Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Letter to Congress - Iraq Options

[I have been asked by several American friends to write a letter that they could forward to newly elected members of Congress. Encouraged by the recent changes, I did. I am posting that letter with the aim of encouraging discussion of some of the options available to America in Iraq.]

November, 2006

Honorable Member of Congress,

Congratulations on your election to the US Congress.

I am writing this message to you as a leader who has the power to influence political decisions in America that may have enormous consequences on my country, Iraq. Please forgive me for being rather blunt. I don't think we can afford to be otherwise.

Iraqi and American blood is flowing every day. Millions of innocent people are suffering every single hour. My country is literally devastated. It saddens me to see the worst in my country being the dominant visible feature. It is also true that the worst in your country has been the dominant visible feature in the eyes of the world.

There is little doubt now that the major factor responsible for the present state of chaos and turmoil in Iraq was the course of action taken by the Administration. It has also been responsible for the loss of American blood and treasure and the reduced standing of the US in the eyes of the world.

Arguments of good intentions are refuted by facts on the ground and by results. Even if the forces now devastating Iraq were not intentionally created by the US intervention, an environment was created by that intervention that was extremely favorable for those forces to thrive and become more powerful.

America is therefore responsible for the current failed state of Iraq. The realization and admission of this responsibility is an important prerequisite for any progress towards any solution. Only then can steps be taken to rectify the situation.

I realize that the foreign policy of the US is mostly the domain of the Administration and that it is influenced by several major forces from within and from outside the Establishment. I also realize the difficulty any decent American politician faces and the various forces at play that have to be considered: human aspects, economic issues including the security of oil supplies, immediate and long term security concerns as well as the pressures that can be exerted by special-interest groups. I realize all that.

Within Iraq too, the array of forces present is truly astounding: in addition to patriotic or nationalistic forces, the forces of sectarianism, corruption, decay, crime and violence are predominant. Regional countries are pouring funds to allies and cronies.

The solution to all these problems cannot be easy. At present, I can see no painless solution to the 'Iraqi problem'. Whichever direction I turn, I can only see rivers of blood, instability and destruction. This is the present dilemma. There is no easy solution. Yet, a start can be made.

For the longer term:

Many of the forces that are fighting the States in Iraq are fuelled by animosity stemming in part from the way the campaign was conducted, but mostly from a deep sense of mistrust of US policies. That mistrust was confirmed by the post-invasion performance. And that widespread popular sentiment is a fertile breeding ground.

Most ordinary Iraqis now believe that America is determined to subdue Iraq, control its oil and fragment it into warring cantons. You may find this utterly groundless. They don't. This view is shared by hundreds of millions of people around the world. And as long as there are millions of people convinced that America is an invading country and an enemy, America will be resisted and fought fiercely.

The formidable task is to convince ordinary Iraqis that America is not an enemy. Given the long heritage of mistrust, this is not an easy task! It requires a firm, and a clear stand. And it requires drastic measures. It cannot be rectified by spending money on public relations campaigns or through rhetoric.

Practical steps in that direction may include: a clear statement of admission of errors and mistakes; admission that America is occupying Iraq; a clear strategy; a clear statement of the intention to withdraw and clear plans in that direction; a clear statement of having no intentions to have any permanent bases in Iraq; a clear statement of intentions regarding control of Iraqi oil. A tall order indeed!

Only a visible change of direction may be the first step in the right direction.

For the shorter term:

The political process in Iraq was born dead. It was based on sectarianism. No modern country can be built on sectarianism. Although ancient and complex, Iraq was and still is constantly portrayed as Sunni, Shiite and Kurd. The country is far more than that. In the early days after the invasion and while the people were still in disarray and in a state of shock, Iraqis were presented with mainly ethnic and sectarian blocs as their representatives.

A "White" party, a "Black" party, a Catholic party or a Jewish party would be ridiculous propositions in American politics. A party that is supported by a foreign power would be found repulsive by the American public. Why have similar things been allowed in the democracy tailored by the American administration of Iraq?

The other, nominally secular groups packaged and presented to Iraqis were led by a few 'imported' gentlemen including a convicted felon, a CIA asset described by his own controller as a thug and a tired, uncharismatic old man. They had little credit with the people. They were also out of touch with the country for more than three decades during which the country and society were subjected to, and distorted by, enormous stressful forces that included a harsh tyranny, three major wars and years of strenuous sanctions.

The indigenous Iraqi voices were choked. There were other forces of reason, moderation and reconciliation in Iraq. But, in that prevailing climate with the overwhelming strength of those divisive forces and lack of organization, funds and support, those forces of reason and construction did not have a fair fighting chance.

In the early days, my belief was that power should have been quickly given to local people (who, as elsewhere, are moderate, peace-loving and reasonable) and democracy built from the bottom up. However, that approach was not appealing to the Administration or to the Iraqi forces in favor at the time. They knew what was best! In any case, this is no longer immediately possible as the well funded and well organized fanatics of various colors have infiltrated deeply into the grassroots.

Free-flowing funding was allowed to the sectarian and religious parties and war lords from regional and international sponsors. Those parties have now entrenched. They engineered an election process and wrote a constitution to maintain this status quo.

The irony is that some of the most powerful political and armed segments that emerged under the American administration of Iraq are enemies of the United States or close allies of countries that are declared enemies of the United States. I fail to see how any American can see this as anything but total failure.

