Bush's Mission Impossible
The speakers at last night's Iraq Occupation Focus meeting in London were good.(Anthony Arnove, Tariq Ali, Glen Rangwala).
But sitting in the audience was an Iraqi writer, former prisoner of Saddan Hussein's regime, refugee and brilliant advocate for Iraqi freedom.
Here, from the Guardian's "Comment is free" is her latest piece challenging US imperialism's rule - and tame media complicity.
Bush's mission impossible
by Haifa Zangana
June 14, 2006
All media outlets, including the Guardian, reported that Bush made a surprise visit to Baghdad. In a style befitting the ageing Don Corleone, Bush staged "an escape from his own rural retreat at Camp David. He slipped away on Monday night, with a baseball cap pulled down over his ears, in an ordinary helicopter rather than the distinctive Marine One. He was heading for Baghdad."
Correction one. Bush did not visit Baghdad: he visited the fortified "green zone", where the Anglo-US occupation embassies are and where Iraqi and foreign employees and subcontractors of the occupation reside.
Correction two. George Bush, president of the most powerful military state in the world, cannot visit Baghdad. For obvious reasons: despite its famous hospitality, Baghdad does not welcome invaders, which is why the resistance in Iraq is relentless. It does not celebrate an imposed ruler, which is why in the late 19th century within one year 23 tough Walis (Ottoman governors) were appointed to rule the city. Most of them did not even make it to the capital as they were killed on the way. Neither does Baghdad tolerate dictators, oppression and injustice.
Baghdad has been the heart of Iraq for the last 1,244 years. With its classical works in the fields of Qur'anic studies, sciences, arts, literature, music, philosophy, medicine and history, as well as its universal character and its sophisticated intellectual life, it has always been a welcoming oasis for friends - but never for foes. Bush, as a symbol of the Anglo-US occupation, is incapable of understanding this.
Occupiers choose to see the people in the occupied country through their handmade filters. Occupiers often speak a different language to those occupied. Their power is an amalgam of military might, arrogance and ignorance, and this has manifested itself openly during Bush's visit to the green zone.
The trip was kept secret even from Nouri al-Maliki, whom Bush and Blair have hailed time and again as the new prime minister, democratically elected by millions of Iraqis. Maliki only found out Bush was in Iraq five minutes before they met. Yet the "sovereign" prime minister managed to play his role. With a forced smile, he voiced the ventriloquist's words in Arabic peppered with "inshallah" (God willing): that Iraq was "determined to succeed", and that "We have to defeat terrorists."
What about Baghdad and its people? Baghdad is where more than 40,000 occupation troops, backed by tanks, have launched this morning an "anti-insurgent" crackdown, calling in air strikes if necessary, in what would be one of the biggest such operations since the 2003 war. "Armoured personnel carriers and tanks will be used. We will depend on intelligence to find suspects," said Major General Abdel Aziz Mohammed.
In the next few days, occupation military spokesman will issue a series of statements reporting the success of their assault on Baghdad. We will be told that "insurgents" and "terrorists" have been killed.
We, the occupied, know very well that occupiers speak a different language from us. For instance, women and children killed in the Haditha massacre and many other places in occupied Iraq were called "insurgents" and "terrorists".