Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Iraqi Konfused Kid Happy Eid bonuses

Happy Eid everyone, here is a tribute for the four friends who were killed in a roadside explosion week before their graduation, I talked about them in the 6/11 post. RIP.

In case you were curious how do I sound like talking English, here is me being interviewed by the BBC regarding my post on the Baghdad Treasure blog, enjoy

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Mecca Document? Iraqis choose Mahdi's Army

I watched the Mecca PR stunt yesterday, a dazzling feast that has plenty of action and romance, with dazzling special effects, I especially loved the way they made them all sit with the holy Kaaba visible from the window with people circling it, the fatwa is supposed to be the religious s be-all end-all viewpoint on the sect-fueled war that is going on between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq, it was supported by all the big players - Read about it in details here, if you want

In the conference that was broadcast live, a table was shown, Ahmed Abdilghaffour al-Samarrie, the Sunni endowment head, in my opinion a nice harmless guy who's just about as clueless about this as any, and a SCIRI representative, approprietly frowny and white-bearded like a Jalal al-Din al-Sagheer fashion fan, sat together and told knock-knock jokes about Sunni-Shiite being as much friendly to each other as teddybears and that their faith is in the essence the same, brilliantly clad in symbolic black & white turbans as a cinematic afterthought, after the blah-blahs faded, they gave space for reporters to ask them questions, this was what they asked them, the actual exchange was much more graceful, but luckily I had my Bullshit Filter on:

REPORTER 1: Do you have any mechanism for implementing your edict on the ground? (actual question was more decorated than this)
KHOSH-WALAD SAMARRIE 1: blah-blah yaddad yadda peace and prosperity, but we hope that Iraqis are naturally good and this is the last night of Ramadhan.
REPORTER 2: Do you have any method by which you can apply your fatwa in Iraq?
FROWNY-JALAL TURBAN 2: wiggilie-wiggilie peace humpty dumpty love sumbul bulaybul dumbk dunaibuk understanding.
REPORTER 3: Excuse me, but on terms of a practical appreciation of your document, do you expect that it will be endorsed and applied (same question reworded)
THE COORDINATING GUY IN THE MIDDLE: All right buddy, you asked for it, this is the top religious clergy here, we tell you how in which direction to shit and how many papers you use to wipe your arse, we are here to say that blood is forbidden, it is up for the Iraqis, the natural loving and peaceful nation to endorse it, if they do not - we have made ourselves clear on the matter.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Shiites favor al-Mahdi's army Read it, it's very nice, and very honest.

Can you blame the Iraqi Shiites? I do not. They tell the truth, this is not a simple ideological struggle that can be waived aside by the whiff of a religious clergy's ruminations, even Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is waning, after being used by UIA as an advertising campaign to win the elections. Anyone who calls for peace is shut-up by the realities of life as it is, everybody is so afraid of each other, I remember when Zarqawi died and I went to the mosque to listen to the Friday speech in an Adhamiya mosque, the Imam was practically crying! Nobody wants militas or Zarqawi, but everybody is so afraid of the other now, there is no trust.
Unless the National Reconcillation gimmick targets those who you should really make up your peace with, the blood-soaked Baathists, the backbone of the insurgency, who had their homes and money but now lost it all and are giving Iraqis and Americans a hard time about it, it will be fruitless. al-Qaeda is worthless without their straetgic allies the Baathists, who adopted a more Islamic veil to fit in with the times and bring us all to this sectarain lollapalooza. Shiite militas atrocities are infintely more horrific, but you have no right to blame them when you are part of the blame, get real. In Sadr City, Abu Der'a is a national hero, to quote Abdilaziz al-Hakim's 12 year old son. These murderers will lose their support only when you negotiate with the Baathists.
Ayad Jamal al-Din, my only favorite politicain (aside from stand-up comedian parliament speaker Mahmood al-Mashhadani) says: "I support dialogue with those who killed Iraqis, you see, most of the insurgents attacks these days are 95% targeting Iraqis, and 5% targeting Americans, reminding them that we, the Baathists, were your loved ones before and we can stir shit up if u ignore us - these are not necessarily terrorists in the regime time but they had homes, positions, and gains and now these were all stripped and they were even persecuted, so it is only natural that they resort to violence. It is like a young stubborn child who's being kicked out by his mother and is starting to throw rocks at the house. Unless you convince them, there is no hope behind it all."

PEOPLE ARE AFRAID. and they resort to their sectarian identity because they ARE AFRAID, not because they are hateful beings.
KID (leaving the mosque's prayer with Habib, his neighbor): Man, that speech was one disgusting peace of crap!
HABIB: Come on man, now they can slaughter us like sheep! and we can't do anything about it! If they killed one, we could've killed a hundred! it's like Saddam, he was bad but when he left everyone missed him.


