Category Archives: Iraq

In Baghdad Ruins, Remains of a Cultural Bridge

Reproduced from The New York Times


Published: May 21, 2010

BAGHDAD — Report No. 25, dated April 4 and written by Col. Qais Hussein, was clinical, the anonymous survey of an explosion in a city where explosions are ordinary.

 “Material damage: significant,” it declared of the car bomb that was detonated last month near the Egyptian Embassy, killing 17 people. “The burning of 10 cars + the burning of a house, which was in front of the embassy, with moderate damage to 10 surrounding houses.”

Colonel Hussein’s report didn’t mention the hundreds of books, from plays of Chekhov to novels of the Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani, stored in bags, boxes and a stairwell. It didn’t speak of the paintings there of Shaker Hassan, one of Iraq’s greatest, or the sculptures of his compatriot, Mohammed Ghani Hikmat. There was no note of the stone brought from an exile’s birthplace in Bethlehem that helped build the house as a cosmopolitan refuge bridging West and East.

Nor did Colonel Hussein’s report mention that the home belonged to Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, a renowned Arab novelist, poet, painter, critic and translator who built it along the date palms and mulberry trees of Princesses’ Street nearly a half-century ago and lived there until his death in 1994.

This is not a story about an outpouring of grief over its destruction. There were no commemorations, few tributes. As Fadhil Thamer, a critic, said, “People here have seen too much.”

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Filed under Identity, Iraq, Literature, Pakistan, Palestine-israel, Religion, Terrorism, USA, violence, war

For Times Square Suspect, Long Roots of Discontent

 Reproduced from The New York Times

Published: May 15, 2010

This article was reported by Andrea Elliott, Sabrina Tavernise and Anne Barnard, and written by Ms. Elliott.

Just after midnight on Feb. 25, 2006, Faisal Shahzad sent a lengthy e-mail message to a group of friends. The trials of his fellow Muslims weighed on him — the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the plight of Palestinians, the publication in Denmark of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad.

Mr. Shahzad was wrestling with how to respond. He understood the notion that Islam forbids the killing of innocents, he wrote. But to those who insist only on “peaceful protest,” he posed a question: “Can you tell me a way to save the oppressed? And a way to fight back when rockets are fired at us and Muslim blood flows?

“Everyone knows how the Muslim country bows down to pressure from west. Everyone knows the kind of humiliation we are faced with around the globe.”

Yet by some measures, Mr. Shahzad — a Pakistani immigrant who was then 26 years old — seemed to be thriving in the West. He worked as a financial analyst at Elizabeth Arden, the global cosmetics firm. He had just received his green card, making him a legal resident in the United States. He owned a gleaming new house in Shelton, Conn. His Pakistani-American wife would soon become pregnant with their first child, whom they named Alisheba, or “beautiful sunshine.”

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Filed under Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, FATA, Identity, Iraq, Islam, Islamabad, Islamism, Pakistan, Religion, Taliban, USA, violence, War On Terror

The Journey of a Pakistani Muslim

I was born into a Sunni Muslim family in a northern city in the UK. The city is home to a large Muslim minority from Pakistan. I come from an educated and broad minded family with middle of the road type of values. Religion was never really a huge issue but I did the usual cultural thing of learning how to read the Quran in Arabic till I was 10 years old.

 At around the age of 14, I became interested in Islam and joined the Young Muslims UK. This was my first real exposure to practical Islam. We would attend camps and have weekly meetings usually to discuss the Quran and the Hadith of Muhammad. For all intents and purposes everything was going well and my family was happy that I had decided to take it upon my own back to learn about the religion of my ancestors. I remember walking two miles to a shop from school to hire Ahmed Deedat debates and shouting “Allah-hu-Akbar” whilst watching other less worthy opponents beaten to a pulp.

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Filed under Activism, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Citizens, culture, Democracy, Egalitarian Pakistan, Europe, human rights, India, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Islamism, Pakistan, Philosophy, Religion, Rights, violence, war, Women, youth

Iraq Inquiry

Realise they will one day,
As the hour of reckoning
Not upon them yet, not in our grasp
Not lost though, the trail of truth
It will come, it will arrive
Fly away time, sooner
Fly away, age of conclusion

It will arrive, it will come
Upon them, on their deathbeds,
As winter’s wind pierces the skin
The wrath of Providence
Upon their bodies and soul,
Sink they will into that darkness
In old remains of their disguises
As lips will mutter old muses
Of conceit and conspiracies
Incoherent words what they had done,
As the world torched up, the old adventures
Of flawed ideologies and interests
Never will they be forgiven
For Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan

Not forgotten those atrocities
All those killed, the human blood
It happened to them all
Regan, Sharon and many others
Those moments will come,
The time of reckoning
As they sink into their darkness
Of lies and adventures, the flaws
As the jaws and bones will begin to crack
Upon that hour, when truth will prevail
The old Pharaohs on display, frozen!



Filed under Iraq

The demons of Major Nidal Malik Hasan

This is a New York Times story that gives first glimpses of the internal demons haunting Major Nidal Malik Hasan, and the time line of events leading up to wanton murders at Fort Hood. All text is copied from New York Times website, all rights reserved with New York Times Company (AZW) 

Fort Hood Gunman Gave Signals Before His Rampage

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

By James C. McKinley Jr. and James Dao

Nov. 9 (New York Times) — KILLEEN, Tex. — It was still dark on Thursday when Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan left his aging apartment complex to attend 6 a.m. prayers at the brick mosque near Fort Hood. Afterward, he said goodbye to his friends there and asked forgiveness from one man for any past offenses.

 “I’m going traveling,” he told a fellow worshiper, giving him a hug. “I won’t be here tomorrow.”

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Filed under Afghanistan, Army, Iraq, Islam, USA, war, War On Terror

Target Tehran

Did Bibi Box Obama In?

by Patrick J. Buchanan

On Sept. 20, 2002, as the War Party was beating the drum for preventive war on Iraq, lest we wake up to “a mushroom cloud over an American city,” The Wall Street Journal introduced an eminent voice to confirm that, yes, Saddam was driving straight for an atomic bomb.

“This is a dictator who is … feverishly trying to acquire nuclear weapons,” wrote Bibi Netanyahu, former prime minister of Israel.

“Saddam’s nuclear program has changed. He no longer needs one large reactor to produce the deadly material necessary for atomic bombs. He can produce it in centrifuges the size of washing machines that can be hidden throughout the country — and Iraq is a very big country. Even free and unfettered inspections will not uncover these portable manufacturing sites of mass death. … Continue reading


Filed under Iraq, USA

War, Inc.

posted by kinkminos

John Cusack is one of my favourite Hollywood actors, having won me over with roles in films like Hi Fidelity, Grosse Point Blank and Being John Malkovich. The following is an excerpt from a review of Cusack’s new film War, Inc. — a film depicting the corporatisation of the war in Iraq. Where will it end, this commoditisation of humanity in the name of progress?

War, Inc. is a radically different kind of movie. In fact, it really defies genre. It is sort of like this generation’s Dr. Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange and The Wizard of Oz mixed together with the un-embedded reporting of Naomi Klein, spiced up with a dash of South Park. It is a powerful, visionary response to the cheerleading culture of the corporate media and a pliant Hollywood afraid of its own shadow. On the surface, War, Inc. appears to be a spoof of the corporatization of the occupation of Iraq. Continue reading

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Filed under drama, Iraq, Media