madly in love with Iraq


In Denial

My friend has to go home. His application for asylum has been refused.

Omar came four months ago to visit his brother and sister.
Both are willing to support him, and they signed a declaration to this effect.
“No recourse of benefits or public money”. But all that did not count, not even an exceptional leave to stay was granted.

As it was his first time out of Iraq. Omar suddenly realised the hell he had been living in.
The comparison was too much to handle.

When we go out I could see his eyes glowing with joy. He just couldn’t believe that people can get on with their lives without fear. People can plan and fulfil, can go out and stay late, can commute and reach their destination and can sleep soundly.

He once told me that the difference here is not only you feel secure but the bliss of waking up in the morning and say to yourself here comes another day and with it another hope not another bomb.

He reminded me of my mother when I met with her in summer. She used to move around the room in the dark, and when I questioned why, she told me that she lost the habit of switching lights on and off. She was always reluctant to go out at night; something in her subconscious told her it is dangerous.

What is upsetting me really is that the media in here is full of detailed news about Iraq.
Reports are very hard to catch up with, and you can hardly find a Newspaper without an extensive article about what is taking place on that day. Sometimes I phone my family to check on them, only to find out that they are oblivious to my worries imprisoned in the house, and I start to tell them what happened in their own city.

Tony Blair was discredited, humiliated and kicked out of office because of Iraq.
For once he was speechless and stopped his theatrical lectures because the damage done is beyond covering up.

And yet, the Home Office reports consider Iraq not at war since May 2003, and in their refusal letter they stated “We couldn’t find one single convincing reason to why Omar is under threat!”

Two years back another friend whose application for asylum was submitted just before March 2003 received a refusal for a different reason, and that was “You should go back now, Iraq is free from tyranny, just keep away from Falujja!”

But the whole of Iraq is Falujja now and worse.
If you have failed your mission, at least have the courtesy to acknowledge it on paper.

And now senior military officers are pressing the government to withdraw the British troops from Iraq and reinforce the ones in Afghanistan, and why is that? Because they think it is more worthwhile and winnable battleground in Afghanistan!

The irony is their troops are getting killed by the same people they supported to kill the Russians back in the eighties!

One has to think that whoever invented the board game RISK must have a say in the British foreign policy.

For them it seems we are just another game, an adventure and an opportunity. If it works fine if not let’s just change faces to absorb the anger of the public and whoever is opposing and move on to another.

No one seems to think that flesh and blood are involved in this process, including their own.

I feel sad and upset for Omar and whoever is in the same position. But deep inside me the idea of people leaving Iraq still upsets me more.
It is like giving up and giving in at the same time.

And here I am at the top of the list.