Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Are you disappointed I still write?

Sorry about the disappointment, if you thought I'd quitted!

Having not updated for a while now, I see that I haven't missed much of anything around the Blogosphere. Wasps are still buzzing and bumble-bees are still-…bumbling and everybody is busy doing their little things, most of which are tedious and dispiriting once you've read them. Sometimes they are too acidic and frustrating; sometimes they're too polishing and sucking-up, either way not tempting enough to put up with the digestive illnesses induced by the outcome of relentless efforts to get through the latest update or post or…whatever.

Upon reading again, again I have noticed that some people write to impress, simple as that. You visit the blog and you find whole, entire posts almost going like "Admire me!" or "Get Impressed" or such. Depending on how they present it, some of them feed you admiration seeds with a spoon and wait for them to flourish while others bring along the entire tree and start shoving it down your throat. Aside from that, it still puzzles me whether it's attention, compassion or what; that other bloggers who don't hang the admiration banner seek. Some of them specifically induce nothing but a distressing feeling of…pity, if you could take all the humane feelings out of the picture, while others stimulate my most violent faculties.

Having read through updates, my reactions are always the same. I feel that there is a small number of bloggers who blog for themselves, with disregard to all the feelings they induce, as opposed to others whose writings are no more than loud-loud cries for attention; deafeningly loud, and annoyingly echoing and repetitive. It could vary from an unlimited horizon of thoughts to a slideshow of a bunch of pictures you could google for yourself, if you had been entertaining any such interests, to fill in the gap where thoughts are supposed to be. In between, there is an array of thoughts that hue from brilliant to simply random.

Recently, I have been thinking about the fact that there's a great many around our Blogosphere who appear to idolize themselves. They seem to have read their own posts and have fallen in love with themselves, imitating a mentality quite as naïve as that of their designated readers. Then there are others who don't need to read their own posts as they are already much in love with themselves. After several readings and certain encounters I have come to believe that there are some smug characters around the corner, the less fortunate of which blames his failures upon everybody else. Especially since everybody else is perceived to be less intelligent and therefore less likely to succeed. The logical conclusion they seem to reach is that everybody is stealing their good luck, which accounts for why their lives are still pathetic. I wonder whether they all suppose that since they are "more intelligent", that opportunities should come crawling. Still, they all seem to think that if you disagree with them, you definitely are...stupid!

I used to call Luke the mother duck, but as a matter of fact there is one too many. It seems to me that every oracle who is bestowing upon us the great pleasure of his existence around simply seems to assume that role. I doubt that it could be the fear of losing potential fans rather than simply enjoying the waste of time put to reading blabber and actually leaving encouraging comments on them. I cannot help but wonder, if they are that great-natured and that interested, why not try guide people through to better ways? Or is it just fears of…competition over lights, since there is a great many of good bloggers around already? I am wondering because you would see comments from well known names in relatively unknown and for that matter quite unbearable blogs, yet mysteriously while all support is offered, time passes by with not the least bit of improvement.

Reading through, I could picture unemployed "EinsteinS" cursing misfortune, more EinsteinS with an excessive amount of self-esteem that even THE Einstein didn't have. I also pictured Einstein-impersonators. On those, while clothes fit them too loosely, thoughts didn't fit them at all because the container was far too small. There were several EinsteinS as well, with a very common profession today and that is polishing.

The blogosphere is a really funny place. What makes it even funnier is that most of those people would get arrested /killed for their words in the real world…sometimes even for copy-rights.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Iraqi Delilâh

This is not a political blog, and was never intended to be such. Yet it seems that it has taken such a turn since I've decided to reply for Paul Edwards email. I guess I am to blame after all.
However, I was asked three questions by AngoGermanicAmerican. Whether he asked them mockingly or seriously, I do not know. But I am glad that I was asked, and I am glad to answer them so everybody has an idea about what Delilâh thinks aside from "some bloggers suck". But it's this once that I don't intend for to happen again, because Delilâh isn't into politics and would rather keep her political points of view for herself.

What is your hope for Iraq; in other words, what would you like to see in terms of government, in terms of economic system, and in terms of the role of religion in the affairs of state?

This is a question about my hope. So I suppose I'm free to daydream…

In terms of government, it's simple. I would love to one day see a secular, liberal government that was elected on bases of merit and competence. Clear of political thieves and benefactors and frauds and back-door dealers. Responsible enough to pair words with action and up to the task of imposing legal authority over every other authority that anybody can claim, including that of religion and that of semi-independent, ethnic-based states-to-be. For once I would like to see my government pure Iraqi rather than Shiite Arab or Sunni Kurd or I don't know what Turkoman. No more American dummies and puppets, at least. They can invest all they want but they can just pull their hands off politics. They look bad enough with their hands and arms in to the elbow.

Economically? Iraq is a very wealthy country, potentially. I would love to have a decent government that won't be too busy loading oil money into their pockets and their anonymous Swiss-bank accounts, draining the country from every single resource it has. I would like to see us exporting oil for decent prices and making our own fuel instead of selling it only to buy it as Benzene. I would like to see foreign investment that isn't synonymous to theft and fraud and scandals. I would like to see my country turn into a splendidly wealthy state where people live to enjoy their lives, as it is potentially, like all of those states in the gulf have. Not as it is now, a pitiful country whose residents and natives are pitied by the world, and who seek life elsewhere because their own country isn't capable of offering them the kind of life they would like to live.

Religion? Two words: "BACK OFF!". I've always believed that religion is a "thing" between a human and his creator, should he believe in such a thing. In a country as diverse as Iraq, diverse in all senses, it's utterly unfair to have a religious system because by all means it will be imposing believes and practices that a fair portion of the society is unrelated to. It's neither democratic nor sensible.

Some people might argue that religion is for all times, I say no. Religion is for you to keep at home; between you and your God, regardless whether you call him Jesus or Yahweh or Allah or even Paul Edwards or Buddha. And nobody with any other interest than controlling you has an interest in how you practice your religion. Religion has become the harness that Iraqis are lead by, therefore it’s a must to put it out of the picture with all of its control-freaks of figures. Al-Sadr was assassinated some 20 years ago, Al-Hakim's family have lost some of their men as well, all thanks to Saddam Hussein. But is your dead and your injured any less important that you would raise such authority-thirsty figures above your necks and turn your backs to everybody else?

Second question. What is your realistic hope; in other words, what do you believe is realistically achievable in the short term for each of the previous questions?

Politically, the differences are deepening between each major portion of our society that the inclination towards separation is growing. People are too busy fighting one another, the government is too busy harvesting what they've planted and making bank-transfers and buying real-estate in every other place in the world than Iraq. And so, we're heading to a vast abyss. At some point, we should all be happy that there's still a place on the map called Iraq instead of Sunnistan and Shiistan and Turkomenistan and Kurdistan and whatever else those brilliant minds can come up with. Many may disagree with me, but isn’t the average Iraqi citizen too enthusiastic about whatever Al-Hakim, Al-Sistani, Al-Dhari, Kaka Masoud and others are saying? And aren't they all willing to commit stupidities in the name of their belief? Even those bloggers that I somewhat dislike have written about conversations with the taxi-driver and the bus-driver and whoever else who praised this figure or that figure and idolized them blindly.

Economically? We're going broke. People are leaving the country, the government is getting really rich not in the governmental sense but in the individual sense. We're selling oil for absurd prices and we buy all sorts of consumable fuels for absurd prices compared to the fact that we can manufacture them at the cost of dirt. Every foreign investment/reconstruction contract has this far been a fiasco. Everybody blames their failures on terrorists that all of a sudden there's an impulse of wondering whether everybody is benefiting from terrorism at some point. Everybody except for the citizen, that is. Our natural resources are wasted, and we've never even explored the possibilities of tourism before to explore them now, under such circumstances.

Religiously? Long-live Sistani, long-live Dhari…and if anybody has problems with that, there are "anonymous terrorists" to take care of them. Sometimes not anonymous at all, they go by Badr Brigade and Something-something-al-sunna, et cetera. Next step could possibly be the Islamic not-at-all-democratic Republic of Iraq, or Islamic Shiite State of Iraq alongside four-five other tiny states that every neighboring country would love to annex or at least manipulate and control under the cape of religion.

Third question. How? What in your view needs to transpire, and in what order, for Iraq to become what you hope and desire it to become?

Back to daydreaming…

Any change, from my point of view, requires the following:

Flushing all the puppets down the drain and finding a decent, honest and competent leadership from within our society instead of importing formerly-Iraqi English and American citizens who had been "madeen rejleehum bel shames" for the past thirty years to rule us in the name of their "struggle". A person whose networth somehow happened to be equal to that of the Iraqi Government doesn't represent me. He definitely doesn't after officially turning khazeenat el dawla to wereth beit abooh, and feeling free to spree with it. Balla Alla y5alekom, cut that crap. Kul wa7ed y9e7 ani 9arle 30 years da ana'6el fe sabeil Iraq 7ur wa musta8el, tale yeje wo ylem el ma8som, some millions of dollars, wo yeflet bel da5al wala 3abalak bayeg she. Like Iraq owes them those millions for their short-lived so-called struggle. Not at all like they had been enjoying peaceful, reasonably wealthy lives under the not-scorching-at-all English sun or enjoying the shade somewhere in Washington. And then after the fraud, the theft and all, they go like "We, the muna'6eleen". Men jeebi 7ay9er brasna 5eir.

