Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mixed Emotions

On the end of my last post, I wrote: "and I can't wait to see what happens next, Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life"

and what a day!

The storm gathered by yesterday's evening...and by the time it was certain...I was too tired and went to sleep, I went to sleep at 2 AM...thinking that sometimes during my sleep, the most famous Iraqi of the 20th century will be executed...

I woke up at 9, mumbled Happy-eids to parents, then headed straight to the TV...and I recieved the images...the first thing that struck me was how unbelievable this was...Saddam was a part of my everyday patterns as a human being, I woke up, ate, drank, shat, slept, and Saddam is the undefeatable tyrant that never dies. It was hard, hard, hard to know that Saddam is no more, he was arrested, humilitaed and sentenced to death and I didn't feel much - but to know that he is gone is very strange - He was a given fact of life! and now he's dead...This doesn't happen in the world that I normally inhibit...

I also must say that from all the people that ruled Iraq at any given time, I do not hate any of them as much as I hate Saddam Hussein - through his stubborn Great Leader complex he has made us suffer so much, and pretty much a lot of the blame for the distingeration of Iraq as a fabric can be laid squarely on his shoulders, but while I was seeing these images, I had to keep reminding myself how much I hated Saddam Hussein, because they were flat-out disgusting. The problem of our politicians is that they always have to ruin the good stuff with the bad stuff, Mowafaq al-Rubay'ie, the national security advisor, said that Saddam looked very weak and pathetic while he was taking his final steps, but in the images I watched he looked just as brave, magnificent and charismatic as ever, despite his great evils, I must say that Saddam Hussein is the bravest guy that ever ruled Iraq. The problem is that Saddam is an extremely charismatic figure, he can drive many people to inspiration and is simply the most bravest man of all his opponents, Muwafaq, al-Maliki, al-Jaafari and al-Hakim wouldn't stand for two seconds alone with this guy, they all ran weeping to Americans...It's just, unfair, that they should be sing-songing like this while not only are they as cruel as he, but they are nowhere as brave or influential as him.
While I think that Saddam deserves a thousand hangings, I completely disapprove of the way they have handled this - they chose a very bad timing for it, the holy Eid is a day of joy, of happiness, of forgiveness, people do not want to start their day by watching a man insulted a thousand times with a rope at his neck, true, I completely understand the fact that there are hundreds of families who are glad to see Saddam suffer and die like their sons and families did, but they are not all Iraqis, and they are not all people, and true, maybe Shiites would feel there might be a religious conrguence for this timing as it is harmonious with the vengeful nature of Shiite Islam, as hatred of tyranny and cruel avengance are major pillars in their sect, but with the confusion of Iraqis everywhere and growing tensions, such delicate matters should not be handled as bluntly as they were when all the other people watch these images accompanied by the whole lot of insults and curses, on such a holy peaceful occasion, the feeling they give you is one of complete injustice and being cruller than the man they are hanging.

The joy that could have been to see Saddam executed was lost in the bad conditions to which Iraq is heading, from a strategic point of view, Saddam's killing could go a long way in dispiriting Baathists, as Baath is largely a personality cult - it is without doubt a significant hit to morale, but it still remains unknown how far could this psychologically curb them.

As for our naive Arab brothers here and Jordan, they completely condemned and rejected the sentence, they lost a 'great Arab leader who was the only one with balls' - yeah, Saddam did stand up, but look at the price we paid for that little hypocrisy of his.

I am sure many Iraqis have been relieved at the execution, and they have every right to, but it's a shame that this sight has saddened many others by the stupid way it was handled.

I don't know of a precise word for my feelings - Little if at all joy, unbelieving numbness and extreme disappointment. I've always wanted Saddam to be killed, but the guy had a way of making you feel sorry for him.

UPDATES: Here is the complete Saddam execution video that was partly aired on al-Jazzeera network from, it's shot using a mobile phone by one of the guards, and it shows how his neck was broken in the end, the guard who shot it stands at the western side of the room - two other version have resurfaced, the other is from the right side of the room and was broadcast at Al-Sharqiya TV (bad audio quality though), while the other displayed photos of Saddam after he was killed and was aired on Ibrahim al-Jaafari's Beladi TV.
also, a fellow Shiite blogger has described this execution in the perfect words, which are the words of Imam Ali himself during the Great Civil War:

"Kalimat Haqq Yuradu Biha Batil"
"A word of right that is used for an implicit wrong."

Friday, December 29, 2006

The End Of Konfusion: A Year In Review

And hereby ends another year of my life, as I am writing these words I am exactly 21 years, 3 months and 3 days old. Looking back now, I can quite confidently declare that this year was one of the most pivotal years of my entire life. A year filled with tears of joy and wails of lament, of surging pure love and utter despair and disappointment, a year that both contains both the best and worst days of my life, 356 days some of which I cherish and some I wish I never lived.

Outside, the year started as usual, badly. Fuel prices were just going to the devil and the Badr brigade was still running around as it pleases, despite with more outcries than before. Little did Iraqis know that they're in new worlds of pain and suffering, starting from the explosion of the Samarra golden dome in February 22, 2006 - in a massacre that continues to this date and only grows bloodier and more gruesome by each passing minute.
A new government was elected, the general feeling was a sick greenish one at the bottom of your stomach, many hands contained purpled fingers, but many others contained red ones. al-Jaafari found it kinda difficult that a bunch of other no-gooders will harrumph him outside his comfy chair, which was kinda getting more and more defined by his assprint - so he decided to stick as much as he can to it, before Sistani got fed up of reading these weird books in his bedroom and decided to sniff the air outside one day - his replacement, grumpy aftershave ad leftover material Nuri Kamil Abu Jowad Abu Israa Abu al Mahasain al-Maliki, proved as much ho-hokum as his predecessor, Dr. Ibrahim Abu Ahmed al-Ushayqar al-Ja'afari.
The year also witnessed other events which didn't change much in Iraq: The death of Abu Musa'ab al-Zarqawi, the end of Saddam's first trial with a death sentence, et voila. It is still a long way to go, in my opinion.

Personally, this year is perhaps the most important one in my life, aside from the year that I was born.

It started very lukewarm, until the dome explosion, afterwards, I began to gather an interest in the religious and historical sides of Islam, driven by an inherent curiosity regarding the Sunni-Shiite struggle, I gulped book after book in search of a meaning, and this have significantly reshaped my interests. I became a lot more politically motivated than before as a result of my blogging experiences with the New York Times and interaction with other fellow bloggers. In these aspects of my life, maybe a change that is bigger awaits me in the future, I feel like I want to do something, but I still do not know what that is yet.

