October 20, 2006

Public opinion in Iraq

You can read what is going on here at Deans.

Americans once had to decide whether to continue to live under British rule, or pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to rebelling against the unfair rule and taxes of the British in order to acquire self autonomy and yes freedom.

Americans are the real deal, Fatima. When they say that they will fight to the death, that is exactly what they will do simply because they Believe. As their forefathers believed when they signed the Declaration of Independence, and thus put their necks in the garrote for if the British ever caught them, they would be hanged as rebels. Their properties were seized, their homes destroyed, and their families shattered. The power and vitality of America is a direct consequence of the will and endurance that American ancestors showed in the past. American power does not accrue from Hollywood, money, or technological widgets in bombs. Most people seem to be under this misapprehension for some reason.

Americans believe as much in freedom as Muslims believe in Islam and Allah.

More than that, Americans believe that their fate is not pre-determined, that it is not the will of God or the US Constitution that we be this way or that. Americans, at least Jacksonian Americans, will kill as many people as it takes to secure liberty and sacrifice as many of their family members as it takes to secure liberty.

This is true belief, and it is an image totally opposite from the decadent and greedy American that most of the world sees. It is the core strength, unobscured by illusion.

When Americans talk about Iraqis not taking personal responsibility, they are not talking about what treasure wrote about. Meaning, work and school, insisting on better conditions.

While I may not agree with the accussation that Iraqis are lazy shiftabouts, I do understand the American perspective. Americans see a people, who are more ready to blame the all powerful and omnipotent Americans, than they are to use the resources and power at their disposal in order to better their living conditions. It is all about demanding what Americans can do, what Americans cannot do, and what someone else has not done for me. This kind of Arab mentality is totally alien to Americans, of most stripes. Americans take matters into their own hands, whether it is by playing the system or taking personal initiative to prevent being cheated by the system. Getting out and improving on what they see as problems, via political grassroots organization and voting.

Banding together as a community, forming a solution, and then demanding the politicians accept that solution and implement it. That is the American way.

And for most Americans, they do not truely understand how it can be any other way. It is not true for all of Americans, but it is true in general.

The American military, if given the order, could begin purging the militias and gangs in all of Iraq. But this would mean overriding the Iraqi government, and the will and desires of tribes and the Iraqi people.

After all, what do Iraqis really want. Do they want America the occupier to solve all of their problems, from basic services to hostage taking, crime, and too much wetness after a storm?

Or do they want to decide for themselves how to solve these problems with Iraqi resources?

It seems everybody is confused. They want America to provide protection, but they don't want America the occupier. They want basic services restored, but they don't want to do it themselves without help. They want the violence to be solved, but they talk mostly about their distaste and shame at how Iraq the Model echoes the lines about freedom.

If you don't want freedom, then America can take back Iraq's sovereignty, impose martial law, and you can have security the old fashioned way. Through the iron fist and bodies hanging along the streets of Baghdad.

But for some reason, a lot of people would protest such things as being too violent. They want security, but so long as not too many people get killed to get it. Iraq is a big place, I'm sure there are lots of people with different views. Who should America listen to?

Many American soldiers and bloggers have wrote about how Sunnis and Shia don't click with Americans, but the Kurds do. The reason is simple. The Kurds have the psychology of Americans. They are willing to die and to kill for their beliefs. They are eager to do things for themselves, instead of complaining and blaming whoever is available or has power over them. They don't talk about inshallah, and they don't think of things in terms of security, but in terms of dignity and liberty.

Look, America could have had a lot of security in the Revolutionary War, so long as the people stayed at home and obeyed the British. We didn't do that. If you want Iraq to become strong as a nation, then I'm sorry to say but you'll have to survive the crucible of war and death.

America didn't acquire our power and prosperity by accident, after all. We killed for it, millions of people has America killed in WWI and WWII, to acquire the status we have. It is not something paid for by money, or bribes, or favors. But earned by blood. Ours and our enemies.

Their other entries are so typical to what Bush and his henchmen say.

Bush is not your President. He is not the one who decides if Al Sadr gets an axe through his head or an invitation to the government of Iraq. Bremer wasn't your President either.

There is a lot of hostility and repressed anger at people who aren't your elected leaders. At some level, you know you can't do anything about them. But while most Americans adapt to this angst by personal action, Iraqis seem to be caught in a zone where they aren't or can't do anything.

The only question is. Why do you show more hostility towards the leaders of other nations, than you show to the leaders of your own nation? You do realize that you always refer to your government as "the government", but you refer to America's leaders specifically as Bush and his henchemen. Why do you know our leaders more intimately than you mention the names of your own?

Have you seen them criticizing what happened in Abu Ghraib, Haditha, or Mahmoudiya? They did! but they put the blame on Iraqis!!!

At some level in your mind and heart, you know that America didn't get to where we are and have won the wars we did, because we blamed other people. America has always blamed Americans, first, foremost, and only. Even anti-Americans in America blame America first.

Some sees this as our weakness, but the same self-criticism inherent in a functional democracy is also a great strength in war and peace-time.

