Friday, March 21, 2008



Perhaps one of the most difficult things in life is to be a kind of stickler for the truth; to have a kind of allergy against the slightest strain or trace of falsehood or inconsistency in any set of beliefs, morals, political movements, or generally in situations that one faces during a lifetime. This makes life difficult and makes it difficult to belong to any particular label, because sadly, during a long life time search, I have yet to discover a creed that is entirely free of inconsistency or falsehood. Besides, it certainly doesn’t help one in making friends.

Although the bitter struggle for survival does not really allow time for such luxuries as blogging, nevertheless it is difficult to remain silent too long. There are so many thoughts in one’s mind that I would love to share with my friends. I would like to talk about subjects other than the situation in Iraq: religion, life in the West, personal reminiscences etc., however events back home are always so pressing, so urgent, so volatile and critical that they force themselves and leave little place for other issues. Then I remembered an old advice that a friend has made way back when I started blogging. Blogging is not about writing treatises or professional articles in MSM style. It is rather spontaneous outpourings of thoughts and ideas that do not have to be polished or elegant, just sincere and straight. So I shall adopt this style and simply jot down some notes and thoughts about a variety of subjects that have been occupying my mind.

- The electoral presidential campaign for the “primaries” in the U.S. has certainly captured the attention of many around the world, myself included. This time the nature of the candidates and the issues have certainly elements of suspense and drama that makes very good soap opera. To add to the suspense, there is the close race between the two democratic candidates, both of whom, besides, are very interesting in themselves for the obvious reasons. I find myself fascinated and following up this story with a kind of interest that would have been unthinkable on previous similar occasions.

Naturally, being an Iraqi, the position of candidates concerning Iraq is the primary factor influencing my preferences and judgment in their regard. On the other hand considering my new situation as a resident in North America and on my way to becoming a citizen thereof, I am beginning to become more aware of the problems of this continent. I don’t suppose that I need to remind my readers that Canadians are also North Americans, and that their values, economic system and general culture are not as different as many people on both sides of the border seem to think. A new arrival from a really different culture, like myself, is probably more able to appreciate this point than older residents.

Well, I must admit that I didn’t take this guy Obama very seriously in the beginning. I regarded him as a kind of curiosity, not just for being considered “black” but also because he was a very special kind of black. To start with, he is not your ordinary Afro-American, i.e. descendant of the black slaves who were brought from Africa to work in the plantations. He is the product of short lived marriage between an African belonging to the elite of an African nation and a liberal white woman. He is thoroughly bourgeois and middle class in birth as well as upbringing. His childhood and upbringing was entirely in a “white” milieu. He had a privileged education and achieved impressive accomplishments both in his academic and subsequent professional career. In short, he never actually experienced any of the hardships and grievances that are so much popularized in the life of ordinary poor Afro-Americans. So why is he considered black, just because the color of his skin, which is by the way a logical blend of pure black and white? In fact, Barack Obama is neither white nor black; he doesn’t really belong to either. When he talks about unity, it is something more than just electoral rhetoric. He is expressing a profound personal psychological necessity. He is seeking internal peace and reconciliation between his own chromosomes and conflicting childhood and subsequent manhood experiences. He seems have spent little time with either his mother or father and so he has something in common with the great orphans in history. Remember, Jesus was an orphan; Mohammad was an orphan as well so many other monumental figures in history. But still my interest in this personality was rather just curiosity until I heard his speech about race. It was a revelation; I was simply spellbound. I finally realized that we have here someone out of the ordinary. It was refreshing to hear a politician talking in this sort or language; eloquent, sensitive, and yes, sincere. The earnestness and sincerity came through. There was not much of the slogan mongering and platitudes so customary in the discourse of politicians. I realized finally that here was a formidable challenge to the political establishment in the U.S.A. both democratic and republican. I don’t know whether Obama is going to get the nomination or the presidency; what I am sure of though, is that he has already made his fame and will remain an important number in U.S. politics in the future; the “Audacity of Hope” indeed. I say all this despite the fact that his position on Iraq is diametrically opposite and contrary to my own, and if he does become president and deals with the problem in the way that he says, it would spell disaster for both the Iraqis and the Americans; yes friends, for the Americans as well. How is that so? Well, that’s a long story that deserves a special post.

- There so much talk about reconciliation and the failure of the Iraqi government and political groups to achieve progress on this front. There is no doubt that this question is of paramount importance for the future of the country, stability, and the cause of democracy. However, there are realities on the ground that are overlooked either deliberately by those who are in the know, or simply through ignorance and shallowness that characterizes much of American political handling of the Iraqi situation especially in certain quarters.

How many of you know that the problems of reconciliation at the present time are not mainly to do with differences between Sunni and Shiite; but are more influenced by rivalries between factions within each camp. For instance there is keen rivalry between the Anbar Awakening Council and the “Islamic Party” the main participant in the “National Accord Front”. This rivalry is quite overt, and has reached such pitch, that the leaders of the Anbar have expressed their hostility in no uncertain terms. It went so far that the Anbaris once said that they were going to treat the Islamic Party in the same way that they dealt with Al-Qaeda, and that this Party and their front did not represent them and had no actual presence on the Ground which is largely a true assessment, especially in regard to the Anbar province. The Accord Front is trying to counterattack through their political connections in Baghdad and is trying to gain maximum concessions as a condition for their return to the government. They are vexed with Al-Maliki mainly because the latter has close relations with the Anbaris, so do the Americans for that matter. They fear that the Government and the Americans might lean towards their rivals at their expense, an apprehension that is quite justified, as the latter are given most of the credit for having driven out Al-Qaeda et. al. from the Anbar. It is this same movement that President Bush has described in his latest speech as the first large scale Arab uprising against AlQaeda.

In the Shiite camp, there is the rivalry between the Sadrists and the other Shiite parties. No wonder that both the Sadrists and the National Accord both boycotted the latest reconciliation conference held in Baghdad.
Well that is all for today.

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