the talking dog

August 26, 2004, Yet more from Najaf

Grand Ayatollah Sistani has returned to try to negotiate and end to violence, as the fun and games continue in Najaf, threatening the Imam Ali Mosque, and hence, the continued existence of civilization. Note somewhere down the CNN report here, the local Iraqi police chief "rounded up" a few dozen journalists working Najaf and called them in to berate them for covering Sadr's Mahdi Army militiamen, and not his Iraqi police. (You see, we brought these people freedom...)

Surprises all around, as the violence expanded to the Iraqi city of Kufa, where I understand heavy fighting killed at least a dozen. The American military has some problems-- largely because of the sovereignty transfer fraud. Because it's a fraud, Iraqi PM Allawi must try to convince everyone he really is in charge, hence calling on and off attacks at Najaf, and drawing out the Najaf standoff as long as possible in the process. The American military's interest is in ending this dangerous nightmare (while not destroying the Imam Ali Mosque-- our commanders have apparently figured out that they can't destroy the holiest shrine in Shia Islam... I hope...)

Well, I'll consider this good news (ha!). Sistani is an important figure in Iraq that we have neglected too many times; Sadr is a street thug we have elevated to importance with our idiocy. Hopefully, some kind of balance can be restored...

I won't hold my breath, though...

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Why does anyone believe that a self-professed ayatoolah can bring peace to Iraq, or any muslim-troubled region? Muslims are involved in 13 out of the 14 hotspots in the world. Why isn't there any world outcry about this. Certainly, at the very least, Moslim spiritual teaching should include anger management.

Posted by Jimmy T at August 26, 2004 02:16 PM

Jimmy T.--

A fair amount of Christian history is also hopelessly intertwined with violence. And frankly, a good look at the Old Testament (and the Israeli Defense Force) should convince anyone that so is a good deal of Jewish history. Hinduism tends to be pretty mellow by comparison (unless you're a Moslem... or a Sikh... or a Jain...), although India, like Tibet, to the extent of its strong spiritual and non-violent ways, tends to be overrun by foreigners... a lot.

Why single out Moslems? Its human beings-- specifically men-- that are the problem. People can be very cooperative up to the point of securing survival. After that, everything becomes about pecking order. Hence, a fair number of people in this country (I'm talking White people, family incomes below a quarter million dollars) deliberately vote Republican, directly against their own and their family's personal interest. Why? Hate. Hatred of anyone who has it better than them: the Republicans play to that better than the Democrats do. In fact, Democrats think that kind of thinking is insane, when in fact, it almost defines what human beings are about.

Well, in the Moslem world, most of the people we're worried about have been at subsistence until literally the last century; their survival is finally assured-- so now its time to get damned angry at those who are doing better than them-- out of spite. That would be us. We should understand better than anyone how they feel-- because our people-- alone among the industrialized world-- feels the same way.

Give cavemen modern weapons and watch a nasty, nasty conventional war. Give the cavemen the nucular weapons and watch the end of the world. No one in this country has any frigging clue how close we are to that, and how much worse the last three years have made it in that department.

Posted by the talking dog at August 26, 2004 04:07 PM

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