Making a nice-neat collection of all of those religious figures and shoving them all where they belong, in the back of the political closet, where nobody can hear their greedy and distorted screams for authority. Where hopefully they cease from manipulating simple minds in the name of God and religion, and where they stop acting like the God-sent saviors (Somewhat like Paul Edwards, just in a more appealing manner) and where they stop serving Iran, Saudi Arabia and whoever else for green. If they're God-sent for real, they shouldn't be upset about being told to shut up once and for all, aren’t they counting on God to reward them after all? Well they might as well wait for him and stop expecting people to reward them for their religious righteousness. There are too many Messiah-wannabes out there already, so it's a no-thanks situation to me.

Spreading political consciousness amongst people, because there's a great many of them that are unaware of the fact that their votes are what brought those mongers into authority. Of course, in a perfect world, it would be absolutely true. However, it's still somewhat true even in the now-distorted Iraqi world. I don't think Allawi, Maliki or Chalabi would dare raise their voices with such garbage if they didn't have a public base of support (Could as well be bought, we know it happens). People need to realize that their word is what makes Iraq what it is, and what creates those idols.

Spreading Iraq-ism instead of "Shiism" and "Sunnism", Arab-ism or Kurd-ism or whatever other ism that has been spread. I believe that we all need and want a safe and prosperous home where we can settle. And I believe we all want to be equally respected and never demeaned on ethnic or religious bases. I believe that every decent Iraqi wishes for stability and security to spread in his country, wishes for it to flourish, and wishes for equality. What better manner is there for all of that than being overall an Iraqi and a human being? Since when did religion or anything else make less of a human being of a person? Since those Super-Duper Grand Ayatullahs and Mullahs and Turban-Heads came to the picture, and since our dear Kurdish leaderships started stuffing our brothers' heads with nonsense about how much Arabs hated them and how they should hate back and fight us to get their rights. Whatever happened to Iraqi Patriotism?

Spreading something that is impedingly missing, a moral-sense. Here, it's a very specific portion of our society who had found no better way to counter their poverty than immorality. There are such people everywhere in the world. But everywhere else in the world, or at least for the most part, there's a legal system to take care of them which is something we unfortunately do not have in Iraq, thanks to our lawful government. (Of course there isn't, if there was the government wouldn't be there still). The soldiers who had taken off their uniforms as soon as they had been informed that they will be deployed outside their mother towns, the masses and masses of young mercenaries who do the dirty job for money such as those in Badr Brigades and Mehdi Army and Ansar al-Sunna and God-knows-what-else. There are masses of people who take minimal wages as a reward for their immorality, youth learning that the fastest way to improve their lives is corruption and that to be feared is to be powerful and to live well, and hundreds of other examples. After all, writing in a butt-kissing manner has less of a destructive effect than those who hold a gun in the name of I don’t know who, and spill blood. There's a certain degree of decay that a human being can reach, and once they surpass that, they should be put behind bars!

Of course, our sense of democratic awareness is also in a very pathetic shape. I, myself, have written about ITM and how disgusting I found the post. Except for that afterwards I reviewed myself and found my response highly anti-democratic and indeed hypocritical. The exact same thing I criticize occasionally about people. We need to get used to the idea that the variety of opinion exists just like the variety fingerprints. We need to learn how to take a deep breath to calm down, how to think and then react; how to accept counter-arguments, how to assess them and how to accept the fact that they might be right to embrace. At least, how to live on peaceful terms with all the variety of opinions that is out there without hostility and without letting it affect the fact that whoever person we talk to, regardless how disgusting we find their opinion, is still a human being and a brother and a fellow citizen, an equal and very much with good traits that we tend to close our eyes to while raving about their repulsive opinion. We need to learn that criticism doesn’t change belief, that not everybody sees things from the same angle. We need to learn that to differ is human nature, and that different people don't always have to be enemies. But personally, my enemy is he who does harm, because words enough don't kill, bullets do and he with the bullet is the one I abhor.

Concerning the Coalition or Americans or whatever you wish to call them, I've got nothing to say. They're there already, and they won't be leaving soon no matter what we say and what we do. I would wish that they would get busy trying to invest or reconstruct in Iraq with as much stealing as they had been doing in the Gulf, just not more like what's happening in Iraq now. I'm against them in the sense that invading Iraq was a supreme stupidity that was badly planned. I'm against them for being the puppeteers who brought us all of those parasites that we have been rid of some thirty years ago, in the name of struggle or money or whatever. I'm against them for acting like Iraq is beit el 5allofohom, excuse the terminology, and like Iraqis are 5adam abuhom. Iraqis who do are to blame as well. I'm against them for this mere fact, that not many people were happy under Saddam Hussein's, but even fewer are happy now. Ridnahom 3on 6l3aw Fr3on. I'm against them for the fact that supposedly, the most powerful state in the world has invaded us and cannot seem to control a bunch of outlaws and maniacs with the excuse of not wanting to interfere with internal policy. I guess invading was the greatest intervention, cut the crap.

How can anything get done? I do not know. I am sure there are brilliant minds out there with leadership skills and enough decency to make the change. I've never lost faith in humanity, or at least I try not to. It will take time, years and perhaps decades, to make the change. However, whether it will happen at all, I doubt. Things had only been heading from bad to worse.

Now, excuse me for the lengthly post. But my major concern is Iraq and Iraqis, I don't care who or what they are...for all I care, they're Iraqis and that's all that matters.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

ترا صدك اكو عالم فطر

Title quoted from Chikita...

Getting home earlier than usual today, I was checking my mailbox and having a little chitchat with Chikita about everything and nothing, when I found this funny email in my inbox. The email is by Paul Edwards, an Australian blogger who both strongly dislikes me and strongly likes the war, and who thinks he knows the simplest thing about being Iraqi.

Having read the email, my reaction was very much similar to that of an elementary-school teacher who is just about to try to explain the concept of multiplication to a group of 7-year-olds. In other words, understanding anything is not an option for an outcome of trials. So I thought "I'm not replying to this". However, I thought I'd forward the email to Chikita, and perhaps spend a little while reflecting upon it afterwards. Eventually and after some discussion with Chikita, I thought I should write a post about it!

Paul Edwards:

"Greetings from Australia. I am one of the Australians who STRONGLY supported the Iraq war."


Good for you...

Paul Edwards quoting me:

"And it takes either a naive kind of a person or a real idiot to actually believe that Americans/Coalition Forces came to Iraq only to "free us" and "look after" "

Paul Edwards' comment:

"That's exactly what it was for. There were other reasonstoo, e.g. security of the free world, but I was so happy tobe able to finally get rid of a terrible dictator who used torape Iraqi women."

My comment:

And you would know because...you've been surfing the web, watching TV or reading your local news paper? What do you think is going on in Iraq now? Too much freedom and happiness, thanks to you?

Chikita's comment:

" هممممممممممم… وهسه شديصير يمه"

Paul Edwards quoting me:

"our interests". Nobody would really believe that the United States would spend billions of dollars to free Iraqis for just nothing in return"

Paul Edwards comment:

"What exactly do you imagine that the US is getting in return?What do you think the other members of the coalition aregetting in return? We are doing you a great favour, and youare so ungrateful. Well, we're not doing it for you personally,we're doing it for people like the ITM brothers - people whoactually appreciate freedom."

My comment:

First, no I'm not grateful and nor the majority of my people are. And if you think you know better, then good for you. What they're getting out of this? Well, let's see…
Oil, reconstruction contracts (Specially since the job is more like bringing the country back to the 21st century, from the 5th century!). I don't know, do names like Pectel and Halliburton ring a bell?
By the way, I wouldn't like to owe people like you a dime, let alone a home. I owe you nothing. The most you've moved was your mouth in support for our case (And when it does, I bet everybody thinks it shouldn't!) , but I'm the one who had to move out of the country and leave my life as I'd known it because of "your" mistakes and your supreme intelligence that turned my used-to-be-a-wreck home into nothing less than a swamp. Now, if you're not a government official or at least a soldier, stop saying "we", because you don't fit in the picture.

Chikita's comment:

".شهالخريط…همه بس جانوا يريدون اجر وثواب لأبا عبد الله يمكن"

Paul Edwards quoting me:

Nobody buys the "White Man's Burden"

Paul Edwards' comment:

That is a misnomer. It's actually "free people's burden". In my opinion, free people have an obligation to help liberatethe rest of the world.

My comment:

Being enlightened as you are, and obviously spending massive amounts of time in front of your screen in support for your case and not doing anything else, I would suggest you google "Rudeyard Kipling".

And he's still quoting me:

" or the "Democracy Protectors" cliches anymore."

