Monday, March 02, 2009

National Day/Liberation Day Holidays 2009




Two Stabbed in Foam War
Arab Times, Local, Monday March 2, 2009


Police have arrested six youths for stabbing two unidentified teenagers with daggers on the Arabian Gulf Street, reports Al-Rai daily.

Acting on information police and paramedics rushed (DG: they are always “rushing”, aren’t they? Don’t they have another word?) to the area and rushed (DG: and AGAIN) the two youths to a hospital.

According to security sources both sides were involved in a fight when one party objected to the spraying of foam.

The daily quoting security sources said the youths tried to escape after the incident, but they were chased and arrested on Sixth Ring Motorway.

* * *

DG Commentary:

This is why I don’t go out on the Gulf Road on National and Liberation days anymore. Not because I worry about being stabbed as much as I am worried about getting PISSED OFF because someone has just sprayed me with foam and wanting to KILL them. Yes yes - I OBJECT to foam. When I see the cheerful little demonic faces lining the streets with their little hands holding cans of foam (and 40 or 50 or so cans at their feet just waiting for the Bengalis to take them away the next morning after they haven’t been paid in 6 months), I just want to put my arm out the window (if it were possible from the driver’s seat) and do a drive-by collective SMACK. Smack, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack, smack… all the way down the street. Ok, that is really mean. I admit it. All those little kids having a great time ... I'm just not into it. Let them have fun. Let them celebrate.



(This is a photo of the Ministry of Information. It looks like a mirror/disco ball. It changes colors and it sparkles.)



To an extent, however, I feel that the celebration is no longer about National Day and Liberation Day. It is about letting off steam and having a go at someone else without any repercussion. No one remembers what they are celebrating anymore. Hell – don’t take my word for it – ask any kid on the holidays, “What are you celebrating?” “Who did you gain independence from and when?” “What does Liberation Day mean?” “Who liberated you and why?” not one of those kids will be able to answer you. KTV, RAI, ALWATAN TV: I challenge you on February 25/26 2010 - GO OUT AND ASK! Their parents might not even be able to answer you. WHY, pray tell? Because the Kuwaiti educational system does NOT teach kids their recent history and about what happened during 90/91. The kids are growing up believing that the US is bad because they invaded their Muslim brother’s to the North; and ok, granted – America did, but what about what we did for Kuwait? Who was it exactly that we liberated Kuwait FROM? Oh yeah, now I remember - it is the same country whose music has been blasting all over Kuwait since 2006, from parties to cars. That would be... IRAQ.

From 1990 until 2006 when Saddam was arrested, Kuwaitis did not play Iraqi music in a form of political protest. In 2006, Iraqi music exploded all over Kuwait and now you can't go anywhere without hearing it. I listen (don't play it myself) and always always remember. What I find ironic is that the same people who tortured and raped Kuwaitis are still free in Iraq. They're just walking around having lunch with their families, smokin sheesha with the guys. That hasn't changed. Was there an on/off switch to Kuwaiti people's morals in 2006? Saddam is one guy. What about the guy who raped your cousin in the police station near your house? What about that guy who shot your friend in front of his mother on the doorstep of their home? What about that guy who stole your car in 1990 and drove it back to Baghdad so his family could drive it - until today? What about the people who tortured my friends - burning their breasts with cigarettes trying to force a confession while their children were in the next room? What about those guys? What about the ones who took the POWs who who have only been found in small pieces? Do you think the POWs' mothers are listening to Iraqi music or are indifferent when Kuwait flies Iraqi flags whenever an Iraqi dignitary is in town?

Teach your children, Kuwait!

The Kuwaitis and Saudis and Americans and Brits and other allied forces that liberated Kuwait in 1991 have been forgotten. I had an American flag and a Kuwaiti flag on my car the last time I went on the Gulf Road several years ago during the holidays; and a 12 year old ran up, ripped off the American flag, and stomped on it. I wanted to SMACK his parents! I wanted to hit him so hard that his ancestors felt it.

Personally, these holidays have become just too violent for me: and I am taking about my own personal violent rage.

I celebrate National and Liberation Days in my own quiet ways. If you see a car around town with a Virginia license plate from 1990-91, in the window that reads, "I LOVE Q8" - you'll see how I celebrate. I REMEMBER and try to pass it on. Unfortunately, the brats in my neighborhood foamed the very source of my pride - foaming my car window while it was parked in my space at home.

Teach your children, Kuwait!

Hey - what if (it would never happen), the US had been invaded by Mexico (mithilin) and Kuwait and the Arab countries (it would never happen) came to our aid and 20 years later, American kids started disliking Kuwaitis and forgot that Kuwaitis had left their families, friends, jobs to go help (and that many had returned only in boxes)? What would that be like?

