Sunday, 14 December 2008

Bush in Baghdad

I will mention the shoe incident, forever preserved in history, but first, some good honest complaints.

As news tell the tale of how Bush has visited Baghdad, and how he is 'walking freely' around and attending electricity filled parties with maliki (yes, i've managed to pick the habit of complaining about how politicians seem to have an endless supply of electricity..), I really but can't help wonder, what do we think? hhhhh, I'm betting thoughts right now are along the lines of "why weren't they football boots..", well all i can say is its clear the next two days, no one will mention politics, electricity or water.

Do Iraqis love him, do they hate him? ('him' being either muntathar or bush) Being politically challenged, I decided it was best not to make an opinion until I had all the facts, or at least had some facts.

And most importantly of all, what are the views of the war in general?

I'm not sure, but I do know I care. But...this post was actually just to complain about the electricity. At a recent eid party, it closed off, and trust me, there's something very creepy about having no electricity in a hall full of people....As soon as the lights opened, it looked like a scene from one of a future films, where everyone has not moved, and it seemed as if time had frozen. I actually laughed when the electricity came back. Why? Because everyone had been holding their breaths in the darkness, and when the lights came back, there was a mass sound of "haaaa". You could even smell the breaths in the hall after that. :D

Muntathar al Zaidi, you deserve an award. I was hoping he would mention the electricity rather than "This is the end". Oh well. :D hhhhhhh.
I am still curious though..was he tackled to the floor minutes later? I was too busy laughing to actually notice. Jail would be terrible for such a .... controversial journalist.
I was unsure of how to react really. Well apart from the immediate laughter of course as I watched action replays with commentaries again and again.
And, did he come up with the words beforehand or on the spot? "From the iraqi people". I think some iraqi people would have done a lot worse.
Nevertheless, I should take this opportunity to say that Violence is not the answer . Even against politicians.

If any of you listen closely, The journalists voice states that the first shoe is " For the Widows" and the second shoe was "For the orphans".
Perhaps I should use this oppurtunity to remind everyone that widows and orphans were made of not just iraqis, but of the soldiers who died. the death toll and the casualties of the war spread so wide, that in my personal view his aim was to subject Bush to a little of the pain that he had caused to so many people.

And, now History will always remember Bush went out "wiya al kanadar" as they say, which basically is he went out with shoes. As a family memeber summed it up, there would have been more honour to Bush, if he was shot, but Muntathars aim wasn't in anger, but for disgrace.

83 comments:

BAGHDADENTIST said...

Ohh. electricity, i wrote about this subject many many times but was fruitless,as if i was talking about another country,after 5 years nothing changed,at work we dont have electricity and its freezing,and im thinking about the poor people who cant afford to buy fuel and those who live in villages or far places.
as for Bush i ve just seen the press conference between almaliki and bush, when the latter was about to be hitten by pair of shoes "shoot" by al-baghdadia correspodant Muntather al-zeidi saying"that's the end".
as ive seen and heard from people there is a controversial opinions about war.
thanks.
B.D

Touta said...

Al Baghdadiya has to be my absolute favourite channel...
The villages in Diyala coped the hard way-blankets and jumpers, and I'm just waiting until we have some politicians who will light up our houses and sell us fuel. Its so annoying to walk down a street and see all dark, and as soon as you approach a politician house it looks like morning!

BAGHDADENTIST said...

now in some streets in baghdad there are the solar based lights,"in some".but i see that is wroooong bcoz they are spending money on constructing temporary solutions that cost more than reconstructing or importing the main power suppliers!!
and the superiors are talking about imaginary numbers of billions!
the electricity problem is regarded as a psychological war for most iraqis.
i hope it will be solved soon.

Touta said...

I know exactly what you mean, I feel so sorry for the young generation-so many of them are scared of the dark or suffering other psychological problems. The shooting and bombs aren't helping either.
The imaginary billions..hhhhh. true.
Good thing is that at least they are trying to improve the water and sewage. :)

C.H. said...

Its safe to say that this guy al-zaidi would be experiencing the worst pain of his life right now had he done that to Saddam.

Touta said...

The worst pain in his life is an understatement I'm afraid.

C.H. said...

Whatever the case, I just hope I am not welcomed this way when I visit Iraq :D

Touta said...

:D
The problem is so every iraqi has been affected by the war, and as you know iraqi men don't tend to be the calmest people...I say stick with the black clad abbaya women and you will be safe. :)

Jeffrey said...

Touta,

You think that the journalist deserves an award?! Why?

And it will be decades before people will want to visit Iraq. So much for Iraqi hospitality, I guess.

*

C.H. said...

I agree with Jeffrey...why does this guy deserve an award?

C.H. said...

But I would visit Iraq tomorrow if I could :D

Jeffrey said...

The journalist, Muntazar al-Zaidi, appears to be Egyptian.

