neurotic Iraqi wife
January 04, 2007
The Baghdad Money Making Machine...
Anyways, The media seems to be misinformed about a few points. First off, Its not ONLY THE SUNNIS that were appalled by the date and the way the execution was carried out. Every Iraqi who is not a Muqtada follower or a supporter of the current government was outraged. How do I know this you ask, well, simple. I work with about 40 Iraqis, a mixture of Shia's, Sunnis, Christians and Kurds. Out of all those I spoke to, only 2 were exuberant about the whole thing. Incidentally Z the guy who warned me about the execution taking place was one of those 2.
So no, its not only the Sunnis, its every muslim, every humane person, every Iraqi that is against Muqtada, Al Hakeem, and the current govt. Having said that, we should not forget the heinous crimes that Saddam committed during his time. We should not forget the atrocities and the torture. MG Caldwell of the Multi National Forces said yesterday to the media that had they been responsible they would have done things differently and that because Iraq is a "sovereign" country they do it their way. That just infuriated me even more. The US, chooses the times when Iraq is sovereign and when its not. Just like the time in Summer when Bush made an unannounced visit to Iraq, Maliki was told abt the visit 30 minutes beforehand. In your opinion, shouldnt there be protocols to follow for a supposedly "sovereign" country??? Please give me a break...
Another misconception that the media seems to dwell on is the fact that it was only Shia's and Kurds that were oppressed during Saddam's time and that Saddam's closest allies were Iraqi Sunnis. Please get your facts right. Sunnis were also executed and tortured, maybe not in large numbers like the former two, but they didnt get away from Saddam's wrath. As for his aides, the ex Iraqi Information Minister was a Shia, many of the nuclear scientists were shia's. The republican guards included shia's. Basically, every Iraqi suffered, except those closest to him. I guess thats all I have to say about that subject cuz its yesterday's news.
The Kurds are angry now because Saddam wasnt hanged for the Halabcha crime, man, just get over it. The guy is dead. As for investigations taking place as to how the unsolicited video was taken makes no difference to me, what is done is done and cannot be undone. It just goes to prove how flimsy and unprofessional the current govt is. Not only unprofessional, but a bunch of liars. Just like the fact I previously wrote about when Al Rubaie said Saddam was a broken man, YES INDEED, we all saw how broken he was. Yup, this is the new Iraq ladies and gentlemen, a country headed by a bunch of hooligans and the only difference between the last era and this one is merely the faces on the posters that have trashed the country.
HUBBY and I are going on R&R soon (God I cant wait), this time, he wants to go to India. So as I was searching for info on visas etc, an interesting website popped out with the heading "The Other Saddam". Needless to say, I read it and thought you might find it interesting as well. I think this was written during the first few days of the war back in March 2003.
Im not really looking forward to going to India, I mean I always wanted to but right now, all I need is a quiet place, void of any planes and helicopters, a place where I can just lie in bed and catch up on sleep. Somewhere warm mind you cuz its freezing here. HUBBY on the other hand, wants to recap his "younger" days and do something adventurous (sigh)...
Speaking about visas, not sure if my fellow Iraqi bloggers mentioned the Visa black market in Iraq? Yes this is the newest way of making money here. Fast money mind you. Easy cash. As you all know, every Iraqi wants to get out of here. Everyone wants to seek a better life, or in other words a better chance of life be it legally or illegally. Whatever the price and the means, Iraqis just want to get out of here. If you go to Karrada or any other district you will see banners advertising for Visas to the Emirates and other countries. L (the vibrator friend, I know not a nice way of reminding you who she is, oh well) told me that six months back a visa to any European country would cost $2,500. Come today, schengen visas can range from $8000-15,000 per person. Yes 15000 bucks!!! Im not making this up, there are people who are willing to pay. But mind you this is just to get the visa, transportation and accomodation is excluded. Some of these people are con artists, others do actually get you the visas by legal means. L is waiting for her turn. Her first attempt ended up by the guy taking her 5000 bucks and disappearing. This one though is "thiqqa" (trustworthy). So far he managed to get visas for 5 families, of which all ended up in Holland.
L explained how the whole thing works. Apparantely, they go to Mr Visa man, pay him the money cash. He then gives some of that money to the contact he has in some embassy or another that issue the shengen visas. L would get the Visa, then make travel arrangements from either Syria or Amman. Italy was the easiest place to go to. So L would go to Italy and from there, she would travel to Holland, where she would throw or destroy her passport and have her golden moment. Seek assylum. Thats how the majority of Iraqis are leaving. But there are ones who cant afford the 8000 let alone the 18.
