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The Father: Truth Teller, The Mother: Aya granny, Daughter 1: Najma, Daughter 2: HNK.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

I blame the decision-makers

The Enterprise news paper published this article on Thursday March 16

By Cory Golden/Enterprise staff write:

There had been close calls before for Fadhil Al-Kazily’s family in Iraq.
A car bomb exploded near the home of the 70-year-old Davis civil engineer’s brother, blowing out all its windows, the shrapnel slicing a rooftop water tank in two. But it hurt no one in the family.
Another relative survived a carjacking.
A rocket leveled a clinic in Baghdad, killing everyone inside. Fadhil’s eldest brother, a doctor, happened to be away from the building.
But then, nine days ago, an e-mail message from a cousin in Australia:
A U.S. solider had shot and killed Fadhil’s 81-year-old uncle, Saadi Al-Tahi, as he drove through an intersection in Mosul, Iraq.
“He was not a political person,”
Fadhil said Wednesday. “He was just an old man. He was very gentle, very kind and loving.”
On Sunday, Fadhil will speak during a Davis community vigil for peace marking the third anniversary of the American invasion.
Other speakers at the event, sponsored by more than a dozen local organizations, will include Pat Sheehan and his daughter Carly of Vacaville. The story of Pat’s son, 24-year-old Army Spc. Casey Sheehan, who died almost two years ago, on April 4, 2004, became internationally known when his mother Cindy staged a sit-in near President Bush’s Texas estate.
The news of his uncle’s death devastated Fadhil, a private person by nature who nonetheless has worked up the courage to repeatedly speak out against the war. When he has, he often explains it as though one part of his body, America, his home since 1964, has attacked another, his homeland; yet he feels powerless to stop it.
Now, his worst fears have been realized.
“I am absolutely terrified to call my family,” he said. “I make five calls (to relatives in Iraq) every Sunday. Now every time I pick up the phone, my heart starts beating fast.”
On March 6, Saadi Al-Tahi posed for pictures with one of his two daughters, Arjwan. An obstetrician in Dubai, Arjwan hadn’t seen her father for 12 years, but she had decided to needed to visit home in spite of the danger.
A day later Saadi steered his car toward his mother-in-law’s home, to pick up his wife. He drove slowly, because of his age.
As his car crossed an intersection, an armored vehicle opened fire from a side street.
The coroner later ruled that the shooting had been intentional. He told Saadi’s family that the bullets pierced the elderly man’s arm, shoulder and neck, likely killing him instantly.
Others told the family that anyone driving through that intersection at that time of day surely would have been shot.
But Saadi was not anyone.
For decades he had been both Fadhil’s favorite uncle and a friend.
A botched kidney surgery ended Saadi’s military career with the Iraqi Royal Army when he was a young major. He lost his first wife to cancer.
Then, though it’s unusual in Iraq, he raised two daughters and a son as a single dad. Saadi refused to bow to family pressure to remarry, until his children were grown and graduated from college.
He taught himself to play the violin and the oud, a pear-shaped stringed instrument popular in Islamic music, and liked to entertain others.
“He could not read music, yet he could make an instrument talk (like a person),” Fadhil said. “He would say, ‘Guess what I’m playing?’ and we could say it in words.”
When Fadhil earned a scholarship to Liverpool University, he wrote home from England only to his parents and to his uncle. They stayed close as both men grew older.
After speaking to his family in Iraq, Fadhil typed up a few lines telling his friends of his uncle’s death.
Among those who received Fadhil’s short e-mail message that night were Laurie and Russell Loving of Davis. Their son is a 21-year-old corporal serving in the U.S. Army — in Mosul.
“My heart stopped,” said Laurie, who will also speak Sunday as a representative of Military Families Speak Out. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, what if my son killed him?’ Then I decided it was unlikely. But I still felt terrible and responsible somehow.”
The next morning, Laurie spoke on the phone to her son, whose name she prefers not to use for fear of reprisals against him because she is an anti-war activist. Her son said he didn’t know about the shooting.
When next Laurie saw Fadhil, she hugged him. They cried together.
“She’s a good person,” he said. “I hope her son comes home unscathed, both mentally and physically. My family has no choice but to be where they are, and her son has his orders. He has to defend himself to survive.
“I cannot blame any young soldier. I blame the decision-makers who put us in this situation.”
At Sunday’s vigil local members of Code Pink: Women for Peace will make a memorial quilt panel for Fadhil’s uncle and three others. Across the country panels are being made for the more than 2,314 Americans and more than 33,000 Iraqi civilians killed since the war began.
Fifteen finished panels also will be on display, including one for Casey Sheehan.
Natalie Wormeli of Code Pink said having a friend lose a close relative will make this vigil, and its message, “profoundly personal” for her.
“When you’re talking about a grown man who is afraid to answer the phone because he might lose a family member or who breaks into tears during a meeting — I know there’s isn’t anything I can do to console him,” she said.
“But we can show him and others we care.”
Fadhil holds close a favorite memory of his uncle.
It comes from after Saadi at last remarried. Fadhil wrote to him, asking for a photo of him and his new wife, Muma.
Time passed. No photo turned up in the mail.
It seemed so out of character for his uncle that Fadhil asked his brother about it.
He explained that Saadi, though he cared for Muma, felt a deep sense of loyalty to his first wife. Out of respect for her, he’d decided against being photographed with his new bride.
Then, in 2000, Fadhil visited his family in Mosul.
He asked his uncle, “May I take your picture with your wife?”
Saadi’s eyes filled with tears. He said, “It will be the first one. But, yes, you can do it.”
“I took their picture,” Fadhil remembered. “Then I had my brother take another, with me and him and his wife together. I still have that picture. And that, of course, can never be forgotten.”

