Saturday, August 21, 2004

I am getting crazy here, trying to follow what is happening in Najaf thru my own connections, besides the regular media, and its all driving me Crazy, for the last few hours i have been jumping on the couch every now and then to see if there is any news. there is a say, i cant recall if its an Arab or foreigner, anyway, it says "no news is good news" and this is one of the times that this say was totally damn wrong, the "no-news" is burning my nerves. the only news i saw are about more killed Iraqis, over 90 Iraqi killed in the last 24 hours in Najaf and Baghdad, hundred wounded in deferent governorates, curfew in Karbala during the night for the next three days, blood blood and more blood everywhere. 1400 years ago, the grandson of prophet Mohammed PBUH, Imam Hussein, who is a extremely very important character for in Shea beliefs, he was killed in Iraq, as i said before more than 1400 years, and till now, Shea still cry and grieve in the day he was killed every year (that's on the Islamic calendar, yes we have a calendar, its deferent, we are now the year 1425) because he was killed in an unfair war (it?s a really long story) but he fought till he was killed, he said a line that has become a proverb, he said "haihat minna ilthilla, it means, there is no way we will be dishonored" and he fought till he was killed, as i said. Al-Sadr today is playing Imam Hussein role, he even said the same line yesterday (i think, or the day before, not sure) he realizes, as the Iraqi government realizes, that in case he was killed, Shea will grieve him and make a BIG hero out of him, a resistance figure that will live FOR EVER, Saddam did all he could to prevent Shea from grieving Imam Hussein for 35 years, he used to send the army to Shea neighbors in the grieve day, close the streets, make a security alert all over the Shea governorates, sometimes even prevented them from distributing food (that's what they do, they cook in quantities and distribute food around the city) sometimes jailed everyone who does that, yet, after 35 years, they all were back in the streets doing the same traditions and ceremonies they did since ever, i was saying, that the government realizes that, so they are going to do everything to insure his safety, they will try instead of stripting him in Abu ghreib, or Swiss-cheesing his body, to offer him terms of agreement that they know, and he knows it would kill him politically, by asking him to go on public and tell people to surrender, the thing that i know, they know, Sadr knows that it would NEVER happen, i know, they know, that he prefers to die and become an all-time hero, these terms they made were only made to justify the killing of all the anti-coalition people by saying : we gave them a chance but they refused it.
question: why don't American army and Iraqi forces pull out immediately from Najaf? What would they lose? There isn't an excuse of "possible war" here right? Sadrist say that they are defending themselves only, why don't the other forces act wise, and just pull out if the goal is the safety of Iraqi people as they claim? Or is it just the normal kill-everyone-that-doesn't-kneel policy?
just a question!


#8/21/2004 05:23:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jeffrey

All the commentators I've read so far say the same thing. First, if Al-Sadr walks out and claims victory, every two-bit thug will use his model. Take over a holy place and start making demands. In a few weeks or months all of these local thug King Pins will start fighting each other for these spots. Second, the importance of the Imam Ali mosque is the huge cash flow from the Shia pilgrims. If Al-Sadr gets hooked up to that cash, he will supply uprisings all through the south and you will have civil war for sure. Muqty gets funding and intel from Iran, no question about that. And third, if Muqty walks, that will undermine the authority of the Interim Government and perhaps even for the elections in January.

Your response?

BTW, I understand your frustration with the media coverage of events on the ground in Najaf. However, to be fair, you do realize that Muqty's aides seem to be divided about what to do, right? Check out this article from the Christian Science Monitor.


#8/21/2004 06:12:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jeffrey

Here’s a passage from a March 19, 2003, Guardian article that quotes Sayid Abdul Majid al-Khoie.

>Sayid Majid al-Khoie, one of Saddam's most implacable opponents, who met him twice before fleeing Iraq in 1991, predicts Saddam will stay.

>"He does not truly believe the Americans will do it. He will think that he has divided the United Nations security council, the European leaders and the world," said Mr Khoie, son of the grand ayatollah of Iraq. "He will think that in the end the US will bomb and then, like 1991, they will let him continue. He said this on television a few days ago, speaking to the army."

