Fury Ignites Solidarity in Iraq
|Iraqi volunteers drive with supplies towards areas under siege by U.S. forces in the restive town of Fallouja, from depots in a Baghdad suburb.|
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld claims that the resistance is just a few "thugs, gangs and terrorists." This is dangerous, wishful thinking. The war against the occupation is now being fought out in the open, by regular people defending their homes - an Iraqi intifada.
"They stole our playground," an 8-year-old boy in Sadr City told me this week, pointing at six tanks parked in a soccer field next to a rusty jungle gym. The field is a precious bit of green in an area of Baghdad that is otherwise a swamp of raw sewage and uncollected garbage.
Sadr City has seen little of Iraq's multibillion-dollar "reconstruction," which is partly why Muqtader Sadr and his Al Mahdi army have so much support here. Before U.S. occupation chief L. Paul Bremer III provoked Sadr into an armed conflict by shutting down his newspaper and arresting and killing his deputies, the Al Mahdi army was not fighting coalition forces; it was doing their job for them.
After all, in the year it has controlled Baghdad, the Coalition Provisional Authority still hasn't managed to get the traffic lights working or to provide the most basic security for civilians. So in Sadr City, Sadr's so-called "outlaw militia" can be seen engaged in such subversive activities as directing traffic and guarding factories. It was Bremer who created Iraq's security vacuum; Sadr simply filled it.
But as the June 30 "handover" to Iraqi control approaches, Bremer now sees Sadr and the Al Mahdi as a threat that must be eliminated - at any cost to the the communities that have grown to depend on them. Which is why stolen playgrounds were only the start of what I saw in Sadr City this week. At Al Thawra Hospital, I met Raad Daier, an ambulance driver with a bullet in his abdomen, one of 12 shots he says were fired at his ambulance from a U.S. Humvee. At the time of the attack, according to hospital officials, he was carrying six people injured by U.S. forces, including a pregnant woman who had been shot in the stomach and lost her baby.
I saw charred cars, which dozens of eyewitnesses said had been hit by U.S. missiles, and I confirmed with hospitals that their drivers had been burned alive. I also visited Block 37 of the Chuadir District, a row of houses where every door was riddled with holes. Residents said U.S. tanks drove down their street firing into homes. Five people were killed, including Murtada Muhammad, age 4.
And Thursday, I saw something that I feared more than any of this: a copy of the Koran with a bullet hole through it. It was lying in the ruins of what was Sadr's headquarters in Sadr City. A few hours earlier, witnesses said, U.S. tanks broke down the walls of the center after two guided missiles pierced its roof. The worst damage, however, was done by hand. Clerics at the Sadr office said soldiers entered the building and shredded photographs of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the top Shiite cleric in Iraq. When I arrived at the destroyed center, the floor was covered with torn religious texts, including copies of the Koran that had been ripped and shot through with bullets. And it did not escape the notice of the Shiites here that hours earlier, U.S. soldiers had bombed a Sunni mosque in Fallouja.
For months, the White House has been making ominous predictions of a civil war breaking out between the majority Shiites, who believe it's their turn to rule Iraq, and the minority Sunnis, who want to hold onto the privileges they amassed under Saddam Hussein. But this week, the opposite appeared to have taken place. Both Sunnis and Shiites have seen their homes attacked and their religious sites desecrated. Up against a shared enemy, they are beginning to bury ancient rivalries and join forces against the occupation. Instead of a civil war, they are on the verge of building a common front. You could see it at the mosques in Sadr City on Thursday: Thousands of Shiites lined up to donate blood destined for Sunnis hurt in the attacks in Fallouja. "We should thank Paul Bremer," Salih Ali told me. "He has finally united Iraq. Against him."
Naomi Klein is author of "Fences and Windows: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate" (Picador, 2002).
You wish to indict me on moral grounds based on American history. While I suppose I could spend time discussing with you about WWII, the Viet Nam War, Himmler's Bosnian Muslim SS, the Ottoman genocide of Armenians, etc., all of those things are moot as far as I'm concerned. I was not involved in any of that, and I presume neither were you.
