Saturday, July 15, 2006
The In T View: The Readers Of Iraq The Model Sound Off: Indigo Red
Generally, I In T View bloggers, journalists, writers, human rights advocates, and soldiers, but this time I thought I would expand the horizons a bit and In T View the readers of of one of the most popular and beloved Mideast and Iraqi blogs, Iraq The Model, and let them sound off, share their views, about ITM and Iraq.
Iraq The Model comes complete with a strong and loyal readership and a feisty crew of articulate commenters offering their thoughts on Omar's and Mohammed's evaluation of events in their country, the Iraqi conflict, politics, terrorism, Islam, and the actions of the Coalition Forces.
In this In T View, we feature the very articulate
and artistic Indigo Red, hailing from the land of fruit bars and pistachio nuts, California, who covers politics, culture, history and humor in The Further Adventures Of Indigo Red. Take it away, Indigo Red...
MG: Hi Indigo, how did you become aware of Iraq The Model and decide to comment there?
Indigo Red: Oh, gosh, MG, that was such a long time ago. Let’s see...I was reading "Where Is Raed/Salam Pax", "Healing Iraq", and "Riverbend". They announced this new blog called "Iraq the Model" and, like a good little lemming, I followed everybody else and found gold.
MG: Are you as optimistic about Iraq now, as when you first started reading and commenting at ITM?
Indigo Red: No, not at all. I think many of us out here in the free world were very naïve about Iraq and Islam. What we expected was that Iraqis would be as married to the idea of freedom and liberty as we are. What we found was a nation and people wedded to the strict dictates of the tribe, the religion, and state dictatorship. In many ways, enthrallment is very liberating – not many personal decisions to be made. Democratic republics demand a great deal of personal choice and hard thought to arrive at those decisions. I’m not so sure Iraqis want to do the hard work for the long-term.
There are signs of change and an apparent unwillingness to go back, but it sometimes seems the choice will be for another strongman. The inclusion in the new Constitution of the clause stating Shariah Law is the basis of Iraqi law (oh, BTW, it can be changed later, wink-wink) does not bode well for the future happiness and well-being of the country’s new incarnation.
Personally, I would like to take the country back to pre-British and French Empire meddling, before Iraq existed and allow the natural course of nation building to take place. Iraq is a country, like many others, that should not exist. The Kurds are an unnatural member of the triumvirate who should have their own nation carved out of Northern Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Obviously, this isn’t going to happen and we can’t go back, but it should be understood that the problems we see now have been brewing for a hundred years or more because of the arbitrary decisions of the two great empires of the time. America is seen as the inheritor of those European empires, thus inheritors of the suspicion and wraith of the formerly subjugated peoples. The views of the average Mo six-pack will not change easily nor quickly. The longer we stay the more this veiw is hardened. When our troops leave, then there is the potential to change hearts and minds
The views of the average Mo six-pack will not change easily nor quickly. The longer we stay the more this view is hardened. When our troops leave, then there is the potential to change hearts and minds.
MG: Did you find that ITM was better when Ali was involved with the blog?
Indigo Red: I don’t know if it was better, but it certainly was different. Omar and Mohammad have very similar views; Ali was a divergent voice that served well as a member of the trio. Going off on his own was a personal decision with which the brothers must abide. Ali has a very successful blog of his own. Freedom to express ones own beliefs is what this whole exercise is all about and Ali went for the brass ring.
MG: There have been criticisms directed towards ITM and the brothers that they are too Pro-American or American Agents, Working for the CIA, not really Iraqis or located in Iraq, etc. How do you respond to this?
Indigo Red: As an American, I don't know what "too American" is, but if it means supporting the cause of freedom, liberty, one man-one vote, limited government, assumption of innocence before being proven guilty, etc., then yeah I guess the Brosthers are "too pro-American". Good for them, I say.
Many of us believe the CIA would have been better off if they had employed Omar and Mohammad. They are very obviously anti-dictator (secular or religious), but their love of Iraq is greater. The brothers are true Iraqi patriots who will not abandon their country. The accusations were more amusing than anything else.
MG: Has it been a learning experience reading ITM? You likely know more about Iraqi politics now, than you did before reading the Brothers' Blog, but have they also given you insights into other
facets of Iraqi Society such as culture and history?
Indigo Red: Yeah, that has happened. I've learned that Iraqis apparently have a fixation on oral health. There are an awful lot of dentists there!
My university Art major education included the histories, religions, societies, etc. of the entire region. What is new to me is the rapid acceptance of freedom as a birthright amongst a people who have never, to any effective degree, experienced freedom. The Saddam era sectarianism was successful in separating much of society from the Mullah’s. That so many Iraqis are willing to depart from the dictates of the Mullahs and Imams is heartening. Whether they choose to continue the freedom by defending it against all comers is yet to be seen.
Painting 128 by Kilamaa - Flickr
MG: Should the US have involved itself in Iraq? Has it been a worthwhile endeavor?
Indigo Red: Yes, absolutely. It was simply the right thing to do. The arbitrary arrests, tortures, and murders were unacceptable to a civilized world. The imprisoning of children in some of the worst conditions imaginable could not be allowed to continue. Allowing thousands of children and infants to die for want of drug treatment while the needed drugs were stored in warehouses only miles from the hospitals was unforgivable. The whole UN Oil-for Food program had to end because it was killing more Iraqis than have died by Allied bombs and bullets in the two wars that have been fought. We did the right thing even if the rest of the world and the Democrat left doesn't agree.
