Friday, April 30, 2004

I like the new flag, but miss the waving American flag. Can we have both please?
Golly gee, I wonder why the mainstream media hasn't reported this.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Believe it or not but Colonel Kadhafi landed at Zaventem, Brussels Interantional Airport. He met Prodi, President of the EU Commission and had also talks with a delegation of the Belgian government. Finally he visited Belgian Parliament, where he said (a.o.) the following, which came as quite a shocker for our dear Politically Correct Excellencies:


"I have a higher opinion of the direct people's democracy in Libya than the representative democracy in the Western World. Representation is fraud. I want the people to go sit on the seats you are now sitting on".


Ouch. Sorry, Colonel? You've been in charge for how many, 34 years now? Lemme see, in this time span we have had the governments of Tindemans, Leburton, Martens (all seven of them), Eyskens, Dehaene (also quite a few) and now we have (gulp) Verhofstadt II. Sheesh.

In spite of the man's obvious impudence in addressing the Parlementarians of his host country, I must admit I've been wondering quite a lot about the man's apparent U-turn over the past three years or so. I recall him saying - in the wake of Operation Enduring Freedom, I think - that the US has the right to defend itself. And this is a must-read. I'm puzzled. Has the Libyan leadership really made the correct analysis the way it was following was a dead-end? Or has Gadhafi other plans he wants to distract the world's attention from? I read he has big ambitions in Africa. That he wants to turn away from the Arab World and instead focus on the Leadership of something like an African Union.

It's all pretty hard to gauge at this stage. Worth watching closely however. Any thoughts?
I've been patiently waiting for this sort of thing. It looks as if some Iraqis are not going to let a small group of fanatics ruin their country's future.

Hat tip to Instapundit.
A Marine in Iraq speaks.
(hat tip to Instapundit)
You think that's bad. Check out this lovely bunch that McClellan has to deal with daily in press briefings. Start reading the daily press briefings and you'll feel rage like you can't imagine. I've worked for the Press Sec, but at the State level, and it was a nightmare then, but this is just plain stupid. It's a shame that the good questions that need to be asked and answered are mixed with unintelligible stuff like this...

( Helen Thomas questioning):

Q Why is Fallujah and Najaf under siege? Why are they -- and is the President willing to see them go into a Waco or Guernica?

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry, where are you getting that from, Helen?

Q That if they are under siege, and we decide to go in, and there is that kind of resistance, there will be tremendous bloodshed.

MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, that is a highly speculative characterization that you are making there.

Q Well, we do have them under siege, both towns, don't we?

MR. McCLELLAN: And I would not describe it that way. First of all, we have been working very closely with Iraqi officials in those areas to bring about a peaceful resolution to the situation. The coalition has been working to partner with Iraqi security forces to improve the security situation. There are a lot of developments going on, on the ground. Certainly, if coalition forces are fired upon, namely our Marines, in the case of Fallujah, they will defend themselves.

Now there are some thugs and terrorists that continue to exist in areas of Fallujah.

Q -- maybe they're just Iraqis.

MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, all you have to have to do is look at the types of attacks that they carried out on innocent Americans recently to know that these are thugs and terrorists. They have no regard for human life.

Q Are we doing the same thing?

MR. McCLELLAN: We will not let them prevail. However, as I said, we are working to improve the security situation there. We're working with Iraqi leaders. You're seeing a partnering with Iraqi security forces to begin patrols in Fallujah and to bring about a peaceful resolution to the situation. They've been working with civilian leaders there. But there is a difference between civilian leaders and thugs and terrorists who seek to derail the transition to democracy for the Iraqi people. And they have no place in Iraq.

Q Maybe they're defending their own country against an occupation.

MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, we have liberated the Iraqi people, and we're moving forward to transfer sovereignty back to the Iraqi people, so that they can realize a free and peaceful future. As I said, this is critical to winning the war on terrorism. There are thugs and terrorists who are trying to carry out innocent attacks on innocent men, women and children. Look at what they've done, look at the attacks they've carried out that have led to the deaths of school children. Look at the attacks that they have carried out that have led to the deaths of their fellow Iraqi citizens.

Q And we haven't we killed any civilians? Have we killed any civilians?

MR. McCLELLAN: The United States military and coalition forces go out of their way to make sure that civilians are not targeted and not killed.

Q Have we killed any?

