Thu May 3rd, 2018 at 07:30:10 AM EST
On the eve of remembering the victims of the great World War fought against appression and occupation of a fascist Nazi regime of Germany from 1939-1945 across Europe, North Africa, Near East and from Japanese cruelty in the Great Pacific and Asean nations. Let's not forget the victims of our own deeds by the Western nations after 9/11 and the extreme overreaction to invade and occupy Iraq.
○ Dutch preparing for May 4th War Remembrance across the nation
I myself will not take part in these festivities as the 5th of May will celebrate our freedom and the defeat of Nazi Germany. This year's PR campaign about the 4th and 5th has too many Nationalistic tendencies and no reckoming of our own fallacies as we speak of the past. The Dutch have a colonial past in the Caribbean, South America, South Africa and the Indonesian archipelago.
Very unfortunately under the Barack Obama administration and NATO partners followed with regime change in Libya and Syria. Now under Trump, the steps are set with last ally in the Middle East, the Jewish State of Israel, to threaten and suppress the independent and sovereign Islamic State of Iran. Of course in conjunction with another terror state run by Crown Prince Salman of Saudi Arabia.
I have no tolerance on racist or xenophobic views from any side, especially from leaders who are so deeply involved in the Middle East divide they should act responsibly and know the issues at hand - Palestinian leader Abbas in his recent speech.
Iraq's Shoe Thrower Muntazer Zaidi | The Guardian Opinion - 2009 |
Over recent years, more than a million martyrs have fallen by the bullets of the occupation and Iraq is now filled with more than five million orphans, a million widows and hundreds of thousands of maimed. Many millions are homeless inside and outside the country.
We used to be a nation in which the Arab would share with the Turkman and the Kurd and the Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shia would pray with the Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ. This despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than a decade.
Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. But the invasion divided brother from brother, neighbour from neighbour. It turned our homes into funeral tents.
I am not a hero. But I have a point of view. I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country humiliated; and to see my Baghdad burned, my people killed. Thousands of tragic pictures remained in my head, pushing me towards the path of confrontation. The scandal of Abu Ghraib. The massacre of Falluja, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every inch of our wounded land. I travelled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the pain of the victims, and heard with my own ears the screams of the orphans and the bereaved. And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.
As soon as I finished my professional duties in reporting the daily tragedies, while I washed away the remains of the debris of the ruined Iraqi houses, or the blood that stained my clothes, I would clench my teeth and make a pledge to our victims, a pledge of vengeance.
The opportunity came, and I took it.
So in the end, after all the suffering and displacement of millions and leading to the terror of al-Qaeda in the Levant (Syria), a sparkle of hope ...
Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at George Bush launches election bid | The National |
Muntazer Al Zaidi is running in Iraq's forthcoming elections for a parliamentary seat under the list of Sa'eroun, a political alliance formed of six parties, he promises the public to combat corruption and to promote greater integrity, transparency and good governance.
"By running for elections I pledge to ensure that America's mistakes are amended - their mistakes created a corrupt sectarian government", Mr Al Zaidi told The National by phone.
Mr Al Zaidi's bloc is advocating for a democratic pluralistic state that aims to put an end to corruption in government. Iraq, long beset by allegations of corruption at all levels of government, was ranked 166th out of 176 in the 2017 corruption index released by Transparency International, a Germany-based corruption watchdog, in 2017.
"I intend to push for a law that discloses Iraqis' offshore bank accounts as well as their properties", he said, adding that his party will take further action to open an investigation that "will confiscate all their fortune for the benefit of the Iraqi treasury".
Mr Al Zaidi will compete against nearly 7,000 candidates for 329 seats in the general election on May 12 - the first since 2014 and Iraq's fourth since 2003.