Friday, November 19, 2004

Mistrust

After about one century of mistrust of westerns in the Mideast, the coalition forces led by the US now have a great opportunity to change this opinion. People in Washington should speed up work in Iraq. Many Iraqi officials, specialists, workers...etc. who work together with the Americans here say that the Americans are very slow in dealing with urgent matters.

There is controversy about the real US intentions in Iraq. People, who say that the Americans are going to help us in building a better society, can not give concrete evidence. The slow way in work makes it easy for the pessimistic people to say, it is a matter of conspiracy to destroy Iraq. The only side that the Iraqis have seen till now of the invaders is fierce clashes to restore order, which is essential to start reconstruction.

Mistrust is a real problem for several historical events that took place through the past century. It starts with a promise made by British officials to Hussein ibn Ali (sheriff of Mecca1908-16), a grandfather of late king Hussein of Jordan, to establish one united Arab state, if he rebelled against the Ottomans. A promise which the British could not fulfill. Another dramatic event was establishing the state of Israel in 1948, and several others in between till today.

Now let’s focus on Iraq, in the year 1991 operation Desert Storm kicked Saddam out of Kuwait. A popular uprising, against Saddam, spread all over Iraq the very day on which president Bush, the father, declared the end of the military operations. The Iraqi people thought that the Americans would not stop at that point and they should help the uprising of March 1991. Leaving the Iraqis alone to be torn apart by Saddam still resides in their hearts.
Blockade sanctions imposed on Iraq for thirteen years did not have any effect on Saddam’s regime, but it had great one on the people of Iraq. The reason given for imposing these sanctions, which is WMD, came out to be false. As a result mistrust is strengthened.

Lot of Iraqi people feel that it is unsafe to line up with the American promised reformation, since they believe that the Americans, pulling out, may leave them alone facing the fundamentalists, insurgents, terrorists. Many comments on previous posts say (Iraqis should share the burden of making their future) which are right. Willing to make brighter future is not enough. I can confirm that Iraqis need lot of rehabilitation by showing and teaching them what means to use in facing the challenge.

14 Comments:

Blogger stefania said...

Please keep on bloggin' dear

We need the Iraqi Bloggers!!

12:04 AM  
Blogger KT said...

Doesn't seem to me we can expect much more out of the Iraqi people for the time being. Don't blame them one bit to wait until the dust settles. It also seems to me that things are so bad, that we are at a point where we have to gain control of the security situation first because we have already lost the hearts and minds of many. Maybe then Iraqis will realize what it was all about when they can see reconstruction that lasts for more than 5 minutes, and they then might be willing to become part of the process.

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most American people that I knew in 1991 wanted the government to take Saddam out of power at that time for the sake of the Iraqi people. The international community did not feel that that should be part of the mission - to push Saddam out of Kuwait. We even had our own laws that restricted us from removing another countries leader from power. This time our government acted without the approval of the UN. (Either way, there will be people that don't like our actions.)

I read on another blog, an Iraqi woman saying that all Americans did this out of their own fear and then "pretend" that it was to liberate Iraq.

I can only speak for myself.
My husband worked for United Airlines for 16 years. The night we heard that the war in Iraq began, United closed his workplace under a "war clause". We knew he would never be able to go back to work there. (Which has turned out to be true.) But he and I talked that night and we prayed. We talked about how much we had hoped for freedom for the Iraqi people, we talked about how scared we were for you. We decided that whatever happened with us personally was on such a small scale that it just didn't really matter. I saw my husband cry and when I asked him what he was thinking, he said he hoped everything would go well in Iraq.

When our election was over, the very next day, I wrote to the President and told him this story and how I expect him to not abandon the Iraqi people no matter how tough it gets with world opinion. I don't think this President will leave, though mistakes have been made, I do think he wants Iraq to be free and strong and productive for its people.

I will try to help with letter writing telling of what you have said.

I have been thinking more about the discussion on Democracy. I have heard through the media (please tell me if this is correct) that the Sunni's may be afraid of the Shia majority taking all the power. I think they would be less afraid if they knew how our democracy really works. The following is a simplification:
It is all broken up into country, states, counties, cities and towns. The country is the federal government, the entity which the rest of the world does most of its dealings with. Responsible for the security of the country, therefore has a huge impact on the war on terrorism, the war in Iraq, etc.