"Be careful of the Wahhabis!" said the father in Sadr City to his departing 8-year-old son
"I just want him to know whom to hate."


You may laugh and say look at these nomadic Arabs slicing each other's heads off like there's no tomorrow, but please try to understand...this is no joke...

We are dying? Do you understand....we are dying...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Iraqi Bloggers Discuss Lancet Study, Iraq The Model

Debate summarized by Konfused Kid

In a first-of-its-kind event, a sizable number of Iraqi bloggers sat down together and discussed the recent Lancet study, which states that more than 650,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the U.S. invasion and its ensuing chaos.

However, the event was not a direct discussion of the study itself, what caused the commotion was an especially volatile post of prominent Iraqi blogger IRAQ THE MODEL in response to the Lancet study. ITM called the Lancet: [a bunch of] lies, I'm talking here about those researchers who used the transparency and open doors of the new Iraq to come and count the drops of blood we shed. when they did not find the death they wanted to see on the ground, they faked it on paper! This is an insult to every man, woman and child who lost their lives.Let those fools know that nothing will stop us from walking this road and nothing will stop our friends and allies from helping us reach safe shores."
The discussion started when furious blogger Konfused Kid sent a mass e-mail to a sizable group of Iraqi bloggers, demanding that they give their opinions about the general viewpoint and direction of Iraq The Model in general, outlined in this post. Kid said that: "they [ITM] are just an inbred propaganda machine, if this is not crossing the line, then I don't know what is....", Kid accused Iraq The Model for being "an example of the mentality that currently prevails the Green Zone, nervous Iraqis who just want to make a few bucks by catering to an audience and telling them what they want to hear"

He also posted a more expanded reponse on his blog.
His letter was met by a series of emails, carrying mixed responses. Most of which however, seemed to agree, with various degrees of enthusiasm:

Miraj said that: "he wants to follow other Iraqi bloggers to US and what is better than sucking up to the Americans."

Baghdad Treasue: "I wish I could fly from America back to Iraq just to show him what being a tool to the white house means. He is just a shame."

El Delilah : "He could have made things simple just by posting a picture of himself licking a pair of bloody-muddy timberlands shiny."

El Delilah also posted a vicious criticism of ITM on her own blog

"Traitors like ITM get a voice because people like us lose ours in the squabbling. this is not about democracy and it is not about freedom of speech. Look up social responsibility theory in mass communications. When someone publishes something that does the mass public harm then that person has forfeited the right to freedom of speech."

He also have written a short post about the Lancet study

IRAQI SCREEN: "I am sure they are dying for an asylum in USA to be close to their dear Bush. Did they ever read about Haditha masscre, Ishaqi and Falluja?"
KHALID JARRAR: "Being a traitor is not an allowed option, and should not be legitimized by ranting about freedom of speech, I swear reading them is just like reading a white house statements."
NAJMA: "ITM makes most of us angry, yet most of the people who read' em almost worship their opinions"
SALAM ADIL: My main point was that they are in danger of growing up to be like the Baathist apologist that they so despise. Spinning wild stories just to make their supporters feel good.

Salam Adil also wrote a feature about all the Iraqi blog posts about the Lancet survery on his regular GlobalVoices feature, including some posts by fellow bloggers who did not contribute to this discussion.

24 STEPS TO LIBERTY: "You [ITM] said it is a shame to have such a study? A shame to count the sacrifices Iraqis have to make along the way to a better future? Why have you counted Saddam's victims then? Why you, and your kind of anti-rational dialogue people, have endless statistics numbering Saddam's horrible crimes? Isn't a shame?"

ANARKI13: "ITM should pick their fights a bit better, and one should never argue with mathematics.this was not their most inflammatory post, but it does hit on some really strained nerves"

MAJED: "this [post] is sick! I disagree with the idea that this nonsense could be marked as freedom of speech"

LORD: "we must not let people like ITM and other opologists have thier way. we must realize the truth, we must uncover thier lies, we must uncover the crimes thier masters had done to our people. everybody seemd to forget about what this study was really about, which is humane beings."

IRAQI SIGNOR: "I didn't quite understand what was so bad about it. However, afte reading between the lines, which I should have done from the beginning, I saw the underlying message of blunt support for the occupation of Iraq. How shameful."

Iraqi Signor also published a long post about the study on his own blog

RAED JARRAR: "I wonder what readers will think of the fact that ITM sounds like a holocaust denier. After all, counting the holocaust casualties was based on a similar methodology to that used by this latest Iraq casualties report."