His comment:

"At the moment, Bush is exactly doing that - trying to spreaddemocracy. But in my opinion he is wrong to do that. Heinstead needs to spread RATIONAL, HUMANIST,NON-SUBJUGATING government. I have spent a LOTof effort trying to figure this out. Please read the followingfor what I believe is the solution to Iraq's problems:
Also, see rule 2 here:http://www.mutazilah.org/pillars/arabic.txt
Also read www.mutazilah.org"

My comment:

LOL. New Messiah...!

Chikita's comment:

يمكن يشوف هواية تلفزيون بس ما تعرفين اعلامهم شيعكس … يعني هم خطية ترا صدك اكو عالم فطر

Last words…

Dear Paul Edwards; please try contacting our favorite "mother-duck" of the Olivebranch Network, Luke. He's Australian and I believe he would be delighted to talk you back to your mind. He really knows far better than you would expect anybody who's never been anywhere around the Middle East to know, because people usually know as much as you do.

By the way, please do not try to learn Arabic. It might be too complicated for you while you're trying to sort why "the Australian government, the US government, Al Hurra, Al Jazeera and various other places" don't quite care and while you "spend countless hours thinking and thinking, trying to crack Iraqi and anti-war mentality".

UPDATE: Some 8 hours after posting the original post. 3 Paul-Edwards-Comments later...

Dear Paul Edwards,

Please get a life, and get off my blog. I've come to think that showing any response to you was just as idiotic of a reaction as your thinking happened to be. Please allow me to clarify the fact that you're just another ignorant, stubborn blogger whose ignorance, stubbornness and absurdity make no difference whatsoever in the world out there. I hope you know now why ""the Australian government, the US government, Al Hurra, Al Jazeera and various other places" don't really care what you think.

If you want facts, check blogs like Chikita's that I've mentioned up there. Her post "Free in Baghdad" might enlighten you about the current face that life has in Iraq.

Finally, whether you do that or whether you keep your unnoted absurd little opinion, please make sure not to flood my blog with nonsense. After all, if anybody can feel free to post nonsense here that would be myself. I have no intention to put up with nutcases who think that God talks to them and that they experience Divine Revelations. Whether you understand what I have just said or not, allow me to put you in the picture about this; if I ever happen to read another word in either my mailbox or my blog that has your signature, trust the fact that it will be swept off out of my sight even without trying to decipher the mumble that your brilliant mind has come up with. So thank you forehand for not wasting my time or yours (Though I'm sure you're life is a waste, but anyway!) and not writing a word here anymore.

P.S. Are you sure your next post on your blog isn't about the plan plotted by Martians to enslave human beings and take over Planet Earth?


Sunday, October 15, 2006


It's been a while since last I've updated and I was actually intending to update, but haven't had the time or inclination to do so because I've been awfully busy lately. This is a must, however. This is what I had to say when I first read through the ITM post, and this is what I actually think about it.

Freedom of speech is nice, but freedom of lie isn't. Since the invasion people have been dying by gigantic figures, and if ITM doesn't see that in the hundreds of thousands of casualties, IRAQI casualties, then he is in need for an urget reality check. Never fancied Hussein, but people haven't been dying at such a rate then. And it takes either a naive kind of a person or a real idiot to actually believe that Americans/Coalition Forces came to Iraq only to "free us" and "look after our interests". Nobody would really believe that the United States would spend billions of dollars to free Iraqis for just nothing in return. Nobody buys the "White Man's Burden" or the "Democracy Protectors" cliches anymore. ITM himself doesn't. But I believe that all of his believes are subject to change according to his needs, and his most urgent for now is to get out of that hell he's living in. I can understand that, but as Miraj says..."Smart but low. Very low".

Now, judging by ITM's posts, he's neither naive nor an idiot. But it seems like he takes everybody else for an idiot. Some americans, who just happen to be republican redneck ignorants, believe that the war was for a good cause. Iraqis, in the other hand, don't buy that for the most part. Specially those inside, like ITM himself, who happen to know better just by living there. When an Iraqi blogger, whose blog is dedicated to naive americans, calls coalition forces "Our Allies" and "Our Friends" and starts talking about "Our accomplishments" and so on , it just wrong. It sounds like a pathetic effort to bring about more...I don't know, public support? Sympathizers? People who are willing to find a way to save "That brilliant mind" out of there? It's just wrong in the sense that it's so fake, so much of a lie that I bet my money that ITM himself doesn't buy it for real.

When a well-known blogger who also happens to be credible in the west tells a lie, it's awfully misleading to everybody who reads that lie. And it's misleading because now we have many americans, just as many who have been checking ITM, believing that we all think like that. There you go, an Iraqi living in Iraq and telling you that things will be just great, wouldn't that be your truth if you've had no clue? If there's anything to being a serious blogger as he is, and as I'm not, then it's that delicate matter of credibility. But I guess when you're really desperate, credibility is the least of your concerns.

Why does it bother me? Because it's a lie as I've explained. Because if I show it to any friend, they would believe it based on the fact that he's an Iraqi who lives in Iraq now. Because I, as well as many others, realize that it's no more than some serious American-Ass Kissing post. Because I'm wide aware that ITM himself doesn't believe in all of that anymore than he believes that Saddam Hussein was a hero. No, not an idiot and not a naive man. He's just a liar there.

ITM: Where you should go when you need to get your Timberlands as good as new after a long day hiking in the wilderness, but only if your passport is "occidental", preferably American. Everybody else? "Sorry, mo 5adem il 5alofokom".

Saturday, September 23, 2006

BBB:- The 101 of how a blogger takes advantage of you!

Dear reader, if you have the intention if reading this till the end, be forewarned that I couldn't care any less about feeding your ego than I would to feed any other blogger's. If that disturbs you, find something else to read.

There are some futile questions that if you ask yourself (if you ever do!), the odds that your brain will give you a General Error Message are more than those of giving you a decent answer. One of those questions that pop up occasionally in a genie-of-the-bottle-like fashion is why on earth do people bother and write that much on their blogs? There are endless possibilities that could pass for an answer, or that could be passed for answer if you're in the mood to believe them. Usually, it's "fortune" and its what some bloggers depend on when they write, and hope for heavens that you won't notice the contradiction between the context and the title and header of the blogs, or that the context is a total sham (like a straight middle-easterner starting a gay-right rally, YEAH RIGHT!) or is stolen from somewhere else. You know…some people do blunt things such as writing the "purpose" of their blog as a header, and it's usually irrelevant. Perhaps they just assume that you aren't that smart to notice the contradiction. Or perhaps things like selling you some too-good-to-be-true things, or even copying things. That's the 101 of taking advantage of your ignorance, which makes blogs prosper. You have a brain that can think, otherwise, and you don’t need to be fed an opinion.


When somebody writes about issues that are of common interest, it's almost like borrowing your opinion. Think of a raw piece of clay, borrowed modeled properly and then handed it back to you with lipstick. And you would happily read that, thinking "What a brilliant writer". It doesn't make writers sound good, but it doesn’t make you sound that good either…or does it?

It's just a simple explanation to why sometimes people do agree with this writer, but not another one. Why other people would agree with the other writer and not the first one. It's all about picking the right pond to fish about. It just happens to be your reader-brain really. You could sue for copy-rights if you could only prove that the thought was yours, it's called "Taking advantage of your simpleton of a reader-brain". Perhaps if you could prove that you've thought about that first, you could claim copy rights. Yes I'm giving you a reason to sue one another, to get you busy and keep you from blogging or reading blog that often because you induce so much brain damage, whether you're on the "innocent reader" end or the "evil blogger" end..or even "hanging in the middle" like myself.

I'm not saying that there aren't any really brilliant writers who do bother fish in their own brains for things to say, rather than just falling categorically into a mainstream of their taste for one reason or the other. But in topics like politics, there's a specific bunch of trends and it takes a real genius to come up with something new, and very often even when there's something new, it's already been chewed by somebody else somewhere else before that it isn't new at all, it's just "taking advantage of your reader-ignorance". Yes, it's a widely-made assumption that you’re an ignorant, regardless whether you do blog or not. That accounts for the masses and masses of bloggers who happen to consider themselves the Gods of knowledge. There should be a reserve for original writers because they're "endangered species"…endangered by extinction, that is. And there also should be a reserve for "not-quite-ignorant" readers, who are endangered by pretty much any blogger in sight. (I know what you're thinking. Me too).

Some people actually write for the sake of agreeing comments. It's satisfying to see how many people agree with you, that's the "feeding the ego" process that you're tricked to do for free. Some people write because it helps them get over some things that are taking advantage of your presence to whine and feel heard. I write because some of these things get on my nerves and it feels better to phrase them and throw them at you, and I call that "your problem", specially if you willingly read it then dislike it. You can't deny that I do fish in your brain occasionally!