So why are you so fixated on such things? No amount of wrong by one person can absolve the wrongs of another. I can acknowledge that the American government has acted wrongly in the past and even in the present. That being said, none of this morally excuses extremism in the Muslim world. Is there a logical reason for that extremism? Strictly speaking, I can concede that. Does that make it right for others to want to kill me or my loved ones? Emphatically, I say no. None of us deserve that, and no amount of rationalization can convince me otherwise.
And no amount of verbal attacks from you persuade me that I'm wrong about bigotry in the Muslim world. Neither of us are blind, so you know full well about the bigotted comments made by you and other Muslims here. You even declared proudly that Americans who travel would experience a lot of hostolity. But even if we ignore that, I can speak from personal experience. Some Muslims have actually told me that they hate because I'm an American. Am I supposed to trust them to oppose terrorism against me or my countrymen? Insult me all you want, but you can't change facts. Let me repeat this, so we're absolutely clear:
NEITHER ME NOR MY LOVED ONES DESERVE TO DIE FOR THE PAST OR PRESENT CONDUCT OF OUR GOVERNMENT. ANYONE WHO THNKS OTHERWISE IS *IMMORAL*.
It baffles me that you seem so angry, since I have no idea about the source of your apparent rage. Your most recent rant went in many different directions, so I'll need to parse through them.
I don't "pester" you with my fears. You make comments to me, and I respond with explanations. Often, honesty requires me to disclose my true feelings about things. If you don't want to read about my fears, then you should avoid further comments to me.
Anyways, I genuinely do not care that you would die for your religion. However, I would care if you make others die for your religion. This is the root of my fears regarding the current state of the Muslim world. Do all Muslims constitute a viable threat? Clearly no. But is there a substantial portion of the Muslim world about whom Americans should be concerned. I'd say yes.
That's not to say that I'm bigotted at all, just cognizant of the rhetoric spewing out of Muslim countries. I don't hate Muslims, but I fear that many Muslims hate me, and for no other reason than U.S. citizenship. So you can try to browbeat me with your racial epithets all you like, but common sense should tell you that this won't make me or any other American less apprehensive.
Regarding Filipinos who eat dogs, I never said that this was unheard of. My issue with you is your conscious decision to compare Filipinos to dogs. Of course, it's not really an issue with you so much as it is my issue with much of the Muslim world. For I believe that bigotry is a pervasive problem in many Muslim communities. I cite comments by visitors of this website as illustrative of this.
Incidentally, this is exactly why I support unshackled free speech. I don't know about Canada, but in my country we welcome the opportunity to nail extremists like the KKK by their own words. We believe that in allowing bigots to reveal the darkness of their hearts for all to see, we can properly struggle against such evil.
Your most recent comments were thoughtful warranted a genuine response. Unfortunately, the webmasters have not posted my reply, either because of a technical glitch or a conscious decision on their part to censor my comments. It's unfortunate, because I was actually looking forward to engaging with someone regarding the philosophy of American law.
Br. Hudd D'Alhamd! Please forgive me for wrongly spelling out your name, :-) I am not at all offended for you to tell me the meaning of your name in fact it was a good lesson for me. Do keep in touch since we have a lot more to discuss, and pick each others brains.
I can assure you that I am not a "Christian Hindustani". While I don't know much about Hinduism, I'm fairly certain due to its polytheistic nature that it is incompatible with Christianity. So I'm willing to bet that there can be no such thing as a Christian Hindu.
