Thursday, October 06, 2005

It's Been Two Years

You know life is back to normal when you go to Starbucks and can't decide what to order. A week ago, I would've been happy with plain coffee. Yes, life is getting back to normal. At least in my neighborhood. Mark hasn't taken a day off since the hurricane. I think he needs one very soon.


Mark M. Hancock / © The Beaumont Enterprise

A mechanical claw appears to reach for the sun as it actually reaches for another load of organic debris at the Beaumont Municipal Airport in Beaumont.



I missed much of the fun while being busy with the hurricane. There was the dispute between Jaafari and Talabani. I read it was over one of Saddam's palaces. So, they both fixed every problem we have in Iraq and they had nothing left to worry about except for who gets which palace. That's very funny.

Then there was the attempt by the National Assembly to change the interpretation of the voter rules to guarantee the passing of the constitution. I'm surprised the U.N. actually pressured the Iraqi government to reverse this change. I'm impressed by the U.N. this time. You all know I'm not a big fan of the U.N. It's getting worse now that I'm reading "Shake Hands With The Devil: The Failure of Humanity In Rwanda"written by Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, former head of the late 1993 U.N. peacekeeping mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR). It's a must read book for anyone who wants to understand the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and how the U.N. failed Rwandans at the time.

Next week is the big week in Iraq. In my opinion, voting on the constitution is more important than last January's elections. Voting yes or no will decide the direction of Iraq's future. I'm not thrilled by a few articles of the constitution. I hope Iraqis make the right choice on the 15th of October.

I also missed the undiplomatic reaction of Iraqi Interior Minister to Saudi Foreign Minister's comment that Iran is interfering in Iraq's affairs. I may not be a big fan of the Saudi family and its ruling regime. But, I didn't see anything in the Saudi minister's opinion that wasn't known to the public. Is the Iraqi Interior Minister living in denial or the comment hit a cord and prompted his undiplomatic reaction? If this is the way the Iraqi government will react to every criticism, then young Iraqis should be prepared to wear the military uniform very soon. Sorry, I'm not in my best mood today.

There's a story that didn't get much attention because of the daily deaths in Iraq:

The entire lay leadership team of the main Anglican church in Iraq is presumed to have been killed after they were attacked while returning from a conference in Jordan.

The team of five Iraqi-born Anglicans including the lay pastor and his deputy, should have returned two weeks ago from the conference.

Canon Andrew White, of the Foundation for Reconciliation in the Middle East, who is the clergyman in charge of the church, said: "Anglican leaders in Baghdad have been missing for two weeks and they are presumed dead."

Those missing include Maher Dakel, the lay pastor; his wife, Mona, who leads the women's section of the church; their son Yeheya; the church's pianist and music director, Firas Raad; the deputy lay pastor; and their driver, whose name has not been disclosed.
...
The loss brings to 12 the number of Iraqis that Canon White has lost in his reconciliation work in Iraq, although these are the first connected to the church. He did not think they were targeted because they were Anglicans.

"The fact is that attacks on people on that road happen all the time, particularly on people who appear to be richer or middle class."

Read more...

The Anglican church in Iraq has less than 1000 members. So, this incident will have more effect on this small religious community than it would had on a bigger congregation.

Some good news. Fr. Yousif e-mailed me two days ago. He advised me that the Dominican brothers in Iraq have started building parts of The Popular University of St. Thomas Aquinas For Human Sciences Studies despite everything happening in Iraq. That's called courage and determination. So, thank you again to my readers who contributed to this project. You were the pioneer donors.

Anyway, it's been two years since I started this blog. My friend in Hawaii thinks I need a break from blogging. I think I do; but not until Iraqis vote on the constitution.

Ramadan Kareem to my Muslim readers.

And, if you need some humor, read Rusty's post, "You Know You Live On The Gulf Coast When...."

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