Iraq: Goooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaal !!!!!

… or Kicking off at the Iraqi Blogodrome.

A lonely street
a hungry song
battered words
don't get me wrong
a silent plea
a plate of sand
orange winds
and a human brand

a happy sink
a dirty heart
a playful leaf
the soul of art

: ) ( :

poem by April Girl

It's a football special today. With Iraq through to the finals of the Asian Cup bloggers are alight with comment on the national team. And there's more, read about how one Iraqi blogger has had enough of blogging; how to survive a trip through Baghdad International Airport; what it is like to have the Iraqi army move in next door; Why Iraqi oil is so critical to the world and much,much more. And, if you read to the end, why one blogger got banned from YouTube. Today's side quotes are from Iraqi poet and blogger April Girl.

a pack of arms
a spot of rust
a doubtful truth
this world: distrust

all sparks happy
all sparks sad
nothing makes sense
and nothing is bad
i write for nothing
and nothing i write
to please my soul
or satisfy my mind
to tear my heart
or tear do my eyes
sigh-filled lungs
and restless beats
of a pump of tongues

poem by April Girl

If you read no other blog post this week read this one…
Marshmallow26 has had enough of blogging and signs off with spite and vitriol:

I know the fact that “Bloggin” is something to vent and express your ways and thoughts and come up with something new every time you write, but since my thoughts keep reoccurring in my posts like an echo and tells no story about life and experience except for: death, killing, boring, bombs, terror, surviving as if the terrorism becomes something we should bow for when it comes to talk about it…as if we will lose our taste of writing and visitors to the site if we don’t mention that we are the most Dog on poor nation on earth! And yet, we are!!

What will I gain if I still talk and blab about the Iraqi prime vampire and his entourage? Nothing but a pointless drivel!!

What difference will my articles make? Nothing!! Who cares if I say that I spent 30 consecutive hours at home begging God with my prayers to get the power back on?? Not much!

What is my goal in this shitty life after I lost so many opportunities of studying abroad? Bewail my bad luck and try the same shit again! What am I doing trying to encourage those who lost hope and faith while I’m acting worse?? Mocking them!! …

The chaos and violence escalation affect my daily basis life big time, I can’t digest all that and keep going in this life…what have I done to live in the war and experience the difference between the sound of explosions whether its and IED or VBIED??? What? HUH?? What is my fault to have such a heart, a heart that melts and aches for its beloved folks, or for any bloody scene in reality or on TV?? Why should I care that much?

I need a break from my blog, … until there will be something new, fun, real and exciting to write about I will get back with Iraqi Roses…

Until then…peace be with you all.

And its for rants like this that I really want her to come back :(

a moment with the self
a dance with the bugs
the truth of trees
the addiction potential of hugs
will render me free
of my responsibility
to breathe and be
to be and breathe
to waste my time
and yours along mine

we might discover
or we might not
the truth of time
and that of the dot

be with me
or be not
be to be
and for nothing else
it might matter
when we rot

an easy ending
a bright red rock
a hardened smile
on an old maidens frock
show me the way
to disengage
and free this thought

poem by April Girl

Football crazy

This is the first time that Iraq has made it this far in the Asian Cup. For Neurotic Iraqi Wife the significance of this means more to her than (to quote Muqtada Al-Sadr) watching grown men running after a ball:

The game on Sunday is crucial. Especially because its against the Saudis. God, I hope and pray we will win, I really do. I wanna bring their noses down for once. I know I shouldnt be judgemental and I know I shouldnt generalize for many of my friends are Lebanese, Jordanians and Palestinians but in general the Arabs did nothing but hurt us. They hate us, they hate us because they dont want to see a beautiful unified flourishing Iraq….

Iraqis were always respected in the Arab world, before and during Saddam's time. People from Palestine, Egypt, Syria and Jordan begged to come here to get the Iraqi nationality. Ofcourse with their benevolent leader, they were always treated better than the Iraqis themselves. I remember when I used to travel with my parents and say we are Iraqis, its like we've just said we are royalty. But now, now being an Iraqi means nothing but a destitute poor country. … This is the reality that we live in. We have become like some disease that everyone runs away from.

