Friday, November 14, 2008

Iraq is Catch-22: I Give Up

I've given up on Iraq in the same way I've given up on Islam.

it was a moment that, taken by itself, is virtually meaningless, but it somehow finally allowed me to realize the relentless build up to the conclusion that was becoming clearer to me everyday as I read more into Iraqi contemporary history, Islamic history, and the methods of Western involvement in the region, and as I talked more with "Iraqis" around me, (that word will forever be in quotations now in this blog).

That moment occurred about a week ago, I was reading an article by Ali al-Dabbagh, spokesman for the government of Iraq, on his personal website, that article is called 'Towards Building A Shia National Identity.' Several sectarian Sunni websites were outraged about it, I was curious for some insights into the personal views of the kind of people inside the Iraqi government, his article was equally sectarian: the text, which I remind you, represents the view of a high official in the united democratic Iraqi government, bitched in the usual shy and sly manner of Shi'i polemics about the continous '14 centuries of terrorism' genocide against the Shia, the murder of 12 Imams by 'them', then this vengeful masturbatory buildup is cut short at the time of release, it then proceeds to navigate means to keep the Shia in power, implying a high degree of religious factionalism. It reminded me of the al-Furat channel in its very early days, when it hasn't yet heard of Public Relations, it pretended that all of Iraq was Hardcore Shia and there were songs to Ayatullah Sistani in every break. I found it hilarious at the time, what did I know.

It was at this historical moment of time that I realized that these people are never going to change, that the hope I was secretly having that those cockroach Islamists would mutate some form of understanding of modern state principles such as co-existence, that the dumbshit Americans would bully them into it somehow. It's obvious that those people are only using 'democracy' as means, never an end. By the way, our freely elected democratic leader issued a law to 'close all nightclubs' in Baghdad recently.


I spent my stay in Syria in my aunt's house, who is a pretty active member in the Sunni Islamic Party, the life of that household revolves around one cause entirely, the women are all dressed in drab, terrain-colored titcurtains (jubbas), their knowledge of music is limited to Islamic heartthrobs such as Sami Yusuf, and the television is perpetually tuned to Iqraa'a channel, for an undercover kafir like me, it would've been pretty much eternal damnation if it wasn't for the presence of videogames, (I later learned that they accused me of being a negative influence on the mosque-trekking activities of my male cousins, who took my presence as an excuse to skip the daily Dawn Prayer at the nearby mosque).

So anyway, one day my cousin decides to meet with his friends, who are more active members in the Islamic Party, we are navigating the famous Soq il Hamidiya when one of the ubiquitous pictures of Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah provokes one of the them to instruct me in a hushed, secret-in-the-know tone that the 2006 Israel-Lebanon's true cause was....because a village in Southern Lebanon became Sunni and the Shia and the Jews made it all up to kill all those nawasib. When I politely tell him to suck his own dick and die, the other guys says that al-Askari Shrine was bombed by the Shia themselves, a theory as exquisitely magnificent as saying Osama bin Laden plotted the bombing of the Kaaba, my cousin, who is sectarain but to a less offensive degree, supports me by saying it was the Americans who did it. Remember that all of these people confess to what you know as the 'moderate' form of Sunni Islam in Iraq.
After laborious dialog with two of my cousins, in which I have to circumvent mentalities that still think Sunnis are the majority in Iraq, I finally got them to be reluctantly convinced that secularism is the only way all Iraqis could be truly united by the many common things they have, after a pause, my other cousin relents, "but the only real identity is Islam, Iraq is fake."

This, in a nutshell, sums up the identity of those Islamists, Sunni and Shia, in politics, the Sunni Islamic Party appears more accommodating to the ruling Shia only because it is, like all minorities, is very self-conscious of its weakness as a minority. but its rank-and-file, formed of moderate families such as my own, is as good sectarian people as they come, they are 'moderate' because they don't want to kill the Shia, that doesn't mean they don't hate them.

my aunt, who doesn't even wear hjiab, got a habit of printing out the sort of anti-Shia sectarian fliers and distributes them around...

Don't forget my uncle, whose idea of a reconciliation strategy consists of nuking all the Shia, as he tell me from his comfortable couch.

Of course, this never transpires in public, because two of my uncles got married to Shia before everybody started wearing hijab.

My mother, whom I regarded in my Muslim days as the epitome of what a non-sectarian, cosmopolitan Muslim is having a hard time with me whenever I bug her about my more informed crticisms of some disgusting historical or religious events in Islam, I recently told her that voting for Islamic parties means voting for the division of Iraq, she responded in the same way as my cousins, "It's not because I'm sectarian, it's because I trust them, they're honest [because they're religious]." I said, I'm sure there are pretty decent honest folks in al-Dawa party, would you vote for them? She said "of course not. Their religion is different from ours, to each his own, my boy." To each his own! To each his own piece of the country! what a hypocritical bunch you all are!