MR. McCLELLAN: We target those who seek to carry out their evil acts and seek to return to the oppressive regime of the past -- and that's not going to happen.

It would be worth the price of a first class ticket to Seattle to go and throw a beating into these jackasses.

Let's see how these latte saturated communists feel when the Space Needle falls on their neighborhood after a terrorist bombing. Oh yeah, that will be Bush's fault too, I'm sure.

Here's a suggested addition to The Patriot Act: Anyone who publicly supports the killing of US troops gets a public flogging and 20 years in Guantanamo. Bastards.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Around the time that the President was pushing the prescription drugs benefit, I wrote our wonderful Senator Susan Collins urging her not to support this bloated, ridiculous piece of legislation. I received written a reply today. I'm too lazy to retype the senator's whole response, but I can sum it up for you in plain English:

Dear Scott,

While this piece of legislation is far from perfect, I decided to support it anyway because it is laden with pork that is going to make me look really good to some key constituents. Sure, it's going to cost the American taxpayer an arm and a leg and isn't really going to solve much of anything, but Maine managed to get a giant pile of pet projects stapled onto this bill, so how could I say no?

Sincerely, Susan Collins


For those of you keeping score at home, no Republican administration in the last 75 years has actually shrunk the size of government.
Tom.

Shouldn't you consider removing this and that.

F*cking cowards.

Ok, you're the Headmaster and I don't hafta order you anything. It's just a thought. Hey, you could rearrange
the rest of the flags so as to eliminate one row - without gaps it'll be less obvious.

Typing away from a cellar hidden deep in the Ardennes, your servant Michael, soon-to-be-outlawed.
Has anyone found anything stating how the Spanish troops feel about being "pulled out" of Iraq? All I hear about is Zapatero and Parliament clapping their hands, I want to know how the people that were there feel now that they are back in Spain. I read one interview with a Spanish soldier after the Madrid bombings that was definitively against being pulled out, but since then I haven't seen anything new.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Tom, actually I'm glad that you came up with that topic about the Vlaams Blok.

The arrest has dominated the press over here.

I wanted to edit a piece on this event, but compared to the developments in Iraq, where the stakes for our Western Civilization and, indeed,
for the sake of Democracy, Peace and Prosperity in the Middle East are crucial, I considered it to be a if not a non-topic, at least a minor one, to be addressed at a more appropriate time.

Well, Politically Correct Belgium has struck again.

As Mr. Pollard's update clarifies, the Party itself is not outlawed (yet), but supporting organizations are, revenues are curtailed, steps can now be taken to prevent the distribution of Party-publicized printing via the Postal Services, etc. etc... In short, it's a strategy aimed at strangling the voice of what is soon to be Flanders biggest party.

Can I be just angry yes? Depressed? ANGRY YES?????? VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY ANGRY???????

Look friends (good to know I got friends across the Atlantic), I got no time.


I have kitchen furniture to order (requires filling in order forms, drawing plans, double-checking the order codes etc...).

I have faxes to prepare (for ordering spare parts for electrical appliances).

I have online payments to do (social security, goods purchased, electricity, taxes...)

I have invoices to make, quotations.

At the end of that, when I go to sleep, I want to try to make my desk look halfway decent.

In short, I'm doing the type of work that keeps a society going.


All this while a bunch of full-of-themselves morally bankrupt self-deluding coward reds and greens are trying hard to stifle MY political voice, when ALL I WANT FOR THE IMMIGRANTS WHO FLOCK TO MY COUNTRY IS TO LEARN THE LANGUAGE, ASSIMILATE WHILE BEING FREE TO WORSHIP WHOEVER THEY WANT, CALL THEIR NEWBORNS WHATEVER THEY WANT, CLOTHE HOWEVER THEY WANT, AND ABIDE BY OUR LAWS.


Meanwhile the nice boys of the Arab European League, led by Brussels-based former Hezbollah member Dyab Abu Jahjah roam the streets of Antwerp SHADOWING POLICE PATROLS.

Understand who can.

So I'm very sorry. I feel like I should rant and rant and rant and RANT AND RANT AND RANT!!!!!!!!

But I can't. Work comes first.

Sorry for the dark thoughts and poor writing (I consider it poor). It's just that I've been so adversely affected by this arrest the past days that, well yeah, I'm so ANGRY it affects my capacity for coherent writing.