This year contains the best day of my life: The Graduation Day, I have never felt such an exaltness and looseness in my entire life, I danced like crazy until i got too tired to stand up - maybe it's also because i felt very cool that day - Our costume was a Mexican Mariaachi, I was the only one with the long hair wig and the fake big moustaches, I was the talk of the town! I also wrote a song for the march and had the guys sing it, I felt very happy that day.
That day was June 5, 2006, six days later was the worst day of my entire life, my four friends were killed - for most people, graduation is a big thing, for me it didn't register much, because its joy was swiftly encompassed by the great sorrow that swallowed it - this event has changed my incredibly - I became very pessimistic towards Iraq's future and have now entirely different thoughts about my identity, before this year I used to think of myself as an:

1. Iraqi first, and most importantly
2. Arab second.
3. Muslim thirdly, not as important as the first two.

But today, I am:

1. Muslim first.
2. Arab second.
and I don't want to be an Iraqi, I didn't ask for being one in the first place.
The longhand explanation requires much discussions for which this year-in-review has no.
For me, "Iraqi" now is just a tag I am identified with, cuz of my dialect, the place I was born, etc- as for the emotions it conveys, it don't register here anymore. and I wonder if it ever did..actually. I am not even sad as I write this, I just want to say this out and loud for all to hear.

Let me detach myself and look at what I just wrote, you see how I have changed upside down, this is a moderate, kinda rational kid becoming more observant of his religion because of the violence, imagine what it does to those who have no education and mostly follow their emotions, and there are many channels by which extremism abounds....

Romantically, I fell in love for the second time in my entire life, and have been incredibly hurt by the experience, it was a scorching one-sided affair that ended in a very ugly way. As a rebound, I vowed never to play with people's feelings again and have finally broken up for good with my long-time ex-girlfriend (see how complex this was?)...Amazingly, I didn't sever all my ties with her yet!!!!
But I must say that romantically this year ends very happily, without giving much details away. ;)

Musically, I started actively jamming with a few chums in a no-particular-place-to-go heavy metal band, Hamballah. The project was intended to be a mini-gig at my graduation party, however, due to time constraints and intra-band friction (I love that phrase, it's like we're a real band!) the project fell apart. They did play behind my back, and the result was so cringe-inducing that it made me give up on my dream of being in a band, also, after recording a few things, I decided that I didn't have what it takes to become a vocalist/guitarist, mostly because my voice isn't up to shape - this, combined with me getting kinda bored with my playlist, made my musical interest decline considerably. Guitar is now a 3rd-level hobby, my new hobbies include blogging, history and most importantly filmmaking - I have finished my grand video project later last year, and have uploaded two short films of them at YouTube, I wanted to keep this a secret until I have uploaded other videos there, but I guess it's nice as a Christmas surprise, here.

This year also is the year I finally graduated from college, I wished to continue studying two more years in my M.Sc. studies, but the security condition has been especially unbearable for my grandparents, who decided to flee this year - also, the death of my two bestfriends left little desire for me to see the university anymore, it wasn't much worth staying around for anyway: Most of the teachers have left and the remaining close friends of mine have all left too. I wanted to continue studying because I was afraid of stepping into the real-life really, but now I have been flung into it, and I still have many things to learn. I also got me a job earlier at the beginning of this year, while it was a temp job that's not much of an experience, it's keeping me hanging around.

As you can see, this year has changed me remarkably, and it deserves the title of being the best year of my life...Most importantly, I am no longer Konfused about myself...In between the hurt of losing precious ones, being rejected, feeling love again, changing my home, I now feel like I have a purpose in life, It's not clear yet...but it's better than the earlier konfusion that was an integral part of me - lost between contradictory impulses such as girls, wanting to look cool, music, religion, family frictions.... I don't know if I should rename the blog or not, I mean - I'm still a Kid, but "Iraqi" and "Konfused" are feeling alien to me today. I feel like I am wiser and have learnt much, maybe not much - but it's a start on the journey.