As I was saying, I occasionally fish in your brain as well, just out of catching up with the trend (That's called ME being STYLISH). While fishing around, here's an inventory of what I found… I've found a nice pair stilettos in some lady's brain, a ton of paperwork in some guy's pond of a brain (I was interested in the first, and tempted to can some termite from the nearest forest for the latter). I also found some great deal of whining, spiteful emptiness and an even greater deal of nonbeing, which did a great job at making my life seem like heaven (There's an occasional advantage to reading!!).But all of that makes it harder for me to throw my bate and catch something better than shoes that will be fashionable again in a decade, family that don't seem to be leaving anytime soon, a life that sucks, paperwork to be done or anything else meaningful. At the best cases, there is a handful of shakers and a load of public-opinion-repeating parrots to pry at. Did I just say parrots? Well, I didn't mean that, I just meant it in terms of how they "repeat" things, never coming up with anything genuine. Add to that my sincere apologies to parrots for that horrible-horrible offense. At least when they do talk, they don't lie.

You, the reader, aren’t usually held in such a high-high regard unless there's a benefit coming from you (Don't ask, some bloggers already know it and some other readers know it too). In that case they politely take advantage of your presumed ignorance and their words are more often decorated to make you feel "RIGHT". Personally, I'm just telling you what I think is going on. That's called "my not-so-humble" opinion. I guess you know that already. But see, in the end it isn't any of my business if somebody is taking advantage of your brain or your bank account or your benevolence (The regular 3-Bs that bloggers take advantage of), because I get the kicks and the laughter just at that. Poor you!

If that bugged you that much, here's a word to comfort you. I also read blogs, leave comments and sympathize / let myself get fooled or whatever. No-no-no, not that I'm too great to be stupid, no-no, I'm the average reader as well (occasionally) AND the writer who does all of these horrible things to you…so we all are on the same boat…eh, sort of.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Who cooked an H5N1+ goose?

Let's suppose that the post is a goose and the blogger is a cook. So writing is like cooking a goose, and my part comes when the goose is served. That's when I extract my fork and knife and politely try to taste it, though I do make some exceptions and instead of the fork and knife, when I roll up my sleeves and work my way through with nails and teeth. Now some of them are just the right taste, the right amount of spice and well cooked, but some of them are under or over-cooked, too much salt and spice or none at all, and occasionally rotten geese. It just causes my stomach to actually turn, my face to turn green, and my mouse to instantly go to that tiny little red button in the upper right corner, which all of a sudden looks so tempting. There's one goose that I've been sniffing around for such long time now, and I've been considering it for quite a while, had the smell not been overwhelming. Now, what I thought was a badly-cooked goose turned out to be an H5N1+ goose, it had bird flu and it's still served. If you'd excuse me, that's a nails-and-teeth issue.

The infamous blogger is Zeyad of Healing Iraq. Now I'm pretty sure I will have nails and teeth digging after me, I'll make sure I will confess about that when I start caring. Anyway, so the blog's titled Healing Iraq which could have been the case when he first started posting, and which definitely is no longer relevant to his current writings. As it comes, it does take a decent amount of 7Up to go through his blog, if you know what I mean. There are better ways of saying it, but it can't come out any differently so excuse me here, he does make some shoes go shiny!

I don't want to talk about the biography that is there. It's yet another goose that's stuffed with ego. "Thou should never overlook the knowledge I bestow upon thee":

"I was the first Iraqi blogger to open a comments section on the blog thus facilitating and encouraging communication and exchange of ideas. I also took it upon myself to get other Iraqis to blog, in which I succeeded to some degree. It has been quite a pleasure to watch those other bloggers become well known names in the blogosphere."

Yes, yes..and yes. But giving you credit is what people are there for, not what you're there for. I really hope that your next step won't be crediting yourself for the expansion of the Iraqi blogosphere. You have inspired some people; just have enough modesty not to mouth off about it. I just hope you won't save the world from the apocalypse or anything, because then we will be tormented by an oversized ego, that the apocalypse would seem like the lesser of two evils.

The most recent post of September 4th, titled "Gunman Shoots Tourists in Amman", and which you can find in the September archive, is nothing interesting really. Al-Jazeera made some very partial reports about the Amman gunman incident; he pointed that out and left a link to the reflections of the Jordanian blogosphere, and it just ends there. Nothing to quote, there was nothing to look at in the first place.

There was this August 23rd post titled Aqaba left me quite baffled. First, and as he's already aware of himself, he's acting like a tourist guide. Second, "Healing Iraq…?" and third would be "If we're interested in going, we will. If we're interested in knowing, we can google". There was a thorough recount of Aqaba's history, which I doubt anybody is interested in, and upon giving it a thought the only thought that is creeping in your mind would be "is that dedicated to letting us know how much of a genius he really is, and how much does he know?". There was this part I found hilarious about the Urchins where he goes like:

"We had a short swim at the resort, until an unsuspecting Iraqi friend of ours was pricked in the foot by the spines of a black sea urchin (Diadema antillarum)."

Yes, now we know you know that much or that you've dug into wikipedia that much, but I do think that the majority of people will recognize the creature by its common name, and if they don't, they're even less likely to recognize its Latin name. Doesn't take that much thinking…or does it? Sometimes all it takes is a tiny addition to make people look ridiculous. A historian, a scientist and a tourist guide, I'm trying to be impressed, but my advice is "Give wikipedia some credit"

If you would please scroll down on the same page of the archive as Aqaba, since I'm too tired to go look around for direct links to each post, I'll just talk about it. There's this post titled Visa Update, which I read with complete disdain regarding Zeyad. I do understand the urge with which every individual is struggling to leave Iraq to find and create a home elsewhere, to start fresh and live normally where their potential and skills are appreciated and put to proper use. However, there's a certain lack of appreciation towards those whose efforts to do that are intertwined and every so often synonymous to kissing up for that purpose. Sometimes, while you read a post, you hear the "we Iraqis" and the "I, as an Iraqi" and so on, but you get no sense, whatsoever, of him belonging there or being one, in what seems to be an effort to shake off that identity and be more convincing at being somebody else, in his eagerness to be somebody else that is. It is as though the blog is there to mark the transformation of his character from an Iraqi to an American wannabe. Excuse me if I'm being harsh or vicious here, but that's my frank opinion.

The posts in which he's talking about Iraq, he comes across as a person who's detached from reality, the way any non-Iraqi friend of mine would look onto things and reflect upon them. He has this tendency of overflowing with information that aren't that necessary to know, that are useless and that aren't even interesting to read through, like the chunks of information in the August 17th post titled "Unrest in Karbala" where he's giving a not-so-brief introduction of Mahmoud Al-Hassani:

" Mahmoud Al-Hassani is a former disciple of Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq Al-Sadr (Muqtada’s father) based in Karbala, briefly imprisoned by Saddam’s regime in 1999 following Sadr’s assassination. He initially pledged allegiance to the remnants of the Sadrist movement that emerged directly after the 2003 war - as did other former representatives and followers of the second Sadr (such as Abdul Sattar Al-Bahadili, Ahmed Al-Fartousi, and Hazim Al-A’raji.) By the time Muqtada Al-Sadr assumed a central role in the leadership of the Sadrist current, Al-Hassani broke off and headed his own Sadrist fringe movement with a limited hardcore following, mainly in Karbala, Basrah and Nasiriya."

I read through his blog, and I get the image of a young man whose life-time dream is to live in the Big Apple, to fit in there and to be accepted and successful in that society. But amidst all of that, he's dumped his identity, and with honesty I say I behold nothing but despise towards that kind of people. Lighten up on the shoe-shining process Zeyad, and please…there are too many egos that expand and expand and get stuck somewhere down our throats. Brilliant blogger? Perhaps. Just stop crowning yourself, that’s what everybody else does. Oh, and another thing…America's about the blend of culture, try maintaining yours. You don't sound that good at it and you weren't even there yet!

There isn't much to quote. I can see that there's a wide base of support, most of which is non-Iraqi. Makes me wonder who is he writing for, but then I see the writing, and I realize what's going on. The goose got sick, the goose stinks, and he isn't getting a better one...he's just serving us a goose with bird flu.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Many Iraqis, whether from inside or outside Iraq, are familiar with Iraqi Shalash. Whether people like or dislike his approaches or not, and whether they agree or disagree with him eventually, there's a great majority of Iraqis who read his posts anyway. The simplicity in which he writes, using Iraqi slang and expressions, makes him closer to readers regardless their backgrounds and education.

When somebody intends to make a reproduction of Shalash's writings or character in a different language, it's hard to come accross as an authentic writer. Definitely not original when the name is borrowed, and when there's another writer to compare to. However, today's blogger , The Exiled Shalash, made the biggest mistake by associating himself to Shalas. The real Shalash comes accross simple and unsophisticated, the ordinary Iraqi Joe, flexible and tolerant despite his skeptical sense of humor. The Exiled Shalash? Nothing like that, and shame on the blogger for trying imitate him. The style? The writings? The thoughts? Nothing like Shalash. The simplicity, the validity and the familiarity of Shalash's writings are non-existant in Exiled Shalash's posts.