Sorry for now, I'll be back later. Keep up your good work. Kerry, noticed you've been mentioned on Instapundit and Buzz Machine (JohnL, a fine gent from Massachusetts, made me aware of it). Congratulations!!!
Kaus has all the news on Kerry. The more you read, the more you think of summer.....this many flip flops will do that to you.
Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

Tom, I had no idea that Kerry was still in the reserves from 70-72 while he was actively protesting. What's up with that? As I recall, when you were in, somebody got in trouble (I can't remember if it was somebody retiring, or somebody leaving Command) for speaking badly of Clinton in front of other reservists, and you all got a talking to about it, just in case anyone else couldn't remember proper etiquette when referring to the Commander In Chief while on Navy time and property. What Kerry was doing would surely qualify for a dishonorable discharge at least, and possibly treason I'd think. Am I wrong?
Michael, any comments on this story about the Vlaams Blok?

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Sunday, April 25, 2004


First ME, I want to say thank you for being willing to have this discussion with us.
Now I want to address just a few things to begin with, since there is a lot to digest here.

The first thing is in response to:
I enjoy reading your blog immensely. even though I found it pro-Israel and pro-America and frighteningly anti-Arab and anti-Muslim.

Yes, it is "pro American" (by this I take it that you mean we seem supportive of the current administration's policies, which as far as foreign policy goes, I would say is true overall), and you could say it is pro Israel. The real question for me is why does that automatically make it anti-Arab and anti-Muslim? Particularly where Israel is concerned, if one's views are "pro-Israel" it seems that one is automatically considered "anti-Arab". This is ridiculous in my opinion. When we get to the Israel/Palestine question, the question for me will be not whether Palestine has a right to exist, but whether Israel does? Unless this is answered by the Arab world community truthfully in the affirmative, there's no reason to have the discussion.

Next I'd like to say that I am constantly referring to events happening in Iraq and Iran, which last time I knew were considered heavily Muslim and partly Arab (in Iraq's case), and not in derogatory terms. In fact, millions of Americans are Muslims, more live here than in any one country in the Middle East. We do, however, distiguish between those that practice the Muslim religion, and those who invoke Islam to carry out acts of aggression and terror. I will admit to supporting trying to foster a democratic thought process in those countries, I will always support those who strive in any country for equality and justice, for free and open expression of ideas. The very fact that you are communicating with us in this way indicates that you understand that you have a certain inherent freedom to speak your mind about ideas and opinions. I support that but I believe that it should apply to all, in this way some Arab cultures have a long way to go in many countries, in particular where women are concerned.

Also, I don't know that we can use the US and Europe in the same comparisons of the rise of miliant Islamism. The US has a definitively different culture from Europe. We tend to not baby our citizens quite so much. We pretty much believe that anyone has the right to make it here, but ALSO with that right comes RESPONSIBILITY. Here's my experience, and I'm not unable to say that it is somewhat limited, so maybe it isn't as widespread as I think, but I have also read many books (The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri comes to mind) and articles that agree with my experience. Many minorities in the US OSTRACIZE THEMSELVES. They don't try to assimilate, they don't go out of their way to be friendly, and assume that everyone is ignoring them or putting them down for their "race" or "origin" or religion, when in fact it is often just like the shy person that is taken for a snob because they are so quiet and introverted.

This struck me particularly:
Why is no one offended when black gangs in NY prevent people from entering their street or are constantly jibing others , standing in defiance of transgressors on what their see as their turf .Now I?m being mild I?m not even mentioning the drug wars. Others bully their peers at school or family members. It is the same thing , a EU citizen of Arab/Muslim ethnic origin could possibly bully his sister and maybe even mother for many things including wearing a scarf ? So why the shock ? why the racist intonations?

I am offended by this, and so are many other Americans, but this is EXACTLY what we are trying to prevent with other cultures. Isolation, the creation of their own society within another. Their turf? If they own it, you bet. If they are living in tenaments payed for my me, and other hardworking Americans of all backgrounds including their black brothers and sisters, that'd be OUR turf. Why? Because in America every person is entitled to education through high school. After that, you have no excuse not to make it, there's always an example of someone who has that came from a tougher life than you.

That's all I can get into for today but it is a start. With anyone that will have a discourse, we are more than happy to do so. What we need are people like ME to get their disenchanted brethren to have that discourse, instead of carrying a chip on their shoulder to theirs and someone else's graves.
Ok people, this week I finally got ME's answer to my concerns expressed in my post of March 21st.

