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[P]
Through an Iraqi's Eyes

By Moneo in Op-Ed
Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 07:00:44 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

At 11:16 AM GMT, my cousin called me and told me Saddam Hussein had been captured. I rushed inside, started up my laptop and checked CNN. While the page was loading I plugged the satellite cable into my USB DVB tuner and started ProgDVB.


Background: I am an Iraqi. I have never been to Iraq but I have a large extended family there. During the war my family and I took shifts monitoring the television. We recorded over 20 video cassettes of footage, including war coverage and documentaries.

To many people, Bremer's brief announcement ("Ladies and gentlemen, we got him.") was a manipulative attempt to get a dramatic reaction. To Iraqis, it was just what we wanted: No introduction, no operational details; do you really have him? Can we see him?

I'm not concerned what effect this will have on the guerillas in Iraq. I'm not interested in how Chalabi, Talabani or Pachachi will integrate this into their jockeying for power. I'm not thinking about how this will affect the Democratic primaries or Bush's re-election chances. I'll worry about consequences and implications later. Right now, I just want to...

I called another cousin; I called my parents; I spoke with my aunt. The conversations were brief and emotional. "Did you hear? Mabrouk. [Congratulations.] Where did you hear? Any details? Who else did you call? Mabrouk again." We all wanted to share the moment and then call someone else to share it with.

We were happy, relieved and celebratory. It's difficult to understand how we felt without some context. All of us have lived outside of Iraq for most of our lives (in my case, all my life). All of us want to go back...to eat real kebab and bread from the tanoor and sit on the banks of Dijla [the Tigris]. My parents have been out of Iraq for 30 years, my cousin for 20. In January of 1991, everyone was full of hope...by December it turned to bitter disappointment.

When Bush II gave his 48-hour ultimatum we celebrated: it wasn't about WMD, 9/11 or the UN. "Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within the next 48 hours." That's what we wanted to hear. The war was surreal and terrifying: Might we really get a chance to go back? What would happen after the 'war', when the real fighting -- the guerilla war -- began? Would the Americans fail?

I never dreamed they would capture Saddam or his sons. They would be gone and that would be good enough. Even once Uday and Qusay were killed, I was sure Saddam would get away. If he didn't get away, he would die fighting. If he didn't die fighting, the Americans would kill him before capturing him. (Wouldn't want Rumsfeld's past to come back and haunt him at a trial, would we?) I still can't quite believe he's been captured.

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Through an Iraqi's Eyes | 129 comments (114 topical, 15 editorial, 2 hidden)
+1 fp (1.57 / 7) (#3)
by circletimessquare on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 11:31:26 AM EST

i wonder what this guy has to say

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2003/3/20/03449/8345

http://dear_raed.blogspot.com/

no word from the iraqi blogger yet, but watch it folks

rot in hell, saddam

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Baghdad Blogger response on Guardian website (2.25 / 8) (#4)
by caek on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 11:54:34 AM EST

His thoughts on the arrest are on the Guardian website

[ Parent ]
thanks! ;-) (nt) (1.50 / 3) (#5)
by circletimessquare on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 12:08:32 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Wow (none / 3) (#53)
by truth versus death on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 10:42:54 PM EST

I did not know you were on a first name basis with Hussein. You must be really close.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
It's about respect (none / 1) (#64)
by Wateshay on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 12:53:11 AM EST

At least in the U.S., calling someone Mr. Soandso, instead of by their first name is a sign of respect to someone you don't have a familiar relationship with. Since Saddam doesn't deserve respect, there's not reason to not call him Saddam (or Fuckwad...that's a good one).

"If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for everyone else."


[ Parent ]
nope (none / 1) (#76)
by Timo Laine on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 08:32:15 AM EST

Take a look at this. Unless you're trolling, and I don't think you are.

[ Parent ]
Nice info (none / 0) (#83)
by truth versus death on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 12:53:24 PM EST

But is does not justify the usage. If fact, it shows it is wrong. You are still referring to him by his first name, rather than in a respectful manner.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
well (none / 2) (#88)
by Timo Laine on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 03:53:21 PM EST

Right, but Hussein is nevertheless more wrong than Saddam. I'm still not quite sure how it is disrespectful to use just the first name, though. I don't know what kinds of conventions there are in Arabic cultures, but they might differ from those of Western cultures. Would Mr Saddam be better?

[ Parent ]
It might be (none / 1) (#98)
by truth versus death on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 12:54:03 AM EST

The equivalent of Saddam would be if all newspaper articles referrred to Bush as George, once he had been introduced earlier in the exposition. It appears that the correct way to refer respectfully to Saddam Hussein is to always use the full name, except when quoting others or in shortened titles. A respectful tone should be taken in all general news articles for the purposes of not injecting the writer's bias into the news reporting. On the other hand, many other kinds of writing can rightfully invoke the disrespectful usage.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
Damn (none / 1) (#112)
by ShiftyStoner on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 05:23:34 AM EST

 Politically correct sons of bitches. Nobody should give a fuck if you say his first name, last name, or call him Lord God Almighty Saddam. Everyone knows, or should know exactly who you're talking about when you say Saddam. It's stupid to think someone likes somebody else, or dislikes them, or speaks with them, just because they call them by their first name. Everyone should know who you're talking about if you say George W. as well.

>
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler
[ Parent ]

Georgie (none / 0) (#118)
by truth versus death on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 01:34:59 PM EST

When the press refer to him by the name Georgie, I will grant you your wish. Until then, nice dreams.

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
[ Parent ]
Fucking Awesome (1.09 / 32) (#6)
by DominantParadigm on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 12:53:40 PM EST

Yet another Iraqi who's never lived in Iraq. Get in line behind the (coughcoughdontreadbetweenthelinesconservativeiranhatingamericanethniciraniancou ghcough) Iranians for Pahlavi... err democracy.

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


Boy (2.50 / 16) (#7)
by cr8dle2grave on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 01:14:24 PM EST

You're a sanctimonious little prick, aren't you?

You don't know the slightest thing about this fellow's political beliefs--he went out his way to avoid discussing them--but still you've no problem pigeon-holing him into some predefined category which allows you the easy comfort of mocking him. His one authentic contribution to this site greatly exceeds the aggregate value of your volumes of snide comments.  

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
I'm as Scottish (sp) as he is Iraqi (1.75 / 8) (#9)
by DominantParadigm on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 01:26:57 PM EST

Which, seeing as how I've never stepped foot in Scotland, is not one fucking bit. The fact that I have extended family in Scotland (I do) doesn't change that. The most I can possibly say is that I'm of Scottish descent or ethnically Scottish. I personally just say that my ancestors are from Scotland.

Twits sometimes put on a shitty Scottish or Irish accent and say they're Scots or Irish because their ancestors were. Everyone has a good laugh at their expense.



Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
He was entirely upfront... (2.25 / 4) (#10)
by cr8dle2grave on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 01:29:58 PM EST

...about his situation: memeber of Iraqi family in exile. What's your gripe?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
My gripe is that I've seen this before (1.66 / 6) (#11)
by DominantParadigm on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 01:34:56 PM EST

About "Iranians."

btw to clear up any confusion the poster of this story appears not to be conservative,and I was implying something about "Iranian" conservative cuntrags that want to take over Iran ; a very different beast who want to meddle with a very different country, to be sure.



Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
You sir (1.66 / 9) (#12)
by cr8dle2grave on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 01:38:14 PM EST

Are the kneejerk "cuntrag."

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
And.. (2.60 / 5) (#24)
by strlen on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 03:47:48 PM EST

You're so qualified to speak about Iran, than those Iranians, right, Canadista?

And Iranian's I've known (most of them born in Iran, and others born to parents who fled the aytolah) are split 50/50 on wanting US to intervene, but 100% of them want the aytollah out of power  (as do Iranians in Iran.

However, you remind me of Americans here in the US, telling me (who grew up in former USSR country that returned to neo-communism) that communism is great, and Stalin was misunderstood.

