The trouble in Iraq

The trouble in Iraq
: Glenn Reynolds says that Zeyad has a scoop reporting a “coup” in Iraq. That may be a bit strong. But s*** continues to hit fan. The U.S. plans to arrest Moqtada al-Sadr, the Shiite “cleric” who’s stirring up that s***. Zeyad reports:

A coup d’etat is taking place in Iraq a the moment. Al-Shu’la, Al-Hurria, Thawra (Sadr city), and Kadhimiya (all Shi’ite neighbourhoods in Baghdad) have been declared liberated from occupation. Looting has already started at some places downtown, a friend of mine just returned from Sadun street and he says Al-Mahdi militiamen are breaking stores and clinics open and also at Tahrir square just across the river from the Green Zone. News from other cities in the south indicate that Sadr followers (tens of thousands of them) have taken over IP stations and governorate buildings in Kufa, Nassiriya, Ammara, Kut, and Basrah. Al-Jazeera says that policemen in these cities have sided with the Shia insurgents, which doesn’t come as a surprise to me since a large portion of the police forces in these areas were recruited from Shi’ite militias and we have talked about that ages ago. And it looks like this move has been planned a long time ago….

I have to admit that until now I have never longed for the days of Saddam, but now I’m not so sure. If we need a person like Saddam to keep those rabid dogs at bay then be it. Put Saddam back in power and after he fills a couple hundred more mass graves with those criminals they can start wailing and crying again for liberation. What a laugh we will have then. Then they can shove their filthy Hawza and marji’iya up somewhere else. I am so dissapointed in Iraqis and I hate myself for thinking this way. We are not worth your trouble, take back your billions of dollars and give us Saddam again. We truly ‘deserve’ leaders like Saddam.

  • Giordano

    This is completely unrelated, but why I don’t see any American media (or blogger) write about what’s happening in Sudan, for example? Over 700.000 people have been killed so far in a mass genocide aimed to cancel 3 tribes from Earth. That’s a tragedy, a terrible tragedy. And, like in Rwanda, no one talks about it, because there’s no oil, or money to be made. Only militias killing women and children, and that doesn’t make for good TV, I guess.
    Also, do you know that what’s happening in the Balkans could sign the start of another ethnic cleansing?
    And still, I don’t see the UN, the EU or the USA turning their attention to it…

  • Kat

    I guess the media can’t make Sudan into a blame the USA or an islam is peace story. They would have to admit Arab militias are killing non muslims to impose another sharia crap pile in Sudan and that to date 2 million have already been murdered. And we already helped establish Bosnia–do they want the rest of thje Serbians eliminated? Maybe this time the USA will be smarter and let the Serbians fight the KLA terrorists.
    In Iraq it is just Iran trying to avoid a democracy in Iraq–that would put a damper on islamism and the Ayatollahs can’t have that. What else is new–the rabid dog islam is on a rampage.

  • Giordano

    Now to call Islam a “rabid dog” makes me sick. It makes me sick like that old cow of an Italian writer (Oriana Fallaci just writing the name makes me gag) that churns out hate against Islam. I’m ashamed to come from the same country of her.
    People should understand that Islam is not about what they see in TV, or the neo-con tell them. The fundamentalists are a minority, and they don’t actually follow the true essence of Islam.
    Should I remember everyone here that without Islam you wouldn’t have math, glasses and many things you use everyday, and that once Islamic countries were the beacon of civilization?
    The real Islam is a religion of peace and culture, even if it’s totally different from how we’re used to live. The Taliban and the fundamentalists are the bane of Islam.
    And I’m not telling that because I’m biased: I’m an atheist and find every religion completely futile, so I’m talking only on cultural and historic grounds.

  • Kat

    Well, then wisen up and realize we have numbers and Math because of India and the muslims simply stole it from them. They are good at stealing ideas from more enlightened cultures.
    I have to wonder where those peaceful islamics are hiding–they are awfully silent, but I did hear that some mullah announced that islam allowed the mutilation of those 4 men. Yeah, that’s peace, man.

  • pianoman

    Yeah, mathematics wouldn’t have happened without Islam.
    That’s one of the more “interesting” things I’ve read.