Suggested Options

"Staying the course" is not a realistic option. It has already led to failure. Applying 'cosmetics' to that course can only make matters worse. In this context, partitioning Iraq is a recipe for certain disaster. Several forces have already been attempting to do just that since the invasion. The results are already visible. Iraq has been a single country for more than 40 centuries. If such a scenario is forced, strife in Iraq would last for many decades and would certainly engulf the region, with unpredictable results.

What is needed is a fundamental change of course.

If America decides on a gradual withdrawal, then the approach has to be a political one. Only a clear recognition of the fact that the present political process is dead and a brave effort to rectify that process may save some democracy in Iraq.

Possible drastic measures: Political parties should be based on politics, not race or creed. All parties have to demonstrate a variety of the Iraqi spectrum in their composition and leadership. All parties that have received support form external sources should be handicapped. All parties that are not truly democratic in their own constitution should be curtailed. Mechanisms should be sought to empower indigenous political forces, even those seen at the moment as adversarial to the US. Politically this may be a most difficult task, perhaps even unthinkable. Yet it is a necessary one if a political route is sought.

Failing that, America should entrust the new political process to a council of international, respected elders to start afresh.

If all fails, then I'm afraid the only route available to America will be to withdraw.

If that happens, then there will be chaos and violence as the various forces fight it out. Countries of the region will continue to pour money and arms and personnel into Iraq. Criminals will go on unchecked, as they are doing now. This means years of strife.

However, I have to conclude with a heavy heart that this route is preferable to the present one as it may bring the end of this ordeal nearer. Knowing the Iraqi people and their long history, I believe that they will ultimately prevail. This option may also be appealing to many segments in the States as it will cut short the American losses of blood and treasure. Consequences to the region, to the US and to the world are also less dangerous than the present course.

America was made great, among other things, by leaders with vision, integrity and wisdom. America was turned into an ugly bully by men and forces ignorant of history and driven by greed, arrogance and short-term outlook. The trajectory towards disaster can only be changed by true statesmen and women of courage and vision who are prepared to prescribe and, if necessary, take bitter medicine.


Hello Abu Khaleel,
I pray this letter becomes an input into the coming Congressional debate(which will happen after January) or much better into the bipartisan Baker Report immediately. I would even send this letter directly to Bush(Robert Gates)!
It is amazing and instructive how little influence the US has in Iraq right now, though it is occupying it with 140000 troops, while Iran and Syria have more influence!
And you've laid out a plan--leave local indigenous forces alone! (Stop struggling in the quicksand, Mr. President, you'll just sink faster!)
Any CIA operatives watching, send this to Langley, Va ASAP!

This is an excellent, excellent letter. I want to read the letter again and return with substantive comments but for now I want to congratulate you for writing this and for initiating this type of dialogue.

Parliament and various interested groups in Iraq can and should write letters like these directly to the congress and the American people.


With all due respect, you think things in Iraq would turn out better if we dictate the composition and charter of Iraqi parties?

You want us to act as occupiers, I have a better suggestion, two actually. First if we are to follow your advise I say we go all the way and just annex Iraq. Why do it half ass.

My other advise is if you want to influence or change the character of Iraqi parties, buy a megaphone.

Great summary, Abu. Still, you've said all this so often you must be able to recite it in your sleep by now.

What do you make of this latest nonsense, with this apparent mass abduction in broad daylight from a Government Institute?

Something peculiar comes to my mind. It's not an analogy, more like an emotional parallel.

Down here in NZ, the seas abound with marine mammals - seals, dolphins, whales. Every few years, a school of whales or dolphins will come into shallow water and be stranded on a beach by the outgoing tide. Nobody knows why they do it - one theory is that they are accompanying a sick or injured animal. When a stranding occurs, Conservation staff and hundreds of volunteers rush to the site, and attempt to keep the creatures dowsed with water until the tide returns, then try to guide them back out to sea.

And every so often, a school that has been successfully refloated will turn around and be found stranded again on another beach. Few if any of them seem to survive a second stranding.

The feelings of frustration and despair felt by the rescuers must be a small part of what you feel, when you conclude that the chaos and violence that seems inevitable following a Coalition withdrawal from Iraq may be preferable in the long run to the chaos and violence that will continue as long as they remain.

And to be fair, don't we have admit that a lot of deceived but well-meaning Americans, possibly even a majority, probably now feel the same way?


The United States is not much different than it was in 2003 when it invaded.

The letter shows that you on some level aware of that and I guess you have hope that the morality of the United States can be reached. I want to run something past you so that may improve your understanding of morality.

If Iran had been a stable democracy ruled by local moderates during July 2006, what would its response have been to the Israel-Lebanon war?

It would have been much easier for Iran to direct payments and material to Syria and then to Lebanon. A stable democratic Iraq may well have made its own material and monetary contributions to the anti-Israel cause.

I want you to understand that the US version of morality demands that Iraq be prevented from doing that. It is not immorality, it is a different version of morality.

By the standards held by most Americans, it is immoral to allow a democratic Iraq to form if it may be hostile to Israel. By US standards it is more moral to push Iraq down the road towards civil war than to risk increasing the resources available to anti-Israeli movements such as Hezbollah and Hamas.