WHITE ROSE: "I think [they] seem to be living on a different planet not to notice the killings, disappearances, kidnappings, bodies burnt & disposed of in rivers or thrown collectively in other areas and garbage dumps, this is not what a supposed "liberated country" should be going through. We the "liberated" must not be dying this way anymore, since Saddam, the cause of all our misery & violent deaths, is not an issue anymore. "

IRAQI THOUGHTS "One has to just look at the comments section of ITM and see why they write the way they do.... its a blog written to be read for non-Iraqis, I am proud to say my blog was removed from their links section, a lot of us USED to read ITM, but its bull***t now, lets stop hating on them, Just stop reading it if you want"

however, some people did not voice their objection quite as soundly:

IHATH : "I think there are enough people beating up on each other in Iraq without the need of us adding to it. I myself stopped reading ITM long time ago, I can predict what theywill say on any issue before going to their blog. Enough said."

She also wrote a characterisitcally strange post on her personal blog

HALA_S: "I did not like ITM post at all, I have to agree with you all that it was too much to take.However ITM has a lot of virtues as well. They worked hard and constantly reported on daily issues in Iraq for a long time. Probably they are the onlyones who never took a break, also they never expressed any secterian remark which is something most of us do."

NEUROTIC WIFE: I too was very pained when I read ITM's post regarding their dispute of Iraqi killings. It did boil my blood , but I cant say that I dislike ITM, cuz I dont. They have interesting point of views, and sometimes they are very informative."
She also wrote a post on her personal blog .

and ZAPPY: "a blog belongs to its owner, he can say whatever he likes, if hes got a comment link then comment, else leave the matter alone. don't take this thing too personal, you disagreed with the ITM's, so do I and a number of other bloggers, so what?"

NABIL: "What is this all about? Why don't u leave the guy alone, he's nuts anyway..."

Several high-profile bloggers also participated in the discussion, godfather of Iraqi blogs SALAM PAX expressed interest in writing something in response to the ITM, but did not add further to the point, while ZEYAD, who had earlier written about the study, also provided comments but they were not related to the debate directly, while RIVERBEND watched the debate silently, but perhaps as an indirect response she decided to break her 2 and a half months hiatus to post about the study.
Fellow bloggers MIXMAX and FAYROUZ, did not participate directly in the debate, but have posted about the study on their own respective blogs.

There were, however, a few who had an entirely different opinion:

SOONI: "ITM is one of the most respectable Iraqi blogs, although I disagree with them in what they say sometimes. The problem is never been with the American presence in Iraq the real problem is with Iraqis themselves they keep looking for new ways and reasons to kill each other"

IRAQ PUNDIT : "I was taken aback by ITM's posting. I believe they are nice guys who have somehow allowed themselves to write something bizarre."

Iraq Pundit also wrote an issue about the study and the debate on his own blog.

NIBRAAS KAZIMI: "ITM is a true patriotic blog"

NO PAIN NO GAIN: " I believe they mean that [the deaths] are incomparable to the death that Saddam killed, the [current] fear and these deaths that are occurring everyday has [a chance of a positive] outcome. I believe the ITM are trying to look at the bright side of matters in Iraq. They want to see that they are still fighting for a good hope...a hope that is fading among Iraqis and they dont want to let that go."

While knowning that this debate was taking place, IRAQ THE MODEL moderators have not responded in any direct way, they simply removed Konfused Kid's name from their blog-index and they posted something that may be an implicit reply that supplemented their Lancet post. They followed that by removing names of some other bloggers who participated in the debate.

FOOTNOTE BY KID: I am really proud of all that has happened, this is the first time something of this magnitude has happened, I hope this would be the start of a more active Iraqi blogger community, something which a lot of people has been voicing need for since a long time.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Iraq The Model

tOkay buddy, it's really time for you to cut the hamballa.

This post is a reaction to the recent post at the infamous ITM blog, I was so taken aback by it that I just had to write something.

IRAQ THE MODEL is probably one of the few 'superstar' blogs the Iraqi blogosphere has produced, and this is for a few reasons: 1. It was an early blog and most importantly 2. It supports the American propaganda virtually 100% - it fits the picture of what Americans wants Iraqis to be hand in glove, a supporter of all that 'war on terrorism' campaign and if I didn't know better I would say that this guy is hands-on an American soldier who is just as naive as the clueless Iraqis who chanted to Saddam and believed their own made-up lies back in the days.

Understood, I appreciate democracy and freedom of speech, but I can safely say that the viewpoint of the people behind this blog represents about somewhere between 2 to 1% of all Iraqis, I would even go as far as call it an anomaly created by an extra chromosome or something, there are people, especially those who oppose religion and identity, who could get sold up to the American Dream, to be part and parcel of all the ideals America stands for, I am not saying that Arabs are helplessly monstorous that they oppose liberty and democracy and want to be spend all day playing Russian Roulette with swords, but there is such a thing as an identity with your nation, and these guys make me sick with their obvious sucking-up they are doing to be sold out to Americans. It could be that they are just trying to achieve a common goal of a modern, democratic Iraq by sounding like a brainwash, but they play it so industriously well that my intuition tells me that there is something else on the take.