After skimming through the archive, I didn't quite have the inclination to go through posts as I usually do. However, it's a must. So the most recent post of July 26th, titled al-Maliki in Washington (3 of series) is simply a piece of second-hand news, somewhat hard to appreciate since there are enough news websites already whereas the blog is individual. There's the full text of the Bush/Maliki press conference, which I doubt anybody would bother reading, and which is left without any sort of a commentary by the blogger. You're more likely to scroll down looking for a piece of his mind, which there isn't, then you will wonder "What were you thinking?". It actually looks like the post is only there to fill some space or perhaps so he doesn't look like he hasn't updated in ages. That post almost seems like it's meant to bore people off, I for one was absolutely bored with it.

An older post that was actually a better read is of July 14th, titled Visiting Iraq. It's an account of his visit to Baghdad back in 2003 and his impressions about it, alongside the odds that he will ever visit Baghdad again. The post hued from tetchy to touching, however there was a moment that set me off the entire post:

"I never once even thought of working with the Iraqi or US government because I wanted to help my father with his shop, but that didn't matter to Sunni militants who were looking for any excuse to behead a Shi'a Iraqi returning from exile."

There are both Sunni and Shiite militants in Iraq, and having lived there throughout the war, there were well more Shiite militants than Sunni. Regardless of that, those are renegade militants regardless their sectarian courses and orientations. The differences are existent, but those differences separate Iraqis, and still Iraqis enforce the differences and keep mentioning them. That post gave me a bitter sense of Nostalgia and somewhat reminded me of my own exodus.

The older posts start with reflections upon Iraqi Shalash's writings, and then some individual thinking. The March 17th post, titled Civil War starts off with a recount and an explanation of one of the puns used by Iraqi Shalash:

"I don't know what civil war means," is how Shalash begins his latest piece. You see in Arabic civil war can be translated into al-Harb al-Ahliyyah, but al-Ahliyyah also means "private," and Ahil also means, "family." So is Iraq's civil war a private one? No, I think it is a war among a family, that's probably why it's translated as such."

It's actually somewhat amusing, but then the paragraph that followed left me quite puzzled:

"There is no such thing as a civil war, wars are not civil, not even the one that removed Saddam, if I recall correctly, I think I was a staunch supporter of that war."

Okay, what does this have to do with that? Anyway, so the post goes on, and upon reading I carried on wondering about the kind of "glue" he uses to put his thoughts together, because this one is falling apart. The post was grim, until I reached the breaking point where I laughed hysterically and simply thought "What does he know?!". That breaking point was this paragraph:

"Because we're a decent people, we have suffered so much for so long, we deserve someone better than Ja'afari and yes, someone better than Adil Abdulmahdi"

If you're a believer in God, then you know that he only gives people what they deserve to have, and somehow we've deserved Saddam Hussein for some three decades and then the past three years didn't quite show that our merit was any better. If you're a believer in humanity, then all I can say is that I've lived there and I've watched the rich and the poor loot like there's no tomorrow. You can argue that after decades of deprivation people deserve a break, but in the other hand everybody saw Munqith Al Jebah-che on TV, while he and his wife were stealing gilded tea cups. For those who don't know Munqith Al Jebah-che, he's a doctor who owned a private hospital as well as a clinic. Needless to mention Ahmed Ismail, the famous ortho-dentist, who also stole equipment from Mustansiryah University and installed them in a new private clinic that he intended to establish in Mansour Area. Those were few of many more examples. Decent? Well, the hue of killers, renegades, liars, thieves and corrupted/corrupting individuals doesn't sound that promising. Decent people, it sounds like a nice thing to be said about the majority of our people, had they only earned it throughout history. But well, who are we kidding, our bloody history does the telling. (I'm not saying that everybody is indecent there, I'm just saying that if you stick you're head out of your door you're more likely to face a renegade than anybody else).

The concluding paragraph of the post says:

"When all of this is over, maybe tens of years from now, maybe millions of lives later, maybe after Shalash and after the Exiled Shalash, maybe after Shalash becomes an Exiled Shalash, Iraqis have to put these clowns who now occupy Saddam's palaces on trial. The likes of Bayan Jabr and Abdulaziz al-Hakim and Muqtada al-Sadr and Ibrahim al-Ja'afari whose names have become known to the world at the expense of our blood should all be brought to justice and no, not some justice system crafted in the 7th century, but a real justice system that does not differentiate between a Budhist and a Muslim, a Shi'a and an atheist, a Yezedi and a Jew."

That paragraph was actually good, except for that I would seriously recommend that Exiled Shalash should never put his name next to Shalash's because he's "no more to Shalash than he is to Hercules". They could never be alike by any means. but in the other hand, yes, those names rose on our expense (But isn't that the 101 of politics?). By the way, Exiled Shalash, you say you shouldn't differentiate, why did you differentiate with militants? Or was that the result of spilling your actual bucket later on, on your blog? Anyway, the thought that supposedly made up the post was somewhat decaying or falling apart, because sometimes there's no link between two paragraphs, whatsoever.

I cannot seem to have the same feelings about two posts, sometimes he's cold and unaffected yet sometimes there's a spark, some zeal. Sometimes I utterly dislike him and sometimes he does sound reasonably acceptable. It's a good occasional read, yet not as Iraqi, and definitely not Shalash-like. The first month or two were as though his own thoughts are veiled and kept from the reader, but then the revelation is later on, in the more recent posts. Anyway, I don't argue his freedom of choice for a name but why did he have to pick that name out of all names out there, and then not do it just at all?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I've been around the blogosphere for such long time now, both as a blogger and as a reader. Many were the blogs that got me disgusted with their bloggers' attitude, whether pretentious, unaffected, devious or simply oblivious. Yet in the other hand, there's been a handful of blogs that changed the ennui of having read other blogs into sheer interest in seeing what this or that blogger is unfolding. It's never about the style or the language, it's just about how sincere the blogger is and how much life they put into their writing. This is one blog that I've found simple, sincere and has got all you need to know to sort out life in Iraq.

I've been a keen reader of Zappy's blog for about as long as it had been around, some four months now, one of the most candid, simple and impartial blogs, compared to every other blog around. No headaches in terms of trying to figure what he's talking about, not much time spent on reflecting upon his political orientation and whether he's right, left or even chicken wing. For a person that is interested in a snappy kind of a report that gives an idea about what an average Iraqi is going through, Where Date Palms Grow is probably the blog to read. It says "An everyday account of Baghdad as I see it" on the top, and that's exactly what's in the blog. No deceitful twaddle about how truthful the blog is, no visionary blabber and no whining. Just a quiet report, sometimes bitter and pungent, but generally is as the blog is described.

The most recent post of August 21st, titled Rotten Onions and sweet smelling ministers is one post where Zappy's disdain and frustration is expressed. Quiet and composed as ever, his cynicism is sour, but not quite so to the point where you're more tempted to click "next blog" rather than finishing off the post. Like every other post in the archive, it recounts some of the daily incidents in the life of an average Iraqi. Some of his thoughts are also there, like his wondering:

"I wonder if Mr. Sheristani’s Generator stopped due to lack of Fuel? Or if Mr. Maliki’s Refrigerator went empty? I wonder if they have seen the streets this morning? With tons of rubbish and dug up water pipes the pilgrims dug out due to the extensive heat?"

Only few have asked these questions, and nobody had ever answered them, though the general speculation is that these figures don't go through the same things the average citizen goes through. Zappy also lets out his resentment towards those figures without putting everybody through the torture of reading through an extensive description of how much he hates them, he simply says:

"I wish I could stick those Rotten Onions up Mr. Sheristani’s …" (Fill in the blanks!)

Not much that's said and not much more to be said either. He concludes the post with what his own life looks like in struggle to get any hint of comfort, one that might be slightly better off than the remainder of Iraqis, yet still unable to find relieve:

"I am now a proud owner of three generator units a 8KV/A, a 3KV/A (broken) and a small 950 watt one, adding to that two DC to AC 1KV/A inverters (without batteries) and a member of the elite street generator (“broken” won’t be fixed until diesel fuel goes under the $1 a liter line) and 8 potable water pumps. (Only three work)Only problem is I don’t have enough fuel ;) I am also a member of the Iraqi Insomnia Society (try running every four hours day and night)."

Another post I found interesting was the one before it, August 18th, titled The "Army" Controls the Gas Pumps. It's a first hand recount of a daily torture that people go through in search for fuel. There are rather smallish personal touches into this post that happen to suffice in telling exactly how he feels. This is the opening paraghraph of the post:

"When I came back home from my “screwed up” Vacation I was searching for fuel in the black market, the guy selling the fuel was selling in 6 times the official price not 10 meters away from the pump station, when I asked him why are you selling so high he told me what’s the matter with you? Don’t you know that the Army controls the petrol stations?, because I was in no mood to argue with such a “low life” call me a Bourgeoisie I don’t care, and because the sweat was oozing into every opening of my body well I left angry."