So if the US could go back and reshape Iraqi politics, it would not do what you ask. It would try to install an Iraqi Mubarak or Abdullah. It betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the United States that you would even hope that the US would try to create a non-sectarian stable Iraqi-nationalist democracy.

Since the US cannot and will not do that, you are right in calling for the US to leave immediately and hope there is still time for Iraqi nationalists to salvage the country.

Unfortunately, the US cannot and will not do that either. This is not the result of a misunderstanding this is the result of a different moral universe that the US inhabits.

Eventually though, the US will admit defeat and leave but Arab lives are of nearly no value compared to the vision of a new pro-US/pro-Israel "moderate" middle east (something Condoleeza Rice essentially said herself). (Can a vision with something like 10% popular support in the region be called moderate? Doesn't that go against the definition of moderate itself?) Unfortunately a lot of Iraqi lives will be wasted before and after the US leaves.

I thought the high point of the letter was the challenge to the US to publically state that it has no intention to maintain a long-term military presence and to publically express a US policy about what is acceptable to US policy regarding who controls Iraq's oil.

[mr democracy] “ I want you to understand that the US version of morality demands that Iraq be prevented from doing that. It is not immorality, it is a different version of morality. By the standards held by most Americans, it is immoral to allow a democratic Iraq to form if it may be hostile to Israel. By US standards it is more moral to push Iraq down the road towards civil war than to risk increasing the resources available to anti-Israeli movements such as Hezbollah and Hamas.”

VERY incisive commentary, Mr Democracy!

Basically, your analysis and mine are pretty similar. Beneath the velvet glove of “democracy” and “elections” lies the steely hand of Realpolitik reality of what the US intentions really are. If one does not understand this dual nature of American rhetoric, some very unfortunate incidents can arise. I have just finished a debate with a certain “Lee C” in the Healing Iraq forums here:

We have had a discussion about HW Bush’s role in instigating and then not supporting the 1991 rebellion in Iraq, and what he ACTUALLY meant. I feel that the Shia and Kurds took his words at face value, and made the mistake of believing the US would support a Kurdistan and Shiite Iraq … resulting in untold carnage.

Abu Khaleel “Practical steps in that direction may include: a clear statement of admission of errors and mistakes; admission that America is occupying Iraq; a clear strategy; a clear statement of the intention to withdraw and clear plans in that direction; a clear statement of having no intentions to have any permanent bases in Iraq; a clear statement of intentions regarding control of Iraqi oil. A tall order indeed!”

I completely agree with this.

Unfortunately Mr Democracy’s comments are on the money.

The truth is that the US would never agree to this … or if it would, it would do so verbally and not through events on the ground. The Muqawama had repeatedly offered to cease fighting the US in return for a withdrawal. The US has repeatedly refused to accept the offer, even though “officially” it says it intends to withdraw … just as soon as the Iraqis stop shooting.

What sort of logic is this?

It makes NO sense, unless the truth is that the US intends to ignore the rhetoric and remain in Iraq to control Iraqis and their natural resources.

I enjoyed reading your letter; as usual your writing is excellent.

The way forward is going to be a rocky one, and the longer we wait the worse it will get.

Outstanding letter, though sad. When I think of what is about to happen in Iraq it makes me shudder.

More creative and influencial minds than mine are at work formulating policy, but I have done what I can by putting together a blogpost and sending the link to three sources, two in the House and one in the Senate whom I respect. All are from my state. My guess is that anything from outside any elected representative's constituency is apt to be ignored no matter how it is written.

Be encouraged in your work. And take care of yourself.

A link to an excellent article by Tom Engelhart analysing the political infighting in Washington over Iraq, as well as the possible future path the US intends to take in Iraq:

Dear Abu Khalee, this is indeed excellent suggestions!

There are 2 things I missed though; one was the mercenaries isse. I see them as part of the occupation and pretty sure that's what most Iraqis do too. But I don't think US politisans see them that way? The mercenaries must be seen as the occupation tools and treated as the army we want to be withdrawn.

The second thing is the immunity law that Bremer came up with. That needs to be changes ASAP. All people in Iraq should be subjected to the same rules.

Take Care Abu Khaleel!

/ Nadia

A very depressing, but brilliant article. Thanks to Zeyad for linking to it.

You suggest the U.S. comes in, strongarms all the Iraqi parties, breaks them up, mixes them up and then makes them reform. And this will somehow stop Iraqis from slaughtering other Iraqis. You can't be serious.

Also, if you are serious, starting your letter with the same boring crap blaming the U.S. for everything isn't going to win you an audience with Americans (the expressed point of this exercise).

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

[anon] "Also, if you are serious, starting your letter with the same boring crap blaming the U.S. for everything isn't going to win you an audience with Americans ..."

Yeah, maybe he should just lie and say what a wonderful place Iraq has become, thanks to you. I thought AK was remarkably diplomatic in his letter. I would have been frothing at the mouth.

Sorry he 'bored' you.

One day America will lie in ruins, since the wheel of history is remorseless, and with any luck I'll be around to tell you how boring it is to hear your tales of woe.

Eerst Europa Doelstellingen: De Ci2i Verzekering (Ci2i) zal het nummer een gebrandmerkte pan Europese commoditized online verzekeringsmakelaar door 2010 zijn.

