Sunday, December 03, 2006

Iraqis: The Biggest Hypocrites

I have been reading articles here and there saying questioning the 'Iraqi' identification, saying that Iraq is really a bastard country formed of three separate Ottoman states in the early 20th century: Basra, Mosul and Baghdad. Such articles struck me as heavily unrealistic, great nations often come out of unholy marriages, case in point, world's current greatest nation, the United States of America. I came into life with a clear cohesion about the 'Iraqi' citizenship.

But after a while I began to understand where these un-Iraqi sentiments came from, with bloodbaths performed by supposedly authentic Iraqis against their own kinsmen, the social fabric is being quickly ripped apart, people first started throwing the worn-out conspiracy theories about how all these are orchestrated by the 'occupation and the jews', but they know deep down inside that it is not so, the fabric is quickly uncovering the great hypocrisy of the Iraqi nationalism. And it is time to say it out loud to the world.

The sense of Iraq's unity is a paradoxical, dare I say nonexistent thing, I used to think of myself as someone who loves his country, but slowly I became to understand that this was an illusion, like the slogan "Raise your head, you're an Iraqi." Exactly what Iraq has done, from the day it was created to the day that I am writing this to you, that should make me proud? We are a generation who practiced hurling out terms like 'the victorous, proud, chivalrous Arab nation' while in reality we suffered major defeats, exactly like the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, which was another disastorous loss where the descendandts of Monkey & Pigs, Jews (Arabic trademark phrase) almost captured age-old Isalmic capital Damascus. We heavily borrow from our ancestors glories to gild our miserable defeats, Iraqi Ba'ath propaganda was never absent from a direct reference to the invention of the wheel, the glories of Nebuchedanezzar, or the linking of the Iran-Iraq war to the 7-th century Qadissiya, etc). We as citizens, would greet our president with cheers and kisses and sworn allegiances, only to shed them the minute we are safe inside our homes. This practice has severely damaged all pride, we are a nation of cowards, tyrants, and morons.

Some people point out to people like us, who left Iraq, saying look at these cowards, we are not cowards, we are realists. The love of the 'country' is a hypcrisy formed by years of living under oppression and refusal to admit defeats. There is nothing that my country has done so far, and I am speaking too for all Arab states, that makes me proud of the fact that I am of its citizens. You can see how this is evident by how people are killing for the sake of sect, religion, their areas, their families, but never their country. Some people, mostly Baathists and their sympathesizers, continue their own bullshit about the 'patriotic Iraqi resistance' and how we are fighting for 'Iraq', shut up, you are fighting for the lost thrones you had. There is no such thing as an Iraqi resistance, and there never, ever was. It was al-Qaeda and Baathists all the way, I don't hate Mes'ood Barazani as much as I hate Saddam Hussein, because the first guy is a motherfucker who's at least frank about it, but the latter, Saddam ibn al kahba abu el gawad Hussein, is a hypocrite who can still make people follow him out of mere cowardice to admit how pathetic we all are, continuing an idiotic routine of hypocritic national identification.

There are some things that could hint of a national identification, for example, when you go outside Iraq and u feel like a total stranger, you try hard to find other Iraqis like you, forgetting how incredibly hateful they were back home. There are bonds that are evident in places like gameshows, soccer matches, but they are also incredibly hypocritical, they don't amount to anything more than that and precisely that, as long as the more effective political hypocrisy is in effect, all other identifications are merely so that we won't be "caught with our pants down" in the face of the world.

