Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Soldiers And Patriots: The Iraqi Pampleteers

Thomas Paine Would Be Proud

I think about our own country and it's creation and I realize that the forefathers spent hours and hours arguing amongst themselves while the rest of the colonies went on almost as usual except for the men who made up the continental army. And how did George Washington keep the men at Valley Forge together? What were the inspiring words of the patriots?

"Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in that field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me give me liberty or give me death!"


Patrick Henry


Where are the Iraqi patriots? Do they write? Do they dream? The American patriot might seem but folklore to some, but we have their written words to remind us. Go to the inner sanctum for a comparison of American and Iraqi patriots. The Iraqi pampleteers.

But if you say, you can still pass the violations over, then I ask, hath your house been burnt? Hath your property been destroyed before your face? Are your wife and children destitute of a bed to lie on, or bread to live on? Have you lost a parent or a child by their hands, and yourself the ruined and wretched survivor? If you have not, then are you not a judge of those who have. But if you have, and can still shake hands with the murderers, then are you unworthy the name of husband, father, friend or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward, and the spirit of a sycophant.

The present time, likewise, is that peculiar time which never happens to a nation but once, viz., the time of forming itself into a government. Most nations have let slip the opportunity, and by that means have been compelled to receive laws from their conquerors, instead of making laws for themselves. First, they had a king, and then a form of government; whereas the articles or charter of government should be formed first, and men delegated to execute them afterwards; but from the errors of other nations let us learn wisdom, and lay hold of the present opportunity — TO BEGIN GOVERNMENT AT THE RIGHT END. - Common Sense, Thomas Paine


And Thomas Paine again on patriotism, service and the price of freedom:

THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated (...)

'Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them. (...)

Would that heaven might inspire some Jersey maid to spirit up her countrymen, and save her fair fellow sufferers from ravage and ravishment! Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before. But their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered. In fact, they have the same effect on secret traitors, which an imaginary apparition would have upon a private murderer. They sift out the hidden thoughts of man, and hold them up in public to the world. Crisis 1776- Thomas Paine


I have been wondering for some time, where are the patriots of Iraq? Can we not hear them simply because we are here, in a land so far away that, even with the advent of 24/7 news, international newspapers and the internet we cannot see them?

But I should not despair. I've seen some of the finest examples of patriots, of the new pamphleteers, right here on the internet:

An Iraqis Thoughts

For those who still defend the ‘resistance/terrorists’ in Iraq.

I feel great shame whenever I hear of Iraqis or non-Iraqis who defend the terrorists destroying my country. I do not know how kidnapping, beheading, suicide bombings and mass executions of the security apparatus can be seen as resistance. Please spare me the conspiracy theories that US is doing all these attacks to prolong their stay in Iraq. I think if any person was sane they would not actually believe that the US would play a hand in operations that make them look as if they have no security over the country. The game is over, we realise that the loose coalition of Iraqis enemies have one goal in common, to make sure Iraqis suffer so much that they long for the return of the days of dictatorship were security was only achieved by force. Thankfully the numbers of Iraqis supporting these acts are few and far between and from my time spent in 3 different continents I do not bump into too many of these types, but also they have a habit of being two faced. You can almost tell whose who in the Iraqi community when they say the phrase, ‘ yeah Saddam was bad but the US is worse’ That alone makes me realise that its not the Iraqi people they ( perople who defend the terrorits) care about but some over expired feeling of nationalism and pride that failed with the Saddam experiment.


The next Thomas Paine of Iraq? Or one who is much more eloquent:

The Messopotamia

Now those who have eyes can see, but the blindness of the heart is blacker than the blindness of the eye. And all those who shed crocodile tears over the “invasion” of an Islamic land, and raised such a din of noise about the injustice perpetrated against “fellow Muslims”, and all that; all those, do they learn from the “message” of the silent lines of thousands of Afghans waiting at polling stations. Can they get it through their sculls? The people have spoken, loud and clear, they have spoken; the silent majority has spoken at last when given the slightest chance. (...)

What say you, oh pundits and wizards who have talked so much and pontificated so much, you who claimed to know all there is to know about these people, and told us so often of how wrong it was to interfere, how wrong it was to rid them of the Taliban and Al Qaeda etc. etc. Do you have some little decency left in you to eat your words? I guess not. And are all those millions of Afghans not pious Muslims? - But they are; and a thousand times more so than all the terrorists and murderers, the beheaders of the innocent, the kidnappers, the killers of children. The simple millions of the Afghan people understand true religion a million times better than you, and have voted for hope and the future, and are happy to “collaborate” with the “crusading” Americans and their friends. What more justification for the “Great Campaign” do you want? Allah ( Subhanhu Wataala) shall reward America and her allies for the great charitable act that has freed these people from a most terrible tyranny and horror. That was a good deed, no matter what motivation lay behind it. And one day, sooner or later, the “Message” will come also, loud and clear, from the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people.

