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View from Baghdad

I answered a personal letter from a friend in America concerning the
events of 11 Sep. She has asked me to make available to friends. I
thought It is worth considering it as my personal view of the events. I
am sure a lot of my people share the same sentiments. A copy of my
letter is included for information. 


Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar 
Baghdad, Iraq.
Dear Barbara
Thank you for your "yesterday " e-mails.  I do understand your sorrow to
what happened Sep. 11  and your fears of reprisals for being an "Arab".
I too felt very sorry for losing lives of innocent people whether in NY
, Baghdad , Hilla , Basrra , Bet lehim, Gaza,....Bosnia.. the list is

The aftermath of death of the innocent people will be long lasting. I
personally have lost several innocent friends, relatives or just
ordinary people I happen to deal with. They were murdered, in 1991, for
absolutely no reason. Um Abbass used to make bread, Iraqi bread, so she
can earn money to support her 3 children. She built a small "tin" house
on a vacant plot of land not far away from where I lived. She used to
make excellent bread and send to my house with Abbass for few coins.
Every day I get my fresh bread. Suddenly some one in the American
government decided that her "tin house" was a legitimate military target
and was a threat to the world security so they bombed it. Um Abbass and
her three children, God bless there soles, were murdered, in Baghdad,
800 Km away from Kuwait to drive the Iraqi army out of Kuwait !! I don't
know if or where they were buried. If I find out I want to go to her
grave and read a verse or two from the Quran to comfort her sole. I will
tell her that even bread does not taste the same again even after eleven
years. May God bless her sole every day.

Our neighborhood had a very young and nice looking traffic policeman. We
used to exchange greetings every time I pass the intersection. Some
times we used to exchange few words while stopping at the traffic light.
Some times he turned a blind eye if I run the stop sign. Some how we
were friends even when we did not know each other's names. He was
murdered while he was directing ambulances and fire fighting trucks to
save lives of innocent people who were subjected to the harshest and the
most cruel inhuman air bombardment in the twentieth century. My friend,
like the NY police officers who were killed on Sep. 11, was doing his
job protecting civilians. The only difference is that the world greatest
government USA killed my friend while the NY policemen were killed by
few radicals yet to be identified.

To recount the horrors of the 43 days of hell (in 1991) would only open
wounds that I have tried to desperately to block in my mind. I know that
talking about it might help. I will need a lot more than 43 days of
crying for my cousin Ahmad, his wife Layla, his sons Kamel 14 years,
Shehab 12 years, and their 10 years old beautiful girl Shema. Probably I
am fooling my self in believing that they were a sleep when the bomb hit
their house. I want to believe that the died instantly without knowing
what hit them else I go crazy. I will need a lot more than 43 days of
crying for the more than 400 civilians, women, children, and old people,
who were incinerated at Alameria civil defense shelter. To cry for the
thousands and thousands of innocent civilians who died in 1991 because
of the American terrorism acts against the civilian population of Iraq,
and to cry for hundreds of thousands ( if not a million and a half)  who
died because of the sanctions is by far beyond any body's emotional
capability. This is why I am blocking it IN , and not out of,  my mind.

The "civilized" west watched the massacre of Iraqi civilians on
television with jubilation. The "victorious" army marched through
downtown NY, probably pass the World Trade Center, with such fanfare.
The best producers in Hollywood could not put any better show. Naturally
America wanted every one around the world to watch this spectacular
"victory" parade". They beamed it to every TV station in world. America
thought that satellite television broadcast was the best way they have
for "Cultural dominance" and to spread the American values. Every
country in the world started at least one satellite channel most of them
relying mainly on US and western produced footage. This marvelous
innovation soon turned against the US

For 11 years most of the world watched, through their TV, the
destruction of Iraq and the hardship inflected on the civilian
population of Iraq.  Naturally Arab satellite channels devoted more time
than the American media to the plight of Iraqi people. A lot of the
satellite channels invited US officials to explain to the Arab masses
the US policy toward Iraq. I am sorry to say that those, ideates, did
more harm than good to the American image. The phone-in response, from
the Arabs in the west and even Iraqi's abroad, was so anti US that made
the presence of such ideates on the program so pathetic.