From the AFP:

Some Iraqi journalists stood up to apologise.

Bush said: "Thanks for apologising on behalf of the Iraqi people. It doesn't bother me. If you want the facts, it was a size 10 shoe that he threw".


Those Iraqi journalist who apologized should get rewards, in my view, and not the guy who threw his shoes.

*

Jeffrey said...

Correction: I just read that al-Zaidi is in fact Iraqi but working for a Cairo-based television station.

*

Little Penguin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Little Penguin said...

Jeffrey, Iraqi hospitality is unquestionable.. but not everyone gets the same reception.. no-one threw footwear at Ban Ki Moon when he came round.. but former PM Iyad Allawi, a walking-talking question mark, was chased out of Najaf by a flip flop-throwing mob.. you see the impartiality?

In ten years time, if you and/or C.H made the trip to Baghdad, i'd receive you at the airport and have you stay in my house.. unless either of you start a fake war or something equally-shameful.. :)

C.H. said...

Little Penguin,

I don't believe anything constructive came out of what Al-Zaid did...Bush is gone, Saddam is also gone. The way I see it, America and Iraq can start from the beginning, putting aside the last 30 years.

And I don't believe this guy speaks for all Iraqis, Arabs, or Muslims. I know many who would disagree with that he did.

geatg said...

what would shoe throwing change? it is absurd..and if I was Bush I would charge him with assassination attempt :)
It is either that journalist very pissed off, demented or pushed for various political reasons.
Not mentioning the great agility from Bush, he maybe some sort of super hero, spiderman!! idk

Dave said...

I don't think throwing a shoe has much effect on how people around the world see Iraq or Bush to be honest, their opinions are likely to be made up by now. While shoe throwing is not the most constructive thing it did amuse me seeing the still photo of the blur of Bush ducking.

Our old Deputy Prime Minister (John Prescott for those who don't know) was hit with an egg by this random guy and his poll ratings went up, albeit he hit the guy back with a brilliant right hook, but hey you never know it might help Bush :P.

Abbas Hawazin said...

Penguin,

, a walking-talking question mark,

Why? I've always wondered why. I mean, Abdulmahdi is a Baathi too. Why only Allawi is the bad guy?

Little Penguin said...

C.H and geatg; yes.. nothing consructive will come out of the incident.. and the act itself isn't representative of Iraqi/Arab/Muslim attitudes. Despite my utter contempt towards Bush, Olmert, King Abdulla (Jordan and Saudi Arabia), etc, i'm not going to hurl shoes at any of them should I ever have the opportunity to meet them. Having said that, not everyone thinks like we bloggers do, right? we're educated, we use computers, we're able to navigate through a rather confusing system of posting/editing and what not, you see where I'm coming from? Muntathar's generation was (Abbas, correct me if i'm wrong) conceived and nurtured under a regime that denied them every right, and they see Bush as a major factor in their lives' misery.. the shoe is no historical moment, there won't be any bands popping up in 80 years time called 'Muntathar Zaidi' like Franz Ferdinand and the guy who shot the Austria-Hungary dude.. that's quite obvious, but jeez.. people are pissed off you know.. whilst Bush had a dozen bodyguards ensuring his every step is safe, millions of Iraqis leave their homes not knowing whether or not they'll make it back in one piece thanks to a fucked up US foreign policy that makes our neighbours want to have caviar and honey for breakfast in paradise, except it's on our tab..

and the fact that his time in office has come to an end doesn't make his halo glow any brighter.. the guy's responsible for numerous humanitarian crises around the world.. him, Blair, the Arab leaders, etc..

Dave, you've got to love Prescott.. one day he right-hooked the egg-thrower, the next he calls Bush 'Crap' before heading off to his local curryhouse.. if only any Iraqi politicians had the guts/immunity to be of such no-nonsense bluntness..

Abbas, most of them are Baathis in their own little ways if you ask me.. but to the people who chased Allawi out of Najaf, he is the most recognisable target.. they know he was a Baathi, but they don't know Abdulmahdi was one too.. I didn't know until you mentioned it.. if it were me, I wouldn't have done what they did.. but there you go.. hot-headed, politically-naive, blind-folded by religion.. what else are they supposed to do? like they hate Allawi and call him Baathi, what about that lunatic Muqtada? isn't he responsible for the ruin of so many lives in Najaf and elsewhere? it's a fiasco.. I don't have a clue as to how they can't equate the two.. but whatever..

maybe I should copy/paste this onto my blog.. it's a post in its own right!

Touta said...

Dear All,
Thank you for your commentary. the guy does deserve an award, did any of you listen to his screams as he was thrown to the ground?
His aim was quite clear- he didnt aim to kill Bush, he aimed to disgrace him. And for that he deserves an award. His journalistic abilities to stand up and suffer the pain then (and probably now in an unidentified location) is quite remarkable- I felt sorry for the guy. I can still hear his screams.


