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An Iraqi Uncle Tom

An Open Letter to Kanan Makiya

by HAWRA KARAMA



Dear Professor Makiya,

What went wrong, verge of tears, unmitigated disasters; is that all you have to say for yourself at this point?

A smart intellectual with degrees as impressive as yours couldn’t figure out that the United States couldn’t logically want more good for Iraqis than it did for the Japanese it nuked, the Vietnamese it napalmed or the Palestinians it continues to oppress?

Did you think every Iraqi would swoon at the smell of dollars and conjure grandiose Uncle Tom dreams of dining at the table with the slavemasters?

If you genuinely thought that peace and democracy would bloom like a thousand flowers following the fall of Baghdad, you’re either seriously deluded or self-deceptive.

What were you thinking? Were you trying to provide a live example of Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab’s description of the invaders’ shoes for literature students? And as if it’s not enough that you have advocated for a war that was so egregiously criminal ab initio, you then have the audacity to blame Iraq’s current disasters on Iraqi victims themselves, over red wine from the comfort of your Cambridge house?

Albeit a cheap attempt to garner political leverage for her presidential campaign, even Hillary Clinton herself is apologizing. What makes you feel so smugly immune from guilt such that the pursuit of redemption is beneath you?

While you, Mr. Makiya, and your gang of American-tank-riding thugs like Chalabi deserve to be tried for crimes against your own homeland, that’s not what I wish for you. I just hope Abeer Hamza’s ghost haunts you and that the echo of her screams play over and over in your head louder than the "music" that bombs on Baghdad were to your ears. If you have any remnants of a conscience, I hope it’s depriving you of sleep for the amount of Iraqi blood you have on your hands. Saddam Hussein himself would’ve been proud of you for trying so hard to fill his shoes after his demise.

HAWRA KARAMA
A fed up Iraqi existing in the US