It couldn't be said enough, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

أوديسة عمر

الأوديسة: هي مغامرة اسطورية كتبها شاعر يوناني قديم تروي مغامرات اوديسيوس في العالم القديم حيث يلتقي بشخصيات عجيبة و وحوش خرافية و كلها مليئة بعنصر الأسطورة و الغرابة.
و عمر: هو اسم عربي عادة يربط بالخليفة الثاني للرسول عمر بن الخطاب الذي تم في عهده فتح العراق و الشام. و هو احد أبرز الشخصيات في التاريخ الإسلامي.
اما أوديسة عمر, فهي تلك الملحمة الغريبة التي حدثت في شوارع مدينتنا بغداد المملة بظاهرها, المرعبة بباطنها و قد القاها على مسامعنا سائق الكية و السمكري سابقا عمر في يوم صيف قائض امام بيتهم في منطقة الأعظمية و نحن ندخن السكائر و انا انظر اليه غير مصدق الفضائع التي تسقط من فيه واحدة تلو الأخرى و هو يتلوها علي بسليقته المتساهلة المبتسمة.
طكلك جكارة و انتجي....و اسمع زين ترى القصة طويلة...و لو ما اني ادري ابو حفصة خوش وليد و شفت اخوه شون طلع و لاعظمة بمكانهه جان مصدكت و لا حجاية....
في باديء الأمر دعني اعطيك نبذة عن عمر هذا, هو فتى طويل القامة اسمر اللون ذو ملامح شعبية قحة, و قد عرفته منذ سنين طويلة حيث تربطني به علاقة قرابة بعيدة الا ان "الفتى الحائر" كما يحلو له ان يكنى ها هنا لم يعرفه الا لسنة واحدة حيث اصبح عمر سائق الكيا التي تقله الى الجامعة في هذه السنة الأخيرة....و عمر فتى شارعي بامتياز فقد ترك الدراسة منذ الصف الرابع الاعدادي و اشتغل "خلفة" لانابيب المياه, و قد فتح الله عليه ببعض اموره فتوفر لديه مبلغ من المال اشترى به هذه السيارة...و رغم كونه شديد اللسان وكثير السباب الا انه فتى طيب القلب و سهل المعشر ...يداري تلك الطيبة بالغلاف الخشن الذي اكتسبه بين مصلحي البواري و سواق الكيات...الا ان لعمر خصلة مذمومة و بالأخص في زماننا هذا انه ياخذ "الميانة" بسهولة مع اصدقاءه...واذكر ذات مرة انه كان يمزح مع اصدقائة سواق الكيات فبصق على صورة الإمام الخميني التي كانت معلقة في سلسلة ميدالية صديقه "محمد" سائق الخط هو الأخر بالاضافة الى كونه عضوا في تنظيم المهدي (عج)...و عمر يعلم ذلك و اذكر انني عنفته بشدة لمثل ذاك الا انه ضحك في وجهي بعدم
اكتراثه المتجاهل كانه طفل كبير
... و عمر تربطه علاقة صداقة شديدة بجميع افراد خطه عكس العديد من السواق الأخرين, و اذكر مرة كنت فيها معه في السيارة حيث قرر الولد من الخط الذهاب صباحا من السادسة لتناول الكبة في مطعم حياوي الشهير في الكم...و قد تأخرالفتى الحائر في النوم كعادته و جعلنا ننتظر ربع ساعة امام منزله قبل ان يخرج منكوش الشعر و يصرفنا بحركة بسيطة اختصرت انتظارنا الصبور عليه...و قد اثارت تلك الحركة سخطنا و بيتنا له الانتقام في ظهر ذلك اليوم اثناء الرجوع من الكلية...حيث تم الاتفاق على لحظة مناسبة اركن فيها عمر الكية في شارع عمربن عبد العزيز و نزلنا من الكية حيث تمت عملية سحب الفتى الحائر من المقعد الأمامي حيث كان يجلس متبجحا بقصة فخارية ما...و قد هددنا بالصراخ ان جررناه قسرة وقد حصل هذا فعلا في احدى اخطر شوارع بغداد على الأطلاق مما حدا بعض المارة بالنظر فزعين و الاسراع بعيدا...و سرعان ما قدناه الى الملاذ الأمن في عمق السيارة حيث انهلنا عليه ضربا في مخلمة امتعتنا جميعا ...حيث وجد نفسه بلا بنطال في نهايتها....و قد اخبرني عمر ان هذا المنوال قد تحول الى طقس خاص من طقوس الكية حيث حالما يبادر احدهم بازعاج احدهم يتحمس الجميع الى تكرار العلقة التي اشدت وطأتها يوما بعد يوم حيث كانت فوق الملابس اولا ثم استدعت خلع البنطال ثانيا ثم ما وراء البنطال...و لله الحمد فقد توقفت هذه اللعبة عند استعمال البيض و الفلفل الحار ....
و في صباح احد الأيام في اواخر شهر حزيران اتصلت بموبايل عمر حيث كنت اريده ان ينقلني في شغل من اشغالي..
"الو عمر"
"ها هلو عمار شونك"
"ها حبيبي تجي عليه هسه"
"والله اكلك...ترى اني ما اكدر هسه والله...اهلي انخطفوا.."
"عود بعدين احجيلك اليوم اجيك العصر اوكي"
كان كلامه غير مطمئن و لكني شككت في هدوءه و صفاءه حين استقبلني...و املت ان يكون الأمر قد انتهى...أتصلت به في وقت العصر الا انه كان غير موجود...ثم اتصلت به مرة اخرى في الليل و قابلني بنفس ايجابيته و هدوءه و قال لي ان كل شيء على ما يرام و الحمدلله و سيمر علي غدا لكي يخبرني بالذي جرى بحذافيره.
وجاءت كيه عمر الداكنة اللون في صباح اليوم التالي و هي تشق عباب الشارع المنجمد عن ناسه ببطء شديد...و قد كان منظرها و هي تأتي يبعث في محياي دائما بالغبطة و الفرح سابقا...الا انها اليوم اصبحت رمز شقاء و حامل ذكريات لنا ان ننساها...حيث ان راكبيها قد اصابتهم الفواجع تلو الفواجع في الشهرين التي خلت...و اولهم كان عمرا...و اذ رايته ينزل من السيارة و قد انبرى بابتسامه مرصعة باسنانه الصفراء و هو يناديني " ها ولك كواد" لم اتمالك ان اطفو انا الأخر عن تاملاتي و استقبله بنفس روح الأمس القديم......و تنفست الصعداء اخيرا حيث انني اذكر كيف لاقيت ابا حفصة قبل شهرين فقط ابان مقتل ابن عمه محمدا برصاص سيطرة في الدورة..و قد كانو ينوون النيل من السائق الذي كان يجلس بجانبه محمدا لان اسمه و لا عجب, عمرا.