Depriving al-Qaida of the city of Baghdad, which bin Laden wanted as the capital of the worldwide caliphate, was a stroke of either genius or luck and only history will judge which. The Islamofascist plans have been severely damaged. I only wish the UN had been similarly damaged rather than exposed as simple greedy fools.
MG: Does the World Media (Television, Radio, and Newspapers) present an accurate view of what's happening in Iraq?
Indigo Red: The media are not capable of presenting any kind of accurate view of anything and never have been. At one time newspapers didn't even pretend to be unbiased. News outlets had a very definite political, religious, and social stands. Today they only pretend impartiallity reporting only the facts, but facts as the reporter sees them. That is bias. Despite their claims of impartiality, reporters and editors are anything but unbiased.
Woodward and Bernstein (the Watergate investigative reporters) and Seymour Hirsch (of Mai Lai fame) have polluted the waters. While their original reporting was justifiable and valid, the subsequent belief in the infallibility and righteousness of the media has raised them to the level of demi-gods above the law and patriotism. The patriotism of the media is to the media. The MSM is very self-serving, knowing apparently no bounds. In this they become leeches feeding on the blood and gore of the worlds problems instead of making any attempt to relieve the suffer - if it bleeds, it leads.
MG: Which ITM Brother -- Omar or Mohammed -- would you like to give a hug to or have a beer with and why?
Indigo Red: Oh, come on, Mister Ghost! You know making such a choice isn’t possible. Sharing any time at all with these two men would be an honor. I might even let them look at my teeth!
MG: On February 20, 1258 A.D., the Mongols overran Baghdad, plundered and destroyed the city, and conducted a massacre of the residents that claimed 800,000 lives. Things don't look as bleak for the Iraqis now, still the topic of an Iraqi Civil War is being bandied about in the Media every day, and I have to ask: Is Iraq currently involved in a Civil War?
Indigo Red: Yeah, I remember that day; it was about 10:15AM and I was sipping tea, but that’s another story...
Yes, Iraq is involved in a civil war if we define it as a war between political factions or religions within the same country as the dictionary has it. However, Western leaders have tried redefining the term to include uniformed armies operating under the laws and customs of western style warfare. The region has been in a state of war, civil or national, for millennia and only in the early wars were uniforms a standard issue item. Whether it is or is not a civil is irrelevant because the warlike nature of Islam obviate any need for reasons to fight. Dying in Allah’s cause is an E-ticket to paradise.
(Note: E-tickets were issued at Disneyland until about 30 years ago. They permtted the holder to the very best rides and were much prized.)
Untitled* by Procsilas - Flickr
MG: Do you have a Favorite Poster at ITM, who you like or admire, and can you tell us why?
Indigo Red: I’ve always liked and admired the postings of Neonknight, thewiz, and soldiers dad. I’m impressed by the depth of knowledge and ability to analyze new events in light of diverse histories; very intelligent men. Kat from Missouri, Louise, Joanne, Diane, and Leapfrog have impressed me with their analytical abilities grounded in that kind of humanitarianism only a woman can bring to the table. There are so many others the list would sound like an Oscar acceptance speech. Lee C is always good for a laugh – he’s such a useful idiot.
MG: One of my escapist fantasies is to walk the length and breadth of Iraq from Southern Kurdisitan down to Mosul, though due to my blue eyes and practically albino skin, they'd likely be using me for target practice before I made it out of Mosul, certainly I'd be in trouble in Fallujah LOL... When conditions become safer for travel in Iraq, would you like to visit the country?
Indigo Red: I share that desire, MG. Iraq has always been on my list of places to visit. Iraq is one of the five or so birthplaces of farming, technology, government, writing, math, beer making. The country has more history and art than I could see in several lifetimes. In spite of the nearly constant warfare, the peoples of Iraq have a justified reputation for hospitality.
MG: The Recent Loss of Omar's, Mo's, and Ali's Brother-in-Law elicited many outporings of sympathy from ITM's readers and commenters, similar to if the readers/commenters had lost a member of their own extended family. When you post at ITM, is there a sense of being part of an extended family?
Indigo Red: Yes, it does feel like an extended family. There are family members that should be under serious psychiatric care and others should be in prison. Most are fine individuals I’m glad to have “met”. That’s pretty much what a real family is like, isn’t it?
MG: Has a bond been established, both between the posters themselves and Omar and Mo?
Indigo Red: Oh yeah, big time. I know of readers who live and breathe ITM like it was some kind of soap-opera. But, people really do genuinely care and suffer the slings and arrows along with the Brothers. Many real world connections have been made between commenters that would not have been possible otherwise. I have met face-to-face with some of tese people and they are just as they seem on-line. The world is very much smaller because of ITM, yet so much larger.
MG: Having come to know Omar and Mo through their writings these last few years, what is the one thing, you would like to say to them?
Indigo Red: Well, I have already told them. Early on, Omar wrote a post demanding an apology from the West. I wrote that he wasn’t going to get an apology; that he and his brothers should get out of the internet café and do something to secure the future of Iraq. Omar posted specifically to that point and then went on to help organize one of the first street protests against terror. Then they stood for elective office for Parliament at a very dangerous time. I’m not at all convinced I could have done the same.
I am convinced, MG, that Omar and Mohammad are two of the finest men in Iraq and have done a spectaculr job reporting the events in Iraq and the feelings of the ordinary Mo six-pack. The inclusion of their own sufferings and successes makes for very compelling reading.
Thank you, Mister Ghost. I have enjoyed our talk very much. See you 'round the blogosphere.
MG Says: Thanks to Indigo Red!