Even though the United States has invested half a trillion dollars and 3500 lives in Iraq, we don't know a whole lot about the place. This is a major problem for dealing with
If you want to wallow in Babylonian Babble, the internet is a dandy place. As in America, new blogs are popping up every day. You will hear many things that you don't hear on Fox news, but it is not guaranteed to be fair and balanced. A few grains of salt are suggested.
The Shaqawa is a place to start. (What is it about these people that don't follow the Q with the U?) He is a bit tough to figure out. Is he Shiite? I rather doubt he is Sunni. He is not fond of Al Queda, although he does tell me a few things about them. Did anyone here know that Al Queda is considered a Wahhabi organization? And no, the W of WMD does not stand for Wahhabi (or the Presidents signature middle initial)
As a recent anonymous commenter said:
Being Iraqi means being slightly paranoid, but I am getting some really odd vibes about you Mr. Shaqawa I do not think you are what you pretend to be.
Moving right along, there is IraqiMojo. An Iraqi National currently living in the USA, he has quite a story to tell in his initial post. Something about not being able to get political asylum in this country in the 1980's because Saddam was our ally at the time.
Mojo is writing about Iraqi Konfused Kid when he drops the following two quotes into the dialog. If you think this war is all about fighting the terrorists there so we don't have to fight them here, you may want to close this window and go read the Fishwrapper. What will follow is rather confusing, but you might come to understand that you do not understand
The Konfused Kid is blogging about a book of history written by Ali al-Wardi , which is currently not available in English. Two quotes caught my eye, courtesy of IraqiMojo
This is for all the people who think 'Iraq' is still related to those distant civilizations we like to trumpet every now and other: The Sumerians, Babylonians, Akkadains, even our own Islamic civilizations of Kufa, and Harun al-Rashid's Abbasid Baghdad, have nothing to do with the Ottoman-Saffavid foundations this bastard Iraq was built upon...
al-Wardi explains that Iraq has basically always been a protectorate of the Ottamans (Sunni) and Iran (Shii), and that ever since the Persian Saffavid dynasty, Iraq has been the "grounds for violent clashes between the Iranian and Ottoman states, something that will last for three centuries. From here the famous Iraqi saying: “be nil ajam wil room balwa ibtilayna” (Between the Ajam (Persians) and Room (Turks) we fell into tragedy)..." It's a very interesting read and explains a lot about the history of sectarian tensions in Iraq. Until I read Kid's post, I had never thought of the sectarian conflict in Iraq as being a proxy war between the Ottomans and Persia. I wonder if al-Wardi were alive today he would agree that Saudi Arabia has replaced the Ottomans as the primary protectors of Sunnism in Iraq.
In other words, we stumbled into a family fued that has been brewing for centuries, and have only made worse. Now, this may be the plan. It is no secret by now that the USA covets Iraqi oil, and intends to have a long term presence...like the 40k troops we have stationed in South Korea. Could it be that the USA is supporting both sides in the civil war, to keep them fighting each other and to justify our continued presence there? It wouldn't be the first time. America supported both sides in the Iran-Iraq war, with the idea that if they fought each other they would leave Israel alone.
Now, just because they live in hells housing project, that doesn't mean these bloggers don't have a way with words. Iraqi Konfused Kid is discussing a current heavyweight on the scene with lung cancer, and the prospects for his replacement:
If indeed al-Hakim bites one last cigarette and goes in search for his lost brother, this would create a very vague power vaccum at Badr/SIIC/UIA, first, Hakim Jr, a smiling dude who looks a lot like high-school homosexual cannon fodder, is highly unqualified for this task, there are a lot of hawks at SCIRI, sorry, SIIC so while they cannot risk not crowning Uday, I'm sorry, Ammar's hand because the heavyweight clerical Hakim name means unquestioning public approval, my guess is that he would be a puppet in the hands of someone much more agile.
Does anyone know what he is talking about? Maybe you should ask Bill O'Reilly.
Back to the BabylonBlogs. I sense that your attention span is limited, and frankly so is mine. I was opposed to the war, and don't know what to do now. Of course, when W sobers up ( and/or runs out of coke ) I expect him to call and ask for my opinion.
The messopotamian is shutting down his blog and moving to Canada. Should I even begin to discuss the Iraqi refugees, and how few of them have been accepted by the USA?I heard Syria referred to the other day as a place which welcomed terrorists. Did the commenter meant the thousands of Iraqis who are there now?
Iraq the Model is another voice. I will review ITM and Iraqi Bloggers Central at a later date, after I catch up on the latest Paris Hilton news.
Also, a Canadian Jobsite called workopolis has an article about Iraqi Blogs. Maybe some have articles about hockey.
Many of these sites have lots and lots of links. Like blogospheres everywhere, the best thing to do is pick a few and follow them. And try not to get too upset by what you read. After all, when you get tired of reading this, you can turn your computer off and watch ESPN. The folks in Anbar Province...both native Iraqi and foreign fighters...don't have that option.