And no, iraqis DO NOT go around throwing shoes everywhere. What outraged me on the internet today, was the statements of "In iraqi culture" and "In arab culture" shoe throwing is apparently common. Its ridiculous exactly how the media portrays the east. First we are always the bad guys in movies, and now, our welcome to foreigners is shoe throwing!

Jeffrey,C.H,
Of course the journalists should also get a prize for the apologies-manners are always better than outbursts of anger.

Little Penguin,
I'm honoured you left such a comment-post on my blog. i understand what you mean, nothing useful did result, but it was funny. And what makes me sad is to think where that poor journalist is now. being realistic, a right hook is probably his dream right now.

But to sum it all up- what did anyone really expect? Okay, saddam the dictator is gone, but the pain and deaths of family is still too raw for anyone to be polite.And something tells me that a few of the families of US soldiers who died in iraq would also be too willing to throw some shoes..

C.H. said...

Touta,

Last year, I wrote a letter to President Bush and he responded :D

I can tell you that he does understand the suffering of American families who have lost loved ones.

He chose not to give up on Iraq...he could have left the country under pressure from the 06 election, but he chose to help instead. I truly believe Iraq will be better in the future.

Touta said...

Thats interesting to know, but why isn't he helping those countries that are more in need?
Zimbabwe is undergoing little less than a genocide at the hands of AIDs, Tibetan people are being abused by their government and the list grows on.
I still think about so many other countries in the world that have been abandoned by the world.
Why isn't AIDs the number one priority when 20 million people have been affected by it?
I think everyone has got so caught up in 'The war on terror', we are forgetting things that are far more deadly.
And I don't doubt that politicians do have humanity, but none the less, so much pain has been caused i dont think it will be forgotten any time soon.

C.H. said...

I completely agree Touta...but remember that Bush has given more aid (while still NOT enough) to anti-AIDS programs in Africa than any other president in US history...he's not only focused on the war on terror.

In a perfect world, the UN would be efficient and could bring aid to the people of Zimbabwe, Darfur, and Congo.

C.H. said...

The people of Tanzania were very welcoming to Bush when he arrived :D

Touta said...

I'm 17. i have 3 years of knowledge to catch up on.
:D
hhhhhh
'give me a break'

C.H. said...

haha, come on Touta...I'm a student like you, with plenty to catch up on as well, lol

BTW, on an unrelated note, what happened to your tunes? I really liked tht music :D

C.H. said...

To tell you the truth Touta, I don't like politicians anymore than you. I'm not sure if you know who Harry Reid is, but last year, when he spoke after the testimony, I threw the remote at the TV...I missed and hit the wall instead, LOL. You'd be wise not to follow my example, hahaha ;)

C.H. said...

If you have a couple minutes, I'd like you to read my post on my blog and give me your thoughts. Only if you have time tho...I'm sure you're busy with homework :)

Anonymous said...

I'm laughing this guy is going to do time in prison. Two years in prison sounds WAY too harsh, but throwing a shoe at someone's face is assault, not free speech. He deserves SOME punishment. I'm sure the only reason this guy did this is because he figured there would be no consequences. He knows, like everyone else, that Iraqis were orphaned by terrorists far more than Americans, yet you won't see him "disgracing" them because that'll put him on their hit list. Quite the opposite, he'll give a boost to their morale by trying to humiliate Bush, the Commander and Cheif of the army which spent five years trying to hunt the terrorists down (or at least give them something else to shoot at).

-Dennis

Jeffrey said...

Touta,

To me this is just another instance in a long line of preposterous "Arab victories," like Saddam claiming victory when the Iraqi forces were kicked out of Kuwait. A guy at a news conference throws a shoe at the US president and you have Arabs around the world claiming "victory." It's beyond stupid. It proclaims the impotence of Arab countries more than anything else. It's why people laugh at Arabs and hold them in contempt.

*

Jeffrey said...

Touta,

I also need to mention that the 62-year-old Bush has far faster reflexes than the much younger Arab al-Zaidi. Al-Zaidi had TWO attempts to hit Bush with his shoes at close range and missed BOTH TIMES. More Arab impotence. Just like their wars with Israel.

*

Touta said...

C.H.
If any of us end up as politicians, i'm sure we would make a few mistakes too.

Dennis,
I think jail for two years is too harsh. Egg throwing in UK has not ended up in jail, nor has paint throwing at celebrities had jail consequences, and both times the targets were hit. But the whole iraqi thing, the opinion is that there wouldn't be any terrorists here in the first place if there was no war. Of course we can go down the route of saddam would never have left power if there was no war, but to many ignorance of politics and limited speech was better than loss of lives.

