Wednesday, June 29, 2005

 

Mr. President, You are Immoral


I usually try not to post when I am angry. I didn’t wait up last night to hear Mr. Bush’s speech. I followed it this morning. I wish I didn’t.


A few excerpts from President Bush’s speech on 28th June, 2005:

After September the 11th, I made a commitment to the American people: This nation will not wait to be attacked again. We will defend our freedom. We will take the fight to the enemy.

There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home.

The work in Iraq is difficult and it is dangerous. Like most Americans, I see the images of violence and bloodshed. Every picture is horrifying, and the suffering is real. Amid all this violence, I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it, and it is vital to the future security of our country.

Our military reports that we have killed or captured hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq who have come from Saudi Arabia and Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and others.

The terrorists know that the outcome will leave them emboldened, or defeated. So they are waging a campaign of murder and destruction. And there is no limit to the innocent lives they are willing to take.
… I could not follow the rest of that historic speech. I did not have the stomach!

Mr. Bush, you are immoral.

This is my country you are talking about.

We had a tyrant but we had no terrorists before you decided to make my country a battleground against international terrorism.

You gloat about killing “hundreds” of terrorists in a battle that is killing many thousands of innocent Iraqis, whom you pay some pathetic lip service. But how can I blame you? You did not bother count. People are still debating whether 20,000 or 200,000 were killed.

Are the lives of Iraqis so cheap in your eyes? Is this your understanding of friendship?

Mr. President, you are immoral! Any Congress that does not impeach somebody who utters these words within a week is also immoral. Any American who agrees with you on this is also immoral.


You keep linking Iraq and 9/11 (5 times in a single speech)… and yet so many of your parrots keep repeating (even on this very blog) that you didn’t. Mr. President, you and your parrots are all so immoral. What has Iraq ever had anything to do with 9/11? I feel sorry for America.

You are also wicked… still playing on primitive feelings of fear, revenge and selfishness of some of your countrymen. Presumably you believe that there are sufficient numbers of those. Perhaps you are right!

But what if you are wrong in your confidence in winning against those for whom “there is no limit to the innocent lives they are willing to take”? Our population is unfortunately limited. All those innocent lives are dear to their families and friends. Oh, but they are not American. They do not count. Besides, you cannot be wrong; when have you ever been wrong before?

And you and those Americans who support you have the audacity to want us to be grateful, for ridding us of Saddam, because he was killing Iraqis. That was none of your business anyway. Don’t tell me you did it for our eyes… to save Iraqi lives. Hypocrites!

America was an ardent supporter in the 1980’s while he was fighting Iran… and killing Iraqis. You made him stronger. How would you have liked it if some Iraqis had decided to take the battle to your cities to fight the source of support he was receiving… to make Saddam weaker? Would that have made any sense to you? Would that have been justifiable? Or is America largely deprived of people capable of projecting themselves into other people’s positions?

On top of everything, you are not weakening international terrorism. You are making it stronger. Listen to your own CIA. Listen to anybody else in the world that is not a puppet or a parrot. You are also adding to it hatred from people who have nothing to do with terrorism. Hatred that will last for generations. Or is your country immune to hatred?

One decent American I had been in communication with a while ago wrote:

“… It represents for me a parable of our time. It causes me to peer into the sky, shake my head and wonder how long, how long before we see that too much innocent blood is being poured out in our name? Too many people who are not enemies are being killed. And too many more are being inoculated against ever being our friends.”

Not everybody in America agrees with you. But you do seem to have a sufficient number of followers both in Congress and elsewhere in America.

What I would really like to know most is how many Americans were outraged by the immorality of the President’s presentation of his case!!

How should Iraqis look at your army that is intentionally making their homes, towns and villages a battlefront to fight it out with your enemies? Have the Iraqis been asked if they agree to make so many sacrifices to protect your country? Sacrificing the safety of their own children to protect yours? Or was it taken for granted that they would agree… because they suffered before?

But there was one truth in your speech:

Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front in the war on terror. Among the terrorists, there is no debate.

You are so right on this one!


Comments:

"you have the audacity to want us to be grateful, for ridding us of Saddam, because he was killing Iraqis. That was none of your business anyway"
I'm curious Abu Khaleel, how do you feel about Rwanda or Sudan. Is this anyone's business? How about Palestine? Is that anyone's business? If it isn't then why do so many Muslims around the world think that it is and go there to help fight? Are they immoral as well?

Um Haleema
 
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Or Yugoslavia/Bosnia?

I am perpetually intrigued by the extent to which partisan politics, anti-US propaganda, and rabid anti-Bush people will feign righteous indignation when Saddam is connected to the overall WOT.

You may think its a crappy strategy to overthrow a murderous dictator in the heart of the ME who supported terrorists, or that the strategy has not been implemented well, but don't pretend that you do not see the connection. Just stop already. Its getting ridiculous.

A free, democratic, prosperous, and stable Iraq WILL absolutely influence a region full of despots and theocracies in a positive way. This is a region whose despots and theocracies create the environments in which terrorists breed. Get rid of the despots, eliminate the conditions they perpetuate, and the well of terrorists will begin to dry up.

What is so terribly difficult to understand? This equation is obvious.
 
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Charles,
Actually, the idea of turning Iraq into a 'honeypot' fits the way we've been running the war quite well.
(A 'honeypot', in this case, for those not involved with computers, is a computer designed to attract computure viruses and worms as well as the occasionall cracker)

The repeated claims of needing to fight an enemy foreign to Iraq in Iraq lest we fight them in the states fits this scenario. We sent in far too few troops with even minimal abilities in Arabic, and many of our actions seemed almost designed to anger even our allies among the Iraqis (of course most of such actions were well justified).

You are quite correct that a stable and truly democratic Iraq would lend stability to the region. However if one of our purposes is to lure the terrorists to Iraq so that we might fight them there, the Iraqis will have a severe problem in achieving stability and democracy. Also to be noted, SCIRI has not wanted a democracy as we in the west understand it. The persecution and murder of non-Muslims and non-practicing Muslims in areas dominated by SCIRI and its military forces shows that at least one of the forces on which we counted to build a stable and democratic Iraq doesn't really share our goals.
The Assyrians will also argue that the Kurds do not want a democratic Iraq which will protect the rights and property of Assyrians and Turkomen against Kurdish incursion and expropriation. In fact they gave good evidence for that before the war, with the actions of the Kurds towards their Assyrian allies in the Kurdish No-Fly Zone.

Personally, I hope that Iraq can become stable and democratic. If, however, the goal of at least some influential in this administration, is to defeat Moroccan, Algerian, Indonesian, and Saudi terrorists IN IRAQ ( and not merely those currently in Iraq), then there is little hope for stability or democracy in the short run. You NEVER run important enterprise applications on the honeypot.

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
 
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Um Haleema,
Most of the Navajos and Hopis say that its none of our business how they handle their relationship, believing that the US gov't will merely foul the situation for one or both tribes.
We COULD perhaps have handled the situation in such a way that every post from Abu Khaleel and 90% of his neighbors (optimistically speaking) would be expressing gratitude. We didn't. We repeatedly haven't.

The Assyrians and the Shi'ites, both groups targetted by Saddam, while they originally expressed gratitude, have increasingly started expressing frustration with American strategy and tactics, the Shi'ite power bloc because we appear to prefer a secular democracy, and the Assyrians because they are far more targetted now than they were under Saddam, and because we as a nation seem quite willing to either ignore them or to tell them that it is their problem, and we will applaud them when they solve it.
When the war began, I don't recall seeing any posts from Assyrians questioning American motives, tactics, or strategy. Increasingly I have seen posts questioning all three.
An Assyrian Presbyterian minister who gave a presentation last fall to the national synod of the PCUSA, when asked if things were better now or under Saddam, reluctantly (I guess) said that they were better under Saddam. And this from someone who would have been prosecuted for giving his children Assyrian names, or teaching or preaching in Assyrian Aramaic rather than Arabic.

Be Well,
Bob Griffin, AKA Abu Billy
 
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Abu Billy,

I think the argument that 'it is better to fight them there than here,' while perhaps true, is more of an after the fact rationalization.

Going on the offensive against terror groups and the regimes that support them was certainly done in the hopes of flushing them out, fixing, and killing them, but I don't think they intended a war of attrition, fought in the midst of a civilian population, against an enemy who violates every conceivable rule of war, against the backdrop of a hostile media.

I think Bush expected that overthrowing Saddam would be relatively easy (right), and that establishing a reasonably secure environment for reconstruction would not be so difficult (wrong).

You can lead a camel to water...
 
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I do not defend the war. I did not vote for Bush (either time). So don't go putting me in the "war mongerer" crowd. I'm all for minding our own business and that also means that it is not up to us to create better economies in other countries by giving them OUR jobs.
I was specifically asking about Rwanda, Sudan and Palestine. And I would like to know what you think about those places and whether everyone should have/should be minding their own business there.

Um Haleema
 
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Hello Abu Khaleel,
That wicked fool confirmed it with his own mouth! #6 Intentional Devastation of Iraq for his kill zone! I have a sneaking suspicious is Iraq was chosen because..it is next to Saudi Arabia, land of Wahhabis! How convenient for the salafists and he doesn't destroy the world's largest oilfield! Please don't think that the American people are tied up in this atrocity, this neo-con shit. Whatever happened to the International Criminal Court.
 