Regarding Akbar Khan's claim that he "refuted" my citations, once again he lies. Admittedly, the correct number was 80 million Hindus dying over the course of centuries rather than 100 million, which I corrected in an earlier post that has not yet appeared for whatever reason. But I did mention in those comments that the source was originally a professor by the name of Professor K S Lal, from his book "Growth of Muslim Population in India". Furthermore, Akbar Khan has ignored the source of Encyclopaedia Britannica he himself has cited since it also supports the history of the Moghul genocide, in addition to other reputable sources as National Geographics. For more info on the Moghul genocide, please see the following:
Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Vol.21, pp. 54-55, 1987
An Advanced History of India, by R.C.Majumdar, H.C.Raychaudhuri, K.Datta, 2nd Ed., MacMillan and Co, London, pp.336-37, 1965
Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 th Ed, Vol.21, p.65, 1987
The Cambridge History of India, Vol.IV - The Mughul Period, by W.Haig & R.Burn, S.Chand & Co., New Delhi, pp. 98-99, 1963
T.J.Abercrombie, National Geographic Magazine, Vol.134, No.3, pp.318-325, Sept.1968
So yet another Akbar Khan lie is exposed. But as I said before, this was not the last time that the successors of the Moghuls committed atrocities:
This all proves my original point from many weeks ago, which was that although we can celebrate the accomplishments of Muslim civilizations, we must also acknowledge that like other civilizations their history is not pure.
Brother Akbar the name is: D'Alhamd= Du Al-Hamd= D'Al-Hamd=D'Alhamd. Same(almost) meaning with Muhammad, Ahmad or Mahmoud. But D'Alhamd is a laqab(title) while Muhammad is an ism(name). It's not a big deal, but Al'Hamd, doesn't sound very good used alone. Al'Hamd means: Praise/Thanks. I can associate Allah with its absolute form. Du al-Hamd, or contrasted, D'Alhamd means, master/possesser/owner of praise/thanks/gratitude. One thing is to be The Praise and another to Possess/Own praise/gratitude(toward Allah). Sorry, brother for the unsolicitated lesson in Arabic. May Allah bless you for your intentions that are pure and merituous.
Well, Nick said he was Nick Camarongan Philipino-American, fundamentalist Christian Zionist(my comment). Now he's Hindustani? He must be Jewish,though, only a Jew has this chameleon property exhibited by our mutual nemesis, Nick C.!
I want to thank you for the information supplied on India. I ask anybody that would have info when an argument is on to contribute for the sake of al-Haqq(the service of truth).
Allah Hafiz, brother, Inshallah time will prove Nick his morbid infatuation with Zionism as being immoral and bigoted.
I am not surprised that the artist formerly known as Nick Cameron is Hindustani, or from somewhere around Hindustan since he says "my people have a saying...". I think the artist formerly known as Nick should go watch some more hindi movies...he should go watch Ammar, Akbar, Anthony...anyways now that I see he's supposedly a 'Christian Hindustani,' I am not surprised that he invents so many lies agaisnt Muslims such as the one I explained above.
He also seems to think i'm obsessed with him, but it is actually him who is bringing up my name in order to defend his own words.
Hudd Al'Hamd, we both know that in Canada we have no such thing as trailer park trash, acres of abandoned buildings, and we are definitely not mad with this phenomenon known as "patriotism." I like to call Canada a place where people are truly free, and not looked down upon for not waving a Canadian flag.
We're more free than the Christian Hindustani artist formerly known as Nick Cameron will ever know.
"After all, there is no point of living life without dignity and honour."
We can strip a man of all honor, dignity, wealth, praise, laurels, etc. But if there is the slightest of chances that one day he will do even the most miniscule scintilla of good for others, then the man must continue on with his life. The way we Christians see things, the point to life is not personal dignity and honor, but to love God and do good for others regardless of whether they do good to us. For us, this is not a mere guideline or suggestion, but an injunction without condition from the God of Abraham. Christianity is not an easy religion to follow.
Of course, I respect that you are Muslim and therefore have different beliefs.
I commend you on your most recent comments. I found them thoughtful and intellectually challenging.
Concerning the int'l law issue, it sounds like the professor spoke from a more philosophical standpoint. I understand the reasoning, but if applied strictly we could wind up with preposterous situations.
Imagine for a moment the average American soldier. He may have chosen to enlist, but he most likely didn't choose to go to Iraq since such things are left to policymakers. Imagine this soldier is a nurse working in military hospital in Baghdad. One day as he is crossing the street, the soldier-nurse encounters an ambush and finds himself looking down the barrel of a Kalashnikov. If the Canadian professor stated int'l law correctly, then this soldier would have no choice legally but to just bite the bullet (literally) and possibly dying. Effectively this soldier, by virtue of being part of an "aggressor" army, has forfeited all human rights under int'l law. (After all, without the right to self-defense, all other rights become moot.) This seems nonsensical to me, which is why it's hard for me to accept the professor's statement at face value.