Hmm. Dutch spam selling insurance. Makes more sense than some other comments I've read here.


Your letter makes for great fan fare and I am sure many will buy off on the notion that America is the root of all evil and that we have caused all the problems in Iraq.

I think that a basic fact check should be in order.

First, get rid of the corruption in your Government! I worked with the Iraqi Army for quite awhile when I was there last time. The biggest problem they have is getting supplies. Why? Because your Ministr of Defense and his staff are totally corrupt and bank rolling things by selling the to the highest bidder!

Get rid of the Minister of Interior and then maybe, just maybe you will have a police force that can actually do something besides drink Chai and kidnap people! Oh, yes, I was there when we found many kidnapped victims in the Minister of Interior Headquarters...locked in closets!!!!

Show me in the Koran where it shows it is OK to kill fellow Muslims? I would like to see that!

You have so many religous leaders that do not speak out and anyone that has been to Iraq knows that the people are like little robots and do what their religous leaders say! That is just fact! Get rid of "Mookie" (Sadr) he causes more problems then he is worth! How many innocent civilians blood is on his hands. Last time I checked an AK 47 round goes for about 2 cents...and there are plenty of AK's lying around...pick one up and pop him! You would end a lot of problems and that slum called "Sadr City" might just improve.

Be responsible for your country. Remember Paul Bremer did not disband your Army...they ran away. Don't even try to say they were disbanded...I was their during the invasion and the first into Baghdad...your soldiers ran away and killed a lot of the officers from the Iraqi Army in doing so.

You know we cannot expect the Iraqi people to stand up for themselves....look how long you lived under Saddam's regime, yet when we got there, people would say "Saddam" and then spit on the ground.

Your whining is just that whining. Your country has everything that it needs to be self sufficient...agriculture, manufacturing, and oil. All you need is for common sense to prevail throughout the people and the bloodshed will stop.

This one is really on you now. The Americans have done great things for your country...I have seen the difference...oh by the are using the did that work for you under Saddam (if you are really in Iraq)? You get the point!

Go get on your cell phone...another thing that you did not have...and call all your friends and tell them to stop killing your Muslim brothers!

Thank you!!!!


Several points:
The Iraqi Army WAS disbanded. It was in the news here in the US at the time.
Abu Khaleel has been active in working towards a stable and democratic Iraq. One of his other blogs (Rapid Democracy in Iraq, as well as the Arabic version) dealt with those attempts and recommendations.

As far as I can tell, Abu Khaleel does not say that all evil comes from America. However for my part, American behaviour in Iraq serves me for sufficent reason that the US shouldn't get involved in Darfur (Sudan).

Be Well,
Bob Griffin


The Iraqi Army was not disbanded...just becasue the news says something that does not make it accurate. Fact is that as soon as we were in Baghdad we did have Iraqi Soldier working with under the name of "Free Iraqi Forces." I would suggest tht a basic fact check would get you straight.

It is presumed the Paul Bremer disbanded the Iraqi Army and as many times as he has publicly said that he did not, the press still reports that he did. It is simply not true. The majority of the Iraqi Army disbanded themselves by leaving their units. That was very clear to those of us that were there during the initial invasion. Anytime a Soldier takes a bag on his BMP or Tank with civilian clothes in it, it is for one reason and one reason only; to leave!

When we went into Iraq and up to Baghdad we were very careful with what we engaged and did not engage. We tried to keep as much of the infrastructure in one piece as we moved. We were very careful not to engage civilian targets. However, civilians were used against us in many different forms...from suicide bombers to human shields. I know, I was in a leadership position as a First Sergeant, in the difficulty we faced between discerning a civilian from a combatant.

The Saddam Fedayeen wore civilian clothes and would come at us from every where. The Baath party officials rounded up civilian men and forced them to fight by taking their families hostage.

Democracy in Iraq will only prevail when thugs like Sadr are removed from having an undo influence in the Government...that is the bottom line.

Anonymous Ex-Soldier

I've been reading Bob Woodward's "State of Denial," But I only had it on short-term loan, so I'm working from memory here.
I am definite (because I posted a passage on another blog) that Bremer's first act almost was to dismiss any former member of the Baath party from public service (Coalition Provisional Order No. 1) over the forceful objections of Garner and a CIA officer who told him he would be putting 50,000 insurgents on the street.
(Most of the Baath party of course having joined for reasons of obtaining professional advancement, rather than out of conviction.)
And I'm pretty sure I remember a passage where a number of former Iraqi Army oficers, Colonels and below I think, were ready to keep the Army in being - I think a figure of 137,000 troops was mentioned. Garner I think wanted to make a one-off payment of $20.00 per head to keep the Army intact. Bremer however disbanded it completely on orders from above.
Another 100,000 or so insurgents on the street.
The Free Iraqi soldiers who went in with you were, according to Woodward, just Chalabi's exile thugs?
By the time the USA decided to resurrect Iraqi armed forces, the insurgency was already well under way. And even though apparently a lot of former officers and NCOs were eventually rehired, the insurgents have remained more potent than the Government forces ever since. That's why the US is still there in force?
Your last two paragraphs seem to imply that Al Sadr was either a Fedayim or a Baath party official?
You don't really mean that, do you?
Point is, to maintain stability post-invasion, the USA had to either use the existing structures of the state, or put in a hell of a lot more occupation forces to replace them.
Anyone care to comment - have I got that right about the Army?