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"Actually, the idea of turning Iraq into a 'honeypot' fits the way we've been running the war quite well."

I tend to agree. It's one of the reasons I also voted for the other guy.
But don't forget the Iraqi's themselves. No one is holding them back from standing up and taking charge. No one!
Thier cooperation is voluntary.
 
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Saddam's philanthropy
 
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Abu Khaleel:

You wrote: "America was an ardent supporter in the 1980’s while he was fighting Iran… and killing Iraqis. You made him stronger."

Not quite "ardent." The U.S. alternately helped both Iraq and Iran in their war in an attempt to have the combatants return to the status quo ante. This policy was chosen because the U.S. believed a resounding victory by either regime would lead to regional insecurity. However, the U.S. did choose a policy of fairly low level engagement with Saddam's regime after the war, although there was, at the time, great internal dissent over whether the policy was wise since it rested on the assumption that his regime could be "influenced" into better behavior by engagement, instead of confrontation. Unlike the Russians, French and Chinese (57 %, 12%, and 11% of Iraqi arms imports), who were Iraq's true allies, the U.S. was never a major arms supplier to Iraq (.5% of arms imports). The link is http://www.sipri.org/contents/armstrad/TIV_imp_IRQ_70-04.pdf .

As to the “immorality” issue, you are correct that the "fly paper" (or alternately "honey pot") theory by which terrorists are purposefully drawn to Iraq to do battle there rather than in the U.S. homeland is clearly immoral. However, Bush’s speech did not imply that such theories were the reason he authorized the invasion of Iraq. In fact, Bush’s speech merely recognizes that Iraq is now a front in that war:

“The troops here and across the world are fighting a global war on terror. The terrorists who attacked us -- and the terrorists we face -- murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance, and despises all dissent. Their aim is to remake the Middle East in their own grim image of tyranny and oppression -- by toppling governments, by driving us out of the region, and by exporting terror.
To achieve these aims, they have continued to kill -- in Madrid, Istanbul, Jakarta, Casablanca, Riyadh, Bali, and elsewhere. The terrorists believe that free societies are essentially corrupt and decadent, and with a few hard blows they can force us to retreat. They are mistaken. After September the 11th, I made a commitment to the American people: This nation will not wait to be attacked again. We will defend our freedom. We will take the fight to the enemy
Iraq is [sic] the latest battlefield in this war. Many terrorists who kill innocent men, women, and children on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of our citizens in New York, in Washington, and Pennsylvania.”

Bush nowhere states that “I intended to draw jihadis to Iraq.” I am quite sure Bush intended post-war Iraq to meet the neo-con fantasy of an immediately stable, peaceful state so that the advocates of Jihad against the U.S. would be intimidated by his demonstration of military strength, resolve, and fair adminstration. As you may recall, Rumsfeld's initial post-invasion plan (it would be more accurate to call it a "non-plan" as it was so shabbily incompetent) was that U.S. troop would draw down troop levels to 30,000 within 6 months of the invasion. The link is http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,461462,00.html?CNN=yes .

Your confusion seems to be based on reading the quoted portions in your post out of context. The implicit questions that Bush was addressing in that opening portion of his speech that you quoted are those constantly posed by his domestic critics, which he later made explicit, stating:

“Amid all this violence, I know Americans ask the question: Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it, and it is vital to the future security of our country. And tonight I will explain the reasons why.”

The question Bush is addressing is not “why did you invade,” but rather, “why is it important that the U.S. completes the mission prior to withdrawing?”

His answer, shorn of the attempts to evoke 9/11 for purposes of emotional connection with his U.S. audience, is that it would be stupid to withdraw while there a credible threat that the Islamic militant “resistance” faction could prevail in a drawn out civil war. This would provide the jihadis with a far better base of operations, than that provided by the Taliban, since it would provide access to oil income with which to purchase weapons in order to export further violence throughout the Islamic world and to the United States.

Abu Khaleel, assuming a precipitous U.S. withdrawal, do you really believe Iraq's current security forces could defeat the jihadis without any outside help? Please bear in mind that such a withdrawal would probably be followed by an even larger influx of jihadis to ensure their chosen faction came out on top of the ensuing struggle for power (similar to the inter-mujahadeen factional violence in post-Soviet withdrawal Afghanistan). In this context, it seems neither immoral, nor irrational for both Iraqis and Americans to join together to fight the foreign jihadis that are streaming over Iraq’s borders.

You miss another important point about the jihadi “resistance” factions. They are not only the enemies of the U.S.; they are the enemies of all secular governments in the Middle East. Saddam had kept them at bay by alternating repression with cooperation with some of them to undermine his Kurdish enemies in the north. However, the ultimate goals of the Islamic militants, the imposition of Sharia and restoration of the Muslim Caliphate, would have required an eventual confrontation with Saddam’s secular government. For these same reasons, to the extent that you and most other Iraqis support any form of secular government, the jihadis are just as much your enemies as ours. This also means that, no matter when the U.S. withdraws, the secular, "nationalist" segments of the “resistance” are heading for violent confrontation with the jihadi segments unless, the former can be co-opted to militant Islam in the interim. For all these reasons, there is nothing immoral about Iraqis and Americans jointly confronting and defeating a common enemy in Iraq, America or anywhere else the jihadis happen to gather to plot or execute political violence against civilians.

This last thing, the purposeful perpetration of violence on civilians for political ends, is, to my mind, the ultimate immorality. For me, any attempt to conflate such immoral, political violence with religion is the pinnacle of evil.

Mark-In-Chi-Town
 
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Re: Saddam's Philanthropy link.

Hmmmmmm. I have never seen many of those stories. Is any of it true?
 
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Charles, Mark et al,
I'm wondering if you know of anywhere that a civilian populace defeated a radical insurgency, an armed street gang, or a mafia family. I don't know of such myself. Certainly a really nice idea. It would really make a great movie (and even better if true).

---
It's interesting that on the issue of troop withdrawal, the democrats are split, even those who originally opposed the war. However I believe that if we are to retain the troops in Iraq, we NEED to train them differently. While there are indeed troops who deserve every honor for their behavior, who are heroes both to us and to the Iraqis with and for whom they work, there are far too many troops who are ethno-centric, Arabo-phobic, trigger-happy, and completely unable to attempt a simple polite Arabic greeting. This sort of situation CREATES enemies at least as quickly as it kills enemies.
I am afraid that under the current administration the training of the armed forces will not improve, as multi-culti stuff is characteristic of liberals and Europeans, and "English is good enough for everybody" (parody, not actually read or overheard, but still...)

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
 
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Umm Haleema,
I WISH we (or the UN, or...) had gone into Rwanda, but it appears in that situation everyone agreed that there was nothing to be gained.
I'm not sure we (or the UN, or...) could easily get militarily involved in the Sudan without the war spreading. As it is, the support given the southern rebels by the Congo (?) is being used as an excuse for the Sudan to aid a terrorist rebel group there. (Typically, the US is being blamed. Funny how EVERYTHING is our fault. [Can you imagine from this that I really AM a left-wing lib?])
We won't get militarily involved in Palestine, unless it is to support Israel, and any country which would get so involved would earn our enmity.

Actually, I think the statement you responded to is born of pain and frustration. Prior to the invasion, there were a number of Iraqis who desired American intervention. However, by March of last year, perhaps 2% of Iraqis polled wanted the US armed forces to remain in Iraq. We have bungled this so badly that if we had handled Germany and Japan as badly during/after World War I, we would currently be fighting the 4th Reich.
When I've addressed the issue with pro-war Americans, one referred me to a program which now prepares young soldiers to react quickly to potential terrorist attacks, rather than a program teaching how to win over the populace by means of outreach, learning a few phrases of Iraqi Arabic...

Sorry about my own impatience. I've been battling pneumonia, brought on partially by an unintended and unwanted verbal battle with a local Assyrian.

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
 
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Um Haleema,
in Rwanda exactly this was the case. The worst had been done: nothing. The signs were already there long before the massacres. The world, the ones who knew, turned their back. Only later the UN and missions sis and so were activated. But only after the disastrous developments that for sure leave profound signs on the region for at least some more generations... :(
But what do you think is the real fight in Sudan? Are there 'moral standards' involved?
cecile
www.streamtime.org
 
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Indignation from Circular
Hey! "Immoral!" "Wicked!" That’s pretty strong language! I thought we were all meant to be staying calm and keeping our tempers round here? What is this, one law for the blogger and another for the blogged? Doesn’t seem very fair. Do you have some Republican blood in you, Abu?
Anyway, what are you getting your turban in a twist for? Basically, the speech just confirmed that this idiot is bereft of any new ideas, strategies or tactics, it’s just carry on as before, we will stand down when (and if) the Iraqis can stand up. (Doesn’t sound quite right - shouldn’t that be stand to, not stand up? Or squat down, not stand down?)
What’s news about that?
If you ask me (well, even if you don’t ask me) I would suggest that the significant thing is that the speech is of course not the pure thoughts of Chairman George - there’s no evidence that he’s ever had any - it’s the joint work of his speechwriters and spin doctors, and the result of a lot of sampling and testing of public opinion and potential audience reaction. So their research has presumably convinced them that the line "remember 9/11, we must fight them out there so that we don’t have to fight them over here" is the one that reverberates best with a majority of US citizens. Which certainly confirms your "perpetual war" theory. And possibly certain views about mainstream America?
Better just get used to it. Here in NZ, the "farmstay" (tramping round muddy fields, ugh!) is a popular holiday for jaded city-dwelling tourists. Maybe you could offer farmstays on your farm for jaded US troops, where they could indulge in traditional Iraqi activities such as harvesting dates, dodging bullets, and arguing.
Sometimes you gotta laugh to keep from howling.
 