— Reach Cory Golden at cgolden@davisenterprise.net or 747-8046.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

قصيدة من الانترنيت لا اعرف قائلها

شلون زمن؟

كالولنه راح صدام كلنا راح نرتاح........ ولو هو جان قافل علينه بالمفتاح

شو هوه راح شيطان جوي بمكانه........ كل واحد بيهم ابليس وجايب اخوانه

شفت ابليس اليوم كاعد ديبجي........ كتله انته شبيك لك فدوة احجي

كال ما بقيت ابليس من ضاع دفتري........ بيه جدول الاعمال وباكه الجعفري

لا شفنا منهم شي ولا حملة اعمار........ تالي متالي بهالزمن يحكمنا واحد عار ؟؟؟

هم جان اكو بانزين وحصه تموينية........ وجنا بس انخاف من العسكرية

الحصه صارت صابونه كل خمسة شهور........ شنسوي بيها احنا والبوري مكسور ؟

النفط جان صدام يوزعه بمزاجه........ هسه النفط يا ناس ما عاد له حاجه

ابحرك الاعصاب احنا اندفي البيوت........ بدل ما نحرك خشب انسوي بيه تابوت

كبل اللي يموت يا ناس جثته يدفنوها........ وهسه ليموت جثته بشارع يذبوها

كلشي ما زاد بها البلد بس زادت الكبور........ لهسه ما شفنا اللحم بس راوونه ساطور

والكهرباء يا عيني ما ينذكر طاريها........ وابحجة الازمات اللمبة كاز ما بيها

المبرده اليوم صارت قفص طيور........ وسويت الثلاجه لهدومي كنتور

صبرنا وصبرنا طال والصبر لله........ كافي ضحك علناس مصخوها مو بله ؟

ما ننتظر منكم شي لأنكم غربان........ حمدا لله والشكر ربنا الرحمن

Monday, March 13, 2006

Is this war worth the price?

Sally kalson write an article in pittsburgh post-gazette

Under the title of:

Is this war worth the price?

Look closely at the face of collateral damage in Iraq before you answer

Sunday, February 26, 2006
By Sally Kalson

Pittsburghers were captivated this week by the 7-year-old Iraqi boy who arrived here for reconstructive facial surgery at Children's Hospital, having been badly disfigured in an American bombing raid in 2004.