In short, it was a piece on the West's concerns with the worldwide rise of Islamic fundamentalism. I've been in contact through email for some time now with a Middle-Easterner I refer to on this blog simply as "ME", since I promised not to reveal his/her identity, gender, profession or nationality. What I can tell you is that ME is IMO a respectable, hightly educated person. The following is ME's answer to my rant, which I truncated in two because it's quite an elaborate piece. Btw, thank you for your effort ME.

NOTE THAT PERSONALLY I DO NOT AGREE WITH ME's OPINION CONCERNING:


a.) the reasons he/she cites for the rise of militant Islamism in especially Europe, at least only to some extent namely
that European racism is partially responsible for creating extremist Islam.

b.) his/her assessment of the Mujahideen being "abandoned" by the West after the Soviets were driven out of Afghanistan

c.) the wording at times used, most notably in the horrendous killing of the four Blacwater employees in Fallujah

d.) the so-called extermination of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. Although many live in appalling conditions, (to what extent is it their own fault?) I don't call that an extermination. 6 million shot, gassed or otherwise murdered Jews I call an extermination. 8,000 gunned down Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica is an extermination.


That said, I think it's really worthwile to read through ME's addressing of the "problems with Islam" as we perceive it in the West.

If we can agree to disagree it's already a starting point. For the hardliners here, don't think I've gone soft, I'm only attempting to grasp what's on a Middle Easterner's mind.

Go ahead ME:


You know Michael , Kerry ,Tom, Scott, Drazil and Mark , I enjoy reading your blog immensely. even though I found it pro-Israel and pro-America and frighteningly anti-Arab and anti-Muslim. So maybe you are hardliners in your view but I don’t think so you are probably just like me afraid of the future. I nevertheless think that if I could talk with you we could perhaps make our voice heard and tell our mutual friends that we are not a threat to each other.

After you finish reading please do not flame or curse me, I think you will find that I have been very pragmatic . Dissect whatever you want and keep on asking questions we will find a solution together in the end.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Michael’s diatribe carried a lot of heavy loaded questions, which would require rivers of ink figuratively speaking or megabytes to answer. However it is summed up in 2 questions.


(1) What is the root cause of so called Islamic terrorism

(2) Why is it mounting?



Before voicing my theory, I would like to explain my opening statement to him with regards to the rise of Islam in Europe. I said this not because I was making a demographic count, not at all, I just stated what is widely believed by many Muslims according to the theology studies. For me that is a fact, but I am aware that for you it is not easy see this nor be convinced as that requires a leap of faith. I am unable to back this up scientifically; it is all in the realm of beliefs.



However, in discussing the part about demographics, I would like to stress that most converts I met are highly educated individuals, successful I their own fields. Though I was wondering why should there be a stigma to people financially challenged embracing Islam? Islam usually acts as a catalyst for them to strive to better themselves, feel worthy and rise from their sorry state. It is more like a way of life.



It is not my duty to preach, nor my intention; I’m hardly the candidate for that. I would simply like to address the two questions above mentioned and which started this whole debate.



The majority of North African Muslims have immigrated to Europe for economical not ideological purposes. This probably also applies to Asians and Turks. None had a pre-packaged baggage of ideologies or religious fervour; but traditions and their own culture yes. If they could make that kind of money at home then they would have definitely remained there. Please remember that Europe and the West in general had encouraged them and still do because they are cheaper labour, although nowadays they have competition from the former Soviet bloc states.



I am not going to discuss the other African or Asian people who have also gone to Europe but who are not Muslims.



Here’s the lowdown, we have literarily millions of Muslims of various ethnic backgrounds living, working becoming citizens, marrying and procreating in Europe. Their offspings consider themselves, French, Belgian, British, German etc.. They are not thinking of going back to the land of their ancestors. Yet still do not tell me that these people have been treated like the other Caucasian Europeans as equals, there has always been that item of condescendence and misunderstanding towards their customs. I am talking of the traditions indigenous to each country ( ie Algeria, Morocco, Egypt ,etc..) not to Islam. This resulted in them marrying people of their own race of even someone from back home Getting a bride from the old homeland is not because she is a better Muslim, it is just because the white French girls would not all have been widely excited about marrying them. You know sleeping with an exotic person may be okay but actually marrying the person is a difficult decision. This goes both was for men and women.