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Mark,

I am gratified that you recognize the “immorality” of Bush’s presentation which was the main issue that made my blood boil. I read quite a number of reviews of that speech… and very little emphasis was given to the morality of the contention, particularly by the corporate media. I may be wrong on this, but it does give the impression that America does not care much about that aspect. So, probably it still appeals to those ‘fear, selfishness and revenge” primitive feelings of a good portion of the public.

You are also right about the word “ardent”. I apologize for using it. This is what happens when you write under the influence of extreme anger.

As to intentions, I tend to disagree with you. It is not as if this ‘front’ was inadvertedly, accidentally and unintentionally created. Mr. Bush mentioned it very soon after the invasion. The major decisions of disbanding the army, the police and the border corps created these conditions. So, even if it were not the intention, it was ‘created’ by conscious decisions of this administration. He is responsible for that.

As to the matter of the need for US troops staying to defeat those terrorists, I also disagree with you, and I look forward to debating this in future posts addressing possible policies.

I firmly believe that the present mission will never be accomplished. This is my conviction and you and the president may differ with it. But it is my country. More Iraqis than you imagine share my view. It is their country. Does the fact that the US got rid of Saddam gives it the automatic right to lead the country into utter ruin?



Circular,

Did you think that you were the only one who was above the law around here?

If you can be do it, if His Excellency can do it (being offensive), why can’t I?

And… for your information I don’t wear a b….. turban!

But, more seriously though… thanks for the laugh! I loved that bit about the blogger and the blogged!
 
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Mark --

That seems to be a fairly sensible analysis on most points. I agree with most of it.

Where we strongly diverge, however, is on the issue of the “jihadis”.

Quite simply, the numbers do not add up. While of course there are indeed foreign fighters entering Iraq, and quite possibly many of them do have the intentions which you attribute to them … the reality is, despite what some sources would have us believe, their numbers are miniscule compared to the Iraqi portion of the resistance. If one looks at reports from Gen. Petraeus, who was responsible for border security with Syria, it is apparent that the relative influx is not that high. If one looks at the numbers of ‘foreign fighters’ killed in Fallujah, which was supposed to be awash with them, the numbers are tiny.

The claim was made in November 2004 that over 1000 ‘terrorists’ had been killed in Fallujah, and 200 captured. Of that captured number, apparently only 14 were ‘foreign’. Other reports support these figures. Roughly it seems that 5-10% maximum of the resistance against the US in Iraq is ‘foreign’ based.

So, point 1 is: the ‘jihadis’ are relatively few in number.

Point 2 is: they seem to form the bulk of the suicide bomber types. Iraqis don’t really seem, by the reports I have read, to go in for this tactic. Feel free to correct me here. If this is correct, the one conclusion that I draw is that the Iraqis are in control of events, and that the foreigners are mostly being used as cannon fodder in the suicide missions.

The third point is that yes, there is mistrust between Iraqis and the jihadis. There have been several reports of firefights between the two, when frictions become too much.

Point 4 is the most important. The thing that drives Iraqis and jihadis together is the fact that the US is on Iraqi soil. Their opposition to American plans is the uniting factor. This : [mark] ” For these same reasons, to the extent that you and most other Iraqis support any form of secular government, the jihadis are just as much your enemies as ours.” … is true but completely obfuscating the real pecking order. The list is the US first and the jihadis far behind in second place; the closest analogy that I can think of is Hitler appealing to Stalin in 1944 to fight against the other Allies, because after all, the Communists were as much an enemy of the West as were the Nazis.

What has happened in Iraq is that the war has inflated the status of the radical Islamists, because, after all, they always said that the US was going to try and crush Islam, and it has also had the knock on effect of driving regular Iraqis into their ideological arms. Simply, the longer you stay in Iraq, the more influence they will gain. As long as you are in Iraq, their cause IS LEGITIMATE. That’s your problem.

[mark] “Abu Khaleel, assuming a precipitous U.S. withdrawal, do you really believe Iraq's current security forces could defeat the jihadis without any outside help?”

The ‘current security forces’ wouldn’t last two days against the resistance if the US left. On the other hand, there is a difference between Iraqi resistance and foreign help. It seems obvious that the Iraqis could (and have, in the past) put the foreign elements into their place if they caused trouble.

The lost irony in your post is that the US is propping up a SCIRI government that seeks to impose Sharia law in much the same way as your dreaded ‘jihadis’. Al-Hakim is far from being a secular government.
 
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Abu Billy,

"I'm wondering if you know of anywhere that a civilian populace defeated a radical insurgency"

Only in the movies as far as I know. But the people working with the security forces could definitely prevail or at a minimum increase the operating costs of working for Badguy Inc.

"I believe that if we are to retain the troops in Iraq, we NEED to train them differently."

I think the main problem is not training, but rather how they are deployed. The main emphasis should be on creating a multilayered security structure with IP patrolling the streets in general (walking the beat), ING doing force patrols, and then Iraqi special forces and finally US troops in the background ready to storm in on a case by case basis.

The Iraqi government could call the insurgents bluff and announce policy that in particular neighborhoods/cities/towns the US forces will stand down. Haven't they already done this?

Enable the populace to participate - or embed them with plainclothes operatives every other block - armed with digital cameras and cell phones. Mobilize the public to be the eyes and ears of the police. Sounds a bit sinister and in a peaceful context it might be - but not now in Iraq.

"While there are indeed troops who deserve every honor for their behavior, who are heroes both to us and to the Iraqis with and for whom they work,"

I believe this is the overwhelming majority.
 
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Abu Khaleel,
Could you please answer my question? I was curious to know how you feel about the morality or immorality of people minding their own business in Rwanda? Some people say that we (humanity) had a responsibility to stop the genocide there. What is your opinion? Should we care what is happening in Sudan or is it none of our business? Is it the business of Muslims around the world to help fight the infidels in Palestine, Afghanistan or Iraq? Waiting patiently to hear your opinion.

Um Haleema
 
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Abu Khaleel:

In our calmer moments, we seem to agree on so much. I, of course, agree that Bush must accept responsibility (in this case blame) for many of the stupid post-invasion decisions (in some cases lack of decisions) that his administration made. Post-invasion planning and execution were abysmal.

Concerning the lack of mainstream press interest in the morality issue, I fear that this reflects their own unstated preference that any such show down with the jihadis be fought on Iraqi rather than U.S. soil. Let us be completely honest. No one wants their country to bear the burden of being the main front in such a conflict.

Bruno:

I agree that the nationalist "resistance" substantially out numbers the foreign jihadi elements, although the jihadis tactics maybe more effective at creating the maximum carnage necessary to undermine public confidence in the Iraqi government. However, your analysis fails to account for three things: (1) the foreign jihadis just keep coming even though they are blowing themselves up at a brisk pace, (2) Saddam's special skill was organizing an efficient police state which is no longer intact (most Iraqis don't want its return), and (3) small relatively unpopular militant groups have, in the past, been able to take advantage of chaotic security environments and weak central governments to gain power.

Good examples of this third point are the communist revolutions in both Russia and China. Neither Mao nor Lenin had anything near majority support. What they had did have were small cadres of armed, extremely well disciplined and motivated followers. In a chaotic environment with a weak security forces and central government, this can be enough to carry the day.

As to your point about the presence of U.S. troops being a rallying point for the "resistance" of all stripes, I am sure that this is true. To my mind, the best scenario is for the U.S. to draw down troop levels gradually as the government security forces improve. This should be done without a "time table" as the risk is substantial that the jihadi resistance would husband their resources and strike immediately after a "timed" withdrawal.

In order to keep pressure on all political parties, the U.S. should send the behind the scenes message to the Shia government that it had better make the tough political compromises now with the "nationalist" resistance in the process of writing the new constitution or the U.S. will leave the security mess for it to clean up on its own. To the "nationalist" resistance the message should be, also to make the tough political compromises now so that once the constitution is ratified, the U.S. will start to draw down force levels as long as the nationalist elements of the "resistance" continue to take part in the political process.

This policy would require delicate balancing of political/security interests to achieve success. I fear that such a course of action requires levels of discernment, persuasion and diplomatic skills that this administration has, thus far, been shown to be lacking.

Mark-In-Chi-Town
 
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Lynn,

I can see you. I deleted my comment to you after I made sure you read it. I will ask again: Why don’t you post under your usual name? Why Lynn, why? Are you ashamed of it after our last encounter? I may answer your question if you answer mine ;) I am in a better mood today.