No Pain No Gain adds:

Seeing Iraq win in soccer is one of the most cherished sensations for an Iraqi. To see the team play soccer has become reality and it is a reality many yearn for… It is the success not to win the cup but to reminiscence the identity of Iraq and what it stood and will continue to stand for as long as there will be something valuable to remember Iraq by

The Iraqi team has won a new supporter from Sunshine who admits that she never watched a football match in her life but now is a devoted fan. She writes:

Today was a different day , really nice day , we achieved a great success , won the football game and reached the [finals] … Our football players won today .. and that made Iraqis extremely happy , our streets are full of young men celebrating , it was a day that all Iraqis united , I am so glad not only because we won ,but , because all the Iraqis today were feeling the same way , when we achieve a goal or miss one , we all jumped when we won , and prayed while the players were playing to win the game ..
The Iraqi football team and the match bring together all the Iraqis , regardless on our religions or castes , whether they are , Arabs , Turkmen , Kurds , Muslims ( Sunnis , Shiites ) , Christians , etc …

I know our country news are in every where … BUT this time (for the first time) It will be good news.. I want Iraq’s name to be high and it’s flag fluttering so high .

Laith thanks the team

Our forward star Younis Mahmoud … took us to a new world where no politicians could ever take us too because Younis Mahmoud is a real Iraqi man while our politicians … having two citizenships, they are never pure Iraqis and they will never be ones. I just wanted to say thank you very much our young men, thank you for pleasing all the Iraqis, thank you for unifying all the Iraqis, thank you for being so loyal Iraqis. Thank you Younis for your great efforts, Thank you Karrar, Thank you Nash'at, thank you Abbas and thank you all. GOD Bless Iraq, GOD Bless you young men, GO Forward men and get the golden cup to return smile back to the drooping lips of your people.

Nibras Kazimi sees the Western media failing Iraq:

The celebrations of Iraqis … have been truly remarkable. But it seems that most foreign news agencies, which cover every nitty gritty about Iraq, are not interested in the jubilant spectacle.

The images are amazing, Al-Iraqiya TV has been doing a good job reporting on the happy, spontaneous carnival, and from around Iraq, including Mosul.

Everyone who grabs the microphone is shouting out a positive message, and the recurring theme is that all Iraqis are united on this day.

Civil war? Despair? “Iraq is lost” ?

I think not but spoilsports-of-the-match go to two political blogger from the left and right wings of the field. Iraqi Pundit saw politics inside sports during the last match between Iraq and Iran at the WAFF championship:

I couldn't help but notice striking similarites between their football and politics (with regards to Iraq). After they scored the first two goals, which I admit were excellent, they seemed to have only one thing on their minds. It was almost as if they were subconsciously telling each other ‘when ever an Iraqi has the ball, break his legs'…

Iraq started to gain momentum and were playing brilliant attacking football, nice moves, nice passes, but just as they go near the goal they slow down and lose the ball. That is also how Iraqi politics is, all the hype, all the hard work, all the effort…but just no results.

and Truth About Iraqis goes looking for disunity among the Iraqi football team and finds it. He writes:

hoopla over how united the Iraqi team is and how the country is united in celebration.

B***s***. The team itself is highly divided.

In the first half of the Iraq-Thailand game, two Iraqi players headbutted each other. The referee had to restrain both. In the Iraq-Vietnam game, the players were simply not communicating with one another. But when they did, it was usually with strife. … Sharqiya commentators even noticed this and said the Iraqi players were performing with anger and selfishness. And this is for a team that was leading at half-time 1:0.

But, the last word goes to Dulaimy who writes:

Today, we danced for like 30 minutes or maybe an hour. i don't know i lost sense of time while we where dancing. it felt so good. We did not have such a good time for a long time. i have to say the place look different; shiny.

I am so happy for what happened today.

I miss normal life… I miss it so much.

moments are rare
and they're all i am
this one, and this one,
: )
too swift to let in the self
too miserly to provide truth
too afraid to hold hands
too long a few lines
too easy an ending
to reiterate
that rain finds no place
that thoughts leave no trace
my brother, agree with me
coals are chemicalized
to their religion
ay ay i hear you say
or period?
no, a speck, a molecule, an iota, and an atom, all at random


: ) ( :

poem by April Girl

Word from the streets

An Iraqi Army Battalion moving in next door brought back painful childhood memories to Chikitita of the dreaded “Pink House”, which she describes as “a perfect set for scary movies.” A house her family rented for a time which over looked a building run by the notorious Iraq Intelligence Agency and where they were warned not to be seen looking out of the windows for fear of getting into “big trouble “. A house where she used to have “nightmares … of men in uniform breaking into our residence and huge rats nibbling at my toes.” But her fears turned out be completely unfounded. She writes:

As the days went by I noticed that we were making their job more difficult than they did our lives, mum noticed that in the mornings, they never faced our house until we’re all downstairs. … They seemed to do whatever it takes to gain our trust.

