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Sunday April 11, 2004

Just guess which one of these letters was from an Islamicist and which one was from a freedom loving individual:

"Hello my dear, how is my precious boy?" "We are in the middle of the most dangerous operation in the world. Thousands of [us] are united in this battle to eliminate terrorists from this city. Last night we got in a fierce firefight and I could see the explosions and rockets going up in the sky. Tonight I expect an even more dangerous mission, and I hope I can write you again tomorrow and tell you how it went."

Here's the other:

"I say good-bye with tears in my eyes and heart, and I ask God for victory," read one letter, which made it clear the writer's parents had tried to stop him from leaving home. "Father, don't blame yourself. I am happy to be here," it said. "Mother, don't be weak. Raise your children to be martyrs for the cause."

Which letter expresses a sense of hope?

Saturday April 10, 2004

I think this sentiment from The Messopotamian is not a minority view:

If you check my fellow bloggers you will get more or less the feeling of the decent, helpless (or should I say hapless) majority. I can tell you without any hesitation that you get a much better insight by reading us than all the media reports. Please don’t believe what they are telling you about us. Some of the bloggers are Shiaa like myself, and some are Sunni like Ziad, and about this you will find our feelings are quite similar both regarding the zombies of Fallujah or the thieves of the Mehdi Army. My family is hiding in the house with doors locked and bracing for trouble.

I don’t know if it has been wise to open this front at this particular time. But sooner or later it just had to come. I hope that you all realize that this is the true battle for Iraq, and that the fight against Saddam was easy compared with this. Because now all the demons of peasant thievery and savagery have been let loose, and it will be a hell of a job trying to put them back in the bottle. But if you study history you will find that it is doable, with a bit of firmness. I refer you to my post sometime ago about the nature of the relation of cities and surrounding peasantry in Iraq. However, I cannot but feel alarm and consternation about the safety of families and innocents both in Fallujah and elsewhere in our afflicted country. And with all my soul I hope the Coalition forces take all care not to hurt these, although some have already been sadly affected.

Thieves and Thugs of the World Unite, and Converge on the long suffering people of Iraq - that seems to be the battle cry of the moment, and I suppose it had to come sooner or later. And the first victim of all this is religion itself. As you know, I am personally a believer in God and a “practicing” Moslem, as you might say; but I tell you quite bluntly that I am firmly convinced that “Clerics” should not interfere in politics and should be strictly kept out of it. And this applies to all sects and denominations.

I know, I know, we haven't found any WMD's in Iraq, and maybe they are not there now. But if they never existed, then why this:

In the year since Saddam Hussein was deposed, insurgents have killed nine former Iraqi weapons officials. All had been questioned by the Iraq Survey Group (ISG); at least two had been cooperating with it. Last October, ISG head David Kay said that one scientist was killed because "he was engaged in discussions with us." The most recent victim was Majid Hussein Ali, a well-known nuclear scientist. He took two bullets to the back in February.

Lieutenant Carey Cash, chaplain to the First Battalion, 5th Marine regiment has written about the miracles during the battle to take Baghdad:

I didn't talk to any Marines who said they saw an angel. But what they did share was that rocket-propelled grenades would come at them, and literally curve in mid-air and go around them. Untold Marines shared with me that rockets would come and literally dive down as if batted by some unseen hand. We had one rocket go through a Humvee passenger-side window, and explode in the compartment. Without a doubt, it should have killed every man in that vehicle. And yet when the explosion came through, it blew out the front of the windshield, and so it exploded out instead of in, and not a single man was injured. And over and over, the accounts of that day were so tremendous, that I realized I had stumbled upon something amazing.