One can change one’s name, but one cannot change the way one thinks, even when one’s mental processes are rudimentary. (This is a general statement of fact and not directed to anyone in particular.)


Mark, Bruno,

It seems to me that we are almost in agreement on a fundamental point: the need for a political solution. I find this most refreshing. Mark: I find much substance in your suggested strategy… but I also share your pessimism regarding this administration’s capability or willingness to carry it out.

Some good news today. It has just been announced that the National Assembly agreed to make Iraq 18 electoral districts instead of one. They need to make that 275. A long way to go, but this is at least a step in the right direction.
 
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It is an outrage! This president claims to support life (terry shiavo) but cares nothing of the people of Iraq. He lied about going to war (all he wants is your oil) and now he lies about why we are there. It is the front on the war on terror, unfortunatly it is America who are the terrorists.
 
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Abu Khaleel,
Why do you refuse to answer MY questions?
To answer yours, why in the world would I be ashamed of anything?
If you need to know, my husband deleted my blogger account. He said " What the hell are you bothering with those idiots for?" I just hadn't gotten around to getting a new one yet? What difference does it make really? What is your name Abu Khaleel? I don't really care if you know who I am or what I do. I would gladly offer you my home address so you can come here and BITE ME! LOL
Now, was there anything about my question concerning the morality of being concerned about others that is so offensive to you that you are unable to answer it?

Um Haleema
 
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"It has just been announced that the National Assembly agreed to make Iraq 18 electoral districts instead of one. They need to make that 275. A long way to go, but this is at least a step in the right direction."

You can't expect perfection to drop out of the sky. It won't. Ever.

But it should also not be a surprise to anyone that the clumsy democratic process being established now is a better option than armed insurgency against this process, and the senseless slaughter it creates.

The next few electoral cycles will no doubt revert to ethnic/religious/tribal divisions, and that is a shame, but it should not condemn the establishment and general support for the process.

I still do not see a constructive platform being offered by those who reject the current political process. It seems motivated only by hatred and bigotry. Would someone please enlighten me? Please?

I noticed on one site the insurgents had threatened to kill the minister of electricity(?) for doing such a lousy job. Does the average Iraqi realize that its the insurgents blowing up grid infrastructure and in general making it very difficult to engage in reconstruction projects that are damning efforts?
 
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Lynn,

Your old techniques no longer amuse me. Will you please desist?

On second thoughts, and just to keep my word, let me give you some information that may be more useful than answering you question:

Do you know what “Haleema” means? A “haleem” in Arabic is someone who doesn’t get angry easily. “Haleema” is of course the female mode of the noun. It’s a beautiful name. (It is also associated with an old saying: “Beware when the haleem gets angry” ;)
 
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Same to you Charles. What else can you lecture us about the intricacies of the democratic process, when to expect perfection and what the average Iraqi should realize and who is doing what in Iraq? While you are at it, how about a lecture on morality?

This becoming rather boring. I thought I was lucky to have a good internet connection tonight. I’m signing off!
 
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Now you are being the provocative one Abu Khaleel! Its probably the heat. Do Iraqi's enjoy iced tea? (ooops I guess that would be tough without ice - sorry).

A Japanese friend once showed me a great trick during a sweltering summer Moscow day. But you will need a freezer: wet a washcloth, put it in the freezer
for 20 minutes, take it out, find a nice chair, lie back, and spread the frozen wash cloth over your face. Its quite refreshing. It also has the effect of reducing one's levels of condescension.

Try it!
 
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ABU Khaleel,
Haleema would be my daughter. She isn't anything like her name but more like her mother! LOL
"On second thoughts, and just to keep my word, let me give you some information that may be more useful than answering you question"
And my old techniques? What the bleep? Why don't you just answer the simple questions that I posed to you? I see you are up to your old techniques. I'll tell ya what. I'll give you another day so that you can have a chance to pose these questions to your "illiterate" sharecropper. That seems to be where you get all your ideas anyway right?

Salaam,
Um Haleema
 
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...No. Let me stick to my subject, which seems important enough. Wonderful times it are again, as just unfolded at Dutch actuality program NOVA TV -> "The CIA 'took' former detainees at Guantanamo, to insert them as spies in The Netherlands, within the Moroccan community..." (5 known cases)
cecile
 
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It`s great. I`ll told my friend`s. It`s my page .....
 
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"I thought I was lucky to have a good internet connection tonight. I’m signing off!"

I wonder why people even bother. The blog is a funny analogue to the democratic process, so why blog at all? What good can it do, why have an internet connection , or even allow for the technologies to even be available.
All it can do is connect you to opinions you already disagree with.
 
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Per Charles' advice...

Before you put the damp washcloth in the freezer, squeeze the juice of a lemon or lime on the washcloth. (Observed this trick in Iquitos, Peru.)
 
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I know you may discount the source but is this true?

"Bottom line: the Ahmad Hikmat Shakir Azzawi we've been discussing is still a native Iraqi (a) who was called from a safehouse used by the 1993 World Trade Center bombers; (b) who got his job at the Malaysia airport in 1999 through Iraqi intelligence; (c) whose schedule at the airport was controlled by Iraqi Intelligence rather than by the airport; (d) who facilitated hijacker Khalid al-Midhar's entrance into Malaysia; (e) who went to the infamous Malaysia meeting with al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi; (e) who left his job at the airport –never to return to it – the day after the Malaysia meeting; (f) who was in possession of contact information for key al Qaeda figures (including Khalid Sheik Mohammed's brother) when he was detained in Qatar six days after 9/11; (g) who immediately tried to return to Baghdad after being released by Qatar, but who was detained in Jordan when he tried to make a connecting flight; (h) whom the CIA believed had counter-interrogation training when they were permitted to interview him in Jordan; and (i) who returned to Iraq upon being released by Jordan after special pleading by Saddam's regime."
 
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Is Allawi in error in his comments:

'Allawi: No. I believe very strongly that Saddam had relations with al-Qaida. And these relations started in Sudan. We know Saddam had relationships with a lot of terrorists and international terrorism. Now, whether he is directly connected to the September — atrocities or not, I can’t — vouch for this. But definitely I know he has connections with extremism and terrorists.'
 
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Ah - refreshing lemon/lime - EXCELLENT idea!

You see Madtom, you are wrong. You can learn a lot of interesting things online.

I don't understand why Abu Khaleel gets so upset when someone asks him an uncomfortable question. And I can't figure out if he simply doesn't like me, and therefore accuses me of pontificating whenever I happen to voice an opinion, or whether he disagrees with my points.
 
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The above comment came from Melanie Phillip's Diary. Any comments on the content of her lengthy post?
 
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I have come here by way of Hootsbuddy. He is very impressed with your posting and your friendship.

I am interested in the moral/immoral angle. We live in a world where -yes- much is our business, and that includes all of us. I can understand that your pain makes you speak as you do, I do not want to minimize your pain, but as a Muslim you have minimized the pain of millions. It so happens that 9/11 - I hate to use this word, but I think it is appropriate- enraged the American people.

It is sad that killing of innocent people on ones own land is what will finally move towards something that must be done. In some ways I think that is what causes you to speak out.

But do you speak out also for the Christian in Darfur? I join Um Haleema in asking "Is that anyones business?"

Immoral is not only what enrages us, immoral is a crime against God's law. Perhaps in this is where the conflict of interests is more than anything.

I do not know anything about you- or what point on the line of Islam you believe, but if you more value that lives of Muslims are precious and the lives of those that your fellow Muslims take are not...then where is the immorality? Do you believe we will acquiesce to such definition of morality or its abrogation?

I do not know, and cannot, what part Iraqi have played in the worldwide terrorist vendetta. I am sorry for your people that it is played out upon your fields, and perhaps it was your leaders arrogance that brought this upon you. I am sure that Saddams arrogance and inabilty to cooperate with the Nations represented by the UN was a factor in becoming a target, later. I do not know. But since his removal we now know there were terrible things done to the inhabitants of your nation. What would you now turn back if you could?

Or perhaps the better question is what will you turn to work towards in your country?
 
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Hello Abu Khaleel,
I was wondering about what you think of Al-Samarie's 'mission impossible'--I can't help thinking he going to achieve something.
On another subject, I am reading an interesting and amusing book called "The Crusades Through Arab Eyes' by Amin Maalouf(1984), which I would like to plug. It lays out the labyrinthine, multidimensional chess of the ME of those ancient days (and by extention even today). It occurs to me that part of Bush's problem is that his thinking maybe too simplistic and inflexible (though I do remember the famous story of the puzzle of the Gordian knot--but Bush isn't Iskander(?).)
 
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Dear Abu,
Streamtime was under a 'spam-bot' attack again last week and in fact: Streamtime is down again, cracked again.
Streamtime started to exist on the web exactly one year ago, when we broadcasted from Halabja.
... sigh ...
cecile
www.streamtime.org
eventual updates will be on my blog *xer-files*

These things influence my temper, and i am indeed in not such a good mood now, so:

Ilona: "But as a Muslim you have minimized the pain of millions" -> How can you say this? What ever do you mean by it?
(Religion = guilty? So what about the 'fresh pope' Ratzinger who tells Africans to spread the HIV/Aids virus? Naming it 'god's law to have sex without condoms'??? People in Africa are starving by the thousands, and not only from hunger, or wars! Holy christ!)