These bits like "my 'screwed up' vacation" and the closing of the paragraph do the answering incase anybody is wondering how he's been feeling lately, thankfully no life-sucks kind of complaints and no wailing. He simply explains the suffering of Iraqis without getting too emotional, and his reaction towards these fact simply denies any possibility of him being unaffected:

"Today after nearly four weeks “I think”, I went to the same lowlife and asked him the same question “the price of fuel today in Baghdad is $1.5 per liter, an average family “theoretically” needs about 40 liters a day for their generators in heats exceeding 49 Celsius “about 120 Fahrenheit” that’s $60 a day. People do not have such money."

As simple, yet as painful as reality can get. Why add too much reflection when truth is all that it takes to stir feelings?

I could have said that the entire blog is like that, but every now and then, Zappy does give himself a break and does further than just recounting what life looks like, but what his thoughts are like as well.

The April 13th post titled Abduction is one post where his own experiences and feelings are on display. A must-read for those who had forgotten what the face of life there looked like, myself included. No more to be said by me, for all the commenting that I can do would be quoting Zappy:

"I love democracy, I always think that the constitution is the most important document of rule there is, but the Human Life is more important than all..."

There's a great difference between giving a calm description of a hectic life, and between getting all mouthy while doing that. Sometimes, horrible things are more believable if they're told simply instead of emphasizing on them, mixing the naked truth with feelings. This is one blog that is simple, his feelings and reflections are told briefly yet eloquently. Nobody can claim that he's unaffected or dishonest, because that simplicity of his is transparent.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Second-hand news.

I ran into today's blogger accidentally, while I was checking out some of the blogs listed at the IBC. I've run into Ibn Alrafidain and have had some glances at his blog. The blog description reads " Thinking Loudly To Be Heard By The World" which is interesting and tempts the onlooker to take a look at the blog. That interest doesn't last for long though, and I can guarantee that you could go for Jazeerah-English news for similar results, maybe phrased differently. Thinking, it says, but to think he does not.

The most recent post, of August 5th, titled Maliki, is one of those posts where you find Ibn Alrafidain listing all the headlines of the first week of August. You read through and mutter "I know. I know. Tell me something I don't know!". There are also loads of quotes that might as well be there to make the torture of reading through more extensive, or perhaps to help the blogger with feeling like he's written a post. There's also the usual pinch of ego where he would go like "I said this before, I said that before. I told you so!". I don't know what he thinks of his blog, but I know that it doesn't say anything about his thoughts. Even when he is actually thinking, there is no much opinion to be make things more interesting. This is an example:

"Change, sometimes, needs time. An Iraqi politician attended a conference in Israel (I think in 2004) and he was very frank in declaring it. The visit caused him lot of condemnation and he was kicked out of the Iraqi Congress Party of Ahmed Chalabi. Personally, I thought the man had politically finished. The surprise was that Mithal Alusi, the politician speaking about, managed to be a member of the Iraqi Parliament, while Ahmed Chalabi couldn't. It means that 1/275 of the Iraqis do not oppose normal relations with Israel (the Iraqi Parliament consists of 275 members)."

Any traces of opinion? There's also this cartoon which doesn't tell much of an opinion, and neither does Ibn Alrafidain explain why the cartoon is there. You just have to sort your way through the quotes, random facts, and a cartoon. The only opinion that is there is that he's Anti-American, period. No reflections upon anything whatsoever.

I've spent an exceptional amount of time digging in the archive for something slightly different, more interesting, but to no avail. I have had enough of reading news that I've heard already, on the hope that I might find a lost piece of mind somewhere, and found absolutely nothing but more news.

I took some leaps in the archive thinking that maybe sometime his style might have been different, but it wasn't. Another old example of his monotonous writings is the May 12th 2005 post, titled Another Lesson. It's a reasonably short post, ever so passive and kind of acid post. There was this irrelevant piece at the start where he said:

"My phone line is still out of order. The whole phones in the district are out of order since 11th March. And for that I do not interact with my blog regularly. Generally speaking, there wasn't any tangible development deal with the infrastructure within the past two years."

One would expect some reaction upon that, but there is none. It kind of makes you wonder whether there is a real person with some notions and emotions behind that blogger ID.
The opening is like another piece of news which lead Ibn Alrafidain to three questions, none of which sound mystifying enough to be asked really. These are the three questions:

-Are we ready, the Iraqis, to accept & integrate democracy into our culture?
-Could it be possible to burn stages of social & political development?
-And, would it result in stable society or state?

The answers, in order, could easily be predicted back in March 2005, as "No", "No" and "Isn't a stable society a result of a stable state and vice versa?". I haven't yet got a clue of what's bewildering him. The post is concluded with this statement:

"The Iraqis could not look after the state which the British established for them in 1921. They ate it away so the Americans had nothing to do but blowing out the rotten state. It has been dismantled so easily in 2003. It seems that something, maybe many things, is wrong with our collective conscious. "

I don't know what he'd had in mind at the time when he was writing this post. But I can tell that this termite-like description wasn't quite necessary, and he could have phrased things in a better, less acid way. Acid and lack of opinion are one bad combination.

Ibn Alrafidain could either do some thinking for a change, instead of the story-telling irksome manner of his, or drop the thinking bit at the top of his blog, because it's quite decieving for people to think that he's thinking while all he's doing is story-telling. If he's not that capable of writing something of his own, perhaps he shouldn't have been writing in the first place. The internet is infested with news websites to have a person borrowing them and posting them on his own blog, everybody might as well just go and read the news first-hand elsewhere.

I can bet my money that everybody is more interested in knowing his own point of view, or knowing about his own life, instead of reading a recap of CNN/Jazeerah news with bits of other forms of media like newspapers et cetera. Call it opinion, call it attitude, call it whatever you please, it's just not there on Ibn Alrafidain.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Phenomenon: Gobbledygook

Today's blogger is getting reviewed because he's already too baffled to be left in anticipation, and that would be His Hectic Majesty aNarki-13 . I took a look at his profile, he's into Asian cultures, which is good because it means he's trying to widen his horizons. Except for that it leaves me wondering whether he can tell the difference between Chinese and Japanese things, it somewhat doesn't seem like it. Salam Adil thought it's a bit too much to have my name accented, though for a pun, and now I'm wondering whether he's taken a look at Anarki's profile.
The Blog itself, titled Then Some! doesn't inspire much, if anything at all. Then you have the blog description right under the title, which is unrelated to anything either. Then you remember the blogger's name, Anarki, and all of a sudden there's a moment of epiphany where you think "What on Earth was I thinking? It's Anarki, it's just a mess!"

The most recent post of August 8th, A million Dollars. CORRECTION: THREE million Dollars, is deceivingly short, but fits right with the whole chaotic theme where you're just not supposed to know what's going on. He said, and I quote:

"nothing. nothing. just passing through."
(crosses his fingers and holds breath in a silent prayer)

That was the entire post. What is that floating thought doing on a blog page? I know the blogger space is for free, so are our grey cells. But when we burn them up trying to figure what he's thinking, it's a great loss...unlike the blogger space.

Another post I found interesting was the August 2nd, titled "Yuss Mussah". When I first laid eyes on it, I thought it might be something related to Asia and Asian Philosophy maybe, perhaps something related to Tao or so. It was related to Asia, in the sense that Sri Lanka or Bangladesh are Asian Nations, but that's about it. The post is about the Sri Lankan young maid they have, and his humane reflections about that. It's chills my heart to see such thoughts, but it chills my brain while trying to read them. Some logic would be a nice addition to the blog. This is a...well, there's a muddle he said:

"iraq had/has/will always have its share of slavery, enforced by society and "the people above".hah. like i said, no time now. got a freaking thesis to write. and Then Some".

He does address a real issue there, a humanitarian issue. One must give him credit for that. But I don't see him writing a thesis and formulating an argument for it, let alone a solid, convincing one. He concludes the post with a Gandhi quote, which he left unnamed, and which is the most sensible part of the entire post, specially if we consider the list of what he listens to that doesn't seem to fit anywhere. Is it like a discrete wish-list for those who mean to buy him a present CD?!

"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. "

A slightly older post that I somehow ran into while skimming through his archive of wonders was the July 8th post, titled Page under const...ahh just forget about it . Of course, the title has got nothing to do with anything, which is just normal at Then Some. Opening line goes like:

"it is Moi! this is really really me writing again, the return of the centennial phenomenon aNarki13! Yeah... so, better hurry or u'll miss it!"

Okay, so he is the centennial phenomenon that can't be missed. I'm just happy that bit of ego didn't survive because I have already had my fill of embellishing writers. Then there's this show-off bit in the post:

"Domo, Otomodachi..(thank you, friends)why? for bearing with me all this time.."

Yes, his Asian orientations keep overwhelming him, as well as everybody else. The post goes on about anything and nothing, his Masters thesis, his life, politics et cetera. Yet another norm to his blog.

Anarki-13 has got a teensy tendency to show off with anything that could serve as show-off material. I guess it takes an Iraqi to smell that and recognize it. As the name suggests as well, his blog is one big mess, made of smaller muddles called posts, where the title has got nothing to do with the post and the paragraphs of the post have got nothing to do with each other. There is also this weird phenomenon going on in his blog, that where as people have gaps in their arguments, he has valleys, and very often no argument at all. You read through, and you almost feel a bit sea-sick, or maybe it's blog-sickness to be accurate.

