Iraq Travel Stories, Page 16



I sit here on the edge of my bed in Mosul.

It is morning and the noise level in the street is rising

slowly and soon there will be thousands of people on this street.

I am in the Duwasa area. That is all I know really. I believe it is

on the Arab side of the river. I am not sure. I am only sure that this

Hotel is safe and the people that live in this Hotel are for the most part

good people. The manager and staff are smilers. They welcome me and are

now my friend.

I sleep well for the most part. I am not going to get up and tell you

a dream or stupid story. I just wake up and it is another day. But I have

returned to Mosul for a reason and I want to accomplish my goal.

I did not sleep well last night. I am worried. I want to somehow tell the

world what I hear and feel is the truth about Iraq and its people. Yes, I do

not know Baghdad, but I do think I know now Kurdistan and Mosul.

Mosul is the second biggest city in the country after Baghdad.

It is a mess. Normal big city crap. Too many cars. Too much noise.

But it is safe and for the most part. Honest. This is strange. I would

expect to have to worry about being robbed. This is the least of my worries.

The place is safe for me.

This is just a big city in the world. The same as any of the cities I have

entered in 7 years of travel. Nothing special. That is not true. These

people are in love with me and my country. The USA.

My worry is that I will not be able to prove this, or say this in a way

that you my readers will believe me. I have a camera, video camera, and computer

to help me record the truths.

I think I know people too well, and I feel helpless. I come up with methods

or stategies on how I will prove this. I think about sitting in the chicken

place downstairs with my friend that speaks English very well. I maybe could

turn on the tape, and let it run for one hour. We would walk into the street

an grab a person. Ask him 2 questions?

What do you think of Saddam?

What do you think of the USA?

My friend could translate when needed.

I know the answers would be 99 percent not liking Saddam and 97 percent liking the USA.

I know those percentages are high, but I would be lying if I said 95.

It would look better or more truthful if I said, 95, but that is not the truth.

These people do not like Saddam.

But I am jaded and sad. I know people too well. I could do anything and they

already have an opinion. It is formed by BBC and CNN. It is just too stupid.

The media is the God. It runs peoples lives and arranges their thoughts.

It make the whole world fight and angry with each other. It takes a sniper

and make a copy. It is the most despicable form of murder possible.

The provoking of controversy for money. To incite people to hate.

So, what can I do. I can try to tell you the truth.

I suppose the bible says, "Let your yes be yes, and your no be no."

This means. I will say that the USA is doing the correct thing in Iraq.

The people here hate Saddam and love the USA.

Why am I having this debate. I come from Indiana. I have a radio media pass

and call up this radio weekly. I feel used and abused. They do not care what I say

and they do not want to search for the truth. I am sick of this. They ask questions

and have an idea of how to say the question so that I can only answer in one way.

They stop me when I start to tell the truth. I do not trust them.

They are not bad people, but they have done this so long, they cannot stop themselves.

They only think of how to make it sound big and grand. The truth is boring.

I have made a decision to stop talking on the radio. They are not trying to help

and I am not helping anyone. Entertaining them maybe. But I do not want to be

the voice that entertains them for 10 minutes every wednesday at 8:35 am.

Last week they did not even remember I was suppose to call.

This make me very angry. Here I am in a city where the 1 percent that does not

like me wants to kill me. They prove it every week. They bombed the UN two days

ago. The kill people like me daily. Well a lot.

The radio station WOWO is so self centered that they cannot remember that I am

going to great effort and cost to do this. I am not paid, and the page proves

that it does not even go up 1 percent in people visiting. I could not prove that

one person has even been on my page or joined the newsletter. It is not even a

good advertisement of my webpage. It is worthless.

I am going to stop talking on the radio. I do not want to be famous, and

this is not doing my goal. To tell the truth.

I am sad and very angry. I wish to make them feel guilty for what they do,

but I know how this work. I am talking to a black hole. No one cares and

no one wants to hear the truth. They want a soap opera. A fantasy of bullshit

that will make them famous. The do not feel any sense of duty to try to tell

the truth. They only want to be famous and cause and talk about controversy.