  • http://www.whoman.net WhoMan

    It is interesting that mutilation of four mercinaries in Iraq is so easily associated to Islam, but mutilation of Vietnamese by American soldiers is not!!! Maybe some Islamic mullah endorsed that too.
    The moderate muslims are probably where some of you were when, for example, American aid helped killing of many Iranians by Saddam who had had a handshake with Rumsfeld. It is not news to Iranians. It is sheer arrogance and hypocracy when you ask for moderate muslims’ condemnation while you look the other way when they are killed by your policy.

  • Doctor Slack

    Oy. Pitiful to see this is what the warbloggers are reduced to. Things don’t look to be going so well in Iraq — quick! quick! look at the Sudan! (Added benefit of red meat for the neighbourhood Islamophobes and their grab bag of hate cliches.)
    Unfortunately for this tactic, things are actually looking up in the Sudan, partially due to the efforts of the evil, corrupt and obviously useless UN. Sorry folks, no handy distraction to be had there.
    So, anyone care to address Zeyad’s paragraph about the days of Saddam? The most striking and disturbing thing in his post as far as I can see.

  • http://twistedspinster.com/ Andrea Harris

    So you, Dr. Slack, skip over the craven appeasing-of-Muslims posting of Giordano (“…that old cow of an Italian writer (Oriana Fallaci just writing the name makes me gag) that churns out hate against Islam. I’m ashamed to come from the same country of her.” “The real Islam is a religion of peace and culture, even if it’s totally different from how we’re used to live”) and the idiotic ravings of “WhoMan” (“…mutilation of Vietnamese by American soldiers…” “…American aid helped killing of many Iranians by Saddam who had had a handshake with Rumsfeld…”) in order to focus on Kat just because she apparently opposes your political view. Typical. I, on the other hand, I have no problem pointing out to Kat that with statements like “…we have numbers and Math because of India and the muslims simply stole it from them” she isn’t showing herself to be the sharpest knife in the “prowar” drawer and I’d rather she not be decorating “my side” with remarks such as “They are good at stealing ideas from more enlightened cultures.” It’s called “learning,” hon; we don’t call kids in school “thieves” because they are encountering notions such as differential equations and the Hanseatic League for the first time in their lives.

  • Doctor Slack

    Okay, that’s a no on the Zeyad tip from Andrea, with a little game of false equivalency between Kat and her interlocutors to boot. But she does know enough not to let Kat off the hook either, which is at least something.
    Anyone else? Bueller?

  • Reid

    It’s actually good news. It’s about time we moved against Al Sadr and his crew. We’ve got the bulk of the Shiites behind us.
    Time to clean up Fallujah, too.
    People have to remember that Iraq is as big as California and, this stuff isn’t happening everywhere. Don’t get caught up in the media spin or they will snatch victory from our grasp just like they did after the Tet offensive.
    The only enemy who can defeat us in Iraq is ourselves. If we did not have the majority of the population behind us, the situation in Iraq would really be dire, instead of just the minor convulsion on the road to democracy that this is.

  • Kat

    I simply said our numbers were not an Arabic invention. The numbers are rightfully Hindu numerals. The Arabs took over the work others had done [the Greeks and the Indians] and called them Arabic numerals. That is false–it is taking credit for something you did not invent. I simply objected to the widespread but false impression that our system of numeration is Arabic in origin. There is a difference between learning and claiming you invented them.
    From Carl B. Boyer, “History of Mathematics”, (a standard reference book):
    During the first century of the Arabic conquests there had been political and intellectual confusion, … The Arabs were at first without intellectual interest, and they had little culture, beyond a language, to impose on the peoples they conquered. … But by 750 the Arabs were ready to have history repeat itself, for the conquereors became eager to absorb the learning of the civilizations they had overrun.

  • Kat

    As much as I hate Americans losing lives, I hope for a better future for the Iraqis. Zeyad seems like a super person who deserves a free country–but is just frustrated now–as we all are. But we should never reward the terrorists. Things will improve once Sadr is dead. I hope Iraqis get him rather than Americans.