Luckily I interviewed Nawal el Saadawi who is running for president in the Egyptian elections, this is just one quote of her, 3 days ago:
"Because the fundamentalist movement is universal, not only Islamic, it is universal. Nowadays there is a very strong Christian fundamentalist movement throughout the USofA. And there is Jewish fundamentalism in Israel. There is Buddhist and Hindu fundamentalism, so it is universal. And we shouldn't really look to Islam as the enemy. Islam is like Christianity, like any other religion, it can be very good. I look to Islam as I look to Judaism and Christianity. You look to Christianity as freedom, justice etc. It depends how you look at it. So there is no problem with any religion. And that is why in my program I say why we have to separate between religion and state, so that we will not be confused by any religion. Everybody is free to pray to god. But pray at home. Pray at home. Choose your own goddess, or god, but pray at home." [..]

And who out there still knows anything about the other 'meaning' of 9/11? And what this date means to the people of Chile?
Please: WISE UP!!!
There is absolutely more to the world than the Twin-attack, but: USofA is a 200% selfcentered.

Oh, and btw: i am convinced that 'politicians' simplicity' is a tactical choice, otherwise Iraq would/could not have been invaded... it is up to the peoples to demasque the simplistic (immoral) explanations and bring the views of reality to the open.

sorry for the outburst
shukran and have a nice day
 
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Charles –

[charles] “But it should also not be a surprise to anyone that the clumsy democratic process being established now is a better option than armed insurgency against this process, and the senseless slaughter it creates”


Oh, * G R O A N * Charles, this is really getting annoying. FACT: the armed insurgency is not against the democratic process per se, BUT AGAINST FOREIGNERS CONTROLLING AND MANIPULATING THAT PROCESS.

[charles] “Does the average Iraqi realize that its the insurgents blowing up grid infrastructure and in general making it very difficult to engage in reconstruction projects that are damning efforts?”

Does the average American realise that the combined might of the US Army and Bechtel, costing Iraq billions of dollars, is doing a crappier job than a few Iraqis with baling wire and pliers managed before the invasion?




“Iraq = 9-11” Anonymous --

Let’s take this slowly, alright? Would it be reasonable to say, that, IF there were ANY credible, operational links between Al Qaeda and Saddam’s regime, the Bush regime, which based it’s entire casus belli on the existence of this link – that that Administration would be saying things like this:

BBC News, 4 October, 2004

"US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has cast doubt on whether there was ever a relationship between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.
The alleged link was one of the justifications used by President Bush for the invasion of Iraq.

In front of an audience in New York, Mr Rumsfeld was asked about connections between Saddam and Osama Bin Laden. "To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two," he said."


… or that exhaustive reports like this would come to these conclusions:


Telegraph - By Julian Coman in Washington
(Filed: 11/07/2004)

[...]
"After the September 11 attacks, tension had grown between Pentagon officials and CIA agents, who suspected the Department of Defence of relying too heavily on dubious testimony from Iraqi defectors in order to justify a war against Iraq.

The CIA's investigation of links between Iraq and al-Qa'eda was almost the only aspect of the agency's intelligence-gathering to escape severe censure in the 511-page report. Sen Rockefeller, the senator for West Virginia, said: "Our report found that the intelligence community's judgments were right on Iraq's ties to terrorists. There was no evidence of the formal relationship, however you want to describe it, between Iraq and al-Qa'eda, and no evidence that existed of Iraq's complicity or assistance in al-Qa'eda's terrorist attacks."

This topic has been done to death, and barring any dramatic new evidence, can safely be buried in the archive of “casus belli lies”, as it is on my computer.

Secondly, this blog is devoted to the discussion of specific topics within each heading. I’m sure that the Iraq/9-11 thing has been done somewhere on the lengthy list of blog entries; go lay an egg there, why don’t you?



Um Haleema / Lynn --

You are asking questions which are not easily answered in a short answer.

Let me return the favour.

Tell me, is a state allowed to take action against armed groups bent on overthrowing it? Yes? No?

Was the American North justified in wrecking havoc and going to war to suppress the South? Are the Sri Lankan Tamils allowed to fight for a separate homeland? Are the Kurds, for that matter? What will your stance be if Kurds lay claim to parts of Turkey wherein they are the majority group?

Simply, the answer is * IT DEPENDS * .

Feel free to set up your own blog to discuss the issues, and to explore the topic. If you like, I will come over and participate ( as rationally as I am able to, LOL!). But until further notice (and Abu Khaleel will certainly correct me if I am mistaken) … this blog is about the Iraqi problem



Abu Khaleel --

[abu khaleel] – “It has just been announced that the National Assembly agreed to make Iraq 18 electoral districts instead of one. They need to make that 275. A long way to go, but this is at least a step in the right direction.”

This IS good news. Part of the problem, in my mind, is the imposition of a political solution from the top down. Devolution of power in this manner can only be good.

Naturally, my Uber – sceptical mind is wondering about the possible US machinations in this. Is it in order to weaken central Iraqi power so as to hobble it permanently in the future? Or is it to help out the Kurds, giving them more autonomy? Or am I being a party pooper?

If you told us who was behind this move, and what their affiliations intentions were, it might be of use in making sense of the event.
 
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Bruno,

"FACT: the armed insurgency is not against the democratic process per se, BUT AGAINST FOREIGNERS CONTROLLING AND MANIPULATING THAT PROCESS."

At best, this is your opinion. But I am surprised that you are unable to focus your uber skepticism on this opinion. What evidence do you have that might point to the conclusion that these people are motivated by an interest in the democratic process??? Considering their actions and statements, how can you ascribe benevolent intentions to them?

What evidence do you have that the US is controlling the electoral process? Did we choose the candidates? Did we manipulate the results? As many from 'your side' have pointed out, it was an Iranian backed party that won the overwhelming majority of votes. Your opinion has no empirical or logical backing, it is based solely on a 'leap of faith' that the US is bad and therefore anyone fighting against the US must be good.

A democratic process was laid out before them and they were encouraged to participate. They tried to stop this process with murder and terror - and their tactics of intimidation, destruction, misinformation, and slaughter continue to this day.

Everyone admits that the democratic process can be faulted, but it can only be improved through engagement. Legislaters can legislate. The laws can develop and grow. What is so awful about this?

Let's just assume for a moment that the US is truly a bad country with bad leaders and bad intentions. It in no way follows necessarily that those fighting the US (and the elected government) are BETTER. In fact they could be far worse.

Judging by their actions, any reasonable person must admit that this is at least a very likely possibility.
 
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Bruno,
I have no interest in setting up a blog to discuss anything. I read the Iraqi blogs to get a feel for how the Iraqis are faring rather than relying on just watching or reading news that may or may not be true.
"You are asking questions which are not easily answered in a short answer." I never suggested a word limit to his response. He is very wordy about totally insignificant things so of course one would expect a very wordy response.

My questions were not "out there". Abu Khaleel said Sadaam's killings were none of anyone's business. I only wanted to know if he felt this way only about the morality of anyone assisting in other situations such as Rwanda, Sudan and Palestine. I don't think that that is such a difficult question.

"Tell me, is a state allowed to take action against armed groups bent on overthrowing it?" I guess yes, if it is in the best interests of the MAJORITY and that armed group is killing innocents.

"Simply, the answer is * IT DEPENDS *
I think that ABU Khaleel wouldn't say IT DEPENDS. But of course we don't know because he won't respond.

Um Haleema
 
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laying eggs

We had a tyrant but we had no terrorists before you decided to make my country a battleground against international terrorism.

I beg to differ.
 
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cile, perhaps you, or the author or anyone else, may explain to me your view of the prime motivation for Darfur's tragedy if not religious. For 9/11, if not religious? For jihad of all sorts, if not religious?
And where is the protest of the "moderate" Muslim? I have yet to hear a concerted effort to renounce these things done in the name of their religion.

"lona: "But as a Muslim you have minimized the pain of millions" -> How can you say this? What ever do you mean by it?
(Religion = guilty? So what about the 'fresh pope' Ratzinger who tells Africans to spread the HIV/Aids virus? Naming it 'god's law to have sex without condoms'??? People in Africa are starving by the thousands, and not only from hunger, or wars! Holy christ!)"

I mean this: if a religion promotes the slaughter and terroist activities then , yes, the religion is guilty. Just as the philosophy or ideology would be guilty, if it promotes such inhumanity.

The Catholic pope does not "spread the HIV/Aids virus" since the Church ideals taken together would wipe out AIDS. The spread of aids is not a matter of condoms, which have widespread use in the USA and have not contained the spread of the disease. You will have to place your blame elsewhere.

I am not sure what your point is about starving Africans.

Concerning fundamentalism, it is not pertinent that many religions have fundamentalist adherents, or even that their numbers are growing. What is important is what that means in the behavior of those who are fundamentalists. Christian fundamentalists do have jihad, they are not out to kill and conquer you. The more fundamental they are in their religion the more they will build orphanages and fund medical missionary programs.

