The Exiled Shalash

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Three Years Later

I remember vividly this day three years ago, I remember it because I often think this day should have been my birthday.

Exiled in a land I couldn't call home, I started, for the first time in many years dreaming of returning to the place where I first fell in love, the place where humanity and civilization had their first kiss, the place where the Tigris welcomes you and where the tea shops welcome you and where Nadhim Ghazali's voice makes you realize that no place on earth can be as sweet as this thing called Iraq.

I wasn't happy about Rumsfeld's "shock and awe," I wanted the bombing to start and be over so that we can be done with Saddam.

The bombing started, 21 days later, it ended and Saddam became a fugitive, 8 months later he became a prisoner, three years later, he's on trial.

Three years later, 36 thousand Iraqi lives later, over 2300 American lives later, billions of dollars later, two elections later, a constitutional referendum later, two governments later, Iraq can still only be labeled as a mess.

I am sorry 36000 lives means 36000 stories, it means tens of thousands of children who no longer have fathers or mothers, it means tens of thousands of sisters and brothers whose siblings are gone, gone forever. 36000 people means 36000 lives that will not be lived, dreams that will not be pursued, smiles that will not be expressed, families that will not be fed. What were their names? Will we ever erect a monument in their memory? Will we ever have a wall for them with their photos? Will we ever call them the martyrs of democracy?

Damn Zarqawi, damn Hakim, damn Sadr, damn all those who have caused their deaths, damn those who have stolen Iraqi money, damn those who have profited from the blood of Iraqi men and women, Iraqi children and elderly Iraqis.

Three years later and the best SCIRI can give Iraq is the criminal Bayan Jabr. Three years later and the best Da'awa can give us is Ibrahim al-Ja'afari. Three years later and the Sunnis are still represented by criminals and thieves and terrorists like Dhari and Jibouri and Delaimy (Harith, Mish'an and Adnan respectively).

This is not the era of polite writers, this is the era for cursing the father of sectarianism, Sistani. This is the age of rejecting Bayan Jabr and his boss, the pathetic excuse for a human being, Abdulaziz al-Hakim. This is the age to expose the likes of Harith al-Dhari for there is little difference between him and Zarqawi.

Let's judge, let's curse, let's wish death upon the profiteers of Iraqi blood, let's say "no" to uncle Jalal and Ayatollah Sistani and Dr. Ja'fari and Bayan Sulag.

The killing of Iraqis can stop if Iraq's political class wasn't so damned sectarian. Yes, the killing could have stopped if there was less corruption and if instead of voting for uncle Jalal because he's a Kurd, we had voted for somebody because he's Iraqi and decent and wants the best for Iraq. If instead of voting for those who have stopped time at the 7th century, we had voted for somebody who lives in the 21st century, the killing could have stopped or been reduced or a few lives could have been saved...

Three years later, people like Shalash al-Iraqi still cannot write under his own name...


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