What I like the most about their presence is the fact that our neighbourhood is getting cleaner. It takes an army uniform and a rifle to stop people from throwing trash in front of our house. Of course they’re only doing it to avert any IED emplacing attempts, but it was for our own good.

Their presence might entail more mortar attacks and shootouts but our house has not been searched in months, now that’s something!

Sheko Mako recalls his life as an Iraqi doctor, from graduating with top marks at school to practising medicine in Iraq during the sanctions making a monthly salary of $2, to years of exile as an “illegal immigrant” in the UK and finally gaining the right to live and work as a doctor in Britain just one day after another Iraqi doctor decided to attempt blowing himself up at Glasgow airport. He wonders:

But most importantly shall I be able to cope with the restrictions, policies and demands of the medical authorities here. In the “good doctor guide” sent along with my GMC registration license, the words “you must” were mentioned nearly 75 times. And if eighteen years ago I did not know whether I would like to be a doctor or not, now the question that buzzes in my head “do I still have the energy, physically and mentally, to carry on with the profession? The answer is simply again: I don’t know.

Staying on the medical theme A&Eiraqi compares the way infirm elderly people are treated in the UK compared to Iraq:

I remember an elderly man was admitted to the hospital when I was working in Northern England; he was depressed as his wife had died and he had no one but a son who visits him 10 minutes a year, the poor man kept saying he doesn’t want to live anymore.

For a while I thought this is the worst thing could happen to a person who lives here, yet, while working in the casualty unit, I received a 69 year old lady who presented unconscious and no one knew what happened to her, as no one had phoned her since a week before she presented to us. No one of her sons had bothered himself to ask about his mother, their mother was dying silently; probably they were busy with things more important than her!

I was always impressed that there is a great system in [the UK] for looking after elderly and disabled people … Yet, being in touch with those old people made me get an entirely different view. Everyday I see many old people who are dirty, smelly, depressed and in a bad health condition, they’re being left in their houses visited once a day by their carers … who are receiving money from the government to look after their parents, however, they don’t really do their duties in a complete way. …

I know that there are many people who are neglected back home but end of the day there is someone who care about them, I’ve never seen someone who was left for a week without asking about him … I also noticed that the ones of Eastern origin (Arabs, Indians and Pakistanis) are in much better condition than the English ones, as they’re always surrounded by their relatives.

I know it is variable but I think elderly people back home live shorter, with poorer health but they feel better. … Despite all the horror we lived, we still care about the family relationships and we insist on tightening them.

And Neurotic Iraqi Wife gives the essential guide for flying to Baghdad International Airport. How to pass through passport control quickly when you're desperate for the toilet; why you should never use the toilets at the airport; and the essential difference between luxury hotels in Dubai and accommodation in the Green Zone. Read more about her journey back to Iraq here.

eye lie

the vow of silence is not yet in place
it has not been uttered
these moments have no choice but to be
and in my moments here
i leave you
i don't leave you
i leave you a part of the disenfranchised self
the one, not in search, but in still mode
to extend moments in which it exists
to find some truth and then some peace
in that moment, or in this one
so be here, in this moment, and this one too
to see and hear and touch and taste and then maybe smell
and beyond this limitation if you can go, take me along
i try and try and i laugh at boundaries and shells
at misunderstandings and misconceptions
at hateful glances and fake smiles
at soulless hugs and bored shrugs
i side with illusions and smile
it takes my mind and hops away
to the ultimate non-place un-place placeless place
: )
: )
: )
( :
( :
( :

poem by April Girl

The Political World

Great Baghdad gets a letter from a friend talking about unity and Iraqi oil:

…there are No problems among Iraqis ( as people) whither they are Sunnis, Shia, Kurds or Turkmmen. the problem is that the Iraqi politics after 9/4/2003 was built on sectarian and ethnic bases. When you bring Kurdish parties and Shia parties and Sunni Parties you are building politics on sectarian and ethnic bases. They are not social parties or liberal democrat parties. So it became a matter of Rivalry between sects and when there are elections there would be winners and losers.
The Bases on which the whole political process is wrong. Iraqis were not at each other's throat before the war, but they became like that when sectarian polarizations started and each sect felt threatened by the other.

