Sunday, November 26, 2006

LIving Under (an Unexpected) Curfew

The curfew, which has lasted three days, is supposed to be lifted tomorrow (Monday) morning. Here are some notes on what it's like living through an unexpected curfew.

* First day into it, "Aww man, wish it was on a work day, not a weekend."
* Dinner invitations cancelled, cousin's catered lunch gone to waste.
* Another cousin's long-awaited trip to Egypt cut short by curfew/airport closing.
* Second day into it: Notice you're running out of bread, milk, eggs and veggies.
* Running out of diesal/gas for the generator. Weren't we supposed to fuel up a couple of days ago?
* Start taking stock of all your stored foods: dried lentils/beans, frozen peas, canned goods. Start baking bread/pancakes for breakfast/supper.
* Hang out with neighbors.
* Neighborhood guys get together for a loooong tournament of computer FIFA.
* Last night for supper, cook spaghetti with hotdogs (not me, thankfully).
* Third day into curfew (when walking outside is allowed), rush home from from neighborhood store. A nearby neighborhood is rumoured to be under attack by militiamen.
Throughout the three days of curfew, hear explosions every day. Hmmm... how is that happening?


sofie, mattijs, evelien said...

Dear Sir,

I am Evelien Van Grunderbeek, a student on a college of higher education in Antwerp (Belgium). For English class i have to send an informative e-mail to an English-speaking person about a thematic subject. I have chosen Iraq and therefore my attention has been drawn to your website.

Could you answer my questions and send me more information about the current situation in Iraq?

What do you think of Bush's policy?
Should the United States send more troop to Iraq?
Why do you write a blog on Iraq?
What is in your opinion the solution for peace?
Did Sadam Hussein deserves death penalty?

Looking forward to receiving an early reply,

Yours faithfully

Evelien Van Grunderbeek

Anonymous said...

Are 70,000 Pentagon
Mercs Killing Iraqis?
(Is Grass Green?)
From Dick Fojut

SHADOW COMPANY (about a former "security contractor's" book)...

Excerpt only...

According to Robert Young Pelton's upcoming book Licensed To Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror, there are now over 70,000 armed men working as security contractors in Iraq.
(Book also reviewed by Amazon)...


The above revelation by Pelton leads to this VALID QUESTION: Have any of the Pentagon's 70,000 (Civilian) "Hired Guns" (AND Israeli IDF assassination experts) been "provoking violence" in Iraq (disguised as Iraqis), remotely detonating car bombs and indiscriminately murdering both Shias and Sunnis - to create a U.S./Israeli planned civil war that dismembers the nation?
LA Times' William Arkin wrote that "Provoking Violence" globally has been the Cheney/Rumsfeld plan since 2002 as described in the following...


Excerpt only...

(Open and read the following article)...


Excerpts only...
According to Los Angeles Times military analyst William Arkin, writing Oct. 27, 2002, Rumsfeld set out to create a secret army, "a super-Intelligence Support Activity" network that would "bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence, and cover and deception," to stir the pot of spiraling global violence.

According to a classified document prepared for Rumsfeld by his Defense Science Board, the new organization--the "Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG)"--would actually carry out secret missions designed to provoke terrorist groups into committing violent acts. The P2OG, a 100-member, so-called "counter-terrorist" organization with a $100-million-a-year budget, would ostensibly target "terrorist leaders," but according to P2OG documents procured by Arkin, would in fact carry out missions designed to "stimulate reactions" among "terrorist groups"--which, according to the Defense Secretary's logic, would subsequently expose them to "counter-attack" by the good guys. In other words, the plan is to execute secret military operations (assassinations, sabotage, "deception") which would intentionally result in terrorist attacks on innocent people, including Americans--essentially, to "combat terrorism" by causing it!