A month later he would be hacked to death with knives right in from of your (always peaceful?) Imam Ali mosque. Don't you think it's a desecration to knife a Sayid to death at the doors of the Imam Ali shrine?

Most people believe Al-Sadr and his militia were behind the gruesome killing. And the investigators think so too. That's why has been indicted for al-Khoie's death.

Is Muqtada Al-Sadr above the law, Khalid?

I'm interested in your answer.


#8/21/2004 06:38:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jeffrey

From a Guardian article by Luke Harding in Saturday's Guardian. Harding is reporting from inside the Imam Ali mosque.

>Where the Mahdi army has been newly turfed out, there is little sympathy for Mr Sadr, or for his militia, many of whose corpses lie unburied to the north of the shrine, in Najaf's vast cemetery.

>"They are looters, murderers and Ba'athists," a shopkeeper, Abdul Amir, said. His troubles started six months ago, he said, when an American soldier bought one of his fridges.

>"A month later the Mahdi army took me to the cemetery, accused me of being an American agent, and beat me up. After that I had to appear before Moqtada's Sharia court. Dozens of people have been tortured or disappeared. Moqtada has a secret underground jail. His followers have executed at least 300 people," he claimed.

What do you think, Khalid?

#8/21/2004 09:34:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jeffrey

Here are the comments by an Iraqi named Baghdadi:

>Wednesday, August 18, 2004

>If you are following Muqtada’s story like I am you would know that according to all the news and most of the press out there he accepted the government position by disarming his thugs and leave the Shrine. However, if you read what Al-Jazeera wrote earlier on their website, you would think that Muqtada did not accept the deal. On the other hand some of the Iraqi press is saying that Iran had a lot to do with Muqtada’s decision about accepting the deal. Take the deal now and save your guys because we need you later.

>My take on this whole thing is, it is wrong to let Muqtada or any of his thugs go free just because they put their weapons down. This was the biggest test for Allawi’s government and I feel they failed miserably. Falluja got away with murder, Muqtada got away with murder, and God only knows who is going to rise up in the future and do what Muqtada did. I feel that by sparing Muqtada’s life this government is inviting all the thugs in and all around Iraq to come in and bear arms. This is the wrong message to send to all the terrorist groups out there because they will be viewed as weak and indecisive government.


#8/21/2004 10:01:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre



You provide such comprehensive footnoting, but i am always left wondering if you understand your source material. It really escapes me why you ask a contributor a question either after the answer has been provided in the contributors original text, or after you have already prepared an answer of your own in advance. What exactly, are you hoping to achieve here?

#8/21/2004 10:27:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jeffrey


There is no footnoting here. I think you're using the wrong term.

A footnote is a very specific device for citation. There are different styles of citation (MLA and APA and Chicago are the three most common). I am simply cutting and pasting from different sources to let some other voices mingle on your blog.

It needs it, to be frank.

BTW, that is Salam Pax's new blog. Check my post for today. He rebuts Riverbend. Very interesting.


#8/21/2004 10:44:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jeffrey


You are testing my patience. Let me summarize.

First post. A 3-point argument for why letting Al-Sadr claim victory is a dangerous course of action.

Second post. A report on the stabbing death of Sayid al-Khoie right at the front door of the Imam Ali mosque. My question: is this considered a desecration of the "holy shrine" or not?

Third post. A Najafi man complains about the brutality of the Mehdi militia and Muqty's Sharia court. Certainly newsworthy, wouldn't you say?

Fourth post. On a weblog, an Iraqi man says that Al-Sadr is a danger to Iraqis and to Iraq's future.

A lot of possible debate could derive from these four posts. Come to think of it, I've heard you TALK about debate but you never ENGAGE in it. Hm.


#8/21/2004 10:53:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre


Does "sardonic" mean anything to you? If you were really interested in different voices mingling you might stop and listen for a moment instead of making yourself the cut & paste street leafleteer.

And yes that is a very interesting new blog, i am reading it right now.