On the topic of speech, it sounds like Canada defines it differently from us. In America, our courts have drawn a bright line between actions that constitute "speech" and those that constitute "conduct". Speech generally is about the *content* of what was said, while conduct is about the "time, place, and manner" of what was said. This distinction is important because freedom of speech, according to our courts, is about prohibiting content-based discrimination.
Going back to your hypothetical of the swastika house, it is not the swastika that our laws would punish. It would be the fact that the anti-Semite vandalized a person's home that would put the criminal in jail.
I can assure you that I'm as Jewish as you are a member of Greenpeace. Put another way, I ain't no Jew. Nor am I gay. My people have a saying that describes you perfectly:
Kahoon kis se main keh kya hai shab-e-gham buri balaa hai
Mujhe kya bura tha marana agar aikbaar hota
Translated it means, "Never trust a two-handed salesman who wears sneakers." I admit that it loses something in English, but I think you get my point.
Also, you're pulling an Akbar Khan again when you claim that I call Canada a dictatorship. I just don't agree that it's very democratic to censor speech just because someone's feelings get hurt. As for me, I am strong enough in my Faith that no one can shake my Christian ways merely by insulting my Lord. It's not my problem if you are so insecure in your own faith that you feel threatened by words.
Assalamualaikum, buddy. ;)
I'm afraid the professor did not give any citations when he said this, but it is difficult to deny the common sense of such an idea. If a nation attacks another, then the nation under attack can invoke self-defence. If the aggressor invokes self-defence after THAT then I guess we'll have to go back to Ghandi's saying "an eye for an eye makes the world go blind." In short, only one country can claim self-defence and it can't be the one initiating the violence.
With regards to free speech, I'm afraid that mere words can cause violence. These can be two kinds: physical or emotional/psychological. In Toronto we have had a recent spate of anti-semitic attacks which included the spray painting of swastikas on Jewish homes. Some of these residents were holocaust survivors. You can imagine the painful memories that were brought back to them. No one should have to live in that kind of an environment. As I mentioned earlier:physical injuries can heal but emotional/psychological wounds can remain with you for the rest of your life.
Using abusive language against somebody due to their race, ethnicity, religion, etc. is a form of verbal violence. If this goes on unchecked it can easily lead to physical violence. In NAZI Germany things began slowly and then evolved into the holocaust.
In the West we have freedom where people can do as they like so long as they don't hurt anyone. The same ought to, and does apply (Canada, Britain etc) in the verbal sphere as well.
Bremer closed al-Sadr's newspaper for "inciting violence." Clearly, Bremer saw al-Sadr's words as threats that he possibly believes would turn into actions.
Actions are preceded by words. In some cases the words are harmful enough.
I guess Nick misunderstood me again. Let me make myself clearer to you Nick: when I said the seeds of our decay (speaking about us Muslims) is our love of life and fear of death, I meant love of a life where we accept to be oppressed by the oppressors namely Isreal, America & Russia. I drew my statement from an authentic hadith where the messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: "There will come a time where nations will feast on Muslims as the eaters feast on a big plate of food" a companion of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) asked: Is it because we will small in numbers? The prophet (pbuh) answered: -No, actually, you will be huge in numbers but (of no much value) in the messengers words" like straw in a flood" the companion asked again: -Oh prophet of Allah, why is that? the messenger of Allah answered: " because you will be infected with Alwahan" a mental state of "laxity". The companion asked again and what is Alwahan O prophet of Allah?
"Alwahan is love of dunia (material life) and hate of death" (honorable death).
Astaghfiru Allah, I appologise to the messenger of Allah and all Muslims for my bad translation of the word dunia (material life).
