Politics is the order of the day this week. Events in Iraq can be confusing at the best of times – so why not let Iraqi bloggers put things straight. But it is not all dry subjects, I also have snipers in Baghdad, two weddings and a funeral. And, if read to the end, the kittens are back!
If you read no other blog post this week read this one…
Mohammed recounts the harrowing story of being targeted by a sniper:
At 9:00 we were at Antar Square and as soon as we got down from the taxi and walked a few steps near the Olympic club, I heard a gun shot!! It was loud with echo!! … Then there was another shot …..It was so scary, so close and so loud, my wife was in panic, she was so scared I pushed her from the side-walk to the building wall (so that we would be a harder target) there was no one in the street but us. We stood there for a few seconds, then there was silence, we decided to continue, we walked and just before the concrete ex-checkpoint there was a gunshot and I saw the impact of the bullet beside me, another one in front of me, I pushed my wife to the nearest building and we hided there
The sniper thing isn't new, but it's the first time that I've been in the situation. It's a very difficult situation; I don't know when will death get me!!! I have cheated him many times now.
The Week in Politics
There is another war rumbling – this time over water. Baghdad Connect explains:
Baghdad has become the first modern capital in the world to actually experience the Water War which is widely thought to be the future world war III.
There wasn't any fresh drinking water in large parts of Baghdad and for 4 days. We had a mere of 5 liters of water a day in our house of 4 bedrooms.
In some areas the water trickled down to zero since last week. The invaders had cut off the water in Al-Khadimiya area since morning as a retribution for Al-Khadimiya’s residents’ support for the Sadrists.
The Water War commenced since the confrontation between the Sadrists and the invaders backed armed forces escalated in El-Shula, Al-Biya, Al-Thawra and Al-Ammel – all have been isolated separately.
The Shaqawa looks to an Iraq after America leaves:
I do not think Baghdad would be better. Right now the Sunni terrorists will attack the Americans and the Shi'a, so only the Shi'a will be attacked. Also the Americans try to stop some of the Shi'a from attacking Sunnis (sometimes innocent ones and sometimes terrorists) so without the Americans the Shi'ite fighters will be more powerful. What does that mean?
In Baghdad it means more fighting but also some areas can be safer if the Shi'ite militias can act like they want. In other areas like last year in February probably some groups like the Mahdi Army will commit crimes against innocent Sunnis and more violence will be there. In the south of Iraq I think that the Shi'ite groups should take over security and be very tough. …
When the USA leaves also I think other countries will try to be stronger in Iraq. This means especially Iran and Saudi Arabia and Arabs. … Iraq is a site of battle for everyone unfortunately… None of them care about Iraq or Iraqis, and usually they hate Iraqis or at least hate the Shi'a….
Iraq is a country with rivers and holy places and deserts and mountains and history and many kinds of different people. But it is surrounded by bastards and criminals.
Omar sees signs of a shift in policy of the Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki against the Sadrist Movement. He writes, “You probably heard about the message Maliki sent yesterday to the Sadr movement demanding they clarify their position from the violent elements among their followers. It wasn't as tough a message as we were hoping but it's still an interesting step that broke the fear barrier that Maliki put between himself and Sadr.” but Baghdad Connect puts the rift more blatantly:
Al-Maliki has, for the first time and unintentionally, uncovered the big game behind the myth of the Shia crescent, when he coined some Sadrtists elements as Baathists in disguise!! Which triggered the ancient struggle within the Shia sect between one faction that supports the Ayatollah state (in favor: Maliki, Hakim, Iran, the invaders, and the Baathists) and the counter faction that supports Ahl El-Bayt state – which stipulates a future emergent Imam that will rule the nation (in favor: Sardrists and Ahl El-Sahan)
When the invaders wage propaganda warfare by insinuating Muqtada’s escape to Iran, they are in fact playing the internecine deep-rooted faith differences between the Iranians and the Shia culture of Iraq. If Sadr is in Iran it means his large number of his followers are left without a divine providence and will be under the merci of Ayatollahs. Bear in mind, more than 70% of Iraqi soldiers that fought the Iran-Iraq war were Shiites!