It is not because the generation of Muslim women in the west has become more ‘emancipated’ and therefore would stand up to their men. Though I admit that these ladies have become more westernised, which is not a crime in my book. I think it is good to learn from other people take the good part and make your decisions on how you wish to lead your life. Maybe these women wanted to marry a French man for example?

So racism has and continues to be an important factor. Please note that in France they still call French youngsters of Arab origin ‘Beurre’, despite these kids being 3rd or 4th generation immigrants. I’ve heard it as recently as last year from a French friend of mine who was describing the gorgeous girls he met at a beach in St.Tropez, even though I know that he is cultured and non-racist, but this expression did slip his tongue . How does that sound then when someone seriously means it . You cannot ignore that these small factors , molehills , add up to make mountains. So all the bills passed and all the efforts made by respective European governments have never been able to get at the underlying racism. Do not proceed to tell me that there has been no aggression or mistreatment towards these immigrant, no racial profiling , no thinking that the worst comes from them. This is even prior to 9/11 and earlier terrorist attacks. Have you heard of the 1967 massacre of Arabs in France and why this was carried out ? 1961 Massacre of Algerians in Paris.

I think that mostly comes from the inner fear of the ‘alien’ other, from ignorance about others and from unwillingness to learn, meet, interact with them at a deeper level, because of not really caring. A cheap working force is good for those jobs the Europeans may not want to do anymore, but there is an attitude of let’s not socialise with these people. Misunderstanding breeds and festers very negative feelings. I am not negating here all the efforts of serious, kind enlightened Europeans who have welcome these people in their midst but I would like to say that the current against them was more prevalent. Please try this little exercise, you are poor and have come to Tunis to work because you heard that there were jobs available and you will be earning much more than in Belgium. Then you find out that the population tolerates you barely at work and has absolutely no intention of socialising with you , except as a prostitute for example because that is not binding. How would you feel? No friends, no human contact? You will try and find some other person from you village or country and living in Tunis so that you may talk to each other and go out for a drink and generally be supportive. But you would be hurt by this snub and rebuke from the host country especially if after many years you have made your life there, have become Tunisian and feel a stranger on the other side of the Mediterranean, and economically you would be literally a beggar if you immigrate in reverse. Then why should you ? Tunis is as much you country as theirs now, you pay taxes, rent, serve in the police and work in all the strata of the society . Now that was a very simple example. Try multiplying it by thousands and hundred of thousands, what do you get ? Especially that if something happens, the Tunisian police will immediately raid your house. These combined situations: FEAR & SUSPICION and the rise of European nationalism because the economy has not been that healthy make the view of the outsiders even more as enemies and job-grabbers. Europe does not have my Jew cousins as a scapegoat anymore.



This leads to, depression, dissatisfaction, impotence (not in a sexual context here) maybe even anger, we are humans after all. Find me one ordinary person who has never felt angry ( except for Gandhi or Jesus Christ ) Look at you all, on the comments section , emotions flare up and people hurl insults at each other , and yet these are total strangers so how would it feel if you perceive to be deliberately targeted continuously? You freak out right ? look at America after 9/11.



Now let’s move to the next step, many immigrants have had great to moderate success and were able to move out of the ghettos, they are relatively safer from the discrimination. But what about the millions of others? They are making a living, they are in their own country but they are in essence poor . What happens to poor people, many of them drop out of school. Please look at the statistics of the British schools, many 16 years old kids drop and these are not just Muslims or Arabs, they are white little British kids. Where do dropouts hang ? logically they try to get menial, simple part time jobs if they still think correctly no decent institution would hire them since they have no skills or experience. I wouldn’t if I could choose between a graduate and a dropout it is a simple as that ! So let’s baby step back to where or with whom these poor dropouts hang: drug gangs, thieves and other undesirable shady groups who lure them with easy money, but money nonetheless which caters for their financial needs. This is common to all, be they European or American Caucasian youths or Japanese or even Arabs for that matter it has absolutely nothing to do with religion. So they all head for a life of crime, unless someone fishes them out before they are killed or imprisoned.



The ranks of the immigrants have been swelled in the last decade by those who have escaped from wars in the Middle-East namely Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. Some have decided to evade the draft; other just could not stand the civil war whilst some just wanted a chance of a fresh start in a peaceful land.



