View Full Version : Kidnappings in Iraq

04-19-2004, 08:14 PM
The roots of evil.

The Muslim clerics' council made what seemed to be great and good efforts to release some of the hostages who the thugs have kidnapped lately. So, should we be grateful for these clerics? doesn't that mean that we are grateful for the thugs themselves? But let’s, before answering this question, try to find out who these clerics are and what their relation with the kidnappers is.

Before the war there was no such council in Iraq. Unlike the Shea’at, the Sunnis had no organized council or religious authorities that represent the majority of them, and whom they can follow regarding religious affairs at least. All the Sunni clerics were graduates of the “Faqiuh and Sharea’a" college that teaches Islamic law and philosophy in the Sunni version of Islam. That’s why you couldn’t find a single Shea’at in this college. It was only for Sunni men, and the vast majority of those were not intelligent people, as this college had very easy standards to be met if one wants to join it. After finishing their study, the students would become mosque clerics who are responsible for holding prayers and taking care of the mosques. They were government employees who received a regular monthly salary in return for their services, as they were serving the government and not the people.

After the invasion of Kuwait back in 1990 it was very common to see these clerics driving cars that were ‘imported’ from Kuwait. They were not only good servants, but also the majority of them were partners in Saddam’s crimes. They didn’t only accept his gifts, but went as far as justifying Saddam’s terrible crimes.

After the war, and after a period of instability, the traditional Shea’at authorities regained their ‘normal’ role as representatives of the majority of Shea’at, while the poor Sunni clerics found themselves actually as unemployed. There was no one to pay them so how could they live? And not only they lost their benefactor, but they also lost their influence. I’ll not throw accusations without solid proofs, but the bottom line is that those clerics, feeling the great threat to their career and being short of money and neglected, did what was expected from them; they united and formed a council that represent them and announced themselves as the legal representatives of the Arab Sunni. And with some of the Arab Sunni -especially in the western part of Iraq where you can hardly find a single Shea’at and where people used to get obvious privileges, at least compared to the other minorities in Iraq- being afraid of the growing power of their eternal rivals, the Arab Shea’at, the new plan seemed to have a chance. They even managed to form a political party to represent them in the GC, "the Iraqi Islamic party" There remained one problem; finance.

Unlike the Shea’at, the Sunni do not have a commitment to their clerics regarding finance. This was not a problem in the past 14 hundred years as the successive governments in Iraq were almost entirely Sunni, but now and for the first time it’s different and the clerics had to find new sources. These guys are fighting for the lives of their families because they don’t have any qualifications and they know nothing else other than preaching.

Of course, there were many parts that are more than ready to take the part of the collapsed regime, starting from the remnants of that regime itself and passing through Saudi Arabia and Syria and, God knows who else.
I don’t believe in conspiracy theories and I find that they are far from convincing to explain history for a long period of time, but this doesn’t mean that there are no conspiracies at all. However these conspiracies tend to be short living and limited in their effects.

I believe that we have a conspiracy here. Hostages from different nationalities get kidnapped by the thugs, and after ‘great efforts’ from the 'peace loving and moderate' Muslim clerics' council, some of these get released by the same people who used to burn and mutilate the bodies of their enemies!! And the end result: the thugs are not thugs, they are Iraqi Muslim fighters struggling for their freedom and have morals, and the Muslim Sunni clerics are peace loving people who have great support and influence on the Iraqi people! Can they be this stupid? Or do they hope that they can deceive the whole world?

I think that one look at the nationalities of the hostages who were released and those who were killed can make the whole issue more clear, and if we ask ourselves how did those clerics with the help and support of the Iraqi Islamic party, manage to contact the ‘Islamic resistance’ and have such a great effect on them, we can conclude without great difficulty that we are dealing with one part rather than two or three, and what is worse is that these people are actually represented in the GC, a decision which seemed to have taken place to create a sort of a balance to the great Shea’at presence in the GC. These kind of terrorist acts remind us with the stupid plays Saddam's used to come up with every time he found himself surrounded by threats. Taking hostages, threatening to kill them and then release them for certain demands to show how merciful he was, and that he didn't do it unless he has a legitimate demands and a just cause!

We are dealing with a group of Islamo fascists, hypocrite opportunistic clerics, terrorists from outside Iraq, fanatic Iraqi Wahabis and remnants of the old regime who are united in an unholy alliance with different perspectives and goals but they all know that they have this frightening single enemy; democracy and freedom in Iraq.
A great proportion of these powers are now taking shelter in the west parts of Iraq and mainly in Fallujah, using it as a base and terrorizing the innocent people there to make it look that the whole city is supporting them, and in my opinion any attempt to solve this problem 'peacefully' through negotiations will have a disastrous outcome. It will give these people the legitimacy they are seeking as a 'resistance to the occupation’ and this will affect the way the rest of the Iraqi people look at the whole struggle. We should not fall into the trap the pacifist fell in and this applies to Al-Sadr and his group of followers too. These abscesses should be opened, it will be very hard, painful and it will stink, but it has to be done. I don't claim to know how this can be done, as it still a very hard task and requires a skilful aproach to minimize the dangerous expected side effects, but I have faith in the coalition forces and I have faith that the Iraqi people will soon identify these people as the evil and hypocrite they are.

-By Ali.

Source (http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/)

04-20-2004, 04:05 PM
Iraqis enjoy new freedom of expression on Web journals
By César G. Soriano

BAGHDAD -- A year ago, few Iraqis had ever had access to a computer, much less used it to communicate to the outside world.