How about you go live in a dictatorship for 13 years, then talk.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Once again, pay attention (none / 1) (#38)
by DominantParadigm on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 07:43:16 PM EST

Did I make a single comment about what I think should happen to Iraq or Iran or any other fucking country?

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
You created the impression (none / 0) (#41)
by strlen on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 07:59:11 PM EST

That someone second generation Iranian exiles, aren't qualified, or are less qualified than you to speak on what should happen in the country that their parents are from, and that they still have relatives in.


--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
gaffe! (1.75 / 3) (#14)
by Lode Runner on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 02:15:06 PM EST

Watching you turn on Moneo for applauding Saddam's downfall will delight the pro-war types here to no end. A browse through Moneo's posting history should illuminate the magnitude of your error.

[ Parent ]
gaffe! (1.66 / 6) (#17)
by DominantParadigm on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 02:40:00 PM EST

I already went through Moneo's history and even commented on his leanings before you showed up. Have a great day, you moral giant.

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
If your comment (none / 3) (#19)
by Lode Runner on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 02:58:11 PM EST

had been an outright retraction and apology to Moneo, then you'd have a valid argument. As it stands, all you've done is try to justify your earlier statement.

[ Parent ]
Care to explain your point in English? (none / 1) (#20)
by DominantParadigm on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 03:08:06 PM EST



Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
pay attention (none / 2) (#21)
by DominantParadigm on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 03:09:28 PM EST

never did i call him conservative. therefore, you must be talking about something else you think i said. right?

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
It comes down to (none / 0) (#26)
by Lode Runner on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 04:15:11 PM EST

what you meant by "Get in line behind". Usually when people use that phrase they're trying to highlight a similarity.

[ Parent ]
Kuss Ummak. NT (1.00 / 6) (#44)
by Apuleius on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 08:29:03 PM EST




There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
ok anyone want to translate this Jewish insult? (none / 0) (#58)
by DominantParadigm on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 11:34:50 PM EST

Because I have no idea what it means.

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
Never mind (none / 0) (#59)
by DominantParadigm on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 11:39:59 PM EST

This link explains this curious Jewish insult. It means "Fuck your mother's pussy." How enlightened of you, Apuleius

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
While I hate to comment on insults.... (none / 0) (#99)
by jethro on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 01:42:15 AM EST

(A) Like many, many (if not most!) Hebrew/Israeli swearwords, this one, too, is actually ARABIC slang.

(B) There is no 'Fuck' in there. The rest is correct.

(C) This is used more as an exclemation rather than an insult.

--
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is kinky.
[ Parent ]

cockmaster (none / 3) (#85)
by Battle Troll on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 01:40:44 PM EST

Yet another Iraqi who's never lived in Iraq...

You're right. He shouldn't give a damn that his parents can finally go home and he can finally meet most of his relatives face to face.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

+1 section with disgust (1.13 / 29) (#13)
by BlackStripe on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 02:02:13 PM EST

It's something interesting to talk about, but you second-generation know it alls make me sick. Born in another country and you have your ideas of how to run your motherland? I have as much of a right to tell people what to do in Ireland, England, and Scotland. It also bears a striking resemblance to the Jewish diaspora and its Zionism-in-absentia politics. Perhaps you didn't watch the war sitting on your couch giggling with anticipation of what your new house would look like on the Dijla, but you sure came off that way. You are and always will be a Maghribi, and I don't mean Morroccan.

1,
Isaac

Shame on you, (2.58 / 12) (#16)
by vyruss on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 02:25:20 PM EST

Have you ever thought that the only reason this person is away from Iraq might be persecution? Is that reason enough to call one a "second-generation know-it-all"?

Except if you are just a troll (my trollsensing abilities are hampered by the kebab in my plate), in which case simply sod off kindly.

  • PRINT CHR$(147)

[ Parent ]
Well... (2.80 / 5) (#27)
by Edward Carter on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 05:09:13 PM EST

He does say he's never been to Iraq.

[ Parent ]
Err... (none / 3) (#55)
by Azmeen on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 10:45:12 PM EST

I agree with your sentiment...

However, the poster has no significant attachment with Iraq, since he has _zero_ first hand knowledge about the country. For God's sake, he wasn't even born there in the first place.

Therefore, he does sound like a "second-generation-know-it-all".


HTNet | Blings.info
[ Parent ]

Yeah (none / 2) (#110)
by C Montgomery Burns on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 12:05:00 AM EST

unlike all of the "no-connection-to-Iraq-ever" know-it-alls all over K5.  They, apparently, are exempt from complaints about their knowledge of the country.
--
ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD
Intelligent design
[ Parent ]
Where are you getting this from? (2.57 / 7) (#29)
by Moneo on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 05:35:34 PM EST

"Second-generation know it all"? "Run your motherland"? "Tell people what to do"?

I don't want to run anything or tell anyone what to do. I'd like to eat real Iraqi food and see my aunt and cousins I haven't seen since the 80s (and others I've never met at all). I'd like to start a nursery -- perhaps even a tissue culture lab.

Just to be clear, my family was forced to leave Iraq because of the political situation -- assasination and imprisonment are unpleasant alternatives to exile.


Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]
My question (1.26 / 23) (#28)
by Kasreyn on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 05:24:56 PM EST

is when is the U.N. going to send an inspector to do some DNA tests - or at LEAST fingerprinting - to make sure the U.S.A. hasn't produced a ringer?

C'mon, folks. Baby Bush is in political trouble and Daddy Bush used to run the CIA. You think that wouldn't be beyond them? Saddam manages to elude escape, but coincidentally gets caught right before the election campaign begins to truly heat up... hmmm... if it is a fake, I'll admit their timing is a good bit off.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Paranoid leftist (1.10 / 19) (#32)
by sellison on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 06:15:32 PM EST

Fighting George Bush wouldn't lie.

Even Clinton would lie about something like this, the truth will come out and the fallout from a lie would be much closer to the elections.

The only possible reason to lie now would be to stop Coward Dean.

But that would be stupid, Bush wants to run against Dean, duh, as he will produce the largest and most telling landslide: final repudiation and emasculation of the socialist wing of the dems.

No this is Saddam, it was the Ace in the Hole, and now things will finally get back to normal in Iraq. By 2004, Bush will be running against Dean with a pacified Iraq and a strong economy, and the rout is going to make First Infantry's race to Bagdad look like a slog.



"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Think, McFly! (none / 2) (#35)
by skim123 on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 07:04:20 PM EST

While conspiracy theories may be fun to mull over, take a brief moment to really think about this logically and rationally. While this announcement will, no doubt, help Bush politically, if this was faked and discovered, Bush's political career would be over in a heart beat. I would wager that after capturing him they took long enough to ensure 100% that it was really Saddam before going live and announcing his capture.

What will be interesting is to see is how Bush handles this. Will he turn Saddam over to the International Courts or will he insist that he be tried in the US?

On a more moral and human-life-saving front, I wonder if Saddam's capture will reduce the attacks in Iraq any. Hopefully this will bring the country one step closer to ending terrorism there, but who knows. After all, from the news reports it doesn't sound like Saddam had the power or influence to mastermind these attacks, or to even finance them.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
its already been announced. (none / 0) (#39)
by Work on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 07:51:18 PM EST

Saddam will be tried by the new iraqi tribunal that was formed last week to prosecute govt criminals during his regime.

[ Parent ]
I wonder if he will be allowed to defend himself.. (none / 1) (#42)
by skim123 on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 08:16:09 PM EST

Not only that, but I wonder when the trial will start and how long it will take before he's sentenced to death.

Before he is executed, I hope they make him go out to the mass graves and do clean-up work there, like help cataloging the bodies and whatnot. Would be fitting.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
I hope they give him that acid bath... (none / 3) (#54)
by StormShadow on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 10:43:57 PM EST

...he loved to punish his enemies with.


