Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bipolar Bitter

Longtime readers of this blog will note that I am somewhat bipolar. The optimism evident in the posting "halfway" has now yielded to its bitter phase - as Iraq always compels.

Nothing I said in "Halfway" was untrue, just that my aquaintance with the SCOPE of the problems in Iraq comes and goes. There are heroes, there are brave and good and decent people, there are morally upright muslims - but they are unto toilet paper floating on the surface in the flushing commode that is Iraq. We pour in more blood, sweat, and treasure - as it swirls down the toilet.

We did not cause this. We removed Saddam Hussein and his odious gangsters. What you see now is the Middle East returning to its natural state - without a benign/malignant Ataturk/Hussein. The concept of freedom is shallow here - owing to their moral dicta providing none. Islam requires absolute submission, everything else is liscense. Freedom of Speech is no more precious or worthy than freedom to drink licquor.

When we sit around in bull sessions and try and figure out what might work - our brilliant, out of the box scenarios quickly yield to observable phenomena on the ground, and the unwelcome knowledge that in one form or another - its already been tried, the rest is style. More specifically and importantly - all our benign/benevolent initiatives have been tried. What does that leave us - is the rhetorical I'll leave you to ponder. (I have my answer)

For proof of what I see on a daily basis that informs my cruel sense of irony - you have the Saddam execution video in which several of the hangmen and other sundry participants are heard to be chanting Moqtatda Al Sadr's name. Ini that video, you have everything you need to understand Iraq in 2007. Its significant for several reasons: I'll highlight two.

ONE - the most obvious - Why are these "professional" agents of the new, democratic government chanting the name of a renegade gangster wanted for the murder of the "moderate" Imam Al Khoei, leader of the largest and most deadly militia in Iraq, (with lakes and ponds of American and Iraqi blood on his hands), government obstructionist, (backdoor insider) and radical, Iranian-backed Shiite fundamentalist?

TWO: Failing that, after we all presume whats in their hearts - why would they shatter that and remove all doubt - in the FULL VIEW OF HISTORY???!!! Why in God's name could they not keep their mouths shut for pretense's sake as they led an old man to his certain death (and I DON'T CARE what he may or may not have said to badger them.)

THREE: (I lied) What level of competance do you think a Governement has that can't strip search the 14-odd participants for their cell-phones and cameras, repeatedly - if necessary, as that was their stated purpose (no cameras).

The answer to one: That is what has been elected. Expect more of it.

The answer to two: Easy emotionality of an unserious people. From guards lounging on duty (who are about to get blown up), to the "Insh'allah" attitude of virtually everybody - Iraqis by and large have the maturity and emotional stamina of a 12 yr. old 6th grader.
"Insha'allah" means whatever Allah wills.

TRANSLATION:
meaning #1 Whatever happened was fore-ordained.
meaning #2 Whatever's about to happen cannot be stopped.
meaning #3 if I still feel like honoring our contract tomorrow afternoon when I wake up - I'll be there.

The answer to three: I call this the "Iraqi touch". Unlike King Midas - whatever they touch does not turn to Gold - it turns into unadulterated SHITE. Expect more, not less - even if we train their police and troops for 2 more decades.

There is absolutely no accountability in this culture, yet everyone has a liscense to complain - including, and especially, those that prolong/foster/aid and abet the problem.

Saddam's unliscensed snuff video was not the only catalyst for this bleat. Just the recurring nightmare one regularly re-awakens into called Real World Iraq. Things are not going to be okay just because we mean well and we're honorable actors, and we're spending more US treasure than we'll ever be able to pump out of the ground at OPEC prices. There will be a new, democratically elected government in Iraq 2 years hence, there is one now. That's the problem.

The larger probelm I've barely even touched on, but its hanging out there. We must decide what the Muslim problem is, decide to see it off, and discover the resolution to see it through. In Islam, the West has found the immovable object to our previously-thought irresistable force. Our blindness is neatly encapsulated in Francis Fukuyama's treatise on the "End of History". I've polled many of my closest friends and confidante's and they do not see it. It tends to seague neatly with a person's religiosity - but not always. If a person tends toward the atheist/agnostic they tend to see the inevitable progress of history and ideas, blinded by the intellectual/secular/humanist conceit that all must yield before reason and rationality given time. If they tend toward Faith, (Christian or Muslim - I don't have any animists, Hindus or Hasidim at hand to poll), they tend to see 10th century stagnation as something entirely more ominous - by several orders of magnitude - as I do.

You, the reader, do NOT have my permission to read anything in this post or blog as defeatist, or with passing indifference to the Beloved, Hallowed Fallen. Nor may you rightly ascribe to me any angst about the justness or rightness of our cause. The cause is not lost, the battle is. The battle for hearts and minds was won 13 centuries ago by my reckoning - it was over before it started in Baghdad in 2003. Naivete' is always retrospective, and there's a helluva'n accounting coming to us. FOR MISTAKES NOT YET EVEN MADE - let alone the good-will wasted these last three years. There are no good guys in Iraq. In any case, NOT ENOUGH.