Jeffrey,
Who said this was a victory? It was no such thing. It was rather a statement of the general disregard and hurt felt by many people who blame their losses on Bush. i mean where else are they going to direct their anger? As much as I hate tyranny, and corruptness, everyone has been affected by the war in a bad way. And not a lot of people think of how the future can be better. They think about the consequences now, about people they have lost. They don't think about how in 50 years, iraq can be socially and economically better.
And this is NOT just an arab trait. How many americans today, or westerners in general are biased towards muslims or arabs when they haven't even been affected? When they haven't have had relatives killed?
And arab impotence? I don't quite understand what you mean here, but I never hailed the act as something that was good, rather it was more of a comedy.
I'm not sure whether you expect me to go on some pan-arab tirade of how israel was defeated/are bullies, or if you expect me to come up with a few examples of 'american impotence', but frankly every human and every person has their flaws.

Touta said...

C,H.
the music player stopped playing nfor some reason! I need to do the whole code again, and i will as soon as I finish this chemistry...

C.H. said...

This act was certainly not an Arab trait...on the contrary, I consider al-Zaid's actions the opinion of one man. Some might agree with him, some might disagree...I know some Iraqis who feel both ways. He doesn't speak for anyone but himself.

I don't think that jail time is appropiate, but at the same time, think of Iranian president ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia University last year in New York. If an American student had taken off his shoes and hurled them at Ahmadinejad while he was speaking, he no doubt would have been taken away in handcuffs and looking at time in a court room, regardless of how many Americans might have taken to the street in support of his actions.

Anonymous said...

"But the whole iraqi thing, the opinion is that there wouldn't be any terrorists here in the first place if there was no war." Yes, I know. I've heard this a lot from people of all nationalities, but can you really hate Bush because his ENEMIES did horrible things? And even if you can, surely Bush is less culpable than them, as he would be INDIRECTLY responsible for most of their deaths, while they would be DIRECTLY responsible, right?

Besides, how far back to you want to go? If Saddam hadn't been in power, America would have had no reason to invade. Should Saddam be responsible for the American invasion if America is responsible for the terrorist invasion?

-Dennis

Touta said...

Dennis,
I don't personally hate anyone, but the older generation would then claim that america helped put saddam in power in the first place. Politics gets kind of messy here, but the hate directed at bush is because of the sadness that the population has had to suffer. And they are suffering. Neither does the sanctions put Iraq from years back, help to promote the US's image to iraqis. I understand the aim of sanctions, but surely everyone knows that politicians dont suffer from them, but the people do.
Of course bringing up the past isn't really helpful, because what happened has happened, but what I'm trying to say is Bush has more to answer for in the eyes of the Iraqi people than anyone else.
Saddam is gone and dead, where else are they going to direct their anger at?

C.H. said...

Iraqis have rightfully directed their anger at the forces of terrorism, rising up against them and driving them out of the country. Look what happened in Al-Anbar Province...I remember when that region was declared lost to Al-Qaeda, but the Iraqis who lived their said otherwise, and now, thank God, it has been secured.

Touta...America did not put Saddam in power, but Carter and Reagan did support him in the 1980's over Iran, which I consider to be an act of utter shame. Sadly, many other countries supported him, too. But the US government is ever-changing...it never stays the same for long. Iraq is having new elections in January, just as America did. Its time to look to the future.

When I hear people from the so-called "antiwar" movement say that Iraqis hate America, I get angry, because my Iraqi friends have demonstrated just the opposite in the kindness they offer me :D

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the sanctions, but the war ended those. If they hate the sanctions, then Bush certainly shouldn't be their primary target. By supporting the war, the US made itself one of the least supportive of the sanctions (pretty much the whole world supported the sanctions, but relatively few supported the war that ended the sanctions).

There are still the militia leaders around to direct their anger at.

-Dennis

C.H. said...

Dennis is right--the sanctions were used by Saddam to further his campaign of genocide. Clinton supported the sanctions, many people in the world (inclduing Obama) believed we could "contain" Saddam with the sanctions policy. I believe its arrogant statements like that that cause a lot of anti-Americanism in the world.

Basically, what he's saying is that as long as Saddam poses no threat to vital American interests, it doesn't matter what he's doing.

Touta said...

c.h.
hate americans? that is practically juvenile, but yes, it is time to let go of the past, but ch, try coming over here and telling that to the older generation. :)

Dennis,
yes, the militias are definatly deserving of such anger, and i do regularly see sahwa members protecting the area i live in, but after the iran war, the gulf war, sanctions, and now this war, people don't want to fight as much as make their pain and suffering known.

C.H. said...

I would gladly come to help Touta...just give me a couple years to get my degree ;)

I know that Iraqis don't hate Americans...they are not a hateful people. On the contrary, they may be the nicest I have ever met :D This is why I get angry when Americans who could care less about visiting the Middle East tell me otherwise.

Touta said...

:D

Jeffrey said...