-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
Execute him? (none / 0) (#93)
by cosmokramer on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 06:19:25 PM EST

I dunno but I think this would be a bad idea.. if there is any chance that he would become an inspiration to some freaks out there it would be caused by executing him. I mean why would you go in there on a high horse and then do something as completely barbaric as the death penalty? It's not fitting of anyone, even Bush, regardless of the war crimes. But I am certainly glad he is caught and hopefully he will be tried in an Iraqi court for crimes against his people and not the US (as he committed no crimes against the US or any other nation really?) My two cents :)

[ Parent ]
and (none / 0) (#40)
by Work on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 07:52:19 PM EST

for those of you who refuse to believe anything that doesn't have a link...

tribunal announcement

[ Parent ]

hey paranoid schizophrenic (1.30 / 13) (#36)
by circletimessquare on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 07:37:55 PM EST

we didn't land on the moon, the nazis didn't gas jews, jfk was kiled by freemasons

the pharmacy is 2 blocks down please, get some meds moron

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

More transparent trolling from circletimessquare (2.75 / 4) (#45)
by mcc on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 08:39:39 PM EST

Everyone knows jfk was killed by Baldrson.

[ Parent ]
which is worse? (1.00 / 7) (#47)
by circletimessquare on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 09:07:26 PM EST

the troll or the sycophant who follows him around?

ah well, everyone needs a fan club... fall in line sycophant

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

ROFL (none / 2) (#124)
by Kasreyn on Thu Dec 18, 2003 at 05:17:59 AM EST

do you have any idea how often mcc 0-rates me?

Jeez. Just check your facts occasionally, huh?


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Nah, I doubt it (none / 2) (#96)
by Eater on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 08:47:37 PM EST

If Bush was going to fake "discoveries" in Iraq, he would first plant some WMD - it would be far easier than getting a person in that looks like Saddam and making sure he's not DNA tested by anyone not in the know, and it would earn him more Re-Election Points (tm).

Eater.

[ Parent ]
Maybe they knew where he were (none / 0) (#101)
by slaida1 on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 07:29:42 AM EST

Think about this: If they would have dug Saddam up right there few months ago, then
A) Saddam would be physically and mentally stronger to resist interrogation. This way Saddam in a way tortured himself in his underground "prisons". I bet in some ways he's relieved the hiding is over and more willing to co-operate.

B) Popularity impact that this finding generated, would have diminished under other things long before election.

C) If there exist some reasons to keep up this "smokescreen" of a war, then finding Saddam then would have lessened peoples interest over that war and concentrate on other things.

So... how realistic is this? You decide.

[ Parent ]

Move on (none / 1) (#103)
by Scratch o matic on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 10:10:26 AM EST

Capturing Saddam was a good thing. It is the result of policy formulated and pursued by President Bush. Therefore, whenever and wherever Saddam was captured, it would have reflected well on Bush. So I guess that regardless of the circumstances, you would have claimed that Bush "cooked it up" for the political points.

Do yourself a favor: accept that this is a good thing, and move to another subject on which Bush is actually vulnerable, and which does not depend on body doubles, plastic surgery, or shadow-faced men in black to be believable.

[ Parent ]
DNA Testing (none / 0) (#129)
by mdm42 on Sun Dec 21, 2003 at 10:04:21 AM EST

OK, so we all saw the US captors taking a scraping for the alleged-Saddam's mouth for DNA testing.

But what the hell are they comparing it against?  Oh!  They just happen to have exisitng Saddam Hussein DNA in cold storage somewhere?

Give me a break!

[ Parent ]

Wow, you don't think much do you (none / 0) (#131)
by brsmith4 on Wed Dec 24, 2003 at 01:15:01 AM EST

We killed BOTH OF HIS SONS. We have THEIR BODIES and plenty of TISSUE to sample DNA from. If he is not Saddam, the DNA will show that he is NOT THEIR FATHER. Its a simple PATERNITY test. Think hard... think REAL hard


I give up on you people. You couldn't save yourselves from a bad dream. --God
[ Parent ]
Wow (none / 0) (#130)
by Armada on Mon Dec 22, 2003 at 12:29:01 AM EST

Your post looks like it is straight off the pages of Indymedia!

I can see it now: Conspiracy! They really didn't catch him and think they are going to dupe millions of people and are going to stick their necks out as to Saddam releasing another "video" showing that the guy the US captured is an imposter.

Jeez, get a clue.

[ Parent ]

get real (1.13 / 22) (#31)
by scatbubba on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 06:07:13 PM EST

The liberals tell me every day that it would have been better to leave saddam in power. Who do you think you are to say otherwise?

Nonsense (2.71 / 7) (#46)
by johnny on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 09:01:03 PM EST

I'm a liberal and I never said any such thing. Few liberals held this position (that Hussein should have been left in power).

Many of us, however, said that other means should have been employed to remove Saddam; means that did not leave tens or hundreds of thousands of innocent people dead (I'm including the sanctions, which lead to the deaths of thousands of children) and that did not leave 9 out of ten people on the planet (or thereabouts) with the quite reasonable believe that removal of Saddam was nothing more than a pretext to enrich Bush's friends and financiers and to further Bush's political, imperialistic agenda. We liberals also believed in ending apartheit, but none of us favored bombing Pretoria with B-52s so far as I recall.

As happy as I am to see Hussein defanged (and I am happy about that), it's hard to see Bush's role in this as anything other than the head of one mafia family putting the hit on the head of another.

Gandhi prevailed over the British empire without bombs, and Mandela defeated the apartheit regime without dropping 500 pound bombs.

Many of the very people who are now crowing over Hussein's comeuppance (Rumsfeld et al) are the very ones who fed this monster in the first place.

I, for one, hope that Hussein is given a fair trail. I have little doubt that he would be convicted of depraved murder ten thousand times over and sentenced accordingly. But I do hope that he is given that basic justice of which he deprived so many others, and I would love nothing more than to see Mr. Rumsfeld and as many of the old Regan regime as still have their wits about them issued subpoenas by the defense.

yr frn,
jrs
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Che
[ Parent ]

apples + oranges (2.80 / 5) (#62)
by horny smurf on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 12:32:19 AM EST

Gandhi prevailed over the British empire without bombs, and Mandela defeated the apartheit regime without dropping 500 pound bombs.

Do you know what happened to the Ghandis and Mandelas in Iraq? Feet first through a shredder. Or maybe they watched while their wives were raped, and then buried in mass graves.



[ Parent ]

You're right (none / 2) (#74)
by johnny on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 08:16:13 AM EST

That does not mean that there were no alternatives to the way Bush went about this business, or that there were no other ways to dislodge Saddam.

And it wasn't as if the Brits in India or Afrikaners were pussycats either. Romania's dictator was another Saddam, and he went down in a "soft" revolution. The USSR collapsed without the help of the 101st Airborne.

With all the goodwill towards the USA after 911, a leader with any competence at all could have rallied the world against Islamofascism and tyrants like Hussein. But Bush & company's lies, arrogance, deceptions, and habit of pissing in the faces of everybody not in their club, together with their obvious oil lust and imperial aims, caused the world to rightfully regard the USA as, potentially, a much greater threat than Saddam.

Stalin did a lot to dislodge Hitler; that does not mean that Germans should have been happy to be occupied by Russia for fifty years following. Nor does it mean that Stalin was a great liberator.

I do not believe that war is never justified. But in this case I don't believe that alternatives were seriously considered. For example, Hans Blix was correct in virutally everything he said. We'll never know what might have happend if, for example, allies had been regarded as peers and not vassals.

In any event, Hussein is caught. Let's pray this brings some peace to Iraq.

yr frn,
jrs
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Che
[ Parent ]

you know... (2.75 / 4) (#84)
by Battle Troll on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 01:37:05 PM EST

It was Orwell who said that if the Brits in India had acted the way Hitler did in Germany, Gandhi would have disappeared in the middle of the night. Just sayin'.

Romania's dictator was another Saddam, and he went down in a "soft" revolution.

My perspective might be useful, because my wife is Romanian and was living in Romania when Ceasescu was shot. She told me that, after the collapse of the Communist governments in East Germany, Poland, and Czechosolvakia, the high-ranking apparatchiks in Romania knew that Communism had no future. They decided to pre-empt a popular revolution, as the people were far too cowed, disorganized, and poor to stage one yet. So, they arrested Ceausescu and shot him. It was a palace coup.