22 comments:

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Very powerful. Very informative. Thank you.

Crashdummie said...

But then again, define the good guyz - isn't it all relative, depending on which side you are asking?

Someones terrorist might be another ones hero... History has always been written by the winners, but just like everything else in life, the world isn't divided into black and white - most of us live in the greyzone....

Shelby said...

Just listening/reading... Many of us aren't quite sure what to think about the situation over there. I've given up trying to form an impression based on media reports and specials, so it's refreshing to hear the opinions of someone who is involved with this work on an ongoing basis.

eddie said...

I know it seems that the people there should want to step up and run and defend there own rights, i really don't know if we the people will ever see change there, but i see you and the people that have fallen to defend what our leaders beleave in, i really don't care about all our leaders in there safe place telling you to die, i do care that you and many like you are there trying to help people who seem to not care what happens to them. You and all the fallin ones weight heavy on my heart, that is were i am, i don't care about right or wrong at this point and time, i care about the people who stand and fall every day to protect us, and i only wish there was some way i could let them know that i got yours and there backs, if some one here says something bad i will be the first to point my finger in there face and tell them to shut thr fuc- up, i respect you and the ones there more than words can ever express, thanks boss and know were here.

KentuckyCritter said...

Amazing and very informative...

Thanks for the prespective and insight, it gives more of an idea that we as a country are up against.

Greenery said...

Hi Folks.

Thanks for reading and your comments. I'll hold forth with my replies sometime in the next 48 hours when I have some time. I just penned a lengthy comment - and the server disconnected for lack of activity. I'll try again with a condensed version soon.

Dirk_Star said...

Dude, why are we fighting for people who do things like the Saddam video?

They kill women for reading...

They set off bombs at children's soccer games...

Power tools are used on neighbors...

Where is the good in a society that permits such atrocities?

Where is the holy in a book that breeds such never ending inhumanity to fellow beings?

Craig D said...

Thanks for laying it out for us.

It's a whole 'nother mind-set and "we" don't understand it.

HeatherinBeautifulBritishColumbia said...

Hey Greenery, thanks for stopping by and commenting on my carnival post!

It's so nice to hear you appreciate 'my' Canadian Princess Pats! I'm quite sure most of your readers (and mine) have never even heard of them - so, perhaps I'll post about them sometime soon :)

Thanks for your thoughts on the situation in Iraq, and especially Saddam Hussein's execution - I sure didn't hear your point of view on CNN...

All the best from Canada, eh?

DNR said...

I agree with others here, having the un-spun, real descriptions you give is refreshing.

I too have you back over here. I am honored to ‘know’ you. God bless and be with you and yours. God bless and be with all our service member.

Dirk_Star said...

Just checking to see how you are doing.

You must be on a week on?

Be safe...

Looking to hear from you soon.

Kati said...

Not much to say in response to all that except, Stay Safe!!!!! Ya got a lot of us here at home thinking about y'all & praying for ya every day.

Thomas Vickers said...

I teach 8th grade History.
Iraqis sound just like my students.

I tend to believe that the Iraqis are better behaved though.

Thanks for the post. I really don't think most Americans do realize what the culture is like there. It is just too hard to grasp.

Kentucky Brat said...

I hope you are well, feeling better.. or whatever. Know that we are all here, watching and have you in our thoughts.

Kat said...

(((hugs))) as always - you remain in our prayers.

The Wizened Wizard said...

I watched much of Bush's speech last night. Here in the north woods we only get a couple of snowy network channels and PBS, so the latter is where we tuned in.

Following the speech, a couple of retired military generals were interviewed. They were clearly upset by what they'd heard, and one commented that the president doesn't understand the nature of the war: it's not about "freedom".

Although his description of Iraq was fairly terse, it was quite similar to yours.

I wish our so-called leaders would read your blog. Thank you for putting the hay down where the goats can get it.

Dirk_Star said...

Uh, I just don't know what to say after watching George on television last night...

I posted on my blog about it.

russkal said...

As an outsider looking in, I have to apologize if I can't relate to some of the things you have mentioned.

But the subject of War and Peace is universal, and I know that you are fighting for a good cause.

You're a good man. And that's all I need to know to say God Bless to you and yours.

Dirk_Star said...

Just checking in...

I hope all is well and you
are enjoying a cup of Green Bean.


I think you might find my latest posts of interest.

I'd like to see what you have to say.

bardouble29 said...

I just want to say thank you! I found your blog through another blogger and appreciate your candor and absolute honesty.

I for one do not even begin to understand what is going on over there, but the men and women over there have my thoughts.

I don't perhaps have a defined perspective on the war, but I salute, the everyday acts of heroism and duty. I am going to link you to my blog, as I would like to be able to read more of your thoughts.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Bipolar brings a balance ;)
Beautiful, thoughtful & provoking post.
I can understand your points & wonder if it isn't years of having life pre-ordanined (political views prescribed by religious/social norms for the area) that has the concept of freedom so negated there?

Donna said...

I am glad to have found your blog.

Thanks for sharing.