و الى غير عمر, فقد فقد احد ركاب الخط امه قبل شهر بحادثة طبيعية لله الحمد (و يالسخرية الحمد, فها نحن نحمد الله على اي موت طبيعي)و لم يمض سوى اسبوعين حين خسر الفتي الحائر اربعة من اصدقائة بالانفجار الذي وقع في منطقة الكرادة...
بعد افتتاحيات السلام و الكلام...اشعلت لعمر و لي سيكارتين و اتخذ عمر وضع الراوي فاعتدل في وقفته وهو ينحني قليللا نحو سيارته...و بعد وقفة وجيزة استطرد يقول:
اخذ امي و اخوتي و اخواتي سيارة تكسي من منطقة الأعظمية حيث كانو ينوون زيارة اقاربنا في منطقة المشتل, و كان اخوتي اثنان احدهما علاء ( مواليد 87 (و الأخر حازم (90) و يظهر ان السائق كان احد الكائنات الباطنية التي تتكاثر اليوم بسرعة البكتريا...اي انه بجلف القول "علاسا" و هنا لم يذكر عمر ان كان هناك احد من اخوته قد صرح بتصريح لم يعجب رأي السائق او انه قرر ان يعلسهم ليطمئن قلبه حيث ان اسمائهم ليست طائفية على حد علمي (و هي طبعا ليست الأسماء التي طبعتها اعلاه) و لكن لا أدري فقد يكون اسم والدته او اخته كذلك...و في النهاية فان العائلة ما ان استقرت في بيت الأقارب حتى انهمر على الباب سيارتين من نوع بك أب مملوءة بعناصر جيش المهدي اقتحمت البيت و اخذت الغلامين و ذهبت, وكان عمر في كل هذا مشغولا مع اصدقائة في الكم حين تلقى اتصالا من امه و هي تبكي و تولول, و ما ان فهم عمر ما يجري حتى رجع الى البيت و اخذ صديقا شيعيا له منذ ايام الصغر اسمه سالم و توجه الى الرئاسية كما يطلق عليها الان...و ذلك حوالي الساعة العاشرة ليلا و هو بعد منع التجول طبعا الا انهم كانو يشرحون الموقف للسيطرات فيدعوهم يمرون, و بعد فترة وجيزة فقد عمر السيطرة على نفسه فتولى سالم القيادة حتى وصلوا الى المنطقة فلم يجدوا احدا في الشارع و ظلوا يحومون على وجوههم حتى التقوا برجل سكران اسمه لا اذكره فسالوه عن موقع مكتب السيد هل يعرفه فاجابهم بثقة الرجل السكير الذاهب عقله "أي اعرفه طبعا" فاخذوه معهم و دلهم على المكتب, و وجدوا المكتب مغلقا و لا حركة تنبر منه فاصاب عمر الجنون ها هنا و اخذ يسب كل الشيعة على وجه الأرض و لم تمض فترة وجيزة الا و اتت مواكب البيك اب تزفه حيث حملو الثلاثة معا ضربا بالكيبلات و ادخلوهم الى مكتب السيد, و قال عمر انهم لم يضربوه و لا سالما بقدر ما ضربوا الرجل السكير الذي اشبعوه ضربا و يبدو ان جيش المهدي له عداوة مع كل مشروب روحي حتى ان عمر وصفه ب"درعنا" من كثرة ما كان يتلقى من الكفخ و الكيبلات و ثم فصل الاثنان مع استمرار ضرب السكير بقسوة, وجاء المحققون ليعرفوا ما شان عمر فقالو له ما اسمك فقال عمر فسالوه سؤال الجمهور انت سني ام شيعي فقال شيعي فضربه و قال لا تكذب, فضل يلح ثم بعد فترة من الضرب و التهديد اعترف و اخبرهم بكل شيء, واخبره انه ابن عم لسالم حيث ان سالما و عمرا يحملان اسما ثلاثيا متقاربا...و بعد فترة جمع الاثنان معا ثم جاء "القاضي الشرعي" وهو السيد ذو العمامة و يقول عمر انهم كانو يجلونه و يعاملونه باحترام...سال السيد عمر عن اسمه و حين اجابه و اخبره بقصته قال السيد بالحرف الواحد: "هذوله ارهابيين...روحو كتلوهم عالسدة."
و في هذه الاثناء
المحقق: انت سلفي...مو؟
حازم : لا
المحقق: تحب علي ؟
حازم: اي
المحقق : سب عمر
حازم : خره بعمر
المحقق: هسه كول انت ويا منو
حازم: مو ويا احد
المحقق: زين معلميك المجاهدين متحجي
هنا يهوي المحقق بمطرقة حديدية على اصابع الفتى ذو الثلاثة عشرة عاما فتتهشم اظافره و تدخل في لحمه في نسيج من الدم و اللحم و الصراخ المعذب...و قد علم حازم المعصوب الأعين اسم المحقق حيث سمع من يناديه بالأسم, اسم ساسمعه كثيرا و كثيرا في الأيام القليلة التالية.
!!!!!!ابو درع
اركب منفذ الحكم عمر و سالم في كية عمر ذاتها ثم صعد هو و ادار المحرك, وضع شريطا من الاشرطة الموجودة فتصاعد صوت حسام الرسام يلعلع فاطفأة بسرعة و هو غاضب ثم قال: تسمع حسام مو, اليوم اسمعك حسام عالكتلوك حبيبي
و جلس الاثنان بصمت رهيب و قد كان عمر قد غاص في مرحلة الياس و الاستعداد للموت اما سالم فقد كان احسن حالا و كان يحاول ان يسال الرجل بين الحين والأخر
"سيد وين ماخذنا"
للسدة عيني
"سيد بعد شوكت نوصل"
مبقى شي
"سيد انت راح تكتلنا"
و لم يجب سيد, وها هنا فقد عمر اخر ما بقي لديه من امل بالحياة و اخذ يتشاهد بسرعة و استرسال و قال لي انه كان يريد ان يخبر أمه على الأقل و يسلم عليها قبل ان يذهب و كان كل تفكيره محصورا في هذه النقطة في الدقائق القليلة التي بقيت في حياته.
وصلت الكية للمكان و انزل السيد الجميع
سحب السيد اقسام المسدس...ثم رن موبايله فجأة...سمع عمر رجلا اسمه عمار يقول للسيد ان يحقق مع الاثنين و لكن ان لا يقتلهما...
وهنا يقول عمر ان ابا سالم قد كانت له معارف وقد وصل بالتلفونات الى الشخص المناسب في اللحظة الحاسمة و قبل فوات الاوان
سبحان الله و لا اله الا الله...خره بعرضك ابو حفصة شنو امك من داعيتلك...و بعد العديد من التنقلات بين مكان الى مكان ثم وضعهم في بيكب اب مليء بالجنود الذين عاملوهم بازدراء الا واحدا حن عليهم و جلس معهم...ثم تم وضعهم في سجن "مبرد" و كان معهم ايضا طوال هذه الفترة السكير الذي تم وضعه في الحمام لسبب ما, و بعد تحقيقات اخرى دخل رجل و قال له :
"عموري حبيبي احنا نعتذر و ان شاء الله ماكو شي "
شتعتذر بعد هوه انت بقيت شي؟!؟ و سال عمر عن اخوته فاجابه انهم احياء و بخير و هم في مدينة الصدر, وهنا تنفس عمر الصعداء اخيرا و استعاد توازنه و اتصل بوالدته و طمانها عن الجميع, و في حوالي الساعة الثالثة صباحا افرج عن الاثنين ليعودوا امام مكتب الشهيد الصدر كما كانوا اول مرة
ركب عمر و سالم السيارة و اتجهوا عائدين بعد ان حصل على وعد باطلاق سراح الاخوين, ولكن لم تمضي الا ثواني حتى فوجيء باطلاق رصاص مصدره احدى المولدات القريبة, حيث يبدو ان حرس المولدات قد شكوا في عمر و كيته الداكنة, و قد اراني عمر اثار الرصاصات على طول الكية و هي واضحة لا تحتاج الى اشارة.
و ما ان تمكن عمر من عبور هذه المولدة بسلام حتى فوجيء بمغامرة اسطورية اخرى في هذا اليوم اللا الهي, حيث شاهد ثلاث سيارات اوبل من بعيد و هي تلاحقهم...اصدقائنا السلابة...الاشرار القدماء...و قد يكونوا نفسهم الناس الذين اطلقوا سراحه قبل قليل....تمكن عمر من المراوغة في بعض الأفرع ثم رمى بسيارته في نصف خرابة فانية و هجرها هو و سالم ثم ذهبوا الى بيت صديق قريب و قضو الليلة هناك.
و في الصباح عاد عمر الى البيت...و ما هي الا ساعات حتى رجع اخويه معا..
كان الاول علاءا في حالة جيدة نوعا ما, فلم يستعملوا معه سوى السكاير, حيث يقول ان وجهه كان مليئا ببقع السكائر التي كانو يطفئونها بوجهه على خديه و انفه و حتى عينيه, الا ان شيئا اخر لم يكن به, اما حازما, فقد عذبه ابا درع, و قد استعمل معه المطارق, في كل مكان, حيث ان اصابع يديه قد تهشمت تماما و اصبحت صابونتي ركبتيه عبارة عن "صابونتين" حقيقتين ما ان تلمسهما حتى تتهشم في يديك, اضافة الى الكدمات و الجروح في كل مكان و اثار دريل على ظهره, كان في حالة خطرة جدا و قد تم نقله الى مستشفى النعمان فور وصوله
ثم اخذ عمر يشرح لى الاحتفالية التي حدثت في بيته و هو يتكلم بطريقة تمزج بين الفخر و الهول
في نهاية ذلك اليوم امتلىء بيتهم زاخرا بكل انواع الناس الذين يعرفهم و لايعرفهم من الأقارب و الاصدقاء, ثم جاءت مجموعة كبيرة من الناس المسلحين اطلق عليهم عمر اسم "المجاهدين" و كان جميعا مبتسمين فخورين و هنأوا العائلة على سلامة ابناءها الا ان ما استوقفني هي المقولة التي قالها له احد المجاهدين و هم يفرغون من انهاء هذه الحركة الدبلوماسية...حيث وعده بانه سينتقم له و ياخذون كوسترا اي باصا كاملا من الشيعة!!!!!و كان عمر ما زال في نشوة الفخر التي هو بها فقاطعته قائلا و لكن هل هذا صحيح ؟ في نبرة خافتة ميتة و كانني انا بنفسي لا اصدق ما اقوله...قال بسرعة نعم انا قلت لهم ان هذا غير صحيح و لكنه قالها بطريقة غير مكترثة و غير مصدقة, وكاننا نعلم بحجم الاخطاء التي تحدث و نوافق عليها و لكننا لا نفعل شيئا, وما الحل و قد اصبحنا كالرعيع تتناولنا مخالب الذئاب و الضباع من كل جهة في هذه الأرض الخربة المقفرة التى ما زلت احبها رغم كل شيء...
وهكذا انتهت قصة عمر الأسطورية الفانطازية مع اخر ومضة من سيكارتينا, و لولا اني رأيت اثار الطلقات و اثار التعذيب على اخيه شخصيا لكذبته حتف انفه, ولكن هيهات, فكل شي ممكن في هذا البلد على ما يبدو...و قد اخبرني عمر يومها انه يرتب اموره و سيسافر هو واهله قريبا الى سوريا حيث يبدأ بمزاولة عمله القديم من جديد. وهكذا تخرج عائلة اخرى من وطننا الذي يبدو انه لم يعد وطننا , فاقدة الأمل و هي تحمل تجاربا مملوءة بالدم و الويل و نظرة جديدة عن البشر و عالمهم.
و يبدو ان هذه القصة هي النسخة السعيدة من القصص في العراق اليوم, فلك ان ترى كم مرة داعب فك الموت عمرا و خرج منه بسلام هو و اخوته و لم يمت منهم احد.
and they married and lived happily ever after
حدث كل ذلك في الشهر السادس من هذه السنة, ولم أرى عمرا منذ ذلك اليوم حيث ان ظروف اليوم قد فرضت على المرء ان لا يخرج من منطقته الا لأشد الحاجات, واين انا و الأعظمية و ما ادراك ما هي...الا ان صدفة عجيبة جعلتني التقى بعمر في شارع المغرب في نهاية شهر رمضان المبارك المنصرم ...وفي باديء الأمر لم اعرفه, حيث انه قد باع الكية و اشترى بدلها سيارة أوبل زرقاء, و قد حلق المجاهدون المباركون رأسه حيث انهم ضبطوه يعلك متلبسا في وضح النهار في رمضان...ولم اكد اصدق منظره و هو الذي خرج من كل تلك الماسي و العذاب و لايزال في هذا السجن المقفر, بمحياه الهزيل المبتسم دائما بلا اكتراث و هو يضحك على تعبيري المقطب و كانني من كوكب زحل و هو يقول
"ها ولك كواد بعدك عايش"
ملاحظة: انا صديق قريب للفتى الحائر...و هو معجب بكتاباتي و قد ارسلت له قصة عمر التي الح علي ان اكتبها لفترة طويلة الان

