A continued conversation with Paul
This is my second conversation with Paul of Arena of Ideas. He had few questions for me about the situation in Iraq:
Paul: What is the situation on the ground right now? (e.g. are they stabilizing, getting worse or just more of the same?)
not much happened since our last conversation the four major effective powers in Iraq still doing there best to gain control ( the Government and the American forces on one side, the Militia and al Qaeda on the other side ) of course the Militia and al Qaeda are fighting each other.
Paul: What was the Iraqi reaction to Democrats winning in November, or do they understand the American election process?
When I speak about Iraqis I have to divide them depending on the way they believe or see things. Most of the Iraqis are living in the grace of conspiracy theory and they believe the American policy will remain the same no matter who would win the election, while the intellectual people started to fear that this would be the end of the American presence in Iraq.
Paul: What has been the Iraqi reaction to Bush's announcement of adding more troops in Baghdad?
The people feel more relief for more American presence in Baghdad. People started to hate the heinous acts of the Militia and Qaeda. People started to feel unsecured because neither the Militia nor Qaeda can protect them from the attacks. What is really going on the ground is very simple Qaeda attacks innocent people (Shiite mostly) and the Militia retaliate on innocent people too (Sunni mostly).
Paul: A recent poll came out which said 49% of Democrats hope that Bush's plan to stabilize Iraq fails. What would you say to those people?
If this poll is right then it would be really surprising and shocking. I can't imagine how civilized people like the Americans can think that way, I mean letting the factional competition affect the American image all over the world. If democracy succeeds in Iraq, we will be grateful to the American people regardless of the differences they have inside.
Paul: Many Americans feel like most of Iraq is in civil war and we should pull out. Could you explain to the average American why it is important for us to stay?
Iraq will be in civil war right after the American withdrawal. In fact the only thing preventing Iraq of being in a total civil war is the American presence in it. The American forces should stay in the region not only for Iraq. They should keep a large presence because of the new changes happened the past few years in the Middle East in general. As you can see that there is a wide disturbance in the area extremists started to emerge and get control over things, for example Hamas in Palestine, Ahmedi Nijad in Iran and al Qaeda in Iraq. Those groups have only one goal to achieve and that is killing the largest number of people in the name of God.
Paul: How do most Iraqis view ethnic lines (e.g. Sunni, Shia, Kurd, etc) and how important is it to your culture.
Before the pluralism we have now, there wasn't such a thing. In fact no one could have imagined that things will turn this way. Anyway the differences are facts now and the politicians are deepen these differences to make benefits from them and get elected in the name of the sect or the ethnicity
Paul: If there was a single thing you would hope us, as Americans, could learn about your culture which could help us understand the situation, what would that be?
The Arabic and Islamic culture in general is a tribal one based on Winning and Losing. They don't believe in middle grounds like sharing and the only language they understand is force. That’s why dictatorships and families ruled the countries of the area very well. Democracy will need long years to be adapted in the region because in comparison with dictatorship democracy will appear like a weak and tolerant way of ruling. For example, the Sheikh of the Tribe won't accept to be ruled by his subjects, so the more powerful you appear and control things they will fear you and respect you, the more tolerant you be they will disobey and despise you. This kind of mentality is what we are fighting in Iraq right now hoping we can make them change.