But I am the prostitute that is helping them. The unpaid correspondent that

they infer they have sent to this country. What bullshit. I go to them

and they know they can manipulate to the way it is presented, and I have not

control. I do have control. I will stop.

I suppose in the end I was talking on the radio to help make my mother happy.

She has had her time. She has gone to the coffee shop and said,

"That is my boy, he is in Iraq."

So I made the most important people in my life a little happy.

My family. There is nothing else in the end. A family and a few friends.

I get frustrated. I have people write me long and asshole letters.

Telling me to not ask for donations. I say, but somehow I have to pay.

They just want me to do this for nothing. No pay. I pay, and they get to feel

happy that they get this guy to give them something for nothing. I have had people

read my newsletter now for 3 years or more. They do not feel that it is worth

1 dollar. That is what I ask and they think I am bad for asking.

What a crock of shit. I give and they take. This is the new world we live in

where everyone takes and feels power by getting something for nothing.

Well I helped you asshole. I gave you something for nothing. You got what

you wanted. I sit here in this hotel. Telling a story of people and me.

You listen and read and pay nothing. Sitting in your safe place while I get

to leave the room knowing that it is possible that a person walk up behind me

today and put a gun a my head and I will have my brains all over the person

in front of me. This is reality. So feel guilty if it happens, and feel

like you sat around and did nothing and got something for nothing.

Because you are the new world. The takers. Generation X, that lives

and dies by a commericial, soap opera, the next BBC and CNN report that tells

you a lie. I am here. In Iraq. They love the USA, and hate Saddam.

That is all I want you to know. How can I get you to listen?

Goodbye WOWO. You suck.

So do you people that read this. You suck.

You are selfish and a taker. You prove it to me everyday.

(Sorry Mom and Dad about the cuss words.)

Oh, I almost forgot I came back to pick up a petition and a couple

of articles that the English scholars were suppose to write. They

was going to get me 5 business cards of good hotels for the next backpacker

that come. They have done nothing. So I so far have come back to Mosul

for nothing. What do you think? They are the same as the rest of the world.

The sit around and complain, but they do not get off their ass either.

They want the USA to save them. 40 percent of me say to let them die.

60 percent says to say stay. The 60 percent is only because it is the right

thing to do, and here is a President of the the USA. Becoming the most

hated man on earth for all of this. A piece of gravel in the middle of nowhere.

I will give them the same advice, I gave the people of Bolvia.

"Start walking and keep walking until you are in a better place."

So, I feel worthless today. I cannot change the world.

All I do is make noise. I will do my best to not get shot today.

I think there is a very small chance. About the same as walking down

the street in the Black section of the city I live at midnight.

Oops...I should say the high crime section. Why do people want me

to lie. The Black section of my city is dangerous. That does not mean

I think or think badly of blacks. It is just the truth. The most dangerous

thing you can do anymore is tell th truth. It gets you nowhere and could

get you killed. So go out and have a fantasy today. That is what you want.

I will try my best to get these Iraq English scholar to stop telling me

who they are and do what they said they was going to do. I gave them 4 extra

days to finish this, and they have had plenty of time. I leave on Saturday.

What they do with their lives is their responsibility. I hope they take

this opportunity. But if not, that is their choice. The tell me they are

men of letter. I am not sure I understand. But if that means they write letter

then I should have the petition and the to letters to publish on my webpage

in my hand. Why does everyone need a prompting. I am me, and I have a life.

I do not want to save them. I want to help them save themselves. I do my

part and they do their part.

Well. You can see I am not in a good mood today.

I am in a country that is hot and dry. Full of crazy people.

Everyone is happy that Saddam is gone, they all love America and

want a free trip there and keep asking me to take them.

The do nothing to help themselves and the same as the USA people do.

The all wait for George W. Buss to save them. I think they all need

to get a life and save themselves. I do not need you. I want you.

I will survive whether you read this or not. I could care less.

I am responsible for me. Plus I like to meet a few women and listen

to good conversation. They keep their women under tents and call it religion.

Get a life. If you call that love you are crazy also.

So today. Life is good. I will go out and do more good things then bad.

