Friday, August 05, 2005

"The only survivor pretended that she was dead."

A week or so ago Fayrouz solicited questions from anyone stopping by her weblog that she would later submit to a woman who is currently living in Basra.

Today Fayrouz posts the first batch of replies. Here is just one of the many interesting questions and replies:
Q: What type of entertainment do Basrawi families have after April 2003?

A: What!! Entertainment. You must be kidding. But well, we visit among us. We attend weddings, although weddings in Basra go without music. A group of women who sing in parties and weddings were killed -- shot to death. The only survivor pretended that she was dead.
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Jason over at Countercolumn summarizes a recent report on the facts on the ground in Iraq.
93% of Iraqis oppose the use of violence toward political ends. Only 2-4% support attacks on security forces and infrastructure.

[My take: Of 25 million Iraqis, that translates to roughly 500,000 Iraqis. Divide those in half and you get 250,000 males. Multiply that by roughly 60 percent (WAG on percentage of males of military age): 150,000.

Of those 150,000, only one in ten will have the balls to actually do anything about it, versus talk. That leaves you with 15,000 insurgents, plus another thousand or so foreign fighters.

Roughly in line with previous estimates of 15,000-20,000, out of whom, as noted, we have killed or captured approximately 40,000. We are therefore fighting an insurgency consisting of possibly negative 15,000-20,000 soldiers. And as we kill more and more, the absolute value of the insurgency grows higher every day
.
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Ahmad at Iraqi Expat has a few choice remarks for George Galloway.

Ouch! That's gotta hurt!

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Ladybird over at Baghdad Dweller has suggested that the outpouring of grief over the death of Steven Vincent was because he was an American. "Is being an American journalist makes people more superior than the others or I missed something?" she asks her readers.

Here is my latest response on her comments page:
Why did so many people respond the way they did when Khalid Jarrar was simply arrested — not killed — in Baghdad?

Because he was Iraqi?

No, because all of those people had been reading his blog and had made an emotional connection with him.

Why did so many people respond the way they did when they learned of Steven Vincent’s murder?

Was it because they believe Americans are superior?

C’mon, this is complete bullshit!

Why did they respond as they did then?

Because all of those people — like me — had either read his book on Iraq or had read his weblog and had made an emotional connection with him.
You might want to stop by Ladybird's weblog and join the discussion.

I've added another response:
Many people around the world responded to Khalid Jarrar’s arrest because they identified with him. The outpouring of emotion over Khalid’s arrest, in fact, was much more effusive than that for Steven Vincent’s death. People contacted congressmen and there were multiple letter-writing campaigns. All because he was arrested. Not killed.

Many people around the world responded to the news of Steven Vincent’s death because they identified with him. Like with Khalid, people had read Steven’s blog and saw him as someone they could trust to tell them about Iraq.

Khalid is Iraqi and Steven is American, but their nationality has nothing to do with these utterly HUMAN responses to people we have come to know through their writing.
This is clear, right?

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