Iraqi Future, Iraqi Hope, Iraqi Dreams

Dedicated to the humanizing of Iraqis and opening up a median of communication and understanding as to the daily struggles of the average Iraqi. You have heard the stories of the terrorists, now hear the stories of the people.

Location: Washington DC, United States

I am an Iraqi Kurd who resides in the Washington DC area. I stay in close contact with relatives and close friends of mine in Iraq as well as many Iraqis here in the United States. I have no political agenda for the most part but rather wants to tell the world about the plight of the Iraqi people. Their dreams, their lives, their thoughts, and their struggles. We have heard from the insurgents and seen their videos, now it's time for the rest of Iraq.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Kirkuk: The Final Battle

Kirkuk is considered to Kurds to be one of the oil rich cities of Kurdistan and to be almost as a “Crown Jewel” for the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Kirkuk has been a city ravaged by sectarian violence on a scale that isn’t seen anywhere else in Iraq.

The Kurds of Kirkuk were expelled by Saddam’s regime and Arabs loyal to his party were moved into their homes instead. For the refugees of this town they have waged a bitter ground war and war within the new fledgling Iraqi democracy. The Prime Minister of Iraq, Ibrahim Al-Jafaari and soon to be Jawad al-Maliki, has been a great disappointment to the Kurds and many Iraqis over many issues, but Kirkuk above all other things.

As people lay in the once beautiful sports stadium of Kirkuk, today families lay in garbage and filth as they have no homes or security within the city. For the nearly two million residents of Kirkuk the great oil wealth of the city has been of almost no use. People wait in lines all day to fill their tanks with Petrol and watch their local economy become nothing but a pile of scrap metal much like the cars that most drive within the city.

The Arabs are not leaving the city of Kirkuk without a fight. Some say that I shouldn’t blame them as it is their hometown. The fact of the matter is that it is not. These were Ba'athist loyalists who stole the homes of Kurds living within the city and aided in bulldozing over the Kurdish villages in Kirkuk. All eyes have turned to Kirkuk as the sectarian insurgency wages on as bitter as ever. The KRG (Kurdish Regional Government) has vowed to bring Kirkuk back within Kurdish control but with no help from Baghdad. This is no pot shot at the United States or the newly forming Iraqi government per sae, but rather a test of will for the entire country of Iraq.

The key to winning in Kirkuk as in all of Iraq is justice. Justice for the expelled people of Kirkuk and justice for all the sects within Iraq to come together under a Jeffersonian pluralistic democracy. As hard as it may be for those once loyal to Saddams regime to accept, Kirkuk is a Kurdish city and must be under Kurdish control and expelled families must be allowed to return if we are to have justice in Kirkuk. This ravaged city is the model for the rest of Iraq to solve its sectarian problems. The heart of the sectarian insurgency can be found in the Kirkuk and if this can be broken the rest of Iraq will follow suit, as we will have a model to work off of. Much like how D-Day altered the course of the war in Europe during WWII, Kirkuk is that D-Day. This time without the amphibious landings and military liberation. We will witness a D-Day of compromise and justice occur in this heavily divided oil rich city that will deliver the biggest blow to what is fuelling much of the sectarian violence in the country.

Winning Kirkuk is key and Baghdad with the Shi'ite coalition can not kick this ball down the field and hope to actually build any sort of cohesion in Iraq to move forward.

Spas (Thank You)

I felt it very necessary for the first blog to be the true message that every Iraqi wants to tell the American soldiers, marines, airmen, sailors, and American public. That message is simple, it is thank you. We thank you for everything that you have endured in bringing up liberation and bringing us a chance to move forward for tyranny and oppression. After the decades of misery the Iraqi people had really given up all hope that anyone would come to help them but then one day we saw those stars and stripes waving in downtown Baghdad and everyone knew what that flag represented.

Without the selfless sacrifice that the American people made despite international pressure to not liberate Iraq, we would not have the opportunity to even write on this blog. Without the liberation there is no way we would ever be able to tell you about the terrorism ties Saddam and his regime so truly enjoyed, without the liberation there would have been no way to tell you how much we yearn to be like you, without the liberation there would have been no way to tell you how much we love you.

I was recently at a cafe in Baghdad with a small group of close Kurdish friends and relatives. We were eating kabob and sharing a hookah when we heard a single explosion several blocks away. We jumped up and started moving towards where it came from and we knew we were headed in the right direction because I saw one of the 'ABC' station reporters heading in the opposite direction. My cousin went up to the man and grabbed him and said, "Where the hell do you think you are going, you want a story? Well you found one, go and film what you all want to write about."

So the reporter started following us over as he really didn't know what to do after this 6' 3" Iraqi just grabbed him and practically dragged him with us. We arrived to find a small group of Iraqis trying to help these two wounded U.S. soldiers who were injured from an apparent IED. The other soldiers weren't quite sure what to do when they saw these Iraqis calling for the police to come over and when they saw this older women in all black ripping a piece of her clothing and soaking it with water that she was carrying to try in comfort this soldier. Two medics came over and took over from there and then one of their commanding officers I guess drew a perimiter and told everyone to leave the area.

The immediate buzz amongst the people was, "I hope the soldiers are alright" and "God willing the perpetrators will be ravaged in the hell fire." I looked over to the reporter and saw what appeared like he just saw a ghost, as I guess he had never seen injured people after a bomb. I told him, "Now turn your camera on since you didn't at the site of the attack and report from Iraq. We are Iraq, now report!"

As soon as he turned his camera on a small group gathered around his camera screaming in Arabic, "That was not us! Death to the terrorists! God bless America!" I attempted to translate as much as I could to the camera in english as the group was chanting this in Arabic, but to no avail I said none of this in the reporting later that night from Iraq.

This is what Iraqis are trying to tell the world, this is what Iraqis what Americans to hear. This message of thanks and blessings is something the mainstream media has neglected to report. Even though these words are being disseminated all throughout Iraq, it just isn't reaching the American public. As an Iraqi I feel a solemn duty and want to express my feelings which I share with the rest of Iraq. I can never thank America enough and I pray every day that you will always be our best friend as you have shown what true compassion and friendship is.