The American administration is the one who laid those bases and after the structure came up they discovered the grave mistake they made and now they have to put down that Ugly structure that they have been building and supporting for 4 years and start from the scratch.

The Importance of the Iraqi oil lies in 3 crucial facts.1st, … Iraq is the 2nd largest oil reserve in the world …( which means it could easily be number one, once we really figure out how much oil we actually got)… 2nd the Iraqi oil is cheap and easy to get out from the ground. 3rd, and most importantly, is that the Iraqi oil does not have to be exported through the Gulf. It could be exported to Europe and the rest of the western world through the Mediterranean…

Why all that is important?? because if any gulf country fell in the hand of Extremists or for example Iran wanted to stop all the oil Tankers from getting out of the region by closing the Gulf … there would be a global fuel crisis, and then Iraq would be the Safety valve with its abundant, easy to get out and deliverable oil that dose not have to go through the Gulf.

This is the strategic importance of Iraq's oil and that is why the whole world would not mind, not only thousands but even hundred of thousands die to keep that safety valve under control. but the question is HOW??!! and on what expense??

And talking about oil, Al-Ghad gets yet another draft of the Iraqi Oil Law. It picks through some of the changes and concludes:

It is not clear whether this was a jumbled proposal, or to trick Iraqi MPs into passing the latest Draft Oil Law. What is becoming obvious, however, is that this continuous stream of amended drafts is more like the twisting story of a con-man trying to swindle an unsuspecting person out of his income than the sober proceedings of a constitutional government.

Baghdad Connect deconstructs the War on Terror:

The world citizens are once again fighting a proxy war and paying the price dearly for the vile and terrorizing works [of] Reagan’s Takfiri Freedom Fighters and Suicide Bombers… {editor's note: this a reference to the fact that Al-Qaida grew from Islamic forces that were trained and equipped by America to defeat the USSR in Afghanistan].

Iraqis may have to get a grip to their reality and comprehend that War on Terror is a war against all the vice and havoc done by both the invaders and ex-Soviet Union to control global resources…

It is a choice that we need to make; do we carry on with this war on terror and keep on cleaning up the feces behind the superpowers or to heed to reasoning and become a self-determined, Mesopotamian-constitutionalized nation?

And, 24 Steps to Liberty looks at the actions of the Iraqi government and sees a new dictatorship:

When did the dictatorship return to Iraq? Why no one is writing about it? … Listen to this: The Iraqi Parliament, after long discussions and several days of debates, decided to issue diplomatic passports to its members and their families! Is this what the rest of the 20 million Iraqis inside Iraq and the three to four million displaced citizens are waiting for? …

because of the constitution, even if there are Sunnis or Kurds or Christians or any other minorities, who are more qualified for the position, we cannot vote for them to lead our government because the constitution states clearly that the poisonous Mullahs … get to choose…

The politicians in Iraq think that they inherited their positions from the years “of struggle” against Hussein’s government. … They do believe that the president should be Talbani and the president of Kurdistan should be Masoud Barzani, because they fought against Saddam Hussein, even if Barzani did call Hussein’s republican guards to murder Talbani’s people, fellow Kurds, in the 1990s…

Are there no other Iraqis who struggled under Hussein’s regime that are qualified to lead Iraq? When did it become a family issue to appoint ministers and leaders in the government?

Is not this what Saddam Hussein did for 25 years or am I mistaken?

And Finally…

Veteran blogger Zeyad had his YouTube account permanently suspended and all his videos deleted. He writes:

The reason they gave me was “repeated attempts to upload inappropriate videos.” I have been receiving several angry messages from Iraqis who did not like the videos I had published of Mahdi Army militiamen blowing up Sunni mosques in Baghdad and Basrah, and from some Kurds who objected to [a video of Kurdish soldiers assassinating a man in Mousul], which I had uploaded two days ago before my account was blocked.

Is YouTube right for censoring like this? What do you think?


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