Salaam


The men who stand in defiance of the terrorists, the three brothers, Omar, Ali and Mohammed Fahdil, who created their own political party talked about a meeting of the Iraqi artists about politics and what it means:

We’re changing so quickly and the concept of one opinion and one point of view is becoming part of history.
Who said that nothing has changed?! Who claimed that the present is worse than the past?!
I wish they could attend even one of those meetings or lectures to see the progress we’ve so far made, and let them know that these meetings and discussions are much more in number and in effect than the car bombings but unfortunately they don’t attract the same attention.

Many people describe Iraq these days as a hell, and I want to say that this 'hell' is my paradise despite all the dangers and difficulties and even losses, as these struggles make the process itself a real life, a joy that only oppressed people with dignity can sense when they become free, and I truley feel sorry for anyone who doesn't see it this way.


Or the man I would describe as the Paul Revere of Iraq, Sam at Hammoraibi:

The terrorists group of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi kidnapped a Japanese citizen Shosei Koda, 24 yrs old today in Iraq. Zarqawi is a Palestinian Jordanian Sunni-Wahabi-Salaffi belongs to Al-Qaeda terrorist's organisation.

The PM of Japan Mr Junichiro Koizumi position by rejecting any concession to the terrorists and refusing to bow to pull out troops right from the beginning is a heroic position. Mr Koizumi said; "I cannot allow terrorism and cannot bow to terrorism,".

Japan foreign minister Nobutaka Machimura said: "Japan is Iraq’s friend and the entire Japanese nation demands the immediate release of Mr Koda."

We hope that the Japanese government now to declare that they are going to send more troops and special help in forms of forces or equipments or detectives to hunt the terrorists and kill them


Here then are the Iraqi patriots. The pampleteers of the new revolution. They aren't heard everywhere, but they try to be heard both on the internet and to the people that they speak to.


Who will deny them their voice?

4 comments:

The G-man said...

Another lovely post! I too love the Iraqi bloggers. They give us a singular perspective unavailable in our media. I've been communicating with some of them recently about the left's new claims that only 5,000 people were found in Iraq's mass graves. One responded:

"how easy it is for these partisan fools to be flippant when it is not they who've felt the remorse of loss"

That started me on a line of thought that's not yet fully formed. It is a telling fact, that most in the military are Republicans and the most vocal "advocates" for the plight of the "poor soldier" are Democrats and yet when these men return it is also they who spit upon them and call them names.

Sami said...

Thank you for your kind words and comments. I really appreciate them and it does inspire me to write more and more, because to be honest at times the loss of hope makes me ask myself why do I even bother?
The frustration stems from the fact that I realise that even though I am only in my 20's it will take many many years before more and more Iraqis start opening up their minds, and one can not blame them for having been rasied and grown up in a system of tyranny and oppresion. Best of luck to you and your family and its always inspiring to see other non-Iraqis care about us the people rather than politics involved.

Sami said...

Thank you for your kind words and comments. I really appreciate them and it does inspire me to write more and more, because to be honest at times the loss of hope makes me ask myself why do I even bother?
The frustration stems from the fact that I realise that even though I am only in my 20's it will take many many years before more and more Iraqis start opening up their minds, and one can not blame them for having been rasied and grown up in a system of tyranny and oppresion. Best of luck to you and your family and its always inspiring to see other non-Iraqis care about us the people rather than politics involved.

Kat said...

Sami,

I cannot lie. there was a time when I looked upon Iraq and it's people as "enemy". It took me several years to realize that there was an evil man with a few stalwart supporters that were oppressing the people of Iraq. Even then, it took the blogs to tell me that these were just people like me who wanted freedom, liberty and the persuit of happiness. having realized that, what else could I feel but a solidarity with those struggling for the thing that I would fight tooth and nail for?

Whatever the reasons we went into Iraq, there are people there now who want to be free and safe. There is no turning back. I have not lost hope yet. I am a student of history and have seen these things happen even in our own country at the time of it's birth.

My only despair is the despair that you feel sometimes about people that were so long oppressed not understanding that the door is open if they will but fly. Take this thing in their own hands. We can offer this freedom and hold back the tide for a long time, but unless the Iraqis have patriots like you speaking out strong and for as long as it takes, the whole thing is bound to be a failure.

Freedom for Iraq and a democracy are what i pray for, but it is not me that can make it happen. I can only offer encouragement and some points in a direction. I can offer steadfast friendship and hope.

Today though, I do not despair. There is hope, we just have to look for it.