As the old Chinese curse goes “may you live in interesting times”. And this week we have been witnessing some interesting times indeed. I am not going to play ‘my war is better than yours’ but it is enough to say that by Iraqi standards the whole crisis in Lebanon still seems more like a walk in the park. But as time goes on and the heat rises, I can only wonder if Lebanon will see the same sad scenes and massive tragedies as Iraq.
Today I give the Iraqi blogger's reactions to the crisis in Lebanon; you can read about the other war that is still going on in Iraq; in The Week in Politics, find out why America may now be supporting the Baathists in Iraq; and you must read to the end to learn about the way Iraqis celebrate a wedding.
If you read no other blog post today read these
“I read your words and I broke inside.” came one comment to HNK's monumental post this week. She writes:
I know you were worried about me, and I also know that you are sorry about what is going on in Iraq. I know all that just because I heard it over and over again till I wear your shoes and forgot that I am the one who is living this life, till I felt that I am sorry for me, my poor wounded soul. … Right now I concider myself half human. … I spent a very bad and hard days since I wrote my last post.The situations is deteriorating rapidly, I don't know from where I should start, many things happened I can't number them.
She gives an example of how American soldiers, after being shot at, made her father and all other people in cars around them stand, in the daytime heat, outside their cars with their hands on their heads for an hour and a half. She concludes:
I am not a man and I am not strong. When the danger is around me, my family or around my friend I can't sit watching. It's not war against Sadam or against the terror only; it's a war against us, it's a psychological war. To live or not to live this is the question.
Bye bye peace of mind, see you in heaven: maybe
I also recommend Zeyad's post about the state of the Iraqis living in exile in Jordan.
It’s a very distressing experience to hear the stories of Iraqis living in Amman. Concern for relatives back home, residency problems, and the quest for employment or a third country offering sanctuary to fleeing Iraqis, are principal conversation topics.
Lebanon: Into the Fire
A couple of Iraqi bloggers managed to get stuck in the middle of the danger zone. Hala_S was on one of the last flights into Beirut airport. She writes:
“My first impression was how elegant and beautiful Rafik Al Harir's airpot is! It didn't take me more than one day to blow it up and with it my family's arrival this morning.”
Whoops! Now she is stuck in Beirut and her mother is stuck in Damascus. So to kill time she went on her own for a tour around Beirut until 1am. What was odd about this? Hala explains: “For some who don't know, a woman cannot do this in any Arab country. But this is Beirut! isn't it? Here you see a woman covered from top to toe walking aside another with nearly no clothes on.” Hala goes on to give her own opinion on why Beirut was bombed:
Israel is jealous, it might sound silly but they are dying to get people to their country and establish any kind of tourism. This will never happen.
Truth About Iraqis is in Syria. He reports: Much talk of imminent attack on Syria itself, possibly Damascus. … Refugees from Iraq and now refuges from Lebanon, thousands of Lebanese, Arabs and other tourists trying to escape fighting in southern Lebanon and southern suburbs of Beirut.”
The disconnection between Iraqis and the rest of the Arab world becomes more obvious as Omar scans the BBC Arabic forum talking about the crisis in Gaza. He writes:
About three dozens of comments were made by Iraqis.. and all these comments were supportive of Israel or at least against Hamas.. except for only three comments; .. the opposite ratio is true about the comments by the rest of Arabs.
The reason for this? “Perhaps our problem is that we in Iraq are evolving politically faster than we are doing when it comes to economy, security, etc. that we are even ahead of countries like Egypt or Kuwait in holding real elections and having a permanent constitution and fair representation of all the segments of the people.”
The last word goes to Neurotic Wife. Her sister is stuck in Beirut. And she has words for everybody.
I blame Hezballah for not taking any consideration the safety of their people…Didnt Nasrallah know what his action will trigger???
The Arab Leaders:
they met at an emergency summit, saying that they are not happy about the situation…Is that all??? Not happy??? Words…WORDS…WORDS…Big Deal, you aint happy do something about it…Intervene, be the peacekeeper…Dont just sit there and play the blame game …Try and put out the fire that has errupted…The damn thing happened…People are getting killed .. The BS of politicians is really beyond me…
TWO soldiers, TWO soldiers were kidnapped and a whole country gets bombed… Why did they bomb the airport??? Why bomb bridges and roads…How can people get away…There are tens of thousands of tourists…What kind of tactic is this??? Did the airport have terrorists too??? or the roads???or the bridges??? Is this fair??? Oh I forgot Life aint fair nor is politics…
The innocent children that are being injured for the sake of two soldiers who are held in captivity…Couldnt Israel make a deal with Hezballah for the exchange of these soldiers than wage a war on a whole country…on a whole nation…Is the Arab blood that cheap??? This is the New Age…The New Age Democracy….
