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[political] Liberators

Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
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We know that the majority of American people supported a war with Iraq. All for the welfare of Iraqi people, of course.
Here is today's AOL poll:
What do you think of the level of U.S. casualties since the war ended?
64% - Unacceptable; it's time for our troops to come home
36% - Acceptable; we need to do whatever it takes to complete our mission
Total votes: 213,084
People, is Iraq a toy? We played with it, we got tired, now we can throw it out? If we do not want to see our soldiers killed, then why did we start the mess?
[ August 27, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
Anonymous
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36% - Acceptable; we need to do whatever it takes to complete our mission

What is the mission now ?
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Polls like these just show how fickle populations are and how manipulative the media can be. Its all b*llocks IMHO ...
Originally posted by <Sameer Jamal>:
What is the mission now ?
Stabilise Iraq and "create" a government based on democracy.
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
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Similar to the ones we tried to create in Vietnam,Cambodia,El Salvador,Afghanistan.
Democracy is must in every part of the world
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
AOL Poll? Is this some kind of online poll? If so, that pretty much makes it not worth much. Who were the respondants? Were they all Americans for example? Were they all legally able to cast votes in elections in this country? Could you vote more than once?
We'll be there for awhile and we aren't going anywhere.
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by <Noam Chomsky>:
Similar to the ones we tried to create in Vietnam,Cambodia,El Salvador,Afghanistan.
Democracy is must in every part of the world

Who's we?
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

One thing I've learned in systems design and integration, as well as firefighting, is that very, very few people are ever learn to think about the consequences of large-scale operations, such as a war.
There was a poll in the McNews some time ago that asked people how high the casualty count would have to go before they considered the whole thing a mistake. And of course, most people picked one of the numbers proffered by the survey, as if they'd actually considered the question the way a cost-benefits analyst does.
I don't know people blame the media for this. The first goal of any news source is to get people to come back to your news source. And we all know controversy sells. There's really no such thing as a long-term ally in the media, unless you're always on the side of controversy.


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
...

[deleted]


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Please help us. We created a mess which we cant clean up now.
So please tell us what to do and help us.
[by RK]
And someone was trying to tell that there is no importance of UN.
I wish now atleast some people will realise that there is importance of UN and they should learn to respect it.
AW better late than never.
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Is it only me who is reading a new Iraqi blog?
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
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No, you pointed me to this before. It is but one of many views no doubt. Hers is likely a view shared by many educated Sunnis who were well-off before the war. I wonder what views are most common among those who were most directly oppressed by the Hussein regime, such as the Kurds and Shia majority, those without computers and Internet access? Here's one interesting expression of a family's opinion on the subject.
Axel Janssen
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Remember that great part of the debates here were about if it would be possible to turn Iraq into a democracy after the war.
Some of the Americans were very positive about the prospects of a new Iraq as a role model for the region.
People from countries who experienced a drastic change of the political system in their country knew that the optimism was just that and that real outcome would be much more problematic.
We brought democracy to Germany and Japon. We beat USSR in cold war. Now they have democracy. Now we are going to bring it to Iraq.
I haven't lived, when my country became democracy (1945 - 60ties), but I know it was a complicated process. It is about changing minds of people. And there is lots of inertia along the way. And the destruction of the rules of the old system could lead to negative results for the lifes of the people in the short and medium run.
[ August 28, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
Jason Menard
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Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Axel Janssen:
I haven't lived, when my country became democracy (1945 - 60ties), but I know it was a complicated process. It is about changing minds of people. And there is lots of inertia along the way.

Absolutely! People seem to be expecting immediate results and that's just not going to happen. Anybody familiar with post-WW2 reconstruction would be able to attest to that. Many people in that region are hungry for democracy, but the sad truth is that their society, as with most societies in the region, are ill-prepared to make an instant jump from an authoritarian society to one of individual responsibility.
Here's a good quote:
"Given the absence of democracy in the region," she said, "people since colonial times have accepted politics as a struggle against foreign powers and intervention. They are not taught anything except struggling against foreigners. So they're confused."

That doesn't mean there isn't room for optimism. I believe before the war I stated that if any society in the region would be able to handle the transition, Iraq certainly could be that one. These things take time though, and it is going to require the effort of the Iraqi people more so than the efforts of the coalition in order to form themselves into a progressive civil society.
Joe Pluta
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Is it only me who is reading a new Iraqi blog?