[George Bush] and his Generals inside Iraq are trying to glue the rips but not to cure the whole situation. On the other hand they want the oil new system to be agreed and signed by the government and the parliament so quickly to control the oil of Iraq. Almost all Iraqis are opposing the new system about the oil. It is going to create more chaos and resistance. Indeed some of the resistance groups threatened to kill any one who is going to sign the new law about Iraq oil. George W Bush and Dick Cheney are trying to get their own companies to control and steal the Iraqi oil.
And he hints at frustrations within the Iraqi Shia community against Iran:
Indeed we do not know how and Iranian origin person like Dr. Shahrastani who is the present Oil minister became and oil minister in spite of many other Iraqis who are more experienced in this field?
A new anti terrorism advertisement in Iraq gets reviewed. Iraqi Mojo links to a YouTube clip and adds, “I find it strange that Al Arabiya is funded by the Saudi government, and yet they continue to broadcast these ads, while Al Jazeera no longer airs them” while Truth About Iraqis is somewhat taken aback by the obviously non-Iraqi accents of the actors:
a man is being beaten and asked whether he is Shia or Sunni. After being beaten to a pulp he manages to say “I am Iragi”. The letter G (pronounced ghee) is used.
No Iraqi would EVER EVER EVER say Iragi. They would say I R A Q Q Q Q I.
Meanwhile, the American army are efficiently losing hearts and minds bombing a busy shopping street in Mosul. Aunt Najma posts photos and writes:
What the reason was, I do not know.. but the American forces did a horrible thing when they threw missiles from their plane on Al-Majmo3a street (the most active street in Mosul just in front of the university, full of computer, mobile, clothes and other shops).
Two Weddings and a Funeral
Iraqi women bumping into each other started the common conversation, one asks the other are you residing here or visiting?” Um Hussam answered “just visiting, and how about you?” the other replied “I have decided finally to stay in Amman.”
“What about your house did you sell it or rent it?” asked Um Hussam. “Neither” answered the lady, “we left with barely the shirts on our backs, following a death threat.” Then with a sigh the lady asked “we haven’t met for such a long time, remember our weekly gatherings, God our lives have been turned upside down?” Um Hussam , responded idly “I only see people when I come to Amman , as for Baghdad I do not go out. Every once in a while I go to the doctor and that’s it or to see my sick mother.”
Aunt Najma attends her cousin's wedding. But being in Iraq has its own problems:
There were some Iraqi soldiers close by the house, they knew there was a wedding because of all the beeping. They usually get too excited and fire their arms when the cars pass by. My aunt opened the window and specifically asked them not to. My cousin's car arrived before us, and me, being the one in charge of videoing as usual, had to get there before they entered the house.. I left our car and ran towards the house, and the soldiers decided it was time to fire.. I was so ANGRY I really wanted to turn and shout at them but I was sane enough and decided to go on. I'm sure for few moments after the shooting the video would be all shaky!
And 24 Steps to Liberty writes a eulogy to a fellow journalist who was murdered recently in Iraq:
He was amazing. I never saw him without the beautiful smile on his face. When we reported on news conferences, we joked about the government and what it had to say. We were always sure that there was nothing in the conference that would help the Iraqis. We always thought the conferences were made to fill our newspapers only.
Although he worked for another newspaper, a competition to the one I work for, we never felt competing with each other. He called me to check quotes, he asked me to send him transcriptions. And I did. …
When I told him what “Feeh” meant, he didn’t get it. But that’s how we ended our phone calls. Even the one a few weeks ago, when he called to talk about something private, he said “feeh” at the end. He said “I didn’t forget.”
He was a brave, professional journalist and a human being. That’s why they killed him…
Iraqi will always miss you Khalid. You won’t miss anything. But we will miss you.
Feeh Khalid. Feeh
Baghdad Girl is back! And cat bloggers every where can breath a sigh of relief. With titles like “I just want to carry them…” and “Happy and sad” you know you will be getting a regular dose of cuteness. Now everyone join in with me… aaah!