You can sit on your butt and surf, while you are suppose to be working.

You are not doing me a favor by reading this.

I will tell you again. I know you are slow.

I am positive.

They hate Saddam and love the USA.

George W. Bush is doing the right thing.

But in the end. The people of the USA are doing the right thing.

Saving these people ass.


I have arranged with a business guy in Arbil to go with him on Monday to Baghdad. He has to go for business, and knows the city very well. So a perfect person. It will be a good trip. I think that Peter is coming along, but this morning he was going to go see Farid and come to my hotel. But I met with Farid the minute his shop opened and then left by colective taxi for Mosul. But then again Peter is British. I have not known the traveler types to get up that early... Wake up Pete.


I am back in Mosul. It takes time to walk the streets. I must stop and shake hands and say hello to all my friends. It is great.

I will meet up with the English Professors and collect their articles. I am hoping that they can arrange a trip to Tikrit for me with a friend that is a taxi driver. This is a very difficult trip and I need to be extra careful.



When I first decided to come to Iraq, the only people that were allow to enter were Journalist

and a few other exceptions. So I went and got a media pass. I was helped by a radio station in

Fort Wayne, Indiana called WOWO. It is an AM talk radio. They was very quick to help.

Now I do not get paid anything from them, and do not want paid so the deal is good for me

in a way and for them very good.

So today is wednesday and I am supposed to call them every week at 8:35 AM Fort Wayne, time.

That is 5:35 PM Iraq time and the task is quite daunting. I must come to a city a day ahead.

Make sure the telephone system works. Enter the place and test it in some manner. I ask the

questions such as.. do you know how to call the USA. Now if they know English I may make progress.

If they do not it can be frustrating. Now to time this call to the second is not possible.

Here in Erbel they had 5 clocks on the wall, none of them correct. I hedge my bets and called.

The guy does not care that I want to call at exactly 5:33. I had to holler at him today.

"Try again!"

This is frustrating. I have lots of experience in the idiosyncracies of other cultures.

Sometimes there is a temptation to say the idiocy of other cultures, but let me finish the story.

So I call the Radio Station today.

I have e-mailed multiple times, plus when I was in the USA I called them and talked them

and emailed them also and tried my best to say. This is not a local call.

The one person gave me a 800 number. I said OK and thought.. wow!

Today I called,

They did not know I was calling!

So when I have the temptation to berate the local idiosyncracies or idiocies.

I know we are the same.


I may be on the other side of the planet from a lot of people, but I am still very aware of the current news.

In many ways I am bored for most of the day, and take a break to surf the internet or sit in my 1 star hotel

that is posing as a 4 star hotel and watching CNN. So I get to watch rerun upon rerun of the bombing

of the United Nations in Baghdad and little else. BBC and CNN are the only English stations. So very

hard to not be up on current events.

My opinion is that this is PAID mercenaries by Saddam or the Islamic Jihad crazies.

I do not think they can spend the money after they kill themselves, but their families are happy.


Short of setting up a bed in the Internet Cafe. I am going to have a big problem sending the letter today.

I have 1/2 the information published and just way too many headaches. Plus I am traveler and only like

to be on the internet for a couple of hours a day. It is expensive and hinders travel fun.


Me and Peter was having a discussion about the Lonely Planet Forum called the Thorntree.

It a place to ask questions, and maybe get answer. In theory it is very good, the problem

is there are people lurking around making comments, and giving advice that is bad.

Sometimes they are business owner that will say something incorrect to sell their Hotel, Tour, or whatever.

This is very annoying to me, and I normally do not use the Thorntree while on the road.

It is just too time consuming and full of misleading advice and also people that are obnoxious.

It ia great idea and works. But could be a huge problem for the novice traveler if you believe

everthing that is said. Me an Peter have been trying to counter some advice that appear to be

a outright lie about the border of Iraq being closed.

As best I can tell. They are all open.



If anyone tries to write me and I do not reply quickly, be patient.

The internet has taken a fall in Erbel for the last 2 days.

I have no idea what the problem is...?

I returned here because the internet was good.

Now.. who knows.