This is why many Arabs support Osama bin Laden, because he is a guy who doesn't bullshit around and actually does something, I think Bin Laden is a big criminal and a great danger on Islam because of that precise fact, he's a person who understands Arabs need to stop hypocrisy with action.
Wherever i go in Jordan, I look at phrases like "Jordan First", I watch Egyptian movies where the ultimate cause is "the country of Egypt", but Maybe countries like UAE have something to be proud of, but these are money-bought flourishes that are brittle fronts that will be demolished with a few hammerings here and there. Iraq is particularly a good example of Arab hypocrisy, becuase all its glories are lies while its people degenrated into morons, some people want Saddam back, you monkeys - at least psychologically, do u want to return to a stable, but paradoixcal state of glorifiying Saddam's farts and belches? Some people said this is because of Saddam, well he's gone now and look what have you done to the country? IT IS YOU. YOURSELVES. this is why we must stop the hypocrisy of identifiying with "Iraq" in its current meaning and be brave enough and say how much of a losers we all are. I do not hate my country, but I don't really care for it that much, I'd love to see it flourishing and stable, but I wouldn't die for it, so it's not enough - the difference is that I'm brave enough to say it. I only love my family, my friends, and recently my area (as a post-effect of the sectarain civil war), but I don't really love my country. In fact, I think it's a big shame that people are dying becuase of such a stupid, hypocritical lie. I would cut my arm and hand it to you on a plate if you can find me a single Iraqi who'd die for his own country. There's just no such thing. Islamism is real, Shiism is real, Iranianism is real, al-Qaeda is real, but al-Ba'ath party is the true example of Iraqi patriotism: fake identifications with a myth of glory that is based upon truer past achievements that we had nothing to do with.

I leave you with the words of an Iraqi writer on the Internet which has greatly moved me, I have added a few of my own here and there:

"I write these lines with big sadness and grief because I belong to this country of cowards and tyrants, this is the truth that many of you are trying to hide, how we are people who are divided into many factions, most importantly of which is the one of cowardice and the one of overlords, you are killed by the thousands in your areas, villages, streets, houses, in the middle of your families, you are slaughtered and you cannot even lift a finger in the face of your killers, what a bunch of losers, you see your brothers and sons killed and you scatter like mice trying to protect yourself and shouting slogans in the air, knowning fully well how much of a bullshit are you promoting and that your turn is next, that you will die not of honor, but of shame, when a tyrant comes to the throne you bow to him without a word, which is what you desrve. I am an "Iraqi" like you, I am not a Baathist, not an Islamist, not a Saffavid, not a Persian, not a Shiite, not a Sunni, I am a person who stands up and says it like it is, listen to the truth, you are people who have created new idols for themselves, idols not made of stones like the "Sadr Martyr" who a great deal of people worship now, let a person curse Allah in front of you and you will leave him be, but let him curse Sayyid al-Sadr and you will race for killing him and spilling his blood. Die, Suffer, Move, get kidnapped, burn in vain for you and all you who claim to be Iraqis.
As for the tyrants, who are people who understood how cowards are driven by the same fake wordplay and have adapted to leading them, he who says that Saddam is the tyrant i say to him that a great deal of Iraqis are potential tyrants.
I stand here believing these words until the final moment of my life and I will try to shed this ugly disgusting skin of Iraqism that you are proud of at public but privately shun and spit at until I become of the nothingness of this universe."

To be "hip" (lol) with the times, I will quote an 8th century speech by a famous Iraqi tyrant, al-Hajjaj bin Youssif al-Thaqafi, who is often compared with Saddam, in which he desrcibes Iraqis, the speech is famous and the line : "people of shikak and nifak" (land of division and hypocrisy) is an insult that is used until today, rightfully so - While this speech greatly insults the Great Iraqi People, I think today it applies to all Arabs in general, but particulalry Iraqis:

"O People of Iraq, I see that heads have bloomed and it is time to pick them, and I am their picker. By Allah, It is as if I am looking at the blood between the turbans and beards, By Allah, O People of Iraq, the Caliph Abdul-Malik has looked amongst his leaders, and found me the most bitter and the most severe, so he made me rule over you, O People of Iraq, O People of Shikak and Nifaq, and the worst of Akhlaaq (manners), You have long embroiled in division, and have fallen to the climate of the deception, By God I will smite u by hammers, and beat u like sheep. You are people who were safe and had a plenty of God's gifts, but you rejected the virutes of God, so he unleashed his promise that he promised for all cities upon you. Be moderate, do not lean, obey and cheer me."



"Allah does not change what has befallen people until they change what is in themselves"
- Holy Quran

35 comments:

Original_Jeff said...