This coup only succeeded because, with revolutions in several other countries, the Communists in Romania were shorn of external support. I don't see any evidence that Saddam's grip on power had been weakened at all prior to the US invasion. So the two cases are really only propagandistically comparable.

But Bush & company's lies, arrogance, deceptions, and habit of pissing in the faces of everybody not in their club, together with their obvious oil lust and imperial aims, caused the world to rightfully regard the USA as, potentially, a much greater threat than Saddam.

Well, the Canadian Army is potentially a much greater threat than a street-corner drug dealer in Toronto. After all, they're hundreds of thousands of guys with field pieces, tanks, and a command structure; the drug dealer is just some punk with a gat. But most Torontonians would favour arresting drug dealers over the Army. YMMV.

Stalin did a lot to dislodge Hitler; that does not mean that Germans should have been happy to be occupied by Russia for fifty years following. Nor does it mean that Stalin was a great liberator.

This is such a great criticism of American foreign policy since 1960 that I can't understand why you're wasting it or Iraq. The Iraq war is being conducted infinitely more openly than the horrid CIA scandals of the previous generation. The USA has a history of indefensible behaviour internationally, but 'Iraq is all about oil Halliburton' is just lame. There are all kinds of $75 monkey-wrench and $500 toilet-seat ventures to pay off big business. Are you really telling me that invading Iraq was just corporate welfare? If you are, then all I can say is that you're not interested in anything but your party line.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Deep ambivalence (none / 1) (#94)
by johnny on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 07:43:22 PM EST

I don't know what the best thing to do about Saddam was. To say that the USA was at least partially responsible for creating the monster (as they were with Bin Ladin) is true, but doesn't answer the question of what to do about him. However, this go-it-alone preemptive war, predicated on lies, was not the only option.

Your line about Toronto street thugs and the Canadian army is facile. I won't harp on that too much, for after all I'm responding to your accusing me of being facile. But surely, as somebody who knows about Iraq, Rommania, the Soviet Bloc countries, surely you must know that totalitarian states-- founded on powerful armies combined with total surveillance police culture and nationalistic party line-- can arise? They can happen. They do happen. Especially when their leadrs/rulers are bent on empire. When I say that Bush wants to be, believes he is, more of a king than a president in the American tradition. Call me silly if you want. But that's how it looks to me. And I fear him and all his gang.

To say that that USian foreign policy has been entirely taken over by the military industrial complex implies more than "it's all about oil." What is the Iraq war about? Well obviously it's about getting rid of a muderous tyrant, and I believe that that is the primary cause, or perhaps only cause, that motivates the vast majority of soldiers, marines, etc, who actually did the hard part. So I'll grant you that.

But it's also about forward bases, and the Cheney/Rumsfeld vision of American power absolutely with out check in the world. It's about Bush's reelection, and it's about Aschcroft's Ayahtollan vision of a Christian America where nobody steps out of line. Basically it's about ruling the roost. Would you tell me that oil and strategic considerations had nothing to do with this war, that it was only about freeing people from horrible tryany? Why then where is the war against AIDS in Africa? Where is the move to dislodge the junta in Burma?

Meanwhile, we were told it was about Al-Qeida and bioweapons. Doesn't that make you a little bit upset? Would it make you upset if you son or daughter had been killed under that phoney, dishonest rationale?

So now the question becomes, what next?

yr frn,
jrs
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Che
[ Parent ]

oh, this is such crap (none / 2) (#104)
by Battle Troll on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 12:29:56 PM EST

To say that the USA was at least partially responsible for creating the monster (as they were with Bin Ladin) is true, but doesn't answer the question of what to do about him.

It's very one-sided to leave out the role of non-US states in backing and arming Saddam, not to mention propping up the regime in the years 1991-2002.

But surely, as somebody who knows about Iraq, Rommania, the Soviet Bloc countries, surely you must know that totalitarian states-- founded on powerful armies combined with total surveillance police culture and nationalistic party line-- can arise?

Not to put a fine point on it, but the USA has democratic checks and decentralization of power that Iraq and Romania, ca. 1980, couldn't even dream of. Let's recap: Romania, ca. 1980, was an oppressive dictatorship because the USSR installed puppet Communist regimes in all the countries it invaded in 1944-1945. The USSR proved its committment to maintaining the Eastern Bloc in international slavery by invading Hungary in 1956 upon Nagy's attempting to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact, and by invading Czechoslovakia in 1968. Romania, with a border in common with the USSR, no history of democracy, and its main industry (agriculture) in ruins from collective-farm experiments, was in no position to resist USSR demands or even reform its own internal politics. The USA, on the other hand, is a democratic state with a powerful independent judiciary, accepting hundreds of thousands of immigrants from all over the world every year, a country in which even the poorest of the poor can expect adequate food (if not adequate health-care; this is a persistent problem.) While I'm entirely open to suggestions for improving life and democracy in the USA (I have my own list and it's long,) you need to get back to earth and admit that Americans are much safer and freer than the people in most of the rest of the world.

Any comparison between today's USA and 1980's Romania, a literal police state with a large, active secret police and total state control of the press, the military, industry, internal movement of its citizens, and no effective rule of law, is really perverse. I mean, if the USA were like Ceausescu's Romania, you'd have been beaten to death in a police station and I'd have wires on my nuts (I was a member of a student political organization for two years.) The comparison really revolts and offends me, because having marched in rallies and addressed politicians face-to-face, I'm aware of just how much freedom I enjoy. Bush is no Ceausescu and John Ashcroft is no goddamn Leon Trotsky; there is not a broad base of electoral support for these guys so, whatever their ambitions, the very political process itself and the political actions of citizens exercizing their freedoms guarantee that Bush and Ashcroft's actions are circumscribed.

If you keep on yammering about how the USA is a totalitarian dictatorship, you can't blame people for failing to take you seriously because, the truth is, it really isn't one. If you don't like the circumscription of civil libertiers, well, dammit, welcome to democracy. If people felt their rights really are being trampled, Bush will be crucified in the 2004 election. If they don't, who are you to tell them they're capital-W Wrong?
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

You missed my point (none / 0) (#105)
by johnny on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 01:57:13 PM EST

The USA is not a totalitarian dictatorship. I didn't say it was. But we are moving in that direction. Yell at me all you want; that's how I see it. I don't think it's a forgone conclusion, but I'm worried about it.

And I am happy to live in a democracy, such as it is, but that doesn't mean that "the people" are always right. Heck, not that long ago in the USA people went to lynchings for public enterntainment and sent postcards of them to their friends. People have been known to vote away their liberties. That doesn't mean they were right to do so. Who am I to say they're wrong? I'm a nobody. Just a human bean.

And the US of A has plenty, plenty, plenty of blood on its hands for its various adventures. We are not Stalinist Russia, but we are not the paragons that many of us believe ourselves to be. Forget Rommania for a second. How about Guatemala?

Anyway we were talking of Hussein and whether this war was the only way to get rid of him and whether the USA under Bush jr. has imperial aims. And I still say that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and lays duck eggs, then maybe it's a duck.

yr frn,
jrs
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Che
[ Parent ]

more (none / 0) (#107)
by Battle Troll on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 03:13:31 PM EST

Anyway we were talking of Hussein and whether this war was the only way to get rid of him and whether the USA under Bush jr. has imperial aims.

Funny, I thought we were talking about this:

But surely, as somebody who knows about Iraq, Rommania, the Soviet Bloc countries, surely you must know that totalitarian states-- founded on powerful armies combined with total surveillance police culture and nationalistic party line-- can arise? They can happen. They do happen. Especially when their leadrs/rulers are bent on empire. When I say that Bush wants to be, believes he is, more of a king than a president in the American tradition.
And I was telling you that, as Hegel says, a sufficiently large difference in degree is a difference in kind.

And the US of A has plenty, plenty, plenty of blood on its hands for its various adventures. We are not Stalinist Russia, but we are not the paragons that many of us believe ourselves to be. Forget Rommania [sic]for a second. How about Guatemala?

