Cultural Glimpse

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Tag: Terrorism

The US Book Review of My Book

The Great American Family Eric Hoffer Award Winner.jpg

The US Book Review of my book The Great American Family: A Story of Political Disenchantment 

The true and gripping story of an all-American girl charged with illegally selling telecommunications equipment to Iraq. However, her co-conspirator turns out to be a CIA operative, possibly working on a project to bug Saddam Hussein and his top henchmen.

The author makes good use of firsthand accounts, skillfully weaving them together to show how the “War on Terror” has blurred or perhaps frayed our criminal justice system. As an Iraqi-American journalist the author has the prefect background to tell this story. Settings are well-depicted and characters come to life so that it’s tempting to skip ahead to learn the resolution. This book takes a hard look at how terrorism, oppression, and sanctions invite hypocrisy, abuse of power and double-dealing. One hopes this isn’t an example of the new normal for America but fears that it is.

Saddam vs. King of Saudi Arabia

My trip to Iraq in 2000 where I celebrated Easter with my relatives

My trip to Iraq in 2000 where I celebrated Easter with my relatives. Here we are having a nice picnic in Mosul

A week ago an Iranian student emailed me. He was angry that I had written something negative about Saddam. He called Saddam a hero. I was surprised, not because he likes Saddam (there are many people who do). I was surprised because he’s Iranian. His country was at war with Iraq for nearly ten years.

I thought about the trip I took to Iraq in 2000, how safe Iraq was during that time. I thought about the honor that the Saudi King’s death is receiving, and the discrepancies and double standards in politics. I thought about the following facts:


  • Protected Christians and encouraged women to wear western clothing (women were not veiled in Baghdad and those few who were only covered their hair)
  • Received the keys to the city of Detroit in 1980 after donating substantial amounts of money to a church in the city.helping build Chaldean churches
  • Credited with creating one of the strongest school systems in the Middle East.
  • Iraq won a UNESCO prize for eradicating illiteracy in 1982. Literacy rates for women were among the highest of all Islamic nations, and unlike most Middle East school systems, Iraqi education was largely secular.
  • Hated Osama Bin Laden
  • There were no terrorist groups inside Iraq while he was in power
  • He did not gas his own people (CIA officer Stephen C. Pelletiere, the agency’s senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, wrote in a New York Times article that Saddam Hussein has much to answer for in the area of human rights abuses. ”But accusing him of gassing his own people at Halabja as an act of genocide is not correct, because as far as the information we have goes, all of the cases where gas was used involved battles. These were tragedies of war.” He also wrote that these facts have “long been in the public domain but, extraordinarily, as often as the Halabja affair is cited, they are rarely mentioned.”

Saudi King

  • Permitted over 400 terrorist groups to exist in his country
  • Locked up four of his daughters into dark and suffocating rooms since 2002
  • Allowed beheading of citizens for crimes like apostasy and adultery
  • Prohibited movie theaters, social mixing, music schools, gyms for girls and Valentine’s Day
  • Prohibits women from traveling without permission or driving a car
  • Bans other religions: twelve Filipino Christians and a priest were arrested while attending a service in a private home, in October 2010. They were verbally charged with ‘blaspheming against Islam” and cordially banned for life from Saudi Arabia (quiet deportations are a new tactic of the religious police – it avoids the media scrutiny that heavy-handed arrests generate).
  • Allows anti-American hate speeches in their mosques

Terrorists Won – Now We’re Really Safe!

Terrorists Won

Over the weekend, the second largest city in Iraq, Mosul, fell and yesterday Saddam Hussein’s home city of Tikrit has fallen. Is Baghdad next in line in what CNN calls “rapid takeovers”? So far, more than 500,000 civilians have fled the fighting that was brought about Islamic Militants.

My opinion? Joshua Blain described it best in his post to a CNN article:

“The reality is that this is all our fault. While Saddam Hussein was indeed a dictator and corrupt, he did not tolerate Islamic extremist groups in his country because they were a threat to his secular regime. Though a dictator, he maintained stability in the country and overall the people lived in peace and had a great education system. We then went in and destabilized the country by removing Saddam and leaving a massive power void, allowing extremist groups to flood the country. In essence we created the very environment we said we were going to eliminate. The great irony is that to the people of Iraq, we are the weapons of mass destruction.”

Saudi Arabia, our Ally – Oh, the Irony!


I wrote in my recent book that terrorism in Iraq did not exist until 2003, when the borders were left unprotected by the US military, allowing major terrorist groups from all around the world to come and set camp in Iraq, then to recruit through force and with bribes. During the start of the war, Arabic news channels who reported incidences of terrorism in Iraq identified the terrorists as Moroccan, Yemeni, Egyptian, etc.

I wrote that terrorism was bred in Iraq after 2003, which explains why none of the 9/11 hijackers were of Iraqi origin, nor had there been any major terrorists in history who carried the Iraqi nationality, except for the Dawa Party, which was led by Iranian extremists and which Saddam tried to annihilate in the 1980s and which the United States in 2003 welcomed into power with open arms.

So I’m not surprised that Dr. Kamal Al-Saedi, president of the International Organization for the Defense of Human Rights, is spreading this message: the United Nations should list Saudi Arabia as a terrorist country because all the bombings that have took place in the United States, London, Spain, Russia or any other countries have been caused by Saudi terrorists and people that have relationships with the Saudi Arabian King – for example, Osama Bin Laden.

I’m just surprised that this concept has not yet taken form, despite all the evidence supporting it, and that Iraq, the country that paid the price for another country’s terrorism is still paying that price, without anyone having corrected it. Oh, the irony!