Reported earlier, Israeli IDF/Mossad have been training (and arming) the Kurds, especially for terror raids inside Iran. But ignored by almost all American Jounalists: Rumsfeld and his boss Cheney, hired Israeli IDF soldiers to train their special Iraq "hunter-killer" teams...

ISRAEL TRAINS US ASSASSINATION SQUADS IN IRAQ - Julian Borger in Washington Dec. 9, 2003,3858,4815008-103550,00.html

Excerpts only...
Israeli advisers are helping train US special forces in aggressive counter-insurgency operations in Iraq, including the use of assassination squads against guerrilla leaders, US intelligence and military sources said yesterday.

US forces in Iraq's Sunni triangle have already begun to use tactics that echo Israeli operations in the occupied territories, sealing off centres of resistance with razor wire and razing buildings from where attacks have been launched against US troops.

"This is basically an assassination programme. That is what is being conceptualised here. This is a hunter-killer team," said a former senior US intelligence official, who added that he feared the new tactics and enhanced cooperation with Israel would only inflame a volatile situation in the Middle East.
"It is bonkers, insane. Here we are - we're already being compared to Sharon in the Arab world, and we've just confirmed it by bringing in the Israelis and setting up assassination teams."


Following are additional articles supporting the suspicion that Bush appointed "NeoCon" civilians running our Pentagon may be directing FALSE FLAG "terror" attacks in Iraq. Read and judge for yourself...
The Independent UK 04/29/06

Excerpts only...

The Americans, my interlocutor suspected, are trying to provoke an Iraqi civil war so that Sunni Muslim insurgents spend their energies killing their Shia co-religionists rather than soldiers of the Western occupation forces... "One young Iraqi man told us that he was trained by the Americans as a policeman in Baghdad and he spent 70 per cent of his time learning to drive and 30 per cent in weapons training. They said to him: 'Come back in a week.' When he went back, they gave him a mobile phone and told him to drive into a crowded area near a mosque and phone them. He waited in the car but couldn't get the right mobile signal. So he got out of the car to where he received a better signal. Then his car blew up."

Impossible, I think to myself. But then I remember how many times Iraqis in Baghdad have told me similar stories.

"There was another man, trained by the Americans for the police. He too was given a mobile and told to drive to an area where there was a crowd - maybe a protest - and to call them and tell them what was happening. Again, his new mobile was not working. So he went to a landline phone and called the Americans and told them: 'Here I am, in the place you sent me and I can tell you what's happening here.' And at that moment there was a big explosion in his car."


PSYWAR TACTIC? April 22, 2005

Excerpt only...

Is it possible "bizarre psy-war operations" are under way in Iraq, especially now that Rumsfeld's Strategic Support Branch (SSB) has been "operating in secret for two years-in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places" (as the Washington Post reported in January)?

Does it make sense for the Sunni-dominated resistance to kill its own base and grotesquely float dozens of their slaughtered bodies down the Tigris? No, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, that is unless the resistance wants to send the following message: we are brutal mass murderers who kill our own and for no reason beyond sheer mindless terror.


by Ghali Hassan May 29, 2005

Excerpts only...

In this regard, the creation, arming and financing of 'ethnic militias' and death squads by U.S. forces is designed to create ethnic divisions and provoke sectarian violence among Iraqis.
These US sponsored militia groups are:

The Kurdish Peshmerga whose leaders supported the U.S. invasion and Occupation.
The Iranian-trained Badr Brigades, The armed wing of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) led by Ibrahim Al-Jaaferi of the DaĆ­wa party, The INC militia of Ahmed Chalabi, and the INA militia of Iyad Allawi.
All these groups are involved in terrorist activities against Iraqi civilians. The latter three groups, entered Iraq on the back of U.S. tanks, without valid Iraqi citizenship papers.

The Kurdish militia are the Occupation's most loyal collaborators, receiving arms and money from their masters. Together with the occupying forces, they are responsible for wide scale atrocities in Iraqi towns and villages.

