Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A letter to a listener

One of KTAR listeners called me " a sore point with this radio show". Here is my respons to him. His letter is inclouded at the end.

Dear Philip
Thanks for the message. I hope that this will give you an idea about the way I look at situation in Iraq. You will see that it is based on facts and figures. I will be happy to answer any question you have.

The best way to judge whether an ACTION is good (beneficial) or bad is to look at the BEFORE and AFTER effects. This applies to any action irrespective. I have realized few years ago that I must work to find out where Iraq was before 2003.

Data for conditions of 2002-2003 were not available and not universally acceptable. It was either data from the Iraqi government (hence the west considered it (Saddam propaganda) or from the west (and it was western propaganda). The best “independent and unbiased” data were available from UN reports prior to the war of 1991.

For this reason I collected data of where Iraq was in 1991 as my bases of reference. This is also connected to my belief that the war of 1991 was phase 1 of the war between USA and Iraq. The 13 years of sanctions were phase 2 of the war and the 2003 war is phase 3. Therefore the 1991 data also used to compare the effects of the war (in its 3 phases) to the current situation. I sometimes use US pre occupation data and compare it to current US data to show progress or the lack of it.

Having established my BEFORE reference point I could easily use that data and compare it to the AFTER and judge quantitatively.

In 2004 I was to present this paper in New York which deals in details with BEFORE and AFTER conditions. I have not found any reason to change the validity of the BEFORE condition. Today I can assure you that on EVERY single point raised conditions are a lot WORSE than it was in 1991!!!!

How do we describe this? 1- Saddam was doing a very good thing then!!!! Or 2- US is doing a bad job now. Take your pick.

Few years ago Bush said “you are either with us or with the terrorist”. I said sorry Mr. Bush I am not with you because I think what you are doing is wrong. I refused to be terrorized into changing my ideas of what is right or wrong. He can call me whatever he wants but I am not with him.

I base my assessment of Iraq situation on solid facts and figures. Those who disagree with me must show me where I am wrong. Just calling me “Anti-American” does not scare me. By the way “dictators” like Saddam could not scare me I called him atrocious dictator from Baghdad 2002!!!

Maybe I am not seeing the “good” things that the US is doing in Iraq. Maybe I am closing my eyes. Please let me know and I will be grateful. I will even admit my mistakes on Radio but please be specific.

From: Philip ,,,,,
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 11:56 PM
I have noticed that you are starting to become a sore point with this radio show. I think it is the negativity that you portray on a week to week basis. People are beginning to take your rhetoric as anti-american which is obviously not popular here to listen to. You are starting to sound like the US has done absolutely nothing positive. I know there are many bad things going on, but there have to be something good in your country. Healthcare? Schools? I dunno.Why don’t you tell me. Is there anything positive going on in your country? It doesn’t even have to be something positive the US has done. Maybe your government has done something positive in your neighborhood. Maybe you have done something. Most Americans do not favor the war, don’t favor the occupation, and are not really pleased with the way things are going on in our part. We don’t listen to you on the radio to remind us of what we already know and feel. Your job should be to share with us the things we don’t know. The things that we can’t read about or hear about on TV. Personally, I can’t stand Tony and you are really the only interesting part of his show. Unfortunately, as of recent, I have grown a little tired of hearing you complaining over and over about the same stuff. Mix it up. Become interesting again and you will make us interested again. If you respond, I will happily write you back.
A fan,
Philip A.
Phoenix, AZ USA

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My letter to G.W.Bush

This is my response to Thomas Friedman article “Dear Iraqi Friends (Published September 23, 2008).

From: Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar

To: President George W. Bush

Dear Mr. President, I am writing to you because I know that your letter to President Talabani and others will not be answered. I suspect that they are busy jockeying for power and the wealth of my country Iraq. As an Iraqi citizen I have taken the liberty to reply for them.

Mr. President, I am writing to you on a matter of grave importance. It’s hard to express how deep the humanitarian crisis in Iraq today. There are nearly 3 million Iraqi refugees living in poverty in surrounding countries. Another 2 millions are internally displaced. Those who lucky not to be forced out of their houses are living in darkness because the electricity generated now is less than that before the fall of Baghdad more than 5 years ago.