On a shoestring budget, the American group No More Victims arranged for his medical care, got visas for the child and his father, paid their expenses in Jordan until the documents came through, and is still trying to raise the cash to cover the travel. A Massachusetts philanthropist kicked in $50,000 for the hospital bill. A single mom in Banksville has taken father and son into her home during their stay.

It's a story that bores right through peoples' defenses without regard to politics, position on the war, religious beliefs or lack thereof (the family is Muslim; the U.S. Army veteran who spent six weeks in Jordan working on their visas is an atheist; the host family is Catholic; the philanthropist is Jewish).

No one with a beating heart could look at Abdul Hakim Ismael's scarred face and the happy, excited, nervous child behind it, and not be moved. No one could look at the many people who've stepped up to help and not be inspired.

But this story does not begin and end with an injured little boy, or the other wounded children that the group is helping. It begins with the Bush administration's prosecution of the Iraq war, and the thousands of innocent civilians it is willing to sacrifice in pursuit of its unintelligible goals. Where it ends, no one knows.

This is not to say the Pentagon is intentionally creating such victims. It is to say that despite its best efforts to minimize the damage, a bomb dropped on a child does the same damage accidentally as it does on purpose, and that, by definition, hundreds of bombs dropped on hundreds of villages have created countless Abdul Hakims already and are going to keep creating more.

Yes, war is hell, and that's true for American soldiers as well as the Iraqis. The question for the American public is how much more hell we are willing to inflict in the name of this particular war.

There's only one honest way to answer this question, and that is with the human results of U.S. policy right before our eyes. Americans need to see these shattered kids and families up close. Likewise, the U.S. veterans coming home maimed, traumatized or dead. Only then can citizens make an informed decision as to whether this war is worth its weight in carnage, not to mention $200 billion-plus.

U.S. Army Capt. Chad Hetman, 34, doesn't think it is. He is the aforementioned veteran who stayed with Abdul Hakim and his dad in Jordan and brought them to Pittsburgh.

The New Jersey native entered the Army through the ROTC program at Rutgers University in 1993. He served in the National Guard, was a 2nd lieutenant in the infantry, served in Korea and trained other soldiers in counter-guerilla warfare. Disenchanted with the military, he left active duty as a captain in 2002 and still holds that rank in the Individual Ready Reserves. Since then he's been an activist with Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace and other organizations.

"I got out of the Army before Iraq but I still feel that as a U.S. citizen, I'm an accomplice," he said. "Friends of mine have been hurt or killed over there. Soldiers are coming back in bad shape and not getting the treatment they need. Tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis have been hurt. I was feeling helpless, but helping this child has been the greatest medicine for that”.

Cole Miller, co-founder of No More Victims, said it's critical for Americans to show the world they care about the human suffering caused by the war. And, he added, it's no coincidence that so many Americans never saw a badly injured Iraqi child until one arrived in their midst, or that the administration has blacked out coverage of flag-draped coffins arriving home.

"That's a tactical decision," he said. "They know that if the American people see what's really going on, they won't support it and might even try to stop it."

That's the lesson the Pentagon learned from Vietnam, he said, when searing images like that of the 9-year-old girl running naked and crying after a napalm attack on her village helped turn Americans against the war.

"When Gen. Tommy Franks said we don't count Iraqi casualties, the message is that Iraqis don't count. I believe they do count, and so do many other Americans. The response to Abdul Hakim and the others proves it. Given the chance to step up, people will do amazing things."There's going to be a lot more killing and maiming of innocents in Iraq, especially now that civil war seems increasingly likely if not already under way. What the United States can do about that is an open question.

The growing dilemmas of this war are far too heavy a burden for one little boy. He's here to be healed, and that's an act of kindness, generosity and hope. At some point he'll go home. To what, one fears to ask. But the fact of his presence has done more to inform the citizenry than a thousand presidential speeches. From this point on, we can't say we didn't know.


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