Touta,

Why didn't al-Zaidi throw shoes at those Arab suicide-bombers who have been killing Iraqi citizens for over four years now? Iraqi deaths at the hands of Americans are next to nothing compared to the slaughter conducted by OTHER ARABS against ALL IRAQI CITIZENS.

I've been following this for five years and I LOATHE Arab hypocrisy. Absolutely detest it. If Arabs can't learn to accept reality and take the blame when it focuses on them, then they will continue to live in a failed region for decades or centuries to come.

*

Anand said...

I don't know how to react to the shoe incident yet. Touta, I was hoping you would give my guidance on how to feel, but no such luck :lol:

Ukhti Touta, Under Clinton, America use to give Africa (excluding Egypt) $500 million a year in foreign aid. Bush increased that to $10,000 million a year. Bush was a big supporter of increasing foreign aid to fight poverty, AIDs etc. I greatly admire Bush for this. On the other hand he went to Iraq to take his revenge against Saddam for trying to kill his dad and wife in 1993. Bush went to Iraq for familial revenge against Saddam (who Bush hated intensely.)

Under Bush, America applied more pressure than anyone else to stop the genocide of black africans by sunni arabs in Sudan.

Under Bush, America applied more pressure than anyone else on China to help Tibetans. I give him credit for this. China is a global superpower, as you know, and as a result only America, Japan, India (and even in India there are many pro Chinese types), and some Europeans have the courage to support Tibet.

On Zimbabwe, I don't think Bush did nearly enough, but Mugabe was defended by Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Bush was afraid of being called an anti black racist if he stood up to Mugabe.

Bush decided that America would try very hard to train and equip the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police, although not until 2006. {I am delighted that he chose to do so.}

Bush has done many very good and many bad things. He is a complex figure.

Anand said...

Why do Iraqis think that President Lyndon Baynes Johnson put Saddam and his uncle into power in 1968. I have read many books about President LBJ, and haven't seen evidence that he put Saddam into power.

pepe said...

Too bad for the shoe thrower that Bush belongs to the Duck and Cover generation. :(

Jeffrey said...

Who is killing Iraqis? Who is making widows in Iraq, the ones al-Zaidi referred to? Let's take a look.

In the last two weeks, according to Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, 191 Iraqi citizens have been killed, and not one of them by Americans. They were all killed by other Arabs, either as suicide-bombers or gunmen.

Through Iraq Casualty Count, let's take a look at this Reuters roundup of who has been killed in Iraq in the past few days:

* KHAN DHARI - Nine policemen were killed and 31 wounded when a suicide bomber drove a car full of explosives at their checkpoint in Khan Dhari, in the western outskirts of Baghdad, police said. Another police source put the death toll at three, with 30 wounded.

American? No.

* TARMIYA - A female suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest in the town of Tarmiya, 25 km (15 miles) north of Baghdad, killing the leader of a U.S.-backed neighbourhood patrol, police said. The man's son was also wounded.

American? No.

MOSUL - Gunmen killed seven people from a single family, members of the minority Yazidi sect, when they stormed into their home in the town of Sinjar, west of Mosul. Mosul is 390 km (240 miles) northwest of Baghdad, police said.

American? No.

MOSUL - Gunmen killed a woman in her home in eastern Mosul, police said.

American? No.

So who killed all of these Iraqi citizens? Not one of them by American forces. Other Arabs killed them. Only in the Arab Parallel Universe would Arabs be able to kill each other and then blame the Americans.

*

Abbas Hawazin said...

Ahh, Touta gets her first taste of Jeffrey's digusting shit-spinning arguments. You will get more soon.

as Touta stated, this is not a 'victory' of any sort, it's merely a public statement, but the enormous public rapport shows how failed the Bush sttategy is in the Middle East, and for good reasons, ignoring atrocities for a long time, then coming around and suddenly growing a holier-than-thou conscience to help ye poor Iraqi souls while at the same time helping sectarinism and helping religious theologies gain ground and clash with each other is not in any way helpful. I'm beginning to understand why some people accuse you of being a PR propaganda machine, you actually spinned the news item to the superiority of the American race, ignoring everything else (Bush is fast, die Arabs!) I think you are more revolting than Mister Ghost, and by quite a far margin.

Jeffrey said...

Abbas,

So who is killing Iraqis?

*

Jeffrey said...

Abbas,

Stop by Iraqi Bloggers Central. I've elaborated a bit on this comment. Hey, let's tangle. Just make sure to bring your A-game.

*

Touta said...

Jeffrey,
Considering your arab argument, hypocrisy exists everywhere, and trust me I have the experience to back this up, whether it is arabs, westerners or africans, hypocrisy exists everywhere, because no race is perfect or better than the other, morally or otherwise.
And i don't deny people are killing each other over here, but I will also say that many have needlessly died at the hands of americans/other forces as well. Who will ever know the true facts of war? I've lost family to both sides. I can judge this. You can also find facts of how many people have been displaced/killed/injured by the war, and post it to me, and i would not care. Why? Because how can I honestly believe any of the media? The western media makes sure we are portrayed as terrorists in every hollywood movie, and our media makes sure to blame america and israel.
Who killed the iraqi citizens? War after war after sanctions killed the iraqi citizens, and I DO NOT blame anyone for this. that's life and that's the world, and all i plan to do is try to help rather than blame politicians, soldiers or arabs.

