Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Oklahoma daily

The first war on Iraq

I was finishing my PhD program at the University of Oklahoma at Norman when Bush Sr. declared war on Iraq. The USA lead a war on Iraq in 1991 with a vast network of alliance. Saddam Hussein of Iraq mindlessly invaded Kuwait because Kuwait demanded its loans to be repaid after the armistice with Khomeini of Iran.  The savage war of Iraq against Iran, instigated by the US, France, and Saudi Arabia, lasted 8 years and cost over one million casualties on both sides; both States were ravaged and bleeding economically.  The Arab Golf States funded Iraq’s war and the US and France provided the military supplies.

I sent ten articles to the Oklahoma University Daily (the student daily) and only two were published after my persistent visits to the daily.  At the time I wanted to learn writing newspaper articles professionally and getting familiar with the publishing business. I thus had volunteered work at the university daily.  The work room in the Oklahoma Daily started to recognize me as I entered to pressure for my rights to be published.  The excuse was that there were hundreds of articles demanding attention, but it was not true: The mood was to totally support the US policies and no deviant opinions were to disseminated. I didn’t support Saddam’s invasion but I had a distinctive position on how the war was managed and carried out.

Dr. Foote, one of my advisor, complimented my article on the Palestinian plights: all the Palestinians residing in Kuwait and who were well established there for many years were kicked out of Kuwait; simply because Yasser Arafat was forced to taking position with the dictator Saddam.  Dr. Foote didn’t like my second published article where I lambasted the US forces to turning the Arab/Persian Gulf to a mazout lake; Saddam had ordered all the oil wells in Kuwait burned and the refineries were pouring oil in the gulf as the Iraqi troops withdrew.

My advisor Dr. Purswell was confident that Saddam had no chance of winning this war because of the terrible imbalance in war equipments and technology; Bush Senior had managed to put together a wide alliance against the nitwit Saddam Hussein.   Even Syria was part of the contingent; in return Hafez Assad of Syria got sole mandate in Lebanon for over 15 years.  It was a lousy time for political activities on campus; the Iranian students who had frequently marched and demonstrated against the Shah had vanished from the campus after the Khomeini take over of power.

The mood was to getting a job because the US was experiencing a recession and joblessness was increasing.  The climate was to be quiet but I managed to organize a couple of demonstrations within campus.

The Oklahoma Daily (of the University of Oklahoma at Norman)


I wrote a lengthy article in 1976 about the causes of the civil war in Lebanon which the Student newspaper The Oklahoma Daily published as a series in two successive issues. My friend Ramez aided in the editing because he was familiar with journalism and was studying History of Science. Somehow the Chairman of the Syrian National Social Party at the time, In3am Ra3d, received a copy and he sent a delegation from Houston to link up with me; I kept a copy of the article and then lost it and then years later I contacted the Oklahoma daily to mail me another copy but never receive it.


Foreign student organizations


At this period there were hundreds of Iranian students on campus and they were the main core of all the demonstrations and the few Arab students were organized under the wide banner of The Arab Students association and I was appointed president of this association (since not many met anyway) for a year. We had a room allocated to us in one of the university buildings but since we never met in that room the student association decided to allocate it to another association but I fought for it and retained it for a short while.  The Iranian students were active politically and well organized and the Komeinists arrived to power in 1979 while I was in Houston.  It was in 1975 that I was beaten up by a group of Lebanese Phalanges coming from Oklahoma City and they never showed up because I complained formally to the police and spent an overnight at the university hospital.

My roommate Fouad, a Lebanese student majoring in pharmacy, used to travel two hours on weekends to work as a bartender at an Army base in Lawton. He spent the rest of the week studying to be a pharmacist in Oklahoma City, one hour away the other direction to Norman from where he rented. He used to pick me up in his Spitfire.  Fouad married a US “Philippina” and then divorced after he obtained his US passport.

I finished my program in two years but I was displeased with my thesis which was suggested by my advisor, Dr. Foote, another Jewish professor.  I was just inputting random numbers in a written computer program that another student had written and dealing with stochastic production demands. The results didn’t turn out encouraging and suffered grueling months very unsatisfied with the whole project.  I decided not to pursue a PhD program.




February 2023

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