And how exactly does the author justify her passivity to the death and torture of her countrymen? Sure Iraq had bridges and roads and computers - it also had death squads and rape and torture of the people by the government.
Evidently, the author of this blog would rather go back to "the good old days" when mass murder occurred on a regular basis. It was fine, as long as she was able to wear jeans to school. That basically tells me all I need to know about her.
Joe
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
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There is big difference between imposing something[in this case freedom/democracy] and achieving something.
One might love to eat cake but if I force one to eat cake, it wont be that delicious OR a real man will not eat at all.
Anything given/granted without demand/need does not hold any value.
Does anyone understand difference between imposing and achieving ??
And second thing now everyone talks about liberation of Iraq, war on terrorism is not anywhere when Iraq comes in to the picture.
What a agony ??
NOW one can cry for terrorism also.
Anonymous
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IMO both are extrmists.Those who are trying to 'install' and 'configure'the democracy against people's will anywhere and those who are relegious zealots.
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
JM: No, you pointed me to this before. It is but one of many views no doubt.
Of course, it's only one view. I am watching closely both blogs (Salam's is better know and I already gave a link to it) because these are Iraqi people themselves speaking, rather than what Western media think about Iraqi people or chose to report. I do not imagine that any of them represent "Iraqis" or anybody besides themselves. But it is interesting how things look from the other side of liberation.
Axel: Remember that great part of the debates here were about if it would be possible to turn Iraq into a democracy after the war.
Some of the Americans were very positive about the prospects of a new Iraq as a role model for the region.
People from countries who experienced a drastic change of the political system in their country knew that the optimism was just that and that real outcome would be much more problematic.

Russians had this moment of euphoria some years ago, when "democracy" looked like the next natural step. Turned out, that post-authoritarian countries much easier move into degrading directions, than anything else. And if there are several nations living together, this only worse the situation, as what used to be tensions quickly turns into violence. Plus to all this Iraq is in danger of becoming a playground of Muslim "freedom fighters". Another thing, Iraq doesn't seem to have a leader who could unite the nation and lead the country to democracy. Of maybe I am just not informed enough.
JM: These things take time though, and it is going to require the effort of the Iraqi people more so than the efforts of the coalition in order to form themselves into a progressive civil society.
Only time will show, but what I read last days is scaring. Seems that they will more eagerly reform themselves into a fundamentalist Islamic society.
JP: And how exactly does the author justify her passivity to the death and torture of her countrymen? Sure Iraq had bridges and roads and computers - it also had death squads and rape and torture of the people by the government.
Well, she was trying to disperse what she perceived as a "myth about Iraq". She is probably aware that Westerns are well informed about death squads and tortures, so she was highlighting another side.
JP: Evidently, the author of this blog would rather go back to "the good old days" when mass murder occurred on a regular basis. It was fine, as long as she was able to wear jeans to school. That basically tells me all I need to know about her.
I would say this is quite a jump to the conclusion... She mentioned jeans because now she apparently has to wear more conservative clothes. You do not think this is a legitimate concern? She does complain a lot, but I wouldn't suspect she would rather go back to "the good old days" unless she clearly said so. Joe, you were talking about 9/11 horrific image and that this was what justified this war for you. They survived bombing, and now occupation, how do you think they should feel? I had an interesting clash of quotes... My mother-in-law gave us old Time magazines, and there was an article about a woman who was preparing her house in case there will be some kind of attack. I think, I got some insight into why majority of American supported this war -- this is scaring indeed. The same evening I was reading these two blogs and I was amused that the very people who were afraid of horrific events subjected other people to no less horrific events. Another attack on the US never materialized (thanks God), but Iraqis knew for sure they will be bombed. How would you feel if you had to sit with your kids and to talk what to do in case... Well, in case... If you weren't sure who from your family will survive and who not? After America's three buildings were destroyed, it was said that America will never be the same. So what do you expect from them, who I would imagine lost more than three buildings, to jump in joy... I am not trying to accuse anybody in anything, but this reaction seems to be a bit hostile.
[ August 29, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Joe Pluta
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Map, first off, you have no idea who is actually writing that blog. The writer goes out of "her" way to make sure you can't verify anything. The few things she does say specifically (such as Qambar attacking someone on a TV show) I have been unable to find any verification for. So, before we start into the pros or cons of her statements and my reaction, let's be clear that this entire blog is just as likely to be fiction as fact.
But, to give you the benefit of the doubt, I'm prepared to at least allow that the writer is an actual Iraqi (this is a HUGE assumption, but that's okay, I'm willing to make it for purposes of this discussion).
You said "Well, she was trying to disperse what she perceived as a "myth about Iraq". She is probably aware that Westerns are well informed about death squads and tortures, so she was highlighting another side."
That's not my point. My point is that this woman obviously lived a life of comparatively high standards - no, VERY high standards - while her fellow countrymen were being slaughtered wholesale. I see no mention of the fact that she is happy other citizens are able to live their lives, no joy on her part that the regime has ended. That makes me think that she would be just fine if all that started up again, as long as her life wasn't disrupted.
"I am not trying to accuse anybody in anything, but this reaction seems to be a bit hostile."
You really don't understand the difference between unannounced, unprovoked terrorist attacks on civilians, and an announced act of war against a brutal, oppressive regime? You can somehow compare an Iraqi woman who can't wear jeans with someone who was flown into a building by terrorists?
I have sympathy for the civilians who were killed during the bombing of Iraq. I feel badly that the infrastructure of Iraq took a beating, and I hope things get better soon. But I have little sympathy for someone who is whining about not being able to wear jeans when not long ago her countrymen were being killed by heir own government.
Hostile? Perhaps. But the person writing that blog is an entirely self-centered, self-involved person, and I find those people distasteful in any country. And if you can't see that, then we're probably not going to agree on much of aything about this particular subject.
Joe
Mapraputa Is
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Last things first! You said: "and if you can't see that, then we're probably not going to agree on much of anything about this particular subject" -- we do not need to agree. If we could help each other (and perhaps ourselves) to understand our reactions better, that should be good enough. As for "if you can't see that", there are always many possible interpretations, and from my small experience of communicating over the Internet (which means not enough information for any definite conclusion), I was right far more often when I assumed best of people than the other way around.
Regarding her blog being a hoax: I found this link in Salam's blog and his identity is more-or less proven, I think (well, some did not believe he was real either):
"People, I have the most amazing surprise for you, well for those who have been reading the blog before the war. do you remember [Riverbend]? she's in Mosul now she is OK but she had to quit her job because some shia fundi took over wher she used to work and made life miserable. and she sent me something to put on the blog.
and she is *NOT* my female alter ego as some poeple have suggested, actually there were stranger suggestions that [salam pax] is actually [riverbend] but she decided to diguise her self as a man. whatever."
August 03, 2003
http://www.dear_raed.blogspot.com/
This is good enough an introduction for me.
The few things she does say specifically (such as Qambar attacking someone on a TV show) I have been unable to find any verification for
One thing I was able to verify: she said women now stay home and go outside only if some men accompany them - I read about it in other places. Here is one:
The Human Rights Watch report "climate of fear: Sexual Violence and abduction of Women and girls in Baghdad":
"The cases of Saba A., Salma M., Muna B., and Dalal S. (not real names or initials) are in keeping with other accounts of rape and abduction that Baghdad women and girls and their families cited as the primary reason that they feared to leave their homes."
http://hrw.org/reports/2003/iraq0703/
But, to give you the benefit of the doubt, I'm prepared to at least allow that the writer is an actual Iraqi (this is a HUGE assumption, but that's okay, I'm willing to make it for purposes of this discussion).
Why "the benefit of the doubt" should be made to believe she is real and not the other way around? I thought we normally assume people are telling the truth unless proved otherwise, what makes this case so special? Why is it a HUGE assumption? Did she write anything incredible or what looks like conscious propaganda?
I see no mention of the fact that she is happy other citizens are able to live their lives, no joy on her part that the regime has ended.
American Occupation may not look all that appealing if you are not an American and you cannot simply take its greatness for granted. And considering the situation they are in, with 65% unemployed population, without electricity in 120 heat, women locked in their houses, terrorism, crimes etc. etc. etc, is it really too hard to imagine they can be more worried about the very uncertain future rather than celebrating the fall of the old regime? After all, it's four months since the liberation -- she started blog at the end of August -- they might finish celebrations by this time.
You really don't understand the difference between unannounced, unprovoked terrorist attacks on civilians, and an announced act of war against a brutal, oppressive regime?

