Did Iraqi Translators escape sectarian violence or a political failure?!
Written by : Fa Me
30 October 2008
There has to be a protocol in life that makes things go smooth and eventually meet the satisfaction of human beings. Every human receives messages in his life, these messages could be seen, read, or heard. It all depends on how we translate these messages according to what we see it right. Problems are already created in our life, and the cause of these problems is the wrong interpretation of such messages, that will end up causing us a bad mood and we sometimes reach the point of disappointment and losing of hope which makes our life not to go easily.
In many situations, we feel this in life, because of others’ decisions, that may affect our life, and the life of those who are around us; the idea is how can we handle such situations that are determined by others in our life? And how could our life possibly change while others are controlling us?
In recent reports from Iraq, Iraqi people are becoming robots in the hands of politicians who still have not given what this poor people really need. they are busy with signing agreements, oil contracts in north as well in south, some have been possessed by political greed and arrogantly using their authorities for their own interests, while others have been controlled by their religious leaders calling on them to come and enroll in the political process but in reality they are wearing masks looking for the right moment to show their real faces, when they will be better arranged, to be founded inside all Iraqi governmental or non-governmental organizations and institutions, those are former ba’thists, new jihadist, or people infiltrated for foreign agendas.
Recently, Iraqi Forces along with American Forces have successfully led operations that aimed to eradicate members of Al-Qaeda from Iraq, when Iraqi tribes have remarkably participated in this, their role was essential, they have been called “Sahawat” which means “New Wake”, and they are now attached to the Iraqi Interior Ministry, in the past, they were getting paid directly from US government. Members of “Sahawat” used to be involved with Al-Qaeda by one way or another, based on what their leaders stated on many interviews with different Arabic TV. Stations, at the beginning Iraqi government hesitated to add them, but was trapped in very hard situation, choosing between excluding them from the political process, while they were affective weapon against Al-Qaeda, or enroll them inside the most sensitive institution in Iraq, where they could be potential danger that threatens the whole political process, in this fragile security of Iraq.
No need to mention that corruption is everywhere in the structure of Iraqi Government, some say that in every democratic society these things happen, when others say democratic societies didn’t include people who are infiltrated inside the government working for foreign agendas trying to revenge Iraqi people, like what we see now in Iraq, since he has bloody history with neighboring countries, like Kuwait and Iran for instance, additionally, Iraqi people have lived immorally, inhumanely, and oppressively in a dark era that lasted for more than thirty years, seeing, feeling, and tasting death at every corner of Iraq.
Another group of Iraqi people who owned their share of suffer and violence in Iraq. Since the fall of Baghdad’s regime, Iraqi Christians have lived severely under the persecution of insurgency, and the government is far away from protecting them, and what happened recently in Mosul city creates horrific picture for the future of Christianity in Iraq, the forceful displacement, and terrorizing Christian families which made them to leave Mosul, an ambiguous incident that leaves the Iraqi government puzzled about who is behind this act! Some blame fanatic groups who refuse any non-Islamic appearances in Iraq, while others go beyond that and blame the Kurds for what happened because they are controlling the majority of Mosul area, and because of their political vision that regards Christians in Iraq to be legal inhabitants of Mosul Plain, in which they can claim their rights and affirm Autonomy in both Iraq and Kurdistan constitution, but yet the truth is still missing.
In Mosul, there was a bizarre story which I heard recently, when a translator with US Forces was strangely killed by a person who claimed that his entire family was lost when a US convoy shot them on the high way near their village, later, Mosul police has arrested this guy and tried to find the motivation behind this murder, the murderer confessed saying: “Americans are out of reach, but since this traitor worked for them, then he must be killed in retaliation for what happened to my family!” I would like to note that this person is one college colleague to the murdered translator.
This story and this incident put many questions on discussion, and how things are going nowadays in Iraq, the category of Translator who worked directly with Coalition Forces in Iraq is the only one that combines people from different sects, religions, educational backgrounds, and cultures, they still share a mutual goal, its working for Americans to facilitate their mission in Iraq, as well as working to improve Iraq’s condition, something which will help withdrawal of US Forces from Iraq. Those translators are becoming the focus point of many outside Iraq, such translators had suffered enough inside and outside Iraq, many complains were addressed to American officials explaining how UNHCR in different countries is dealing with their cases, because they are directly linked to US government, others were chased by gangs or anti-Americans groups, they are receiving bad treatments, and very unpleasant decisions which could possibly ruin their lives.
Many humanitarian societies and organizations wrote reports saying that Iraq is emerging as one of the fastest-growing refugee crisis in the world, with an estimated 1.7 million Iraqis displaced from their home and up to 100,000 fleeing to Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey some others have been scattered in other nations amid of intensifying violence in Iraq. According to Iraqi government that is doing its best to get those refugees back, there have been big account of Iraqi people to return to their country, because the security situation is at the best since three years when insurgents have blow-up the domes of the two holy Shiite shrines, which was the beginning of bloody struggle and killing between the two denominations Sunni and Shiite in Iraq. UNHCR officials say that those refugees who returned not because of the improvement of security situation, but because they lack any financial resources and running out of their life savings.
The question again, if these people who have escaped the religious or sectarian violence will have the chance to return, what is the possibility for those who helped US forces to return again safely to their houses in Iraq? Many think it’s a “suicide” for them.
The US government has an obligation towards those Iraqis who helped them in Iraq, many American politicians, leaders, and Army staff have admitted that these people need to be protected; the protection has to start from the early point when they escape Iraq, until they reach anywhere in the world in which they feel secured.
Denmark should be set an example for the genuine rescue of their workers, they have made an Air-bridge from Iraq to Copenhagen, where they started to transport hundreds of its workers in Iraq to safety, and they felt that those workers will be in danger once they leave Iraq.
Below are some of the statements of American personalities, and what their opinions are regarding protecting Iraqi Translators, we hope these statements will have space in the work of officials, law-makers, or even agencies who can do their best to facilitate procedures for such people to get to the land of peace, especially Iraqi Translators who suffered enough, and they reached a point where their entire future is depending on critical decisions.
“We should not repeat the tragic and immoral mistake from the Vietnam era and leave friends without a refuge and subject to violent reprisals,” said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee’s chairman.
“We have a special obligation to keep faith with the Iraqis who have bravely worked for us — and have often paid a terrible price for it — by providing them with safe refuge in the U.S.,” said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), chairman of the committee’s immigration panel.
“Without our translators, we are deaf and dumb,” testified Marine Capt. Zachary J. Iscol. Iscol’s interpreter faced death threats and risked his life at Iscol’s side during a battle in Fallujah but has not gained refuge in the United States!
They risk their lives for us,” said Shelaine Tuytschaevers of Cumming, a sergeant in the Army Reserves who spent 2005 in Iraq. “It’s more than translating. They see things on the streets we don’t see and understand things we can’t begin to comprehend. I can’t tell you how many American lives they’ve saved. We truly have an obligation to them.”