Back to the other War Zone
And I must start with my deepest condolences to Fatima whose Uncle F. was assissinated in his shop by unknown gunmen. She writes “Uncle S and the rest of the family are torn up over his murder. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'oon. May he rest in peace and may his murderers receive their justice soon.” I also sorry to hear of the death of Riverbend's close friend, T. I will describe the tragic circumstances with her own words:
T. was a 26-year-old civil engineer who worked with a group of friends in a consultancy bureau in Jadriya… He usually left the house at 7 am to avoid the morning traffic jams and the heat. Yesterday, he decided to stay at home … T. was making his way out of the area on foot when the attack occurred and he got two bullets to the head. His brother could only identify him by the blood-stained t-shirt he was wearing. …
It's difficult to believe T. is really gone… I was checking my email today and I saw three unopened emails from him in my inbox. For one wild, heart-stopping moment I thought he was alive. T. was alive and it was all some horrific mistake! I let myself ride the wave of giddy disbelief for a few precious seconds before I came crashing down as my eyes caught the date on the emails- he had sent them the night before he was killed. One email was a collection of jokes, the other was an assortment of cat pictures, and the third was a poem in Arabic about Iraq under American occupation. He had highlighted a few lines describing the beauty of Baghdad in spite of the war… And while I always thought Baghdad was one of the more marvelous cities in the world, I'm finding it very difficult this moment to see any beauty in a city stained with the blood of T. and so many other innocents…
This week in Baghdad the sectarian fighting took on a new dimension with more killings and reprisal killings of innocent civilians by sectarian militias. Nabil gives an idea of the scale of the violence:
in the last few days, at least 150 people were killed (AT LEAST), because they were sunnis or shiite, and where are the Iraqi army and police from these incidents????… no one knows… The Iraqi prime minster goes on TV, and he say (the situation in Iraq is improving though its coverd with the smell of the iraqi blood), what the hell is that??????……!!!!!..
The Week in Politics
The blogs this week announced the failure of the latest government initiative to secure Baghdad called Operation Forward Together, or as TAI prefers to call it “Operation Come Up With Fancy Names Because We Are As Impotent As Eunuchs But Can Fool The US Public With Hollywood Titles.”
Mohammed of Iraq the Model points out that the militias have an intelligence advantage over the Iraqi government: “and it looks like the current security operation did not deal seriously with this defect, on the contrary the gap seems to be even growing giving advantage to the militias and insurgents. Again I feel I must point out that security operation of the government is still not doing much to deal with the escalating violence.”
And he reports a growing disconnection between the government and the people.
As a reaction to the escalating situation in Baghdad president Talabani addressed the people urging calm and warning them from being dragged into sectarian violence. I really don't know why would Talabani ask the people to remain calm and this message doesn't make sense because the ordinary people in their vast majority look for peace, they don't carry arms neither they take part in the violence. … The people need no advice from the government, they only seek protection.
Baghdad Connect analyses the current situation in Iraq concludes that, just as in the times of the Cold War, when America backed the extreme Islamist Hekmatyar against the Communist Russians, they are preparing to back Baathists against, their common enemy, Iran and al Qaida (aka the Tafkiris). The reasoning:
The current US admin have recognized that the Baathists and the western tribes were born, raised and staying in Iraq. And if they have lost the battle of 2003 then they are far from losing any war here. So why not the US bet on those who can deal with and control these neo-Takfiris than swinging the cradle of those whose main crying agony is for some history figure that died in the seventh AD [or the Shia]?
And the signs are there:
The US forces have all of the sudden pulled out of Fallujah! And there is a major battle taking place in Ameriyat Al Fallujah between the elite tribes of Albu Essa and the Takfiris [in other words the Baathists have started attacking al Qaida in Iraq]
BC concludes by saying “This ‘Nero’ reality is underway and has already been institutionalized. The world community should understand that there will be a day when a Saddam alter ego is democratically elected in power. Ample similar examples are found today in central Asia.”
This crime not less than the crimes of the terrorists and it will lead to extremely serious consequences for the American soldiers in the region. The reaction against such crimes will be very serious and the tribes and local people will make every effort to avoid such soldiers and even make them as targets as much as they can. …
Crimes from the kind mentioned here will turn all the Iraqis into the resistance against the occupation especially with the failures achieved over the last three years.
In all this darkness there is a beacon of light, and it no coincidence that this beacon is called Sunshine. She describes beautifully the way weddings are traditionally celebrated in Iraq.
Every country has it is own traditions and it is important to be enlightened about them before we judge.
I wanted to write about that because many people think that we have the arranged weddings, the kind that the guy sees his bride in their wedding day! I got a letter from a reader asking me if it is true. That was in the past 100 years ago.
Our weddings are similar to the others’ except that we have more parties.
And relates a story on how weddings go on now in Iraq:
My friend “J” talked about her relative's wedding party:
“I went to D's house 2 days before her wedding day , to help them , in the wedding day , we went to a nearby salon in the morning , when a heavy shooting began , the bride was nervous, ,then we thanked god the shooting stopped , I didn't have my hair done , we wanted to got home as fast as we can , anyway we went to the house and D was about to cry , my mom and sister arrived , after they spent 2 hours stuck in the roads! we didn't tell D at all , the groom and his family didn't came at the exact time , we called them and they said that they were trying to find an open road , they couldn't because the neighborhood was sat dawn by the US troops , they found an open road before the stroll bans in about 30 minutes !! ( few months ago the situation was really bad that is why the stroll bans was at 8 pm) , we postponed the wedding for a week, imagine the bride's condition !! she kept crying all night long “.
in my country, the bride not just worry about her cloths and make-up only, she worry about the groom arrival in the exact time ( alive ) as well!!!. .
Until next week, keep shining.