Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tragic Violence-UPDATE

There's been some crazy sectarian violence occuring in Baghdad in the past few days. The main round of violence occured in the Jihad district, where random Shiite militia-men set up checkpoints and IDed drivers and passengers passing through. Those with Sunni names were killed and thrown onto the street. Al Jazeera Channel showed Adnan al Dulaimi (of the Sunni Tawafuq political bloc) presenting pictures in a press conference held on Monday of men in Iraqi police uniform standing at the deathly checkpoints with these militia-men. They put the responsibility of the more than 50 civilian deaths (in this mostly Sunni neighborhood) on the Al Mahdi 'Army,' a militia led by Muqtada Al Sadr and its infiltrators in the Iraqi security forces. When I heard of the news from my mother in law watching al Jazeera (Monday), I searched Iraqi blogs looking for more info. I did not find anything but a quick mention here. I found more info at this article and this blog.

Now in a tragic, yet not unexpected turn of events, Sunni gunmen have started 'avenging' their dead. Tragedy has hit close to home for us. I have mentioned before my husband's uncle in law, Uncle S, whose kidnapping story is mentioned here. I also mentioned that Uncle S, a Shiite married to a Sunni, had to leave his home in the Sunni district of Amiriya because of the violence against Shiites there. Uncle S has been in hiding since the beginning of May, when a man was killed and dumped right in front of their home, and when his Shiite neighbor was killed in his store.

In a sad twist of events, it was not Uncle S who was targetted, but his brother, F. This past week, while F was working in his metal store in the Yarmouk district (also a highly Sunni neighborhood), two men drove by and shot him. Uncle S and the rest of the family are torn up over his murder. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'oon. May he rest in peace and may his murderers receive their justice soon.

Riverbend recently wrote a post about this situation and other atrocities occuring in Iraq.

Update Two: My husband was telling me that two 'kids'-about 15 years old, were the killers! Horrific! Two teenagers decide that they're mad, and decide to kill an innocent man working in the 'wrong' neighborhood. They drive by, commit their crime, and go on with life. No fear that they will be caught. No need to go underground. No need to keep their eyes open for a police investigation. And a dead man's family mourns his unexpected death.


Patrick said...

Since you mentioned Riverbend and she does not provide a place for discussion of her posts I am posting here. It does't look like you have too much of a following if the number of comments to your posts but at least you provide a place for comments. Stay well.

The way you talk you make it sound like every single American soldier is raping and pillaging to their hearts content. You know that is not the case. You know that but you would rather vent your frustrations and direct them at a convenient target and that’s ok, we can take it because as I said you know and we SURELY know that by and large our 100k plus soldiers behave themselves, show respect and that’s more than any terrorist shows any of us. There are always a few that have to screw it up for the rest and IF true it breaks our hearts as well. A court of law will determine what really happened, not you. You speak of the American media being biased but you do not know all the facts either and you’re playing judge, jury and executioner! Trying them in YOUR media is no different. I would tend to agree with you that there are certainly some bad individuals and that coupled with their bad decisions they make worse things that happen. With that said I don’t believe it is fair to lump all Americans or people in general into this same group.

Let justice sort them out. Not only will a proper court sort out what happened but they themselves know what happened and no matter what, no matter when, justice will be done. If they are indeed bad people the foul lives they are living will hound them day after day and it will catch up to them sooner or later. You cannot go against the grain forever. I equate it to this; when you are having ‘one of those days’ where it seems like at every turn the world is against you? Ya sure, you have them EVERY day lately, I know but hear me out here. It seems like you’re going against the grain, and nothing is going right, you need to figure out a way to get back into the flow. I can simply equate this to driving your car in traffic. You hit every red light, people are pulling out in front of you, driving slow when you want to go faster, driving fast and tailgating you when you aren’t in a hurry, etc. You need to figure out what needs to happen to get back into the flow of traffic, you need to know how to get back in that groove. Bitchin’ and moanin’ may make you feel good in the short term but it solves nothing and alienates others that are literally DYING to be your alley. Constructive criticism is one thing but unbalanced poisonous vitriol is completely another.

As I write this to you Riverbend I find myself getting angry at your words and attitude and then feeling truly sorry for the situation and so I feel I should back off a bit. I’m sorry but I just find most of what you have to say as mean-spirited and one sided. And yes, I believe even living there on the front line doesn’t mean you know it all. You speak of government officials as puppets and lackeys but how well do you know them? If you don’t like what you see and hear, run for office yourself. You certainly seem to have a strong enough intelligence and wit! My point being that it is YOU and every Iraqi that needs to help yourselves become part of the 21st century world. We want you here. We would love to meet you face to face in a peaceful, self-governing Iraq. Yes, we do want to bring the so-called “occupational forces” home. No, we don’t WANT to be there but because of ancient hatreds and religious dogma we remain. Take a step toward the mirror before criticizing others.