This is a question of whether a glass is half full or half empty. Of course there is a difference. But there are striking similarities also -- people just as dead. I am not equaling terrorists with those who supported the war, I only equaling dead bodies.
But I have little sympathy for someone who is whining about not being able to wear jeans when not long ago her countrymen were being killed by heir own government.
She is not being able to wear jeans because the state of public opinion becomes more religious, not less! Doesn't look like they are moving to more democracy, does it? And you are talking about it like if she complained about not getting a chocolate cake, because there is only lemon one left! I would take her concern as a good sign, not bad! And what all this has to do with "her countrymen being killed by their own government"? Does that mean she now has to be absolutely happy with all that goes on? Now her countrymen are being killed by each other, without help of their oppressive government -- is it really much better?
And let's not forget that the democratic regimes watched her countrymen being killed by the brutal dictator for long enough, and did little besides imposing suffocating economical sanctions that did more damage to the country and its people than to the brutal dictator. So what is this high morale ground we are speaking from now? I just read this: "More than 1,000 Iraqi children have been killed or wounded by abandoned weapons and munitions since the April 9 fall of Baghdad, the UN children's fund UNICEF said Thursday, urging action from the US-led coalition here."
Link.
-- are you going to lose sleep over it? I know I am not (unfortunately), so why to throw stones at other? We look no less atrocious and probably extremely hypocritical from their side too.
She is an educated Sunni (is it her fault?), she isn't too fundamentalist a Muslim, she speaks English, she lived abroad, she isn't totally alien to Western culture -- who are you going to build a democracy in Iraq with if you are so quick to push off people like she?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Why "the benefit of the doubt" should be made to believe she is real and not the other way around? I thought we normally assume people are telling the truth unless proved otherwise, what makes this case so special?
On the internet? I always assume that whatever I am reading on the internet is a load of crap.


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Anonymous
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
On the internet? I always assume that whatever I am reading on the internet is a load of crap.