Hello, Abu. How's she going, mate?


تبرىء الكلمات في القلوب

ثم همس الرب في قلوبنا...
الكلمات تصل حيث لا يقدر السلاح

سألنا حكيم قريتنا، كيف ينزل الدفء
على النفوس والشيطان
قد ألقى بسمومه المفضلة
خوفاً ويأساً وكراهية
على القلوب البريئة
كما الرماد من محرقة السعادة

كيف تنام عيون الايمان
وسرير الأمل
تفترشه ملاءة القنوط الشاحب
وعيون الحنث الفاسدة
تنتهك حرمة الكلمات المقدسة
وتسعد باغتيال هدايا السماء

وسألنا :كيف يبتسم الخير
ويصفع الكره الفضيلة من وجه الخجل
و أتباعه يشوهون ويحرفون فى نفوس ضحاياهم
حتى يصل الاعتقاد
بأن الإثم فضيلة والقتل عدالة والكره هو الحب

تحدث الحكيم
بصوته الخفيض وقال
أن للشيطان أتباع
يغتسلون في أنهار النبيذ في حادي*
وبعشق السخرية الفارغ
يحصدون نفوساً مغشوشة جنيت بمنجل الانتحار

مستحيل أن يكون الطريق إلى الفردوس مرصوفاً
بجثث الأبرياء - عبر نهرٍ من الدم
اعتنقوا مد الحق وجزره الرائع في قلوبكم
تقبّلوا الشك والعار أينما كانوا
لكي تدركوا أن النفس تسعد بالعطف وليس بالانتقام

سطع صوته كالضوء وقال:
ابحثوا بشجاعة في أعماق قلوبكم
بلا نفاق ولا خداع ولا إجحاف
وحين تلمسوا الايمان هناك
ستنزل الكلمات الالهيه دواءً للقلوب
مثل مطر أبدي يجذبه البحر دائماً
حتى يرتفع ليملأ حرم النفوس
بودٍ عميق هادىء ويغدو سلاماً
على شواطىء العزم الالهي.

[أرض الموتى في الأساطير الاغريقية*

أبريل 2006

You know when I was in Baghdad, I never saw Bob Woodward. Another thing that happened was that there was someone else in charge before Paul Bremer arrived. So this blaming Bremer for disbanding the Iraqi Army is going no where with me.

FACTS are FACTS...the Iraqi Army ran away when we were coming. They still run when faced with adversity.

Look..Sadr is a BIG Problem..and no I did not say he was Fedayeen. He is just a THUG! He has lost several times and why did he not stay and fight with his men in An Najaf? He left his men there so that he could live another day when ran away.

If the people of Iraq want to have their own country, they need to be the one's to come together. Every American Soldier would love to leave Iraq...right now it is more like baby sitting a bunch of adults with old vendetta's against each other.

There are many a cleric and Imam and an Aytollah al-Sistani who could stop this. No one has shown me in the Koran, yet, where it is OK for a Muslim to kill a Muslim. Please direct me to where it is then there. I really want to see it.


Sorry, Abu, this is too much like old times to resist.

Anonymous Ex-Soldier:
If you are going to parade your participation in this "war," don't you owe it to yourself to learn some basic facts about what you got involved in?
No, Bob Woodward was indeed not in Baghdad, he was in Washington, interviewing the principals who sent your sorry ass off to Iraq - y'know, Bush, Rumsfeld, Bremer etc. That was his job.
Yes, there was indeed "someone else in charge before Paul Bremer arrived." His name was Garner, he was sent by Bush, he was doing a good job with limited resources before Bremer arrived, getting the Iraqis on-side.
He was a retired General - you know, soldier, Ten-Hut, Salute.
Bremer was sent out by Rumsfeld to replace Garner so Defence could control the Occupation. He was a civilian - you know, No Medals, stand at ease, don't salute.
He created the insurgency by disbanding the Baath party and the Army.
(It's all in the book, in black and white. Do yourself a favour - buy or borrow it. Woodward mainly just quotes these idiots in their own words - and he would have given them a sight of what he quoted before publishing.)
Of course "the Iraqi Army ran away when we were coming." They represented an impoverished nation of 25 million people, facing the "overwhelming force" of a very rich nation of 300 million people. Would you have stayed to fight? Or waited to see what the conquerors were like, and when you found they were bullying assholes, joined the insurgency against them? just create chaos until the conquerors give up and leave.
Basically it's been nothing to do with the Koran. It's been about people like you, from a country 8000 miles away, strutting around Iraq as if you owned the place. That's what Bremer did, on Rumsfeld's instructions.
(Have you heard of Donald Rumsfeld? He was your Secretary of Defence, who screwed up your occupation for three years until finally even that imbecile Bush had no option but to fire his ass.)
Too late, unfortunately. It's all downhill from here.
I'm sure you were a very good soldier during the invasion. But your confused and hate-filled attitudes since then show why the occupation has failed.
God knows the guys who came back from Vietnam have had trouble living with what they did to that small country for long-discredited reasons.
Are you going to have the same trouble with what you've done to Iraq?


Always nice to see Circular still around. :)

But Abu, how are you?
I'm sure you have some 1st, 2nd and 3rd thoughts about the Baker report.
Will you share them with us?