Anand,
I'm afraid i can't help you, since I myself don't know how to react.
Everyone does good and bad in their life, and Bush is human.
You have to ask the older generation. It involves the CIA, generals and a long line of history which i plan to read eventually..

pepe,
shame that maliki isn't on the iraqi football team..we would have had a fighting chance to get into the world cup. :)

Abbas,
where's your post wilak? I've been waiting for it. Still waiting...
:D

Jeffrey said...

Touta,

There is no hope for you or the Iraqi people if you can't see who is killing you.

*

Touta said...

I can see who is killing us.
But what do you expect me to do?
"Hey suicide bomber, don't kill your own people". The problem is the stupid media, it manages to brainwash people into idiocy.
Its not just iraqis who are killing iraqis though. The situation is the problem. its not like america is a safe haven either. Everywhere in the world there are problems.
But the thing that makes a difference is how these problems are being dealt with. And in my opinion, the problems in Iraq are being dealt with. Slowly, of course, but its better than nothing.
I just fail to see how this is related. people are dying, yes, but instead of blaming others, it is wiser to actually do something about it.

Jeffrey said...

Touta,

The problem is that al-Zaidi is blaming Americans for Iraqi deaths -- Iraqis who are in fact killed by other Arabs. That's a huge problem. If the Arab Middle East can't accept responsibility for their own actions, they will continue to be a region no one wants to visit, a failed part of the world. The Americans defeated both Germany and Japan -- I've lived in both countries without the least bit of fear of being harmed. Both are today successful democracies; both decided to build a different kind of society than the one they had been living in before, with the help of the Americans. But the first step was admitting that they were responsible for their actions over the previous decade or so. Will Iraqis do the same, or blame someone else?

Al-Zaidi's actions may make the Iraqis and the Arabs feel good for a day or two, but then in a week or so they will have to look at themselves again. As long as no Arab cares if Iraqis are dying at the hands of other Arabs in the thousands, then there's not much hope -- in my opinion -- for the region.

*

Jeffrey said...

Touta,

"Hey suicide bomber, don't kill your own people".

This is exactly what al-Zaidi should have said.

*

Muhannad said...

Jeffrey, many innocent Iraqis have been killed by Americans as well. In the Arab mind, only Arabs are allowed to kill innocent Iraqis.

Jeffrey said...

Muhannad,

In the Arab mind, only Arabs are allowed to kill innocent Iraqis.

Oh, I see. Thanks. Now I know.

*

Touta said...

I dont mean that I dont care that iraqis are dying at the hands of others. i just mean that instead of arguing about who killed who, its better to move on with life, and try to prevent murders, but then again, you condone violence. :D

This iraqi is going to admit that the past generation has been brainwashed under saddam, then under the media and religious leaders, but there is hope, and when people keep reminding each other how hypocrites we are, it doesnt help international relations. You shouldn't believe everything you hear/see. in fact, get ready for the best conspiracy theory this year--it never happened. Bush just wanted attention.

Touta said...

No, killing of iraqis is wrong by even the mehdi himself.

C.H. said...

Touta,

I agree with you that we need to try and focus on making things better :D

Jeffrey said...

Touta,

Thanks. So far we've had a very good discussion, both here and at Iraqi Bloggers Central. It's been a long since a real debate has happened in the Iraqi blogosphere. I have to go to the dentist in a few minutes, but I'll try to add a few more thoughts after my return.

*

Touta said...

Muhannad,
in the sane mind, murder is wrong full stop. no arab i know thinks like that.

Jeffrey,
add away

c.h.
finally! all this ethnic stereotyping has me confused..it doesn't help at all. :)

Muhannad said...

"in the sane mind, murder is wrong full stop. no arab i know thinks like that."

Good. No Arab I know thinks like that either, at least not out loud. But if all Arabs really believed that Arabs are not allowed to murder innocent Iraqis, we might have seen more Arabs speaking up on Al Jazeera and demanding that Arabs stop traveling to Iraq to mass murder Iraqis. The Saudis and other Arabs would have spoken out against the murderous tyranny of Saddam Hussein al Tikriti, and they would have demanded that Saddam be arrested and tried for murder, instead of insisting that he be preserved in 1991, or portraying him as a hero-victim in 2006.

If our Arab brothers were really angry about the murder of innocent Iraqis, regardless of who committed the murders, they would have thrown shoes at the Saudi clerics who recruited "mujahideen" to go to Iraq and commit "jihad". They would have condemned the Arabs who have blown up Iraqi markets, universities, buses, weddings, funerals, cafes and restaurants. They would have thrown shoes, or at least slippers, at Mish3an Jabouri.