This also applies to whatever you post on the net.
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
JP: You really don't understand the difference between unannounced, unprovoked terrorist attacks on civilians, and an announced act of war against a brutal, oppressive regime?
This is a question of whether a glass is half full or half empty. Of course there is a difference. But there are striking similarities also -- people just as dead. I am not equaling terrorists with those who supported the war, I only equaling dead bodies.
Sorry, Map, but we'll always disagree on this one. To have a reasonable discourse, you have to make value judgements, and to say you're just "equaling dead bodies" is to completely ignore the fact that we warned the Iraqis for weeks that we were coming and when we did attack targeted primarily military objectives, while the 9/11 terrorists flew planes into civilian structures with no warning and with the express thought to kill as many innocent civilians as possible.
If you do not acknowledge this fundamental difference, we have no ground upon which to discuss.
JP: But I have little sympathy for someone who is whining about not being able to wear jeans when not long ago her countrymen were being killed by heir own government.
She is not being able to wear jeans because the state of public opinion becomes more religious, not less! Doesn't look like they are moving to more democracy, does it?
You're making this statement after a few months. Why not wait until the new government is in place and see what happens?

Map: And you are talking about it like if she complained about not getting a chocolate cake, because there is only lemon one left! I would take her concern as a good sign, not bad! And what all this has to do with "her countrymen being killed by their own government"? Does that mean she now has to be absolutely happy with all that goes on? Now her countrymen are being killed by each other, without help of their oppressive government -- is it really much better?
I say this because not once in all of here self-indulgent whining did she mention the fact that thousands of her fellow countrymen are now free to live their lives. This obviously doesn't register on her radar, because it doesn't compare with her inability to wear jeans.
What self-indulgent, whining crap.

Map: And let's not forget that the democratic regimes watched her countrymen being killed by the brutal dictator for long enough, and did little besides imposing suffocating economical sanctions that did more damage to the country and its people than to the brutal dictator. So what is this high morale ground we are speaking from now?
I've always said that the one thing we did wrong was we should have gone in sooner. I guess you agree, eh?
I just read this: "More than 1,000 Iraqi children have been killed or wounded by abandoned weapons and munitions since the April 9 fall of Baghdad, the UN children's fund UNICEF said Thursday, urging action from the US-led coalition here."
Post-war munitions, especially mines, have been a problem worldwide most of this century. Princess Diana was deeply involved in that particular crusade. Aer you saying these munitions are all American, or that they exist because of America?

Map: We look no less atrocious and probably extremely hypocritical from their side too.
This is exactly the issue I disagree with. I'm sorry, but you cannot compare Hussein's regime with today's America in any way. Those who prospered, did so by turning a blind eye to the genocide of their fellow countrymen. That's what I find so distasteful about the author. Rather than rejoicing in the newfound freedom of her countrymen, she's upset about not being able to wear jeans.
Sad, truly sad.
Joe
Hanna Habashy
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Joined: Aug 20, 2003
Posts: 532
hi:
Going to Iraq was a big mistake. We should not try to tell people how to live thier lives. If we like democracy, some other countries don't. Democracy is a realative concept. What we think is democracy here in America, is not considered democracy in some other parts of the world. Iraq wasn't a threat to any country. They have been under sanction for 11 years. Thier resources are pretty much exhausted. It was all a political plan to distract us form our economic disastor, and the failer of our administration to do anything about it.
If we left Iraq right now, it will creat domestic violence, and it might lead to a civil war in Iraq. I agree that we have to stay there now.
The funny thing is: All countries said no to that war, but our arrogance refused to listen. Now we are on our keens asking for help...so sad


SCJD 1.4<br />SCJP 1.4<br />-----------------------------------<br />"With regard to excellence, it is not enough to know, but we must try to have and use it.<br />" Aristotle
Joe Pluta
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Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Posts: 1376
Originally posted by Hanna Habashy:
The funny thing is: All countries said no to that war, but our arrogance refused to listen. Now we are on our keens asking for help...so sad