People living under a dictatorship are used to feeling impotent rage at the dictator. A lot of Iraqi bloggers say that they didn't like Saddam and wanted him to be gone. But do they actually realize that they talk with more rage and venome against Bush than they do against Saddam? There is a psychological reason for that. If you lived under Saddam, then you could think as much as you wanted about how to kill Saddam, but you could never express it. That was the road you had to walk, one small deviation, and you were gone.

Now, people know in their heart that they are free to criticize whom you wish. But instead of saying every hated thing they have in their heart to Saddam, they say it instead about Bush.

Or maybe Bush is the safe topic to hate in Iraq. Because if you criticize some of the Islamics, they just might kill you as with Saddam.

So do you really think that hating Bush is ever going change the quality of your life? Is hating America ever going to make yourself feel better? Is despising those who support America's activities in Iraq, also of more benefit to you than attempting to kill all those thugs you see out there on the streets?

If you want the thugs gone, send Bush a letter telling him to stop listening to his advisers in the State Department. Tell Bush to listen to American Jacksonians. Because when he does, there will be no chaos and violence in Iraq, because the order will have been given to get rid of the Islamic fundamentalists, Al Sadr, Sunni Baathists, and AL Qaeda Sunnis through martial law and extra-Iraq extra-judicial executions.

Is it so hard to believe that some Iraqis might actually feel good will towards America. Who appreciate their allies and hates their enemies, as one should? It is not just Iraq the Model you know who are bootlickers to America. 90% of the Kurds in Iraq, are also strong supporters of America. Do you really want to compare how much Iraqi bloggers have lost compared to the Kurds? Who exactly are traitors to Iraq, those who attack Iraq's allies or those who attack Iraq's enemies?

*****************

This post by IKK is a bit more extreme in terms of hating the wrong people.

Iraqi Konfused Kid

Sure, you could just disagree with Treasure of Baghdad. But that's not really the problem, all in all. It is not just simple disagreement.

Not when you have this.

IRAQ THE MODEL is probably one of the few 'superstar' blogs the Iraqi blogosphere has produced, and this is for a few reasons: 1. It was an early blog and most importantly 2. It supports the American propaganda virtually 100% - it fits the picture of what Americans wants Iraqis to be hand in glove, a supporter of all that 'war on terrorism' campaign and if I didn't know better I would say that this guy is hands-on an American soldier who is just as naive as the clueless Iraqis who chanted to Saddam and believed their own made-up lies back in the days.

Understood, I appreciate democracy and freedom of speech, but I can safely say that the viewpoint of the people behind this blog represents about somewhere between 2 to 1% of all Iraqis, I would even go as far as call it an anomaly created by an extra chromosome or something, there are people, especially those who oppose religion and identity, who could get sold up to the American Dream, to be part and parcel of all the ideals America stands for, I am not saying that Arabs are helplessly monstorous that they oppose liberty and democracy and want to be spend all day playing Russian Roulette with swords, but there is such a thing as an identity with your nation, and these guys make me sick with their obvious sucking-up they are doing to be sold out to Americans. It could be that they are just trying to achieve a common goal of a modern, democratic Iraq by sounding like a brainwash, but they play it so industriously well that my intuition tells me that there is something else on the take.
The best I can say about this is that at least the Japanese gave an honorable execution to those who surrendered and therefore betrayed their nation through that surrender and lack of honor in not fighting to the death.

This is what happens, Mr. Bush, when you allow your enemies to propagandize, propagandize, and initiate psychological warfare without any US imposed restraints. What do you expect people to believe when they see the all mighty Americans, sitting around doing nothing while the war they started in Iraq implodes and explodes? You expect them to like us, love us? Nobody likes or loves a loser.

If President Bush didn't have the Marine Corps doing his dirty work, which is killing our enemies, I don't think Bush's talk, talk, talk strategy would have protected America all that much. Bush gets credit for the beginning years. I ain't giving him any credit for the disasters in his second term, that is his own to own. We have come to the limit of how effective basic killing in wartime by the Marine Corps, has on Bush's policies. Now bush is required to give orders, selective orders as to "who" to kill, who to destroy, who to bomb, and who to protect. Without that leadership and guidance, the Marine Corps and the US Army Divisions is not going to make Bush's diplomatic and anti-nation building strategies work.

Iraqi Thoughts "One has to just look at the comments section of ITM and see why they write the way they do.... its a blog written to be read for non-Iraqis, I am proud to say my blog was removed from their links section, a lot of us USED to read ITM, but its bull***t now, lets stop hating on them, Just stop reading it if you want"
Seriously, what the moofu pock is this? Gansta talk, eh? Stop the hating. I would have removed their ass too, from my blog link. Free up some room, you know.

Like most other Iraqi bloggers, this site makes me nauseous, they make me fall alseep anyway by the half of any given post - but, I call on all Iraqi bloggers to campaign against this horrible freak of a blog, maybe back in the day you worked for the glory of Iraq, but now you have turned against it and sold it out for the first pile of greens that were shoved up your way. I don't want you to renounce America, we need them as much as you are afraid that they will leave, but I just want you to say the truth, for God's sake, like what Zeyad did, it didn't hurt, see? He's gone to the US just the same.
He means he wants Iraq the Model to say things that he likes to hear. Presumably the thing he is accusing ITD of doing to kiss up to America. Logic, not something the common man aspires to, I suppose.

