An Iraqi Poet Speaks

We’ve ventured into poetry a time or two, with mixed results. But exiled Iraqi poet Awad Nasir’s essay on the liberation of Iraq is an unmixed pleasure:
“It was not the mullahs of Tehran and their Islamic Revolutionary Guards who liberated the Iraqi Shiites.
“Nor was it Turkey’s army that came to rescue the Iraqi Turkomans from Saddam’s clutches.
“Amr Moussa, the Arab League’s secretary-general, and the corrupt regimes he speaks for, did not liberate Iraqi Arab nationalists.
“Iraq’s democrats, now setting up their parties and publishing their newspapers, were not liberated by Jacques Chirac. Nor did the European left liberate Iraq’s communists, now free to resume their activities inside Iraq.
“No, believe it or not, Iraqis of all faiths, ethnic backgrounds and political persuasions were liberated by young men and women who came from the other side of the world — from California and Wyoming, from New York, Glasgow, London, Sydney and Gdansk to risk their lives, and for some to die, so that my people can live in dignity.
“Those who died to liberate our country are heroes in their own lands. For us they will be martyrs and heroes. They have gained an eternal place in our hearts….”


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