Those people will never change their mind, they simply can't, Islam is their raison d'etre. Islam is what made them powerful, it's what gives them purpose, they see how something's wrong, but they try to work some excuses around it, and in the end you will find them voting for those people "they serve True Islam(c)", and then of course there are the annoying people who tell you "Oh, it's politicization of Islam that hurt it so", "Oh, those parties do not represent Islam", until we find that magical version of Islam that all the scholars, dynasties, and ayatollahs have been unable to locate in the past 1400 years (ever since Ali died, or to be more precise, since Umar, who really was the first Arab emperor and colonizer, died), we have to stick with your cute excuse "Ha! Yesterday was different from Today, Ha! The clerics are the ones who get it wrong", it's cameldung, of course, because Islam is an eternal system of government that is fit for all times, even though it thinks comets are divine rockets launched at demons who eavesdrop on God's oval office, and it never separated from politics ; Those people will always find some other Islamist dumbfuck to vote for, because the error is not in the character of a certain person, and in a country where there are two versions of Islam, it's pretty hard to actually act towards people who curse your saints or killed your Imams as your countrymen when you take that sort of shit seriously.

In fact the entire idea of a country means that you have to forget the terrible blood that's been shed between your countrymen, let me ask you this, how could you build any sense of national identity when your countrymen are celebrating their civil war anniversary (Ashoura) passionately every year? To lament the memory of some asshole who unfortunately inherited none of the good qualities of his father except for one : his pompous arrogance, arrogance so huge to think he can stop the birth of an empire by only his name and a bunch of women and children. Do you know why Sunni-Shii tensions go high on Ashura every year, because it's always been this way, they fought over it in 2006 the way they used to fight it in the streets of Abbasid Baghdad, and those hate-mongering Passion Play Ziyarat only serve to remind them of their civil wars, with on side feverishly denying it and the others obsessively trying to prove it, who in France is upset now about the terrible French Wars of Religion? How would Catholic French feel if Protestant Frenchmen would hold an anniversary every year for their martrys?! How is that healthy for a true united nation. Imagine showing The Passion of The Christ all-year long, and taking it very seriously. Since you won't take my words for value here they are on the tongue of the Iraq Info God, Hanna Batatu : "But Islam in Iraq has been more a force of division rather than integration." (p. 17)

and forget secularism, okay I'm told that the Sunni are somehow more 'secular' (and by that, I persume they mean the honor-killing tribes of al-Ramadi, who subscribe to a code of laws even more ancient than Islam), Iraq is a Holy Land for Ali's sake! The marjiya has been established there for several centuries now, I don't think people will just up and say 'fuck it' to Sistani, we're light years away from any mass awakening such as the French Revolution, or any Revolution. Democracy in Iraq will always, always yield those results, if we let people vote, this is what we're going to get, If America truly cares about Iraq, it would have acted to Iraq's democracy the way it acted towards Palestine's democracy, but this theocratic baby is born and raised by Freedom-Loving Uncle Sam, whose biggest friend in the region is the Wahhabi counterpart of backwardness.

So choose democracy, and you get theocracy, which will highlight those differences we could afford to ignore under a secular regime, the Sunnis will never accept it except when they're all but obliterated. What's left? Secular Strongman? been there my friends. This is why modern Iraq was always ruled by injustice, some people will always be forced not to have it their way. It's either this, or true separation.

I'm too angry to be articulate, I'll try to be once I calm down. It seems, inexplicably, that Mister Ghost, my nemesis, has reached conclusions similar to mine, unfortunately, the hateful article he links to is all true.

I got back to listening to Shia masoshistic flagellations recently, they bring me to the edge of crying sometimes, which is pretty ironic considering how much I hate al-Hussein, I just realized that my avatar is dressed in green, my name is Abbas and my blog is called 'Shaqshaqa', I'd probably fake it as a good Shia citizen in our future state.

"O Mahdi, who never forgets his vengeance"
"O Mahdi, we anxiously await the return"
"Don't forgive them, cut off their ancestry"
"For they are the ones who cut off the apostle's"
"He who denies the breaking of the rib inhabits the hellfire!"
-anti-Sunni Shia latmiya (although could be directed at Fadalallah)
يلما تنسى ثارك
ملينا انتظارك
يتأملك يالمنتظر ضلع الوديعة
السيف بيمينك ما تغفى عنك
لا والذي جن و انس صارت تعبده
كوم التكيدك تصلبها بيدك
عالشجرة من اول صنم و الثاني بعده
الأول تصلبه ثارك تطلبه
و تطالب بذاك الفدك و الحق ترده
وللثاني تكصد من عنده تنشد
لمن كسر ضلع الطهر يا غاية عنده
من يبدي الندامة لا تقبل كلامه
هو الذي بيده كسر ضلع الوديعة
لا تغفرلهم اقطع نسلهم
ذوله الذي كطعوا نسل سيد البرية
بارينا رايد حفظ الأماجد
هو الحفظ نسل النبي رغم الاذية
الماضي نعوفه الحاضر نشوفه
جم زاهد بزاهد ترك نهج الرعية
بأسم الديانة يصرح لسانه
وبلا حجج ينكر كسر ضلع الزجية
واليلزم عناده متفيده العبادة
يسكن صقر كلمن نكر ضلع الوديعة

NOTE: After accusations of copying entire paragraphs, al-Dabbagh has removed this article, but I found through the Wayback Machine here.