I’m not a political analyst not even a sociologist so I will not venture any opinion from that aspect nor try to prove anything I just want to speak about it from the average understanding of the man on the street . I won’t tay that Arabs have not made mistakes , oh no we’ve made scores , but so have others if it is any consolation. This though does not in any way excuse our shortcomings. But we are in agreement that at some point in recent/modern history America and other western countries have armed and trained and sponsored Islamic factions because that was perceived as in the interest of the west. These people have become better trained, highly experienced combatants with an agenda. When their use had expired they were left high and dry, no hero’s welcome back home as they were thought to be a threat to their respective government and totally undesirable in the countries which has supported them in the first place. That is a huge number of disenchanted individualswith a sense of betrayal. These are not thugs or bandits; many are doctors and teachers, and engineers and lawyers and other people who really believed they were performing a good deed to repel the communists. They succeeded brilliantly with the help of western and specifically American firepower. Their mistake was they did not stop to think that America was not waging a Jihad against the communists to defend an Islamic country; it was doing this because of its own personal vested interest of defeating the Reds. They were in a sense used as canon fodder in America’s wars ..



Now you’re thinking oops ME’s digressed into the usual boring bla bla wich was hashed over and over again. Please bear with me; we are still talking about the roots of so called Islamic terrorism.



In parallel to these events, sponsorships and encouragement from the West, results in the rise of what for lack of a better word I will call here ‘Islamic fundamentalism’, although it has nothing to do with Islam but the name. These people infiltrated the social ranks , they seem to know what the are talking about. Try it yourself, you’re trying to convince me of something so you hurl at me all these urls now, I don’t know much about that subject, I’m ignorant, young, disenchanted, I’m having an identity crisis in the West and am very impressionable. I’m a school dropout who has not been thought how to look for information on my own (cause if I did I would still be in school anyway) but I hardly know Arabic culture remember as I’m French , German or Belgian or even American , but there is still some hope in me and I want to be saved. I therefore listen fervently to the incomplete information spoon-fed to me by these people, and I see that they have legal status and encouragement by my country ( in the EU or the US). The result, two types of people straying from the normal path : education, work, contribution to society ad family building. The first are those becoming criminals and the second as are those who arrogantly think that now they know all the answers and turn into ‘extremists’ . These are an ignorant and dangerous species. Let us agree that these 2 are bad youths.



What do usually BAD youth do ? Easiest thing is to bully people.

We all know how bullies are and how should we act with them.

Why is no one offended when black gangs in NY prevent people from entering their street or are constantly jibing others , standing in defiance of transgressors on what their see as their turf .Now I’m being mild I’m not even mentioning the drug wars. Others bully their peers at school or family members. It is the same thing , a EU citizen of Arab/Muslim ethnic origin could possibly bully his sister and maybe even mother for many things including wearing a scarf ? So why the shock ? why the racist intonations?



Another factor goes into the equation, most of us have studied maths and we know that the more factors you add to an equation, the more it becomes complex right ?

The media , what is it doing ? it is blaring non-stop about events in the Middle-East , also the other geographical areas too , but this is what I’m focusing on. Now please do not bring Aljazeera of Alarabiya into the equation as these are fairly recent, I’m talking about CNN, Fox , BBC , TV5 and many other not mentioned here each with their own agenda . There is obvious double–standard applied… do not tell me that Western broadcasting is fair and impartial, do not tell me it is only for the sake of getting to the truth … there is always a hidden or open agenda. I am not talking about conspiracy theories here, merely about the right of any country/individual to do what it is best for her/him.So I’m not even laying on blame, I’m quite content and accept that this is what the westernes think is good for them and they want to achieve that goal. So there is this double-standard in treatment dished out to the countries from which the ancestors of these European citizens originate and in which they still have families . There is surely an added element of pain and humiliation, which is doubled because they realise for many of them it would be impossible to escape their conditions, and there is nothing to look back upon in the land of their ancestors. They would not even know how to, they are European citizens remember, albeit of different ethnic background. They identify with both, they look like their ancestors and behave like their host countries, they are lost between the East and the West .

Meanwhile Palestinians are being exterminated, (I’ll talk about that thorny issue another time), other Arabs (Muslim or not ) are humiliated worldwide or perceived so. Their ancestral homes are daily robbed by those in power , propped up with the tacit support of the West for its own interests ( I don’t blame them, the West has a right to do so for it’s own sake . I mean let’s be realistic why not if you have everything to gain !!).