The Problem with the American that they have no mouth to speak to say to the world the following facts:

1: Saddam well known SAYING that he said in the early 80's Saddam saying was*IF ANY ONE DARE TO REMOVE US FROM POWER, WE SHALL GIVE HIM IRAQ WITHOUT HUMAN BEING"

What is happening in Iraq since the liberation on April 9, 2003 is a systematic killing and wipping out any living species by the pro Saddam thugs or the Saddamist.

They are using 100,000 professional murders and killers that Saddam release them from the prisons before the April 9 liberation and, of course, Al-Qaeida of Bin Laden and late Zarqawi and other thugs.

Arab Gulf states, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Iran and others are simply felt they are in danger of Free Democratic Iraq, so they pouring millions of dollar, sending thugs suicides, training, logistic, media, and other facilities.
Take Syria for example, everyone know the type of police state that the Syrian regime, I mean if a fly enter Syria from any boarder the know and the immediately kill it.

Thousands of suicides from Arab countries, Afghanistan, and even Europe have entered Syria through mainly the airport heading for Iraq and in most cases they stay for training before they sent to Iraq.
This is going on until today, the funny thing that they deny it and the American pretending that they believe them.
Israel have spy eye satellite that is watching Iran and Syria around the clock, so is that not funny that they do not see the suicides who cross Syrian boarder to Iraq daily and in hundred?.

2: Iran and Syria in particular behind America trouble in Iraq, they have done the impossible to create chaos and both are supporting all insurgents you name it Saddamist, Baathist, Al-Qaeida, late Zarqawi, Muqtada Saddr, local criminals, and any one who is willing to kill as they pay them for that.

3: As of Iraqi Army melted out before and during librations this is a well fact, and please let me ask this simple question:
Can anyone pro Saddam name to me one Iraqi Army officer that killed fighting the American Army? or can any pro Saddm or Saddamis or Baathist name to me just one single Baath Party member who dies defending Iraq against what they call the invasion force?.

Saddam, his family, his gang, his army, his Baath party, his supporters, his his his, all dissolved and vanished, and this fact nobody can deny.

In short the forces, money, men, logistics, media, and other facilities contributed, backed, supplied, from IRAM, SYRIA, SAUDI ARABIA, EGYPT, GULF SATES, and of course local Iraqi(100,000 criminals) Al-Qaeida, and Saddamists are all behind the chaos.

One last thing, it is very simple, the Saddamists they want to say to the world that only we can govern Iraq and NO IRAQ IF WE ARE NOT THE GOVERNERS.

So the American have no mouth to tell the world these facts.

[anon] “It is presumed the Paul Bremer disbanded the Iraqi Army and as many times as he has publicly said that he did not, the press still reports that he did. It is simply not true.”

Disbanding an army takes more than mere physical dispersal of its soldiers. If Bremer had wanted to, he could easily have contacted the commanders of the Iraqi Army and called on the troops to return to barracks. That’s all it would have taken. It’s called MOBILISATION, “soldier”.

[anon] “He [sadr] left his men there so that he could live another day when ran away.”

The same as Bush, Rummy and the rest of those chicken hawk cowards never served, and then sent the US army in with inadequate forces to do the job, just so that they could test their theories of ‘lite’ war out? Hmm. How did THAT turn out?

The truth:

“ Garner, who will shortly be going home, sees he's making little headway and appeals to the CIA man, who "had been station chief in other Middle East countries," asking him what will happen if the order is issued. "'If you put this out, you're going to drive between 30,000 and 50,000 Baathists underground before nightfall,' Charlie said.... ‘You will put 50,000 people on the street, underground and mad at Americans.' And these 50,000 were the most powerful, well-connected elites from all walks of life. "'I told you,' Bremer said, looking at Charlie. ‘I have my instructions and I have to implement this.'"
"The former Iraqi military," according to Garner, "was making more and more overtures, just waiting to come back in some form." Again, Garner rushed off to see Bremer: "'We have always made plans to bring the army back,' he insisted. This new plan was just coming out of the blue, subverting months of work.

"'Well, the plans have changed,' Bremer replied. ‘The thought is that we don't want the residuals of the old army. We want a new and fresh army.'

"'Jerry, you can get rid of an army in a day, but it takes years to build one."

Again Bremer tells Garner that he has his orders.” //end excerpt

(hat tip to Circular, who should learn to save his articles ;) )

[anon] “Democracy in Iraq will only prevail when thugs like Sadr are removed from having an undo influence in the Government...that is the bottom line.”

Like saying democracy will only work in the US when thugs like Bush are removed from having an influence on government.

Now, I don’t particularly think Sadr is a ‘good’ influence in Iraq at the moment, but that’s beside the point.

The point is, HE is Iraqi and YOU are not.

HE has a right to a stake in the future of HIS country and you do not.

THAT is the bottom line.

It's obvious the US is going to keep occupying Iraq till you kick them out. Doesn't matter who has won the elections. The imperialists and Zionists control both parties.

My advice is to go and shoot the bastards yourself. Nothing else is going to work.

I am in Baghdad at the moment with very little access to the net. The situation is totally chaotic. I wouldn’t have thought it possible for things to deteriorate so much in just a few weeks!

