madly in love with Iraq

3.3.06

The Media

Rain Rain Rain, the theme of this city; it’s all about rain.

When it gets to me, I remember this conversation with a friend I was supposed to meet one day; I phoned to cancel the appointment because it was pouring outside; my friend laughed at me and said “Listen, if you are planning to live in this country you better make a move, otherwise you will spend your life indoors”, I replied: but this is beyond the point, I checked the weather yesterday and they said it is going to be dry! He laughed again and said what do you think then? The weather man is misleading us? We live in an island, and it is just impossible to be accurate.

It suddenly hit me; I come from a country where the media lies all the time; to the extent that people don’t even trust them with the weather forecast!

It took me ages to clear myself from many inhibitions, such as speaking about Saddam over the phone, expressing my views freely, have faith in Newspapers and TV channels. I was astounded when I learned that no TV channel represents the government views! We are blessed with the BBC, and it is by large an independent entity.
No major incident will take over the TV screen; everything goes as planned.

On the 4th of November every year, we have Guy fawkes night, where fireworks fill the skies, and people usually gather in Parks to celebrate. I still laugh at a friend of my mother who phoned me once on that night and she was certain it was the Queen’s birthday!

The media in this time and age is the core of information and it is accessible to all.
Let alone the rule it played already in changing governments’ policies and the pressure it puts on politicians, it could build up or ruin someone’s career and future in seconds. It is probably the most feared power at the moment.

When it comes to Iraq though, there was an impact, it did not happen gradually.
We were hijacked for decades; imprisoned in the same circle;
We hear what the regime wanted us to hear, our mouths were shut and our actions were watched.

Free Media in Iraq is a double-edged sword, in a way it is the only tangible achievement since April 2003, on the other hand it became a tool to incite hate and revenge. This is normal in a normal society, but Iraq is so fragile at this minute, the effect could be anything.

Simple Iraqis have a mental loop, they listen to what they like to hear, freedom of speech in the new Iraq means imposing your ideas on others. One will never move forward if they don’t listen to what they don’t like to hear and accept it. After all there is no shoe fits for all.

What happened last week tells a lot, it might have brought the ordinary Iraqis together but for how long they can hold on? Has it really made any changes to the formation of a national-unity government?
Even if it did, it is not going to be genuine, it is going to be a struggle between contending power groups.

For some the agenda was “We are not joining the play, but we will ruin the playground” this did not help anyone then, on the contrary it helped building militias and generated anger and more distrust. Now their agenda is “We are joining the play, with conditions otherwise we will pursue ruining the playground”

For others the above was a boost to their morale and gave them a licence to kill.
I am not a political analyst, but today we have men in black, tomorrow we might get others in green or blue. We have parties fighting over power. The good intentions whatever they say or do are not real.

There is a major conflict of interests among all, and these interests represent selfish and self-centred bodies, nothing in it for us. None of the UIA,NAF,INL or KA could care less about Iraqis. These are people who care and only care about finding new ways to suck the country’s resources and sit on top watching us killing each other. They are targeting our security and our right to live and let live.

The winner is the one who will have the decency to step down and refuse to take part in the slaughtering.

9 Comments:

  • As someone who left Iraq at the young age of 15 back in the seventies, I'm astonished as to how violent Iraqi society is nowadays. OK, so I hear that part of the blame is on the Iraq-Iran war, the sanctions, and the two skrimishes with the US and coalition forces. At the same time, I find it difficult to believe that this to be the real root cause for the violent, gun culture that permeates throughout Iraq. Is it pure male brovado?

    The other thing, what's the real role of women in Iraqi society nowadays. I believe that part of the problem lies with the diminished role women/mothers play in a society. They are the ones who should get the ultimate credit/blame for raising the children who ultimately become so violent, don't you agree?

    The other thing, why is this silent majority so silent. I'm disgusted by the continued pictures coming out of Iraq showing politicians negotiating the fate of Iraq without one single female involved! How long is this hypocrisy going to go on for?

    By Blogger Antar, at 5:47 pm  

  • By Blogger Revolutionary Blogger, at 12:37 am  

  • Hi Antar
    What Iraq went through is quite exceptional. It was beyond the role of mothers in bringing up healthy and balanced children.
    The agenda of the state overruled this right.
    The rule of the state was more effective from training high school boys in military camps during summer to the none stop war propaganda on present and prospective enemies.
    Iraqis had no exposure to what was going on around them. A mother couldn't speak with her children openly for fear of prosecution.
    As for now, I totally agree with you, I know of a lot though working behind the scene which is normal in a man-dominant society.
    But it will come, it has to, I am actually proud that very little Iraqi women have anything to do with this on-going tragedy.