The seething anger is poised to explode, criminals and drug dealers and junkies (whites and non-whites) commit felonies, crimes and murders, the others become potential recruits for terrorist agencies with private agendas, promising them Valhallas. These kids come usually from broken homes and their parents have rarely knowledge about Islam to answer their simple or more sophisticated inquiries. I don’t think their parents even pray. As for the terrorist agencies, I believe that it is difficult to begin to even know who is really and I mean really behind them and what are their motives. The fight for power is all consuming. I even heard that someone had given 20 $ to some people in Fallujah to mutilate those for mercenaries for the benefit of filming them, so some unscrupulous people did that, after all the guys were dead so would not even feel the mutilations. I agree that it was barbaric and uncalled for , but this theory could also be possible when you think about it . Scary hey that this may have been done for money or show, who benefits? I just wanted to illustrate that everything is possible and fair in war.

I am not defending anybody, nor being a racist anti-western.



We have also established that not all become, thugs and criminals nor potential terrorists.

There are also those as I mentioned above who successfully complete their education, but this does not delay the experiencing of that all defining identity crisis. I would be correct to assume so right ? I would further be correct that belief in a higher being or God is a very important factor too. Therefore we agree once more that Religion or faith is an important question. If we cannot find the answers at home or within ourselves, we resort to our church, mosque , synagogue or temple , the more enlightened devour books in libraries. In all these places, one either learns about heritage and religion, and has some kind of plan or idea on how to find his/her path or regrettably one becomes a brainwashed fundamentalist Christian, Muslim, Jew or even Budhist. We agree that there are a lot gun-toting wackos running around, from the American heartland to the Far South East Asia, passing through Africa and Europe. Not even Australia is spared.



I thank our readers who have come this far for their effort and I also think it was worthwile.

Any comments are welcome.

Will you now leave me alone, I got some work to do and it's getting late.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

IRAQI FRIENDSHIP: A PERSONAL NOTE

I have wanted to post this for a long time, but now seemed the best as all of those that frequent the Iraqi blogger sites, and the sites that support them could read it as well.

I started out before we (the US) went into Iraq listening with my husband to exiled Iraqis over here. Their tales of terror, fear for their family, their appreciation for the freedoms that they have here. There was in particular a debate on the radio one evening right before the "rush to Bagdhad" that had an Iraqi in exile debating a young woman about whether we did or did not have the "right" to go into Iraq, whether we should, etc. We were literally cheering for the Iraqi man by the end of the broadcast, who was so well spoken, and gracious and hopeful and gave us hope. He said that he still had family there, aunts, uncles, cousins, and others that yes, he was afraid could become casualties in the war. However, he said, even they were willing to take that chance because living like they had been wasn't really living at all. This is what we believe in America, live free or die. It is why we have the largest unconsripted armed forces in the world. It is why mothers send their sons, and wives go without their husbands, and most of all it is why children grow up without fathers, as my husband and his three brothers did, they sacrifice for all of the rest of us, indeed for the betterment of the world.

Then we began reading sites with comments from Iraqis on them here and there. Then a blog was born. Zeyad's Healing Iraq was the first one that I read, with Alaa's right behind. Then Omar started Iraq the Model, and AYS began blogging. Freedom was blossoming. Voices were screaming to be heard. And I was addicted to it all. I read these posts with a mixture of awe, hope, and shame. Let me explain. Shame, because many of these Iraqis were able to write in English in practically prose like language, better than many of our own high school graduates. Many more thankful for their mere existance than our own children who have not had a reason until 9/11 to even think about what they have, and why they have it. So I started posting in the comments section. I found many other people like me, in America, in Belgium, in the Netherlands, in Iraq, Iran, the UK, Ireland, all over the world.

My husband is still eligible to be called for Navy duty for 2 more years. His two brothers are in the Army, serving another 6 and 8 years, one of our best friends is a Commander in the Navy and has flown missions tracking terrorists "over there". What had I done? Yes, I was using my voice, but could I do more? So I started working on this idea. From this idea a larger one flowed. Free media. For Iraq first. For Iran, for China, for Cuba and North Korea. But I would start in Iraq, because of the voices of who I had come to regard as my Iraqi friends. Zeyad was having a difficult day one day and I told him what I truly felt, I said, Zeyad, my eyes are on yours, and they are full of tears, but I will not turn away. I was committed to doing something, however small, to help spread the voices of the Iraqis.