Actually, the United Nations said YES to the war not once, but twice. It wasn't until the United States actually showed its willingness to actually act on those agreements that certain nations basically backed down on their promises.
If it were not for our unilateral action, Hussein would still be in power. And while you may be right that Democracy is not for everyone, totalitarianism and genocide is for noone. If you think Iraq would be better off with Hussein in power, then you need to go talk to some of the Kurds and Shia.
Joe
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Joe wrote: ... is to completely ignore the fact that we warned the Iraqis for weeks that we were coming and when we did attack targeted primarily military objectives, while the 9/11 terrorists flew planes into civilian structures with no warning and with the express thought to kill as many innocent civilians as possible.
I am not arguing with this. Intentions are very different, and this war wasn't started because Americans wanted to kill Iraqi people, and I believe all reasonable steps were made to minimize the number of casualties. But the full-scale war brings broader disaster than what a handful of terrorists can do. There are good reasons to believe more Iraqis are killed then Americans died in 9/11 attack. A magic word "liberation" failed to do its job for me, to 100% justify deaths, so... Let's put it this way, there are different "levels" of reality. On the first level there are people blooding, and on the second there are all morale concepts, justifications and rhetoric in the world, designed to explain how good it is and why it is so good. "Reality check" is needed -- to cross the levels, too see what is behind "magic words". To stay on the level of a pure rhetoric means a potential danger of being a victim of manipulation. I mentioned this blog as one possible (as unreliable and imperfect as it is) source of bringing reality level # 1 closer. To call the messenger names... I don't know what it will achieve.
You're making this statement after a few months. Why not wait until the new government is in place and see what happens?
This wasn't my point. My point was that her concern is not her personal discomfort over limited choice of nice outfit, but what she perceived as "increase of fundamentalism in Iraq". Here is the fuller quote:
"We are seeing an increase of fundamentalism in Iraq which is terrifying.
I am female and Muslim. Before the occupation, I more or less dressed the way I wanted to. I lived in jeans and cotton pants and comfortable shirts. Now, I don’t dare leave the house in pants. A long skirt and loose shirt (preferably with long sleeves) has become necessary. A girl wearing jeans risks being attacked, abducted or insulted by fundamentalists who have been… liberated!
Men in black turbans (M.I.B.T.s as opposed to M.I.B.s) and dubious, shady figures dressed in black, head to foot, stand around the gates of the bureau in clusters, scanning the girls and teachers entering the secondary school. The dark, frowning figures stand ogling, leering and sometimes jeering at the ones not wearing a hijab or whose skirts aren’t long enough. In some areas, girls risk being attacked with acid if their clothes aren’t ‘proper’.
The whole situation is alarming beyond any description I can give. Christians have become the victims of extremism also. Some of them are being threatened, others are being attacked. A few wannabe Mullahs came out with a ‘fatwa’, or decree, in June that declared all females should wear the hijab and if they didn’t, they could be subject to ‘punishment’. Another group claiming to be a part of the ‘Hawza Al Ilmia’ decreed that not a single girl over the age of 14 could remain unmarried- even if it meant that some members of the Hawza would have to have two, three or four wives. This decree included females of other religions. In the south, female UN and Red Cross aides received death threats if they didn’t wear the hijab."
You: What self-indulgent, whining crap.
Why this caused such a hostility from you, and what reasons this text provides for insulting her, I am lost. Honestly. "jeans" was only a small part of her entry and very much taken out of context.
I've always said that the one thing we did wrong was we should have gone in sooner. I guess you agree, eh?
Whether I agree or not is a totally different question. My point is that she supposedly prospered while her countrymen were killed and tortured, and we were just as happy to prosper watching the same picture plus contributed to the suffering of innocent Iraqis by means of economical sanctions. I do not think many of us are in a good position to direct morale philippics at her.
Post-war munitions, especially mines, have been a problem worldwide most of this century. Princess Diana was deeply involved in that particular crusade.
Unrelated.
Aer you saying these munitions are all American, or that they exist because of America?
Part of it is American, I would imagine. Another part is abandoned because of an American invasion. From the same source:
"UNICEF official Geoff Keele told a press conference in Baghdad that the casualties were the result of handling arms, ammunition and cluster bombs dumped at several hundred sites around Iraq.
Hundreds of surface-to-air missiles abandoned by the now-disbanded Iraqi army, many of them damaged and unstable, also pose a serious threat, he said." (boldness provided)
But what difference does it really make to whom it belongs? Children are being killed and injured, and we are so damn good at finding justifications for it, so we can continue our comfortable lives. No big surprise here, that's how people are, but why to castigate a 24-old girl for the same sin?
[ August 30, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Hanna Habashy
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Joined: Aug 20, 2003
Posts: 532
hi:
I don't know if the UN ever agreed to go to invade Iraq. But I won't argue with that.
My argument is we can't be the policeman for the world. This is not our job. This suppose to be the UN job. I want you to remember something else. We are the first one who encourage Hussain in his first war with Iran. We gave hime the biological weapons to use it in Iran. We supplied him and supported him for seven long years. why? becuase we had interest for doing so.
Hussain war againest the Kurds in north Iraq is just another example of racialism. Same as in India, North Korea, Pakistan, and many other countries. I am not saying it is right, it is wrong. But were are not going to war againest all those countries.
Hussain never was a threat to the US, and he would never could be. It is a third world country. They have been in wars for over 15 years, then under UN sanction for over a decade. What could possibly do to us??
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Map: We look no less atrocious and probably extremely hypocritical from their side too.
Joe: This is exactly the issue I disagree with. I'm sorry, but you cannot compare Hussein's regime with today's America in any way.