Together with the Peshmerga, Israeli Mossad agents and U.S. forces, the militia groups went on systematic killings of thousands of prominent Iraqi academics, scientists, politicians and religious leaders. They also participated in the atrocity and total destruction of Fallujah, which is depicted as "the storming of Fallujah" in most mainstream media. The city was completely destroyed and still a "no go zone" for Iraqis. Other Iraqi towns and cities have not escaped this deliberate destruction.



Excerpts only...

BAGHDAD: Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ...said terrorists carried out the bombing "under US air cover" arguing that the halt of telephone connections before the incident was proof of the cooperation between the terrorists and the occupier to "destabilise the security of this Shia region."

"I find Sunnis and Shias innocents of this act," he added.


Excerpts only...

Khadduri's report went like this:

(1) "A few days ago, an American manned check point confiscated the driver license of a driver and told him to report to an American military camp near Baghdad airport for interrogation and in order to retrieve his license... we have forwarded your papers and license to al-Kadhimia police station for processing. ...The driver did leave in a hurry, but was soon alarmed with a feeling that his car was driving as if carrying a heavy load, and he also became suspicious of a low flying helicopter that kept hovering overhead, as if trailing him. He stopped the car and inspected it carefully. He found nearly 100 kilograms of explosives hidden in the back seat and along the two back doors.

(2) On May 13, 2005, a 64 years old Iraqi farmer, Haj Haidar Abu Sijjad, took his tomato load in his pickup truck from Hilla to Baghdad, accompanied by Ali, his 11 years old grandson. They were stopped at an American check point and were asked to dismount. ....A minute later, his grandson told him that he saw one of the American soldiers putting a grey melon size object in the back among the tomato containers.

"They intended it to explode in Baghdad and claim that it is the work of the 'terrorists', or 'insurgents' or who call themselves the 'Resistance'.

your hubby's sister said...

hehe.. computer FIFA cracked me up, so did spaghetti and hot dogs. That is interesting, I wonder how all the bombs are happening when there is a curfew..strange..

soothsayer said...

Hot dogs r good but Khuba Hamult is better!

soothsayer said...

On this i am sure we can all agree..

soothsayer said...

Do you have a good Khuba Hamult recipe for me please?

misneach said...

it's always those just trying to live their lives that get punished in these situations.

I've read so many harrowing and heart wrenching accounts of these past weeks and months that I don't know how people have the strength to go on with their daily lives.

Fatima, I salute your strength in such a situation.

Be careful and take care of yourself.

Fatima said...

Evelian: Email me at so I can answer your questions. It's easier that way.

Sis: Computer Fifa, maan, annoying. I'm sure you'd be sitting right there with them.

Soothsayer: Kubbat Haamid, definitely better than hot dogs. I don't make it, but I devour it when my relatives do.

Misneach: You complain and complain, but manage to go on with your life, and see its good sides. Thanks for your words.

Anonymous said...

"There is only ONE strategy for Iraq. The US presence must withdraw or be made to withdraw.

The resistance must purge Iraq of

1. Badr
3. The entire Maliki government
4. Daawa
5. Wahabis (who are entrenched in a war against Al Awda in Anbar)
6. Iranian agents
7. Saudi agents
8. The Peshmerga

Strategy? Secularism is the strategy. Oh, but didn't we have that with Baath? And then they criminalized the Baath Party, purged it, let sectarian conflict rage and now they are talking to the Baathists again?


I was never a Baath member, nor did I ever like the Baath party. It was repugnant.

But beggars can't be choosers.

Long live the Iraqi resistance, the only ones truly with a strategy for a unified Iraq."

Anonymous said...

" Congratulations to Iraq on a victorious month
I am congratulating all the Iraqis who celebrated the death sentence passed down to Saddam Hussein.

I am congratulating all the Iraqis who cheered when the US troops rolled into Baghdad.

I am congratulating all the Iraqis who live snug and secure in the Green Zone.