They want recognition. They want respect. But they will give none. That's fine. American power and death dealing techniques does not require the support of gangsta rappers or their supporters. We don't need the Konfused Kid who would rather attack those who won't kill him, than to attack those who will.

PROPRAGANDA! PROPRAGANDA! PROPRAGANDA!
A$$ - KI$$ER! A$$ - KI$$ER! A$$ - KI$$ER!
Most of Iraq is like this kid. Living under Saddam, Saddam being your mama, pappy, and uncles. Do what he did, or get killed. Now they see America as being the guy who says "do what we say or don't get killed". Ahh, now it is different. Now they can rage on, you know, at the dying of the light or something.

It doesn't matter. Because you don't convince these people through argument, you convince them through action. Get rid of the enemies of Iraq, through American power alone, and their criticisms will be silenced. Not because they are gone or dead, but because all the things they criticize about, kidnappings and lack of water with thug violence, will be gone. Because all the thugs will be swinging from buildings in the cities of Iraq.

I do not have anything against their expression, I too expressed my disapproval, it's like what Voltaire sasy:

I disapprove of your opinion, but I defend to death your right to say it.

I don't want to kill them, I just somebody to talk back for a change, we could have a nice discussion, you know...
Kid just wants somebody to talk back for a change, you know Jack, like back to back.

As Americans, we understand this kind of behavior every time we look at the Left. Pure immaturity. There are immature nations and people, as well as individuals, you know. It need not be a personal issue, but also a national one.

These people and the comments at their blogs, are just venting their rage. Understandable, if not tolerable. You want to know how I would deal with it? I would deal with it by killing so many terrorists and militia men in Iraq, with the use of FAE, snipers, and assassins, that these folk would have no choice but to vent their rage against the losing side. Which would NOT be the US and ITD by the way.

IRAQI SCREEN: "I am sure they are dying for an asylum in USA to be close to their dear Bush. Did they ever read about Haditha masscre, Ishaqi and Falluja?"
KHALID JARRAR: "Being a traitor is not an allowed option, and should not be legitimized by ranting about freedom of speech, I swear reading them is just like reading a white house statements."
NAJMA: "ITM makes most of us angry, yet most of the people who read' em almost worship their opinions"
SALAM ADIL: My main point was that they are in danger of growing up to be like the Baathist apologist that they so despise. Spinning wild stories just to make their supporters feel good.

Salam Adil also wrote a feature about all the Iraqi blog posts about the Lancet survery on his regular GlobalVoices feature, including some posts by fellow bloggers who did not contribute to this discussion


Another thing, and it will mostly be over.

FOOTNOTE BY KID: I am really proud of all that has happened, this is the first time something of this magnitude has happened, I hope this would be the start of a more active Iraqi blogger community, something which a lot of people has been voicing need for since a long time.


The first time, since if they did this before, they would have been gathered up and killed. I'm just saying. It is easier to vent against your fellow compatriots and calling them traitors. That is how Arabs act right. They get up into your personal space and start talking about how the rivers will run with blood, how they will stab you in the back when you aren't looking in the future, and so on? Not American, just a different culture.

Can't do anything about it, shouldn't do anything about it. But it is really, well, even with people on the right who disagree or just don't like each other. We don't call each other traitors or about how we aren't toting Bush's line. Because that is the criticism against IraqTheModel, ITM. That they are toting the Bush line, instead of I suppose, the line that Iraqi patriots want them to tote. Free speech is about people being free to say what they agree with, I suppose. Free speech isn't for "traitors", interestingly enough. You can't do anything about an entire generation that was traumatized and have their own hang ups and prejudices, just as you can't do anything about the Vietnam generation. Either they will get it, or they won't. Nothing to be done about it, except to wait for them to fade out.

Just as there are people in America busy with work and attempting to excel, there are people in Iraq busy in the security forces. You can't expect the general population to "love" America. Not after what they saw of Herbert Bush's broken promises. But the Iraqi security forces have seen the Real America. It would be interesting to hear from them, but we won't, because they either are too busy, too at risk of getting killed if they write, or they don't know enough English. People trying to make a buck and feed their family, why would they know English anyways? That is like poor white folks knowing how to write in Japanese.

One step at a time, people, one step at a time. War is about a contest of wills. A lot of Iraqis are confused, depressed, broken inside. That is why it is very important for Bush to show leadership, to show Iraqis who security should be achieved. If we don't know, how do we expect the Iraqis to know? With our history, status, and power, why are we NOT doing better in Iraq? Why do we fail to meet the expectations of the Iraqis, of the omnipotent and all mighty United States of America? Too many fake liberals talking about the moral high ground perhaps? Or is it Bush's compassionate conservatism and anti-nation building that prevents pro-active actions from being pursued? I know not, I just know that Bush isn't doing anything except letting the military carry the burden in Iraq.

The military will stay the course, President Bush, but I'm not sure about the other allies you need, the American Jacksonians, Iraqis, and common folk. We need reinforcements, spiritual as well as physical.

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