Another blogger that needs to put a warning on the top, which says "Take your brain somewhere else if you don't want to run out of cells", and yet another blogger that needs to change the blog title to something relevant. But at the end of the day, it's chaos, what was I thinking?

Despite all of that, it's a good read and can be really interesting and hilarious. Just don't read it after a long day of work, whatever that's left of your brain will be gone down the drain.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I ran into today's blogger again at Astresim where he left a comment. I was tempted to take a look at his new blog, and that I did. Pen name? Truth About Iraqis, also blog title, is an interesting name, though far from being real and quite irrelevant to both Truth and Iraqis. Articulate, coherent and a bit composed. But the blogger falls into an empty circle of exaggerated condemnation and hatred that is overstressed to a point where it feels like a forge, and that could have been justified otherwise.

His most recent post of August 7th, titled Iraq is Vietnam, and the atrocities are the same is obviously, and as title suggests, saying that Iraq is the modern-day Vietnam. He talks and talks about the similarities between Iraq and Vietnam though he's being too vague which suggests a number of things, one of which is that if he gets into too much detail, his theory will fall apart. He mentions three things that he finds similar, though even I can tell him that these are "common factors" to all wars in history and that it doesn't take a genius to realize that it's just another war. It doesn't make the three points any less significant, but he's made no discovery and he should have found some more distinguished points that haven't been all the same about wars since humans started having them, to back up his argument.

There are these bits of fake enthusiasm where his tendency to overstate things blows the whole thing. This is one of them:

"My, my. Nazis? Heck yeah, why should the US military be considered any better. No difference whatsoever. Nazis killed Jews and Slavs. US military kills, tortures and rapes
everyone else."

For a post that is mainly about comparing Iraq to Vietnam, that's redundant. For a post that's mentioning historical facts, it's just another mistake. The wall of his argument is made of glass, and he keeps throwing stones at it.

Another post that I found interesting was the June 30th, with this title Iraq, where opportunities for those looking to get ahead, make names for themselves or earn a few bucks are ripe. The title is too long, and one would think it's out of concern for Iraqis sake. For some reason after having read through the archive you get this feeling that the motive behind each post is seldom what it seems, and this one is not different.

He talks about all of these people who made, or rather stole, millions of dollars from Iraq. Iraqi politicians and clerics and "others", then American politicians, business men and of course USMC guys who got promotions after serving in Iraq, or in Haditha to be more specific. He does make a point there, that lots of people got rich out of Iraqi money, but the way he phrases things gives the impression that he's envious and spiteful about that. Having Oprah stuffed somewhere into the post was quite interesting, I guess he's got some issues when it comes to people who are either successful or VERY loaded. Perhaps what disturbed him most about the entire deal is the fact that he couldn't book himself a seat where a person like Muqtada managed booking. He sure is smarter than Muqtada, but the latter is more loaded.

This interesting paragraph is probably the only paragraph to find good and American included in the same phrase:

"I guess one day, a comprehensive study will reveal just how much was stolen and how much was actually rebuilt - beyond the fresh coat of paint on schools Iraqis allegedly never had before the invasion. I am assured that a few good American Samaritans will come on and publish a book which will reveal all. Too bad Oprah won't include it on her faux Reader's Club or whatever the hell that fat cow calls it"

His motives for writing are quite questionable, because he's just as enthusiastic as I would be if I were making commentaries for Eurosport, and that would be a real sham. He might still be a patriot after all, but he still doesn't sound like one, from his blog. I don't want to get into politics, but he doesn't seem to be liking anybody. I don't know why he's writing in the first place, but since Ron of Freedom Base suggested that people can be paid to write a certain way, I would say Truth About Iraqis could potentially flow into that category. He could be practicing his borrowed perspective in a blog before saying/submitting the actual thing, or he could be just of an unconvincing, lukewarm kind of an apathetic nature.

It wasn't a good read, and he really has to pick another name for his blog, more than any other blogger. He obviously isn't the average Iraqi to be calling himself one, he obviously isn't writing for Iraqis to read, so he might as well not mislead people. He's got to do some serious thinking and adopt a more genuine style of writing, and stop that ritual of going into empty circles. Anytime you pay that blog a visit, you know you're bound to find condemnation of some sort, and you can always predict who the center of attention is going to be. I could have understood his hatred towards Americans and Israelis et cetera, had he been writing normally. But he just had to deal with things in a way that his writing looks like made up emotions that are being decorated to look real, and it only makes him sound phony.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Wabbit Twacks!

So somebody has given me a taste of my own medicine which is only fair, since I have been intending to keep on picking on poor unsuspecting bloggers. Get your knife and fork, and join the feast at Salam Adil's blog Asterism, a post titled "A taste of her own medicine"...her being me. Personally, I quite liked it. It was fun to read about myself. I quite liked the poison bit, I didn't know I was that venomous. I'm flattered!

For those who are interested, there are some things to be said in reply though, and there are some things to be said about myself as well.

First of all, it seems like the accents in my name are making a fuss for the wrong reason, which I find pretty funny. Ēl Delilâh is not "The Guide" as you would translate it in Arabic, and it's not pronounced that way either, which is why the letters are accented. You can take my word for that really, unless you insist upon the fact that I'm trying to act smart. Have it your way.

And then, Salam Adil, I didn't say that Iraqi blogs are collectively ignorants and all, I just said that in some blogs, you could find all of these qualities. Oh come on!

Besides, Meemo can do better and should do better "for a change". You pat him on the head, Oliver Branch plays the Mother Duck and tells me that he will "start a war" if I keep picking on Iraqi bloggers. Well, Meemo wouldn't know what kind of a read his blog is for real if nobody comes along and tell him that he's got some real issues. You call it stream of consciousness, I go like "Oh, puhleeze!", May Sinclair is rolling in her grave. Nobody said my opinion was humble, and it sure doesn't say "My Nice, Considerate Opinion" up there.

Salam, do you think that war is an excuse for people to remain uneducated? Did he sound traumatized by the dead man at his door step? Did he sound affected at all by anything other than the fact that he can't go out that often anymore? See, there is no lost childhood to anything, it's just that you insist that it's an excuse for people to be childish if there's anything serious going on around them. Since you're into psycho-analysis, does he sound the least bit affected by whatever that is going on out there, and concerned with anything further than his hair and his shorts and his everlasting boredom?

Salam "Blue flower, red thorns! Blue flower, red thorns! Blue flower, red thorns! Oh this would be so much easier if I wasn't color-blind!".

Friday, August 04, 2006

When America doesn't care

Today's blogger is Still Alive, who's running two blogs. She's got How To Deserve It, which is quite an all philosophical blog dedicated for an unknown purpose, and which could only serve as a quote source. That particular blog is not a blog I'd like to talk about, since it's full of floating thoughts that aren't Delilâh-Friendly. The other blog she's got is My Letters To America, her letters that is. Posts do get interesting at times, but every now and then she would fall into that habit of boring the reader as though we haven't got enough readers repeating the same old broken record for us.

The most recent post would be June 28th's, He is Missing. She starts off the post with some sort of a conversation between some relatives or family friends, unless her imagination is helping her out. The conversation itself is pointlessly addressing the same blabber about secterianism that's been everywhere from blogger's posts to CNN interviews and Jazeerah and Arabia's much hated political commentators. It's real alright, but it's still too futile and has already become cliché. In this post she said and I quote:

"Every day I leave my house I expect them to kill me after one look at my ID. They are criminals. You don't know anything because nothing is shown on TV biased channels, out there on street there is much more than what we can be tolerant about anymore. We have to start doing something to stop them"

There's no news to all of that, and that top of having to do something is as old as dirt to Iraqis, and has only proven that we're uncapable of doing anything for real but talking and protesting against whatever and whoever, regardless good or bad.

Another older post is her December 13th, 2005 post, titled Tomorrow Was Here. The post is about this book she read and how it predicted future and all of that. I'm very tempted to believe that she's read some quatrains of Nostradamus' and given that the book was so possessing, detailed and mysterious, it just had to be him. I found it interesting, after having read through pointless posts that had just nothing to talk about. She said, and I quote of course:

"There was a verse talking about a brutal leader ruling the city between two rivers, he will make it drown in blood and fire. "

That would be the 33rd quatrian:

"His last hand through sanguinary
He will be unable to protect himself by sea:
Between two rivers he will fear the military hand,
The black and irate one will make him rue it"

and the 98th quatrian:

"Ruin for the Volcae so very terrible with fear,
Their great city stained, pestilential deed:
To plunder Sun and Moon and to violate their temples:
And to redden the two rivers flowing with blood."

Well, I found that interesting really, at least she does take the trouble to read various kinds of books, unlike the nowadays typical Iraqi that can't seem to do anything better than whining for a living. Anyway, I don't quite believe in fortune tellers and astronomers, and that's where Nostradamus flows. But it did make the post interesting.