I am congratulating all the Iraqis who came back to rebuild the country, to set up contracts and deals with foreign businesses.

Congratulations on your victory. Congratulations on your freedom.

You have not yet tasted anything.

The violence you see, the death you see, the carnage you see, is but one fraction of a fraction of a fraction of what is to come.

Celebrate you victorious Iraqis. You have still learned nothing.


Fatima said...

You write, "The violence you see, the death you see, the carnage you see, is but one fraction of a fraction of a fraction of what is to come."

Why do you wish hardship and evil upon the Iraqi people? You act as if you are part of the resistance, as if you are living in Iraq and living through what the Iraqi people are living through. You're probably more snug in your home than the Iraqis you condemn who live in the Green Zone, working to better their country. I congratulate you on your courage.

Maslawiyya said...

Funny how even when America was building itself and gaining its independence and freedom, Great Britain did not see fit to pile such carnage on the country. I guess we live in different times now where one country has the say and idiots are the ones with the freedom of speech and feel they must inflict their stupid opinions(anonymous) on people who don't care for them.

Anonymous said...

fatima, I do not wish hardship and evil upon the Iraqi people.

My point is that unfortunately the Iraqi traitors have brought this terrible fate upon Iraq and its people.

While you eat hot dogs in the green zone making it sound like a picnic people are starving and dying.

Remember who it was that starved to death and denied medicine 2 million Iraqis including 1 million children..

If you sup with the devil what good can come of this?

Joel said...

No question but that the situation is terrible for all Iraqis. However, the notion that there are US and Israeli death squads that are responsible for the sectarian violence in Iraq would be laughable if it were not such a tragic way of finding a scapegoat. Muslims should thank God for Israel and the Jews. Were it not for their existence, they would have to take responsibility for their own faults. What conceivable interest have Jews in formenting sectarian violence in Iraq? Give it up. Be men(and women) and stop this nonsensical anti-semitism that does nothing but serves as an escape from dealing with the real problems in the Muslim world.

The Husband said...


I only recently started checking my wife's blog to see what was happening. I am kind of sick of your opinions, yet I chose to express it in a dignified way. I have written two excerpts for Fatima on what I feel would be a good strategy for the US to extricate itself from Iraq I think you should take the time to read them and then we can discuss.

Checking where you are logging in from indicates that you are so distant from Iraq, to have no idea as to what is really happening on the ground. I am one of those people who have chosen to live in Baghdad amongst my people, those same people that I came here to help and not behind the blast walls of the Green Zone.

I appreciate your candor, your opinion regarding the insurgency I know very well because I have seen and talked to those same people you purport to support, yet I feel you probably have never met.

My question is, as it was in my other post, then what? You state that the resistance are the only ones with a strategy for a unified Iraq, yet what you call for is carnage and mayhem?! It is sad for me to say this but knowing many of the 'in' and 'out' people in politics in Iraq I don't believe anyone today is operating with a strategy for a unified Iraq.

Read the aforementioned comments and I will be happy to discuss views with you on another forum, and say hello to Mr. Blair for us.

Anonymous said...

I may not know what is happening on the ground yet i foresaw ALL of the present events long before they happened. Did you?

If you wanted to know where i live you just had to ask.

Correct, i do not know a single mover n shaker. All my opinions have been gleaned from studies over 16years..

You have more chance of sharing a dinner with Blair than me..

I underestimated you, so you do not live in the green zone. Did i read correctly that you did not support this tragic invasion? What do you make of the naive fools and criminals then who did?

Anonymous said...

I do not call for carnage and mayhem...that was from the people whom came riding in on top of American and British tanks.

YOU have met them so you should know..

Did you really believe that Iraqis would bow to imperialism? You who lived in Imperialist USA..

Imperialism from the people whom did and have and continue to wage genocide against your brothers and sisters and their children.

Anonymous said...