C.H. said...

Very well said Muhannad...I completely agree with you.

Touta...I think your blog has set a record for comments on a new blog, haha :D

Jeffrey said...

Okay, I'm back from the dentist. Well, I see that Muhannad that has written a very good comment. Iraqi Mojo has been making a very similar argument for several years now. I agree with both of them.

*

Touta said...

Muhannad,
Our 'arab brothers' will not speak out against murders. they will speak out however when something that is not in their interest happens. they will speak and call us their 'brothers and sisters' when abu ghraib scandals are revealed, but they wont speak out when we are arrested and imprisoned at their borders.
Arabs like every other race has its goods and bads. i can't bring myself to blame all arab neighbours though. Its a minority who are stupid enough to believe whatever is being shouted out in the streets and readily kill themselves and others.

C.H.
we've strayed so far from what i posted about, i'm still unsure what the topic is now...

Muhannad said...

It feels good to vent my anger at fellow Arabs who are angry with Bush for killing Iraqis but said nothing about Saddam's murderous regime or the terrorists of today. None of my relatives have been murdered by Americans.

Having said that, I can understand why many Iraqis are angry with Bush, and I know that many innocent Iraqis (one is too many) have been killed by US soldiers.

Muhannad said...

Touta, you have a nice blog. May I add you to my list of Good Peeps?

C.H. said...

Actually Touta, I think we have managed to deeply discuss what you posted from just about every angle :)

C.H. said...

Muhannad,

Touta has a very insightful blog. I'm proud to have both of you on my blogroll, haha

Touta said...

Muhannad,
Good peeps?
why thank you
i am pleased for the good, but i'm unsure what you mean by peeps..Are you an iraqi blogger to? it doesn't have a blog on your profile. :)
Venting is good, but it doesn't solve anything. whether they have been killed by americans or arabs, all that remains is that they have been killed, and they are gone.
I suppose its time to move on from grief and anger and turn towards rebuilding. :)

Jeffrey said...

Touta,

My advice is to let the comments go where they will and enjoy the ride.

You echo my thoughts when you point out how hollow the call for "Arab brotherhood" is in the Middle East. If it's a minority who are acting like idiots, then it's a pretty sizable minority, I'd say.

Here's the hard facts, Touta. Arab men want to win just like other men. They want to be known as successful warriors. The problem is that they haven't won any military contest in a few centuries -- and this eats at them. Arab manhood is on the line. So this creates the flip-flopping Arab champion/Arab victim complex in the culture.

The Americans come from halfway around the world, destroy the Iraqi military in 21 days, pull Saddam from his spiderhole, get drawn into a nascent civil war between the Sunnis and the Shia, both vying for power, use brilliant counter-insurgency tactics to finish off Zarqawi and the other killers of Iraqis, force Muqtada Al-Sadr to Qom for night classes, all the while trying to help the Iraqis re-build the infrastructure that had been neglected as Saddam build palaces for himself -- and then Al-Zaidi, a journalist who had been kidnapped by other Arabs, stands up and throws his shoes at President Bush. And he's hailed as both a victim and a hero. Amazing. Has Arab manhood sunk this low?

We crush the Iraqi military and Al-Zaidi throws his shoes at a news conference in Baghdad. You see the disparity? If Al-Zaidi had had a gun, he would have tried to kill Bush, I'm sure. Just like the Iraqi military in 2003 tried to kill American forces -- but the Americans will always win that contest. If we can defeat Germany and Japan at the same time, you think we're going to have trouble with Iraq or any other Arab army?! C'mon, let's get real.

Okay, so how can Arab men regain their honor? By building successful countries that people from around the world would like to visit. By creating economies that produce goods that the rest of the world would like to buy.

It's unlikely that Arab men will ever regain their manhood militarily against the West. They'll get crushed every time.

These are the facts. Iraqi men can either live in the fantasy world in which Al-Zaidi is a hero, or actually work together and do something that will earn the respect of people from other countries.

Some of you may disagree with me. Right?

*

Anand said...

If I am not mistaken, the main reason Iraqis are upset with Bush isn't the direct deaths of Iraqis caused by US troops; but the indirect deaths facilitated by President Bush through his incompetence in 2003 and 2004. Because of President Bush's incompetence, Iraq's army and Iraq's police took too long to improve in quality and size. Because of President Bush's incompetence (and his failure to stand up the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police quickly enough), many tens of thousands of Iraqis were mass murdered by thousands of non Iraqi Sunni Arabs and Sunni Pakistanis he came to Iraq to become suicide bombers.

I am not aware of a single Shia suicide bomber. Nor am I aware of a single foreign suicide bomber who wasn't either a Sunni Arab or a Sunni Pakistani. Most of the suicide bombers were foreigners.