But a lot of day to day life depends on the more local governments decisions. Different states have different laws, as do cities and towns. An example: The federal government cannot tell me I can't run a business out of my house, but if I live in a town whose "zoning" laws say I can't run a business out of my house, then I can't. But I am free to move, or run a business at a location where it is "zoned" for business. I live in a town where I can run a business on my property, but when I lived in a different state, I had to get permission from the town and from my neighbors.
Another example: In my town, the town council was trying to make laws that most of the people here didn't like, so the people went to vote and we ended up with EVERY person on the council being replaced with someone new! Now most people are happy again and some are not. Sometimes here there are even "neighborhood associations" that make their own rules about what you can and cannot do in that neighborhood. It is just that an association can't go against the laws of the town, the town can't go against the laws of the state, etc.

Do you think that would help? They would be more in control of their own lives than they really know. Just not ABSOLUTE control.

I've been thinking of you and hoping for the best.
Annie

12:43 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

While I can understand the frustration of things appearing slow, I believe that in some things that may appear urgent, a quick reaction or a "knee jerk" reaction could lead to greater problems down the road and so things must be handled carefully.

Also, I get frustrated when I read about Iraqi impatience with how fast the Americans go to bring about change when there isn't very much evidence to the Iraqi's truly trying to find the right way of doing things on their own. This may be true or it may be that I just don't understand why they can't when it is because the Democratic process is foreign to Iraqi's and they need a lot of support and direction.

But this support and direction cannot come if people don't know the specific need. When I see my children struggle, sometimes they cannot explain to me WHY they struggle and there must be a lot of communication between me and the children to understand their problems - this takes time.

And sometimes, there are times where it is important for me NOT to help them and that their struggle needs to be their lesson.

I can see this same sort of thing when I watch Iraq. It's so painful to watch and so agonizingly slow. Like a woman giving birth - terribly painful, but joyous at the end!

12:48 AM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

"On Thursday, the Iraqi government warned that Islamic clerics who incite violence will be considered as “participating in terrorism.” A number of them already have been arrested, including several members of the Sunni clerical Association of Muslim Scholars, which spoke out against the U.S.-led offensive against Fallujah."

“The government is determined to pursue those who incite acts of violence. A number of mosques’ clerics who have publicly called for taking the path of violence have been arrested and will be legally tried,” said Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s spokesman, Thair al-Naqeeb."

I am not sure but I think that there are most likly dozens of Clerics that need to be arrested in Iraq. Each one arrested or killed will cause more unrest and hatred toward the "Government" and The Americans.

I am sure that there are hundreds if not thousands of Clerics in Iran and other nearby countries that are calling for violence. They will send more young poor men to continue the violence in Iraq. A vicious, terrible unending circle of violence.

It is impossible to close the borders, it is impossible to kill or imprision them all. Every act of violence on one side sets the other side to more violence.

No one trusts anyone, The Americans don't trust the Iraq people to protect and fight for themselves, to try and establish a government were all are represented fairly. The Americans don't trust the surrounding countries at all and other than all out war they can not be controled by sancions or threats. The "Europeans" think they can bribe them (Because they like to be Bribed). It won't work. Europeans try to ignore ( or don't understand)the fact that religion and tribal interests control this area of the world.

No one trusts the Americans because they cut and ran after 1991 and trusted the UN to control a Monster but instead it was helping him and France and Germany steal Billions of dollars from the people of Iraq. It appears that some of that money was stolen by the UN itself.

No sane person in Iraq wants to be killed by anyone and doesn't know what to do. They want help but don't want anymore killing and destruction. Most want to rebuild and have a prosperous and happy life. While others only want to destroy and be in charge of making everyone believe the way they do. If they don't, they will kill them. They also want the money from the oil and to settle old tribial disputes and hatreds.

This is Hundreds of years of poverty, mistrust, tribal divisions,disagreements and the promise of Heaven by Clerics that are intolerant and hate almost everything and everyone. They are also greedy and want their piece of the pie to be the biggest.

A black hearted monster could only control the Clerics by murder and torture and by keeping some in money and priviliges. It was not a way to live for most if not all the sane people in Iraq.

