Baghdad, Iraq – Two revolutionary Iraqis have adopted the tactics of their U.S. counterparts as they seek a more positive and peaceful means to end the U.S. occupation in Iraq.
“Makhtar and I were watching the CNN feed as we cleaned toilets at Baghdad International Airport”, said Honk 4 Self-Rule co-founder Jaleel Mohammed, speaking through a translator. “They were covering a rally in some major U.S. city. At first we just laughed at the irony of the Christian devils honking madly for peace as they roared past in their SUVs, but then we saw how happy the protesters were every time a car horn sounded. The suffering of our nation can be eased by exactly that kind low-effort, self-congratulatory hope.”
And so a dream was born. With his partner, Makhtar Holani, Mohammed began printing and distributing Honk 4 Self Rule bumper stickers, sometimes working by candlelight in the sole undamaged room of his home.
As supplies grew short, the two were often forced to write their simple message on cocktail napkins with their own feces. “We knew that our only hope was to get our message out there.” said Holani “Ideally, we would have liked to have a cool design and a delightfully wizened spokesman, like the “Free Tibet” people, but we had to work with what meager tools we had.”
“Predictably, our pleas for celebrity endorsement fell on deaf ears. The Dalai Lama has Gere wrapped up, Angelina Jolie is in Africa, and Sting is still fawning over the rain forest. We did get a nice letter from Lindsay Lohan, though.”
As word of mouth grew, the fledgeling group stirred up the courage to take to the streets of Baghdad with their homemade placards. They were surprised at the response. “We thought the American Marines would be angry with us, but they were honking madly.” said Mohammed with barely disguised glee.
“The Iraqi drivers we saw were a little more tentative, but one fellow gave us a rousing salute on his horn. We were all still celebrating when he swerved into the side of the police station and detonated, but for a few seconds there, we really felt like things could be different for us.”
It may be a long, lonely trek toward peace for the members of Honk 4 Home Rule, but they are determined to stay the course. “Phase 2 of the project is coming in January. We’re really hoping to get 100,000 signatures on our internet petition.” mused Holani “Of course, with 40% of the country still without power, and only 1 in every 100 homes having a computer at all, that could be an uphill slog.”
Holani and Muhammad pondered their situation for a moment. Then they looked at each other, smiled, and shouldered their placards for another day in the trenches, listening devoutly for one sweet honk of peace.