Well for heavens sake, man, get OUT of bloody Baghdad, then!
Merry Christmas, by the way.


owww. but no i'm not really surprised. and i am curious - very very much - to your findings, so if possible, do leave some stories along the way, BUT i do agree as well with circ.
i wish you all the luck, and good times too!

Hello Abu Khaleel,
Bush is meeting with his team this week. He's really an incredible idiot. He just lets things get worse and worse.
The US has 130000 troops and can't separate the militias? Divide the city(temporarily) and put US troops on every corner--martial law. Of course, it is interference in Iraqi sovereignty but you have to stop the anarchy in the capital! Then arrange a 30 day ceasefire, followed by a US withdrawl.

Stay safe..Circular is right.

I supported this war based on the belief that Saddam had stockpiles of chemical weapons and was on the verge of acquiring nukes. As Americans, we were in a strange place at that time. The memory of 9-11 was fresh. We'd won an easy victory in Afghanistan and put al Qaeda on the run, but we were still convinced that the next attack was imminent and would utilize WMDs. Our leaders beat this drum incessantly. We let our fears get the better of us.

It will likely be of no consolation to any Iraqis that read this post, but I want to say that I am truly sorry for what we have done to your country. I am truly sorry for supporting this war.

I hope that someday I will have an opportunity to atone for this disastrous decision.


I am back in Amman safe and sound but totally demoralized.

I couldn’t even reach my farm and of the many people I knew and wanted to see, only one managed to make the trip. I sorted out a few loose ends, sold some possessions - including my car – and rented out our home. This should give me some breathing space while I decide on what to do next.

I have much to say but little desire to write. Too angry and bitter to write objectively! If the devastation of Iraq was an objective, long strides are being made in that direction.

Circular, you can hold on a bit to those several hundred questions I’m sure you have.

Friends who wrote, I will write back as soon as I can put together a few sentences coherently!

Now, that's a sensible little Sheik!
My only question, Abu, is whether there are limits on how long you and your family are able to stay in Amman?
I have lots of questions, naturally, about Bush and America, but you are not qualified to answer these, as the psychopathology of failure is not your field of expertise.

“I have much to say but little desire to write. Too angry and bitter to write objectively!”

That’s how I feel too dearest Abu Khaleel.

A family member’s mother was very ill at hospital and their house is only a couple of hundred meters from the hospital. Yet it was absolutely to dangerous for them to go out to visit her at hospital. The mother died alone. : (

So many heartbreaking devastating stories from Iraq that I just can not put into words that would fairly describe it all.

So I go back to memories instead. I remember visiting their bustan in Buhriz, I loved it, it was like a heaven on earth. Orange trees in hundreds, I can hear the leaves almost speaking to me when they moved with the wind. The fresh sent of orange hanging in trees is a life experience I will cherries all my life! We had a white donkey that helped us carrying the fruit we took and then we had a picnic next to Diale river that was next to the bustan (I think that was the name of the small river)!

Take care my Iraqi cyber friend.
/ Nadia


Your question seems innocent enough to answer ;) I was on of the lucky ones to be admitted without much hassle. I was initially given a 2 week stay. This is likely to be extended to 3 months. Later, this can be further extended one month at a time up to a maximum of 6 months in total. After that, my stay will be illegal. Human Rights Watch has compiled an excellent report on the plight of Iraqis on the run in Jordan if you are interested (


In addition to the lovely things you mention, an orange-and-palm orchard does smell like paradise in early spring! In my orchard, some years ago, I dug a well mainly for irrigation. I had the clear, cool water running through a lined channel going through a shaded seating area (kapra) within some of those trees. In the hot Summer months, that orchard felt even closer to paradise. Thanks for the memories. God bless. And please don’t lose faith; Last time I checked, there were more than 20 million heroes back there but unfortunately I can no longer count myself as one of them. Have you any idea how this makes me feel?

Long life to you, Abu Khaleel! Hope you will see a free Iraq!

Álvaro Frota

Alvaro Frota,

Good to hear from you again. It’s been such a long time. Hope you are well. Thank you for your wishes but my own wish at present is somewhat less ambitious. I only wish I can get my family settled and secure… and go back. At the moment I feel like someone who has deserted a battlefield.

No, Abu, no.
A "battlefield" implies two distinct sides competing, with your side as the good guys. The Iraq we read about nowdays is nothing like that - it's random violence and chaos coming from several different directions - there are no obvious good guys. You can't "desert" from a situation like that, you can only withdraw from it. I don't see what else you can do at present.
You are not deserting, maybe you are living to fight another day, in some distant future when voices of reason and moderation will have a role to play.
But it looks all downhill and hopeless for the next year or two at least?
Best wishes.


No, Circular. There are many “good guys” there, millions of them! A majority are women and children. They are almost defenseless against an ongoing vicious, murderous onslaught by armed, trained, merciless “bad guys”… hundreds of thousands of them. Some of them they can see, some of them they can't. So, the situation does fall within your own definition of a battlefield.

Nice letter,
But speaking from experience, its too long. Staff doesn't have time to read it, and the congressman himself will not read all of it.
You have to get this down to 3 paragraphs at most, MAXIMUM.
Good luck

Dearest Abu Khaleel where are you? I hope these words find you safe.


did you read this? maybe better than hate-mailish reactions in your mailbox?

hope you're well!

