Iraq - War Logs Reflections- Part1
By Layla Anwar
23 October , 2010
An Arab Woman Blues
This may be one post or a series of posts - I don't know yet. I shall leak my own thoughts as I see fit...
Yesterday's Wikileaks release of classified US Army documents were an important turning point for me personally and for me as an Iraqi. But not only for me, I know of other Iraqis who sighed with a little. a LITTLE relief.
I caught one on Twitter who wrote - I love you Wikileak, maybe now I can sleep with a little peace.
I uttered out of the blue - in some sort of automatic writing - We demand to know from America and Iran why you killed, tortured, raped and exiled us.
As an Iraqi, I felt that I was slowly waking up from a long nightmare. I held on to that feeling and I hardly slept at all ...something was churning inside of me. I needed to get to the bottom of it.
It was not the familiar rage, nor the all too familiar sadness, there was something more...hence this post.
I spent many hours reading the actual War Logs on Wikileaks Website. Names have been erased, but I read through nonetheless...knowing fully that this leak is only one infinite part of what actually happened and is happening...
But I went through them nonetheless, not all of them, but picked and chose haphazardly...
In the old days, when writing was not made available to people, History wrote itself orally...by transmission - they called it Oral Historiography. The War logs are if you like a sort of Oral transmission of events as they took place...
And in the old days, from this Oral transmission of Historical events, people could draw a picture of what happened. Same for the War logs. Even though names were erased but there are indicators of locations, timings, places and from them one can draw a picture, a fuller picture...
But why did I need to do all of that ? After all the leaks just CONFIRMED what I've been writing on this blog for years. Why did I need this public confirmation from a higher authority after 7 years of carnage, of torture, of rapes, of exile ?
Why did this other Iraqi fellow say - now I can sleep with a little more peace ? Surely the classified documents did not reveal more than what he/she already knew.
I "slept" over these questions - and then I understood...
Do you remember at any time of your life when you were a witness to something horrendous, and when you reported it, no one believed you. Even those closest to you, or whom you thought were closest to you, did not believe you. You kept repeating what you saw, and no one believed you.
Yet you still held on to that truth you witnessed. Others ridiculed you, called you names, silenced you, threatened to kill you, called you a liar, accused you of imagining things, accused you of having your own agenda...and with the ridicule, came the minimization, the twisting, the guilt provoking like in - come on it was not that bad or it was not like that, you are nothing but a little hateful liar making troubles...and sometimes the pressure would be so great, you'd start wondering that maybe after all you did conjure up things...that maybe you did not see right, that maybe it was an illusion of your mind...in short ---when you came with the truth, they did everything to make you doubt yourself and doubt the truth. Sometimes you'd fall into some autistic silence and sometimes you'd overcompensate with more defiance...but still you felt terribly all alone.
But you held on...you gripped to that thing....and still terribly alone, you realized in that process, in that process of being stubborn and obstinate in not letting go, in holding on - the extent of the cover up. The COVER-UP.
And through digging through the cover-up, you realize something even more important, the networks, the alliances, the other wars that are going on underneath this cover up. Then you understand - the thicker the cover up, the thicker the lie, the thicker the minimization, the thicker the omissions, the more grave and dangerous the Truth is. The Truth of what happened and is happening.
And at some point comes a "parental" figure, an authority, a benevolent one, a big brother and says - I got some story to tell - and then in some cryptic form, repeats your truth, reveals it. You still have to read between the lines, but you say to yourself ---finally am not alone anymore. Finally what I saw was not my imagination, it was the Truth.
So you breath a little relief and feel that maybe your nightmare is about to end and that you could sleep with a little Peace.
This is what happened yesterday to Iraqis who felt so alone with their Truth - they sighed a little relief and hoped to sleep with a little peace, hoping like I did, that maybe, just maybe they will be woken up from their solitary nightmare...
In the next post I will deal with the actual war logs, and some important information regarding ethnic cleansing, and Iran's role and other mini wars going on inside the bigger War - The Occupation and Destruction of Iraq. Insha'Allah.