Iraq: What is going on?
(Cross Posted to Global Voices Online)
Its been a while since my last post and I have had time to rest, take stock and come to some picture of what is happening. And what is happening? is the question on everybody's mind. The problem with blogs, like most of the news media, is that they all present small strips of information but without the thread linking them together. This is why blog aggregators provide such a vital function. We pull strings across diverse opinions. So this post is about what is going on. But its not all heavy politics - if you read to the end find out what Iraqi's who know really think of India.
If you read no other blog post this week read this.
My heartfelt condolences go out to Sunshine and her family who lost two relatives to violence in Iraqi this week. The first was 25 years old and was murdered while driving his car. The other, a 13 year old girl who died when a lorry exploded in front of her house, leaving her parents in a critical condition.
With all the news of killing and violence in Iraq, Sunshine responds against the view that Iraqis are killing each other. She writes:
Of course that is not true , Sunnites and Shiites have been living together for ages , they marry each other , I have relatives married Shiites women\men, if that was true , that means my parents’ uncle should kill his wife ,my mom’s uncle should kill his wife , some of my parents’ cousins should kill their wives\husbands !!!!!!!! and I should kill my two best friends , that is ridiculous… I’ve talked about that in many posts . and said that in many interviews , and I will keep saying that till the people in the world start to realize , that Iraqis (Sunnites and Shiites) live in Iraq for more than 1400 years, they are MUSLIMS and IRAQIS.
We go shopping together , if we need any help , we ask our neighbors to help us , because we are all Iraqis , no matter what are our religion , nor creeds , I didn’t know what are Shiites and Sunnites until I was 12 years old, and lately it appears that there are more creeds , Shafee and hanafy !!!!!! and other creeds , I don’t know which one I belong to , and I don’t even want to know , those names are not important , we all believe in the same god , and say the same prayers , no matter how do we stand and those formals if we put our hand together when we pray or not !!!!!!, what’s important is what is there inside our hearts.
So , NO we don’t kill each other , the terrorists who kill Shiites are the same who kill Sunnites , it is impossible that Good Iraqis kill each other , no matter what is their religions nor creeds …
What is happening..
The irony is not lost on me. The U.S. President promises a new plan to stabilise Iraq, yet Baghdad sees the worst violence in years. And the worst of this is currently being carried out by Sunni militants yet America in turn repeatedly reprimands Iran for trying to destabilise Iraq. At a glance the situation seems confusing. To add to this some bloggers have changed their minds on opposing US troops presence in Iraq. One such example is No Pain No Gain:
If US troops sought to withdraw from Iraq 2 years ago, I would have certainly agreed to it but demanding the withdrawal as of now is not a good idea. ... Two years ago the violence occurred mainly between terrorists,insurgents against the average Iraqi civilian for the sake of killing 1 or 2 American soldiers. [Now] these attacks are morever caused by Iraqi militias against other Iraqis to gain certain parts of region they wish to make Sunni or Shia. ... This is certainly not the best time for foreign troops to withdraw because it leaves Iraq with a very weak biased government along with its national forces.While one blogger claims credit for Bush's new plan. Alaa writes: "Well, I am tempted to say it. It may sound vain and distasteful. But, really, this new strategy, haven’t I suggested something of the sort three years ago? It would have been much easier then, but as they say, better late than never."
Mohammed gives his overview of a city between Malikis plan and Bush's strategy
From the above and from more that we heard we could see that there are different opinions even among members of a single bloc but I also see that a majority supports the new strategy while opposition is coming from extremists who realize that they will be the next target for the government and allied forces.A new blog, Al-Ghad tries to make sense of the American policy and in a well studied analysis comes up with an old strategy, Blood For Oil:
Bush was desperate, and could face censure if the Iraqi crisis aggravated. Winning the battle for Iraq’s oil, could offer him a way out. For this to succeed, however, he must find a way to divert attention from the delicate secret oil negotiations, as once this is exposed to Iraqi and world opinion, it could very well end up like the previous attempt in 2003. So it is not beyond Bush and his consultants to use a spectacular execution online of a former head of Iraq, as the most convenient exit strategy.It concludes:
The Iraqi people should not leave their fate to an illegitimate Parliament acting under the control of the foreign occupation forces. They should take their destiny in their own hands. They should unite, and resist the tricks of the occupation in fomenting sectarian strive, which is foreign to our country.So, what about the new oil policy? Baghdad Connect fills us in..
the US-drafted Production-Sharing Agreements (PSAs) for the Oil sector selectively favor Shell, BP and Exxonmobil who are set to take up to 75% of the total profits until they had covered their initial drilling costs. Bear in mind Iraqi’s wells are already dug-in holes and the drilling costs should only include debottlenecking – In the past Iraq had carried out post-wars debottlenecking for the Oil up & down-stream sectors at 25% costs of the total profits!!Hala_S agrees that the policy is about oil but comes to a different conclusion:
I want this horrifying hybrid of a government to succeed and the 21,000 extra troops to take control. All I dream of which is no different to the millions of Iraqis is damage control force.All that is left for me, is to ask what you, the reader, thinks. Is Bush's new strategy all about securing Iraq, is it the last throes of a dying presidency or is it all about oil?
Let them take this cursed oil and drink it to the last drop, let them leave the house unfurnished it doesn’t matter anymore.
What matter most is our blood and it is much thicker than oil.
What do Iraqis really think about India? Their opinion may come as a bit of a surprise for some of the sub-continent's authors here at Global Voices. Neurotic Wife visits India on a well-earned holiday with 'Hubby'. Among some wonderful descriptions of Mumbai traffic and one of the less hygienic toilets, she has some interesting insight:
India, that country with its rich history and culture showed me one thing, and one thing only, with all the shocking poverty that I saw in my own eyes, India with its many different sects and religions, India is indeed the best example of democracy. ... you wander, how a nation so large, with almost everyone living in dire conditions are living in such harmony. Why? How come? How come they dont kill each other, how come they dont kidnap and ask for ransoms? How come? Its a simple question, with an even simpler answer. Indians all live in harmony because they themselves as people believe in Peace. Indians, I found out are such loving and friendly peopleand, at Delhi airport, she bumps into an Iraqi sports team touring India:
The coach immediately looked at me and said, you left the whole world, the whole wide world, and you didnt find a better place to go to but India????And dont forget this is a man, who lives in baghdad, a man who gets showered with bombs and mortars on a daily basis. A man, who lives by the sounds of suicide attacks. I asked, ok, between India, and baghdad, where would you choose. He laughed and said, even if they give me millions, I will never come and live here.