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April 27, 2008



Each individual Iraqi does not need to "make the choice" not to kill others, because, being healthy, normal, compassionate human beings, they repudiate violence. Violence is being wrought by a few upon the many. Keep that in mind. And why? Some actions are sheerly criminal (like many kidnapping)s; others are political (can you say Vietnam? Cambodia? ). Look at what is happening right now. The PM--a Shi'a--sending Green Zone troops (including the militias of two other groups) against a Shi'a rival's militia in Sadr City. These acts of violence are based on political differences, not religious ones.

Who most benefits from the smoke screen of propaganda about Iraq? The group with the infamous motto: Spread the Chaos Outward. The neo cons, who, by the way, are making a killing in war profiteering and plunder.

DinIraq, the majority of Iraqis are not killing each other and are not destroying their infrastructure or utilities. The infrastructure, by the by, was devastated in the first days of the U.S. invasion. We now are hearing that many of the contracts given to US firms to repair and build infrastructure were not completed or done inadequately. Oopsie. The companies took the money and ran. And the Iraqis are left without power, clean water, sewage treatment. What we have done and continue to do is unconscionable. Let's not compound the problem by insulting the integrity and dignity of an entire nation.


To Susan-NC
As soon as you answer MY question I would be happy to answer yours.

Why do Iraqis kill Iraqis?
and why do they attack the utilities they need to survive?

Susan - NC

"WHY do iraqis kill iraqis?
and WHY do they attack the utilities they need to survive?
Where is the PERSONAL responsibility?"

Question for DInIraq:

why do americans kill americans? why do they go into schools and shopping malls and start firing guns? where is YOUR responsibility for stopping this murder?

Please answer.

Susan - NC

"Before the sects were kept apart only by sheer brutality and deception."

If you would take the time to read what was written by Sahar, you will see that this is false. And Sahar is not the only one saying this - thousands of Iraqis have made this claim.

Please try to base your opinions about what has happened in Iraq on facts.


Umm what happened to personal responsibility? The USA Invasion did NOT make or force Iraqis to start killing each other ! That was a choice of each Iraqi to do so!
Yes there was influences from outside- Saudi Arabia,Iran,Syria etc. However just as we all have our own brains and morals... so do we have control over our actions...It is at a point now that people that did NOT want to fight now have to in order to survive... but had the Iraqis actually stood up and said NO I will NOT kill my neighbour! Then alot of this current violence would NOT have happened.The USA Is NOT to blame for Iraqi on Iraqi violence---only IRAQIS are!

As for Iraqs infastrcture- STOP killing people working on your power plants/water treatment plants/ sewage plants! STOP blowing up convoys transporting materials to build hospitals etc.
STOP with the whining about no utilities, when everytime we build a plant it is attacked!
Seriously what sort of mentality is THAT?
Attacking of military bases ok.. I can semi understand that.. but to attack a hospital power plant, water treatment plant?That serves YOUR community.. what the heck?
And finally if you say.. oh well its outside fighters doing it... then for once in your lives STAND UP.. defend your country, community and people, and REPORT THEM! A cell phone call is anonymous! even a total coward can do it.
I feel for the Iraqi people and count many as my best friends, I live and work with Iraqis and even they are at a loss to explain WHY this has happened.So I ask you on this board... WHY did Iraqis start slaughtering each other wholesale? Why do they attack the very utilities they need to survive? and WHY do they blame the USA when it is THEIR actions that cause this?
And please dont say it was all friends under Saddam, we all know that there wasnt "Open" warfare then because Saddam would have crush it with an iron fist. And DONT say it was americas fault because we invaded... Hello... that would mean that you are saying that Iraqis have no self control and no morals.. and I KNOW that is NOT true... !
So again..
WHY do iraqis kill iraqis?
and WHY do they attack the utilities they need to survive?
Where is the PERSONAL responsibility?


I am so glad you have added this information, Sahar. Too often what passes for fact in the U.S. is actually only propaganda, and people often do not have enough information to judge the accuracy of what they hear. It's so important and helpful to hear from you and your fellow countrymen and women.
Thank you.
Best to you and yours.

