The dreamworld of Chris Shays
*Note the problem in the picture, answer below
The case for the war
Since 2004, the multinational forces have been playing catchup, helping a sovereign Iraq rebuild national military, police and border protection capabilities. Today there are more than 35 Iraqi Army combat battalions capable of fighting the insurgency, and more than 100,000 well-trained Ministry of Interior forces patrolling the streets and working to protect the infrastructure. U.S. government agencies, civilian contractors and nongovernmental organizations are working with Iraqis to rebuild the country.
American credibility in Iraq and across the Middle East has been invested in the outcome of these efforts. Any decision to disengage prematurely for our political convenience squanders that investment. Any judgment that a fractious Iraq is just not ready for democracy betrays our well-earned faith in the universal rights of the men and women so brutally oppressed by the regime of Saddam. Success in Iraq will not be measured in terms of declining U.S. troops, but in the growing number of Iraqis willing to put aside religious, tribal and ethnic divisions to fight, vote and pray for the future of their emerging democratic state.
I have traveled to Iraq 11 times since 2003 and have met remarkable people. When I ask them what their biggest fear is, it is not the violence. It is "that you will leave us."
One of many brave Iraqis I have had the honor of meeting is Mithal al-Alusi, a Sunni who was the first Iraqi political official to travel to Israel to address an antiterrorism conference. For his courage, he was removed from his position on the De-Baathification Commission, his personal security protection was withdrawn and he became a marked man. Insurgents gunned down his two sons while they were trying to protect him. Yet when he recently came to the United States, all he wanted was to go back to Iraq and help his nation become a democracy. In December, he was elected to the Iraqi Parliament. When he and those like him ask us to leave, we will know the time is right.
* Arabs view dogs as filthy. When an Arab calls you a dog, it's a grave insult. So imagine how many friends our dog handler is making.
Chris Shays is an idiot.
Because like the crook Chris Hitchens lauded, who had to be forcibly evicted from the office of the mayor of Baghdad, Mr. al-Alusi is regarded by most Iraqis as a traitor.
Because he fucking went to Israel. There were riots in the street when they tried to devise a new flag from an exile which. Flags of the World explains how the "Israqi" flag got quickly rejected.
In a report in the British newspaper, The Independent, it is noted:
When, as expected, the controversial new flag is hoisted inside the security of the Green Zone in Baghdad today, there is little prospect that the flag will be fluttering over other Iraqi cities. When security officers at the United Nations undertake the daily ritual this morning of raising the standards of the 191 member countries up the white poles arrayed outside UN headquarters in New York's First Avenue, for Iraq it will be the familiar flag of Saddam Hussein's rule that is unfurled. "So far, we haven't received anything about this from Baghdad," said Igor Novichenko, who is in charge of such matters in the UN's protocol unit. For now, he added, the old Iraqi flag of green and black, with "God is Great" in Arabic script across it, will retain its place outside UN headquarters.
When the idea of getting a new flag was first talked about last year, it stirred up strong feelings against change. But the Iraqi Governing Council, made up of former opponents of Saddam Hussein and Iraqis in exile during his rule, has a well-established reputation for being wholly out of touch with Iraqi opinion. The council approved the new flag, only asking the artist to make the crescent a deeper blue. "This is a new era," said Hamid al-Kafaei, the spokesman for the Iraqi Governing Council yesterday. "We cannot continue with Saddam's flag." The new flag is the work of an Iraqi artist resident in London called Rifat Chadirji whose design was the best of those considered. He is also the brother of Nassir al-Chaderchi, the chairman of the IGC committee charged with choosing a new flag for Iraq. "I had no idea about a competition to design the flag. My brother just called me and asked me to design a flag on behalf of the IGC. Nobody told me about a competition," Mr Chadirji told The Independent yesterday.
Located by Jarig Bakker, 28 April 2004
The AP reported:
The dramatic change in a national symbol could raise some complaints — particularly since it came from U.S.-picked leaders seen by many Iraqis as American puppets. U.S. administrators have tried quietly in the past to change the flag by dropping the words Allahu akbar, but Iraqis have refused to abide by the change. One council member said the Iraqi leadership should wait for an elected government before altering such a major national symbol. "In my opinion, it should be not be passed until we have a parliament," Mahmoud Othman said. "I think there are issues more important to concentrate on now than the changing of the flag."
But the largest objection was that it looked too much like the Israel flag because of the blue. Every other Arab flag is based on green, red, black and white. This enraged people and the use of it quickly fell to the wayside.
He might have been elected to the rump parliament, but my bet is that his new home will be outside Dearborn. His life expectancy in Iraq would be measured in hours if the US wasn't there. In fact, we should call it the coming pogrom of the collaborators. Because it will be a bloodbath.
But people like him don't have the power of eviction. That lies in the hands of the Shia clerics.
What happened was that as the Shia took power, it was payback time, centuries of payback time. The Shia were the majority and treated like a minority. And now the US is begging them to be fair. Why would they?
The irony is that the only person interested in unity from the Shia is Moqtada Sadr. Idiots in the Washington Post compared him to Al Sharpton. Others compared him to Dobson or Robertson, but they all miss the point. The reality is that you need to forget the religion and see the politics and it would be as if Howard Dean had a militia, but remain regarded as an outsider, despite his evident and growing power.
Sadr is both centrist, because he's an Iraqi patriot, and outsider, because the mullahs and SCIRI would like him to shut up and go away. And he's got enough bodies to jerk people around. As in he picked the soon to be prime minister over the objections of everyone else, especially the Americans.
Which makes him the perfect storm of resistance to the Americans. Even if he dies, his movement holds the high ground.
Shays lives in a fantasy world which kills Iraqis and Americans. People keep waiting for Iraqis to rise above secterianism, that some US acceptable leader will rise to lead Iraq.
Hey, doofus, here' s a hint. The people we like, they don't trust. The people they trust are anti-US.
The Shias were treated like shit for centuries. They want the chance to return the favor
posted by Steve @ 2:32:00 PM