Todays post is full of revelations. Find out what is really behind all the violence in Iraq … where the Iraqi government is these days … original reactions to the Pope's comments on Islam … a recipe for a failed state … if Jews and Muslims really do get along … why one blogger is angry at American soldiers and, if you read to the end, some serious mudslinging.
I am from Iraq and inspite of the war, and the sadness that Iraqis are going through; there are roses are flourishing in the middile of the warzone, and these roses are the Iraqi: hope, peace, kindness, heros, and love. Long live Iraq.
If you read no other blog post this week read this:
The Konfused Kid writes of his own personal tragedy . A day which he calls simply 6/11. On June 11th the Kid lost four close friends to the violence in Iraq. He writes:
Four of my friends were killed by a huge double roadside bomb that exploded in Karada on Sunday June 11. That’s right, four, count them … that is, if you can identify their bodies. Forever gone — can you imagine that? Since you are all comfy in your air-conditioned rooms sitting on armchairs, sipping Pepsi or Kool-Aid or whatever it is that you care to sip while your sons and daughters go safely to colleges and your spouses sleep in bedrooms million miles away from here, I’d like to take the opportunity to offer what it feels like to be insane amidst the apocryphal hell of Iraq, both weather-wise and people-wise.
I wish I could fill the rest of my article with expletives…
They were the best of people. Two of them, my best friends, were Shiites; another was Sunni and the other was Christian — an example of unity that can never be portrayed in a million years by the hypocritical fake advertisements they numb us with on TV.
And he recounts the harrowing story of how three of them died where they stood and how the fourth, who had clung to life for five more days, described the scene of the explosion. The Kid concludes:
I am sorry, but nobody of sane mind can live here … We Iraqis have been so used to being kicked and dragged through the mud that we did not recognize the abyss in which we found ourselves. But there comes a time when you look around see your world for what it is and cannot take any more of it. […] Iraqis today are strange, sorry creatures — confused, constantly paranoid, and filled with distrust and hatred.
The Week in Politics
Just occasionally you stumble across a sentence that brings some clarity among all the madness in the world. It was in reply to a comment on his blog that the Konfused Kid succinctly sums up  the whole violent situation in Iraq:
it is clear that you have only superficial ideas about the power struggle in Iraq, it is ultra more complicated than you might think. You're right, it's mostly made by greedy Iraqis, but these Iraqis act as fronts for Iran, U.S.A. or al-Qaeda.
Iraq is the battleground for the world's war.
In most other cities, police protection of schools brings some relief to parents. But not in Baghdad. Zappy explains :
[the Iraqi Education Minister] did announce that the Motto this year for the Ministry of Education would be “School Children Against Terror” he is Planning Guarding the schools by Iraqi National Guard and Police, making them really good targets… I wonder where his children go to school? Surely not in Iraq.
Stupid statements cause attention, please leave our children out of this.
And this post brought forth similar bitterness against the Iraqi police from other Iraqi bloggers. MIraj wrote : “Mansour and Yermouk areas where just fine before getting the ING's [National Guards] and police cars and putting them all over the place and there you go! The whole area is ruined now and like 99% of the shops were either threatened to close their shops or they chose to do it by their own free will so they wouldn't lose their lives” and MarshMallow26 added : “Our street waited for 4 years to get paved and finally last month all the [rubble was] taken away and the both sides got paved BUT since the policemen heard about it, they occupied one of the empty buildings nearby and stationed there and CUT the road”.
Erm where exactly is the government? Baghdad Connect reports  on one of their recent meetings:
When the Cabinet met this week the Secretariat of the Board found out that the Prime Minister was in Iran, the two numbers of VP of the PM – the Kurdish and Arab, were traveling overseas, and the two numbers Vice President of the Republic were voyaging too in foreign lands. Finally, the Secretariat of the Board realized that ‘to his surprise’ 22 of the total 31 ministers (men and women) were also scattered outside our country and consequently the meeting was postponed!!
Ishtar gives a long list  of the security failures of the Iraqi government and writes “any government in the world with such killing rate like every day in Iraq, would declare its resignation immediately as an admission of its failure in providing its people with the basic requirement any people need to live like human beings. … still all its members, from the president till the MPS whom quarrelling all the time, all of them are clinging to their chairs to the last breath.”
And the government is not getting any respite from Iraq the Model either. After news that a church was bombed in Baghdad following the Pope's comments on Islam, Omar writes : “Regardless of the motives of the attack, the government and its security apparatus are to blame for not providing sufficient protection for Christian worship places after the terrorists declared their intentions to launch a wave of attacks against these sites. Ironically, instead, the interior ministry announces a plan to provide more protection for mosques and Husseiniyat.”