Now, Internet cafes seemingly dot every block in Baghdad, and new ones open often. That has led to a new phenomenon here: bloggers.

''We suffered for years under Saddam Hussein, not being able to speak out,'' says Omar Fadhil, 24, a dentist. ''Now, you can make your voice heard around the world.''

Hence, the blog. Short for ''web log,'' a blog is a diary or journal posted on the Internet for all the world to read. E-mails can be sent to the blog, so it's also interactive.

Salam Pax's blog made him something of an international celebrity. Pax, the pseudonym of an Iraqi architect and translator, launched his blog in June 2002 as a way to correspond with his friend Raed Jarrar in Amman. What started as an e-mail exchange became one of the most gripping war diaries of the Internet age. Pax's journal describes the emotional pain caused by the U.S. military's attack on Baghdad a year ago.

His blog, dear_raed.blogspot.com, has been published as a book, Salam Pax: The Clandestine Diary of an Ordinary Iraqi. Pax, whose blog is among the most visited Iraqi sites, could not be reached for comment.

Fadhil's blog, iraqthemodel.blogspot.com, tells of his life and the lives of his two brothers. One brother also is a dentist, and the other is a pediatrician. ''We wanted to help bridge the gap, not just between the U.S. and Iraq, but with the entire Islamic world,'' says Ali Fadhil, 34, the pediatrician. ''The media is always taking a look at the bad stuff. We want to show the good progress in Iraq.''

The brothers' blog is written with an unusually pro-American viewpoint, especially coming from three Sunni Muslims. Sunnis -- among them, Saddam Hussein -- dominated Iraq's majority Shiite Muslim population before the war.

''We get threatening e-mails from Palestinians and Arab-Americans who write, 'You are traitors. If I were in Iraq, I would shoot you,' '' Ali says. Other e-mails accuse the brothers of being CIA agents who are writing from Washington, ''as if the CIA didn't have anything better to do than run a blog,'' he says.

''My ideas are very shocking to people,'' Ali says. ''I tell people I am a friend of America, a friend of Israel. Some of my colleagues at the hospital think I am an infidel. It's impossible to change a man's mind, but you can only make him consider other alternatives.''

The brothers write their blog at the Twin Towers Internet Cafe, named after the Petronas Towers in Malaysia. On a recent day, all 10 computer stations were occupied at the cafe, where Internet time is 1,500 Iraqi dinars an hour (about $1). That's pricey in Iraq, where the average salary for a doctor is about $150 a month, up from $20 under Saddam's regime.

''People are enjoying their newfound freedoms,'' says Ali Wathak, 35, owner of the cafe. ''It's a civilized country. We need to get connected to the world.''

Like many bloggers, the Fadhil brothers' site solicits donations to help make ends meet. They've received more than $1,000, most of it from Americans. The money is wired to Kuwait, where friends pick it up. The Fadhils' site gets about 3,300 visitors and a few dozen e-mails a day.

Maintaining the blog ''is really a 24-hour job,'' Omar says. ''When I'm not blogging, I'm thinking about what to blog. I'm watching the news, discussing topics. It's become part of our life.''

There are about 30 Iraqi bloggers in Baghdad, plus a few other blogs written by Iraqis abroad. Not all share the Fadhil brothers' optimism. ''You have your Fox TV. I am offering a counter response,'' says Faisa Jarrar, whose blog is critical of the U.S. occupation. Her mixed Sunni-Shiite family began in December with a joint blog, afamilyinbaghdad.blogspot.com. Now, each of Jarrar's three sons has his own blog. Raed, 26, Jarrar's eldest, is studying in Jordan. Khalid, 21, and Majid, 17, are in Baghdad.

''All of our efforts are more individual efforts, but we have one common goal, to show the world what is really going on,'' Majid says.

Faisa Jarrar, a 40-something engineer and a Shiite, has maintained the family blog. She works on a PC in her home in western Baghdad. She has criticized what she sees as heavy-handed tactics by U.S. forces in parts of Baghdad and especially in Fallujah, where hundreds of Iraqis and dozens of Marines recently were killed in a two-week uprising.

''Dear Raed,'' she wrote to her son April 7. ''Americans are gathering near the entrance of our neighborhood. Tanks and soldiers with machine guns. They look terrifying. . . . We will spend the night in the 'safe room,' the one we used to hide in last year during the war. . . . Only god can protect us from what's happening. These days are much darker than the days of Saddam Hussein.''

Jarrar's site gets about 2,500 hits and about 50 e-mails a day. Most are supportive. ''I get some hostile e-mails,'' she says. ''I tell them to go look for other blogs that share their vision. . . . I want to share with others our lives, our hopes. We are keeping in touch and making the world a small village.''

She also has been corresponding with an American woman whose son is stationed in Baghdad. ''We share the same feelings,'' she says. ''Mothers are the same all over the world. I feel sad when a U.S. soldier is killed or injured, as if he was my own son or brother.''

Back at the Twin Towers cafe, the Fadhil brothers are pecking away at the keyboard, reading volumes of e-mail. Some of the messages are hostile, even threatening. A German reader, who Ali says is ''anti-everything,'' would like to kill the Fadhils for their pro-American comments. Ali clicks a few buttons to block the offender from his site.

The brothers say they won't bow to the high-tech threats. They say their postwar access to the Internet has been a form of liberation. ''I am not afraid,'' Ali says. ''I was afraid all my life. I will not go back to living in fear.''