Dear Abu Khaleel,

I fear you are gone for good. If you do ever return to this site, I just want you to know there are a lot of people that wish you and your family the best possible luck in these tryig and uncertain times. May you walk in safety.

We haven't heard from you in such a long time, Abu Khaleel. We hope you are OK.

I haven't been here for quite a while.

Just wanted to say "hello" to some old friends. I hope you are all well.

Yes, Bruno left me a message on the 'Healing Iraq'blog saying you were still around. I sent an email to, dunno if that's still valid.
Hello indeed. We hope you are well.


Thanks be to God, Abu Khaleel, that you are still alive and well !

You were sorely missed !

Hello Italian,

Thank you so much. So far, I’ve been in contact with some of our friends. Good to know that most are still well and ‘kicking’. Has Bob Griffin been declared as a member of an “endangered species” in America yet?

All the best

Dear Abu Khaleel,

Please come back. Write more. I would like to read more of what you have to say.


I will just give you the same answer I gave over email to some of my friends who made the same request: I have very little motivation to write. It is all so futile. These people will do what they want for as long as they think they can get away with it! There is only one way out: for the US to leave Iraq and let us go through the pains of sorting things out and deal with all those forces of darkness that they have unleashed on us. In any case, my info is no longer first hand. I just hear things! I am a bit too far to write with authority.

Besides, I am so angry and bitter, I am sure you will not like my writing very much! To give you a glimpse…

I am going through a particularly foul mood because of that Senate “non-binding” resolution to segment Iraq.

One of the reasons I started blogging on “Iraqi Letters” (which I first called “Iraqi Letter to America”) was to try to make Americans and others around the world aware of the disaster that was taking place in Iraq and the crimes committed in the name of Freedom and Democracy and to counterbalance all those rosy-picture painters who were painting roses using the blood of Iraqis… finding and reporting “good news” from Iraq.

Now, years later, some of truth is almost out. A majority of the American public are now aware to some degree of some of the lies they have been fed. Some are beginning to be aware of the needless losses they as taxpayers and as parents, sons and daughter have had to pay. More importantly, some are becoming aware that, as a country, they were losing and that they could not win along this course.

And what did the American public do?

They elected Democrats who started making noises about pulling out. Nothing came out of it. But what did those Democrats really succeed in doing?

Together with quite a chunk of the Republicans, they passed a “non-binding” resolution to divide my country along sectarian lines.

I was appalled. It seems that Jo Biden finally got his way. I also found the 75-23 vote quite discouraging.

To decide to divide a 4400 year old country that was the cradle of mankind’s civilization by the Legislator of another country is something that is beyond my comprehension.

And they claim to be doing it for good intentions.

“Non-binding”? It seems to me to be only laying the legal framework for a future President to fall back on. It’s a disgrace none the less.

If this goes through, this will throw the whole region in decades and decades of yet more turmoil and strife.

Another mistake?

Wouldn’t that be stretching it a bit?

It is time for me to apologize. I had listed a number of the major US mistakes committed in Iraq during the first year of occupation. I called them ‘mistakes’. I was wrong. They were misdeeds.

They were probably carried out by people who later thought that they were mistakes… but the unfolding events have demonstrated that they were part of a plan. Now everything fits. Now, we know one of the plans for certain!

Blog again? Sorry. I don’t think so! Not in my present mood anyway.

Best of luck to all.

Best of luck to you, dear Abu Khaleel !

Abu Khaleel,

If you get a chance, check out this depressing list of supportive quotes about the Biden Plan for Iraq. What's amazing is how much support the Biden Plan has gotten across the American political & intellectual spectrum, despite its total lack of popularity in Iraq. (By the way, John Kerry was one of the co-sponsors of the Biden Amendment)

Unfortunately, a lot of antiwar people have bought into the idea that Iraq is an "artifical country" patched together by the British in 1920.

Trying to find martial arts supplies? Here are two great places to get them and


Let others speak their words discomfited
Before my casket:
I do not sleep, that lie here, but am dead,
Nor one can mask it.

Sorry I was to leave this life, but whirled
Amidst great storms
Of strife that threatened to destroy the world
And all its forms,

The ugly politicking, even so
(Though some few grieve it)
Along the mortal causeway I did go
Not scared to leave it.

Hi Abu:

Your letter was excellent. Please understand that our military that is in your country was sent there and not by choice. I was opposed to us invading your country. I say 'invade' because our nut for a president is a war monger and a fool. Out troops had no choice, but to go in and take down Saddam. Your new government seems to want to sit on their ass while our troops and yours are dying everyday. I really hope for the best in Iraq as well as my own country. In November of 2008, we will have a democratic President who will get our troops out of Iraq and leave some behind to help train your army and to keep the peace. Please understand that America is not a bad place, nor is it's people. A large majority of us disagree with what is going on in Iraq. Just hope that John McCain doesn't win our election and that Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton will end our occupation in Iraq. Peace to you brother.

God Bless.

That's a good idea.

One thing I hate politics is corruption.

That's true gih. i have the same opinion.

But what happens next? Still strive and struggle for freedom.. When is the peace conquers Iraq?

Not all are correct!

And it should be announced to many.

that's really the fact tat we could not deny, instead fight for it.

Nice article, thanks for the information.

Nice article, thanks
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