Thursday, November 09, 2006

It Is An Occupation Without Any Doubt

Flocks of Shiite marching to Imam Hussein shrine in Karbala were endless, few days after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 as it was the first anniversay for Imam Hussein assassination after the war.

Shiite were so happy because now, they can beat themselves as much as they can, they can hit their heads with swords, they can chant as many poems about Imam Hussein as they want without the fear of Saddam security.

Men, women, young, old and kids were carrying light meals with a bottle of water and walking on foot with their different colourful flags.

I and few journalists decided to go to karbala too but of course by car, but we would stop to ask the people heading to the shrine about their feelings.

It was not that difficult trip except that sometimes, the marchers would walk on the road, in a way, we would need to drive on the dusty road to avoid hitting them, they were laughing and shouting and running.

one of the foreign journalists asked me why the Shiite marchers would walk on the road though they know it is for the cars, I told him the situation is like that, " A school with a very strict headmaster whom the students could not open their mouths with a word in front of him for long years, they came the next day to the school to find that the headmaster has left the school, would do you expect them to do? they woud break all the doors and windows, each one of them can do whetever he wants now, there is no more strict headmaster."

when we reached Karbala, it was full of people from all over Iraq, especially the south, who came to celebrate the anniversary with their families. It was really nice and quiet time, no bombs or explosions.

I found a family from Diwaniyia and the foreign journalist asked me to interview them, I asked the father who was sitting on the ground with his family, what does he think of the US invasion of Iraq, is it an occupation or a liberation?

the man answered me " It is a liberation, of course, we are so grateful to the Americans for helping us in getting rid of Saddam and now they can leave home."

I told the man, " Do you think the situation is so easy like that, US troops who had crossed seven seas, would leave like that, without anything?"

the man said, " Yes, they came to liberate the Shiite people from Saddam and now he has gone, so they have to return home, we do not need them any more."

it was noon time, we decided to go to one of the resturants near the shrine to have some lunch, the owner was a young guy, graduate of college of Economy and Management, the journalist asked me to ask him the same question whether it is an occupation or a liberation?

the owner looked at us and said, " Well, it is up to the Marjiyia, if it decided it is an occupation, so it is an occupation and if it decided it is a liberation, so it is a liberation."

The foreign journalist told him, " What about Your opinion, you yourself what do you think?"

he said, " I do not think, I told you it is up to the Marjiyia, if the Marjiyia ordered me now to throw myself in the river, I will immediatly throw myself without questioning it."

The journalist looked at me not believing what the owner was telling him and shoke his head, he could not find a sentence to refer it to the owner, he rasied his head and said to me, " Is this believable, this man has cancelled his thinking and can't decide about anything."

in September of the same year, I had to write about Shiite in Iraq for a foreign magazine, so I travelled to Najef and Karbala, close to the shrine of Imam Hussein, I found a group of clerics who were gathering outside the main gate of the Imam, I went to speak with them, they told me that they were kicked out by the Shiite parties who came later on with their weapons.

one of the clerics said " We are the original people of Karbala, we had protected the shrine from the looters by our lives and we were nearly to be killed, now we are kicked out of the shrine because of some powerful Shiite parties who think the shrine is their shrine and if you go inside you can see how much weapons they gather inside."

the city was full of Iranian visitors, the hotels were full of them, I went to speak with one of the owners of the hotel who was so glad that his hotel is congested with visitors, he said, " This is the first time in my life I benefit from my hotel, before the war when the Iranian visitors come, there will be always an intelligence guy with them who would made a deal with one of the hotel and keep them there and we keep watching."

I asked him what does he think of the US invasion, he said" Iam ready to kiss the shoes of the US soldier who liberated me of Saddam, Iam so grateful to Mr.Bush."

I asked him what does he think of the resistance? he said, " These are the orphans of Saddam, they are dreaming of his days, but they will never get these days, he is gone."

I told him, so you do not accept the resistance against the US soldiers, he said, " Absolutly not, we shouldnot fight them, we should reward them for their deed."

I told him but if the Marjiyia issued a Fatwa ordering you to fight the Americans, would you do that?

he said, " Of course, I will carry the weapon, I and my sons and brothers and fight them."

but you said you are ready to kiss their shoes, he said, " It is up to the Marjiyia."

after few months, I had to interview a Shiite butcher and I asked him about the US invasion, he said, " It is an occupation, I agree with the resistance, it is not a liberation, we are suffering alot of the US presence."

I asked him so why Shiite do not resist the Americans like Sunnis, he said, " We are waiting for the Marjiyia to order us to fight, we can not fight by ourselvers otherwise it won't be a blessed Jihad, and I hope Marjiyia won't be late in this decision."

just before the late elections of 2006, I asked a Shiite young guy who is a computer engineer about his choice?

he said, " If it is my choice, I want to choose Mithal Al-Alousi, I like him because he wants to make relations with Israel, he is very smart because if we do that we would live in peace."

I told him why do not you do that and choose him, he said, " The marjiyia wants us to choose the Unified Alliance and I have to obay the Marjiyia."

I told him you will choose that list even if it had peopel you do not like? he said, " Yes, because I arleady have submitted all my religious affairs to the Marjiyia, which means I trust them and for sure their choice always is the right choice."

in another occasion, I was speaking with Sunni clerics who told me that Sunni men would come and ask him whether it is high time for Jihad or not? he said I would tell them, " Your country is occupied by foreign troops, what further evidence you want for launching Jihad, you do not have to ask me, it is very clear."

he added that some of the Sunni men would not get back to him for checking as they think, It is an occupation without any doubt and does not need any Fatwa, they would go to do Jihad directly.

5 Comments:

Blogger hala_s said...

Ishtar,
Can I ask you what are you implying at?? not only in this post but in all of them?
Aren't you ashamed to speak about your people in this stupid way?
So your message is Shia are ignorants and they dont love their country while sunnis do? so the computer engineer and a simple opressed shia have the same views!!
who do you think you are to put these suggestions?
What you are saying is that shia are less patriotic? how dare you.
This is not a matter of stating your opinion, I do respect differneces. But you are generalising and pushing too far. It is people like you who are pulling us down and down.

4:00 AM  
Blogger Fade said...

It is NOT Ishtar who is pulling Iraqis down- it is those who must proclaim one faction over another, singing the virtues of one and demoninizing the other. And it is also people like Hala, who are affronted and slighted when no insult was implied.
Blaming others is easy. Iraqis will only be whole again when they can empathize with one another again.

8:32 AM  
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9:29 PM  
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