I believe that the "belief" that Americans want to invade and stay in Iraq or else-so as to steal the oil and rape and pillage the poor people of Iraq is the biggest lie that people outside the US believe. Even some ignorant Americans believe this.

My answer to that is it is just simply not true. But there is no way to actually prove it. Expecially with the Media shaping and shading the news.

Invaders...I guess thats true in a way, but the American People thought we were liberators. But before its over, I think most in Iraq will be begging us to stay.

Here are a few other black thoughts and conclusions of mine:

Chirac just doesn't get it. He is trying to stay on the fence and bribe others and it just won''t work this time. The French will die right along with the rest in Europe and the Middle east and else where.

The media plays an important part in any war. In past wars censorship of the media was enforced. In todays world (especially in Western Countries) the media is allowed not only to report but to shape and color the reporting. They are fanning the terrible fires that threaten to explode everywhere. The Terrorists and others will have THE Bomb sooner than later.

This "little war" (if you want to call it that) is terrible to all involved. It will take years and years to rebuild and some of the rebuilt (if not all) will be destroyed again.

But in my view and many others, this is not just another little war. This is the beginning of THE WAR. The war we have been dreading and trying to put off for over fifty years.

That said, let me tell you this and you can take it to the bank and be sure to draw interest on it.

You have not seen anything yet....

Before this is over (many, many years from now) there will be thousands, if not hundreds of thousands dead. It may not even over then, but just a pause while people try and rebuild and re-equip.

The vast majority of the dead will not be Americans or their Allies. Even if "THE Bomb" is used in the USA.

One American Marine...killing one Iraqi (insurgent, terrorist),what ever you want to call him, will be like a one small speck of blood in an OCEAN OF BLOOD to come.

It will be such a waste. All caused by intolerance,pride,ignorance,poverty and the call of the religious extreamists in every country.

God help us all.

This is my post

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

8:31 AM  
Blogger WC said...

Man. This is where the deep thinkers (brooders) hide out. Papa Ray, I hope you snap out of the darkness,man. Lighten up! Even if you believe that things just keep getting worse, you're in good company -- Aristotle (or some othert old dead Greek) said the world could not survive the coming generartion.

Collectively we make mistakes. Mothing in this world is perfect. Bush should have invaded Iraq in '91??? I didn't think so then, and I am not so sure now. Maybe the army should have taken Nasiriyah or some such and made a safe haven in southern Iraq just like for the Kurdish areas. Still there has been civil war and strife and danger in the Kurdish areas these past thirteen years, but things seem to be going very well there now. Time may smooth all the mistakes out yet. The sanctions were certainly a mistake and should NEVER be tried again.

IBN_ALRAFIDAIN. Is that your name? Are you in Baghdad? How should I address you? Keep blogging! Your English is better than mine and you seem to be a very knowledgeable historian.

WC
Dallas, Texas
USA

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason things move slowly is because if we do something right over there, nobody notices - nobody cares. But if we do something wrong it's in the paper, on the news, etc. So blame the media for the slowness of things.

1:47 AM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

I'm not feeling so dark today.

One reason is, I found this:

http://2slick.blogspot.com/

About three paragraphs down, he is reciting an email about how on his first tour he was in charge of spending money on the local economy. The amounts that just (he) spent are amazing. Is this story true, is this what was being done by the 101st in Mosul? If it is and I guess I do believe him, its something I bet most people don't know.

This is my post

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

4:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for continuing to blog, Son of Two Rivers. Your comments and observations are very informative.

I can hardly blame Iraqis in general for being mistrustful of the US and wary of aligning themselves with us for fear of retaliation by Islamist groups if the US pulls out/doesn't succeed/gives up. And, given the history of Western interventions and meddling and failures in the region, it only makes sense to wonder if the US will really be able wave a magic wand and solve all the problems in Iraq; not just the ones we Americans created (particularly the instability that has come w/this war), but longer-standing problems with the history of the Sunni/Shi'ite split and conflicts between different ethnic groups contained within an artifically drawn political border.

I just wish that other readers of this blog would actually hear what you are saying. Too many of the American commentators I have read on your blog and other Iraqi blogs just start lecturing about having patience and compare Iraqis to 'children' who need to learn from their parents. I find such comments truly shocking, arrogant, and ill-considered, and am dismayed by them. Whether this American 'adventure' will succeed or fail I have no idea, but our presence there has a better chance of succeeding if people (Americans) listen and learn and pay attention to history rather than blathering on about having a great system and lofty ideals, yadda yadda yadda.