11 years ago the arab government were led, like sheep to the
slaughterhouse, into believing that joining the American coalition
against Iraq will lead to the settlement of the arab-Israeli conflict.
The Americans talked about UN SCR 242, 338 and the return of the
Palestinian refugees, land for peace and ... and.   Only stupid people
believed in American sincerity. Then came Oslo, Madrid, Camp David
..etc. After 11 years of piss talk, or is it peace talk, the Israelis
were using F16 fighter planes, Helicopter gun ships, tanks,  to attack
stone throwing Palestinians. They destroyed hundreds of houses, orchid,
schools, telephone systems.. just like America did in Iraq. Naturally
"civilized America and the west" asked the Palestinians for restrain.
Now after 11 years we no longer hear about UN SCR 242 or 338 but about
Michael report and Tenet understanding. The free American and western
media freely elected to ignore the plight of the Palestinians, they
freely distorted facts, they freely and willfully demonized the
Palestinians and Arabs. Yes you have a free press! We in the Arab world
watched every day, on our TV, the shelling, the killing, the beating and
the humiliation of women, children, and the elderly Palestinians. I need
not to remind you that we also watched the massacres and the ethnic
cleansing of Moslems in Bosnia who were under the protection by the NATO
KFOR forces. 

During the sixties we were flooded by American films about the
"liberation" of Europe from the German occupation. We saw Nuns, Priests,
joining the "freedom fighters". We saw churches used to hide ammunition
for the invading armies, or being a refuge to American or British
saboteurs. We saw nuns and priests throwing hand grenades to kill German
solders and in many cases killing innocent civilians. Even Hitler's
propaganda did not call them "Christian" terrorist. During the sixties
Archbishop Makarious fought the British in Cypress, he too directed
attacks against the British which resulted in the killing of innocent
people. No one in the west called him a "Christian" terrorist. I am sure
that you could find other examples of the west "double standards"

I think you agree with me that Hitler, Mosileny, Stalin, Melosovich,
Karadich, ... and Sharoon  have no connection with Islam. Between them,
those western leaders have murdered millions of innocent people all
around the world. Your history books may call them violins, dictators
but never called them terrorist! The ethnic cleansing which the
"civilized west" practiced in former Yugoslavia is never called
terrorist acts. The "civilized west" has an infinite capacity to invent
terminology to disguise its terrorist activities.       

To get rid of the Russians from Afghanistan the American government
played the religious game. Since communism was equated with atheism then
it was the duty of the Moslems to fight in Afghanistan. The American
government created, trained, supplied, supported various organizations
for the holy war "Jehad" against the atheist Afghan government. The
Afghan-Arabs were the main fighting force in Afghanistan. They included
such "freedom fighters", as the American called them at that time,  like
Omar Abdulrahman, Usama Ben Laden, Abuhamza Al-Musri. Once the Russians
were driven out of Afghanistan those fighters turned their attention to
what was happening in the Arab and Moslem countries. Ben Laden resisted
the presence of the American forces in the Moslem's holiest place.
Naturally the American and Saudi governments were not happy with him. I
think it is foolish to expect him to accept the American presence in the
Moslems holiest places when he spent years fighting to drive the
Russians out of Afghanistan. To add insult to injury Ben Laden watched,
like the rest of the Arab world, what happened to Iraq, Sudan, Libya,
Lebanon, and Palestine, which further alienated him. He soon was
transferred from " freedom fighter " to the most wanted "terrorist".

One striking point in the Sep. 11 event is that the FBI within less than
24 hours announced the name of 19 people who were "responsible" for
these suicide attacks, and presumed to have been killed. Few days latter
some them appeared alive in Tunis or in Saudi Arabia. According to FBI
reports  the people who hijacked the planes are from Saudi Arabia, the
UAE, the strongest allies of USA, and possibly one from Lebanon and not
from "rouge" regimes. The big question is why such wealthy individuals
who are of the " Macdonald and the Pepsi generation" decided to attack
the US the way they did?  In my simple and probably na´ve understand of
thing is that American policy around the world and specially in the
meddle east have alienated the people, not necessarily the governments,
of this area. 

The world richest and strongest nation in the world, USA, may attack the
world poorest, weakest, and most primitive nation in the world. You may
drive them to the Stone Age, remember Jams Baker threat to drive Iraq to
the pre-industrial age, but at what price? You may be able to kill Ben
Ladden but how many Ben Laddens are going to be created. Don't forget we
all are going to watch the massacres on our TVs and in colors!. Bush
"put his foot in his mouth" when he declared the "Crusade" of the
"civilized world" against terrorism. I know he latter withdraw this
because it might be linked to the historic "Christian Crusade" against
the Moslem Arabs specially sensitive when Jerusalem is occupied by the
Israelis with the help and the blessings of America. 

The late Reverend Martin Luther King was murdered by a White Anglo Saxon
Protestant, (WASP) , fanatic not a terrorist!!.  If you believe in day
of judgement you know that he, Martin Luther King, will meet Um Abbass,
Abbass, my cousin Ahmad, Layla, Kamel, Shehab, Shema, and the other
millions who are victims of terrorism. He will remind them that he once
warned that America has Guided missiles but misguided people. The
misguided people didn't like what he said so they killed him. 

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