The Gutter (example)

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Middle East fears broken Iraq
Middle East fears broken Iraq
      By Jeremy Bowen
      BBC Middle East Editor

There was a time in 2003, between the removal of Saddam Hussein and the start of
the insurgency, when you could stroll through Baghdad down to one of the
teahouses on the banks of the Tigris without worrying too much about getting
kidnapped or blown up.
For those few months, supporters of the Iraq war generally felt pretty good
about the way things had gone.
No weapons of mass destruction had been found, but it was just a matter of time.
Yes, there had been looting and banditry, but it would pass.
It seemed, to the instigators and supporters of the war, that the dream of the
American neo-conservatives was coming true.
Iraq was being remade a beacon of democratic values. It would become such a
successful friend of the West that all its neighbours would want to copy it.
Watershed year
Of course, it has been clear for some time that the neo-con dreams were
delusions. But they should not be forgotten, because they are, after all, a big
part of the reason why we all ended up in this mess.
I say "we" because it is going to be very hard for anyone to avoid the
consequences of having a broken country and a bloody series of wars at the
centre of the world’s most strategically important region.
The year 2003 was a watershed in the modern history of the Middle East. The
results of the invasion are going to be rumbling around the region for a long
time – a generation or more.
Some are already clear. The war has already produced the biggest movement of
people in the Middle East since the Palestinian refugee crisis after the
establishment of Israel in 1948.
More than a million refugees from Iraq are in Syria, around a million more in
Jordan and almost two million have been displaced inside Iraq.
The war between Shia and Sunni Muslims in Iraq terrifies people.
In Saudi Arabia last month a Shia engineer told me how worried his community had
been during Ashura, the annual commemoration of the death of their martyr
Hussein, the grandson of the prophet Mohammed.
"It’s simple," he said. "Some of the Sunnis, the extremists, regard us as
infidels. We’re terribly worried that what’s happening in Iraq could happen
When you travel around the Middle East and ask people about how the war in Iraq
has affected them you get a combination of regret, anger and trepidation.
Last week I visited a senior Saudi security official, a general. I asked him
whether the invasion by America, Britain and their friends four years ago had
made Iraq into a recruiting sergeant for Islamist extremists.
He said it had, and explained.
"It inspires these people," he said. "Some of them think it is their duty to go
and perform jihad in Iraq. They think they are supporting the Muslims in Iraq
and actually protecting the Islamic civilisation and culture in Iraq."
He denied, by the way, that Saudi Arabia’s tolerance of some religious
extremists was also making matters worse.
‘Sound of freedom ‘
Saddam Hussein was a never a good neighbour, but after his armies were expelled
from Kuwait in 1991 he was contained.
The conservative, mainly elderly Sunni royalty who run the Arab Gulf like
predictability. What is happening in Iraq now is not at all predictable, and
that makes them nervous.
At the biggest arms fair in the Middle East, which was held in Abu Dhabi last
month, the best-selling items were weapons and equipment for border security and
And what about the Americans?
Some of them still seem to be believers in the dead dreams of four years ago.
On the flight deck of the enormous US aircraft carrier the USS Eisenhower in the
Gulf this week, warplanes were being shot out of the steam catapults on the
flight deck with engines that roared and screamed so loudly you felt it in your
sinuses, teeth and jawbone.
"Listen to it," one of the officers told me when the warplanes were launched and
streaking up the Gulf to Iraq.
"It is the sound of freedom."
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/03/22 00:17:56 GMT
Relevant to the Gutter or the Stars

About luckyme0

My First family, second marriage, bringing up my 18-year-old twins, boy, and girl. I am a third generation Humanist, who has some old handwritten information and notes; collected over many years. Someone may find the articles interesting, or helpful. They could bring back a little ‘reality’, after being ‘shocked’ and ‘brainwashed’, by some malicious group, or institution (REBT Therapy). People should know better, than to do this, to our very young, and the ‘obviously’ vulnerable! Go to easily accessible, non-superstitious knowledge that is not charlatanism! The blog has given me an incentive to order my thoughts, learn, and read up again, after a few non-thinking years of (very silly) imagination and passion. Why not, get your own key to a ‘door’, customise it to suit you, and it can be, all of your very own! Don’t believe, or be led by someone else’s; inherited, stupid, and a very likely (past, and not of today’s) ‘totally preposterous reality’s’. Only some interest in the ‘really big questions’, keeps life above the level of a farce, and very little else! KEEP THINKING! Some of the posts may need some correcting. Interests: REBT Counselling, Atheism, Secularism, Humanism, Psychology, Reading, Popular Science, School Ethos, Philosophy, History, Family, Parenting, Psychology, Horse Riding, Sailing, Rescue Boat Driver, Skiing (Teppichswinger), TV Documentaries, Motorbike Cross Country Riding, Volunteer Sports Stewarding, Writing, Primitive Man, Pre-history, Social Anthropology, British Humanist Association, BHA, Meaning of Life, The Big Questions, Where am I, What am I, Why am I, Hippie Love, Knowledge, Education, Globalisation. Favorite quote: “The world belongs to those who, at least to some degree, have figured it out.” Carl Sagan, ‘The Demon Haunted World’, ‘Contact’, and other famous books DVD ‘Cosmos’. The warning of another and horrendous, “Age of Superstition”. “Isn’t there something deeply absurd in the presumption that children ought to inherit beliefs from their parents. It can be deeply damaging, even lethally divisive. A ‘them’, with an ‘against us’, mentality” – Professor Richard Dawkins. “The will to believe is stronger than mere reason in the vast majority of people” – Dr J.Brown, Army Psychologist of the 1960′s. Humans will believe in almost anything, in fact, they seek it! Why? “98% of us, trained to be just good consumers, let’s train our children to be the 2% who have their very own creativity and discernment”; quote by a famous surreal artist. “The lack of reason brings forth monsters”. “Global interconnectedness is lethal against mass religion, nationalism, racism, and other destructive memeplexes. Let us connect everybody they hate it in restrictive regimes”; from the ‘meme learning group’, Richard Brodie’s book, ‘Virus Of The Mind’ (Richard Brodie a designer for ‘Microsoft Word’). Following on, J.Bronowski, and ‘The Ascent Of Man’ TV series, and a book with the last DVD in this series, ‘The Long Childhood’ being especially revealing. ‘Prehistory’ and the ‘Making of the Human Mind’ by Colin Renfrew, with P.Wilson’s, ‘The Domestication of the Human Species’, and Nigel Spivey’s, TV series and book, ‘How Art Made The World’, offers some further explanations. Latest reading: Jared Diamond
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