I do not compare Hussein's regime with today's America. I am only saying that it's easy to lose perspective when your country is being bombed and destroyed. I am saying that we should try to look at each other with more sympathetic eyes, rather then express our disgust, as this will only contribute to further misunderstanding and promote hatred. I do not see too much of a dialog between ordinary people of two countries, these two blogs are a rather rare example (if you know more, tell me). I would think this could be actually a part of "liberation", helping to advance the country in democratic direction. Or are we going to delegate this mission to marines? It makes me sad to observe that as soon as they do not write precisely what we want to read, we start to blame them for being too educated, too prosperous, too self-indulged and self-centered etc. In short, not good enough for democracy? This is not only my concern, I actually read this on Salam's blog:
"This has actually been giving me sleepless nights; people interpret everything I say in a thousand different ways. And the problem is that I am not exactly very clear about how I feel about the war and occupation to myself, how am I to explain this to all the people who read this and the article in the Guardian. <...>
After the last article I wrote in the Guardian I was wondering whether I should stop whining. The problem is that people want to read that things are getting better and we are happy, but things are getting better in such a slow pace that it is almost imperceptible, and with the one step we move forward on one front we move back 3 steps on other fronts. People need to know that their kids and loved ones are here for a good reason and this is what they want to hear. Otherwise they send me emails saying that I am being part of the problem. They send me emails telling me that I should help the Americans capture the terrorists and Baathists, as if they walk around in the streets wearing signs. "
Joe, I had to watch Russia's glorious marsh to "democracy", or, rather what it mistakes for democracy, and part of the problem was we were largely left to do it on our own, there wasn't too much communication with outside world. A language barrier, a cultural barrier... people who can speak decent English (yeah, these privileged, over-educated self-centered bastards) could serve as transmitters, and that you can find nothing better than insulting words for them for the reason I cannot even start to comprehend, this really makes me sad. They aren't role models of morale perfectness? Try to forgive them, they weren't lucky enough to be born in the land populated by role models of morale perfectness, after all.
Sorry for long rants, this is kinda personal for me, I guess.
[ August 30, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Anonymous
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Originally posted by <Sameer Jamal>:

This also applies to whatever you post on the net.