Sahar from Iraq

Dear comentators,
What I would like to clarify is that we did not have sectarian strife before the US led invasion in 2003. We were living in a society where asking about your sect or religion was concidered very rude. The statistics say that in all mixed areas, mixed marriages were the norm. I will not deny that like any mixed society in the world we had people who thought along sectarian lines, I do not deny that we had differences of oppinion and superficial religious differences - but we never fought - there was no reason to. There was no "sectarian hatred" as such. That does not mean that there wasn't any dissatisfaction, debated matters and all sorts of normal, healthy differences. But there was no fighting. Not during the previous regime, or the one before or for hundreds of years before that. And I was astounded to read that a top US official once said that the war wasn't going very well because they (the US) hadn't realized the "depth of sectarian hatred"... People, there was no sectarian hatred.


the real stories posted here are amazing and sad at the same time. how can religion seperate people so completely? when the idea of god is the main divider between us, where do we look for spiritual peace and enlightenment?

Chris Baker

I don't know if the daughter can convert and become Sunni or not, but I do know it's not for Americans to make judgments. It appears Iraqi's are starting to debate in a very frank manner how to handle certain very complex problems and these broken families is certainly one of them. One particularly difficult issue is the treatment of and economic opportunities for women, and another is how to deal with Iran with which southern Shiite have very close ties. We must leave these and other difficult challenges for the Iraqi's to work out themselves.


I look at Iraq though my eyes, which are Cuban American. In many way this gives me an insight to the life of an oppressed people. I use that insight to translate what Iraqis themselves say. you might call it reading between the lines. I am not just regurgitating any "meisters" thoughts. I find many similarities between the Iraqi people and my own, these commonalities have nothing to do with race, religion, or ethnicity, they have to do with the human condition, which I believe to be universal to us all.


Madtom, there is a vast difference between fact and opinion. Unfortunately you seem to base some of your ideas on opinions, not facts, about the history of Iraq. Please take some time to learn more about Iraqi history from those who know it well (not American opinion meisters). What you'll learn will surprise you.


Well I unlike the others here think that what we have done is the best thing to happen to the Iraqis in their entire history. We did not cause these divisions between sects. All we did was release them from the chains they were to afraid to loosen. Before the sects were kept apart only by sheer brutality and deception. A deception they themselves were participating in.

Now for the first time in their lives they have to look eachother in the face, and see eachother. For the first time they are dealing with these ancient hatred that they had lied to themselves for so long, they they had actually started to believe the lies. They no longer knew themselves, lost in a strange land, without ever having left their own house. Today they must deal with the ancient hatreds and come to real solution.

I for one have learned to trust in the good nature and good will of the Iraqi people and have no doubts they will work it out. This time though, it will be for real. True reconciliation and the end of the Iraqi apartheid state.
This will only make them stronger, and tie them together as a people and a true state.

Jamais Vu

Is there some way for them to change their names? Can they be adopted by her male Sunni relatives? Can they convert to Sunni and change their names(a sad choice I know)? Can someone be bribed to make this happen?


I remember your story about Um Noor, who also hid her family's IDs after her husband died. Knowing how open Iraqi society was before the U.S. invasion and occupation, I wonder how many familes are agonizing over this same problem. Nawal seems to feel all alone; I'll bet there are even people in her village who have the same secret, the same fears. And even more people there who have friends and co-workers and people they've valued in their lives who are of different sects or religions than theirs; people who would understand....along with people still to hurt and grieving to think clearly.

Sometimes I read comments suggesting that there is a reconciliation process at the upper levels of government (hard to believe). But are there any efforts to start/sustain community-level reconciliation? It seems so important for everyone's well-being.

(Of course, ending the U.S. occupation and exploitation of Iraq being of critical importance, I'm not ignoring that.)

What did you advise her to do?


I have recently created a poll asking my blog readers who they think is the best President concerning America's relationship to Iraq. I would like to hear your input on this subject. Here's the poll: http://manicarver.multiply.com/journal/item/478/Which_Presidential_Candidate_has_the_best_solution_for_Americas_relationship_to_Iraq

Thank you for any comments you would like to share.



It is good for us Americans to know the true cost of what we have done.

How on earth are we ever going to make this right?

The comments to this entry are closed.


"Inside Iraq" is a blog updated by Iraqi journalists who have worked for McClatchy Newspapers. They are based in Baghdad. These are firsthand accounts of their experiences. Their complete names are withheld for security purposes.

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