By Abdollah Pakatchi, Camp Liberty
I want to tell you one of my stories. So let’s go back a little bit.
It is Sunday, January 5th, 2014. I am walking down my usual route in Camp Liberty, Iraq. It is about an hour to noon. It is cold and starts raining. People pass me by with their heads covered for the cold. They’re all rushing to fulfill their daily jobs.
Quite a few things have coincided with each other today. It is Sunday, normal weekend in western countries. It is also the last day of Christmas and the New Year holidays. For us, Camp Liberty residents, of course, only a few days have passed since we were targeted by a fourth missile attack. We too intend to celebrate Christ’s birthday, but our enemy fired those missiles on us from somewhere in our neighborhood. This region is strictly controlled by Iraqi security forces.
Indeed, today a few things have coincided with each other. It is yuletide. God sent his majestic prophet Jesus Christ, as a blessing for the people, to lead them towards peace and decency, but does love for humanity speak everywhere? Can we close our eyes and turn our backs? Nowadays, in contrast to all that Jesus stood for, the world has become an exhibition of corruption and treason. Crimes are committed against us in broad daylight. Four of our friends were killed in just one night, when that missile attack happened a few days ago. No one is charged for the crime, as was the case with the previous attacks that we’ve suffered. Those who are aware and should take action are deep in their slumber of silence.
It could’ve been me lying dead right now. It could’ve been any of us. The loss of four of my friends takes me into deep sorrow. I have a feeling that the loss of “Bijan” , “Mohammad” , “Yahya” and “ Mahmood” are of the same kind of pain that Jesus had in his heart. They were not only four. They were more, and more. These days, numbers become reminiscent of lost friends. 4, 7, 52…, these numbers speak to me. They give me a sense of responsibility. We are crying out every day, that justice should be served for the murders of our 52 sisters and brothers who were savagely executed with their hands cuffed behind their backs. That occurred in Camp Ashraf when Iraqi forces attacked on September 1st. We are calling for the release of our seven hostages that they abducted in the same attack. And now we are faced with a new crime.
What a wretched and anti-Christ world that those who really know what is happening dare not say a word.
The heavy rain that just started brings me out of my thoughts. I am walking on one of the so-called main roads of camp Liberty. Another coincidence. Every time it rains heavily here, everywhere turns into mud and sludge.
There have been quite a few heavy rainfalls here since the first day we moved to this camp, and there will be more. This rain may herald a prosperous year for Iraqi farmers, but for us it only means a lot of trouble. Liberty lacks proper infrastructures. Last winter we had floods. Water got into sewage tanks. These tanks could not hold that much water so black water spilled out and streamed into the roads.
This is the “heaven” that UN and US promised us when they urged us to leave Ashraf. This is one more thing that coincides with others, these days. Where is the United Nations that once millions of people regarded as their focus of hope? What happened to the legacy of all those decent people who laid down their lives for the benefit of other human beings? It makes me embarrassed to say that we have been cheated by UN and the United States. Somebody has to clean the heavy dust off the UN Human Rights resolution.
The storm calms down, but it is still raining. My shoes are caked with mud. It is hard to walk. Is this sludge and mud the “heaven” that the UN promised us? Is this what they have desired for us? I wonder what I should believe. Is it that they do not see our problems? Didn’t they see that those missiles murdered our friends? Why is it that they do nothing to improve the situation? Why aren’t they doing anything to bring the T Walls back to the camp to protect us from future rocket attacks? Why don’t they force the government of Iraq to bring our helmets and vests from Ashraf? Who will listen to us? I like to shout as loud as I can, “we do not want your heaven of dirt, sludge, diseases and missiles.”
A few things have coincided with each other today. It is time to be happy, but in their September 1st attack on Ashraf, the Iraqi forces abducted seven of my colleagues (1 man and 6 women). Maliki has not released them yet. US government promised that Liberty would be a safe place for us; nevertheless, Barack Obama does not speak a word today. We asked him several times to break his silence, but he didn’t, and there was another missile attack. Please, we do not want this “heaven”.
Is it a crime to be a free person trying to choose our own destiny? Is it hard to accept that we want to bring freedom and democracy to our country? Is it an offense to defy the Iranian Mullahs, who are well known for their suppression and terrorism? Is it forbidden to stand for human values taught by Jesus Christ?
So, why doesn’t President Barack Obama say a word?
A few things have coincided on each other, today!