Friday, November 17, 2006

"The terrorists" (and Iraqis) don't care who won our election

Front paged at Booman Tribune and ePluribus Media

I don't know if the talking meatsticks, the republican morons and the `Murkins who are spouting this nonsense about "the insurgents" and "terrorists" wanting the democrats to win are more (1) stupid, (2) self absorbed or (3) just that far detached from reality (or maybe all of the above).

Yet, here we are, more than a full week after the election, and are STILL hearing about how our enemies "win big" with the Democratic victory last week and how the insurgents were rooting for the Democrats. Couple this with the chorus of "Democrats better do something quick about Iraq or else" and "Democrats want others to do something about Iraq" and you can already see how the latest republican "deny, deny, accuse" strategy of passing off blame for their failures is taking shape.

Are these people so vain as to think that Sunnis and Shiites, who have been in the midst of a civil war for months now, or Iraqi citizens/civilians whose daily life is turned upside down to the point that each day brings basic questions about lack of electricity, clean water, unemployment and basic survival actually stop to say "hey, these elections on the other side of the world will really matter for me"?

Do the Sunnis whose families have been killed and tortured by the Shiites, or the Shiites whose mosques and homes have been blown up by each other were rooting for Nancy Pelosi (and of course her "San Francisco values")? Did they celebrate and shoot their guns off in the air when Missouri was called for McCaskill or when Allen conceded to Webb?

Were all of those hundreds (or maybe it is even thousands at this point) of headless, bullet ridden tortured bodies found in and around Baghdad these past 2 months, or the hundreds of corpses that keep surfacing in the Tigris River a show of support for John Hall or Bob Casey? Or the near 15,000 deaths of Iraqi forces from January through October, or the near 60 (average) US troops killed per month all done to get rid of Dennis Hastert as Majority Leader?

Give. Me. A. Break.

And I'm sure this was also on the minds of Iraqi citizens as well - I bet they waited with baited breath to hear Conrad Burns concede to Jon Tester. I bet that they were real thankful for the increased troop levels in Baghdad, which of course didn't really make the violence worse. I bet that the average Iraqi was thinking more about the prospects of a Hoyer vs. Murtha role as Majority Leader as opposed to, you know, just trying to live their everyday life. Take these anecdotes (hat tip to NY Times and OpEd News):

Life was also hard under Saddam Hussein, the women pointed out. Plans were equally impossible to build. But the basic fabric of life, visiting family, attending weddings and funerals, was for the most part intact. Now Iraqis are letting go even of those parts.

The ministry employee sat at the table looking agitated. She attended the funeral for the mother of a good friend this month. The family was Christian, large and respected in the community, and before the war, such a funeral would draw hundreds. Instead, 10 people came to the church service, and only one, the dead woman's son-in-law, risked following the casket out to the cemetery. Even her daughter stayed home.

Somehow, I think just the fear of what happens when you step outside your door is a bit more weighing on people's minds than Sherrod Brown's positions and views. And watching their families fall apart is probably a tad more important than who won DeLay's, Mark Foley's and Katherine Harris' congressional seats:

Houda, a 40-year-old layout designer for a magazine in Baghdad who would not give her last name, said the violence had cast her and her husband in the roles of emergency room doctors, shouting orders and performing urgent tasks. Little time remains for intimacy. The last time she remembers feeling happy together was a year ago.


It is a daily struggle not to shout at her two teenage girls, one that she usually loses. She has stopped hugging and kissing them, a strange byproduct of extreme stress, she said. Recently, her 15-year-old called to say she missed her, though they had not been apart.

And surprisingly (only if you were to look at it through the eyes of self absorbed Americans), none of these people are talking about the elections in the US:

BILAL WAHAB, Iraqi Fulbright Scholar: Of course it does, because the police are supposed to be the force that's protecting the people. And you see that the police itself is now kidnapping people.

So when you have an issue, when there's a burglar at the door, when there's a terrorist to report, when there's a militiaman who is doing some crime or a gang at the door, who are you going to call? Are you going to call the police? How are you going to call the police?

So when your protector is your own aggressor, I think that will have a great impact on the people when there's no one to trust.


JEFFREY BROWN: And, Anthony Shadid, you returned there after being away for a year. What was the biggest difference that you saw?

ANTHONY SHADID, Washington Post: You know, what struck me almost immediately was leaving the airport and seeing how the very face of the city had changed at this point. You know, I've always been struck as a reporter there about the certain resilience that I think Baghdad and much of the country has.

When I went back in October, that resilience itself seemed to have faded. There wasn't traffic in the streets; shops were shuttered; you don't even see people on the sidewalks the way you used to see them a year or two years before.

I think people have withdrawn, in a way. And it is a question of survival at this point, withdrawn inside their homes, trying to wait this out.
In a lot of ways, you feel the city itself has become atomized. I mean, it has almost like lost a sense of being one city.

Sounds like people are really cheering for those Democrats, especially when they .

JEFFREY BROWN: So, Mr. Wahab, so how do people actually function? I mean, for example, do they go to work?

BILAL WAHAB: Iraqis are amazing. We Iraqis have lived in one war or another for the past 30 years. Eight years of war with Iran, and then some 10 years of sanctions, but these other wars have always been predictable. So we used to have sirens. We used to have shelters. You know what time your town is going to get shelled, so you hide.

But this war, unfortunately, this new phenomenon that we're seeing, it's on a daily basis. People have withdrawn to their homes. My friends and the family members that work in the other parts of Iraq, they basically say, "We either don't go to work or we go to work from, say, 11:00 to 3:00," so they basically either don't go. School is the same thing. People skip classes. Professors skip classes.

But a lot of times they just force themselves out, because what are you going to do? I mean, you're talking about people staying indoors, and then now we have domestic violence because the men are at home and then they cannot put up with it. They used to turn on the television for the few hours of electricity that you have. All you see on the screen is horror.

So life is unbearable. It's existing; it's not living.

But let me guess - the domestic violence is because of the Democrats electing a woman as Speaker of the House, right?

What friggin morons - so caught up in their own warped bubbles that they think that the horror Iraqis are caught up with (the civilians, the Iraqi forces, the "insurgents" - or more accurately, those who are defending their country from an illegal invasion and occupation while our soldiers are caught in a no-win situation) take a back seat to our elections.

Jeez - if their own elections didn't make a difference in bettering their lives, what makes anyone think that OURS will have any impact on their lives or their civil war?

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