Friday, 25 July 2008


The Iraqis have a proverb which says: “ The lament does not know what to say about the deceased.” The saying is quite applicable to the American policy in Iraq. Middle East experts compiled so many different lists about its mistakes and follies, intentional or accidental. I leave this matter to every body’s opinion. The way I see it reminds me of the local folktale of Sheikh Hammad. He was well known in the area for his wisdom and sagacity. The villagers had always consulted him in whatever problem they had encountered. The more they had done so the more they sank in misery and poverty. There was the day in which the village bull had his head stuck in the village earthenware butt. No one could get it free from it. The village head went to consult the Sheikh. ”Cut of his head,” Sheikh Hammad advised. They followed his advice, but the head remained firmly stuck in the precious butt. They went back to the Sheikh and he gave them his second opinion. “ Smash the butt!”
A few days later, the Sheikh fell ill with typhoid. The village head raised his eyes to heaven, “ Oh God, please save him. We wouldn’t know where to go with our problems without him.”
The saying , however went from mouth to mouth:” Killing the bull and smashing the butt!”
I said that American policies remind me of that story of sheikh Hammad, but the story itself reminds me also of what the Americans did in Iraq. They reported to George Bush , who was also as famous for his wisdom and sagacity as sheikh Hammad, of what was happening in Iraq under the Ba’th Party and the incurable rule of Saddam Hussein. He gave his advice: Cut off his head. They did so but things went from bad to worse. The Pentagon reported to him that the problem of Iraq was not solved at all. George Bush gave his second advice: Smash the structure of the Iraqi State. They did and the country fell to pieces.
A few days later the American democracy was hit by a crippling recession bringing the US dollar to its lowest rate. The news reached the Arab League in Cairo. Amr Musa, its Secretary General, woke up from his deep and seemingly eternal sleep, rushed out of the building, raised both hands to heaven and preyed: “God save America. For without President Bush, we wouldn’t know where to taken our problems!”

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