After all, there is no point of living life without dignity and honour. That's the messenger's point and your first president George Washington & Thomas Jefferson know exactly what this hadith means when they expelled the British from America. Muslims should do the same to the Israelis and the Americans that occupying their lands and revolt against their Arab puppets otherwise life has no meaning under oppression.
I don't question whether or not a professor in Canada has stated what he thinks the law is. But for me, I'd only agree with him if I actually saw the law with the appropriate citations. Did Prof. Mandel give the cites, and if so what were they? As far as I know, it's not in the Geneva Conventions.
Like I said, Canada can do what it wants. But I really question the wisdom of limiting speech in this way. I don't think it's a wise policy to prohibit certain kinds of speech merely because some people might get offended. Yes, rules are needed to to keep order and prevent violence, but I don't buy the notion that mere words cause violence based the offensiveness. Democracy is not for crybabies. Sticks and stones...
As far Bremer's decision to shut down al-Sadr, I don't know that I agree with him even if I were disregard the consequences that followed. Unless Sadr's words actually constituted a crime in itself, for example, if he was giving people orders to commit murder, Bremer probably should have let him be. But I don't know what al-Sadr actually said, so I'll reserve judgment.
BTW, our leaders do win their elections. And as far as I know, elected positions in our country are almost invariably determined by majority votes. The sole exception is the the Office of the Presidency. But my President part of the Federal government, which has far less impact on my life than state and local government.
The bit about International law was said by Prof. Mandel of York University in Toronto, Canada.
I'm suprised you're questioning whether or not Canada is a democracy. Atleast our Leaders win their elections before they take office.
Furthermore, even though we'd all like to have total freedom, we know that's not possible. Rules are needed to keep order and protect people.(Keep in mind the restrictions on free speech when it comes to national security in the States) Physical violence isn't the only way to harm someone. Verbal blows can be just as, if not more, deadly.
Keep in mind that Bremer shut down Moqtada al-Sadr's newspaper for "inciting violence" and accusing Bremer of following Saddam's path. Whatever happened to free speech in America's new and free Iraq.
But it's getting harder for me to convince my loved ones that Muslims are generally good people when so many of them have demonstrated a capacity for some of the worst bigotry. Indeed, on an intellectual level I understand that these character flaws are most likely not universal traits. At the same time, many Americans who wish to be tolerant may not be able to maintain their enlightened views indefinitely while being assailed by both sides of the bigotry spectrum.
But with God's help all things are possible, for His love is stronger than extremist hate. Consider this a friendly reminder to all those who hope.
Muslims, just like anyone else, should recognize God's blessings and thank Him everyday. No offense, but none of you are exempted from the duty to show gratitude. Anything less is arrogance.
Our greatest disease is love of life and fear of death. We abandoned Jihad and now the Americans & the Israelis are feasting on us. The day we adopt Jihad as a way of life to defend ourselves is the day the Muslim World will start to progress period.
If my country that is Morocco or my second country that is Canada calls me to go to war and fight the American terrorists in Iraq? I will leave my IT job and fly there to join the troops because I just can't wait for WWIII to start and kills as many Zionists as possible. Why not? I am 6 foot tall, and a solid bodybuilder with some knowlegde of martial arts (Tae Kwon Do) and bilingual degree (French/English) in International relations and Computer Sciences. I guess I will very useful to Morocco & Canada.
Just call my name & I will be there. I just want to go to Jihad in a legitimate way and die as a SHAHEED.
Death to America's Zionists!!!
What's your true name Mr "Abdul Hakim"?
John?, Joseph?, Peter? Taylor?, Mark?????.
You must be a hypocrite who has no guts to write comments under your name.
Indeed if you are a Muslim, then you must be from Kuwait.
But Canadians can do what they want.
If any one is interested in some more indepth discussions about this subject please email me at [email protected] . I will appreciate discussing and being enlighten by anyone here.
thans and hope God blesses all of you.
You claim that internation law prohibits the "aggressor" from self-defence, but I know of no such rule. Please provide for us the text of this law as well as the appropriate citations so that we may be educated on the matter.
