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i find it surprising how little people learned from the invasion.

the invasion, occupation and subsequent liberation 17 years ago molded me into who i am today. it is, and always will be a large part of who i am and how i choose to live my life.

like most  of my friends that stayed here  i hardly remember my life before the invasion.  its one of those events that  marks a major turning point in your life. and no i dont mean the kind of meaningless turning points like oooh graduating university, or getting your first pay check.

its not even on the same level as falling in love for the first time.

perhaps its more like getting dumped for the first time, cos that stays with you and affects how you live in the future.

being one of a handful of foreigners who went into hiding underground for 7 months would have a lasting affect on anyone.

so what have i learned and what have i taken with me these past 17 years?

well heres a short list:

– anything can happen, and i mean anything, so always be prepared for even the most unlikely of events.

– air raid sirens will not warn you of an impending invasion….. IF THE ASSHOLE WHO’S MEANT TO PRESS THE BUTTON IS ALREADY WITH THE RULING ELITE IN SAUDI!!!

– when it does happen, there will be no warning, and your folks will send you to the beach club on their way to work, like they did yesterday, and every other day of your summer vacation.

– if youre in the swimming pool at 8 in the morning, with your brother, counting 17 helicopters flying past you overhead, and pretty low, then something aint right!

– if you run up to the diving board, and jump off waving at them,… and they dont wave back,… then something aint right.

–  fighter jets can land on the fahaheel highway.

– the safest place in a house during either a firefight or bombings/explosions of any kind is a corridor, door frame or under the stairs. these structures are normally reinforced concrete so it should provide you with a little extra protection should anything hit your house directly.

– AK-47’s cant shoot down fighter jets…… someone apparently didnt tell the iraqis.

– do not depend on your government or your embassy, chances are they havent faced anything like this either, and they are only glorified clerks who are shitting their pants just as much as you are.

– embassy officials can rarely handle the responsibility thrust upon them during times of crisis. thats not in their job description, so chances are they will make horrific decisions that could get you killed.

– the only exception, in my experience, would be the american and british embassy, many of their staff in this area are actually trained professionals. they were nicer to us than our own fucking embassy.

– accept the fact that you may, if attacked, have to kill someone to protect your family. and in turn you might die….. its a sobering thought for anyone let alone a 13 year old.

– since anything can happen, your life is no more valuable than mine. no ifs, ands, or buts.

– canned beans will save your life one day.

– true friends are rare. opportunist fucks are everywhere and they all come out of the woodworks when all hell breaks loose. pro-anarchy liberals will never understand this from their little academic world.

– crisis brings out the best in people, and the worst.

– resolution of a crisis brings out the worst in people,…. despite the fact that some of the palestinian people jumped for joy, many more remained silent, kept the hospitals functioning, and helped shield foreigners like us from curious iraqi secret service…… when everything was over, these good ones got lumped in with the bad ones and had to suffer the same fate by a vengeful public.

– i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again,… anything can and probably will happen at some point. especially in this region. not only do you have to diametrically opposed sects of the same religion arming themselves to the teeth, but they also happen to be sitting on the majority of the worlds energy resources. until we no longer need oil, there will always be conflict of some sort in this region, probably more so than ever before as we move into the future.

– and again, since anything can happen, i am still amazed at how stupid people carry on spending here, carry on getting deeper into debt, when they should be making every effort to secure their family’s lives elsewhere should the need arise. even if nothing happens right now, you have no idea the sense of relief you get when you know theres somewhere safe for you elsewhere, whether this is your country or not.

– people digest experiences differently,…. while the invasion might have spurred me on to secure myself, other people dont necessarily see it that way,…. the argument that you might die tomorrow so you might as well enjoy yourself is no excuse to get deeper into debt you dumb ass. but hey its your life not mine.

– a cowardly government will only pay lip service to the people who really fought and died. then they rebuild and make things as they are,…. you can drive around in kuwait and not know a single iraqi tank ever rolled over the border. and they hide the invasion museum away.

– the qurain house is what true patriotism is. not this fake flag waving shaving foam on the gulf road garbage. if you want to celebrate your freedom then make a pilgramage to the qurain house, and the qabazard house in jabriya,… if its still there.

– be prepared.

– be ready.

– stay strong.

– have conviction if you know youre right.

– what doesnt kill you makes you stronger, literally.

– the brutality that man is capable of knows no bounds, neither sadistic republican guards nor vengeful relatives of the victims.

– that 17 year old iraqi soldier in sandals and raggedy uniform is just as frightened as you are.

17 years later,…

on two days every year,…

invasion and liberation….

i still drink a toast to those that kept me safe, the resistance fighters, the iraqi boy soldiers that died, the kuwaiti’s that never made it home, the good palestinians who were kicked out or ostracised,……

and ultimately, to the coalition soldiers that fought and those that died.

Ataturk said it best on the WWII gallipoli memorial to the allies that the turks fought:

You the mothers who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears.

Your sons are now living in our bosom and are in peace.

Having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well


Mustafa Kemal Ataturk 

 

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. that hits home.

    excellent points.

  2. cheers cp.

  3. interesting! can you tell me what happened at the qabazard house?

  4. i’ll check it out one of these days. havent been done there in a while.

    but i’m guessing, since the real estate is very expensive its probably been knocked down already.

  5. no, i don’t wanna know if it’s still there, i want to know what happened there. reason being, i had a student last year who’s name is qabazard and his dad was a myter..

  6. oh ok.

    well we were hiding in a house just round the corner from there, and one of the neighbours who came round to check on us said the dude was suspected of aiding the resistance.

    so as punishment they shot him infront of his house, and some members of his family, and then torched the house.

    i’m not sure but i think some other members of his family were also executed by the iraqi secret service or republican guard. not sure on who or how many.

  7. i think one of the reasons you dont hear much about it is that another qabazard allegedly started defrauding the Kuwait oil tanker company in london of millions once the invasion took place. apparently they thought kuwait was lost forever.

    that unfortunately overshadowed whatever the resistance qabazard did.

  8. An excellent post Skunk. Nuff said

  9. yes, then it’s the same person, this student’s dad was killed in front of his home..
    very good post skunk!
    we’ll be back in good old kuwait next week, hope ur organizing a warm welcome for us! 🙂 nothing less than 48 i hope..

  10. cheers man.

    dude i’m pretty sure its been hitting the 50’s these past few days.

    its just gone 930pm and i just got in,… feels like atleast 43 out right now 😐

  11. “crisis brings out the best in people, and the worst.”

    This is true on so many levels.

    I was a 6 year old kid when the invasion took place and I don’t think I will ever forget the horrors that my young mind registered back then.

    Great post mate 😀

  12. yeah its funny what stays and makes an impression on ones young mind.

    cheers dude 😛

  13. This is one of your best posts ever, Skunk.

    You never know what true character is until you are involved in a life or death situation. You learn about yourself and you learn about others. You discover the best of people have clay feet, and the persons you despised will take care of you anyway. You can never go back again.

  14. thanks xpatr.

    too true, anyone can be all smiles and polite during good times, it really is in the face of adversity that our true characters show.

  15. Agreed Skunk – My folks tell me the same thing about the Vietnam War. There is so much that can be learnt about the human condition in times of war

  16. man i couldnt imagine what it would have been like there.

    the gulf war was a cake walk compared to that i’m sure.


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  1. […] 17 years later,?. the qurain house is what true patriotism is. not this fake flag waving shaving foam on the gulf road garbage. if you want to celebrate your freedom then make a pilgramage to the qurain house, and the qabazard house in jabriya,? if its … […]

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