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Iraqi Civil War Videogame

Aren't Iraqis tired of dying every day by the dozens due to some politician's bad hair day? while the politicians safely determine their destinies in trivial games behind safe castles? Why don't we have it otherwise for a change?
live your dream, pit all these politicians in a single stage and have them for their life a horrific mess of blood, guts, and democracy.

Initial roster
Versus Screen

*Adnan al-Dilaymi:

Teatime Friendship: Adnan al-Dilyami's head starts banging back and forth, until steam flows out from his tiny little sidara (hat), he and the opponent sit down to drink tea.

I Forgot To Switch My Phone Off: if you're Abu Dera'a, you can execute this special finish on Dilaymi, simply stand to the far off corner, Adnan al-Dilaymi will stand in a defiant tone, saying: "We are Ahul al-Sunna!", Abu Der'a in typical Sadr City crookedness whips out his mobile phone and calls al-Dilaymi's, his phone starts ringing, he's caught off guard, and has little time to shout before his head starts to rock too, eventually he explodes.

al-Hakim (Baqir):
Self-flagellation fatality: X,X,B,B,C (mid) - al-Hakim will recite a maqtal and self-flagellate, eventually exploding, the green words 'Ya Hossein', appears, while Bassim al-Karbalie sings 'Salla Aaleeka Maleek al-Sama'a'.

al-Hakim (Aziz):
Horrible Medusa: At the Snake Pit, al-Hakim is particualry strong, hold all buttons and release them near ur opponent, al-Hakim will uncover his head and will reveal a hair made of snakes. al-Hakim's body begins to flow snakes all through his robe, who eventually engulf the opponent.

Muqtada al-Sadr:
The Hidden Imam Plays Soccer : Muqtada will use al-Mahdi's power to roll into a giant soccer ball that crushes the opponent.

Habibi: Muqtada will assume a speaker stance, after a few incoherent sentences stuck together by the word Habibi, the opponent will die of laughter. Mahdi's army theme song will play afterwards (Yelagoona lo beehum Zod).