That is what is important on the topic of fundamentalism: what will they do with it?

So, no, that does not let religion off the hook.

"Everybody is free to pray to god. But pray at home." Well, that leaves me free to do things your way, but that's about all. You may be happy with that.... but don't call it freedom.

" Iraq would/could not have been invaded." This is true. There was a choice made, there were rationalizations laid out for that choice, still... the question for the Iraqi: "what will you turn to work towards in your country?"

And you still have not defined "immoral" before applying it to the situation of your choice. by what criterian?
 
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"Was the American North justified in wrecking havoc and going to war to suppress the South?"

That don't take a long answer. A simple yes will do.
The constitution they signed had no secession clause, so they could not simply secede.

You do the word count.
 
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Ilona,
I have read a number of responses by both moderate and conservative Muslims condemning the terrorism practiced by Zarqawi, Bin Ladin, Zawahiri, etc. I would suggest checking out Muslimwakeup.com for one on-line Muslim community which stands very strongly against Muslim terrorism, as well as against oppressive interpretations of Sharia.

There have been a FEW instances of fundamentalist Christian terrorism. A number of fundamentalists (I don't know how many) justify the terrorizing of abortionist doctors and nurses, however as far as I know there is no organized attempt to kill abortionists.

As a former fundamentalist Calvinist, I have to state that my experience of most of my fellow Calivinist fundamentalists (PCA) doesn't match your description. SOME, indeed, but NOT most. And those who were characterized by outreach or kindness were not the most fundamentalist. The most outspokenly fundamentalist were deeply and radically opposed to any other viewpoint, whether religious OR political, and tended to show very little care for their non-fundamentalist neighbors. Actually it was worse than that. A fellow Christian (a Methodist) had lost her home, and a mutual friend had contacted a number of Christian homeowners in this fundamentalist church who might be likely to have a spare bedroom, and NO ONE had anything to offer. The lady spent a few days in her station wagon on the church parking lot before she was asked to leave. (We finally asked her to stay with us in our overcrowded condo.) Perhaps you've had different experience.

On the other hand, MG is a rather conservative very caring American Christian professor teaching English to Koreans in Seoul. SB is more-or-less fundamentalist, and consistently tries to reach out to those in need. White Memorial Hospital in California is a 7th Day Adventist supported hospital, with an EXCELLENT reputation for care and community outreach as far as I can tell.

So, in the case of Christian fundamentalists I have very mixed experiences.

(By the way, I am still a Christian, but definitely NO LONGER a fundamentalist, NOR a Calvinist.)

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
 
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people at work:

http://www.disappearedinamerica.org
http://www.muslimsorheretics.org
http://www.shobak.org/

that's all for the moment ;)
 
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I grew up a Jehovah's Witness, and I'm not sure, but is there any group more fundamentalist than that?
The closet doctrine I have seen are descriptions of Wahabi Islam I have read...minus the militancy of course.
 
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Hi Cile,

I took a look at your first link.

Hmmmm. I ran a search for: last name: "Unknown". It returned 135 matches that contained no data. The web site posting people as missing - because the evil US stole them - don't even know who they were or where they were from. How then would they know they are missing - or even exist in the first place?

It seems anyone can simply add an entry do the database by typing in an arab sounding name, and all of a sudden the US is guilty of 'disappearing' that fictional person. Even funnier, you don't even have to have a name and they will still add you to their list and parade it around the world as a US crime against humanity.

I can't imagine that someone of legal status in the US could simply disappear. Actually people disappear all the time - but I mean in the sense that they were abducted illegally by US authorities. Did they have any friends or family members? Even with all of the fear and hype after 9/11, we still have laws and plenty of powerful organizations who built themselves on defending the rights of these types of people. The ACLU would skin the government alive.

No doubt that lot's of arab illegal aliens were rounded up and sent home. Rightfully so. They broke the law.

Probably the best place for your friends to start their search for Mr. Unknown Unknown, age: Unknown, from: Unknown, would be to check with the embassy of unknownistan. Maybe they are talking with him after he was deported home.
 
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Ilona,
"cile, perhaps you, or the author or anyone else, may explain to me your view of the prime motivation for Darfur's tragedy if not religious."
How can I put this politely...you're a total idiot? Darfur is Sunni muslims against Sunni muslims. There WAS a Christian-animist south separatist civil war against islamic Khartoum, which was being settled before Darfur. The central government is putting down a different group of muslim separatists in Darfur. I have heard the suggestion that this is arab racists against black, but never that this is religious.
As far as Christian terrorists, the most violent terrorist guerrillas in the world, the 'Lord's Resistance Army' in Uganda are Christians as were the genocidal Catholic Hutus in Rwanda, the Serbs killing Bosnian muslims, the German Nazis killing Jews, etc...etc...etc..
Please take advantage of the Interent and at least get some background before making a total ass out of yourself.
 
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anonymous, i think you mean 'Inherent'?
Some synonyms: characteristic, constitutional, deep-rooted, elementary, essential, fundamental, hereditary, implicit, indigenous, individual, indwelling, inner, instinctive, integral, integrated, intimate, native, original, resident, subjective, unalienable
(from the internets :)
 
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Looks like you better rename your Blog "Darfur Letters," Abu. Apparently that’s what it is now all about. Why? What are these nuts trying to say, exactly?
Hey, Charles - Second Rugby Test, tonight, Wellington:
NZ All Blacks 48
British Lions 18
Since you are apparently ignorant of a major sport avidly followed by about half a billion fans world-wide, perhaps I should explain that a 30-point margin, at this international level, is about as likely as the prospect of the USA bringing genuine freedom, democracy and prosperity to Iraq.
So maybe you shouldn’t give up hope yet. If we can do it, so can you! Just get a new coach.
Circular
 
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I think you have your analogies bent.
The winning or losing are not as important as being in the game.
 
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Circ,

I think you have mentioned rugby more often than anyone has mentioned darfur.

The US can't bring freedom to Iraq. But it can provide them with the first opportunity in a long, long time to achieve freedom by removing a number of obstacles that were otherwise insurmountable.

The problem in Iraq is that there seem to be just enough people (even if but a fraction), that hate the US, other religious denominations, other ethnic groups, other tribes, etc., far more than they love 'Iraq.'
 
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Scotland Marchers Protest Global Poverty By BETH GARDINER, Associated Press Writer
34 minutes ago


Yahoo News:
EDINBURGH, Scotland - Tens of thousands of protesters clad in white streamed through the cobbled streets of Scotland's medieval capital Saturday, demanding the leaders of the world's richest nations act to better the lives of the poorest.

-Why can't people just mind their own darn business?

Um Haleema
 
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Um Haleema,

You miss the point. Complaining and blaming is fine. Its when you try to do something that you run into trouble.

No doubt if the US tried to get rid of the corrupt and oppressive governments that CAUSE the hunger and poverty, these same people would be out beating their drums against the US.
 
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Charles,

This post is mainly about the immorality of the administration in turning my country into a battle field against world terrorism.

This section has been turned by you and others like you into something like a farce. I cannot blame the others; I do not know enough about them. Some of them also stated that they don’t know enough about me. But I know you and Lynn rather well from your previous (numerous) writings on this blog.

I have dealt with Lynn at considerable length in a post regular readers may remember ( http://iraquna.blogspot.com/2005/05/put-my-sons-name-on-bomb-2.html ). She went away in disgrace. In this post she came back under a different name, malicious again. She was again exposed. The present derailment started with the very first post by Haleema. I cannot waste much time on her. Not even another analysis. Newer readers can see that link for details of the sort of person we are dealing with. All documented.

My attitude was generally to ignore you and people like Lynn. I have rarely found much worthy substance in most of your rants. But I usually let you have your say within the usual limits of decency and relevancy. I also usually gave you a lot of leeway to express those opinions in spite of the fact that you have been generally obnoxious. You have become more like a permanent fixture in this blog, ever trying to derail debates, to degrade their quality and to sabotage the efforts of other decent posters in having a quiet discourse regarding turbulent and important events.

I have tolerated much of that most of the time. However, in one of your comments above, you state:

“I don't understand why Abu Khaleel gets so upset when someone asks him an uncomfortable question. And I can't figure out if he simply doesn't like me, and therefore accuses me of pontificating whenever I happen to voice an opinion, or whether he disagrees with my points.”


Please go back to your past comments on this blog and count them in the 30 posts since 14th January, 2005… you will find 337 comments. That is an average of more than 11 comments per post.

And then count my responses to you. You will find that they are probably less than 7.

… and yet, you have the audacity to say that I accuse you “… of pontificating whenever I happen to voice an opinion”.

Sir, you are less than honest.

To paraphrase a well known quote:
You are entitled to your distorted opinions.
But you are not entitled to distort facts.

I therefore respectfully ask you to apologize for this slander and admit that you have been given generous leeway… or leave this blog.

People like you and Lynn make me understand better how a person like Mr. Bush was elected… then re-elected. In that sense, you have been useful to me!
 