We started corresponding, and that is when I truly found what a gift the internet is. Zeyad and I exchanged e mails about my son's gerbils, and his ducks, about food, family, and life. Omar and his brothers, Ali, and Mohammed, I also became fast friends with. I am still overwhelmed by their desire and love of freedom that has come so strong in a land of uncertainty. Michael Cosyns (who posts on this site for us on EU issues) and I wrote back and forth marveling at their ability to still have the flame alive after so much oppression. Inspiring is not enough of a word to describe these men and how they have made an impact on my life. When I put out my idea for laptops, the response was great, but the reality of accomplishing a feat with the Patriot Act is another story, not to mention that I was not a "non profit" organization, which you must be in the US for the most part in order to get large companies to work with you on charitable programs. I won't go into the long story of the ins and outs of getting done what we have so far, because that isn't what this is about. What this is about is the following:

Jeff Jarvis at Buzzmachine taking time out of his busy schedule to help me make this work.
Glenn Reynolds keeping the eyes of his readers on Iraq bloggers as well.
The folks at NRO listening when I e mailed them relevant posts and posting them on their site in the Corner.
Tom Villars for working on the paypal end of things, and conversing with me about how else we can help.
(Insert bleg here for continued contributions at Omar and AYS sites for shipping costs which were quite expensive!)
Soldiers and contractors from the US and UK e mailing and offering all kinds of assistance. Here were guys already laying down their lives, saying "how can we send money for this?"

It is about Iraq, and America.
It is about new friends, and new alliances.
For me it is about new brothers and sisters.

Here are just a few excerpts of e mails that I have recieved during this project (These don't include the scads of e mails sent back and forth between Jeff Jarvis and I trying to figure this whole thing out. Jeff was truly invaluable. ) :

thank you so much and Happy New Year;

I believe that as long as there are good people in iraq and as long as there are good people from many other countries helping the iraqis, the evil will never win;

the news about the computers are really great, as for the software, i think that they're pretty available in iraq and you don't have to worry about that point, however i think that Zeyad has more experience than i do.

i wish you and your family all the best;

your's Omar.


**********
British Officer serving here in the "deep South", MORE than willing to chip
in a few pounds/ bucks to promote blogging for Iraqis.

I check this site, (my E mail address every few days). Sort it out and my
cheque is in the post/ credit card on the net. In this war you bloggers are
"the front line", because this one we win or lose on the streets of small
town USA. Only two groups seem to have worked this out, our friends
(you guys) and our enemies. Guess whom I'm supporting.

God bless you all.
Pray for us. Ubique

************
Good news is that I can guarantee you that finding a reliable Brit liaison
soldier able to receive stuff for passing on to an Iraqi won't be so tough.
Brit army traditionally very good that sort of thing, mail etc.. etc

Happy to work a few phones if it becomes any sort of hassle

warm regards
Alex
>

************
Thank you for the encouragement and for everything you do. I'll be back in Baghdad next thursday and I'll check with my contacts there to see if they arranged any means for us to get the shipment. I'll keep you updated.

Best wishes to you and your family,

Zeyad

***************
Hi, Kerry! It's been a few months since we talked, but
I just got an e-mail from Zeyad, thanking me for the
package with the America's Army game CD, and other
stuff. Thank you so much for doing this-- it just amazes
me, to think about this package arriving all the way to
Baghdad.

"The Gamer of Baghdad"
http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2004/01/20/baghdad_gamer/

Thanks again,

James

*************
And last but not least, this one sums it up.

Dear Kerry,
tell your husband's brother that when he comes to baghdad he'll find our houses open for him and we'll be very glad to meet him and you of course if you may have the chance to visit iraq.
i'm going to basra tomorrow morning, so i'll leave the shipment subject in zeyad's hands.
i talked to zeyad this afternoon and he was so happy when he knew that the laptops are coming. he wasn't aware of that until i told him as he didn't have the chance to read his mail.
my best wishes goes to you and your family,
your friend,
Omar.


Your friend.
My friends, thank you for allowing me to help in this small way. I look forward to the day when I could bring my sons to Iraq and walk the marketplace, and eat together, and take tea together, and most of all to look you in the eyes. The only thing I am not yet missing is hearing your voices, for those I have heard, in the blogosphere, and in my dreams.