Yes we make mistakes but what separates us from terrorists is that we admit our mistakes for the WHOLE WORLD to see, correct them, try not to repeat them, MOVE ON and not mire ourselves in the past. Our mistakes are used as weapons against us. Whilst terrorists commit atrocity after atrocity and you barely make a peep to condemn. Our rule of law is used against us on a daily basis because terrorists know we have to follow and abide by them and then they try to twist that to their deceitful advantage anytime a non-combatant, which they are hiding behind, is killed.

Your words “Atrocities in Abu Ghraib, the deaths in Haditha and the latest news of rapes and killings”? While none of this can be condoned, what about the atrocities committed by the terrorists? Why don’t you ever condemn them? Why is it always the snide comment about what America did wrong? You seem to have nothing constructive to say, its just a bitch list. How about offering up something useful? And before you say Yankee go home… the reason we’re there in the first place is because your leader for a better part of the 20th century goaded everyone into believing he was sitting on top of WMDs. Not to mention the more time goes by the more history shows us that even if there were none in 2003 he was biding his time and was ready to start production back up the moment the heat was off. History is also beginning to show us that there was more of a terrorist-Sadam connection than first believed as well.

I also can’t believe you think people that MAY have committed an atrocity be “handed over to the people in the area”. Why? So they can dole out another 7th century beheading or stoning? And you wonder why we don’t understand you. Give respect to get it. Innocent until proven guilty. Try it, you may not like it but it’s the way the civilized world behaves.

Fatima said...

You must be pretty desperate to post a comment regarding Riverbend's posts on my blog. Why don't you email her your letter?
In her defense, her latest post is not mainly about the American soldiers' rape crimes. Her latest post is mainly a post of sadness over a friend who has just been killed in the latest round of sectarian violence in Baghdad, carried out by crazy militiamen- the terrorists you say she does not blame for what is happening in her world.
And she is venting her anger over the latest rape/murder case which has shamed the American army. Yes, it was just a 'few' soldiers implicated, but unfortunately, it is not an isolated incident. It is a grisly, disgusting, sick incident committed by an occupying force on a an occupied, innocent family. I understand Riverbend's anger over this incident, and her anger over the Mahmudiya murders.
I also understand that she does not solely blame the American invasion for the horror in her country; but it is this invasion which has opened the door to the crazy sectarianism, violence and chaos which has engulfed Iraq today. Saddam's days were horrible, but when it's a toss up between the complete chaos and anarchy in today's Baghdad and between the days of Saddam, alot of Iraqis wish for Saddam's days. When its a toss-up between hearing of a friend's death or kidnapping every day, and between knowing three or four people who were killed/arrested wrongly during Saddam's days, those long-ago days sound better.
I am not saying that Saddam was good in any manner. He did commit crimes against his people, grisly crimes, but relatively speaking, the people who were negatively affected by his regime were much fewer than those affected today. I am not wishing for Saddam's return to power, but I do wish that his toppling had occured differently, and I do wish that the great minds behind the invasion of Iraq had more fully planned out the aftermath of the invasion, instead of thinking that Iraqis would meet them at every corner of their occupied country with flowers and ululations.

Matthias S. Klein (Niqash) said...

Dear Iraqi bloggers,

The German/Arab NGO "Media in Cooperation and Transition" (MICT), in partnership with the Federal Foreign Office of Belgium, has launched a new project “Constitution and Legislation in Debate”, starting in May 2006 and continuing until January 2007.

In the framework of this project MICT will follow the constitutional debate and legislative process during its first year by providing a unique, complete, and transparent online database of all the laws and draft laws as well as constitutional amendments, in addition to (online “niqash”) expertise of Iraqi lawyers and social scientists on the constitutional amendments and on laws that are discussed in the parliament.

The main foci will be:
• Federalism
• Economic and social issues including labor law, oil, privatization and social security.

MICT will invite Iraqi citizens to express their concerns, problems, and questions to an Online-Ombudsman. Benefiting from the anonymity of the Internet, Iraqis will acquire free assistance on legal and constitutional matters affecting their lives.

In July 2006 a workshop will be conducted, where MICT’s journalists will be trained to produce (radio and written) reports reflecting controversial perspectives on debated topics.

We would like to invite you to visit the site - - & give us feedback - what do you think is good, what do you think is not so good, what do you think should be included, etc ...


--Matthias S. Klein

English Editor