If you read my comments closely, you'd realize that I don't support any efforts by my government to impose a democracy on another country, including Iraq. Moreover, I concede before you and all others here that Iraqis might be suited for something other than a democracy. After all, if the Iraqis would rather have an Islamic polity rather than a free society, then that is what they should get. End of story.
My disagreement with mebrocky and certain scholars in the Muslim world is that I believe "Islamic democracy", for the reasons I mentioned, is a contradiction in terms. As I said, whether or not the Iraqis should have an Islamic government is a question for the Iraqis themselves, and I would prefer to leave it for them to answer.
REMEMBER AMERICA, ANYONE CAN KILL UN-ARMED CIVILIAN. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A SUPERPOWER TO KILL INNOCENT UN-ARMED CIVILIAN. If you(America) believe you are sole superpower in the world, then you should fight with Isreal or Briton or Russia or any European countries. DONT SHOW YOUR ARROGANT MIGHTY POWER TO INNOCENT CIVILIAN.
Furthermore, America's international record makes it perfectly clear that their primary motivating factor is economic and military self-interest as opposed to moral and ethical self-interest. American history is filled with democratic regimes being overthrown and dictatorial regimes put in their place because they were more convenient economically or politically. The last thing the US would want is democracy in the MiddleEast. Imagine democracy in say Saudi Arabia. The People would immediately vote for an oil embargo on the US without concern for their own economic needs. The US simply needs dictators that will do their bidding.(Saddam was their buddy once) That is far more efficient than having to deal with messy democracies where the people are anti-American. Consider the group of cronies they intend to hand over power to in the Provisional Govering council. Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has been asking for elections but Bremer and Washington have repeatedly refused. The UN took the Ayatollah's side. How about this. Could you ever imagine the US and an Ayatollah facing off where it was the Cleric who wanted democracy?
Keep in mind that the Americans opened fire on a crowd and killed seventeen in Fallujah a year ago. This is what sparked the developments over the past year and led to the present situation.
As far as Nick Camerone's point, about democracies not prohibiting anything accept info that will compromise national security, I recommend he look at Canada. In Canada expressions of intolerance and racism are prohibited by law. A T-shirt bearing an anti-semitic remark for instance is banned.
You will pay a heavy price before the Judge of Judges. His Justice will come soon!
Can you please tell me if you are INDEED a Muslim? Your name suggests you are but having read so many of your posts on this site, I kinda get a suspicion that your are NOT a muslim. You wrote:
"WHEN YOU CONSIDER THAT MORE THAN 300 AMERICANS
HAVE BEEN KILLED BY ROADSIDE BOMBS AND OTHER DIRECT ATTACKS, IT IS SURPRISING THAT IRAQIS WERE NOT LINED UP AGAINST CITY WALLS AND SHOT. THE AMERICAN ARMED FORCES HAVE BEEN ON THE DEFENSIVE
FOR TOO LONG AND IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT THEY HAVE DECIDED TO DEMAND THAT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."
If you were INDEED a true Muslim or even a fair-minded person of any faith, your same above comments would have been as follows:
"WHEN YOU CONSIDER THAT MORE THAN 10000 INNOCENT IRAQI CIVILIANS AND COUNTLESS IRAQI SOLDIERS HAVE BEEN KILLED BY COALITION CLUSTER BOMBS AND OTHER DIRECT ATTACKS, IT IS SURPRISING THAT COALITION SOLDIERS ARE NOT LINED UP AGAINST CITY WALLS AND SHOT. THE IRAQI PEOPLE HAVE BEEN UNDER THE OFFFENSIVE FOR TOO LONG AND IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT THEY HAVE DECIDED TO DEMAND THAT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."
However, your comments are not surprising though, coming from a person who is NOT fair-minded. Either you are a Muslim who has fallen in love with America (in brother HA's words, RED AMERICAN LOBSTERS), and blinded by it's Love that you cannot distinguish between the RIGHT and WRONG, or you are a hypocrite simply disguised as a Muslim, enjoying a free ride here. The fact that you use 'BISMILLAH' at the end of your comments and NOT in the beginning possibly proves that the latter could be true about you.
