A voice of sanity amidst the madness of war

During the invasion of Iraq one voice stood out: the voice of Raed with his daily diary on the web. While many in the west assumed that the Iraqi people were impatiently looking forward to the assault by the allies, Raed tried to put the picture straight.

:: Sunday, March 16, 2003
:: No one inside Iraq is for war. They will be happy to see Saddam go, but they aren't itching for the B52s to come flying overhead with their bomb doors open. No human being in his right mind will ask you to give him the beating of his life. If a few people are saying "Come on, bomb us" it is only because they are so exasperated after 10 years of sanctions and hardship. There is no person inside Iraq who will be jumping up and down asking for the bombs to drop. We are not suicidal you know.

There's a question that has been bugging me for a long time now: how could "support democracy in Iraq" come to mean "bomb the hell out of Iraq"? Why did it end up that democracy won't happen unless we go through war?

The situation in Iraq could have been solved in other ways. There are groups here who would have fought to change the regime if only they had known they could count on support and funding from abroad. The Shias in the south rose up against Saddam at the end of the Gulf War with Kuwait, but then they were abandoned, allowing Saddam to crush them. Does someone not like the idea that the Iraqi people might take control of their destiny?

Instead, after the Gulf War the organisations that call themselves the "international community" relied entirely upon sanctions. No one stopped to think what effect the sanctions were actually having. All they did was bring the people of Iraq to their knees. A whole nation - a proud and learned nation - was devastated not by war but by sanctions. Our brightest and most creative minds fled the country because no one inside Iraq could make a living. And can anyone tell me what the sanctions really did about weapons? Get real, there are always nations who are willing to supply arms to anyone offering cash.

To end this rant, a word about the Islamic fundamentalist al qaeda thing.

Do you know when the sight of women veiled from top to bottom became common in cities in Iraq? Do you know when the question of segregation between boys and girls became red hot? When tribal law replaced THE LAW? It only happened after the Gulf War. I think it was Cheney or some other American politician who said they would bomb Iraq back to the stone age. Well you have done. Iraqis have never accepted religious extremism in their lives. They still don't. The combination of poverty/no work/low self-esteem and the bitterness of seeing people rise to riches and power without any real merit but having the right family name or connection has shaken the whole social fabric. The religious campaign spreads ideas like "poor in this life, rich in heaven” which keep the people quiet. Or the other side of the coin is getting paid by religious organizations. Come pray and get paid. No joke, dead serious. If the government can't give you a job, run to the nearest mosque and they will pay and support you. This never happened before, it is outrageous. But what are people supposed to do?

Sanctions - when stronger nations tell weaker ones that they really don't like that they can't import certain goods like military hardware, medcines, artificial fertilizer and bleach to clean toilets (the last two, apparently, can be used to make bombs).
Mosque - church for muslims
Shias - one of the two main groups of muslims, the other being the Sunnis

CLICK HERE for a little vocabulary revision.

If you've read this and the other war stories, why not check to see how good your vocab is now by doing this little COUNTER-STRIKE TEST