I'm hardly defending the USA's record in Latin America. Earlier in this thread, I said that 'This is such a great criticism of American foreign policy since 1960 that I can't understand why you're wasting it or Iraq. The Iraq war is being conducted infinitely more openly than the horrid CIA scandals of the previous generation.' Which horrid scandals did you think I had in mind? The whole world is watching what's happening in Iraq. Surely there's some kind of difference between an internationally televised war and death-squads murdering trade unionists in the middle of the night.

[T]hat doesn't mean that "the people" are always right... [w]ho am I to say they're wrong? I'm a nobody.

Well, make up your mind already.

Getting back to the question of 'imperial aims,' the term is so vague as to be vacuous. Does Bush intend to tighten American military control of the Middle East by a system of base concessions? That's only debatably imperialistic - the truth is that all nations not themselves enslaved have had to do this in order to defend their own interests since the dawn of the Age of Navigation. I mean, by that formulation, it was 'imperialistic' for the USA to establish bases in Germany as a deterrent to the USSR.

[I]f it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and lays duck eggs, then maybe it's a duck.

What's at issue is the very question of 'does it walk like a duck,' so I don't see how you can escape the argument by begging the question.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Let's hope you're right and I'm wrong (none / 0) (#108)
by johnny on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 05:47:20 PM EST

Time will tell. We can be happy that Saddam has been, finally, put out of commission. We can hope that the people of Iraq will find a way to assemble themselves into some kind of functioning civil society. We can hope that the US will not insist on a puppet government -- as it pretty clearly had originally intended to install in the form of Ahmed Chalabi. I'm of the opinion that getting the USA out of Iraq will be crucial to these developments.

We can hope that the military-industrial-prison-infotainment complex will self-check, now that the tryant of Baghdad has been subdued. I'm not counting on it, but we can hope.

As for whether the current administration is or is not a "duck", that is, a would-be imperial power bent on world domination, I think I'll leave that discussion for another day.

yr frn,
jrs
Get your free download of prizewinning novels Acts of the Apostles and Che
[ Parent ]

rearwr (none / 1) (#109)
by jrz on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 07:09:55 PM EST

everyone forgets that gandhi and mandela opposed a moral enemy. unless you think europeans and saddam hussein are alike.
there is no idea so good that it can't be ruined by a few well-placed idiots.
[ Parent ]
uh, huh (none / 2) (#33)
by Wateshay on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 06:24:22 PM EST

Yup, the ultimate form of ending an online debate against someone you disagree with. Accuse them of not being who they really say they are....because obviously no one who's a second generation Iraqi refugee, with family still in Iraq, could possibly have an opinion other than the one you think they should.

"If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for everyone else."


How can you be happy with your country conquered? (1.00 / 25) (#43)
by United Fools on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 08:28:51 PM EST

How did you feel when the Mongols sacked Baghdad? How can you be happy when your country fell again to a new conqueror Bush the Great of the USA and Iraq was erased from the map?
We are united, we are fools, and we are America!
Conquered & Liberated (2.37 / 8) (#68)
by Moneo on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 03:29:36 AM EST

After 1979, I didn't have a country any more. Now...I just might. It's as simple as that.


Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]
This must be the most ignorant post i've ever seen (1.60 / 5) (#75)
by jekyll on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 08:30:29 AM EST

nt.

[ Parent ]
Huh??? (none / 1) (#91)
by United Fools on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 04:27:09 PM EST


We are united, we are fools, and we are America!
[ Parent ]
-1 Rubbish... (1.04 / 25) (#51)
by Azmeen on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 10:22:09 PM EST

First of all... you're not an Iraqi. The fact that you have "a large extended family" there doesn't automatically make you an Iraqi. You may be an Arab or something along those lines... but an Iraqi you're most certainly not. If I have large extended family in the USA but never went there (yet alone born there) does that make me a USian?

And good God... this belongs in the diary section... You just want to express yourself, that is fine. But what insight have you have about "your" country... You've never even been there, no experience of "life" there. Your "story" here is just as insightful as "Redneck Joe" from Alabama... he hasn't been to Iraq either and he too has opinions on this whole issue.

I also doubt that you're even Arab/Muslim in the first place... From your diary entry, it seems that you have no qualms with co-habitation with a person of the opposite sex... Ahh well, maybe you're a "modern" Arab... who cares.

Same thing as your story here... who cares what you think of the situation. Especially since there's no attachment at all between you and "your country".


HTNet | Blings.info
Brilliant commentary asshat [nt] (1.40 / 5) (#56)
by StormShadow on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 10:48:40 PM EST



-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
Thank you... (1.00 / 6) (#60)
by Azmeen on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 12:08:57 AM EST

But pray, tell me, which part interests you the most?


HTNet | Blings.info
[ Parent ]
Petty & Asinine (3.00 / 5) (#63)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 12:42:59 AM EST

This guy is hardly unique in considering himself to be of a [insert ethnic/national identity here] in spite of being born in the US. Such is actually rather common among exile communities, and his situation, at least as he describes it, is not equivalent to "Joe Redneck's". Joe has no personal connection to the situation, this person has been raised among a family who consider themselves to be Iraqis.

I also doubt that you're even Arab/Muslim in the first place... From your diary entry, it seems that you have no qualms with co-habitation with a person of the opposite sex... Ahh well, maybe you're a "modern" Arab... who cares.

Apologies for the language, but this just a plain fuckin' ignorant statement. Who made you the grand arbiter of authentic Arab opinion?

Could this post be pure fiction? Sure, I guess so. But there's no evidence whatsoever that this is case, so why presume so?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Asinine (none / 2) (#82)
by CENGEL3 on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 10:53:05 AM EST

Even if the guy isn't an "Iraqi" and I'm not sure that he doesn't qualify as one. He has direct family that have lived thier entire lives in Iraq.... and apparently he talks to them on a somewhat regular basis.

I think that gives him alot more insight into the feelings of "real Iraqi's" then "Redneck Joe" or you for that matter. Of course your reaction is typical of modern leftists, when faced with facts that disagree with your world view you simply choose to ignore/dismiss them.

[ Parent ]

If you are going to use the short form... (none / 0) (#115)
by lowmagnet on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 11:28:36 AM EST

It's Usonian. USian sounds retarded when pronounced.

[ Parent ]
DO NOT FEED THE TROLL (1.09 / 44) (#52)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 10:35:51 PM EST

This is clearly a troll. And not in the lame sense people are using the word nowadays in k5, but in the old-school sense which encompasses, among other things, clever posters who, possessing remarkable insight into the follies of kurobots, and therefore a great sense of the "game" in k5, will tell ANY LIE to play on those follies to acheive an unusual end, for the amusement of a tight-knit group of friends. And, of course, a little hint left in for the wise to identify the troll as such. That is, somebody who sees the k5 community as a "game" to be played by manipulating it for ever more improbable ends.

In this case, the end is easy to see: posting a "breaking news"-type story to k5, a community which has distinguished itself from others by valuing in-depth discussion over speedy reportage. The means to slip this story past the kurobots? Play upon their hunger for unconventional viewpoints. This is acheived in a grandiose scale by the utter fabrication of a viewpoint that the bots will not fail to judge as privileged: a first-person view from a supposed "Iraqui".

What's the hint for the wise to latch on? The following:

I am an Iraqi. I have never been to Iraq but I have a large extended family there.
Some "Iraqui". But this guy is subtly playing on the same sort of ideas that lead kurobots to accept statments such as: "I'm a Jew. I have never been to the Holy Land, but I had ancestors there 2,000 years ago." I.e. the idea of a nationality that's not based on growing up in the territory of the actual nation-state that's invoked by the word in question.

He's laying this bit of all of you buck-naked bare. And all of you who voted this up can't even see it. Shame on all of you, troll-feeders.

--em

Doubtful (2.88 / 9) (#65)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 12:56:49 AM EST

If he were clever enough to pull off the lead in, you'd expect a far better "punch line."