Pls don't be misguided. your comments are generally intelligent. is your only concern of democracy is that we would not allow someone to defile our beloved prophet? Would you call this democracy when flagrant abuse becomes the norm?
Just and constructive criticism must be separated from evil intention. most muslims tolerate the first but would object to the latter.
We wish to live in a society where individuals vote for their representatives and collectively work for betterment of the society as a whole whilst adhering to Islamic justice for all, icluding minority and other races/religions. God would not want it any other way.
All the rest we call 'fitna' ie trying to create divisions.
Individual freedom stops when it trespasses on someone else's freedom. Like all things on earth, freedom too has its limits and if it goes unchecked it would create havoc in any society.
God has given us the mind to question all things, including his creation but only to learn and go forward not to create discord amongst people, so it would be futile to call it freedom if anyone wants to slander the prophet by printing bad langauge on a t-shirt. If that is your 'free-for-all' form of democracy then please keep it for yourselves. Thank you.
Concerning the responses to my comment about Iraqi resources, I assume you're referring to Ahmed Asgher. The man has a history of misreading my comments, so I'm not surprised that he overreacted this time as well. But it's OK because I believe that English is not his first language.
Going back to the "Islamic democracy" discussion, I understand what you mean now. But IMO, I wouldn't call that "democracy" necessarily. My understanding of the word goes beyond questions of whether or not there are free and fair elections. After all, Hitler was an elected leader, but we probably agree that the Third Reich was no democracy. Indeed, government by consent is a vital element of a genuine democracy, but the people must also have freedom. Offhand, I don't think true democratic freedom would exist in an Islamic form of government. But that's just my opinion.
Regarding your "driving forces" comments, I think you're essentially correct. Of course, I'd add that as Christians you and I must go beyond the golden rule, since we have to do unto others even when others refuse to do unto us. But I'll be the first to admit my shortcomings on this.
About our government's wrong-headed policies, I more or less agree that we've gone off track, although I suspect our reasons for this may differ. Contrary to what our neocons would have us believe, I think we're just not capable of democratizing the political quagmire that is the Middle East. And trying to impose our values onto others through military might will only get us into hot water. From where I stand, the risks are too great and the rewards are few.
If our goal is to end threats to our homeland, then it's a better use of resources to concentrate on the extremist threats specifically rather than trying to fix the social political roots of terrorism, which we can't. Just hit 'em hard, hit 'em fast, teach them a lesson they and the rest of the world won't forget. Then bring our
WHEN YOU CONSIDER THAT MORE THAN 300 AMERICANS
HAVE BEEN KILLED BY ROADSIDE BOMBS AND OTHER DIRECT ATTACKS, IT IS SURPRISING THAT IRAQIS WERE NOT LINED UP AGAINST CITY WALLS AND SHOT. THE AMERICAN ARMED FORCES HAVE BEEN ON THE DEFENSIVE
FOR TOO LONG AND IT IS NOT SURPRISING THAT THEY HAVE DECIDED TO DEMAND THAT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
THE FACT IS THAT SHEIKH AL-SADR IS A MURDERER
WHO ORDERED THE ASSASSINATION OF A RIVAL SHEIK IN APRIL 2003 AND AL-SADR REFUSES TO LISTEN TO THE PLEAS OF SENIOR AYATOLLAHS LIKE AL-SISTANI IN IRAQ AND MONTASSERI IN IRAN TO STOP INSTIGATING VIOLENCE AND TO LISTEN TO EXPERIENCED CLERICS. THE TROUBLE IN FALLUJAH AND OTHER CITIES WAS INCITED BY AL-SADR WHO IS MAKING A POWER GRAB EVEN IF IT COSTS HUNDREDS OF IRAQI LIVES. THERE IS A DIRTY GAME GOING ON IN IRAQ AND THE AMERICANS ARE THE VICTIMS OF IT. LET AMERICA BE AMERICA AND DEMOCRACY WILL BE ESTABLISHED SOON IN IRAQ. BUT NO, ILLITERATE POLTROONS HAVE TO MUDDY THE WATERS AND WHEN AMERICAN TROOPS TAKE DEFENSIVE MEASURES IT HURTS THE FEELING OF THE ILLITERATES. IS IT ANY WONDER THAT IT IS SO HARD TO ESTABLISH DEMOCRACY IN ISLAMIC COUNTRIES?