To compound the misery of the Iraqi people your friends, Talabani and Maliki, are starving the civilian population of Iraq. Through corruption and inefficiency the food ration system provides now less than that before the fall of Baghdad. The food ration system was installed in 1991 in response to your father’s war on Iraq. The UN said then that the Iraqi food ration system was “the most equitable food distribution”. More than 80% of the population is dependent on the system. It was less than 60% before your war of terror 2003.

Probably your friends, Talabani and Maliki, are too ashamed to tell you that the people of “the land between the two rivers” do not have clean drinking water. As a result now Cholera epidemic is killing hundreds of poor Iraqis mostly children. Last year Cholera started in “Al Qaeda free” Kurdistan. This year it started south of Baghdad and is speeding fast. Your friends, Mr. President, deny it but the death is continuing.

The Sick and injured civilians in Iraq can not find the proper medical care that they used to enjoy in the past.. Nearly half of the Iraqi doctors have fled the country for their own safety. I know, Mr. President that you do not like to be reminded that John Hopkins School of Public Heath study which estimated that more than one million Iraqis died then, because of your war of terror on Iraqis. That is a fact my friend that is a fact.

I know Mr. President that you are now interested in the economic conditions in your county which you called the economic 911. I totally agree with you, that it is too much for America to spend One billion dollars a day in Iraq. America could save hundreds of billion of dollars by pulling your troop out of my country. I am sure that the billions saved could be a great boost to the American economy. It could used to help rebuilding New Orleans, or Galveston. I do trust your wisdom of knowing what to do with the saved Billions.

Do not misunderstand me, Mr. President; I do appreciate Americans effort to establishing the “New Iraqi Army”. What I am criticizing is the wisdom of dissolving the “Old Iraqi Army”. Iraq had compulsory military service which made the “old Army” a truly representative of the Iraqi society. Everybody, irrespective of his ethnicity, or religious sect served in the “Old Army”. It was The Notational Army. What you have created now is an ethnic, secretion and sometimes party affiliated “New Iraqi Army” units. Probably you know that the separate Kurdish parties have separate military units of the “New Iraqi Army”. Those unite follow orders from their respective parties and not the Central government in Baghdad.

I find it strange, Mr. President that you talk about constitutions being imposed on the Arab people by kings or dictators. The current Iraqi constitution was written by Noah Fieldman and was imposed on us by the Americans and not by Arab kings or dictators. It was cosmetically modified to ensure its acceptance. So far after 2 years the parliamentary committee has proposed modification to 60 of the 142 articles. I am sure that the committee will continue quarreling for the next few years without reaching agreement on the supposedly our “Noah Fieldman” constitution.

No doubt you know the Iraqi government has accumulated more than 80 billion dollars deposited in US banks. They have the money to help the poor Iraqi refugees. It is just that your friends do not give a damn. They are busy running their corruption racket. For two years in a row Iraq occupied the top of the list of the most corrupt governments behind only the war lords run Somalia and the military Junta in Myanmar.

Mr. President, Iraq does not need a new oil law to give long term concessions to your oil companies. Iraq in 1980 exported twice as much as the current export figures. Few short term service contracts will double our production in a very short time. Even your best Iraqi friends, Talabani and Maliki, could not accept conditions put to them by the American companies. They activated a Saddam era service contract with the China. Mr. President, we owe it to future generation of Iraqis to safeguard their wealth. It is important that Iraq oil should be explored wisely and rationally. It is important also to keep the oil in the ground if for nothing else to safely keep it away from the hands of the Thieves of Baghdad.

Finally, Mr. President, even your friends in Baghdad, Talabani and Maliki, want the US forces to leave Iraq by 2011. My question, to you and to the American people, are you going to impose yourself on the Iraqi people? Are you going to continue to be un-welcomed guests in our country? I know that no self-respecting American would agree to stay.

It takes courage, Mr. President, to admit a mistake. It is even more courageous to take actions to correct the mistake. Please have the courage to order the withdrawal of your troop from Iraq now before someone else makes that decision. It will save your legacy and will show you as a courageous leader.

I pray to God almighty to open your eyes to see the facts and give you the wisdom.


Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar
Ordinary Iraqi Citizen