Kid,
Next time try not to be so gentle and soft in the way you write; say what you really mean. :-)

Of course, we hoped that Iraqis would become the model for the middle east and forge a new national identity based on the principles of the modern liberal democracy: protection of individual rights, freedom, fair and equal treatment of all people, multi-ethnic, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, honesty, effectiveness, rationality, justice, rule of law, transparency, etc.

Sadly, these things can't be bought off the shelf and delivered to you. And, one wonders if they can ever emerge, or do the foolish funadmentalist extremist ideologies forever prevent them from happening?

iraqi said...

3eenie kido sho estalemetna 7asil fasil? hay shako yaba? ye3ni shensawi n'deer nafut 3ala roo7na mathalaa?!
ye3ni shloon? shteqtere7 mr. undertaker?!

3alakeefak weyana tara mo koleetna monafiqeen o mushaqeqeen :)
some of us actually truely love this country without expecting much in return..

n plz dont wave the "i will chop off my limbs" banner..it just shows how iraqi lovin' u are ;)

one more thing, asho enta men ro7et lil ordun gomet tetfalsaf 3aleena? hay el ga3da bel urdon heechie tsawi?
3amie irje3 lil 3iraq a7sanlak..ilurdon matfeedak ya khay!

Anonymous said...

That is an incredible post. Very honest and erudite, I love it. Can I quote you?

I want to use 'Saddam ibn al kahba abu el gawad Hussein' as the subject in my next post, and then link to your post. May I?

Konfused Kid said...

iraqi...

I think being in Jordan has a lot to do with this post, you should see the Iraqis (and also, Jordanians and ESPECIALLY Palestinians) here, all full of air and nothing to show for it. They get on my nerves, those people who weep for Saddam forget that it was already fucked up. It is better to die than to live such a humilitaing life, with a false pride that emits from the fact that you are terrorizing people with such acts as attacking Kuwait, or standing up to Americans, these does not automatically elate us to nationalism.
That said, surely there are some nice Iraqis here and there, but frankly they ain't doing that much.

As for I will cut my limbs...it's really just the enlglish version of an old Iraqi colloquials "Akoss eedee".

Stay safe, and a little honesty don't hurt. I think we once were a great nation, but that was a long, long time ago - our only sources of pride are 1400-12000 years ago. It's nothing to be ashamed of to admit that.

nadia n said...

i wasn't really sure what to make of this till i read your comment. that attitude reminds me of a quote that for some reason i saved from the war on lebanon last summer:

The words of a Syrian woman in NY in response to another woman who agreed with her view on the necessity of blessing the resistance of Hezbollah and the need to support the resistance, those words of her were important evidence of what is in the minds of many Syrians, the Arab world, and beyond. When this woman heard encouragement to further resistance and the need to intensify it and the centrality of opening the Syrian-Israeli front of the resistance, she responded by saying-- "No, we don't want that. Let the Lebanese resist."

i think it kind of explains itself. throw their children in a warzone and then see how courageous they are.

Magda said...

The perpetrators of domestic violence have one thing in common, they are able to convince themselves, and their victims that actually they are not to blame, the fault all lies with the wife / girlfriend, they know what to do to avoid a beating they are just are unable to do it consistently and on time, they in reality are asking for it, and in some way they deserve it, it is for their own good.

We have become infected with this same mentality, what is happening to us is all our fault, not only that but historically we have been lesser human beings, and deserve this and worse, or maybe just maybe God Almighty is still testing us, and if we can just stick out this hell we will have his heavens for ever!

I am Iraqi and I am not ashamed of that, I do not deserve what has happened to me, and neither do the thousands of people who are suffering in Iraq deserve what is happening to them, any more than you deserve what has happened to you.

If I have done wrong I will stand up and admit it and accept whatever punishment is due me, but I will not accept punishment for what others did, Saddam was a criminal, helped by thousands of sadistic materialistic thugs, I was not one of them, and neither were thousand and thousands of ordinary Iraqis trying to live their lives during his reign, most of us at the time knew very little of what "normal life" was like, I will not accept being punished for his crimes, and neither should all the others who did not partake in his actions, or the thousands too young to have had anything to do with his time, and I most definitely will not accept being eternally cursed and punished for what someone in Iraq did thousands of years ago!