By the way where does this "calling for carnage and mayhem" come from? Do you mean the post in quotes that i copied and pasted? That was not a threat or lust for violence but an anguished observation that bloodthirsty forces and sectarian strife has allready started..When it is underway full swing you will be on the first plane back to usa.

Sad but true. I shall pray for you and your family and all good Iraqis.

"The gates of hell will be opened"

Anonymous said...

Anyway, my appologies for intruding in this blog which is not such a political one.

I wish you and your familly all the best.

Anonymous said...

you spelled apologies wrong...

Anonymous said...

A small mistake compared to some.

Anonymous said...

and hey, I didn't know you determine if people go to heaven or hell.. THAT'S AMAZING! You got talent, you do.. if only it were put to good use elsewhere..
And Joel, your comment is "laughable." You're telling Muslims to stop with the anti-semitism, but you yourself are generalizing that ALL Muslims are against Israel and Jews, which is a false statement, I assure you.. as I have many Jewish and/or Israeli (notice the and/or - because they are two separate, different things, you know) friends, and shockingly.. I am Muslim.
*insert dramatic gasp here*

anonymous who knows how to spell said...

oh dear, now someone might confuse the two of us. Let me make it clear that I know how to spell apologies...and I think Joel is just a wee bit

...prepare yourselves for it now...


Anonymous said...

You have confuddled and discombobulated me.

Anonymous said...

So is this what is known as the "Powell doctrine"?

Fatima said...

You're right, I don't live in the Green Zone. I live out in the 'red zone.' And when I talk of eating hot dogs, I'm talking about what a very average Iraqi family, my relatives, who have gone through all the hardships of a regular Iraqi family, is living through. I'm actually showing you what its actually like living in Baghdad. It's not all death and kidnappings; we do lead a normal life, and eat and sleep like normal people. Definitely not a picnic, but life goes on.
That's one of the main points of my blog, to show what life is really like here, as opposed to what the American media shows it, and as opposed to the constant pics of death and explosions we see on Al Jazeera.

Egyptian_Pride said...

Excuse me, Anonymous, but you don't go infringing other people's blogs, then crticize and insult them in thier own blog when I sure you could do better. Why don't you go to I raq yourself, and feed those starving children your talking about, rather than sitting in front of your computer, insulting people who have chosen to report the real news of what happens in Iraq, the same news you like to criticize, rather than leaving everything for themselves? Have you ever thought of that? Obviously, no. So you might as well stop what your doing, and being so pathetic as to leave all what's important, to say that someone wrote a word wrong. And if you really are muslim, you might as well show it to your other fellow muslims, and make it seem as if you hate them for haviing a "normal life" in Baghdad. Oh, and guess I forgot to write this
"go hit your head on the wall"

anonymous who knows how to spell said...

egyptian pride, I believe you confused the two of us. As I stated earlier, I am the anonymous Muslim who knows how to spell apologies,
(and family, might I add)
and does not declare opinion wars on other people's blogs. You see, I too went to Iraq and agree with what Fatima has to say. I was the one who corrected the other bloke who thinks he can open heaven and hell's doors. Poor anonymous, you really are discombobulated and confuddled, only I think you were in this state long before I intervened.

Maslawiyya said...

Can I just say, was there anyone on Earth that wanted to go to war with Iraq besides Bush and Blair? Iraqis sure as Hell didn't want it. No one wanted Saddam, but no one asked for America and GB to come oust him.

The Husband said...


Now I believe we are close to having a civilized conversation! To answer the questions asked, I was personally against the war and continued to be so all the way until the fall of Baghdad. After I saw that the situation was not salvageable I decided to come and see what I can do to help and have stayed here since.

I wish you would have read the other posts in which I indicated that I believe people gave the US Administration information that served their own narrow interests and possibly those of certain nighboring countries and not the interests of Iraq and the Iraqi people. I did foresee the present situation and I participated in warning decisionmakers from the early days when I told people it was incorrect to split Iraqis into Sunni Shia and Kurds. Even the division is a false one, Kurds are essentially Sunni by doctrine. This started Iraq on the downhill slope that we have been cruising on every since.