IRAQ THE MODEL is an example of the mentality that currently prevails the Green Zone, nervous Iraqis who just want to make a few bucks by catering to an audience and telling them what they want to hear, maybe their intentions were earnest in the beginning, but now things have started to look messed up and if they deviate from the fake sugar-ass bullshit they've been shoving up their audience their popularity will end, so they choose to go all the way, working up a good chunk of money with all the revenue from the ads until they can safely call it quits and retire in some nice Friends of Democracy-compatible country, spending all their well-earnt money on hoes and booze.

Could you tell me, my dear friends Omar and Mohammed, WHY is this list fake? do you have a single shred of proof as to why these Lancet documents and statistics are such a 'disgrace to all the women, children and men who died'? merely calling it fake and disgusting just don't cut it, please stop living the lie, and take a look outside your window. You call them careless for the victims of this country! I cannot believe this! "Using data for own gains." You have just proved your own point.

Like most other Iraqi bloggers, this site makes me nauseous, they make me fall alseep anyway by the half of any given post - but, I call on all Iraqi bloggers to campaign against this horrible freak of a blog, maybe back in the day you worked for the glory of Iraq, but now you have turned against it and sold it out for the first pile of greens that were shoved up your way. I don't want you to renounce America, we need them as much as you are afraid that they will leave, but I just want you to say the truth, for God's sake, like what Zeyad did, it didn't hurt, see? He's gone to the US just the same.

A$$ - KI$$ER! A$$ - KI$$ER! A$$ - KI$$ER!

Pissed Off Iraqi

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Looks familiar?

The picture is hauntingly familiar to the one in the previous post, then again, what is more like death than death itself?

I chose not to say anything when Mahmood al-Hashimi died, as as most of you say I may be biased, and in terms of Iraqi politics a person's best course would be to curse everyone in office and get it over with, but now I feel an obligation.

Today's morning, Amir al-Hashimi, brother of [Sunni] vice-president Tariq al-Hashimi was killed by a dozen of gunmen posing as security officers who broke into his house and killed him after disposing of his bodyguards.

This is the 3rd close relative of Tariq al-Hashimi to be killed in the past year, with his brother and his sister being the 1 and the 2.

and now I would like to talk about my father.

father was just like me in his early days, he even got as far in the imitation as having a bad haircut and playing godless American rock anthems on acoustic guitars until one day he smashed the guitar into pieces and found religion, which is where I seem to be heading.
Haji Amir, his architect friend and the good-natured SAINT who built al-Anbiyaa mosque and who was killed by Badr back in July 2005, was his first close friend to die in the unfortunate series of executions that followed, I shed tears for him though little I have known him, but for his good soul that is so hard to find in these black days, Mahmood al-Hashimi was his 2nd close friend to die. Although I did not know the guy then, but from the responses I got from my grandmother when she heard the news I could feel that he was just as good as Haji Amir.
And now Amir al-Hashimi, who was also a friend of father but not as close as these two.
When my father returned from his work today and heard the news, he immediately went to the balcony and sat all by himself, saying nothing, looking at the sky, I was afraid to look at him, and I experienced a cold shudder of sadness and molten anger.

I do not know Tariq al-Hashimi personally or his family relatives, but I know my father, and I know the sort of people he hangs out with, in the place where I come from, a religious person meant a guy who knew his rights from his wrongs, a person you could trust, a person who could never lie or steal ; my father never scolded me for my guitarplaying or forced me to wear certain things ever, and he has the sign of praying (a patch of changed skin on the forehead that results of much praying when the forehead touches the ground) on his face. The people who he hung out with were good, honest people, people you could really love, people of virtue. NOT the extremist, life-hating, vengeful caricatures Muslims have been cornered into, nor are they the pro-Baathist dictator scum Sunnis in Iraq have often been shoe-horned as.

Whenever I would go into a mosque and sit down after prayer I would feel the peace engulfing me, a calamity and understanding that becalms one outside the cyclone of life outside, the constant searching for meaning and answers...the tough-guy posturing and the struggle for bread.
But now these people are exterminated, exploited and destoryed in this meaningless Wahabi vs Rafidhi war.

Man, this is turning into an obituary.

On a much lighter note, errr....



"The nights of toil have stolen the smile of the lips"
"And years are spent in despair and eagerness"
"Yet, there still is hope in my spirits, never smoldered"
"And I feel my soul, still enfolded, and awaiting"
- Bassim