Sunday, November 16, 2008

Iraqi Cabinet: Three More Years Sound Good

The Iraqi Cabinet voted today in favor of a security agreement that will keep US forces in Iraq until the end of 2011. It looks like they're not waiting to negotiate with Obama, right?

Key points: 1) US forces out of Iraqi towns and cities by the summer of 2009, just a few months away, really, 2) US forces out of the country by the end of 2011, a definite withdrawal date, and 3) US forces have immunity from prosecution except for felonies committed while off their bases. It looks like both sides compromised on the agreement.

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Meanwhile Shaggy, down on the farm south of Baghdad, reports on the first harvest that he has overseen. And no, that is NOT a photo of Shaggy.

UPDATE: Shaggy has just posted a new entry in which he tells us a little more about harvesting on the farm, what it's like to wear a dishdasha, and what happened to the engagement that his father had tried to set up for him.

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On the comments pages over at Abbas's (Iraq is Catch-22: I Give Up), I've been following the exchanges between Touta, a young Iraqi woman, and Abbas, both of whom are wrestling with pessimism about the future of Iraq. She had mentioned that in the villages women in Iraq usually did not wear jeans. In Baghdad, however, it was different:
Of course I'm allowed to wear jeans in Baghdad, but the problem is baghdad is baghdad. Think about the rest of the country. Most adher to strict etiquette rules concerning youth/teenagers. And especially in the villages,where most may be uneducated, due to security problems, or simply lack of seeing education as important as marriage or money, even wearing baggy trousers is a big faux pas for girls.

And clever move side tracking there...hey iraq is hanging on a political balance, but what i'm wearing is just as important. So what are you wearing? *wink*. :) Joke, what I'm trying to say is that Iraqis are polite to others-no one threatens me because of what I wear, but at the same time, the growing trend of wearing 'terrain coloured curtains' has increased. Unfortunatly in iraq, women have taken a back seat. They worry constantly over their family, and take little part in politics, or when they do, don't think for themselves.

And yes, I have bought a 'curtain' but its bright green and blue, not terrain coloured. :) And it will be worn in only diyala. Teenagers rebel by drugs and having babies-I'm rebelling by wearing colour. Oh, and another reason why girls dress conservatively out of choice? Men here are 'starved' is all i can say to describe it. They will whistle, jeer, stare at anything as long as its a female. Again, this is a direct consequence of the brain drain that Iraq is suffering.As well as the fact that Iraqis have all suddenly found religion overnight. But in my opinion, its not religion that is the problem. its the Iraqis' frame of mind. I've noticed that we are so easily influenced as a nation. We will be secular one minute, talking about how religion is just a personal belief that helps us feel our life is not meaningless, and the next minute, we will be printing propaganda leaflets, and giving talks about how our sect is the right one.

I suppose all I can hope for, is that our generation puts up with the education system, and learn to think for ourselves, and so far, the future generation is looking promising. I think that it has dawned to all Iraqi youth that this crap is not worth putting up with.
RhusLancia has informed me that Touta has a blog, Fog al Nakhal, which you can now find on our blogroll to the right.

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