Cousin: 90% Gangs, 10% Fighting Occupation Legitimately

I was just speaking with my cousin who recently fled Iraq because of the terrible instability and he makes two points about why it was dangerous for him specifically. 1) Because he worked for a foreign company. "It put a stamp on our forehead." 2) Because he's Christian. "We're targeted by the fanatics." Then he went on to describe the violence committed by Iraqis in more detail, saying that 90 percent of the violence is perpitrated by ruthless gangs and other unsavory asswipes, while the other 10% honestly fight the occupation. That was his abstract estimate. He says Iraq is by and large lawless because of how these gangs operate. And now Iraq is flooded with them. I'm sure I'll have more from him in the future, but I just wanted to put a first impression of his thoughts up here now.

All I can say is that it seems from my cousin's estimate that the criminals are operating at an endemic level. He later on went to say, "maybe we can all go back and live in Iraq in 10 or 20 years." Other comments I recall include, "There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Because the tunnel is so long and dark." and "We would like to see hope, but there is none." and "Each day is worse than the day before."

When you hear this, it gets very depressing. In the end he said, "We still have hope. We lived like this during the war and we live like this now. We always have hope."

Sure he contradicts what he says about there being no hope, but I think that shows a lot about the general Iraqi feeling these days. Teetering between hope and hopelessness. It's certainly how I've felt, though now I have less hope than ever before...exactly because each day the situation gets worse.

About the 90/10 split...of course it's hard to say what this estimate really is, but there must be truth to this feeling he has. Still, what can be done about it when it benefits them to keep things as unstable as possible? Why would these bastards mind if some foreign jihadi went and blew up a bunch of innocent Iraqis or if American troops made more grave errors by putting more innocent Iraqis in graves. It only helps these criminal thugs. Of course, these are the Iraqis involved that we spoke of...my cousin also was saying that each and every day the amount of foreign "single-wash brainwashed fanatics" (as he calls them) and other fighters coming into Iraq is more and more. This was his feeling at least. And, it sure does look like that from afar. If this was America's strategy for fighting the so-called war on terror...to make Iraq into a training center similar as how Afghanistan was when America was sponsoring Bin Laden to fight the Soviets, well doesn't that sound the alarm bell that such a place only makes the world less safe?

Just because the new sponsors are rich Saudis, doesn't make the situation any different today. In fact, I'd argue it is worse because we know less and less about how these sort of terror groups operate now. Of course, in the case of Afghanistan in the 80s, America created those groups to fight the Soviet Union. So now, essentially, America has helped created another incubator for terrorism...and that was a part of the strategy?

They couldn't tie Iraq and Al Qaeda together then, but they sure can now. Imagine, then...that was a goal of the Cheney administration. How sick and twisted can a foreign policy get?

I want to be completely clear about my position regarding American troops in Iraq. There absolutely needs to be a timetable for withdrawal. The notion the insurgents need some sort of reason to "wait it out" is absurd. Let's be serious, the insurgency doesn't need a reason to be encouraged to fight. They are only getting stronger and more sophisticated as time passes, while American forces continue to kill and alienate innocent Iraqis. These Iraqis are the lot made to suffer most. They are stuck between the insurgency and the occupation. This favors the insurgency in the long run of course. And I believe more and more honest Iraqis are dreaming to be rid of the occupation. And that spells a nightmare for the American wish to have a strategic foothold in the region. In short, it will be impossible for America to have bases in Iraq and for Iraqis to live in peace simultaneously. bases/occupation = chaos - Simple as that. Anyway, at this rate, I believe in one to two years such a timetable will be presented. Now it doesn't seem to be in the cards for whatever reason, but believe me it will.

Is this a solution? Of course not. I'm describing not prescribing. If somebody tells you they have a solution, they'd be lying through their teeth. Let's just say we know what is not a solution. It is not a solution to continue the occupation indefinitely. It is not a solution to not hold people accountable and operate above international law. It is not a solution for people to treat Iraqis like they don't matter in all this. Iraq is for Iraqis, not for America. I'm sick of how people don't ask Iraqis living inside Iraq how they feel about being occupied, how they feel about being humiliated daily, how they feel about being treated like strangers in their own land, how they feel about not being able to go for a walk down the street, how they feel about not having drinking water, how they feel about not having petrol for their cars while having the world's second largest reserves of the stuff, how they feel about being the real victim in all this chaos.

Who gives anybody the right to not include Iraqis in the reconstruction process...to be suspicious of them getting involved in such projects just by the virtue that they are Iraqis? I mean, isn't that completely insane? Exiles going back to help is wonderful, but when they are the only ones running the ship from an isolated cocoon, the ship is bound to go down.

Exiles should be serving a support role, not as the Emperor's servants. When the Iraqi that has lived through all the wars and sanctions is put under the thumb of exiles coming from their plush lives (and able to leave whenever they like, mind you) from Australia, Europe, and N. America...it just sets up the entire situation for animosity to incubate.

Sure, Iraqis need to learn about certain things...and exiles will offer that help. But by no means should they patronize the Iraqi who has lived and suffered through the past hell to be presented with a new and even worse hell that they don't even have ownership of now. Talk about adding insult to injury. If the "injury" was a gaping flesh wound...it's more like adding urine, spit, and a little doo doo to that injury...rubbing it all in, then adding a little salt and terpintine to the wound. And then saying, "you don't live here, it's my house now, get out and pay for the doo doo too."

Whether or not that makes sense, I could hardly care less. I'm so exhausted as today felt over 40 degrees until the sun went down. My body aches and I'd like to shower, but I can't because my towels are washing.

That's all for now. Blaaa.


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