Would you leave your job, your wife, the comfort of your home and everything you know to go to another country to risk your life for other people? Would you? If you did, would you want those people to remember what your country had done?

... And I swear to God if I get mail from any morons saying, "It was for the oil", I will be all over that. My question to them is always - where the phuck were YOU? - or perhaps here, "How old are you?". Comments of such nature will be rejected. I can do that. This is a constitutional monarchy and I'm the queen of my blog. The people I knew, the soldiers I knew, didn't help for oil - they helped for humanity and their beliefs. There are many different layers to the same picture. I personally saw big-bad-Harley-driving good ole boys with tears in their eyes reaching down to talk to Kuwaiti kids about their daddies. My perspective is indeed biassed from my vantage point. My blog. My perspective. My bias.

But hey - it is all about perspectives, right. Again, don't just take it from me. People are starting to talk about the same/similar sentiments I have been saying over and over; and I hope that more people come forward with their own accounts. For example, in the words of someone who was there (Kuwaiti Amer Al-Hilal):

“The Kuwait Resistance did an exceptional job during the invasion and it breaks my heart that they haven't received the credit and acclaim that they really deserve. There is something seriously warped in this country when the people who really fought for it are neglected for others who have done much less. The Resistance were the unsung heroes of the Gulf War; warriors who sacrificed all for the sake of their country, not the shady politicians whose loyalty lie beyond our borders, the opportunist officials and tycoons who publicly broadcast their loyalty to Kuwait, but in reality did and do nothing, except further their own careers by lining up their own pockets by exploiting the needs of the reconstruction and beyond.

Today more than ever in Kuwait we must remember the invasion. We are now a country that does not even feature the invasion in our educational curriculum, a country that is beginning to forget the lessons of the invasion, a country that continues to meddle in exterior conflicts by wearing the mantle of 'arbitrator' and 'mediator' without taking care of its own, a country that is beginning to forget who its real friends are, neglecting the increasingly grave perils surrounding us, whether ideological or geopolitical. Now more than ever we must remember the invasion, the occupation and the betrayals (both internal and external) and focus on the true reconstruction of Kuwait, both in mind and in spirit, so that we don't fall prey to the calamitous ravages of 1991 again.”

Let me just add that MANY of the resistance fighters were Bidoon (without nationality); many soldiers that fought in the Kuwaiti military (and some that remain in the military) were also Bidoon. They not only have not received recognition, but still must fight for their rights to this day. Bidoons who were martyred during the occupation were not even recognized as Kuwaiti (although some steps are being taken - just not yet). Shame on this country!

Desert Girl Post on National/Liberation Holidays 2008

Desert Girl Post on National/Liberation Holidays 2007










11 comments:

abolesanzalef said...

Just leave a question to anyone>>>>>

"What will happen if china stop making that foam for one year????????"

hilaliya said...

Great, straight-from-the-heart passionate analysis of these recent National/Liberation Days, and the historic dismissals related to it - and thanks for the link to the article DG.

I think this whole issue of 'war for oil' both in the US and here is a grave, insensitive diminishment of everything the country and its people - local and expatriate - went through. No country is perfect, we all have flaws but the fact of the matter is this: a dark cloud of violence, imprisonment and injustice was lifted off a whole nation and much of that was due to the bravery of the US and Allied forces - something did good come out of the war and people always forget that.

And we must constantly strive to live up to that. The whole country wasn't just invaded - it was wiped off the map and was annexed; It ceased to exist - street names and districts were changed, Iraqi licence plates were issued etc- We got a second chance. Many others did not get that luxury.

Anonymous said...

Our efforts to liberate Kuwait were never about oil. I am sure Saddam would have been happy to sell the west Kuwait's oil - at much less expense to us. Shame on any Kuwaiti who would say so.

zerogravity said...

Dear DG,

Thanks for coming out with a very intriguing subject with all its complexity covering the past, present and the future.

Since you are covering so many aspects the comments too have to be segregated to cover your entire topic.

BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER

You wrote” What I find ironic is that the same people who tortured and raped Kuwaitis are still free in Iraq……..”

Well DG you must understand that the history of this region goes well beyond the invasion. We are talking about a single race with all its complexity of different language and culture sharing a common brotherhood and pedigree. I say complexity because in one point in their history there was a prophet (PBUHS) who brought them together irrespective of their clans and races under one umbrella literally transforming different streams into one single river. From that point onwards they have something in common, Brotherhood.

So no matter what, there will be a time when they get together and bury their difference and agree to let bygones be bygones and live like good neighbors should. You cannot crucify an entire nation for one man’s madness.