Finish the game will all the players to unlock Abu Der'a.

Unlock Solagh: at the title screen, type: "DRILL".
Unlock Mashhadani: Choose Harith al-Dhari, and beat all the Shiite candidates 12 times (not each), return to the title screen, choose the password menu, the shoe icon will be active, click it, and voila, Mahmood al-Mashhadani.
Saddam Hussein has an alternate 'Baathist' costume, find all the underwear in the laundry level to unlock it.

*add-ins will include Donald Rumsfeld, Iyad Allawi and Mahmood Ahmedinijad.
1. Bush's Lair
2. al-Askari Shrines
3. Sadr City
4. Abu Haneefa
5. Saddam's Republican Guard
6. al-Mashhadani's Lair (Iraqi Assembly Hall for the uninitiated) (Chairs are usable)
other fictional arenas.

This is one of many abandoned projects of mine, it's a mod for Mortal Kombat that enables you to play with Iraqi politicians, it got halted because I need either a good artist to draw look-alikes or actors who closely resemble the intended personalities, and I couldn't find any. It'd be cool if someone could give me a hand though...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Guitar Medley: An artifact of the 'good' times

I got a recording of a medley of Iraqi songs I did with Nabil earlier this year, I think May. I'm on vocals and classical rhythm while he's on solo acoustic...What's amazing about it is that it had brought back to me a flood of good memories and nostalgia, it was only May this year!!! Did it really change that much?
This recording was done a month before the graduation party, I had an idea that I would do some sort of mini-concert and I needed a back-up player, this was a time when I thought I could persuade Nabil, a proficient player in his own right, to play with me, I did it with somebody else in the end and it was a great step down from what I had in mind, but some ways, this is a hallmark for one of the best days of my life, if not THE best ever, the graduation day, this was before my friends were killed, before several other things happened that made me hate my country and everything that is in it...
and also, it reminded of a part of myself that I thought was fading, my musical self, it's amazing how a person can change in such a short time, back then, I took myself seriously on the guitar and I was really convinced that I had a passable voice (evidently not, as u can see here -), after repeated tries, I found out that doing any musical project in Iraq surely not work out (not just because of the condition, the audience itself is largely unreceptive and would rather laugh first and throw tomatoes second)...but this short clip, in all its mistakes and amateurish charm, has somehow resurged my interest in guitar as not just something to attract chicas with.

It is a medley of five traditional Iraqi songs, thanks to Ilham al-Madfa'ie, a popular Iraqi artist whose mean feat is transcribing folk songs to western arrangements, they've been done to death on guitar, it's like a Stairway To Heaven for Iraqi musicians, you have to play them at one point or the other: Mohammed Boya Mohammed (Mohammed My Son Mohammed), Fog El Na Khal (Up There We Have A Lover), S'ghayeron (Little One) - perhaps the most sell-out song ever due to the fact that guys like Bashar al-Kaysi have sung it, and Bayn el Asir wil Maghrib (Between the Afternoon & Sunset), I didn't know the lyrics at the time for that last song, and being the naughty person that I am, have replaced them with a high-school rhyme that is lewd in a polite way (The Haji Returned From Mecca).

Nabil sings on S'ghayeron too.... Enjoy

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

To Iraq, with love...

"Al Pacino: Okay here are these lines, repeat after me: "I don't want your money, I want your bookie's fucking money."
Matthew McCoughney: "I don't want your money, I want your bookie's money."
Al Pacion: You didn't say fuck. Is that a religious thing?
McCoughney: No, I just don't like saying it.
Pacino: You've a lot to learn. I can't feel your frustration, your pain that you have to share with me. You have to say fuck, man - let me know that you share my confusion."
This is a poem I received yesterday, I made some modifications here and there. I'm not much a poetic spirit so I translated it as I see fit, sometime sticking to meaning but occasionally trying to rhyme, I hope the meaning was kept intact.
p.s. Ladies'd better shy away now.
ك* اخت العراق البيه تربينه بي ما شفنا راحة و لا تهنينه
لا شفنه الفرح لا عشنه مثل الناس بس ضيم و قهر و امراض حط بينه
من ك* اخت العراق البيه تربينه
ك* اخت العراق الديح اولاده ما راد اليحبه و عشك جلاده
نزل بينا كل ضيم الله و عباده و خله الدنيا كلهه تشمت بينه
ك* اخت العراق البيه تربينه
ك* اخت العراق الما حفظ روحه يومية سرة يزتتنا للوحه
ناس اتفجرت و ناس مذبوحه جن واحد عدل و تشك مصارينه
من ك* اخت العراق البيه تربينه
ك* اخت العراق, و ك* اخت كاعه جن مركب جبير و ضايع اشراعه
اعمى و كطعوارجلينه و ذراعه لا بيه يكوم لا يزحف على ايدينه
ك* اخت الوطن البيه تربينه
ك* اخت العراق, وناسه, وترابه ما اريدك بعد تطلبني بطلابه
كاع اصبحت و اليحكمهه سلابه و كلهه تريد منه و ياهو يطينه
ك* اخت العراق البيه تربينه
ك* اخت العراق شماله و جنوبه لا صورة البقتله و لاله جرجوبه
كل ركعة شبر متخيطه بثوبه صدك يا ربي تقبل هذا تالينه
ك* اخت العراق البيه تربينه
ع*ر ب*يز العراق و طاح حظ الكراد الشيعه و السنة تناطحت و انا*ت بغداد
زمايل مكيفة بتاريخهه و الامجاد مثل النعامة الدافنة راسهه بطينة
من ك* اخت العراق البيه تربينه
ك* اخت الوطن اللزربته امريكا و كل الدول رادت وصلة من لكيكة
فرح بينا العدو و كلمن رفع بيكه اذا طاح الكوي تكثر سجاجينه
ك* اخت العراق البيه تربينه
ك* اخت العراق الماله كل ميزة يا ريس يجيه يني*ه من *يزه
لعب ويانه لعبة طم الخريزة كلساعه يضمهه ويضحك علينه
من ك* اخت العراق البيه تربينه
عراق النشامى من جاهم حيدرة كدامه صفكوا عفطوله من ورة
ابنه صدكهم انذبحت معشره بس صدام النه كل يوم خارينه
ك* اخت وجه العراق البيه التربينه
Fuck Iraq, the country in which we were raised
No comfort have we seen, never we were at peace
never like normal people, never we were at ease
A whirlwind of misery, bitterness and disease
So Fuck Iraq, The country of which you are so pleased
Fuck Iraq, and fuck every part of this crap
Like a large wooden boat which has long lost its map
Like a blind man with chopped legs and arms snapped
It cannot stand up, forever falling on its face
so Fuck Iraq, the country in which we were born and raised

