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Old 06-03-2003, 11:28 AM   #1
Undertoad
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"We hope the Americans will stay in Iraq forever."

We hope the Americans will stay in Iraq forever.

Unthinkable! Who would say such a thing?

Moderate Iraqis, that's who.

http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=...2-042705-8259r

Before the war, I posted screeds from some of the "human shields" who went into Iraq and, for the first time, brought back the talk from the Iraqi street. And the talk: human shields? How much did Saddam pay you? We desperately want the war!

Unthinkable! But the man on the street had not been truly consulted until then. Now that it turns out that Al Jaz was bought by Saddam, no right-minded Iraqi would talk frankly to a journalist. It took regular humans riding in Baghdad taxis to get the real view, because the people were too afraid to speak up under most circumstances. And because we bought the journalists' view of it, we had no idea. (Well, non-Cellarites had no idea...)

Today Instapundit links to this story from one of those human shields, who GOES BACK to Baghdad now to see what it's really like. Don't you know, it's still the same situation -- and the average Iraqi on the street still won't speak up.

"We hope they stay forever" is the true feeling of the silent majority in Iraq, contrary to what is reported.

The logic is very simple -- the Iraqis do not trust their leaders. Faced with a very complicated situation of a 60 percent Shiite majority, a former police state, Iran at their doorstep trying with all its might to destabilize their country, and desperately relieved and happy to be finally liberated from nearly 30 years of Saddam, they want the United States to stay.

The greatest fear of the man on the street is that the Americans will tire and leave. "We pray that they stay and stay forever" is the feeling of the vast majority, but they look both ways before they say it.


If you read the entire article you will read of Shi'ite leaders threatening families with rape, murder, kidnapping and arson if they do not follow Islamic law.

I recognize the real enemy, do you?

A couple of weeks ago Rumsfeld pointedly said from his podium that the US would not allow Iraq to turn into a religious theocracy. There was a day of murmuring at the time. But Rumsfeld was dead-on correct to make his statement. His utter frankness even took me aback a little, and I'm used to it. But what it communicated was not brazen nerve, but an understanding of what the situation really is -- an understanding that almost all of us lack.

Say - if it was only about oil, we'd make deals with the new Shi'ite fanatics to give them support and arms in exchange for pro-US/anti-Europe oil programs.
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Old 06-03-2003, 01:07 PM   #2
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Some Iraqis may indeed wish Americans will stay forever -- NOW. But I think such outside rule would wear on them eventually, no matter how benevolent.
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Old 06-03-2003, 01:23 PM   #3
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I feel the purpose of the war was primarily to maintain a balance of power in the region. If the countries are of about equal power or equal lack of power if you will, they won't be as anxious to start pitched battles. Of course friction between the zillions of factions will continue but hopefully those will be of limited scale.
Oh, and Israel is exempt of course.
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Old 06-03-2003, 02:04 PM   #4
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Originally posted by xoxoxoBruce
Oh, and Israel is exempt of course.
Not anymore, according to W. He informed the Israelis that they will play nice, play ball, or they will be held accountable. It sounds like he gets it. He's talking about a Palestinian state by 2005. You know the Mayan calendar rolls over in 2012...

Is this the same W?
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Old 06-03-2003, 02:37 PM   #5
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For those who didn't read my long narrative in the other thread, I was stationed about 5 miles from An Nasiriyah (where those POWs were captured). Most of our interactions with civilians was the bedouin nomads who had set up camp nearby.

I'd say that 95% of them were rather pleased with our presence. That's no scientific poll, and surely not representative of the entire population, but I was pretty surprised at how many of the average locals were happy to see us.

There was one family (mom, dad, son, and some other guy) who we stopped at a checkpoint, and they had an Iraqi mortar tube sight in their vehicle. We detained them, flex-cuffed their hands behind their backs, and took them in. After a little questioning, we determined that the kid just found it somewhere and picked it up as a cool toy.

All of this took a couple hours, after which we let them go. We didn't mistreat them, but we weren't very friendly either (we wanted to get the point across that picking up military gear was a bad idea). But when we released them, both men approached me, shook my hand, and told me they were glad we were here. Then one gave a thumbs-up and shouted "George Bush!" excitedly.

I'm not sure what all they're putting on the tube back home, but that was a pretty good representative of our typical interaction.
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Old 06-03-2003, 03:51 PM   #6
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I donno.