  • Reid

    Kat – I, like you, am sick of hearing things like what Giordano said. The idea that a workable system of mathematics would never have been invented without one group or the other is clearly bunk. And, it is completely irrelevant. To whatever degree Arabs of 13 centuries ago can be credited with advancements in whatever field, those were different Arabs than the ones alive today.
    Bringing up past glories to assuage Arab sensibilities reeks to me of those touchy-feely efforts to improve the “self-esteem” of inner city hoodlums. Like hoodlums suffer from a lack of self esteem! An overabundance of self-esteem what feeds their sense of entitlement and aggressiveness in the first place!
    There is something rotten in the Arab world. The sooner they understand that, the sooner they will embark on a path to fixing it.
    PS: I was also sick and tired, during the run up to the war, of how the American Revolution would not have succeeded without the French. That debt was paid in full many times over many, many years ago.

  • http://twistedspinster.com/ Andrea Harris

    Slack, I didn’t say anything about “the Zeyad tip.” I don’t even know what you are talking about, nor am I making some sort of “false equivalency” between anybody. Obviously I used too many big words. I’ll try to keep it simpler next time.
    Kat: that’s better, though I think the coinage of numbers as “Arabic numbers” was due to others who were under the mistaken impression that the Arabs “invented” them. Incidentally, Arabs did know how to count and do some math; many of them were merchants after all. And numbers in modern Arabic writing don’t resemble the so-called “Arabic” numbers we use today. I think it is more accurate to say that Arabs learned of higher math concepts such as zero from Indian mathematicians, and put them to good use until they mistakenly decided that no more learning was necessary and was displeasing to God anyway.

  • http://twistedspinster.com/ Andrea Harris

    Reid: and those were different Frenchmen too. Is France capable of producing someone like LaFayette today? Doesn’t seem like it.

  • Giordano

    Yeah, right… that for people governed by a chimp that can’t spell and a god-botherer that makes everyone prey before meetings.
    Pwah!

  • Giordano

    Oh… and don’t forget the one who used to sit on the board of Haliburton and gave all the post-wat contracts to the company…

  • http://www.thewaterglass.net Dave D

    I thought that chimps were primarily herbivores. What sorts of animals do they prey on?

  • http://reti.blogspot.com/ Abiola Lapite

    “Things don’t look to be going so well in Iraq — quick! quick! look at the Sudan!”
    This is just depraved. Because things seem to be going badly in Iraq, Sudan deserves to be neglected? Oh, but I forgot, it’s only a couple hundred thousand darkies being raped, murdered and driven out of their homes in Africa, so why should we care …

  • http://reti.blogspot.com/ Abiola Lapite

    While we’re at it, I do find it strange that Jeff has been able to find a moment or two for Iranian democracy protesters and events in Iraq, but when it comes to a story like Liberia, the Congo or Sudan he is noticeably AWOL. Why is that?

  • Pro-Capitalist Pro-Republic Democracy Anti-Terrorist James Stephenson

    That is funny Giordano that you talk about not being able to spell, yet spell pray prey. Funny stuff.
    Even funnier, Dr. Slack talking about War Bloggers bringing up the Sudan, when Giordano is an obvious anti-war wing-nut. You people might need to start identifying what side you are own when you type things out. Maybe you could add, Anti-Globalist, Anti-Capitalist, Pro-Communist or Pro-Terrorist to your name.
    Check out my name, so you see what side I am on.

  • James Stephenson

    By the way, this will end up bring a good thing. This al-Sadr Cleric thought he was going to win the election, but turns out the Majority of Iraqi’s think he is off his rocker. So instead he tries to overthrow the Government, in the hopes it gets the Americans to turn tell and run, it has happened before.
    So now, we can move in and take the man out and no Iraqi’s thinks we are shutting down his free speech. After all, he was allowed to talk about revolution, but he could not do it.

  • Doctor Slack

    Abiola: I’ll amend my earlier comment about Sudan — I had missed the reports coming out of Darfur. There does indeed appear to be another democide happening in the South.
    That being the case, I’ll ask another pertinent question: given that it’s not clear why Iraq was a security priority (no WMDs or al Qaida link), and that we’re in a comments thread to a post where Zeyad, of all people, openly pined for the return of Saddam… why are we supposed to believe Iraq was a humanitarian priority either? It now appears that not only has Iraq distracted from the “war” on terror — it has also derailed humanitarian intervention where it could really do some good.