It is sad that some of those people that did ride on tanks and helicopters into the country are some of the same people that have wreaked havoc and are now pushing this sectarian issue. Iraq needs clearer heads to prevail. Iraq and the Iraqi people need statesmen. People who have Iraq's best interest at heart and mind and have not come here to serve a narrow partisan interest or to make some money. Unfortunately those people are few and they are not the ones running the country today. I wish the Iraqi people would see the situation in its reality and work to scold and change their elected representatives, realistically though I do not believe that will happen.

Finally, it would be nice for people to stop attacking one another (here). In this age of information people should debate ideas and not attack the person who stated them.

We are here in Iraq at great personal risk and we live amongst our people I only hope that it is one day worth it. Your prayers are greatly appreciated.

Magda said...

Dear Both

I am an Iraqi physician living in the UK. I left a long time ago and although I long to go back, I am unsure of what good one individual with no political interest or power could ever do in the short interval between returning and being blown up or kidnapped.

Do you genuinely believe it is possible for independent Iraqis to do well for Iraq with all the mayhem around them? I do not know you two personally, so please do not take offence but I do know several Iraqi / Mixed families who have the means (and passports) to settle elsewhere but choose to remain in their security guarded barb-wired (big) properties outside the green zone in Baghdad, they seem to fall in two groups those with political ambition, and those with financial plans that usually involve acquiring several large and hugely expensive homes abroad. These plans only change when the head of the family is kidnapped, everything they have built / saved is handed over AND the person is NOT released.

However I am also aware that I personally feel very guilty for “abandoning” my home and people, and it is perfectly possible that in fact I am simply deflecting this feeling onto others.

I am not writing this to be confrontational I am genuinely trying to find out if it is possible to be of some use without being part of the “system”.

The Husband said...


I think we both feel your sentiments, sometimes I think what can one person do? The answer comes from what you see accomplished working here, during my stay I have successfully setup two vey important Iraqi governmet institutions trying to insitute policies that would have people hired on the basis of qualification and not sectarianism. Small steps taken on a consistent basis can go miles. I just keep thinking that if everyone decides to give up or think they cannot do much then we have truly lost. I disagree with the whole large house barbed wire approach I wish you could see our street and house. It is a sad reality that some people have to do that but at the same time I feel that people do it for show also and to project some sort of ego.

I think one of the things you can do is find an Iraqi group in the UK and talk to people about the situation here and get different groups, especially the sectarian ones, to talk. The UK is filled with the political groups that are in Iraq, SCIRI, DAWA, IIP, amongst others it only takes one person to tell those groups "get your act together."

The other things to do would be to inform people about the reality on the ground, or to work with organizations to treat people. I met a pharmacist in Italy once randomly and she told me that she and her husband sponsor sick Iraqi children to go to Italy for treatment, that is an idea that you may want to try in the UK through some of the humanitarian organizations, maybe you can be one of the physicians that they have to treat people.
Just a few ideas....

Magda said...

Dear Both
Thanks for taking time to respond, and I pray for you and everyone you are helping, as far as doing things from here, many years ago I did meet up with groups of Iraqis living here, but I am afraid I was outnumbered and outshouted! by people whose goal seem to be be re-convert me to religion. And I just ran. Your second idea might be more constructive, do you know of any charities still functioning in Iraq?

Jon said...

Hi Fatima,

I represent VBS.TV, an online broadcast network for young people who are interested in culture and current events. We are looking for a small team of bloggers who are familiar with Iraq, particularly Baghdad, to create a “Guide to Baghdad” for the February debut of VBS.TV. The idea is to write an A to Z guide to daily life in the city. You will be paid for your work. If you would like to know more, please e-mail me in the next day or so at I look forward to hearing from you.