Iraq has become a business venture. Fake ID's, Fake Passports. Tailors selling army/police uniforms. Police renting out their cars to militias and insurgents. Arms being sold in mini stores. Kidnappings out of the blue taking place for ransom money. Blackmarket fuel, blackmarket visas. You name it, everyone is making a living out of it, but on whose account??? The account of the average Iraqi. Yup, its a money making machine. The Baghdad Money Making Machine...
YOU ARE RIGHT... but i wish you can look at this report to see the implications of the way they did the excution... here is the link
and again 3asht eidich
my Blog http://iraqloyalson.blogspot.com/
One question has been at the back of my mind, and I haven't gotten an answer yet. Why do Iraqis seeking to escape the violence seem to always choose to leave the country? Why not move north "where the malls are" in the words of one Iraqi. As far as I can tell, it is peaceful and prosperous in the north, and I assume you don't have to go through the visa hassle since it is Iraq. And Iraqis can truly work to try to spread the peace from the north to the south.
Just like the time in Summer when Bush made an unannounced visit to Iraq, Maliki was told abt the visit 30 minutes beforehand. In your opinion, shouldnt there be protocols to follow for a supposedly "sovereign" country??? Please give me a break...
That's not an issue of sovereignty, though. It's an issue of trust. In my opinion.
But onto the larger issue. If Iraq was sovereign (according to your definition of the concept) would anything change? Would things be better? Or would they be worse?
Just so you know, I've wanted US troops out of Iraq since Steven Vincent was murdered.
I don't believe the US has a trustworthy partner in Iraq. And I think it's foolish to be in an alliance with somebody you can't or won't trust.
So when I ask about things being better or worse if in Iraq when Iraq is "truly" sovereign, that's my frame of reference. I don't think US troops are going to be in Iraq much longer. Especially if things keep getting worse, instead of better. We swore in a new democratic congress today. Bush now stands alone with wanting to remain in Iraq. He can do that, because he is President, and in that role he alone sets foreign policy, and he alone commands the military... but Congress can make things very difficult for him.
Sounds to me like this execution is uniting warring Iraqi sects. Even if for the wrong reason, you can't help but to see the irony in them coming together in protest. Maybe it''' catch on and they'll learn to work together and start the long road back form disaster
NIW, it's amazing how you are involved in Iraqis' life despite you never lived in Iraq, still you read our minds.
Regarding India, Plzzzzz do not tell me there is a black market for their visas as well. I mean it's the only country left for us.
And by the way my cousin paid $20,000 to leave to Holland, whether their guy is thiqa lu la ba3ad hiwa u 7adha..
Programmer craig, this is not merely an issue of forming an alliance with iraq. Coalition forces have made a mess in Iraq, that much is undeniable. If we pull out of Iraq then we must admit the fact that we have failed spectacularly (which I think is inevitable). But it goes to show that we the voting public have a responsibility to stop this madness from occuring in the future by voting out our misguided leaders. This cannot be allowed to happen again if we truly want to win hearts and minds and the "war on terror"
I've been following your blogs for a long time and appreciate the insight you offer. I have to tell you though that you are beginning to sound like a spoiled rich kid. You've been on more vactions in the last year than I have in the last ten. My taxes are going to your country to help you and all you do is complain. Are there any Iraqi citizens doing anything to help put the country on a better path?
This cannot be allowed to happen again if we truly want to win hearts and minds and the "war on terror"
This was the attempt to win hearts and minds. And yes, it failed spectacularly. I don't understand what you mean now about admitting our mistakes and making sure it doesn't happen again. The last time the US tried to win "hearts and minds" was in Vietnam. And that failed too. It seems we only can win wars when we fight them the traditional way. We will have more wars. The question is, will we learn from our mistakes, or repeat them?
Sang J. Moon, They don't move north because virtually it's another country. Kurds don't allow Arabs into their territory unless a Kurd vouches for them.
anonymous, first of all NIW is not an Iraqi citizen and has not lived in Iraq before the war. She is there working in the Green Zone as a third country national. Second, your taxes are not going to help Iraq. They are going to cover the expenses of the U.S. army in Iraq. If just 10-20 billions of the $300 billions that were spent on the U.S. army were spent on Iraq, then things would be much different today. Maybe Iraqis would at least have electricity.
Don't mind annon. who is giping about all your vacations. You deserve a break! I think if Americans took more time off for vacations and actually travelled and saw more of the world our opinions would be much different. We are a wealthy country because many of us work hard for a living. I get a lousy 1 week vacation and 1 week of sick time, plus holidays each year. Very sad indeed. Enjoy India.