I thought Thomas Paul is only a reviewer
(Amazon Top 1,300 reviewer)
Joe Pluta
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Map, you do a good job of ignoring what I say. You keep focusing on one statement, that some of the more fundamentalist folks currently aremaking some noise and throwing their weight around. Heck, we go through that here in America - we call it the Moral Majority <grin>. And after the zealots show their hand and inevitably get caught with their hands in the cookie jar (air conditioned doghouses or something of the ilk), then America shrugs them off and goes her merry way.
I contend that the current religious backlash is likely to be fairly short-lived as the people get more of a taste of what freedom is all about. But even if the backlash continues, it's the Iraqi people's decision. If the blog author doesn't like it, she ought to go about working to help form a more moderate government. But do you think she will?
I don't. I think the woman is whining and self-indulgent. Here's her latest complaint:
"My brother, E., was out at 8 am this morning getting gasoline for the car. He came home at 12 pm in a particularly foul mood. He had waited in line of angry, hostile Iraqis for 3 hours. Gasoline lines drive people crazy because, prior to the war, the price of gasoline in Iraq was ridiculously low. A liter of gasoline (unleaded) cost around 20 Iraqi Dinars when one US dollar equaled 2,000 Iraqi dinars. In other words, 1 liter of gasoline cost one cent! A liter of bottled water cost more than gasoline. Not only does it cost more now, but it isn�t easy to get. I think they�re importing gasoline from Saudi Arabia and Turkey."
Map, I don't care how you twist it, this is a pampered, self-important person who is more worried about her personal quality of life than of the fact that the genocide is over and the brutal regime that led it is gone. Kurds and Shia can worship freely, but gas is too expensive! OH THE HORROR!
The fact is that from what I read of this blog, the author would have been thrilled to continue her life under the Hussein regime with those atrocities going on, as long as she had air conditioning. She is only now complaining because she gas prices are too high.
If you feel this is a moral stance, then great. I don't.
Simple as that.
Anyway, no, I'm not going to lose sleep over it. And in fact I'm not going to write any more about it. You consider this woman to be a grand example of post-invasion Iraqi sentiment, I consider her to be a self-serving whiner.
Joe
Joe Pluta
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And lest anybody get the wrong idea, I in no way am trying to lessen the importance of Map's statements. Map's life gives her a historical perspective that I for one find enlightening, and I love to read her comments. Okay, I like them a little less when she is taking me to task , but even then she is erudite and civil, and as always, she shows a lot of compassion.
Her experiences lead her to her opinions, mine lead me to mine. On this particular issue, it's quite possible that I am over-zealous in my feelings for my country. And at the same time, Map's experiences tinge her opinions. In fact, there is a societal difference that is difficult to bridge at times.
When I was attempting to learn a little conversational Russian, I remember giving my Russian friends much enjoyment. "How are you" in Russian is "kak dela" (please forgive my terrible phonetic spelling). I wanted to surprise my one friend with a good Russian response to this simple phrase, to I learned the word "Harosho", or "Good!".
So my friend came in one morning, and asked "Kak dela?", expecting an English response. I responded "Harosho", only to elicit gales of laughter from this normally taciturn man. Blushing profusely, certain I had somehow mispronounced the word and instead made some inane comment about my bodily functions, I asked what I had said. I will always remember his answer:
"You said 'Good'. A REAL Russian would never say 'Good'. Instead, we say 'so-so' (tak sebe) or 'could be better' (nichivo). It is the Russian way."
Something as simple as that, and yet so complex.
Now, I don't know if this applies to my wonderful verbal sparring partner, Map, but I do know that people from different cultures see even the simplest things in very different lights. And so while I continue to argue my point with Map, nobody should think I consider her position to be less insightful or less meaningful than mine. Only different.
And until we meet again, Всего наилучшего.
Joe
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I agree that there is not much sense to continue this discussion. Frankly, I do not care about this girl's level of morality too much, she is just a source of information. I guess, what I am looking for are details that transcend one's little imperfect personality. Like I read in this book how during Baghdad bombings in 1991 they started to make a certain kind of food they never made before (if I am not mistaken it was "basturma") that was supposed to keep meat from going bad, because there was no electricity and refrigerators did not work. I think, this is Iraqi people's morale duty to share with the world their recipes of surviving enjoying humanitarian bombings, because there are other countries in line to be liberated. Guys, do not be selfish, share your little tricks, so other can better enjoy their bombings! Bombers are getting upset if you do not enjoy their work!
Ok, Ok, peace. My apologies for this outburst, I am trying to learn that bombings are great and very democratic, but this process is so slow and mind-wreaking... Please bear with me...
You made me laugh with your story about "Kak dela?" This is very true that Russians would never say anything more positive than "so-so", and even this only if they aren't too interested in a conversation. Otherwise a person would respond with a list of complains, and the etiquette rules require the asker to respond with his/her own list of complains of roughly equal severity. Just a different ritual.
I do not know how broad an areal of this tradition is, but it is not unique for Russian culture. There was an interview with a Polish movie producer Krzysztof Kieslowski, where he said he lived for a while in the USA, and was very irritated when his neighbor (or somebody else, I can be wrong in details) responded "Okay" to "How are you?" "Okay? I am not okay, why he is okay?" It is not about material well-being, "I am not okay" is more a spiritual thing, like "tragic sense of life" or something like that.
Again, I am not sure about details, but he either finally decided this country is not for him, or made another equally profound conclusion about American culture, but I remember being perplexed how he drove his profound conclusion from one little superficial habit. Maybe he could see much deeper than me, this is very possible. His movies are great beyond any imagination.
[ August 31, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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And before I finally go to bed... I am a little shy about public confessions in love, but lest anybody get the wrong idea Joe is a wonderful person and I am so lucky we managed to collaborate on making some really good mess in this forum.
John Smith
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Joe is a wonderful person and I am so lucky we managed to collaborate on making some really good mess in this forum.
I don't see any mess, -- rather a spirited discussion where the parties have different opinions. You know, there is a place called chrono-synclastic infundibula somewhere out there. It's where all truths converge, where the ultimate answers are found, where the morality, law, and beauty are defined in a clear language that cannot be misinterpreted. You may perhaps already found a few manifestations of chrono-synclastic infundibula, -- it's the sound of the waves on the ocean beach, it's the view of the sunset, it's the sexual desire. And while it may be naive to think that chrono-synclastic infundibula may be found as a result of the heated debates in MD, it certainly stimulates the search.
Joe Pluta
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Thanks, Map. And now that we've beaten this patricular topic to a pulp, it's time to find something else to cause a ruckus .
Joe
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Ha! "Ruckus" -- here it is!
Eugene: chrono-synclastic infundibula
"It is a phenomenon causing people (and things) to be scattered through space and time, enabling them to actually be in two places/times at once."
How could I live without this word! This is something I've been struggling to define for long time and it resisted any attempt. Not only me, I've met variations on this theme in many places. Our former compatriot and now a citizen of the USA Mikhael Epstein compares his emigration experience to getting the second eye while before you had only one; so now you suddenly start to see in perspective what was flat. William Gibson: "I don't understand what it would be like to be fully of one culture or another. The interesting people end up between the various bits and become omnicultural." It is easy to get a taste of chrono-synclastic infundibulum if you are bilingual and bi-cultural, you do not have too much of a choice, you just periodically find yourself there. How other can find a way, I have no idea, they must be geniuses.
I got my first invitation to CSI via Jewish music. It fascinated me every time I heard it and you did not get too much of it in the Soviet Union, which only added charm. Some melodies has an interesting quality: it's hard to say is it a joy or a sadness, it is somehow both. I was too young and did not have any clue about mixed feelings, so this was a totally new experience, an embryo of the state of emotions I developed only many years later.
You do not get into chronosynclastic infundibulum through logical constructions and hard thinking. It's a very irrational thing, very emotional, at least for me. The only thing that represents chrono-synclastic infundibulum on intellectual level is absurd. Absurd is an ambassador of chrono-synclastic infundibulum in own realm of intellect. I love absurd stories and with some experience you'll see them everywhere. I have one to share, some next post... For now here is something I have to share, this is from the life of privileged educated Iraqis!
[ August 31, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Anonymous
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I got an email. After throwing everything and the kitchen sink at me they ask:
"How are your parents doing?
Ah yes, your parents. Salam, people are wondering."
Actually they are doing very well, thank you. My father was invited to an informal dinner attended by Garner the second week he was in Baghdad; he also met some of Bodine’s aides and has met some of Bremer’s aides a couple of times too. Not to mention many of your top military people south of Baghdad.
Seriously, not joking there.
Let me make a suggestion. Do not assume, not even for a second, that because you read the blog you know who I am or who my parents are. And you are definitely not entitled to be disrespectful. Not everything that goes on in this house ends up on the blog, so please go play Agatha Christy somewhere else.
My mother, a sociologist who was very happy in pursuing her career at the ministry of education decided to give up that career when she had to choose between becoming Ba’ath party member and quitting her job, she became a housewife. My father, a very well accomplished economist made the same decision and decided to become a farmer instead.
You are being disrespectful to the people who have put the first copy of George Orwell's 1984 in my hands, a heavy read for a 14 year old with bad English. But that banned book started a process and gave me the impulse to look at the world I live in a different way.
go fling the rubbish at someone else.
Joe Pluta
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Originally posted by <Salam Pax>:
Let me make a suggestion. Do not assume, not even for a second, that because you read the blog you know who I am or who my parents are. And you are definitely not entitled to be disrespectful. Not everything that goes on in this house ends up on the blog, so please go play Agatha Christy somewhere else.