  • Giordano

    What’s funny is that i’m completely pro-capitalism (I’m one myself), pro-America and anti-Terrorist. To add more, I’m probably gonna relocate to California in 2-3 years, and I think the good points in the American system outweights the bad ones.
    What really gets my goat is how many Americans don’t know much about the rest of the world, and think that outside US there’s an indistinct mass of lesser states. I read somewhere that less than 10% of Americans have a passport and travel, and that’s bad.
    I traveled to the best and worst countries of the world, and everywhere I found good and bad people, and nothing to convince me that a social system is inherently better than another.

  • KMK

    Zayed has another post up. Jeff links to it above. I can’t imagine him not being emotional with all this going on around him. Things sound somewhat back to normal according to Zayed. I just read this article and it appears the Blackwater Security Consultants were in Najaf on Sunday. 8 guys against hundreds of attackers. Impressive. The 4 people ambushed a few days ago worked for them.
    http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/news/8364443.htm?1c

  • Reid

    Giordano – You appear to be very much into stereotypes. At the least you should know that people posting here tend to be on the upper scale of intelligence and world travel and, you should treat them respectfully. If that is the attitude you are planning on bringing to California, maybe you ought to consider staying where you are.
    I found good and bad people, and nothing to convince me that a social system is inherently better than another
    And, yet, you choose to relocate to the US. Looks like your subconscious mind has made a value judgement your conscious mind is afraid to acknowledge.

  • harry

    The funny thing is, “Giordano” inadvertently gives away the game when asserting “…without Islam you wouldn’t have math…” Of course this assertion is nonsense, but it does remind us that an important early algebraic work (ca. 850 AD) was written by al-Khwarazmi, a brilliant Arab mathematician.
    Perhaps Giordano could enlighten us what the Arabs have contributed to mathematics since 850 AD? If the answer is “not much”… why not?

  • Giordano

    Go read Ibn-Battuta. No one else come close for writing and enlightment.
    As for my reasons to wanting to relocate in California: weather and exciting work opportunities.

  • http://floyd.best.vwh.net/weblog/blogger.html Floyd McWilliams

    Hi Giordano,
    I think people make too much of Islam’s scientific superiority in the Middle Ages. Islam got started when Arab tribes conquered the Middle East and much of the Mediterranean coast. This area was the wealthiest and most advanced in the world — after all, it was first to be civilized. Northern and Western Europe had lagged behind, and furthermore had been brutally mismanaged by the Roman Empire, to the point where there were no sizable cities remaining in many countries by the year 600. So of course Islam was going to be more advanced than the West.
    I have read Ibn-Battuta, and while he was a great traveller and adventurer he was not particularly enlightened even by the standards of his time. He got a position in the Maldives interpreting Sharia, and in his first case passed judgement that a thief must have his hand amputated. Half the court fainted. He also tried to get the local girls to stop running around topless, and the Maldivians just laughed at this.
    Anyway, all this stuff is ancient history. Europe started from a very low cultural level, and then made amazing progress. Islam conquered a more advanced society, and stagnated. Christian Europe has had a renaissance, an enlightenment, and a reformation. Islam needs to do the same.

  • Reid

    “As for my reasons to wanting to relocate in California: weather and exciting work opportunities.”
    Yes but, you could seek those things in any other of the totally equivalent societies in the world, couldn’t you?

  • Giordano

    Yes, I got them in Italy. A really good job and good weather (not as good as California). But I like to travel, and want to live 2-3 years at a time in different countries.
    Two reasons why California is on top of the list?
    John Fante and John Steinbeck.
    Ehy, I told you that I love America…

  • onecent

    What really gets my goat is how many Americans don’t know much about the rest of the world, and think that outside US there’s an indistinct mass of lesser states. I read somewhere that less than 10% of Americans have a passport and travel, and that’s bad.
    Giordano, your statistic is erroneous. You are a fool to think in this day and age of cheap airfares that Americans are so insular. This statistic is from the State Department, the yearly number of passports issued. You do the math:
    http://travel.state.gov/passport_statistics.html
    What makes you think Europeans are so widely traveled outside of the EU zone? Got any numbers on that? How many have visited the US to round out what would be a major destination for the sophisticated European? Have they seen many parts of our country outside of NYC, Las Vegas or Miami, rented a car, driven around, talked to the locals? I hail from New Mexico, a big tourist state, and have witnessed some real stupid remarks and questions uttered by European tourists that pale the perception of American yokels abroad. Add complaints of cheapness sometimes to that equation too. Spend some time in Santa Fe, you might have a whole different perception of the well travel European.
    You cavalier attitude, riddled with stereotypes, betrays a shallowness that fits with your maybe, gonna, do the California scene for a few years.