Fuck Iraq, fuck its people and its land
I don't want anymore of its plegdes and commands
A people that are and ruled by thieves, bandits and gangs
Nobody lifts his finger, but yet everyone demands
So fuck the country of the two rivers and sand
Fuck Iraq, fuck its north and its south
Not an image has remained and not even a shambling poster
Every inch of its cloth is ragged and wretched
Like a beggar awaiting rain with a dirty, open mouth
Fuck Iraq, the country which never did I doubt

Fuck Iraq and fuck these goddamn Kurds
Sunnis and Shiites fight while Baghdad is burned
Donkeys who bray about history and its mirth
Like an Ostrich which buried its head in the earth
Oh FUCK the country in which we've been given birth

Fuck this country, which America gnarled and ate
And now everybody wants a share of the cake
Raise your glasses, the loot is at stake
And when the strong falls, the prey becomes the snake
Fuck this country in which we were born and raised
Fuck Iraqis, who failed the Imam alive
but after he's long passed, they mourn for their own crime
His son bought their words, they fled in time of might
Only the iron fits us, so let Saddam feed us shite
So please fuck this country may it get out of my sight

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Iraqis: The Biggest Hypocrites

I have been reading articles here and there saying questioning the 'Iraqi' identification, saying that Iraq is really a bastard country formed of three separate Ottoman states in the early 20th century: Basra, Mosul and Baghdad. Such articles struck me as heavily unrealistic, great nations often come out of unholy marriages, case in point, world's current greatest nation, the United States of America. I came into life with a clear cohesion about the 'Iraqi' citizenship.

But after a while I began to understand where these un-Iraqi sentiments came from, with bloodbaths performed by supposedly authentic Iraqis against their own kinsmen, the social fabric is being quickly ripped apart, people first started throwing the worn-out conspiracy theories about how all these are orchestrated by the 'occupation and the jews', but they know deep down inside that it is not so, the fabric is quickly uncovering the great hypocrisy of the Iraqi nationalism. And it is time to say it out loud to the world.

The sense of Iraq's unity is a paradoxical, dare I say nonexistent thing, I used to think of myself as someone who loves his country, but slowly I became to understand that this was an illusion, like the slogan "Raise your head, you're an Iraqi." Exactly what Iraq has done, from the day it was created to the day that I am writing this to you, that should make me proud? We are a generation who practiced hurling out terms like 'the victorous, proud, chivalrous Arab nation' while in reality we suffered major defeats, exactly like the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, which was another disastorous loss where the descendandts of Monkey & Pigs, Jews (Arabic trademark phrase) almost captured age-old Isalmic capital Damascus. We heavily borrow from our ancestors glories to gild our miserable defeats, Iraqi Ba'ath propaganda was never absent from a direct reference to the invention of the wheel, the glories of Nebuchedanezzar, or the linking of the Iran-Iraq war to the 7-th century Qadissiya, etc). We as citizens, would greet our president with cheers and kisses and sworn allegiances, only to shed them the minute we are safe inside our homes. This practice has severely damaged all pride, we are a nation of cowards, tyrants, and morons.

Some people point out to people like us, who left Iraq, saying look at these cowards, we are not cowards, we are realists. The love of the 'country' is a hypcrisy formed by years of living under oppression and refusal to admit defeats. There is nothing that my country has done so far, and I am speaking too for all Arab states, that makes me proud of the fact that I am of its citizens. You can see how this is evident by how people are killing for the sake of sect, religion, their areas, their families, but never their country. Some people, mostly Baathists and their sympathesizers, continue their own bullshit about the 'patriotic Iraqi resistance' and how we are fighting for 'Iraq', shut up, you are fighting for the lost thrones you had. There is no such thing as an Iraqi resistance, and there never, ever was. It was al-Qaeda and Baathists all the way, I don't hate Mes'ood Barazani as much as I hate Saddam Hussein, because the first guy is a motherfucker who's at least frank about it, but the latter, Saddam ibn al kahba abu el gawad Hussein, is a hypocrite who can still make people follow him out of mere cowardice to admit how pathetic we all are, continuing an idiotic routine of hypocritic national identification.

There are some things that could hint of a national identification, for example, when you go outside Iraq and u feel like a total stranger, you try hard to find other Iraqis like you, forgetting how incredibly hateful they were back home. There are bonds that are evident in places like gameshows, soccer matches, but they are also incredibly hypocritical, they don't amount to anything more than that and precisely that, as long as the more effective political hypocrisy is in effect, all other identifications are merely so that we won't be "caught with our pants down" in the face of the world.

This is why many Arabs support Osama bin Laden, because he is a guy who doesn't bullshit around and actually does something, I think Bin Laden is a big criminal and a great danger on Islam because of that precise fact, he's a person who understands Arabs need to stop hypocrisy with action.
Wherever i go in Jordan, I look at phrases like "Jordan First", I watch Egyptian movies where the ultimate cause is "the country of Egypt", but Maybe countries like UAE have something to be proud of, but these are money-bought flourishes that are brittle fronts that will be demolished with a few hammerings here and there. Iraq is particularly a good example of Arab hypocrisy, becuase all its glories are lies while its people degenrated into morons, some people want Saddam back, you monkeys - at least psychologically, do u want to return to a stable, but paradoixcal state of glorifiying Saddam's farts and belches? Some people said this is because of Saddam, well he's gone now and look what have you done to the country? IT IS YOU. YOURSELVES. this is why we must stop the hypocrisy of identifiying with "Iraq" in its current meaning and be brave enough and say how much of a losers we all are. I do not hate my country, but I don't really care for it that much, I'd love to see it flourishing and stable, but I wouldn't die for it, so it's not enough - the difference is that I'm brave enough to say it. I only love my family, my friends, and recently my area (as a post-effect of the sectarain civil war), but I don't really love my country. In fact, I think it's a big shame that people are dying becuase of such a stupid, hypocritical lie. I would cut my arm and hand it to you on a plate if you can find me a single Iraqi who'd die for his own country. There's just no such thing. Islamism is real, Shiism is real, Iranianism is real, al-Qaeda is real, but al-Ba'ath party is the true example of Iraqi patriotism: fake identifications with a myth of glory that is based upon truer past achievements that we had nothing to do with.