Speaking of the Papal controversy. The recent comments by the Pope  on Islam and the reaction  raised more than a few heckles from the Iraqi bloggers. Iraqi Pundit is outraged  at Muslims who protested against the Pope's comments yet do not take such offense against crimes in Iraq:
How about taking to the street over the murderers who have been disgracing our religion by shedding oceans of innocent blood in its name? On Thursday, a car bomb blew up outside a Baghdad orphanage. In all the wide sweep of the Muslim Street, is there no one sufficiently disgusted to raise his voice over such a thing?
While Mohammed at Iraq the Model digs up some skeletons  from Islamic history and comments: “Regardless of what the pope said, the Arab and Muslim world, through the tense and offensive reactions, showed once again how incapable its leaders are to respond to criticism in a civilized way.”
Hala_s is developing an allergy  to all those that wear a religious headress. Be it women with headscarves (“back home we used to joke about head-scarves by calling them intelligence-blockers”) or the Pope with his Episcopal Mitre. Hala argues that we should be looking to bridge divides and accept others by admitting our own mistakes:
The pope would have made more sense if he had spoken about Christianity’s own history of violence; the Crusades, the inquisition and Europe’s religious wars along with his statement about Islam. We are all after a meeting point not further clashes.
But how could he? He is constantly wearing something over his head doesn’t he?
Finally Miraj gives us the recipe  served to the Iraqi people for the past 30 years:
Put the nation and apply Saddam and add splashes of ego, encouragement, lies, dash of provoking and weapons so the nation will be a little bit cracked up while saddam gets a big bigger. Put it in the oven for 8 years with Iran. Take it out you’ll see saddam is pumped up more and the two nations are cracked up little bit more.
Chill for two years and bring the third nation and use it to crush the first mixture with the help of some of the media and ¼ the amount of the weapons and dash of stupidity.
Use your full physical strength to squash the mixture.
Add the sanctions and keep away for 15 years until the mixture is totally crushed up.
Apply another run of war on the crushed mixture by adding the chemical weapons and the rest of the weapons on it until the paste becomes so crushed and mild which indicates it is ready for any form we want to create out of it now . Look for saddam , stick your hand and just take it out and throw it in the garbage for it is not necessary anymore and it was useful getting the paste ready at the first stages. Keep pinching the paste you have and keep adding the rest of the ingredients gradually for no less than 4 years (Extendable)
All we have now is this easy controlled mixture of the “NewIraq” and we can just add to it anything now and form it into anything.
The final touch is to splash the cold blood all over the mix and viola.
Sim u Za8naboot. [nearest translation – “poison and poison”]
P.S: Please await the next dishes , Iran & Syria
Word from the street: from New York to Baghdad
24 Steps to Liberty is in New York and was invited by a friend to a Jewish Friday night dinner . Being an Iraqi and a Muslim, 24 Steps was nervous about giving away his identity. This did not stop his friend telling everybody in the room. But the reaction surprised him:
“Al Salamu Alaikum” said the manager of the Jewish center, where the dinner was, Peace be on you. “You are welcome,” he continued with a really big smile. I just felt he meant what he said. …
I ate their food. I drank their water and juice. I didn’t feel they even cared that I was there. They just acted normal. … I wish Ehud Olmert, Hassan Nasrallah, Ismael Haniyeh, Jihasists, and many others … were watching us last night. They should have. They would know that peace in the Middle East is not being achieved because of them, not us!
Ibn_Alrafidain keeps his record of 20 years of Iraqi wars as a collection of all the shrapnel that has landed on his house. Recently he weighed it and found it was half a kilogram. He tells the stories  of each piece in that box.
Sunshine gives a snap shot  of her daily life in Iraq. From the happiness of seeing her grandparents to the horror of having a major gun battle raging right outside her house. But she is also angry. Why? An American soldier told her grandfather to ‘Shut Up’ in answer to a simple question. Sunshine writes:
I was so angry , that soldier’s attitude ,affected my respect to the military so badly, because the soldiers should represent their country’s ethics and leave a good impression , this bad soldier was so impolite and rude , I told my grandma ( relax grandma , the soldier’s parents didn’t behave him well , that’s in case he has parents , I am sure that he lives in a box under the bridge ,and he is blessed to sleep in a tank ! ) and I still mean what I said , my grandpa is very educated wise respectful man , and he is loved by everyone, , my grandpa is a civil engineer , studied in USA , he traveled round the world because he worked for the “Arab organization for the industrial development” , that soldier SHOULDN’T talk to grandpa like that.
I read through his blog, and I get the image of a young man whose life-time dream is to live in the Big Apple, to fit in there and to be accepted and successful in that society. But amidst all of that, he's dumped his identity, and with honesty I say I behold nothing but despise towards that kind of people. Lighten up on the shoe-shining process Zeyad, and please…there are too many egos that expand and expand and get stuck somewhere down our throats. Brilliant blogger? Perhaps. Just stop crowning yourself, that’s what everybody else does. Oh, and another thing…America's about the blend of culture, try maintaining yours.
Ouch! Fortunately Zeyad has kept himself aloof from such mudslinging.