Now you might ask, so who is the fool here? I would say no one. Because the allied forces, especially the US never for a single moment thought that,” we will save Kuwait from the clutches of Iraq and take their place and be what Iraq was to Kuwait before the intrusion”. The idea was not to create a permanent enmity, but to make the world a better and safer place where everyone can co-exist without having FEAR. The key word is not to live in fear. That is why they came back a second time to topple Saddam.

If Kuwait was to keep the hatred as you said, then one of the countries that they will hate most is US. Because of what US is trying to do. They are trying to bring back Iraq to their former glory. You have set a timeline where Iraq will achieve its true potentially with the reserves it hold and otherwise and grow into a regional super power. So naturally Kuwait should be pissed off, because the descendants of the people who raped them are going to have a bright future? So is that how Kuwait is thinking? No it isn’t and neither do any of the allied forces expect it to.

The bottom line is; we have to do everything within our capacity to avoid the sovereignty of this wonderful country to be threatened again and also that of others.

NATIONAL FLAG


I have genuinely wondered at the way people perceive their flag to be. Your school team won a match, your brother graduated, hell it’s your birthday, take out the national flag.
Wear it on your head, tie it around your neck, stick it on your breast pocket, warp it around your waist, sleep on it, make it into a straw and drink from it and etc. For heaven sake, what does that flag represent? Is it something that you drag with you around the street? People have died trying to hoist their national flag, trying to protect it from being tramped on, by refusing to insult it.

The national flag and anthem, deserves your utmost respect. It is not a piece of cloth or music to showcase your patriotism. You don’t re-mix your national anthem and dance to its tune; neither do you pave the road you tread on out of your national flag. It demands respect, no, it commands respect. Whoever the f@#k people think they are, they should learn to respect their flag as well as of other nations.

I believe that, even if you are in the most hostile nation in the world, never allow your flag to be defiled or insulted. So what would be the worst case scenario, they will hang you, so be it, a lot of people sacrificed their lives, so that flag can exist today.

If you feel in anyway that you cannot guarantee someone insulting your flag, then please do not carry it outside with you. If you decide to carry it, then you hold the responsibility to keep the dignity of that flag intact. So you have a clear choice here. I cannot believe that you let that kid to step on the flag.

To exactly know what respect a national flag carries, you just have to observe the military handling the flag. By the way, today I saw Kuwait national flags being taken down by two Bengalis. I can’t blame them, they must have been told to finish the job in an hour and come back for some real work by their employer. The flags were taken down straight on to the ground and thrown over their arms.



PRICELESS


I would like to narrate a story here.

Once upon a time, (isn’t that how stories start?), there lived a poor wood cutter in Maharaja Jai Singh’s kingdom. Once while returning back from the forest he chanced upon the crown prince being attacked by a tiger. He immediately jumped upon the tiger with his axe and saved the prince.
The maharajah was overjoyed to hear that his only son has survived the attack and asked the wood-cutter how he could thank him. The wood-cutter asked for 100 gold coins to relieve him of his poverty. The maharajah duly obliged.
When the wood-cutter narrated the incident to his family, they admonished him for not asking more. They begged him to make good on the opportunity. He went the next day to the palace where the Maharajah, welcomed him with pomp and banquet.

After the banquet, the wood-cutter said to the maharajah, “your highness, the other day I did not realize that I was pricing your son’s life and foolishly named 100 coins for his life. I beg your forgiveness for offending you and request one more opportunity to right my wrong”. And then he went on to ask 1000 gold coins for his act of bravery. The maharajah replied, “I did not think you were asking the price of my son’s life, but rather for risking YOUR life for saving his. Now that you have valued my son at 1000 gold coins, it is only fair to value your life, the lowest of my subjects, at 10 gold coins. Therefore you are given the opportunity to rectify your wrong by immediately returning back the 90 gold coins” While the dejected wood-cutter was leaving, the maharaja added, “ had you not gone about pricing lives, I would have married you my daughter for your valiant act”.

The diwan who witnessed the entire scene, asked the maharajah later, if saving his son’s life would have resulted in being his son-in-law, then what kind of a price should his soldiers be paid, for both protecting the king as well as the country in the battle field. The maharajah replied, “The fact that, their king is alive, and their nation intact is enough payment for them. Had I fallen on the battle field, the battle would have been lost and they along with the nation would have been POW and sold to slavery. Therefore the very existence of this nation is payment enough for them. That is the best price that they can ever receive and only price I hope they expect. If otherwise, then this country is doomed. Their acts cannot be priced”

And so end the story.

