Thursday, February 12, 2004

What Iraqis Want?

I've been asking myself this question for the last few days without getting any satisfying answer. I think I've been living outside Iraq for a long time and my way of thinking has become less Middle-Eastern.

In his 02/09/2004 post, Kurdo asked the Iraqi bloggers for their idea of an ideal model for Iraq's future. I guess I need to talk about it since he raised the question. I tried to avoid this subject as it is sensitive to all Iraqis. I have Sunni, Shia, Kurd, Arab and Christian friends. I'm trying to understand their different points of view without offending any of them.

Let's start with federalism and a Kurdstan independent state. To understand it, we need to understand how Iraqi families work.

For financial reasons in Iraq, when someone's son gets married, he and his bride would live for a few years at the parents' house. The couple would usually leave to an apartment or a house after having their first or second baby, or whenever they could afford it. Some families may have more than one married son living at the parents' house. It helps newly wed couples save some money until they could afford to rent or own a home. When the time comes for the couple to move to their own house, the parents usually get sad and even angry -- even when they know the couple needs to leave. Parents feel if their son leaves the house, they would lose him forever. This is always wrong. Most sons become more attached to their parents. They will visit more often and appreciate their parents more than before.

In a nutshell, we're very social people and it's all about the family staying united.

Kurds are like a married son who decided to leave his parents' house to depend upon himself -- not to mention reciprocal differences with other family members.
Kurds have been independent for more than 13 years. They can't give up everything and start all over again in their parents' house. It doesn't mean they don't like the rest of the Iraqi family. It just means, they were given the chance to start a new life after many years of suffering. They did well. They know how to continue doing it right.

I know we all want to see a united Iraq. Them having their own state would not prevent Iraq from achieving this goal. It will actually make it easier to achieve. The rest of the country could learn from their baby democratic experience. It may not be perfect, but it's working fine.

To give you an example. My youngest aunt lived all her life in Dehuk. My older aunt lived all her life in Basrah. My Dehuki aunt has no intention of leaving the country. Her daughter and husband have great jobs. Their living standards are better than many American or Australian families.

My Basrawi aunt was supposed to leave Iraq before the war broke last year. They had to sell their liquor store a few years ago. Keeping the business under Saddam's regulations was getting harder by the day. Now, she's thinking of moving her family to Dehuk for security reasons.

Next, what do Shias want? I can't answer this question as I'm sure many Shias want a secular government while others want a mini-Iran type of government.

Sunnis? They may seem like the ones making the trouble inside the country. Honestly, I don't think so. They're like the youngest son in a big family. He was the parents' favorite kid. His parents gave him lots of attention. All of a sudden, his parents are gone and he's left to the mercy of his older siblings. He's afraid for his life. He can't believe his siblings like him and want him to be part of the family. So, he's just screaming and crying.

Christians? They want to be left alone to make a living and practice their faith without any troubles.

So, who is making the trouble inside the country with two heavy bombings in less than 48-hours? I'm sure there are Iraqis involved in these suicide operations. But, most of these insurgents are crossing the borders from the neighboring countries and living among the Iraqis with or without their notice. Americans could not differentiate between a Yemeni and an Iraqi. They both look the same, like Chinese people looking the same to Iraqis. Iraqis need to help Americans identify these non-Iraqis. We're losing Iraqi lives everyday because Iraqis are treating their Arab brothers like angels.

Many people are blaming America for not providing enough security. This is not America's fault. America sent former New York city police chief to train the first group of Iraqi IP hoping they could lead the road to the next wave of IP.
With as many of the Iraqi IP losing their lives in the line of duty, other IP are getting corrupted quickly. Iraqi Spirit brings us one side of this corruption taking place at the Iraqi borders. How hard it is for these suicide bombers to enter Iraq? Not that hard. All they need is $20 note.

Iraqis need to learn how to take responsibility. They need to stop blaming others for their problems because most of these problems are self-inflicted. Many Iraqis may not like to hear this, but it's the truth.

To lighten this serious post. Here's a funny report published by The Dallas Morning News on August 14, 2003. It tells you what kind of leader ruled Iraq for more than 30 years. It's funny by my standards.

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