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"...how a person like Mr. Bush was elected ..."
From "House of Bush, House of Saud," pp 195-196, about the 2000 Republican primary in South Carolina:
" ... Bush retaliated aggressively by painting the conservative McCain as a liberal. He blitzed the state with brutal attack ads on TV, on radio, in print and by telephone ... Thousands of voters got phone calls asserting that McCain’s wife had mob ties, that McCain had illegitimate children, that there had been an abortion in the McCain family ... A group of Bush supporters called "Republicans for Clean Air spent $2.5 million on commercials attacking McCain and distorting his record on the environment. Ads went out saying McCain opposed breast cancer research even though his sister was fighting the disease. Astonished by the ferocity of the attacks, McCain told a reporter, "They know no depths, do they? They know no depths ..."
McCain of course is a genuine America hero, a veteran of the Hanoi Hilton.
If this is the version of "democracy" that is being exported to Iraq, it’s not surprising that there is an insurgency.
Circular
 
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Charles,

No more comments without a clear apology. Sorry.
 
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Bob, Thank you for your response, unfortunatly you have not adequately answered my contentions.
First: "And those who were characterized by outreach or kindness were not the most fundamentalist. The most outspokenly fundamentalist were deeply and radically opposed to any other viewpoint, whether religious OR political, and tended to show very little care for their non-fundamentalist neighbors."

This is entirely a personal POV from your experience, I do not find it true, but that is my POV. Logically it is insupportable as an argument, for many reasons, one of which is the problem with the genreal category of "fundamentalist". It is like the old argument that unbelievers are often "more Christian" than unbelievers. Highly debatable on definiton, categories and as a generality.

On Muslim moderates: yes, I have read individuals speak out. That is commendable -from all those that value humane treatment of fellow humans. They are an example to all of us. What I miss is the *concerted effort*.

I'm sorry but your contention of Christian terrorism- as a equation with the Muslim jihad inspired type is simply wrong. It is not found within Christian tenets, examples given are individuals unrepresentative and without connection to orthodox Christianity of any flavor. Bombing abortion clinics? What groups condone that?

Now. Am I saying that we will not see those who call themselves Christian ever engaging in such acts? Historically I cannot say that, what I can say is it never had a basis in the tenets.

This is not so for Islamic jihad. And the fact is that fundamentalist Islam today is the greatest source for terrorists and terrorism, and it is generally supported... when you understand that the populace rejoices in the streets at successful acts.

I find it strange that the red herring of Christians who don't behave well as comparable to suicide bombers who take out innocent lives, willy-nilly, are placed in juxtaposition.

Your arguments are not unseemly to you? They seem non-sensical to me. I'm sorry to say that, but I just don't get the connection.

For me it is the same as saying there are good and bad Iraqi's or Jews or Americans or Hindus or Christians. This is general life: good people/ bad people. Every group's got both.

What is not general nor to be accepted are suicide bombers, school busses of children blown apart, schools of children taken hostage murdered, raped.... all these things... these are not general, nor acceptable.
This the face of Islamic fundamentalism world wide...not just areas of war. World wide.

This qualifies as immoral, I believe.
 
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Sorry, Abu Khaleel, for interfering about something or somebody who has been posting here, a bit off-topic.

Our mysterious 'Ilona' stated in her first post: "I am interested in the moral/immoral angle". Of course, others have remarked that the woman does not know anything at all about Darfur, or Sudan (neither Muslims against anybody else, nor white Arabs against black Africans: it's a matter of Arabicised black Africans against non-Arabicised black Africans).
In her very first post, in a somewhat tottering English, she showed the truth of the psychological mechanism of projection: "you more value that lives of Muslims are precious and the lives of those that your fellow Muslims take are not...".
That's, precisely, the attitude our American friends show over and over again (of course, it's 'American lives').

As a practising Christian Catholic I do have some serious trouble with some of Ilona's assumptions, like: "I'm sorry but your contention of Christian terrorism- as a equation with the Muslim jihad inspired type is simply wrong. It is not found within Christian tenets, examples given are individuals unrepresentative and without connection to orthodox Christianity of any flavor".
No, Ilona, you are quite simply wrong. Christianity regards as its holy books both the Old (Torah &, generally, the Jewish Bible) Testament AND the New Testament. In most of its history (and I'm not trying to spare my own Church, included as of right up to the rather recent Second Vatican Council), whenever a wave of fanaticism went around, some very graphic passages from the Old Testament (and, in the New Testament, the Book of Revelation, or Apocalypse) were used to show that whatever criminal fundamentalism represented the VERY tenets of the faith!
You, Ilona, are, it seems, rather ignorant about Christian religious history!

Rather worse, because it has little to do with denominations, but with ordinary reality, is what Ilona writes at the end: "What is not general nor to be accepted are suicide bombers, school busses of children blown apart, schools of children taken hostage murdered, raped.... all these things... these are not general, nor acceptable. This the face of Islamic fundamentalism world wide...not just areas of war. World wide. This qualifies as immoral, I believe".

Ever heard, dear Ilona, about whitened sepulchres (i.e., hypocrisy)? It's there, in the Gospels!
Foolish person, don't you realise that what you were rather ignorantly listing (for your blathering about rape you must be cheeky indeed!) does not even qualify, by comparison, with what the US of America have been doing around the world for the past sixty years! Murdering children? Oh yeah, them are just 'collateral damages', ain't them?
This is the face (or, better, the snout) of what the US of America have been systematically doing around the world, decade upon decade. Ever heard of Vietnam, Ilona? Or of Central America? Or, indeed, of Iraq?

That is, actually, truly "immoral". So, Ilona, please, do hung up your head in utter shame.
 
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'Immoralities': now the Observer/Guardian comes up with prove. "British and American aid intended for Iraq's hard-pressed police service is being diverted to paramilitary commando units accused of widespread human rights abuses, including torture and extra-judicial killings, The Observer can reveal."
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1520186,00.html
 
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"This post is mainly about the immorality of the administration in turning my country into a battle field against world terrorism."

Will you be posting on other aspects beyond the "morality" of this battle field?
Will you be providing "alternative" battle fields.
And can you prove that absent any actions or directions that we would have taken on this battle field that they, the enemy, would not have engaged us, and you with war?
 
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Tom,

I have alluded to other aspects on numerous occasions on this blog over the past year, and no doubt will do so again. As to alternative ‘battle fields’ I certainly think that there are! I intended to discuss that following the series on religion, but was cut short (Circular, for example, started hollering in boredom). I hope to get back to it.

I think that this administration will ‘prove’ in time that this approach is not the solution. It will make the ‘enemy’ stronger. It already has. There are other approaches. Europe is already thinking seriously about this problem and has been looking into other possibilities.

What I am simply saying in this post is that the present administration has absolutely no right to turn my country into a field for a battle that my country is not a part of. It was not our problem. We would have loved to help but not through countless innocent lives and suffering of millions.


Bruno,

That piece of news has not been confirmed officially, but it does seem that that is where things are going. There are reports that Sistani is putting his weight behind it. I hope to come back to it. The two major Kurdish parties actually oppose it vehemently. They want a single Kurdish bloc under their control. Incidentally, I am publishing on the Kurdish question in both blogs… as a break. The atmosphere in this post has been quite sour!
 
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I am not at all mysterious, just new to your venue, but you could have easily eradicated that by following my url if it had interested you to do so.

There are examples of Rwanda used as though the conflict were religion rather than racially based. Christians did not use the religious teaching as base for their warfare.

I asked if anyone here is speaking for the Christian in Darfur, not that it is a religiously based conflict there at this time. Who is going to speak for them? That is my question... and Sudan is well-known for its atrocities against Christians- so no more red herring excuses. Although it did provide excellent fodder for your ad hominem attempts, didn't it?

Dear Catholic "Italian", I don't know if this is the arena, but I could speak to you of Church history... and I do not deny the historically there was a twisting of Christian doctrine to provide motivations for Crusades and for Inquisitions. I take it you know your history well enough to understand that I did not excuse those and referred to them obliquely in my comments.

What I said is that it is not supported by Christianity's tenets no matter how scriptures and creedal statements "were used". This is how religion is always used by those who feel they can get away with it, but Christianity cannot be said to advocate jihad. Islam can.

I do not see a concerted effort on the part of moderate Muslims to say that jihad is unacceptable. That it is immoral to kill schoolchildren in its implementation.

And none of you have given me examples otherwise. If you would- I would change my tone. Where are your examples?

"don't you realise that what you were rather ignorantly listing (for your blathering about rape you must be cheeky indeed!) does not even qualify, by comparison, with what the US of America have been doing around the world for the past sixty years!"
I brought up rape, because this is what is systematically perpetrated upon Christians throughout the region. "Forced marriages" one of the euphemisms, but you don't even need to revert to that as there is plenty of outright rape and selling into slavery. Did you purposely ignore this in your diatribe against me or are you genuinely unaware?

I am amazed that when the subject of purposeful bombings, killing of schoolchildren, targeting marrage celebrations, or busy thoroughfares are compared with the outcomes of official warfare.


Sure, I would like to stop all the killing, all the unfortunates caught in the crossfire. I absolutely would. But in the face of deliberate acts of war such as 9/11 which was simply a culmination of a growing body before and since of such acts... war will ensue.