BTW, speaking of investing in Iraq, I know much of our tax money goes into army expense and private contractors, but I was curious what you think of the military charity Spirit of America and if they do worthwhile things for Iraq. Perhaps your readers can comment on this.
Hi Loyal son, welcome to the blogosphere!!! I tried reading the article bes machan akoo shee 3ala saddam? Did I miss it???
Sang J, First of all, some people did go to the NOrth, but its not that easy. Some parts hate arabs, and when I say hate, its an understatement. The cost of living there is very expensive. And most of all Iraqis are fed up of how they are treated because of their "Iraqi" nationality, hence they want to have a better life somewhere far from the mayhem.
Craig, its not a matter of trust or security. I myself dont believe that Iraq is a soveriegn country YET. Does the US have a friend here in Iraq, yes, the northern part. THe kurds right now are probably the only real friends the US has. Having said that I raise my hat for them for uniting and being able to let all their differences aside inorder to build their provinces. As well as that theres something else you need to know, the US govt is not loyal to any "friendships" unless it serves their own agenda. Theres an expression in Iraqi "ma3idhum 9a7hib sadeeq". And I think everyone knows that fact...Im just being honest...
Hiya Madtom, long time no see...Well, yeah it united everyone except those who are in power...Ughhh I loathe them so so much...
Lol Miraj, moo ga3da all day long oo imgabla ilee yishtaghloon wiyaya. Im sure theyre probably saying this woman sure does ask so many questions!!!They tell me everything, and thats how I get my news. oo lamman agulhum 6al3oonee wiyakum to see baghdad, omg you should see their reaction, its as if I said Im gonna kill myself...Balkee yijee ilyoum ilee I do go out. I did it once, dont see why I cant do it again...And abt the Indian visas, lol, I think everyone needs to get a visa to go there...
byahos, well, its not only the US that messed this thing up, its all those you see in power in the Iraqi govt. All of them came from the outside, none of them lived here and suffered. They all have dual citizenship, if they are so honourable and loyal to their country wouldnt you think they would atleast get rid of their other citizenship??? THEY ARE IN GOVT YET THEY ALL HAVE US, UK, IRANIAN, SYRIAN PASSPORTS!!!
Lol Anon, I cant be bothered to answer you...
Thanx Iraqi refugee for answering on my behalf, im fed up of people not bothering reading my whole blog then come and throw stuff at me...Offf ba3ad ma3indee khulug...Bes IR I have to disagree with one thing, the US did spend money on Iraq, umm lets say, on the recon efforts, that believe me, is not going too well, and was a bad move from the start. They should have spent it on the average Iraqi first then let the Iraqis rebuild their country...
Hey Kathy...Well, once I pass the 2 month time frame, which was awhile back, I tend to get all stressed out. Being imprisoned withiin these Twalls really affects my being...So now I cant wait for that holiday...I really cant...
Bravo, you have a great Blog, Good luck for you and you Hobbak
I heard you on the radio last night as I was driving home from work. Although I couldn't hear what you were saying (because the line was so bad) it did make me look up your blog today - so it wasn't an entirely wasted opportunity. It is addictive reading and I will probably be at it all weekend. I sincerely hope 2007 brings better things for you and all of Iraq. Happy new year.
" I think everyone needs to get a visa to go there..."
Yah I know but what I meant is not every country allow Iraqis to get a visa. India is flexible but don't know if they changed that by now.. Leesh la bu8et 3aleehum!
Enjoy yout trip to India :)
Great blog, very insightful
Hello, Iraqi friends, everyday brings new challanges, never dull moment, it's getting that way here in the US . My moher was kidnapped for her money, she was druged and made to hand over all ger life savings,properties,jewelry, all.
then she was raped, and left for dead, when I rescued her with the police minus the money she had broken bones and her head was smashed, she still at the hospital . I have documented all here : http://elder-abuse-cyberray.blogspot.com/
I am asking all my friends to come by and hit on the site, this will help me get attention to the case the more hits the better, please help me on this,
Maybe I can take police to take action and get some of her money back, which was my money she was safekeeping it for me) and I love to get these homegrown american terrorists arrested. You can help me by giving me a few hits on the site, Thanks, knew i could count on you.
NIW, thanks for the reply :)
Craig, its not a matter of trust or security. I myself dont believe that Iraq is a soveriegn country YET.
OK, I disagree with you on that - that Bush dropped in on short notice because of a sense of entitlement, rather than mistrust of the ability of the Iraqi government to keep his visit secret.