I am not ashamed of being Iraqi, it is what I am, and no matter what I do or however long I may live outside I will never be anything else, we do not after all choose our parents.
I am proud of what the people living in what is today's Iraq have done for mankind, without the need to claim that glory for myself (I am thinking more the wheel and city maps than recent semi-acheivements), I am proud of whatever good I have done in my life without necessarily claiming that my nationality / parents religion are totally good as well. I am a human being and like all other human beings past and present I am capable of both good and evil, my circumstances have shaped what I did, but I am not foolish enough to think that had I found myself in other situations I might have behaved very differently.

What is happening in Iraq is a result of decades maybe longer of events, some of these events internal, others most definitely external, it is not unique, civil war is filthy and not many nations or religions can claim to have been immune to it, it happens in developing and developed countries alike, it is painful, and seems at the time pointless, it is often repeated.
BUT IT IS NEVER DESERVED.

Anonymous said...

Never deserved? What does that mean and where in history has that ever determined events? Such thinking is a complete wast of time and counterproductive.

Yes, Iraqis are to blame for the evil done during Saddam's regime and the little Saddma wannabes that abound today. Going along to get along hasn't served Iraqis well to date. As long as the mentality of the average Iraqi is that of hapless victim, they will suffer. There are always people with evil intent to victimize those who see themselves as vicitms. It has always been and will always be.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing---some smart guy. Doing nothing absolves one of nothing and certainly soesn't warrant sympathy.

Through Gracepeace said...

تبرىء الكلمات في القلوب

ثم همس الرب في قلوبنا...
الكلمات تصل حيث لا يقدر السلاح

سألنا حكيم قريتنا، كيف ينزل الدفء
على النفوس والشيطان
قد ألقى بسمومه المفضلة
خوفاً ويأساً وكراهية
على القلوب البريئة
كما الرماد من محرقة السعادة

كيف تنام عيون الايمان
وسرير الأمل
تفترشه ملاءة القنوط الشاحب
وعيون الحنث الفاسدة
تنتهك حرمة الكلمات المقدسة
وتسعد باغتيال هدايا السماء

وسألنا :كيف يبتسم الخير
ويصفع الكره الفضيلة من وجه الخجل
و أتباعه يشوهون ويحرفون فى نفوس ضحاياهم
حتى يصل الاعتقاد
بأن الإثم فضيلة والقتل عدالة والكره هو الحب

تحدث الحكيم
بصوته الخفيض وقال
أن للشيطان أتباع
يغتسلون في أنهار النبيذ في حادي*
وبعشق السخرية الفارغ
يحصدون نفوساً مغشوشة جنيت بمنجل الانتحار

مستحيل أن يكون الطريق إلى الفردوس مرصوفاً
بجثث الأبرياء - عبر نهرٍ من الدم
اعتنقوا مد الحق وجزره الرائع في قلوبكم
تقبّلوا الشك والعار أينما كانوا
لكي تدركوا أن النفس تسعد بالعطف وليس بالانتقام

سطع صوته كالضوء وقال:
ابحثوا بشجاعة في أعماق قلوبكم
بلا نفاق ولا خداع ولا إجحاف
وحين تلمسوا الايمان هناك
ستنزل الكلمات الالهيه دواءً للقلوب
مثل مطر أبدي يجذبه البحر دائماً
حتى يرتفع ليملأ حرم النفوس
بودٍ عميق هادىء ويغدو سلاماً
على شواطىء العزم الالهي.


[أرض الموتى في الأساطير الاغريقية*

أبريل 2006

Matt said...

Impressive post, Kid; I'm stunned (in an awing way).

Original_Jeff said...

Absolutely disgusting..

Death squads roam Iraqi hospitals

$300 for killing patients

bakayaro said...