I.e. the idea of a nationality that's not based on growing up in the territory of the actual nation-state that's invoked by the word in question.

There are innumerable cases of national identities being maintained and cultivated in absentia within exile communities and families. I've known a handful of people over the years whose families raised them with the full expectation that they would someday be returning home to their country. Obviously, this condition isn't equivalent to actually being raised within the geographical and cultural confines of one's supposed nationality, but his understanding of national identity is hardly unique.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
YHBT. (none / 1) (#77)
by caek on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 08:33:11 AM EST

I've got a feeling you've just been trolled.

[ Parent ]
talk about shooting the messenger (2.72 / 11) (#66)
by Lode Runner on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 01:35:30 AM EST

Nobody complained before about Moneo's appeals to personal authority (i.e. that he is an Arab). But now that he's spoken favorably of the effort to oust Saddam, the anti-war types here are trying their utmost to marginalize this guy.

My feeling is that he's voicing opinions that you don't want to hear because it's making you look bad for your opposition to the war.

As for the "trolling" slur, Moneo's article is broadly consistent with the sentiments expressed by the other members of the Iraqi diaspora in the last few hours. K5 could've been among the very first to report reaction to Saddam's capture in the Muslim community, but thanks to our cadre of brittle lefties our early report is going to appear derivative.

[ Parent ]

I was anti-war... (none / 0) (#90)
by Del Monte Cyber Monkey on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 04:15:53 PM EST

...and can still appreciate this diary.

Shame others seem to want to debunk it as trash and lies...


Ah, Del Monte!


[ Parent ]
I'm STILL anti-war, but... (none / 0) (#92)
by mikelist on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 05:51:09 PM EST

...Saddam H was a pressing hemorrhoid on the Iraqi people. The war was still prosecuted under spurious terms, and the part I object to most is just beginning.

[ Parent ]
DO NOT FEED THE ONE TRICK PONY (none / 3) (#80)
by polish surprise on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 10:21:37 AM EST

God, em, that's just fucking pathetic. Good thing adequacy died when it did.

--
Controversy is my middle name.
[ Parent ]

-1 Iraq is gay -nt (1.03 / 27) (#67)
by Ronald Reagan3 on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 01:38:24 AM EST



Clearing up a few things (2.75 / 28) (#69)
by Moneo on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 04:17:27 AM EST

There seems to be a lot of discussion about whether or not I am Iraqi and whether or not I'm qualified as an Iraqi. I am an Iraqi; if you think I'm trolling or making this up, I have nothing further to say to you, so move along. I'm only going to address the second point below.

Comparisons have been drawn to a diaspora-Jew or an American claiming European ancestry. These seem to be based on my use of the phrase 'extended family', so let me clarify that. I have a paternal aunt and cousins in Baghdad who I haven't seen since the late 1980s. I also have a maternal aunt in Baghdad and another who moves between Baghdad and Jordan. I hope to see them in Iraq. I also hope to see other relatives (aunts, cousins and cousins of my parents (some of whom I've met, some of whom I haven't) who are currently scattered across four continents. These are the people to whom I was referring when I said 'extended family', although I prefer to think of them as an "extended nuclear family". My full extended family is much larger -- large enough, in fact, that an entire region of Baghdad (roughly where the Hotel Rashid is) used to be named after us (I don't think it is anymore) and I'm frequently recognized if I use my patronymic (or, for that matter, matronymic) in some parts of the Middle East (and certainly recognized by an Iraqi). This is a part of my family I don't know or have any relation with; it's more of a tribe than a traditional Western family.

Other comments seem concerned with where I was born, where I grew up and what right that gives me to a viewpoint on 'what should happen in Iraq'. I have every right to have a view on what should happen in Iraq; so do you. I'm probably more qualified to comment than an average European or American, but not as qualified as an educated Iraqi. On the other hand, I can do my best to help rebuild my country, and I intend to. Having said that, I have no intention of 'telling Iraqis what to do' or trying to force Iraq into what I think it should be. I will take advantage of whatever opportunities exist for an Iraqi citizen to shape the new Iraqi government because I believe that is the responsibility of citizens in a democracy.

I also saw one curious comment drawing a comparison to Iranians supporting the US in the 1950s. I'm not sure what this comment is based on, since I didn't discuss Iraqi politics or what the new Iraq should look like. Since the subject has been broached, though, I'd like to take the opportunity to point out that the 1968 coup that paved the path for Saddam's ascendancy was very likely orchestrated by the CIA; it is likely that he connected with the CIA during his exile in Cairo after the assasination attempt on Qasim. Furthermore, the US supported Saddam throughout his (idiotic) war with Iran and the Anfal campaign (against the Kurds) until his 1991 invasion of Iran.

Lastly, let me clear up a few points about myself. I was not born in the US, nor do I live there (although I did attend a US university). My parents are both purebred Iraqis (Baghdadi and Najafi). My father's family left after the first revolution (1958). In the '70s, my father returned to Baghdad to marry my mother; they moved to Lebanon and I was born there. We never went back to Iraq because it simply wasn't safe. I am an Arab and grew up in the Arab world. I am not, however, a Muslim or a traditionalist.


Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
Don't let them get to you (2.66 / 6) (#70)
by stuaart on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 04:32:30 AM EST

Since k5 is overrun with trolls now, the reaction you received was almost expected. The default mode I read stuff in is suspecting that what I'm looking at is a troll, and obviously most of these other people do as well.

What I do find rather hilarious is the majority of the other posters' lack of understanding that extended family can affect you. Cynically speaking this is probably because they are likely to be American, and understanding of community is crumbling in The West. I'm awful at keeping in touch with my cousins, but I don't assume that people with different cultural backgrounds from mine are also equally as bad. How arrogant!

Anyway, don't let them get to you. TBH, I don't know if you're a troll or not, but I'm erring on the side of ``not''. Your story seems to be reasonable to me.

Linkwhore: [Hidden stories.] Baldrtainment: Corporate concubines and Baldrson: An Introspective


[ Parent ]
cough cough (none / 0) (#73)
by the sixth replicant on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 07:26:16 AM EST

understanding of community is crumbling in The West
i think you should direct your comments to, say, Anglo-saxon countries who don't understand community. The rest of europe is just fine.

Also, for the trollers. If my great-aunt (or other "distant" relative) was killed/hurt by either Sadamn or the Americans. I'll be pretty pissed off.

No you have every right to state your case. But just like the Cubans in Miami expect us to take everything with a grain of salt :)

Ciao

[ Parent ]

Likely to be American? (none / 1) (#79)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 09:19:47 AM EST

what the hell is with that? most americans today are in some sort of Minority group, and the importance of Extended family in minority groups in the US is very prevalent. hell I would say that 50% of the Caucasian groups have strong ties with their extended families. it would only be the WASPs that rely on themselves and no one else.

[ Parent ]
being raised in Lebanon during the Syrian Ocupatio (none / 1) (#78)
by modmans2ndcoming on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 09:15:20 AM EST

would you like to hear another ultimatum in a few years to Bashire Asahd?

Just curious.

[ Parent ]

kuro5hin is full of fierce trolls (2.33 / 6) (#86)
by circletimessquare on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 03:29:22 PM EST

don't let them get to you, your story is much appreciated!

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Indeed... (none / 2) (#89)
by Del Monte Cyber Monkey on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 04:13:50 PM EST

Frankly, I would have thought this an excellent section or even front page story.

Don't let them get to you too much. Not everyone is massively distrustful.

Oh, and nice work in keeping politics out of it - that would have been flamebait for sure!


Ah, Del Monte!


[ Parent ]
The reason for all this criticism (1.80 / 5) (#95)
by obsidian head on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 07:45:21 PM EST

Well, you claim so many things but seem to pass it off as a diary entry.  Why wasn't it safe to return?  Why were you happy about Saddam's downfall?  We really know nothing about Iraq, and it's certainly hard to talk about the US if you haven't lived there and visited many states.

I could have written this piece.

[ Parent ]

In the end... (none / 3) (#97)
by Azmeen on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 09:01:14 PM EST

Putting this bit in the actual article wouldn't hurt now would it? This comment is by far more insightful than your submission.