I leave you with the words of an Iraqi writer on the Internet which has greatly moved me, I have added a few of my own here and there:

"I write these lines with big sadness and grief because I belong to this country of cowards and tyrants, this is the truth that many of you are trying to hide, how we are people who are divided into many factions, most importantly of which is the one of cowardice and the one of overlords, you are killed by the thousands in your areas, villages, streets, houses, in the middle of your families, you are slaughtered and you cannot even lift a finger in the face of your killers, what a bunch of losers, you see your brothers and sons killed and you scatter like mice trying to protect yourself and shouting slogans in the air, knowning fully well how much of a bullshit are you promoting and that your turn is next, that you will die not of honor, but of shame, when a tyrant comes to the throne you bow to him without a word, which is what you desrve. I am an "Iraqi" like you, I am not a Baathist, not an Islamist, not a Saffavid, not a Persian, not a Shiite, not a Sunni, I am a person who stands up and says it like it is, listen to the truth, you are people who have created new idols for themselves, idols not made of stones like the "Sadr Martyr" who a great deal of people worship now, let a person curse Allah in front of you and you will leave him be, but let him curse Sayyid al-Sadr and you will race for killing him and spilling his blood. Die, Suffer, Move, get kidnapped, burn in vain for you and all you who claim to be Iraqis.
As for the tyrants, who are people who understood how cowards are driven by the same fake wordplay and have adapted to leading them, he who says that Saddam is the tyrant i say to him that a great deal of Iraqis are potential tyrants.
I stand here believing these words until the final moment of my life and I will try to shed this ugly disgusting skin of Iraqism that you are proud of at public but privately shun and spit at until I become of the nothingness of this universe."

To be "hip" (lol) with the times, I will quote an 8th century speech by a famous Iraqi tyrant, al-Hajjaj bin Youssif al-Thaqafi, who is often compared with Saddam, in which he desrcibes Iraqis, the speech is famous and the line : "people of shikak and nifak" (land of division and hypocrisy) is an insult that is used until today, rightfully so - While this speech greatly insults the Great Iraqi People, I think today it applies to all Arabs in general, but particulalry Iraqis:

"O People of Iraq, I see that heads have bloomed and it is time to pick them, and I am their picker. By Allah, It is as if I am looking at the blood between the turbans and beards, By Allah, O People of Iraq, the Caliph Abdul-Malik has looked amongst his leaders, and found me the most bitter and the most severe, so he made me rule over you, O People of Iraq, O People of Shikak and Nifaq, and the worst of Akhlaaq (manners), You have long embroiled in division, and have fallen to the climate of the deception, By God I will smite u by hammers, and beat u like sheep. You are people who were safe and had a plenty of God's gifts, but you rejected the virutes of God, so he unleashed his promise that he promised for all cities upon you. Be moderate, do not lean, obey and cheer me."

"Allah does not change what has befallen people until they change what is in themselves"
- Holy Quran

Friday, December 01, 2006


If Bush is a chimp, then al-Maliki is definitely an Orange-tang. Think about it. I don't believe in the theory of Evolution, but seeing Mr. Bush and al-Maliki tpgether was too strong a point that definitely made me reconsider.

I'm posting more often. I should stop doing this before it gets too much.
Ever since I left Iraq for Jordan, I was feeling a sense of guilt and remote detachment from what I was talking about, I was hoping that I won't be one of these people talking about things far removed from reality on the ground. It's nice to know that today the news came knocking at my doorstep.

Today, Abu al-Mahasin Abo Esraa Dawlat Prime minister Nori Juwad Kamel al-Maliki was about to meet up with George Bush. Hang on while I go get me a banana.

At 5 PM Wedesnday, my sister who was in college couldn't get inside our area, it was barricaded!!! She did manage to return 20 minutes later, but nostalgia almost made me stand up too quickly, what the? I left all checkpoints behind me in that hellhole....curious enough, I dug up a friend and arranged a hangout....
at 7 PM I was out and no sooner than a few streets away that I find a heavy entourage of police surrounding the Four Seasons hotel ; ever since the 2005 Amman explosions, the hotel has put up a 2-man checkpoint at its main entrance, today a memory-raiser Hummer (green, though) was lazily parked while about 10 men were stationed across nearby streets....all the cars parking at the nearby Arab Bank has been evacuated and they effectively cut off the hotel from the outside streets...they allowed traffic to come in at a regulated pace. As I was making my way through when a bus full of 20-policemen came into the hotel. What could be in there? doesn't King Abdullah II has a royal palace zoo for keeping these malicious simians? It could be the press, speculated mom before I left, but it's too much for that in my own opinion...could the Elephant Man Allawi be snoozing there? or maybe shit-grin Azuz? Sheeesh....The thought of al-Hakim being so near sent shivers to my spine.

Picking up my pal, we had to listen for the typical sermon of the valiant Arab hero, the Jordanian taxi-driver, after a nice exchange of the glorious Iraqis and the Arab nations, asked me where do I hail from, I replied 'Adhamiya' and he said after a moment of recognition, "yeah yeah those brave Sunni resistance" he then descended into the usual routine of calling Shi'ites as unbelievers that should be afraid of the 'Saffavids' and saying that how much we ADORE Saddam, we hate Uday because he raped women, etc etc....for the fuck of it, I told him that I was a Shi'ite. He was caught off guard for a minute and then I couldn't stand it and laughed out loud.

There was a rumor, launched by a subtite on hugely unreliable al-Zawraa TV, which has since Saddam's death sentence been following a very vocal pro-Baathist stance, going as far as broadcasting resistance videos, that Abu Der'a, the notorious Sadr City rambo, was killed. But I don't think so. and even so....what good did the death of Zarqawi do anyway?

The city in general was barren, and other hotels, such as the Days Inn, and the Radisson, which were actually attacked during 2005, did not have such security measures.

The great thing about that day though, was the movie...It's been a while since I last saw a movie that totally, totally blew me away. "The Departed" is a new entry into my picky all-time classics, it's already in my favorite gangster movie genre, reminding me a lot of Curtis's LA Confidential, another classic of mine....I never really appreciated Scorcese until now - the ending is one of the most original ever ; the unexpected, unexpected, unexpected climax generated all sorts of reactions from the crowd - the girl curled up next to me let out a gasp....I laughed out loud again! too loud this time though....but most were silent, awed.

Watch it.

Hey...looks like al-Maliki hit Bush with a pipe (Iraqi slang for dumped) for today's dinner date, I don't think it was because he wanted to shave though.

Nice going, Darwin!