“The Kuwait Resistance did an exceptional job during the invasion and it breaks my heart that they haven't received the credit and acclaim that they really deserve”


Please do not put a price on their valiant sacrifice and down grade it. They did not commit themselves for anyone’s thanks or remembrance. They did what they had to do and what many others should have done. The only testimony they ever would hope for is this nation’s very existence and continuous existence.





HISTORY

We are now a country that does not even feature the invasion in our educational curriculum


No matter how hard people try, you cannot re-write or change history. One day, if not today, this generation will realize their past and what their ancestors faced. But until that day we have to wait. Because, you cannot teach people to be grateful. That gratefulness is nothing but hypocrisy and I hope no one wants that cheap pretence. It has to come from within. Same like our parents never tell us of how much they went through to bring us up. One day in our life we will realize without anyone telling us the sacrifice of our parents. On this journey called life we will pick up the various acts of people which have touched our life. But until we realize that we are not whole. And there is a huge difference between us realizing that ourselves and someone else prompting us to it.


CONCLUDING…

Would you leave your job, your wife, the comfort of your home and everything you know to go to another country to risk your life for other people? Would you? If you did, would you want those people to remember what your country had done?


A man has being relived from a life of bondage; the shackles from his wrist are removed and he is once again a free man. He shall be always grateful to his savior. But how much more great it would have been if the marks the shackles has left on his wrist would have vanished so that he does not have to be reminded of his painful past every time he looks down on his wrist? How he wishes he could be relived of the trauma of his past. What if his rescuer also made sure that the marks had been taken out and guided his memory out of his miserable past or had teached him to make peace with his past?

If this nation has already forgotten those terrible months in such short period, then that is the greatest evidence of how good a job the allied forces have done. That is actual freedom. They have really FREED Kuwait in its every sense. If Kuwait has reached a stage where she can voice her opinions against the very forces that gained them the platform to make those opinions, then it means the mission was cent percent success. They came out here to liberate Kuwait of its shackles and indeed Kuwait is completely free of it. No amount of oil is payment enough for such an act and no one expects it to be. The only payment here is, for Kuwait to embrace its freedom to its fullest and live their life whichever way they want to, in perfect harmony with her neighbors and the world at large.
You can rest assured, that some place where none of us has ever gone , those valiant soul’s are at peace that their efforts has not gone wasted, not just yet. No thanks are enough to repay their act, but we shall live our lives with the absolute freedom our country affords us, thereby crediting their magnanimous act. The rest of the sensible world shall hope that no one shall defile their action now or in the future by demanding a price in return.

Desert Girl said...

Zerogravity: thanks so much for your comments and I would love to have the room here to publish it, but it is just too long. If you publish it on your blog - or anywhere else on the net, I promise to link to it.

mentabolism said...

you called it like it is...
Great post....I hope more people read it

Anonymous said...

I feel ya DG! agree with hilaliya and Anon aas well. I think all the adults need to be refreshed on what happened 18 years back and who were the actual heroes.parents should spend more time enlightening kids rather than standby and applaud their brats on the highly polished skills required to squirt and foam peoples belongings! - NBZ

P.S . TSC and all other retailers should not make Foam bottles a marketing fiasco!

Desert Girl said...

Hilaliya - thank you SO much for gracing my blog with your presence. :)

Foam: I don't get it? Why foam? Why not confetti - or even this - why not bird seed? That way, there would be some sense/function to it.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was reading your blog from last year's National Day and Liberation Day 'celebrations' and Ms. Baker said she would post a link for the Nabil Shael song that was so popular during the occupation...do you happen to have that? It really moved us to tears after the occupation...thanks in advance!

Desert Girl said...

To the anonymous (Iraqi) commentor who left me a series of quite impolite, rambling comments:

I won't publish anything with that much profanity.

I reserve the right to post or not to post comments.

I do not hate Iraq by any means. In fact, I was there in a peaceful capacity in 2003 driving around the country without any escort and was treated very well by Iraqis. I wish your country nothing but peace and prosperity and would LOVE to be able to visit there again as a tourist in better times. I agree that US troops need to leave Iraq and hope that when they do, they won't leave a massive civil war behind them.

My post was about the fact that Kuwaitis should not forget the lessons of their past. Yes, I believe in diplomacy and the need to get on with things; Just not so fast and not without remembering.

I take it from your comment that you, sir, are not very diplomatic.

Desert Girl said...

Holy Shit Iraqi(or not - don't care) Anonymous - I could publish a book with your ramblings. Start your own blog, dude! You can even aim it against me. I don't care - it wouldn't be the first time. I'm NOT publishing your stuff on my blog. GET IT? Do I have to take the "allow anonymous comments" setting off? Jeez louise!