Kedkoodi, I kinda know what you feel.
Some time ago, about a month ago maybe, I read an article about Iraq on a website belonging to some US Gov institution, and, the article said the same thing you mentioned in the beginning of your post; that Iraq is a bastard and it has no identity.
At first I thought "what a stupid thing to say ...", then I thought about it for a while, and I realized that, indeed, the way I think about my identity, is a proof of that. I think of myself as an Iraqi, but my definition of Iraqi is "people who are like me". That is, Sunnis.
I think that has always been in my subconscious, in one way or another, but I didn't realize until I read that article.
That must be the same way most Shia and Kurds think.
I mean seriously, when you see kurds waving their kurdstan flag, do you feel that these are your people? or do you feel disgust?
When you see people hailing Sistani or whoever .. or you know, when you see Shia doing their thing, do you really feel that these are your people? Do you ever feel that this is part of your Identity? The Iraqi Identity?
I will tell you, no, definitely not; that's not my idea of the Iraqi Identity.
See, even though I did claim that I'm Iraqi, my idea of The Iraqi Identity was actually that of Sunni Iraqi Identity.

I used to laugh at Canadians and Americans because they don't really have an identity, heh, well, now I discover that my Iraqi identity wasn't real either.

and, you know, it's probably this kind of mentality that made Iraq degenerate into this mess; not loving your country, but rather just your area and the people you're really familiar with.

Marshmallow26 said...

Kido,

Bisharafi kalamak kola sa7ee7 ma 3ada elmassabat, heheh...

Easy Kid, there are teenage females might read this post, then suddenly will tell their parrents We got corrupted by these curses...

No, Honestly you sound so hot-tempered and 7a8ak 3eni shlon mashoof ra7 God yinazil fad 3i8ab 3aleena mithil ma 9ar wia ahil Ninawa buwakit Nabi Younan ( Younis)!!!!

Konfused Kid said...

Marsh26,

ee wallah. I know, walla ani khosh walad bas marrat hey tutfur.

Melantrys said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Melantrys said...

Oh, I don't know, Marshmallow26. Shouldn't we all strive to educate the youth (even in the correct use of curses)...? :D

Bruno said...

Kid –

That’s a really powerful post.

I’m sorry that you feel that you have nothing to be proud of, but let me say this: through interacting with Iraqis on these forums, I can say that you as a people seem to be uncommonly intelligent and passionate about what you believe in. Even the Iraqis that I don’t like, like the ITM brothers, have these qualities. There is a lot of steel in your characters, and I think that you just don’t see this.

You will see that from the ashes of this Iraq will rise something great.

Hold onto hope!

Gilgamish said...

"That said, surely there are some nice Iraqis here and there, but frankly they ain't doing that much."


I wish if i can start some iraqi activism, at least here outside of Iraq, but there is not much of an echo, it needs alot of passion and dedication...

but i disagree with your analysis , iraqis are not hypocrites as a priority of their categorization but they are easily brain washed, we hardly have independent thinkers, therefore, they wont' and will never realize their wishes, as long as the top dogs tell them what to do.

it is alot top down and not just down to mister dogies......

neurotic_wife said...

KK, I totally understand and agree with your post. Ihna sha3ab munafiq. When Saddam came to power, people clapped, danced, kissed his hands and begged for forgiveness. When Saddam was overthrown, the same people that used to clap and cheer, had his pictures hit by shoes and slippers (ni3lan). You see the same saga today repeating its self, but instead of Saddam's pics, its Sadr's Hakeem's and whoever else there is to idolise.

Thats our biggest problem, we idolise people just because...But I have to disagree with you abt the passion for Iraq. I know you dont mean it. I feel your passion thru your words even though u deny it. Its something in our blood KK, if you take that part away, then we wont be living, no matter how painful it is to be Iraqi. And yes we are sha3ab il shiqaq wal nifaq hence the circumstances Iraq is goin thru...

Take care KK and enjoy your stay in Amman...will u be coming here soon???

Omar said...

Thank you Bruno. You've been a very good friend to Iraqis throughout this ordeal and I've been following your comments from the start.

"I can say that you as a people seem to be uncommonly intelligent and passionate about what you believe in."

This compliment means a lot, especially coming from you.