"America, don’t wait for tomorrow. Don’t be fooled. Just live, there is no time as precious as today. There is no future as sweet as the next breath."

The rest of the world isn't Iraq, there is no war on American soil, and there hasn't been any since the end of their own civil war. Sad that Iraq doesn't have a future of it's own, but true that Americans still live their lives normally. Paranoid a little bit, but more peacefully than we could dream for Iraq of becoming. I guess Still Alive should have remembered that. And then, at the end of the day, Iraqis are leaving Iraq to seek a better tomorrow out there, and many of them are satisfied with their new lives, embracing their new lives and thankful for being able to live in peace again.

The blog is titled My Letters to America, which could have changed to A Piece of My Mind for a matching blog title. She's got a tendency to be philosophical, which I find interesting at times and utterly annoyingly and boring at other times. When she's actually giving a piece of her mind though, she can be as far from reality as far as I am from the moon at the moment, and she's only realistic when she's telling off something particular like an incident or so. Sometimes it's even hard to figure what she's talking about for real, because everything is just vague.
Still Alive should consider putting a warning or a little caution at the top of each post to tell whether it's a piece of her mind or a piece of her life or a piece of candy, so people know whether it's a bed-time read or a day-time read...or a passe-temps kind of a while-at-work read. Otherwise it could be really bad to end up falling asleep on your desk at work, couldn't it?

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Blogger Deficit Disorder

There is no new blogger to talk about today, even though I've got a handful of them and it would be amusing to write about most of them. However, what I'm planning on talking about is relevant to bloggers and blogging.

The world out here is quite different from the world in Baghdad, and has differed further since the war/invasion or whatever you may call it. The world out here is cutthroat in the real sense of the word, but back there it's cutthroat literally. But is it an excuse for individuals to be intransigent? To maintain their ignorance, apathy, tedium, and to complain about all of that? No, it isn't, it never was and it will never be.
It doesn't take much to realize that in Baghdad, it's impossible to pursue a dream even for the most motivated person there. However, if a person is motivated to improve and make any individual progress, that person will never be short of ways to realize that. Unable to pursue studies or as much as finding books to increase knowledge and work on personal skills? There's the world at the touch of your fingers, online. You can always widen your horizons, educate yourself and develope. You can always work on making yourself a better person, with a better mentality, because nobody is ever smart enough for the real world.

When I criticize a blogger, there are two things to it; the first being that I am an individual and I'm free to give my opinion as long as I do so properly, because since the day that blogger has decided to publish posts, every word is out there for weighing. The second, being that I am not criticizing the persona, not the psyche. I'm criticizing the attitude, the things that the person can obviously work on, and they're often things that the person himself doesn't notice.
Some people mistake that criticism for an effort to make light of themselves, which is not true. However, I believe that one of two people would have serious issues with criticism in any form, and that would be a person with an extremely low self esteem and sense of worth or a person with a so-enlarged ego to believe that he/she is above any criticism. The first, because it's always a reminder of the insufficiency, which I believe should be a motive to work on improving instead of simply whining. The second is just too much self esteem to blind from the truth.
People with low self esteem do not succeed. Success is an image a person reflects, its an insubstantial balance in everything including how much esteem one holds for him/herself. When there's a lack of self esteem, there is no motivation to improve, therefore no success. When there's an excess, there's a bit of hope, since as we move on with life we learn alot about our true worth.

Today, I have recieved a comment from Meemo, the Frog Blog star. The comment consisted of two main chunks that I skimmed through and was tempted to delete right when I started reading. Where Meemo flows is Category II, and that would be the person with low sense of worth, if any. Now, I've alreadt talked about that in Frog Blog. However, the comment also tempted me to write this post.
Meemo Abbas is one of those people who aren't big on doing anything with their lives, and looks like he's hit the bottom of the bottomless pit quite a while ago. Whining is his major, and coming up with twaddle in some unknown jargon is another thing he's good at. That's his attitude, that's what he is, not who he is.
I do regret having deleted the comment now, it would have been nice to paste the full chunks here, but unfortunately I haven't got them. However, they included some really hilarious remarks. Hilarious mainly because they're incredibly naive.
The first, being his assumption that Frog Blog stood for me thinking that he looks like a Frog. Well, how inspired do you have to be to think that way? The other was his instant assumption that I haven't lived in Iraq and that I haven't specifically lived there during/after the war, and he's quite wrong about that. The third assumption, which I found pretty...let's say thick and dim, was that I don't know what a "Metal Head" was. I won't even go near the jargon and the terminology there, but that was pretty lame to the point where I was literally laughing out loud at the...idiocy. It takes an awful lot of it to understand things that way.I don't know what he thinks he could teach me, that I don't know already. I can tell that there's nothing really, but I'll just get on the flow and ask "what?". I know I could teach him some better understanding skills since the post on my blog talked about how he doesn't make any sense while he took it for "lack of understanding to his dark nature".

He also has this tendency to use profanity. Maybe he think's its cool. I'm not sure about that, but he won't be the first kid I see to think that being one of the homies in the hood is cool. There's this thing about his writing that makes him yet another trivial wannabe.

Alaa The Mesopotamian is the absolute opposite, character wise. However, if this is what people's comments look like, I might as well just disable comments.

Unfortunately, Meemo's likes are becoming the more common element in our youth. Quite a burden on society, quite sluggish and grumpy, hollow to a level where their value as human beings is not that high in a world where a person is valued by what they can produce and what they've got to offer. It's a shame that I've got to call his likes "My fellow citizens". And yes, this time, it's his psyche that I am criticizing, not just his attitude.

Meemo, laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. You think being in Iraq is tough, and it justifies your inadequacy, when you choose to do nothing but whine. Your life is what you make out of it. Check the real world where your two hands and one brain don't usually suffice...then we will have a talk. Till then, grow up a little and don't be dim and thick.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

His not-humble-at-all opinion

Today's blogger is The Mesopotamian. Now, the blogger, Alaa, is articulate and somewhat realistic, the blog is well written. That is, untill the overly-confident blogger makes some bloated statements. The blog itself is as old as November 2003, I cannot and will not read every single post since, because that would be utterly boring and quite a bit insane, then it would also be futile since several posts from here and there do suffice.

The most recent post was the July 15th post with a title that is so long that it could be a post, itself, though it does sound good. The post is short enough not to be boring, general that the title sounds redundant, and has some big words around the end that could fit in a a Hitchcock movie featuring a Mao Zedong reality like this line:

"I shall try to find time to tell you some of my ideas but it is so difficult to spare the few minutes required in these treacherous and murderous times."

Not that I don't see his point, but the phrasing is like an addition that brings a jarring element, quite an unnecessary one, to the whole post.
The other thing that I found interesting was the ego that might as well be the size of Texas. There's this part in the same post where he says, and I quote:

"What I have warned about always and since the beginning is sadly taking place right now."

It's as though he's sort of like Delphi's Oracle, making apocalyptic prophecies that people should either consider seriously or they will all perish. So he has warned, so...?

Another post that I found interesting was the November 3rd, 2005 post. Yes, that's quite a bit out of date, yet again I only skim through the archive. The first paragraph is fully religious, preeching tolerance and compassion. The kind of thing people aren't likely to get off his blog if they haven't got it already. I also found it a bit discriminating since the prayers and all were only dedicated to Muslims, why just us? Or is he insinuating that everybody else has "thoughts of peace and himanity in their minds" and Muslims don't? Who knows.
The actual post starts with an officious statement, also an apocalyptic prophecy from the Oracle, I mean Alaa. He says:

"As I have said before, the War on Terror should take into account that perhaps the main arena of the struggle is the Media and Information fields. This terrorist phenomenon combines primitive urges and ideologies with the use of the modern technologies of satellite T.V. the internet etc. In fact, the Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda-like people design their operations with the prime objective of attracting maximum media attention. Thus Media attention is a weapon in itself, and the main one from the view point of these terrorist groups, and this subject should be a matter of primary consideration to strategists and planners of the War."

I agree with him, but notice the first phrase which is so overly officious. It's almost like "I told you so, you should have listened!", I don't know whom he thinks he is but he sure isn't Delphi's real Oracle.
He goes on and talks about media, and he does make some points there. It's just that he's got some phrasing issues where ego plays a big role and everybody else is implicitly an idiot. He still hasn't got to the point where he describes himself as a supreme being, but I think it's on the way.
Now, I have skimmed through the archive, but it's pretty monotounous and I cannot keep writing about a blog that is all the same. He's the All-Knowing Oracle, he warns and warns and people just never listen. Media's the green serpent that is sometimes mean and sometimes plain idiotic, while his majestic self carries on warning...et cetera.

You should go to this blog if you've got low self-esteem issues, but you should go with a bucket, because there you can collect some of the bloated ego which drips from his lines. He should seriously rename his blog and consider calling it "The Supreme Being" or "Delphi's all-knowing Oracle", because otherwise everybody would think that Mesopotamians are all show-offs...or aren't they?