What in the world is this? Is this directed somehow at this group?
Regradless, I find it totally amusing that someone would put up a weblog (no, I won't use the cute shortcut terminology, thank you) and then somehow register surprise that they get vitriolic response. It takes a certain amount of arrogance to think anyone really cares about your daily life, and if you're annoying enough that people do care, you need a thick enough skin
to deal with it.
It's not unlike being a columnist, or posting in forums, only it requires a lot more chutzpah, IMHO.
Do I think people with weblogs are all egomaniacal, self-centered jerks?
No, not all of them. Just like not all IT columnists are conceited, self-absorbed nerds.
Joe
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Here is an absolutely surrealistic story. I was looking through "Reading Lolita in Tehran" book in Borders, and there was a story how they watched "The Sacrifice" movie in Tehran in 1988.
"Although the films were censored and shown in the original Russian<sup>*</sup>) with no subtitles, there were lines outside the cinema hours before the box office opened. Tickets were sold on black market at many times the actual price..."
"the afternoon I went to see The Sacrifice was a fine winter day: not really winter, a mixture of winter and spring. Yet the most amazing feature of the day was not the heavenly weather, not even the movie itself, but the crowd in front of the movie house. It looked like a protest rally. There were intellectuals, office workers, housewives, some with their small children in tow, a young mullah standing uncomfortably to the side - the kind of mix of people you would never have found at any other gathering in Tehran."
Why I found it surrealistic, Tarkovsky's movies are considered elitist, they are not for people from the street. And the movie was shown without translation! And people wanted to watch it!
She explained that they simply wanted to see something beautiful on the screen. I bought the book, but I haven't read it yet, so I am not sure what this is about. But in any case, the movie is very weird, I do not think being able to understand the language makes any difference as long as you know the plot. So if Iranians could read the summary, they did not really need to understand the words.
I experienced this effect when I was watching "Dead Man Walking" movie. It was shortly after I got to this country, so my English wasn't too great, but it wasn't SO bad for me not to be able to understand any single word either! I guess they had some problems with sound, the movie was shown in one of the University of Oregon audiences, and you'd be surprised how much your abilities to understand a foreign language are affected by bad sound, noise, you being too emotional etc. In short, I understood a few words from the whole movie, yet it made such a profound effect on me that I cannot think about anything I can compare it to. Sometimes you do not need words to understand.
The Sacrifice movie is about a guy who heard on the radio that the WWIII just started, a nucler war (the movie was made in 1985). How he reacted, what he did... Back to the book, the movie was shown in 1988 when Tehran was bombed by Iraq, so I guess these people had some unique perspectives on the movie I totally lacked when I was watching it in all the cosiness of my never-being-bombed-during-my-life country.
-----------------
<sup>*</sup>) She is most likely mistaken here, the film wasn't in Russian. It was Tarkovsky's last movie. He made it in exile, in Sweden, with mostly Sweden actors. How would they speak Russian and why would they? I am pretty sure it was dubbed in Russian when I watched it. But this only ads surrealistic tones to the picture: not only couldn't they understand the language, they did not even know what language it was! (aside comment: in case you think I am being disparaging, absolutely not)
Mapraputa Is
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Another twist. One paragraph above Tarkovsky's movie, she wrote:
"Soon after the first attack, we decided to stick adhesive tape to our windows."
And this was written by riverbend [The Girl Whose Morale Level We Question Here] a while back, before the war started:
Salam, you've reminded me that we have to get to duct-taping the windows (did you use an 'X' pattern or the traditional '*'?). [Salam: the * star is good but with particularly big windows I have been using a plus and Xs in each quadrant].
Link
This reminded me how we painted war when we were kids. The WWII was an important part of communistic propaganda, so it was everywhere. Book, TV, movies... Kids had several topics to paint, and war was one of them. A typical picture would have a tank with five-pointed star, a plane with a swastika and a house with a chimney + obligatory smoke above it. The windows had to be crossed like this: X, always this pattern. It was a standard symbol of war, like red star or swastika -- kids are born semiotics. At least for me, and I am almost sure other kids used the same pattern. Did we saw it on pictures? Did my parents show me their own variant? Did the whole country taped the windows in letter X? Nobody used + or something else? Hard to believe. Is X more effective than + ? Was there a special Politburo instruction of how to tape your window? I need to ask my parents, maybe they remember. Iraqis seem to be more creative.
did you use an 'X' pattern or the traditional '*' Traditional?
 
wood burning stoves
 
subject: [political] Liberators