This is not a political blog, and was never intended to be such. Yet it seems that it has taken such a turn since I've decided to reply for Paul Edwards email. I guess I am to blame after all.
However, I was asked three questions by AngoGermanicAmerican. Whether he asked them mockingly or seriously, I do not know. But I am glad that I was asked, and I am glad to answer them so everybody has an idea about what Delilâh thinks aside from "some bloggers suck". But it's this once that I don't intend for to happen again, because Delilâh isn't into politics and would rather keep her political points of view for herself.
What is your hope for Iraq; in other words, what would you like to see in terms of government, in terms of economic system, and in terms of the role of religion in the affairs of state?
This is a question about my hope. So I suppose I'm free to daydream…
In terms of government, it's simple. I would love to one day see a secular, liberal government that was elected on bases of merit and competence. Clear of political thieves and benefactors and frauds and back-door dealers. Responsible enough to pair words with action and up to the task of imposing legal authority over every other authority that anybody can claim, including that of religion and that of semi-independent, ethnic-based states-to-be. For once I would like to see my government pure Iraqi rather than Shiite Arab or Sunni Kurd or I don't know what Turkoman. No more American dummies and puppets, at least. They can invest all they want but they can just pull their hands off politics. They look bad enough with their hands and arms in to the elbow.
Economically? Iraq is a very wealthy country, potentially. I would love to have a decent government that won't be too busy loading oil money into their pockets and their anonymous Swiss-bank accounts, draining the country from every single resource it has. I would like to see us exporting oil for decent prices and making our own fuel instead of selling it only to buy it as Benzene. I would like to see foreign investment that isn't synonymous to theft and fraud and scandals. I would like to see my country turn into a splendidly wealthy state where people live to enjoy their lives, as it is potentially, like all of those states in the gulf have. Not as it is now, a pitiful country whose residents and natives are pitied by the world, and who seek life elsewhere because their own country isn't capable of offering them the kind of life they would like to live.
Religion? Two words: "BACK OFF!". I've always believed that religion is a "thing" between a human and his creator, should he believe in such a thing. In a country as diverse as Iraq, diverse in all senses, it's utterly unfair to have a religious system because by all means it will be imposing believes and practices that a fair portion of the society is unrelated to. It's neither democratic nor sensible.
Some people might argue that religion is for all times, I say no. Religion is for you to keep at home; between you and your God, regardless whether you call him Jesus or Yahweh or Allah or even Paul Edwards or Buddha. And nobody with any other interest than controlling you has an interest in how you practice your religion. Religion has become the harness that Iraqis are lead by, therefore it’s a must to put it out of the picture with all of its control-freaks of figures. Al-Sadr was assassinated some 20 years ago, Al-Hakim's family have lost some of their men as well, all thanks to Saddam Hussein. But is your dead and your injured any less important that you would raise such authority-thirsty figures above your necks and turn your backs to everybody else?
Second question. What is your realistic hope; in other words, what do you believe is realistically achievable in the short term for each of the previous questions?
Politically, the differences are deepening between each major portion of our society that the inclination towards separation is growing. People are too busy fighting one another, the government is too busy harvesting what they've planted and making bank-transfers and buying real-estate in every other place in the world than Iraq. And so, we're heading to a vast abyss. At some point, we should all be happy that there's still a place on the map called Iraq instead of Sunnistan and Shiistan and Turkomenistan and Kurdistan and whatever else those brilliant minds can come up with. Many may disagree with me, but isn’t the average Iraqi citizen too enthusiastic about whatever Al-Hakim, Al-Sistani, Al-Dhari, Kaka Masoud and others are saying? And aren't they all willing to commit stupidities in the name of their belief? Even those bloggers that I somewhat dislike have written about conversations with the taxi-driver and the bus-driver and whoever else who praised this figure or that figure and idolized them blindly.
Economically? We're going broke. People are leaving the country, the government is getting really rich not in the governmental sense but in the individual sense. We're selling oil for absurd prices and we buy all sorts of consumable fuels for absurd prices compared to the fact that we can manufacture them at the cost of dirt. Every foreign investment/reconstruction contract has this far been a fiasco. Everybody blames their failures on terrorists that all of a sudden there's an impulse of wondering whether everybody is benefiting from terrorism at some point. Everybody except for the citizen, that is. Our natural resources are wasted, and we've never even explored the possibilities of tourism before to explore them now, under such circumstances.
Religiously? Long-live Sistani, long-live Dhari…and if anybody has problems with that, there are "anonymous terrorists" to take care of them. Sometimes not anonymous at all, they go by Badr Brigade and Something-something-al-sunna, et cetera. Next step could possibly be the Islamic not-at-all-democratic Republic of Iraq, or Islamic Shiite State of Iraq alongside four-five other tiny states that every neighboring country would love to annex or at least manipulate and control under the cape of religion.
Third question. How? What in your view needs to transpire, and in what order, for Iraq to become what you hope and desire it to become?
Back to daydreaming…
Any change, from my point of view, requires the following:
Flushing all the puppets down the drain and finding a decent, honest and competent leadership from within our society instead of importing formerly-Iraqi English and American citizens who had been "madeen rejleehum bel shames" for the past thirty years to rule us in the name of their "struggle". A person whose networth somehow happened to be equal to that of the Iraqi Government doesn't represent me. He definitely doesn't after officially turning khazeenat el dawla to wereth beit abooh, and feeling free to spree with it. Balla Alla y5alekom, cut that crap. Kul wa7ed y9e7 ani 9arle 30 years da ana'6el fe sabeil Iraq 7ur wa musta8el, tale yeje wo ylem el ma8som, some millions of dollars, wo yeflet bel da5al wala 3abalak bayeg she. Like Iraq owes them those millions for their short-lived so-called struggle. Not at all like they had been enjoying peaceful, reasonably wealthy lives under the not-scorching-at-all English sun or enjoying the shade somewhere in Washington. And then after the fraud, the theft and all, they go like "We, the muna'6eleen". Men jeebi 7ay9er brasna 5eir.