You may have a point that the Iraqi government isn't sovereign - it hasn't shown much of an ability to meet the responsibilities that are expected of a sovereign government. No argument form me on that one. But what does that make Iraq then, if there is no sovereign authority? Or do you think the US is still sovereign as an occupation government?
Does the US have a friend here in Iraq, yes, the northern part. THe kurds right now are probably the only real friends the US has. Having said that I raise my hat for them for uniting and being able to let all their differences aside inorder to build their provinces. As well as that theres something else you need to know, the US govt is not loyal to any "friendships" unless it serves their own agenda. Theres an expression in Iraqi "ma3idhum 9a7hib sadeeq". And I think everyone knows that fact...Im just being honest...
US is not loyal to any friendships in Iraq, you mean? But you just said the US does not HAVE any frienships with anyone in Iraq :)
So how could the US be loyal? That would be foolish, to place trust in somebody who may very well be your enemy, wouldn't you say?
I think the US has been loyal to the Kurds, to the extent we have been able to. And there are many other nations that the US has been a loyal ally to, and still is. It's just not going that way, in Iraq. And I really don't see what role the US is supposed to play, when everyone but the Kurds is our opponent. Do you?
hey NIW, have followed your blog for a while now, but havent posted.just want to say hope you enjoy your holiday and thanks,think your blog's great.
You are missing a great opprotunity to live a better life. The people who have died in this senseless war, do them a favor and make the most of the life you were granted. You work for the enemy. You fight a loosing battle. Get out while you can. Save your own soul.
Don't say you weren't warned.
Best wishes from America.
I so appreciate your blog.
Hope your time in India is well-spent.
Thank-you for posting.
Greetings from America.
We have invested much in Iraq.
'The Kurds are angry now because addam wasnt hanged for the Halabcha crime, man, just get over it. The guy is dead.'
Shame on you, the genocide of the Kurds will go down in history just like the Armenian genocide thanks to the execution of Saddam, and you want us to just get over it? That is the sort of statement someone like Moqtada Al Sadr would probably make. :( Wow no wonder we won't ever be able to live together when people insult others without even realising it.
554 pm anon, thats not what I meant. I can never and will never belittle the atrocities that Saddam committed, towards any Iraq, be it Kurds, Shias, Sunnis, Jews etc. Point I was trying to make is, the man is dead, whether he was tried for the Anfal or Dujail, he is gone, so why make a fuss that he wasnt hung for this crime or that. He is gone, finito. Thats what I was trying to say...
DC so how did I sound??? I really hate the sound of my voice.
Miraj, you know what, kul shee ijooz...3ala goltich howa bu88at 3alaihum???
Programmer Craig, I guess it all depends on what you take soveriegn means and what I take it, it means. Right now, NO, Iraq is not sovereign, and not because of the US forces, its not soveriegn because countries like Iran, Syria, Saudi and god knows who else are ruling it by financing the terrorists!!! As for the loyalty thing, I said, The only place in Iraq that is truly loyal to the States and views it as a friend is the Kurdish area. As for loyalty, NO, US has no loyalty to anyone unless it serves its own need. So when they came and supposedly liberated the Iraqis, they didnt do it because of (sawwad 3yoona) Iraqis interest, they did it for US's interest and safety supposedly. I think it would be easier for me to explain by talking rather than writing...
Thanx Darren, I really appreciate your words...
Annoying Anon, ok I got the point, you warned me, anything else???
jr, oh well, India is off the list for now...and umm thanx for reading my ramblings...
No wonder this isn't being made a headline on cnn or bbc:
New Iraqi law about oil profits
The real money making machine.
Hm, interesting story about the visas. I know it's a tough, serious problem for many Iraqis. The fact that they end up in Holland makes me think; Dutch policy on immigration has been among the fiercest in Europe since some years now, and it's very difficult to obtain asylumn.
Even more so: the last minister on immigration (now ex-) stated somewhere in the spring of last year that the center of Iraq is safe enough for Iraqis to return to...
Germany decided something like that some months before the Netherlands did.
These things now make me remind again of an old song by 'Linton Kwesi Johnson'. He sings 'Europe' as YourRope...
best wishes to you!
sorry i didnt respond earlier but yes the article is not there any more... i hope you will drop from time to time to my blog and read... i will really appreciate your opinion... thanx
Political discussions are never solved in a peaceful manner, as each side is sure they are right. So why are you all trying to convince your opponents in your beliefs?
Thanks for the nice post!
Post a Comment