And then it is too late to decry the damages. We need to come to a moral balance of neutralizing the terrorism in the name of jihad.

That, sir, ma'am, is what needs to be done. With Abu Khaleel I also desire an end to American presence in Iraq. I would like to see his country stable and moving toward a humanitarian state theat represents the citizens of his country as freely and fairly as they are capable.

But it is not as easy as a tirade against an American president... and certainly not supported by some of the others here who just want to issue rationalizations and unlike comparisons to promote the terrorist agenda.

And if you refuse to see their immorality, you promote their agenda and further their actions against little children and innocents far from the borders of offical wars. You increase the "collateral". Not even saying how that most likely prolongs what is turning out to be a tragic transition for the Iraqi people. War IS hell, and they are living in it... and all the excuse making or accusation throwing is not moving them further toward their needed stabilization.

Maybe this has been a part of the problem for longer than today's conflict.
 
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@Ilona.

You wrote: "I asked if anyone here is speaking for the Christian in Darfur".

Quite simply, Ilona, there are NO Christians in Darfur (and never were), so it would be quite comical to speak for them...

"Christianity cannot be said to advocate jihad".

Today. But up to a relatively recent time it DID. And even today, among the sick Fundamentalist ('Evangelical'!) sects that pullulate in the US of America, there are plenty of self-defined 'Christians' advocating jihad or holy war, and you should know it.

"I brought up rape, because this is what is systematically perpetrated upon Christians throughout the region."

Abu Khaleel is an Iraqi, and we are discussing Iraq. Please, do ask ANY Iraqi Christian if what you say has any credibility. The persecution of Iraqi Christians, particularly at the hands of Shiite fundamentalist militias, is one of the brilliant results of your harebrained 'liberation' of Iraq.

"But in the face of deliberate acts of war such as 9/11 which was simply a culmination of a growing body before and since of such acts... war will ensue".

And what had SECULAR Iraq to do with it, Ilona, you genius?

"With Abu Khaleel I also desire an end to American presence in Iraq".

Do you? So, what are you waiting for? Start pestering your Congressman and your Senator for an American withdrawal from Iraq!
 
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Ilona,
You responded to me above thusly:
First: "And those who were characterized by outreach or kindness were not the most fundamentalist. The most outspokenly fundamentalist were deeply and radically opposed to any other viewpoint, whether religious OR political, and tended to show very little care for their non-fundamentalist neighbors."

This is entirely a personal POV from your experience, I do not find it true, but that is my POV. Logically it is insupportable as an argument, for many reasons, one of which is the problem with the genreal category of "fundamentalist". It is like the old argument that unbelievers are often "more Christian" than unbelievers. Highly debatable on definiton, categories and as a generality.
--
When I refer to 'the most outspokenly fundamentalist', that is not a POV, that is an historical statement. It has to do with the number of statements, the content of remarks, and patterns of behavior, mostly (since this was what I was most in place to witness) verbal.

I can not prove the above for those not familiar with either the church or the individuals concerned. The most I can do is refer you to 'The Great Abortion Debate' which occurred in the early 1990s in the San Fernando Valley, and was hosted by The Church on the Way at its Sherman Way Blvd. campus, and the verbal behavior of the two opposing groups, as well as the political literature offered by some of the groups allied with the pro-life movement.

This is getting far astray of our hosts blog, and I hope we don't continue in this direction.

Abu Khaleel,
Given that this post and sub-thread is not helping the discussion, and that you've already gone on to post about the Kurds, I will understand if you delete this post and will not be offended.

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
 
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Would it be moral if we let terrorists attack some other country so America could fight a war there, like another middle eastern country or India or England or the mainland U.S. or any other place were people live, while Iraq continued to live under Saddam's thumb?
 
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Josh,
A similar, but much easier question:
would it be moral for a school administratation to allow a bully to brutalize one or more school-children SO THAT the school might expell the bully?

My answer is no. It has nothing to do with whether or not Saddam was running Iraq. Inviting (by whatever means are used) terrorists to attack a nation is immoral.

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
 
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I would be pissed off too, if I was an Iraqi hearing Bush's speech. We didn't invade Iraq for the Iraqi people, we did it to change the region in the belief that Islamist ideology, and the terrorism it spawns, cannot survive in a democratic society.

Having said that- I believe the majority of Iraqis are still glad that the US has liberated Iraq from Saddam and is helping the Iraqis create a democracy. Maybe the Sunnis aren't- but certainly the Shia and Kurds are.

Iraq now has a chance to be something it could never have been under Saddam or any other "Arab-strongman" leader. And the Shias, Kurds, and the Sunnis too, will all be better off if Iraq can defeat the insurgents and become a modern democratic nation.

Anyway, if you want to talk about numbers of innocent Iraqis killed, the number Saddam killed since he took power was 1,000,000+. And that's just Iraqis. If you want to throw in the Iranians and the Kuwaitis maybe you could top 2,000,000.

I don't think Bush is immoral, therefore- I think he was faced with terrible choices, and made a choice that was the least evil.
 
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Abu Khaleel; you had a tyrant and terrorists under Saddam, but you just found it inconvenient to notice that little detail. If Bush is immoral, then so are you for pretending there wasn't a problem with the prior arrangement. Bush merely brought "the chickens home to roost" as we like to say over here; and they're still YOUR CHICKENS! Quit whining and get to cleaning up your mess.
 
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Keith,
The Wahhabis and Salafis are certainly not of Saddam's creation, nor did they have anything to do with Iraq (except the Kurdish Salafi group) until Saddam was removed.
Radical Islam was not welcome in Iraq under Saddam, but seems to be on the increase now, whether by importation or because of the current situation.

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
 
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"Radical Islam was not welcome in Iraq under Saddam"

This might be technically true, but it does not mean that it did not breed there, under saddam's Iraq. An argument can be made as to why it would flourish there.
Normal everyday life is compromised by the fact that to get anything done, you have to participate in a corrupt system. And so you voluntarily and openly participate in corruption while pretending your not.
This can lead to all kinds of Radical-ism's, religious or otherwise. I see it in my community, the Cuban American community and our relations back on the island.
It's just that we don't do bombings, we feed sharks.
 
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MadTom,
We can use Turkey as another example. Radical (or even devout) Islam was not welcome for decades. However, fundamentalist Islam has become important enough in Turkey in spite of supression that a number of politicians have recently (past few years) jumped on the fundamentalist bandwagon.

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
 
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"Radical" Islam was not welcome in Iraq under Saddam

Perhaps "radical" was grafted onto Islam in Iraq and through out the region.

Who among these men did the Baathist finance, shelter and offer safe harbour?

Abu Nidal
Abu Abbas
Abdul Rahman Yassin
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

Any commonalities? When did an aggrieved community cross the rubicon? When did it become known that murdering civilians was the will of Allah?

Is this true for you?
"In the blood feud, the orientation is not to the future, as in war, but to the past."
 
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I haven't read through all the comments, but thanks for your blog.

Even by the official (mis)count almost half of Americans voted against W Bush, who is, yes, immoral.

I apologize on behalf of my country. See also http://sorryeverybody.com
 
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Radioblogger,

Abu Nidal was inoperative under Saddam. Zarqawi appears to have entered Iraq when Saddam was not in control of the country. Not sure of the others.

If you compare the situation of the Chaldeans and Armenians under Saddam and currently, you can see clear evidence that the radicals were not welcome to influence Iraqi society.
Compare the situation for the Chaldeans and Armenians in Iraq under Saddam with the Copts under Mubarrak. Under Saddam, no organization like Islamic Jihad or Al Akhwan was permitted to operate in Iraq (at least not in the areas he controlled). His fascination with Babylon was also something anathema to the radical Muslims.

The situation for the Assyrians under Saddam differed, as he was an ardent Arabist, and many Assyrians were heavily into Assyrian ethnicity. Assyrians who were willing to adopt an Arab [Christian] ethnicity were generally safe, while those who insisted on Assyrian names (like Nimrod, Sargon, Ashur, Yukhanna...) were subject to persecution and prosecution.

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
 
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RadioBlogger,

Wahhabi Islam started in 18th century Saudi Arabia, and was protected and promoted by the Saudi royal family. Al Ikhwan started in Egypt, and was founded as an Islamic revolutionary movement by Hasan al-Banna, and influenced by Sayyid Qutb, who was perhaps the primary influence in the extreme radicalism of Ayman Zawahiri (also Egyptian).
(see http://www.thewahhabimyth.com/ for more information )
Nasr suppressed Al Ikhwan, and Sadat, in order to counter Nasr's supporters, courted them. (Big mistake; for which either Al Ikhwan or Islamic Jihad assassinated him)

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
 
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Very nice work on your blog, It was fun to read! I am still not done reading everything, but I bookmarked you! I really like reading about internet connections and I even have an internet connections secrets blog if you want some more content to discuss.
 
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Some questions.
1. Would the Bosnians be better off if America had not interfered?

2. Do the Iraqis prefer that Saddam was still in power to torture, rape and murder them?

3. Why are Iraqis killing Iraqis?
 
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