Miskan.com, which is a 365 day photo blog project by a Lebanese photographer lives in Kuwait Also I recommend reading "Kuwait Unplugged" which is a bilingual
blog that discusses political, social issues, and express opinions and ideas concerning Kuwait.


MG: I understand that you recently finished studying to be a Ham Radio Operator and received your Amateur Radio License. How did you get interested in the field and what does it means to you?

Maryam: First of all, I am proud to earn the Amateur radio license and consider being one of the minority female operators in Kuwait, and having the license means that I am legally able to talk to Sergei via radio while he is in Space.

My interest in Amateur or Ham radio initially started because of Sergei (see, he inspired me again). I took a 10 week Russian Language course
to know the basics and grammar. With a bit
of luck, I hope I get the chance to talk to Sergei over the radio. Hopefully, I won't sound funny in Russian. ;)


MG: Thanks Very Much, Maryam, for a Nice Interview, and Final Question: Have you ever
seen a Ghost?

Maryam: A Ghost or Ghost? In both cases,
the answer will be no. because I haven't seen you yet. Anyway thanks for the interview and giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts in your blog.


Thursday, June 02, 2005

Islamo-Feminism Alive and Well in Basra

Steven Vincent visits an Islamo-feminist in Basra.
After giving Layla a warm greeting (the girl seems to know everyone in town!), the GC member ushers us through the house into a rectangular room--furniture pushed, Arab-style, against the wall--and we sit on sofas beneath framed Koranic inscriptions and pictures of Imams Ali and Hussain, in addition to the late Ayatollah Hakim. A young boy pads in with the inevitable Pepsis (my sugar intake has tripled since I came here) and we begin to talk. It's rather...peculiar, I guess is the appropriate word...to converse with a human being who is essentially peering through a narrow gap in a fabric wall, but not half as strange as I find the woman seated beside Haifa, who is completely covered in black--face, hands, feet, not an centimeter of flesh exposed, looking for all the world like something out of Lord of the Rings.

Read the whole entry.

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Recently the two estranged Hitchens brothers, Peter and Christopher, got together on stage to talk to each other after years of silence. Throughtout the talk, they refused to look directly at each other, instead letting their words knife at each other. At the end an audiece member spoke up and made a request.
Audience member: You've been casting furtive glances at each other throughout the whole event but you've never yet made eye contact. Would you for this final moment, look each other in the eye?

CH: You don't know what we've just been through. We were asked by James Naughtie to do an on-radio handshake, [and] I thought it was a handshake made for radio.

Audience member So will you do it?

[CH and PH look briefly at each other]

PH: They want everything to be all right.

CH: They want a happy ending - that's their problem.

Heh heh. That is BEAUTIFUL.

Of course, I hope this doesn't happen to the Fadhil brothers.

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A few weeks ago USA Today printed an article on the Milbloggers. They spoke with one of my favorite writers, Jason Van Steenwyk, about the increase in bloggers in the military.
Also driving the growth: The feeling among some troops that the "mainstream media" aren't telling the whole story about what's happening in Iraq.

"Look at the run-up to the Iraqi elections," says Jason Van Steenwyk, a captain in the Florida National Guard who writes the blog Countercolumn. He served in Iraq from May 2003 to February 2004.

Before the Iraqi elections, Van Steenwyk believes, TV networks and newspapers focused on the potential for violence and low turnout. "But the soldier blogs," Van Steenwyk says, "were pretty optimistic. The people who weren't surprised when the elections went off as well as they did were the soldiers and the Iraqi people."

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Nadz has one of the best Memorial Day tributes I've read. Short and simple and heart-felt.

She also addresses the Iraqi soldiers:
And to the new Iraqi army, especially those fighting insurgents in the new operation, thank you and good luck. You are the true Iraqi freedom fighters.


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