If you walk in Al-Jazayir Street in Basra, across Shatt Al-Arab, the river that joins the Tigris and Euphrates, you will see endless statues of the great leaders: soldiers. All are pointing to the other side, to Iran, as if to blame it for the eight years of the Iraq-Iran war. More that one million people were killed as a result of an aimless war.
On the next street, you can see a wall that was decorated by bullet holes. Thousands of big and small holes dig the very fabric of pretty Basra.
Close by, you cannot miss the palm tree trunks, the naked trunks that stand there stripped out of their leaves.
All Iraq palm trees were executed and their heads rolled down and washed away in Saddam’s river.
As for the Tigers and Euphrates, they were poisoned along with the children of Iraq.
In 1990, as I was walking one afternoon, I saw a body hanging from a streetlight.
The body was of an Iraqi soldier in his early 20s. His hands and face were cold, and his eyes were closed. I wish he were asleep!
They hanged him because he disobeyed orders. His body was left to disintegrate in order to make an example of his case.
This is the way of enforcing the law of Saddam.
The other Iraqi solder that I saw had a half skull. I also saw one of my classmates from elementary school shot in the head by one of Saddam’s soldiers. He was executed, lying on his side as if frozen in time.
The anti-war movement is a positive; and a positive beginning of awareness that the world is experiencing.
It is a great awakening that should have happened years ago. People all over the world are saying no to war, no to madness, and no to continued armed terrorism.
We have to understand that we have to eliminate the Saddam from within in order to destroy the cancer.
To leave Saddam in power and allow him to kill more Iraqi’s is not a morally correct position. But only the Iraqi people can eliminate this Saddam.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wants to be the sergeant and take care of Saddam Hussein. Yet in the 1980s he shook his hand and helped to arm him with weapons of mass destruction.
Back home everyone knows that Saddam Hussein and his Ba’ith party came via an American train.
We are far away from the pain and suffering of the people of Iraq. I know and believe that in the end Iraq will survive, and its people will grow palm trees with love.