Thursday, June 4, 2009

From Al Iraq to Masr, with love.

To the people of Egypt,

Congratulations to President Mubarak on the recent visit of American leader Barack Obama, it is the highest aspiration of any Arab dictator to be visited by the American emperor of the hour. We look forward to the day where you can relive your great revolutionary legacy and overthrow the despotic regime ravaging the might of Egypt, and Egyptians.

In Iraq, we were particularly impressed with the fact that Obama had announced his visit, and, as a result, enjoyed great fanfare accentuated by the well known hospitality of Egyptians, an ideal we all hold up with pride. When Obama came to visit us in Iraq a few months ago, he did so secretly, choosing to court the American military presence in our country that has been killing, raping, crippling, and maiming our men and women for over six years. He shook hands enthusiastically with Marines and Rangers, and whatever Spartan label that military maggots carry with them these days, and completely disregarded the millions of lives destroyed by their actions.

We were mostly disappointed that we couldn't show the new president around. In the Kadhimiya Hospital, in the northern end of Baghdad, cancer patients withering away from depleted uranium crowning the tip of American munitions, couldn't wait to kiss Obama's feet before they left this god forsaken world.

Students at decrepit schools throughout Iraq, part of an education system sold out to the World Bank, were planning to anxiously await the arrival of the new emperor and beg and plea for chalk, pencils, desks, and dignity.

Widows and internally displaced refugees had a really cute event planned for Obama, and Ms. Clinton. They had organized a mass burn-in for the new eloquent Commander in Chief. Overpriced and scarce gasoline was going to be used to set millions of bodies alight in homage to the new emperor. The theme of the soiree was, "With nothing left, why bother to live?"

Thousands of different sectors from our destroyed society were waiting in anticipation for the Barack Show. From persons disabled by war to millions of youth scouring the streets for crumbs, we had some pretty nifty ideas that we couldn't wait to put into action. One of my personal favorites was the planned "Thank you for Democracy" festival. Millions of Iraqis were planning to line the streets of Baghdad, with empty bags in hand, and ask Barack to bless them with the vomit of himself, and his entourage.

Unfortunately, he wasn't able to walk in the streets of Baghdad. Maybe he was concerned about the security situation, although he always seems to suggest that things in Iraq are heading in the right direction. Maybe he was afraid of seeing the horrific effects of American war and embargo, bursting his bubble of foreign policy and the War on Terror. Or maybe, he just doesn't like Arabs, Kurds, Iraqis, Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike.

So, he went to Egypt instead. We are sorry for the inconvenience this might have caused Cairo Commuters, and the frenzy this might have unleashed in your muffled media. But we are assured that brave souls, progressive fighters, and the poor, whom we share the most with, were not taken for the ride that Obama had wished he could drag them on.

His speech, we are certain, fell on millions and millions of deaf ears. His overtures to Islam, and his gestures to Peace, were met with rolling eyes and shaking fists. While the American President spoke, Israeli fighter jets taunted Palestinians living under Apartheid, and American artillery killed even more Afghans and Iraqis.

We are two peoples bound by our struggle and dignity. From Baghdad to Cairo, from Mosul to Alexandria, and from Basra to Aswan, we send our greetings of solidarity and respect. And, more importantly, we look forward to a day when we can regain, through resistance, our dignity and freedom.

Yours truly,
An Iraqi Refugee

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