"Did you know that...? Of course not. You don't want to know. So let's take some baby steps through your Occupation, shall we? OK, this is how it started... Iraq pre-2003: Mixed neighborhoods. Intermarriages. No sectarian strife. Iraq post-2003: Segregated neighborhoods. Divorce. Sectarian strife. Walled ghettos... And lost homes.
"OK, since you seem to be a bunch of infantile retards with zero capacity for comprehension, let me take you again through the baby steps: you have a home, a house, an apartment, a studio, a plot of land, a hut, a tent - call it what you like. You may leave it for X reason, but we were forced to.
"Whilst away, you run out of the means to survive. You want to return. You return. You take out your key. You put it in the door. You can't unlock it! You think you must be dreaming. You check the number, the street. Yes, this is it. You knock on the door. A strange face opens it. You say, Is this my home? But this is my home! And the strange face tells you, Go to hell, you have no home here.
"So being a citizen who believes in the rule of law, you go to the 'Authorities'. They mock you or else offer you $300 as compensation. You shake your head in disbelief and say, This cannot be. So you decide to seek out a lawyer.
"You're told, Be careful whom you choose as a lawyer, because most of the honest ones have left the country, and you may end up with some charlatan, sectarian son-of-a-bitch who'll take all your money and deliver f***k-all. But you try anyway, knowing by now that your chances are nil - because there's no rule of law in a lawless, occupied country.
"Do you get it now or should I draw a picture for you? What's up? You still don't get it, even though I took you through it with baby steps? OK, since you're so damn thick, I'll put it another way, through questions: What do you think those 5 million Iraqi refugees have been doing in neighboring countries since 2003? Do you think they're on a holiday, sightseeing?
"Oh! I see you're still shaking that stupid bloody head of yours... You still don't get it, do you? It's all too much for you, isn't it?
"Maybe you're new Messiah, the 'chosen one', Obama, can explain it to you, or maybe Gordon Brown, the greasy, once-a-week-bath Brit. Or maybe your Zionist lobby. I'm sure they know all about it, but will, of course, pretend to know nothing. See, this is how dumb you are!
"God, I sound like a teacher of juvenile delinquents - must have missed my vocation. To be honest, I've never really been into juveniles. The teenage mentality bores the shit out of me. And I seem to be surrounded by them at the age of 40++. These teenage sociopaths are, for the most part, Americans and English. They exhibit what is called arrested development. And since their countries suffer from arrested development, they're into inflicting it on the rest of us. In fact, not only do they arrest our development, they destroy whatever natural development we had.
"Let's go through those baby steps again, my little 'darlings'.
"In Baghdad, the city I know best, there was no predominantly Sunni, Shiite or Christian neighborhood. This is a myth propagated by your disgusting media. There is one exception, though - Ath-Thawra, rebaptized Sadr City. This dump of convicts, thieves and outlaws was 'predominantly' Shiite. One day I will teach you the history of Sadr City, but not today. Today I want to walk baby steps with you. Yalla, clever ones. There you go, have a lollipop while I walk you through post-2003 Baghdad:-
"Let's forget about the Green Zone for a while... I know, I know, you love your little amusements there. Uncle Sam, Auntie, Mom and Pop, have some lovely American goodies stored there just for you, but I want to walk you through the Red Zone for a change. Don't be afraid. Come on now, I thought you were brave and loved Rambo films. Auntie Layla will hold your 'dear' little hands, fear not.
"Look at this neighborhood, for instance. It's called Arassat Al-Hindiya. See the beautiful houses on the river bank? Let me tell you who inhabits them today. Since your Mom and Pop 'liberated' us, these houses were taken over by the Supreme Council of Shits from Iran, the Hakim/Badr group, the Da'wa of Maliki and the rural/tribal shepherds from the Barzani/Talabani group. Here's how they did it: they occupy it in your absence. Then, when you return to claim it, depending on who you are, they might say, It is ours, or they might offer you some money for it. If you are short of money, having been in exile for so long, you might be inclined to accept. But if you don't, and insist that it's your house, they will give you one of their yellowish, sectarian Shiite/chauvanistic Kurdish smiles, and say, You have no choice.
"Or take another 'cool' neighborhood, for example: Yarmouk, or Jadriya. Same story. Or Mansour, or Karrada - the same.
"Now if you live in a slightly more modest area like Dora, Haifa, Falastin or Sleikh, then there you have no choice at all. If those who took over your house are armed, you can kiss it goodbye. They won't move - unless they're willing to settle for big money. And if you don't have big money, you're screwed.
"But there are more variations:
"You leave your home, and you ask someone to look after it. That someone loses his home during your never-ending 'liberation', so he moves into yours. Then he's short of money or his relatives lose their homes. So he rents out some rooms or brings in more people to live with him. You return and want your house back. What do you do with the 3 or 4 families living there? Where will they go? Again, you're screwed.
"Or take another example. Your have a house, land or property of some sort, and your father, mother, brother, sister, daughter, cousin, uncle, aunt, whatever, is kidnapped and tortured by the death squads you put in place, and they ask for a ransom. So you sell your house, land, property, hut, tent, whatever, to pay the kidnappers for their release. If you don't have the money, you borrow. Then you have to pay it back. And if you wan't to go back to it? You can't. You're up to your neck in debt and you've got nothing to go back to. Again, you're screwed.
"Another example: You live in a small house on a plot of land on the outskirts of Baghdad. You leave because they threatened to kill, rape or torture you. The minute you're gone, they come and live on your land. The area becomes all Shiite. You know you'll never be able to go back to that land. So what do you do? You suggest that those who took it buy it from you - but since they took it by force, why should they buy it? So you let it go, pack your bags and apply to emigrate to some God-forsaken brothel country in the West.
"This is what has happened, and what is happening to our homes since you decided to 'liberate' us. Do you understand now? Fat chance. You'll never understand.
"But, hey, you understand when an earthquake or hurricane destroys a house, don't you? You blame that on a natural disaster. But guess what, arseholes? You're a disaster, albeit man-made, for us - a disaster of a people and a disaster of a nation. (You too, filthy Brits.)
"I pray to God that every time you put your key in your door and turn it, the door will remain forever shut in your faces. Only then will you remember us and think of 'home sweet home'." (Home, Sweet Home*, Layla Anwar, 10/11/08, http://arabwomanblues.blogspot.com/)
[*I've taken the liberty of editing Layla's original post a little.]