Iraqis are also upset that because of a lack of security, organized crime and armed militias got out of control. Iraqis are also upset that their civilian ministries were so incompetent and corrupt (although that was the fault of Iraq's leaders, not America.)

The combination of all of this made economic reconstruction impossible.

It is these crimes of omission, not the crimes of commission, that in my opinion most anger Iraqis.

Ukhti Touta, I have read many books about American policy in 1968. I haven't seen evidence that US President LBG put Saddam in power in 1968. The CIA only does what the President and National Security Council orders it to do. The CIA has no independent capability.

I would challenge these elders you mentioned to produce evidence that President LBJ put Saddam in power in 1968.

I agree Ukhti Touta, that it is time to let the past go, and focus ourselves on how to help Iraqis and all human beings succeed and prosper.

This said, the vast majority of terrorism in the world comes from extreme militant Salafi Sunni Arabs and extreme militant Salafi Sunni Pakistanis (which I call Takfiris.) These people mass murdered Iraqis.

Lashkar e Toiba, that sent so many suicide bombers to mass murder Iraqis, also attacked Mumbai on Nov 26th. Unless all seven billion of us come together and put a stop to their nonsense, their is no solution to this very severe global menace.

These Takfiris are trying to get weapons of mass destruction to mass murder civilians in Russia, Europe, India, China, North America, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Shia population centers.

They need to be stopped.

C.H. said...

Jeffrey..the NYT blog had a good story about how Iraqis feel about AL-Zaid...there were many who believe what he did was wrong and dishonorable. Maury has a link to it over on Iraqi Mojo's comments pages.

Muhannad said...

Touta, "peeps" is American slang for "people". My bog is Iraqi Mojo.

I hope Iraq will get through these difficult times, and I hope all Iraqis are able to move on to a more peaceful and prosperous future.

Jeffrey said...

C.H.

Indeed. I know that. Iraqis appear to be divided on how to respond. I've read that many Iraqis believe, from an Iraqi cultural view, it is wrong to disrespect a guest in such a manner.

But here's the interesting part. The Iraqi government, sovereign for several years now, will have to decide what to do with Al-Zaidi. The Americans can do nothing for or against him, as far as I know. Hey, let the Iraqis protest against the current Iraqi government, if they want to see him released. I see that Raed Jarrar has already created a petition for the immediate release of Al Zaidi (we saw that coming a mile away, right?).

All of that is fine -- like Bush said, it's part of a real democracy and something that would never have happened under Saddam. At the same time, the government should follow its new constitution and set of laws and see where his actions fall. If he is accused and found guilty of a crime, so be it. If not, that's okay too.

The important thing for the Iraqis now is to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for their actions and not blame the Americans for what happens to Al-Zaidi.

*

Touta said...

aaaahh, its so interesting but i have to go! 12.30 am baghdad time is not a proper time to be awakw. the most ineteresting thing that i really want to comment on is arab men. i have soo many opinions on this, and not necessarily good ones. ;)
So good night from baghdad, and i hope to resume tommorrow.

Jeffrey said...

Touta,

Hey, get some sleep. I'm heading off to evening classes in a few minutes. Thanks for the great discussion. See ya tomorrow.

*

C.H. said...

Goodnight Touta...we look forward to hearing more of your thoughts tomorrow...

Touta said...

Jeffrey,
Okay, basically what you are saying, or what finally became clear to me from your comment on arab manhood, men are the ones who are causing wars. men are the ones who have complexes with defeat. Damn Right.
Well, with a few exceptions, recent wars have always been at the hands of men. So why the hell are the women here suffering for the ego competition between men of the west, and men of the east?
I do truly believe there is a future for Iraq. We just need to cleanse out the generations. First, the inequality has to go. Then the pessimism, then the brainwashing.
And no one blames America for al zaidi being beaten up. we all know it was those leather clad zionists chanting in the corner. He is in the hands of the iraqi government. And past experiences has lead absolutley no one to have trust in any iraqi government.

Anand,
relgion isnt the cause of all this fighting. And suicide bombers come in all shapes and sizes, i mean who is going to know the relgiion of a lump of meat? The media plays a huge part of the news about suicide bombers, and not all of it is completly true, but who knows.
until leaders and important figures in iraq stops being so corrupt, and people start being honest, we cannot advance. So hopefully, some time soon, people will start to think logically and fairly.

muhannad,
many thanks, i shall try to incorporate 'peeps' but it sounds weird. :D

Jeffrey said...

Touta,

Wasn't there another post here yesterday? I didn't have time to read it, but it seemed to be about your childhood. Are you going to re-post it?

And hey, you might want to check out the comments page at Iraqi Bloggers Central. I may even make YOU angry.

*

C.H. said...

Yes, Touta...I am wondering, what happened to your post?