Kid, la t'ayyis. adri inte ili tgula min 7rkat galbak, bas inshallah yiji il yom ili nerja3 be 3a8leen.

annie said...

yeah, i have to agree w/bruno.

kid, if you are going to convince me how worthless you are you have to back back quite a few months and erase from my mind everything i know of you. i have a very true painful story to will you.

a few months before my father died i got very angry with him. he was in his 80's, had cancer and we knew he was going to die even tho he was all up and about and for the most part his regular chipper self. everything about him started to bother me. all of these reasons i had never thought of in my life, well maybe a little, but never more than a passing thought, these things just surfaced.

he wasn't really there for me?,where was he when i really needed him (like now)?, why did my mother get the last word?, how come i couldn't borrow his car? maybe he doesn't appriciate me enough? maybe he doesn't have enough conviction? maybe if he had been stricter with me i would have more manners. whatever it was i could just think of everything that could possibly be wrong with this man i loved more than anything who always loved me thru everything and i was so mad at him that he never told me i might be an orphan! nobody raises you to understand death. and who's fault was this? his, of course! he leaves me here in this cold cold world for whywhat .

i had so many emotions i didn't know where they were coming from (da, my dads dying) i didn't know where to put them, it clouded my brain, i wasn't hungry, i was just mad and sometimes numb and sometimes just disgusted w/myself and my life and this went on til he died. i don't know why to this day this man i bever got mad at made me so mad for 3 whole months before he died.

of course, i look back at this time and realize how much i have always loved him . i started reading iraqi blogs becuase i wanted to hear you, not what the brainwashers told me about you.

so yeah, you will have to strat demonstrating some lack of courage and backbone and morals and brains, and all your associates too if you ever want me to believe all you say.

you are going thru withdrawls. or something.
you are iraqs future. you and all the beautiful iraqis i have come to know thru your words and emotions.

i can believe you think this way today, i honor you for expressing it because it shows how incredibly modern and revealing you are. and classic.

but i don't believe it. you can't make me. nothing you can say will erase what i have heard from you and your brothers and sisters. look in your heart, what people (real people, not the ones you read about or watch on TV) can you think of that have demonstrated the most strenghth, the most courage, the most love, the most honor.

anyway, after my father died i had a very long cry. i realized my anger was protecting me from the pain of the loss i was going thru.

from my heart to yours...

Rurone said...

Hey man, great blog. We're half a world apart and yet I feel like you could be any guy on my campus. Take care, Kid.

We Americans wave plenty of banners ourselves. The day Iraqis claim their heritage will be the day we shout from the rooftops that we are the insular children with insatiable appetites that the rest of the world knows us to be. Until then, we'll all keep making the same mistake -- worshipping our illusions, aka being people.

I love my family, my friends, my towns for home and college, and what I've seen of in between. I'd go so far as to say that I love my country, inasmuch as I love it for containing those things, but I don't think anyone should die for it; I guess that's what I hear from you, too. Here's to loving what is real.

Bruno said...

Omar --

Shukran, my friend. It's a pleasure.

Annie --

Thanks for sharing that with us. Seems you have seen some rough times too ... but you have come out of them just fine! Keep well.

Bruno said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
beachmom1 said...

Kid -- as always you have never shied away from speaking the truth as you see it, and this post is searing but very heartfelt.

So you're angry and frustrated. That's understandable. But someone with your gifts shouldn't just stay stuck in that frustration. You spoke (and gave me the best explanation I've read about al Qaeda) of Osama bin Laden who took action (albeit evil and murder), and that's why he gained respect. But there are other ways to take action besides killing and war. It seems your blog is the first step in changing what's wrong.

I'll leave you with a quote from Jim Wallis, who is a Christian preacher but a progressive one who focuses on poverty and helping the downtrodden. Since the message is larger than his religion, I think it will resonate with you, as well. I think this addresses what people need to start thinking about before going off worshipping the next Saddam Hussein or al Sadr:

http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=news.display_archives&mode=current_opinion&article=CO_040616_wallis


"We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For.

I now believe that the real battle, the big struggle of our times, is the fundamental choice between cynicism and hope. The choice between cynicism and hope is ultimately a spiritual choice; and one which has enormous political consequences.