#8/21/2004 10:54:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jeffrey


I was evaluating sources for papers already in 1975. I've been in academia a long time now, probably teaching longer than you've been alive. I don't need someone like you announcing what it means to analyze source material. Teaching others how to do it is part of my job.

BTW, I have noticed that your grammar has started to improve. Most people just need to write every day to build up their composition skills. I've also noticed that you don't use as many small letters as you used to. Very good. Unless you believe you're the reincarnation of e.e. cummings, learn to use capital letters like everyone else.


#8/21/2004 11:02:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jeffrey

Leaflets? Is that what you're trying to say? Pamphlets? Man, get a dictionary.

Um, I think the Guardian of London might be miffed at your characterization of their august daily as "pamphlet literature"!

However, Milton's 1644 Areopagitica, a spirited defense of free press, was a pamphlet, so they shouldn't get too upset.


#8/21/2004 11:10:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jeffrey


Now don't get mad at me, but I view you as one of my bright but kind of lazy students. I don't know how you are. I've already told everyone here I'm 47. If I sound a bit abrasive and pushy sometimes, just mark it down to the teacher in me. Every student is different and I have to guage how to get them to do their best. It is challenging, to be sure. I think you need to be pushed a bit. I could be wrong, but that's my hunch. Would your Mom agree with me?


#8/21/2004 11:28:00 am Assalam Aleikom Blogger emigre


leafleteer. pronounced leaf·le·teer, as in auction.eer and musket.eer.

have you no sense of humility? now stop bothering me, i'm busy.

#8/21/2004 06:23:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jeffrey


Humility? What's that?

All right, all right. I'll lay off you a bit, but you're still that difficult problem student in the back row (ha ha).

Hey, have you been watching any Olympics? Don't tell me you're going to label me the Gary Hall Jr. of the Blogosphere, are you?


#8/21/2004 07:07:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger madtom

Well I read till the part where he compared Mr.. Sadr to some historical figure buried at the shrine. Give me a break.
All that Sadr was doing was to make a lot of noise so that no one would see the national assembly taking place, or to try to create such an emergency that the assembly would fail or be put off for a safer day.
Now I don't know any history of Iraq, but something tells me that the motives of these two figures are nothing alike.
I could be wrong, but maybe if you would have changed the cannel you would have seen something worth seeing.


#8/23/2004 03:01:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

Jeffrey --

"Is Muqtada Al-Sadr above the law, Khalid?"

Allow me to answer:

No he isn't. But there are forces in Iraq that are. Do I need to remind you that there are over 140 000 people in Iraq today that answer to no Iraqi judge? Even if they murder, steal or rape?

Let us not play games here. The question is not whether Sadr is an ignorant thug, because all reports indicate he is. This indictment is simply being used to add the illusion of legitimacy to foreign military action against Iraqi patriots. The question is, does he have the right as an Iraqi to stand up and say "Out with the invaders!" ? Given the last polls, and the support he is getting ... yes, without question. How many (unpaid) Iraqis are willing to stand up for YOUR invaders, hmm?

Oh, and regarding your remarks about AsSadr possibly having ties to Iran: You know what, I have been extensively investigating the matter, and have come to the inescapable conclusion that there is another force involved in the Iraqi unrest. Yes! I have concrete evidence that the current 'Iraqi Government' has been funded by a foreign country, apparently called the "USA". I know it is hard to believe, but there are rumours that Allawi may even be a "Puppet" or "Stooge"! Apparently thousands of Iraqis have been killed by this "USA", but nobody seems to notice it. The evil Iranians, however, are a much greater menace. Ooooh! Everybody run!

"Don't tell me you're going to label me the Gary Hall Jr. of the Blogosphere, are you?"

Uh, no, don't flatter yourself. He actually wins *his* contests ...


#8/23/2004 03:05:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

Emigre --

LOL! So Jeff is hoisting his true colours, hmm? I'm glad to see he has reawakened to his old illusions of grandeur, and is strutting importantly with his bedraggled tail-feathers aloft.

It amuses me.