GOD BLESS AMERICA FOR TRYING. BISMILLAH
Also, if America would compel only its adversaries in Iraq to strive in their own best interest, it seems possible that it would be America's adversaries (at least its adversaries within Iraq) who would grow stronger. In the end, enabling our friends to avoid strife - in their own best interest - is possibly neither in their best interest nor our own.
In the case of an "Islamic" democracy, would all topics of political and social discourse be fair game? What if a citizen of this hypothetical "Islamic democracy" decided to publish a book attacking Islam itself? Or what if the citizen wore a T-shirt with the words "Mohammed was a pedophile" written on it? In many countries, these things would be prohibited. Such censorship might be "Islamic" and even justifiable from a moral standpoint. But that wouldn't be democracy.
I know of no society that can be called an "Islamic democracy" at this time. That makes me wonder if such a thing is possible.
"I have no problem with foreigners owning Iraq's resources as long as the Iraqis willingly sell them and they get a good price."
US army is there illegally. they have bombed their way in and sold Iraq WITHOUT THE CONSENT of its people to the lowest US bidders who prop up Bush and his Zionist clans. the Tel Aviv pipeline was the ifrst on their mind to be restored. They sold everything from the railways to telecom. Their first priority was to restore oil production with no accounting! and to hell with hospitals, secuirty, water, electricity. In a country where oil is its main line, the people of iraq have difficluty in getting oil thro the pumps. ditto electricity, ditto water, ditto security.
then this idiot comes with vilgar statements. go get some education you ignorant biggot.
What we see on our screens here your media would never show. maimed civilians, bombed children, city turned to rubble. the bereaved can not even bury their dead in peace with your bombs being randomly dropped. Just as kimmit was telling the world the US has decalred cease fire, the Aljazzera reporter was showing countless jets dropping their bombs. Some cease-fire huh! I am just fureous about all the lies the american machinery keeps telling those idoits and the ignorants are swallowing them like fish swallows bait. Do you have no brain of your own?
People of the ME collectively have had enough but their leaders are gutless to tell the yanks: "JUST GET OUT". and take your white zionists out of Palestine too.
, those with American twang who know nothing about Judaism, let alone ISlam or Christianity.
It all makes a mockery of Chirsts message of love.
JUST GET OUT.
I am glad to see that sunni and shia muslims are
moving forward in unity. If it be the will of Allah this will
only bring us closer as a people. As muslims we are all
servants of Allah. Alhamdu lillahi rabbi alAAalameena.
It is good to see the Shia and Sunni Muslims uniting as one people. I pray that Allah (swt) will bless and strengthen their unity forever. It is only through unity that the Muslims can defeat the plots of Shatain. It's a very good development and a new beginning for the people of Iraq.
Just to answer Umm Muhammads question read the following:
Article 59 of the new US-engineered constitution, which puts the new US-founded Iraqi armed forces under the command of the occupation forces, which will, in turn, be "invited" to stay in Iraq by the new sovereign government after the "handover of power" in June. This occupation force will be backed by 14 large US military bases and the biggest US embassy in the world, tellingly based at Saddam's republican palace in Baghdad.
That just about sums it up.
Do not be fooled into thinking that the presence of U.S. forces is easy to defeat. People like Paul Bremer the Third whtaver his name is, cannot tell us what is, and is not against the teachings of Islam. He has no authority in this matter and they are acting like the British colonialists when they were in India. They want to separate and divide the nation down further and further, to weaken it and maintain their control over it. This is what they will do in their worst case scenario. So I urge those who care about hte well being of the Iraqi people, to be against negotiating with the CPA.
America has no place in the mother's house (Iraq)because America is a misguided, ungrateful d
How much of Iraqs economy will be open to foreign ownership?
Can Iraqs next government change this provision?
Will the communications minister be able to cancel the licenses the coalition awarded to foreign-managed companies?