From ‘Shock and Awe’ to ‘Mission Accomplished’ — The Journey of an Iraqi-American Peacemaker

Posted on April 8, 2013 by

IARP co-founder Sami Rasouli is both Iraqi and American. Since 2004 he has worked to heal the wounds of war and transform a legacy of violence in his home country of Iraq into one of reconciliation. Author Burt Berlowe tells his story in an article on, “From ‘Shock and Awe’ to ‘Mission Accomplished’ — The Journey of an Iraqi-American Peacemaker.”

It was ten years ago this spring that “shock and awe” and “mission accomplished” entered the lexicon of American war-talk. On March 20, 2003, “shock and awe” became words used to describe the opening explosions of the U.S. war in Iraq. Just a few weeks later, on May Day of that year, President George W. Bush stood proudly on the deck of an American warship and boasted that the mission of liberating Iraq had been accomplished. We all know better now…

But there is another kind of mission being accomplished in Iraq from the bottom-up that offers at least a glimmer of hope. Now, thanks to efforts of a courageous Iraqi-American peacemaker and his cadre of helpers, the words “mission accomplished” have taken on a whole new meaning.

I first met Sami Rasouli while I was gathering stories for my recent book: The Compassionate Rebel Revolution: Ordinary People Changing the World. I interviewed him at the Minneapolis home of peace activists John and Marie Braun, who are his close friends.

Rasouli is proud of the childhood memories he has from his home country and of the extended family that lives there. But he is also very much an American. For years, he ran a popular restaurant in northeastern Minneapolis called Sinbad’s, which helped make him a leader in the local Muslim community and, eventually, a vocal early critic of the war in Iraq…

 To read the full article on, click here.

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