More than just a moral issue; hope is a spiritual and even religious choice. Hope is not a feeling; it is a decision. And the decision for hope is based upon what you believe at the deepest levels - what your most basic convictions are about the world and what the future holds - all based upon your faith. You choose hope, not as a naïve wish, but as a choice, with your eyes wide open to the reality of the world - just like the cynics who have not made the decision for hope.

The antidote to cynicism is not optimism but action. And action is finally born out of hope. Try to remember that."

The whole speech is very good. He even talks about Bono.



Whether or how you will find that hope, I do not know. Yet it is necessary in order to change the horrible realities of Iraq and the greater Arab World today. I do think that your simple act of continuing to blog means there is a sliver of hope in you. Otherwise you wouldn't bother.

annie said...

ah bruno you keep well too. i have learned so much from you, thank you

Anonymous said...

A country is the sum of its people and the policies those people allow to be implimented.

America itself is called a melting pot - we too are a land of this group and that group who all come together and live and share the same space. America wasn't always so cohesive and at times still is not. There were times, and in some places it is still so, that one American is more than another because of the colour of his skin. There was the "them" and the "us" until eventually it was realized how destructive such thought is. And those who still think the old way are kept in check by those who know better and laws established to stop such things.

Still in each American's heart is loyalty to his/her city/town, their state, their sports teams, their religion, and ultimately, their country. It is as rurone said... we love our country for *containing* all these things we love.

It is my most sincere desire for Iraqis that they find such a balance and appreciation, such a love and a sense of pride for their country. I was there for 6 months not long ago. I met maybe 20 or so Iraqi people and I didn't know who was who. I didn't know who was Sunni, Shia, Christian, who belonged to what tribe or village or any other such potentially divisive categorizations. I knew only that each person was intelligent and shone with a beauty that could only be born of intense pride and concern that their land be free of the hateful war that was tearing it apart. If Iraq can become something greater and more cohesive than it is now, it will be because people like you made it so. And it will be beautiful and strong and I would hope to one day visit this place and bask in the warm sun and be surrounded by such beautiful people again.

- Emm

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Kid,

I think that was one of your best posts, ever. Not because I agree with everything you said, but because you had the courage to actually look at Iraq and it's people with a critical eye. There are so many people who look at the events occurring in Iraq through a prism colored by their views of the United States. Which diminishes the people of Iraq.

It never concerned me that Iraq was a "made up" country. After all, so are we. We have many different religions, races, political persuasions, heritages etc. As a commenter said earlier, it is not easy to become one nation. Why do you think we always talk about "One nation under God, with liberty and justice for all"? Not because we have reached that kind of perfection, no. But to remind us that this is what our nation was founded on. These beliefs. To remind us that this is what we aspire to. This is what gives our nation a purpose.

Iraq has a much different history than ours. Ours is a nation of immigrants who had to band together to survive. It is a new country still. Only 230 years old. You come with more baggage then do we.

Do I think Iraqis are cowards? No. I think they have been traumatized by years of oppression and sanctions. They have learned how to survive in that type of environment. That is all.

There have been few things to come out of the Middle East that have impressed me. But the day when Iraqis turned out to vote despite threats by terrorists and naysayers alike, did. Despite how everything has turned out. No, I don't think Iraqis are cowards.

Exactly what Iraq has done, from the day it was created to the day that I am writing this to you, that should make me proud?

See the above paragraph. On that day Iraqis said more clearly then anyone else that they wanted a change. It may not have stuck, but the desire was true and real.

Tamara said...

Hey Kid o'...

I like that quote from the Qoran. The question is, how do we change ourselves (from within)...? And what is "God"?

As a displaced Persian, I can say this: being forced to question one's identity is not the worst thing that could happen; in fact, it can be a gift.

What is "God," in a sense, anything other than the simple idea that we are all related? The word "religion" come from precisely this root Latin word -- ligare: to connect, to bind; to return... to our origins.

And when we set ourselves apart -- and any strong national/tribal identity will create this pradoxical effect... we are then not at one with "God." We have then lost insight into our true selves/identities... and the ability to "change ourselves from within."

So take heart, Kid. Great tragedy calls for great compassion... and that's not a bad thing.

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