Why? Because it gives insight on who you are. Your perspective on the whole issue and why it matters.

This does not constitute as an apology or retraction on my earlier comments. The article in its originality still sounds like some idealist blabber from someone who knows jack about his "country".


HTNet | Blings.info
[ Parent ]

Saddam was an excuse (none / 2) (#100)
by slaida1 on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 03:53:23 AM EST

I'm partly expecting and wondering when will I read the first grassroots propaganda efforts for or against world scale events. Most such K5 stories about politics show somekinda agenda which could be a sign of it but, most people have their own agendas anyway. Hard to tell these days.

I was thinking "How can he concentrate on one of the secondary consequences so much, nearly forgetting the red-hot-alarming issue of nonexistent WMDs?" Even our main evening news here in Finland had some (finnish) military expert saying that Seems like leaders of some countries believe that rule of the strongest is justified and good.(i.e. the law of the jungle) And I can't help but agree as GWB keeps the smokescreen up while dirty background play goes on and on.

This war was never about Saddam as much as it's about oil, politics and money. Saddam is a pawn that got sacrificed to make way for the rook. Take note, war isn't over 'till all participants agree, no matter what some smokescreener might insist. I think dropping Saddam was a PR stunt which managed to make lots of people happy and lots of other dead.


I wonder if the willingness of western nations to kill lots of people to save even more lives has anything to do with the concept of sacrifice so central in our primary religion?

[ Parent ]

He doesn't care (none / 3) (#106)
by overunder on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 02:32:14 PM EST

I was thinking "How can he concentrate on one of the secondary consequences so much, nearly forgetting the red-hot-alarming issue of nonexistent WMDs?"

Because he is writing as an Iraqi, he doesn't care about the presense or lack thereof of WMD, he doesn't care about the motives of the Americans. The primary issue he cares about is the repression of his country by a dictator. The impure motives of the liberators is secondary to the mere fact of having been liberated.

[ Parent ]
Foreign Powers (none / 2) (#111)
by dianos on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 02:41:13 AM EST

Being an American "Iraqi" the shame of having foreign powers interfere in your own household must not register.
History teaches us that forceful foreign interference is hardly ever positive.
But to you it wouldn't matter if the local kabab shop gets replaced by a McDonalds. When the cultural values are degraded and erased, when people's pride in who they are is slowly but surly turned into indifference. When structure is turned into lawlessness, a promise of virtual freedom, dependency, and slavery to the new big brother.
After all being an Iraqi-American, with no memory, no footprint of true Iraq in your hart... You're an instrument of destruction to what we cherish dearly, our home our country our ways that have been ours for centuries. Yes it's people like you who will profit immediately, by selling out and Americanizing, while preaching freedom you introduce foreign laws, foreign enforcement, you tell us the proper ways of leading our lives in our homes. It's you who is the danger to the world of tomorrow, it's people like you who have no love, no flavor, no heart...
America is the capitalistic borg... assimilate or destroy under the flag of false freedoms... lies and lack of respect... the freedom of being like an American.

[ Parent ]
How dare you? (none / 2) (#113)
by Moneo on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 07:01:14 AM EST

How dare you pretend to know what or how I must feel on any subject? By what right do you propose to speak for me?

You want to know what makes me ashamed? Want to know what pisses me off? It's that the Arabs didn't deal with Saddam a long time ago. That Raghad is in refuge in Jordan and is planning on hiring the best defense she can for her father. That at the end of the day, it had to be the Americans who liberated the Iraqi people...and they did it when it suited their geopolitcal interests (not back in '91, when they had the chance).

There is no shame in accepting help when you need it. There is no shame in showing gratitude to those who helped you. There is no shame in working to rebuild your home, your country or your people. Doing so, however, doesn't have to mean "Americanizing"...it doesn't have to involve turning the world's oldest country into America's new mall. How we rebuild Iraq and what shape it will take are decisions that we will make, individually and as a people, and those decisions will be shaped by who we are and what we value, personally and collectively. The US military, Halliburon, Bechtel....these are nothing against the will of a people. Look south of Iraq, to Dubai, if you wish to see peaceful Americanization. To the east, you will find Iran -- thoroughly anti-American despite a significant American geostrategic interst.


Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]
False Pretenses (none / 2) (#117)
by dianos on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 12:38:52 PM EST

I do not speak for you nor for those like you, I speak for the people who love their ways the country that made them who they are, those people should shape what it will become.

Ther is no shame in accepting help, there is honor in gratitude, Americans know no Honor, no Morals, no God. America stands for lies, for false pretenses, they invade, take what they want with little regard for those who they attempt to conquer. Your false words of freedom are merely an American disguise for Americanization. Conquered countries are left with an injection of American military, American officials, American Products, American needs, American Ideals...

As you say if Iraq needed help, Iraqis would have asked for it. It didn't have to be showed down the throat. Even though Saddam made mistakes he was still the father. He still kept his household in order... Even for the embargoes on Iraqi people enforced by the "liberators" Iraq was more then it is now.

And yes maybe Iraqis can rebuild Iraq again... And maybe a strong leader will raise again, maybe he shall be strong enough to oust the "liberators" and return Iraq to be the home for Iraqis and theirs guests only, not unwelcome pest... But now Iraq bleeds... it's children murdered, it's father prosecuted, it's people struggle with lawlessness and disorder, it's body overrun by the enemy... While you praise that as help?


[ Parent ]
This conversation is over (none / 0) (#119)
by Moneo on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 03:18:53 PM EST

If you are an Iraqi, then it's clear that you're one of those who benefitted from Saddam's theft, butchery and abuse of power and I hope you and all the other Saddamites get what you deserve.

If, on the other hand, you're a troll (which is credible, given that you seem to have no presence on k5 aside from this thread), then I'm not playing your game.

Either way, I have nothing more to say to you.


Propaganda plays the same role in a democracy as violence does in a dictatorship. -- Noam Chomsky
[ Parent ]
This Story is a Troll (none / 0) (#123)
by dianos on Thu Dec 18, 2003 at 02:34:32 AM EST

If your definition of a Troll is a view which hurts American arrogance then surly this is a Troll.
I never got a dinar from Saddam, neither have I ever supported him (before the invasion).
On the other hand the doors for you making a good dinar or two out of the whole fiasco are wide open.

Saddam surely could have been a much better leader, but if Allah told me to show him the greater evil I would point my finger at Bush without hesitation.
Are you a man who would devote his life protecting your country in the time of need?
You see, you can not answer yes to this question if you're a true Iraqi, an Arab or a Muslim... you will be labeled as a Terrorist.
Please think twice before you post such stories again, phrasing what Americans are doing in Iraq. Calling it an Iraqi view, made me want to puke my guts out. Did you ever stop to think that if Iraq was not oppressed you would be able to visit it freely? Is an invasion of Iraq worth your visit? Are the thousands that died in this war worth your visit?
Give thanks to Allah it was and won't be the members of your family that pay with their lives for the ignorane and fear standing up to what many label as the greatest evil the world has faced since Hitler and Stalin walked the face of the earth...

[ Parent ]
Definition of a troll (none / 1) (#126)
by error 404 on Thu Dec 18, 2003 at 12:27:58 PM EST

Someone who posts absurd lies in order to provoke arguments. Someone too afraid of being ignored to be true to himself in his posts.

"Hurts American arrogance"? Well, in the sense that you are convincing people that what some of us thought was arrogance was actualy good sense, yep, you sure hurt that American arrogance. Your posts are some of the best pro-Bush arguments I've seen.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Excuse me, but as a descendant of exiles (none / 2) (#116)
by error 404 on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 11:29:29 AM EST

and refugees, and some ancestors whose motives I do not know, I find your attitude offensive.

Those who escape to save their lives are not a group united by common ideas - offensive or otherwise - beyond the idea that being killed is not to their tastes. To want to live is not neccessarily to want to destroy one's culture or country.