Making a nice-neat collection of all of those religious figures and shoving them all where they belong, in the back of the political closet, where nobody can hear their greedy and distorted screams for authority. Where hopefully they cease from manipulating simple minds in the name of God and religion, and where they stop acting like the God-sent saviors (Somewhat like Paul Edwards, just in a more appealing manner) and where they stop serving Iran, Saudi Arabia and whoever else for green. If they're God-sent for real, they shouldn't be upset about being told to shut up once and for all, aren’t they counting on God to reward them after all? Well they might as well wait for him and stop expecting people to reward them for their religious righteousness. There are too many Messiah-wannabes out there already, so it's a no-thanks situation to me.
Spreading political consciousness amongst people, because there's a great many of them that are unaware of the fact that their votes are what brought those mongers into authority. Of course, in a perfect world, it would be absolutely true. However, it's still somewhat true even in the now-distorted Iraqi world. I don't think Allawi, Maliki or Chalabi would dare raise their voices with such garbage if they didn't have a public base of support (Could as well be bought, we know it happens). People need to realize that their word is what makes Iraq what it is, and what creates those idols.
Spreading Iraq-ism instead of "Shiism" and "Sunnism", Arab-ism or Kurd-ism or whatever other ism that has been spread. I believe that we all need and want a safe and prosperous home where we can settle. And I believe we all want to be equally respected and never demeaned on ethnic or religious bases. I believe that every decent Iraqi wishes for stability and security to spread in his country, wishes for it to flourish, and wishes for equality. What better manner is there for all of that than being overall an Iraqi and a human being? Since when did religion or anything else make less of a human being of a person? Since those Super-Duper Grand Ayatullahs and Mullahs and Turban-Heads came to the picture, and since our dear Kurdish leaderships started stuffing our brothers' heads with nonsense about how much Arabs hated them and how they should hate back and fight us to get their rights. Whatever happened to Iraqi Patriotism?
Spreading something that is impedingly missing, a moral-sense. Here, it's a very specific portion of our society who had found no better way to counter their poverty than immorality. There are such people everywhere in the world. But everywhere else in the world, or at least for the most part, there's a legal system to take care of them which is something we unfortunately do not have in Iraq, thanks to our lawful government. (Of course there isn't, if there was the government wouldn't be there still). The soldiers who had taken off their uniforms as soon as they had been informed that they will be deployed outside their mother towns, the masses and masses of young mercenaries who do the dirty job for money such as those in Badr Brigades and Mehdi Army and Ansar al-Sunna and God-knows-what-else. There are masses of people who take minimal wages as a reward for their immorality, youth learning that the fastest way to improve their lives is corruption and that to be feared is to be powerful and to live well, and hundreds of other examples. After all, writing in a butt-kissing manner has less of a destructive effect than those who hold a gun in the name of I don’t know who, and spill blood. There's a certain degree of decay that a human being can reach, and once they surpass that, they should be put behind bars!
Of course, our sense of democratic awareness is also in a very pathetic shape. I, myself, have written about ITM and how disgusting I found the post. Except for that afterwards I reviewed myself and found my response highly anti-democratic and indeed hypocritical. The exact same thing I criticize occasionally about people. We need to get used to the idea that the variety of opinion exists just like the variety fingerprints. We need to learn how to take a deep breath to calm down, how to think and then react; how to accept counter-arguments, how to assess them and how to accept the fact that they might be right to embrace. At least, how to live on peaceful terms with all the variety of opinions that is out there without hostility and without letting it affect the fact that whoever person we talk to, regardless how disgusting we find their opinion, is still a human being and a brother and a fellow citizen, an equal and very much with good traits that we tend to close our eyes to while raving about their repulsive opinion. We need to learn that criticism doesn’t change belief, that not everybody sees things from the same angle. We need to learn that to differ is human nature, and that different people don't always have to be enemies. But personally, my enemy is he who does harm, because words enough don't kill, bullets do and he with the bullet is the one I abhor.
Concerning the Coalition or Americans or whatever you wish to call them, I've got nothing to say. They're there already, and they won't be leaving soon no matter what we say and what we do. I would wish that they would get busy trying to invest or reconstruct in Iraq with as much stealing as they had been doing in the Gulf, just not more like what's happening in Iraq now. I'm against them in the sense that invading Iraq was a supreme stupidity that was badly planned. I'm against them for being the puppeteers who brought us all of those parasites that we have been rid of some thirty years ago, in the name of struggle or money or whatever. I'm against them for acting like Iraq is beit el 5allofohom, excuse the terminology, and like Iraqis are 5adam abuhom. Iraqis who do are to blame as well. I'm against them for this mere fact, that not many people were happy under Saddam Hussein's, but even fewer are happy now. Ridnahom 3on 6l3aw Fr3on. I'm against them for the fact that supposedly, the most powerful state in the world has invaded us and cannot seem to control a bunch of outlaws and maniacs with the excuse of not wanting to interfere with internal policy. I guess invading was the greatest intervention, cut the crap.
How can anything get done? I do not know. I am sure there are brilliant minds out there with leadership skills and enough decency to make the change. I've never lost faith in humanity, or at least I try not to. It will take time, years and perhaps decades, to make the change. However, whether it will happen at all, I doubt. Things had only been heading from bad to worse.
Now, excuse me for the lengthly post. But my major concern is Iraq and Iraqis, I don't care who or what they are...for all I care, they're Iraqis and that's all that matters.