    By Anonymous hala_s, at 4:19 pm  

  • Your comments about the weather forcast remind me of an old 'typical' Iraqi joke about the ex-regime, when a meteorologist attends an international conference and starts complaining about the climate...When confronted by two Iraqi intelligence officers who are monitoring his every word, he changes his 'facts' and states that 'after the Baath Revolution...everything changed'...the typical 'Ama ba3d al-thawra'!

    With regards to the ‘dogs in the manger’ (“We are not joining the play, but we will ruin the playground”), and not that I support violence at all, but Democracy is ALL about INCLUSION. When you distance certain parties, this is a natural reaction. In our society, unfortunately, violence is a ‘natural’ reaction. I’m afraid the ‘playground’ to begin with, was set with a sectarian and ethnic platform that would only promote this kind of reaction. It makes you wonder if that was the intention behind this 'imported democracy’ all along…’Divide and Rule!’

    And I absolutely agree with you. It’s all about the ‘heads’ of these groups grabbing power. They have absolutely no consideration for what people are going through…It is truly sad.

    As for the ‘sacrifice’ of stepping down, I don’t think any party in place now will concede to the interests of the people. In my eyes they are ALL opportunists, trying to grab what they can as long as they can, while the masses suffer in the midst of this power struggle…

    By Blogger ZZ, at 2:52 pm  

  • This is a truly very sad situation especially when I read that it will probably take decades to heal and fix everything.


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/05/AR2006030500948_2.html?sub=AR

    By Blogger Antar, at 4:44 pm  

  • Hala,
    I'd like to tell you that I feel that your blog is so interesting to read. I saw the link on Iraq Blog Count which I frequently visit to know who enters the Iraqi blogsphere. I am so moved by your words. As an Iraqi planning to leave Iraq for some time, I feel I am so sad but at the same time I am hopeful that I will come back to live and work in my beloved Baghdad.

    Antar,
    I've read the Washington Post article and found it very accurate and sincere in the information provided in it. As an Iraqi reporter facing violence and following up with the daily attacks and disasters, I had nightmares for months. They came to me after I covered the bombing of the Qadoori Restaurant. I saw the dead bodies of people one above the others burned and some were smashed. I couldn't endure the scene and I kept all the way back to the office crying imagining that one of my relatives or friends may face the same thing while they are having breakfast in a restaurant. Anyway, I was able to overcome this when I went to the US in winter and I hope I will never have them again. This is something simple to what the people said in the article.

    By Blogger Treasure of Baghdad, at 8:41 pm  

  • It’s hard to leave homeland, and it’s harder to know you can’t help to better the situation there. But the hardest thing is that you have hopes to go back and you don’t know when.

    I was only 8-years-old when the war started in 1991. I used to have nightmares and couldn’t sleep for a long time during and after the war. I dreaded the sounds. When Al Amirya shelter was bombes, my family and I drove the care to make sure our relatives (about 20 persons) were fine. Thankfully somehow they didn’t go that night. I started to have nightmares about the shelter. Then, the problem started to disappear year by year but the same nightmares would come back around January 17th. Now the nightmares are less frequent and they are all about bombs and running to escape.

    I don’t like to share my nightmare and I’d like to think about them just as flashbacks and that they characterize the fear I have for my friends and family members I left in Iraq.

    I’ve read the Washington Post article too:

    "The damage was done over a long period," he said, "and it will take decades to heal."!!!

    I don’t think it would take decades. I believe that nightmares won’t heal but they must be forgotten. As long as there are pictures and videos to remind us it simply won’t heal.

    And sometimes it’s healthy to remember.

    An Iraqi girl

    By Blogger attawie, at 7:59 am  

  • Baghdad Treasure,

    Thank you for your visit, it really hurts me when I hear Iraqis are leaving yet again, but what can I say, time is going by so quickly and it is everyone's right to have a normal life. I can't blame you leave if you can.

    By Blogger hala_s, at 5:50 pm  

  • ...Just thought you might like to hear...I think it is sad, to read your words... the envoronment you are living in is only what a reasonable person would come to expect....war makes monsters of those it touches...what is it we expect when we are made to live among its many victims? Name one good family who hasn't seen its own carried off unwillingly and made to dance with death?? Don't judge so harshly those lost among you who cannot seem to escape the sorrow that war has wrought.. meanwhile, I see danger imposed on my countrymen by those wearing expensive suits, carrying briefcases with missions that are designed to fail...I apologize for my country, who, long ago started toying with your country, and your good people...in the name of 'national security'...Your countrymen are not so different from anybody else...any other place would be the same way, given the circumstances...forgiveness is the only thing I believe can save us all...we all must make that effort in order to end the war...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:09 am  

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