Why would the author want to return to an Iraq that had been turned into a clone of the country where he is now? He can go to a McDonalds easily now if that's what he wants. Having the local kebab house replaced by one would be an even more profound loss to him, never having had the chance to experience it, than to you (assuming you are really an outraged Iraqi and not just someone too afraid of being ignored to be true to himself - i.e. a troll) who have had that opportunity. Everything in the article shows his love for a country that he considers his own without ever having seen it himself.

I understand the humiliation of foreign interference - it is worst when it is really needed. Since my ancestor left his country (Prussia, one of the more warlike of the countries that are now united as Germany) it has been crushed three times, crushed with force that makes what is happening in Iraq look like nothing. It is now the best it has ever been, a world power with a unique culture no longer subject to the sick desires of any one man. Able and willing to stand up to any country in the world, including the US.

If (and this is a large 'if') the US administration succeeds in installing the kind of govornment they claim to be trying to install, Iraq will be more true to itself than it has been. Germany, for example, is more truly German now than it was under the Kaiser. True, it will be less structured, but any cultural values that cannot be maintained without running people through shredders are garbage. Real cultural values thrive from tradition and family and faith, not through fear of torture or death. A govornment of the type we are talking about stands back and lets faith, family, and tradition do their work.

I do not think the US should have invaded Iraq. But some good (along with the bad) has come of it, and to celebrate that is not wrong.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

This isn't even the same ball park. (none / 1) (#121)
by dianos on Thu Dec 18, 2003 at 01:34:45 AM EST

All of Germany was never invaded and overrun by United States, or any other significant power in it's history.
And if it ever would be invaded by a foreign power superior in technology and military strength which is so different in every aspect of life wouldn't you be afraid for the survival of your culture?
Was Stalin a welcome liberator in East Germany... and Prussia? After all he disposed of an evil dictator... and surely you can't deny that there is a lot of good that has came out of it. Was it worth it for the German people? Don't they wish it was done by them? If you truly love your country would you ever welcome Stalin as a magnificent liberator of your people?
If <your> source of information is the propaganda spread by the American News agencies then <you> can continue to believe that an independent government will be installed in Iraq. Iraq is a "conservative" land, with values not understood by the western Powers. Values of the past are still cherished, a lie is still a lie, Honor and shame still exists. Capitalism is largely a sin, and so is freedom of flesh. Spiritual freedom is cherished and more important then life.
A man who welcomes the invasion of his country is a Traitor worthy to be hanged.

[ Parent ]
It sure isn't (none / 2) (#125)
by error 404 on Thu Dec 18, 2003 at 11:44:23 AM EST

Most of Bagdad stands. There are still buildings in Tikrit. There are important Iraqi cities where not a single bomb has been dropped. No towns or villages have been obliterated.

The population hasn't been marched past the mass graves.

Yes, there has been destruction. Of some buildings, not entire cities. And the buildings that will replace them will not be Bauhaus. Some have died - the numbers for the entire conflict are similar to a single day of WWII. Perhaps not as many as would have been wrongly executed had the invasion not happened.

You talk about values, but anyone who needs to fear torture and death in order to have honor has no honor. What spiritual freedom is there if you are in the mosque because not being in the mosque could get you killed? A person under such a regime never truly knows whether he is praying or cowering - except when he's sure he's cowering. If Capitalism is a sin, what of Saddam's use of the entire country as his personal for-profit business? Are you are aware of the vast public wealth he made his own? He isn't Father, he is thief, robber, thug.

A man who helps a corrupt and illegitimate ruler subjugate his country is also a traitor.

I opposed the invasion, but the arrest of a major criminal is reason for his victims to celebrate. Whether the Bush administration will ever install an independant govornment remains an open question. It is certain, though, that it won't happen until Iraqi policement are not being murdered on a daily basis.

And no, the American news media is not my main source of information.

I do not consider Bush a good leader and intend to both vote and campaign against him in the next few months. But to compare him to Stalin is absurd. If he were anything like Stalin, you would be counting the Iraqi dead in percentages of the population, not individuals.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Outrageous (none / 2) (#127)
by transport on Thu Dec 18, 2003 at 04:46:31 PM EST

All of Germany was never invaded and overrun by United States, or any other significant power in it's history.
 
United States, France, Great Britain, USSR. Of course, if you push the analogy too far, it doesn't work. For instance, the allied powers were a fair match for Germany, so the fight was more "honourable". But to the common germans, their country was occupied by foreign powers - ok, so "overrun" is not appropriate, and neither was it an aggressive "invasion", but again, to an ordinary german, the important thing is that foreigners have control - not conducive for your honour.
 
Don't they wish it was done by them?
 
Probably yes, especially today. But they didn't. And neither did the Iraqi, even though they have had their chances. And that remains the bottom line.
 
Iraq is a "conservative" land, with values not understood by the western Powers.
 
I will venture forth and call this "bullshit". Many westerners understand, and many even strive to uphold these values, in whatever form. Others again choose to maintain a more rational world view. My experience is that hounour and shame is arbitrary. The inevitable influence from other cultures mean that these values will change, and eventually converge. You cannot escape - it is a force of human nature.

[ Parent ]
Now, get out. (1.00 / 26) (#81)
by aldjiblah on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 10:45:08 AM EST

No excuse to live off american welfare anymore - time to go home buddy.

This place keeps sucking crotch (1.36 / 11) (#102)
by Juan Rojo on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 09:45:01 AM EST

I have quit reading here since a long time by the same reason. I came to check how things are and not only It's the same but worse.

What the heck is wrong with you all? cant you discuss like human beings instead of trying to ridiculously compete to see who is the smartest?

I checked a few stories, not a single comment rated as 3 or above, friendly answers are rare and most arguments try to be black&white.

The level of generalization of catalogation on the arguments is scary. Most people tries to fit attitudes in the "democrats, republicans, liberals or communists" slots, or just describe ideas as "leftists","conservative" or "paranoid conspirancy theories". Really! if these just are all postures that can exist we may aswell start checking the genes for them!.

At some point, I remember people said that they'd come here because they disliked the ways thing were at slashdot. Nowadays, to my eyes, this place has become plain worse.

Hello and Good Bye!

Dittos (none / 0) (#120)
by Rich0 on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 04:19:59 PM EST

I agree completely with most of your points.

In all fairness though - the moderation system was recently modified - 3 is the highest rating a comment can get.

As far as the rest goes - I think that there are too many posters on k5 who can't discuss things reasonably, who substitute moderation for debate, etc.  Very few articles actually get accepted - if you look at this one the score was around 200 for with 100 against - very polarized.

It is like US politics these days - everybody gets in with 50.0001% of the vote (or less owing to the electoral college system).

There are still many intelligent and inciteful posts here, and I like to try to follow along to some degree, but it seems in fashion here to mainly focus on bashing any opinion different from your own - especially if it is different from the majority.

[ Parent ]

at some point (none / 0) (#122)
by fleece on Thu Dec 18, 2003 at 01:53:33 AM EST

I remember people said that they'd come here because they disliked the ways thing were at slashdot. Nowadays, to my eyes, this place has become plain worse.

That was me, I came from slashdot when localroger's Prime intellect got slashdotted, liked the variety and stayed around, but have watched it stagnate since..



I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
[ Parent ]
Been a while, eh? (none / 0) (#128)
by hamsterboy on Fri Dec 19, 2003 at 06:29:09 PM EST

I checked a few stories, not a single comment rated as 3 or above, friendly answers are rare and most arguments try to be black&white.
While I agree with you on the latter part, it should be noted that the rating system has been changed: 3 is now the highest score, and there's the option to hide comments rated lower than 1.0.

Hamster
[ Parent ]

Thank you (none / 0) (#114)
by DuncanE on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 08:57:04 AM EST

Watching the news about Saddam, I have been concerned that the US and UN are over stepping the mark. Assuming you are who you say you are (and not some white trash nerd in a basement) then thank you for posting this. It reminds many of the left wing hippys (myself included) that there may have actually been a worth while reason for this war.

Through an Iraqi's Eyes | 129 comments (114 topical, 15 editorial, 2 hidden)
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