Friday, January 30, 2004

What If?

I was talking to my Iranian friend the other day. We were mainly discussing the last couple of years during the Shah's regime, and the onset of demonstrations by people demanding his removal. My friend looked around and said, " If I knew back then what I know now, I would have shot and killed all those people. I would not have shown them any mercy. Look at Iran now compared to the 70's, things were definitely better".

Now that got me thinking, If I had the chance to go back in time and kill Saddam or change events by killing few people, would I do that? I'm a person who believes in non-violence, but then again is this act of single violence worth it or not?
Also, is killing Saddam an event that will change history to the better, or do you go even further and change events which you believe had an even greater effect on Iraq, which in turn produced and delivered Saddam?

The question still remains, will I be able to pull the trigger, and kill somebody, knowing what I know now back then, or just let things go as they were planned? I must admit, it is a very difficult question to answer, for me at least.

Anyway, have a nice weekend all, and see you next week.


Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Some Bad News for Iraqi Football (Soccer)

Before I start my rant for today, I would like to give you some background information about Football in Iraq.
Football is the number one sport in Iraq, by far; it outstrips any other sport in popularity. In the 70’s and 80’s Iraq produced some of the best and strongest teams ever to grace Arab and Asian football fields. Then came the war in Kuwait, and Uday’s ever increasing involvement with the football setup. It was a long and bloody nightmare for this sport, just like it was for Iraq, and Iraqis as well.

Anyway, I read a few days back about Mr.Adnan Hamad (Iraq Olympic football team coach) deciding to accept an offer from the Lebanese to train their national and Olympic outfits. Adnan Hamad holds a special place in the psyche of Iraqi footballing fans. In the year 2000 he coached the Iraqi youth team, which won the Asian cup held in Iran, on their way, the Iraqis beat the 3 top teams in Asia, the South Koreans, Iranians, and the Japanese in the final. This win was the first after a barren spell of more than a decade where Iraq has won nothing due to lack of investment and Uday. The amount of general good feeling this win generated was immense. We were absolutely proud of this achievement; we beat teams, which spent millions on their teams, while we were operating on a shoestring budget. Hamad also went on to coach a couple of Iraqi teams, which won some Arab cups later on.

The Iraqi Olympic team will start the Athens qualifiers in just over 1 month, and we have lost one of our brightest managers. I know that it is not safe in Iraq these days, and he has every right to seek employment somewhere else to earn his living, and guarantee his future. But we are talking about somebody who is not ordinary, lots of people look up to him. What kind of message does he send, when he decides to pack his bags and disappear? Why was he allowed to leave? Shouldn’t the people responsible at least attempt to keep him? To date, nobody has answered these questions.

Mr.Adnan Hamad, I wish you all the best in your new adventure, and achieve the highest standards you are capable of. I know that you will not do much, not because you are lacking, but football in Lebanon is schoolboy’s stuff. I will never forget the feeling of happiness, and pride we went through, while watching our team in Iran, beating all comers, it was simply fantastic. I’m sorry to say, you have let your players, fans, people, and more importantly your country down in its hour of need.

On a different note,there is an American lady who is trying to organise a fundraiser for the Iraqi football team, if you can help her in any way shape or form please do so. (Don’t get dispirited by the arguments going back and forth, the main aim here is to help the Iraqi football team)

BTW, Why do Americans call it “soccer”? Where is this word derived from? I thought the word football is more self explanatory, and descriptive?


Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Law No. 137

The latest hot topic being discussed among Iraqis, is IGC Law 137 passed in late December. The best explanation I have read, is the one written by riverbend under the title "shari'a and family law",I totally agree with her assessment and there is no need to add my 2 cents worth.
I just would like to point out that, the Arab development report sponsored by the UN in 2002, praised and regarded Iraq as the leading country in the middleast enshrining laws that achieve equality for women. I guess with the passing of the recent law we have lost that standing.
What I would like to comment on is a news report I saw on Sunday on Aljazeera channel. Aljazeera reported that there was demonstration of women who are supporting this law, which I found quite odd. I just want to understand how can these women support a law which,

1. Makes it easier for men to marry a 2nd, 3rd, wife?
2. Strip the advantages they have in cases of divorce?
3. Makes them lose out in cases of inheritance?
4. Allows little girls to get married as soon as they hit puberty, with their father’s consent?
5. Allow men to wed in Zawaj Motaa (temporary marriage)? (Prostitution by the back door)

Don’t get me wrong I believe in the right of people demonstrating, but demonstrators usually take to the streets to demand a better life for themselves, not the other way around.

The other thing I saw, is a woman being asked about the law, I did not really listen to her, but what was interesting is the way she started her answer. She said “Mr.Albdul Aziz Al-Hakim (IGC president for the month of December) hafathahoo Allah (God protects him)…” This title of (God protects him) was reserved for Saddam, no official document, newspaper, and TV show forgot to mention that title, if they did, I believe there would have been serious consequences. So do we have another Saddam on our hand in religious cloth?

I think it is quite frightening the lurch into politicised Islam in Iraq by lots of people. Political Islam in Iraq will never unite the country but will make it more divided, which might lead to civil war in the end. I really do hope ordinary people realise that before it is too late, and start moving away from it.

Finally, I would like to thank Bush, and his right wing freaks for unleashing and appeasing this force in Iraq. Iran tried for 8 years through a bloody war to change Iraq into a theocracy, and it failed miserably. The USA is doing it in less than a year. Khomeini must be dancing in his grave.


Monday, January 26, 2004

Mission Statement & House Rules

Mission Statement
I'm an Iraqi guy who lived most of his life outside Iraq. My parents had the foresight to realise that the country was going down the drain, and decided to leave before it was too late. I'm quite proud of the fact that I had never lived one day under the rule of Saddam.

This blog is the ravings and rantings of an outsider peering into the inside. Unfortunately, I do not have the advantage of other Iraqi bloggers who live inside reporting on their daily lives, and experiences. I will mostly comment on political/social events that are affecting Iraq. If there any specific events that happened in Iraq and I mention them, then be aware that they will be second hand information gained through my friends and relatives living there.

House Rules
1. This blog is not intended to be politically correct. So, if you get offended/upset/angry by any of my comments, then *TOUGH*

2. In due course, I will add a comments section. This will be the readers zone, I will not respond to any questions or do admin work to control it. All I ask from readers is to mind their manners and not use abusive words if they happen to disagree with anybody. Discuss the idea and not the person.However, if I find something interesting, I will comment on it in later blogs.

3. Don't bother sending long emails reminding me of the fact that I don't live in Iraq. I openly admit that.

4. Abusive/Hateful/Deathwish.. etc..emails will be posted in the blog with sender's email visible, so that he/she can be pestered by others, if they feel like it.

5. I will add any other rules as I go along.

Welcome to Iraqi Spirit Blog... Lets roll