[And yes, I am an American who loves my country. Just don't always like what my government does or the way Americans can be so dense.]

So please, keep blogging, Ibn-Alrafidain, some of us are actually listening.

4:50 AM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Well I was feeling better, but I ran across this:

http://tinyurl.com/5h4zq

I never knew there were so many ways and ideas on how to blow up the world. Some of these posts sound like they have the inside scoop. Where would they get that?

This is my post

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

7:06 AM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Talking about trust. I have found over a lot of years on this ol earth, you can tell alot about a man by how he reacts in a fight, altercation or unexpected moment of trouble.

Read this about how the President of the USA reacted to a little bit of trouble on his trip today to the South.

http://tinyurl.com/6ojqr

I would have loved to have been there. The Prez by the way speaks two variations of Spanish...the Mexican kind and the Texas Border kind. I wonder which he used in this situation...?

7:31 AM  
Blogger Scott from Oregon said...

hi Ibn!! Just wanted to tell you I appreciate your efforts!!

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Ibn,

I just found your blog. Keep up the great work! The love you have for Iraq and your willingness to risk much to see it's freedom is not unlike the visionaries that birthed our great nation. Let me encourage you to stand tall and strong, never look back and let Iraq's freedom ring. Many, many Americans support your efforts.

For those who say, "that the Americans are going to help us in building a better society, [and] can not give concrete evidence", I suggest you point toward Germany and Japan. 'nuff said.

An American Jew

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ibn, I thank you so profusely for your blog and for the thoughts you express so eloquently. I am a 48-yr-old woman living in the middle of America, and I voted for Bush in the recent election. My reasons were several, but among them was my concern that Bush's opponent would do as you fear, and pull our troops too soon and leave your nation in dangerous chaos.

You have no reason to trust me, but I do beleive that Bush is one of the most principled and honest politicians my country has seen in a very long time; he will NOT back down no matter how many critics, foreign and domestic, press him to do so. So strongly am I convinced of this about Bush, that I voted for the first time since 1992, after having become disgusted with politics and politicians.

I'm not alone among Americans who are not members of Mr. Bush's political party, but who voted for him because we understand that we have a MORAL OBLIGATION to the people of Iraq. Further, many of us honestly share the sentiments you quote as articulated by Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush on the virtues of democracy, and how it is in OUR interest that Iraq and other countries in the Middle East are freed to rule themselves under principles of law and respect for individual liberties. For many of us, these are not mere pious sound bites coming from Blair and Bush.

Your nation is going to need financial help rebuilding so much of what necessarily has been broken; I and most Americans understand we owe your country that help. And again, I and many believe that in helping you we help ourselves.

Lately, I've been reading many Iraqi blogs, and some of them tear at my heart. One young woman in Mosul is so overwhelmed and desperate she fears she is having a nervous breakdown. Given the conditions she describes in her neighborhood, that is not hard to understand. Please believe, I and many Americans feel anguish at what you are suffering, and if there had been some other way of ending Saddam's reign of terror and creating the circumstances in which you can achieve democracy and the rule of law, it would have been prefered. But there did not seem to be any alternative.

You, Ibn, are clearly intelligent and politically sophisticated, and you certainly grasp that politics is about interests. That is so true. So let me be candid: by the U.S. invading both Afghanastin and Iraq, we drew the terrorists to those nations. They have not been as active in the U.S. as they almost certainly otherwise would have been. We are fighting them on your soil, and not ours. I'd be lying if I said I do not prefer that scenario: there is my naked interest.

But Americans are not an evil people; we understand that by taking the battle to your nation we did, as I have said before, incur an obligation to you. In my very strong opinion, George Bush and this country will meet that obligation, which includes not just maintaining a military presence until your country is secure, but also the funds it will take to return to normal.

The only way you, or I, can see that my aspirations are accurate, of course, is to wait and see. Easier for me than for you. And again, for what you and all Iraqis are currently suffering, I am so very sorry. May it all turn out to have been entirely worth it.

--Mona--

2:11 AM  

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