This endless repetition of his accomplishments and greatness cuts no ice with me, I'm afraid, if only for the fact that I know his ordinarily used grammar, punctuation and spelling to be of an inferior standard. It is only in these recent posts that he has made an effort with the ol' spit & polish.

What exactly is he trying to accomplish by dragging you off into his area of expertise? Is he contributing to discussions of Iraqi matters, which he feels are lacking on your blog?


It is the Authority Figure trick, which he has already taught to the remaining few mesmerised poodles at his blog. Read, and counter his arguments, and he breaks readily enough.

(btw, I feel that good command of one's language IS important. I just don't caper about rubbing people's noses in it. I feel that their arguments are more important that the manner in which they are presented.)

Ask him how his Arabic is coming along, why don't you?


#8/23/2004 06:04:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jeffrey


Where do you live?


#8/23/2004 06:51:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

Jeffhilda --

I do believe that I have already answered that question, from you, on another occasion. Look it up, huh?


#8/24/2004 07:47:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Blogger Jeffrey


You just don't get it, do ya?

Wordplay isn't your strength, right?

"Jeffhilda" is stupid.

Here, try these:


Brunhilda, you're a sad case.

Hey, what I remember is that you refused to tell us what your nationality is. Right? And you made some bogus excuse like, "In debate, where one comes from doesn't matter." Or some such crap.

It matters, Brunhilda. You criticize my government's policies but I can't critcize yours? Doesn't seem fair, does it?

What's your country, Brunhilda?

Let's put our cards on the table. If you don't tell me where you're from, I will not engage in debate with you here anymore.

(Peanut Gallery: Yes, Brunhilda, this is your chance! Don't tell him! Maybe he'll go away!)

Hey, Gallery, not bloody likely.


#8/25/2004 03:05:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

Jeffrey --

You are what is referred to as a "tard" aren't you? I say this, because for somebody who imagines himself so grand, your logic is rather pathetic. Observe:

"You criticize my government's policies but I can't critcize yours? Doesn't seem fair, does it?"

Oh, boo - hoo hoo.

So, what you are saying is : "I can't handle your arguments or position, please give me some personal details so that I can ad hominem you or attack your country instead of addressing the facts." That *is* what you are saying, right? Well, you might have some sort of point there, if not for the small oversight on your part in overlooking the possibility that ** I might not agree with my governments policies at all ** !

You : "Hey, what I remember is that you refused to tell us what your nationality is. Right?"

Wrong. I told you.

But, let it not be said that I am a bad sport.
So, here I go again, repeating the same old stuff for the same old fossil:

I'm from South Africa.

O joyous occasion for Jeffrey!

Let's see if he can haul out some original insults, or if he will simply repeat the same crud as last time. I'm guessing that he is also going to request, nay, DEMAND an essay from me on what I think of SA, so that he can engage in more fruitless 'source analysis' in order to find a weapon, any weapon, against me.

( Cut to Jeffrey rummaging amongst the dusty detritus of his drab mental attic. "Bruno can't comment on the Iraqi situation because SA has nothing to do with the place" Might that work? "He must keep quiet because SA history is really bloody." Sounds good. "He must shut up because SA is pathetic. Yeah! That'll show him!" Excited now. Confident in his spectacular surprise arguments, Jeff coughs out the last of the dust and sets off for his computer ... )

Your arguments are anticipated, and already countered. Do your worst.

Oh, and as for the name-calling thing ... really ... that is hardly my idea of elevated debate. The "Jeffhilda" remark was off the cuff, and not intended as serious commentary. I would much rather spend my time analysing your arguments, and how they hold together (or, more likely, fail to) than thinking up the latest version of "Jeffreak".

I tell you what ... if your high school trauma of unresponded - to name-calling (and probably head slaps) by the 'jocks' still haunts you, well, get it off your chest. Your assignment: Think up 50 ghastly variants of "Bruno" and post them in a list, thereby exorcising your psychological ghosts. Please, think of it as my humble service to you, that you may concentrate on actual, umm, discussion.

If you can.


#8/27/2004 05:17:00 pm Assalam Aleikom Anonymous Anonymous

That's funny, I can hear the wind in the willows, but there's no sign of Toad.



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