  • Giordano

    Ehy… I travelled round the world (always backpacking, hitchhiking and never in resorts) and found a lot of well-travelled Europeans, a bit less Americans (we’re talking young people here). And if we’re gonna talk about middle-age and senior people, well, I’m afraid I’m gonna resort to a stereotype, but I don’t know how else describe the orrendously fat, extremely bad dressed, camera toting Americans that you see cloggin the streets of Venice and Florence.

  • Giordano

    My reasoning is that, while 10% of Americans are probably amongst the finest folks on earth, 90% are amongst the worst for knowledge of the outside world and culture.

  • Kat

    Giordana–but I will bet none of those Americans were near as ignorant and pompous asses as yourself.

  • onecent

    I’m afraid I’m gonna resort to a stereotype, but I don’t know how else describe the orrendously fat, extremely bad dressed, camera toting Americans that you see cloggin the streets of Venice and Florence………my reasoning is that, while 10% of Americans are probably amongst the finest folks on earth, 90% are amongst the worst for knowledge of the outside world and culture.
    You’re a pompous little ass, Euroboy. Or, as we say in New Mexico…….the southbound end of a northbound horse.

  • http://twistedspinster.com/ Andrea Harris

    Giordano, please don’t move here. You’ll only be disappointed: after all, those “fat, extremely bad dressed” Americans live here. And the days of Steinbeck and John Fante are long past. (At least you didn’t say “Hemingway” was one of your inspirations. Small blessings are to be cherished.)
    Quite frankly, from your nasty remarks about us — personally I would never dare to say things like that about your countrymen, even if I thought them to be true, which I don’t — and your ill-educated “opinions” on our government and culture, I don’t think you are the sort of person I want coming here to enjoy “exciting work opportunities,” which I am thinking should be better enjoyed by one of my fellow Americans instead of a foreign bigot.

  • onecent

    Maybe, Andrea, he could come for a little while. I even have an employment opportunity for him….. a little latte kiosk out here at Burt’s Feed & Saddle. We’ll keep it simple, elegantly understated. Heck, I’ll even tie up the dog. When he has mastered a fitting low calorie menu for us fatties, gotten his art on the walls, polished those little expresso cups, posted his lecture series, then I’ll surprise the area’s cattlemen with an evening of culture. They’ll feel so annointed.

  • Amelia Hunt

    To learn about the scientific and cultural advancements made by Islamic societies, visit MuslimHeritage.com. A quote from the site’s ‘About Us’ page: “MuslimHeritage.com, a unique online Education Community, that brings together Muslims and Non-Muslims seeking to advance Civilisation through the study of Muslim Heritage. Pioneered by the Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation (FSTC Limited) in the UK, it is an ambitious project that aims to raise global awareness on the importance and relevance of Muslim Heritage and its mostly unaccounted contribution to current world civilisation.”
    The site also quotes Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, in a speech at Oxford University: “If there is much misunderstanding in the West about the nature of Islam, there is also much ignorance about the debt our own culture and civilisation owe to the Islamic world. It is a failure, which stems, I think, from the straight-jacket of history, which we have inherited. The medieval Islamic world, from central Asia to the shores of the Atlantic, was a world where scholars and men of learning flourished. But because we have tended to see Islam as the enemy of the West, as an alien culture, society, and system of belief, we have tended to ignore or erase its great relevance to our own history.” The full text of the speech can be read on The Prince of Wales’ site here.

  • onecent

    Amelia, Islam once had a Golden Era, so what.
    My daughter, a graduate of St John’s College(the Great Books college) spent two years focused on the Greeks. Islam, nada, or barely a footnote.
    Do yourself a favor and go to the St. John’s website, view the four year curriculum, then re-instruct us on Islam’s contribution to anyone.
    The learnedness of Prince Charles just isn’t resonating with me. Maybe I’m confusing him with an other Prince Charles, but isn’t his rather dimwittedness been the butt of British punsters. I mean the guy who wrote in a love letter that he wished he was a tampon?
    The real question is what has Islam contributed to literature, science, social studies, technology, or medicine in the past thousand years. The Greeks , no one denies, are the gift that keeps on giving.