Tuesday, December 7, 2010
AL-AHRAM WEEKLY CARTOON: Iran, Iraq, Shiite, Sunni, and U.S.
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In reality it is Sunni extremists who've been mass murdering Shia. The days of drilling holes in Sunni heads lasted what, two years? The mass murder of Shia has been ongoing since 2004.
The Sunni Arabs in general are in denial, always have been. Many of them think Saddam was cool, and if he did kill Iraqis, they must have deserved it. In general the Arab mind with respect to Iraq is simply ignorant and in denial.
Yes, unfortunately that cartoon seems to capture the conventional view amongst Sunni Arab elites of the region. Sunnis are victims, Shiite rule can't be trusted, Iran is behind everything, and the U.S. isn't doing anything. If you read the Wikileaks cables about Iraq and its neighbors that's basically the Saudi view, and the cartoon came from an Egyptian weekly.
Al Qaida in Iran wasn't exactly a well kept secret before the Wikileak cables. The media doesn't seem to care. I find it fascinating. Is there an Al Qaida/Iran/Syria alliance? How else would Al Qaida transit Syria so easily?
Mojo, Saddam's internal reign is a separate topic, unrelated to this war. This is a war between USA and Iraq.
So why are you bringing up this stuff about Hussein? The real question is → Why are you on the side of USA against your own country of origin Iraq.
I think Iran has made a tactical alliance with Al Qaeda to oppose the U.S. presence in Afghanistan. Under Rafsanjani Iran offered to help after the U.S. invasion, that got rejected and then Ahmadinejad came in and Iran's foreign policy got more radical.
I know for sure that Zarqawi had a lot of contacts in Iran before the U.S. invasion and moved back and forth between the Middle East and Afghanistan through Iran pre-2003. He wasn't Al Qaeda then though.
As for Syria, they were afraid of the U.S. presence in Iraq and that's what led them to support all the Baathists, insurgents, Al Qaeda there. I've never read anything about that being connected to Iran.
Hail the power of cartoons !
I'm surprised,also. The cables discussing collusion of the IRI, and America's public enemy #1,AQ,seem like they should be hotter than Britney Spears.
"So why are you bringing up this stuff about Hussein? The real question is → Why are you on the side of USA against your own country of origin Iraq."
I referred to the Sunni Arab love of Saddam to show that Sunni Arabs have sided with a tyrant who mass murdered Iraqis. So we should not be surprised that Sunni Arabs side with the Sunni extremists who mass murder Iraqis today, and in fact the Sunni Arabs believe that it is the Shia who are oppressing the poor, downtrodden Sunni Arabs.
I was born in Iraq, but I grew up in the USA. I love America, the country that gave us freedom when Saddam threatened us with imprisonment and death. I sided with the USA because the USA liberated Iraq from a murderous tyrant. It was a belated and messy liberation, but most Iraqis are glad it happened because most Iraqis hated Saddam, the dictator who led Iraq to war and ruin.
Also in response to the cartoon, more reality for Al-Ahram Weekly:
"In the months after the election, Mr. Maliki, a Shiite, fought hard to hold onto office, but initially was unable to win the support he needed from other parties representing the Shiite majority. The turning point came on Oct. 1, when he gained the surprise endorsement of a Shiite bloc led by Moktada al-Sadr.
The talks that followed were shaped by the American desire to include Sunnis in the government and by the Kurds, who held the seats the Shiite alliance needed for a majority. They threw their support behind Mr. Maliki in exchange for holding onto the presidency."
I think the posts by Iraqi Mojo illustrate an important point here. Just as Iraqi Arab Sunnis hold Shiites/Shiite parties in relative contempt and low regard, Shiites seem to hold views that all Sunnis must be Saddam loving, 'Bathists' who support extremists. Each side accuses the other of ignorance. I think this mindset is understandable only to a degree for those living in Iraq, who have actually experienced the hardships of this war and have less access to news sources like this. But it's astounding that, apparently, some of those raised in western countries cling on to such ideas with the same zeal, because it certaintly can't be due to misinformation.
True, I have generalized Sunni Arabs' views about Saddam in my comments. Sometimes I forget to write a disclaimer that not all Sunni Arabs love Saddam. But I have written posts about our Sunni Arab friend who disliked Saddam and was murdered by his regime.
In my view it's more than merely making disclaimers (let alone not making such inflammatory statements in the first place). But that many Iraqis, as you have, are quick to attack/criticise other groups of secretarianism on the one hand, yet clearly display, but try to hide, the same aggressive agendas of your own on the other. Because of course it is easier to disguise their ethnosecretarian/ religious(whatever it may be) leaning, rather than justify it. At this point I'm not talking about you in particular, but many instances I've observed, most of all from politicians.
So how should we discuss Sunni Arab views about Iraqi Shia, like the one in the cartoon? Should we shrug it off as a minority viewpoint among Sunni Arabs? Should I ignore the many Sunni Arabs who supported Saddam?
In 2007 I was in New York visiting a Palestinian friend. We caught a ride with her 19 year old cousin and his Yemeni American friend, who was driving his car. I noticed on the middle console a lighter with a pic of Saddam. I laughed at it. He said "yeah they shouldn't have messed with my boy."
Should I assume these Saddam-lovers are a small minority among Sunni Arabs?
Take another example: Sunni Arabs' opinions on the death of Saddam. Capital punishment in the Arab world is accepted as legitimate, especially for murderers. But for Saddam? In an Al Jazeera poll, 88.6% of the public said they do not agree with killing Saddam. Would it be safe to assume that most of the 11.4% of respondents who said "Yes" are Shia?
I am quite surprised by the number of Sunni Arabs who seem to think Saddam was a good man, even if they amount to a minority among Sunni Arabs.
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