I tend to be very friendly and polite in front of people with rifles and artillery. Call me a coward, but I'm gonna tel the men with live ammo "Sure, stay in our country, we think youre great"
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Old 06-03-2003, 04:48 PM   #7
Tobiasly
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Re: I donno.

Quote:
Originally posted by Unknown_Poltroon
I tend to be very friendly and polite in front of people with rifles and artillery. Call me a coward, but I'm gonna tel the men with live ammo "Sure, stay in our country, we think youre great"
There's a difference between placating the people with guns and enthusiastic support. There may have been a little of the former but that certainly wasn't the majority of it.
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Old 06-03-2003, 05:13 PM   #8
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I saw coverage of the confrontation where the Army was invited in by the local holy dude but the locals somehow became worried that they were gonna come in to some holy location. If anything was clear, it was that the mere presence of rifles wasn't impressive enough to keep the people at bay.

Chances are they understand the dynamic better than we do: the rules of the game are important to them, because it means their survival. They knew those soldiers weren't going to shoot at them; otherwise, they wouldn't have protested that way, that close.
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Old 06-03-2003, 06:20 PM   #9
xoxoxoBruce
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I remember that ,UT. Didn't that guy want them to throw some dudes with guns out of his mosque or something? That growd was beyond belligerent because they thought we were taking over the mosque. Got real tense.
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Old 06-03-2003, 06:28 PM   #10
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Yes - now I'm trying to remember whether the soldiers started out with their rifles in a ready position. But in either case, when you think about it, it was interesting how close the crowd got... close enough that a round through one of them might kill the guy behind him too. Those people didn't fear getting shot.

At the same time, when they got the order to stand down and smile and wave and just walk away, the crowd immediately knew the deal and they stood down too. They didn't rush 'em or anything like that. The whole situation was defused.
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Old 06-08-2003, 11:54 AM   #11
xoxoxoBruce
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You can hear (read) it from the horses mouth .
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Old 06-12-2003, 09:26 AM   #12
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It's a little generalized, don't cha think? What if Montreal put up a little coup d'etat, and the federal government sent in forces to deal with it. Anglophones would no doubt cheer in the streets and welcome the controled force, but I doubt you'd see many staunch separatists smiling.

In any case, there are always going to pro-ist and con-ist groups to deal with. Being on the outside, our job is to observe carefully and, as much as the media pumps it to us, not necessarily see what we want to see.

Go ask a Shi'ite, who thinks he has just as much right to be the majority (ergo government) of Iraq, what he considers a 'moderate' Iraqi. I doubt it's in his vocabulary. Democracy is great.. and separation of state and religion is great.

The question is, are they ready for it? And as a democracy (majority).. do they want it?
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Old 06-12-2003, 05:53 PM   #13
xoxoxoBruce
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The question is, are they ready for it? And as a democracy (majority).. do they want it?
Their religion is so pervasive I wonder if they even understand it.
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Old 06-13-2003, 11:25 AM   #14
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IMHO, I think it's a dangerous step to assume that because of one's strict religious belief system he is incapable of understanding the premise of 'the most people, win.' If anything, perhaps they understand it best.

Being so intensive in their religion and beliefs, the idea of all people adhering to a strict code is inherent in their intellectual makeup, ie.. everyone must be this way.. everyone must follow these rules.. everyone must obey this god, for the good of all. And those who fall outside these parameters, are outcast and punished for putting the rest of the people, the MAJORITY, at risk for moral corruption and punishment.

Of course it's not the same as our idea of democracy. How can it be, when our religions preach to do what is good for us, as individuals else we, as individuals, will be punished? Western religion puts the onus on the individual.. call it capitalist if you must (Ayn Rand would be so proud). And since so much of politics is rooted in these religions (listen to any serious address given by the current President) it's obvious that autonomy of the individual is what we associate as democracy and freedom, and it comes straight from our religions.

Just because it's our way.. doesn't mean it's their way.

What some other people have said about Democracy.
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Last edited by Kate in the City; 06-13-2003 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 06-13-2003, 06:01 PM   #15
xoxoxoBruce
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understanding the premise of 'the most people, win.'
That's not our system. To the contrary, Madaline Murry O'hare and many others have proved that.
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Just because it's our way.. doesn't mean it's their way.
Precisely my point. When we tell them we want to bring them democracy, do they really know what in hell we're talking about.
If we tell a Figi islander, we'll bring him/her a tree, I would expect them to conjure up the image of a tree they're familiar with and not necessarily what we have in mind.
"What we have here is failure to communicate."
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