May 20, 2006

More of the s(h)ame

After taking a short break from my usually "serious" political posts and from blogging all together, I tried to get back into "my mode" all day today but I just couldn't. I hit my usual daily visits to the BBC, Aljazeera, Washington Post, NYTimes, and the blogosphere in the hopes that a bright yellow bulb would light in my head or that something would catch my attention and produce a post, but alas, nothing. Nothing new that is.

Yes, the Iraqis finally managed to form themselves a government despite pressure from the Americans and from each ethno-religious faction to do this or that, or hand this ministry to this Shiite or that Kurd.

Meanwhile, the average Iraqi doesn't really give a damn because he's sitting at home, unemployed, afraid to be out buying groceries at 5 pm, listening to gun shots and mortars exploding outside his home, and attempting to rationalize the death of a close relative. He's also contemplating packing up and taking his family across the border like thousands of other Iraqis who simply find life in Iraq unbearable in every sense of the word.

Oh, and we can't forget about the Palestinians, can we know. An Israeli air strike killed a grandmother, mother, and her 4-year old son who were riding with a member of Islamic Jihad, the "target" of another Israeli state sanctioned assassination plot. In another incident, an explosion in an elevator killed 2 and seriously injured a dozen others including Tareq Abu Rajab, the head of intelligence for the PA. To make matters worse, Palestinian security officials accused Hamas of attempting to assassinate Abu Rajab, while Hamas called on all parties to remain calm and not jump to conclusions. This comes after Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' continuous attacks and accusations of Hamas' involvement in the Jordan weapons smuggling fiasco. As if Hamas is still a party in opposition, and not a party in control of government, Abbas treats the Hamas-led government almost as an enemy, further enforcing the idea that a civil war is inevitable in Palestine, which I find highly unlikely. Hamas is not helping its image either by refusing to participate in investigations or respond fully to the accusations hurled at the government.

Meanwhile, the average Palestinian is caught in the middle of an international "mind game" that is essentially starving and killing dozens of innocent people as we speak because they decided to democratically hold a party accountable for years of corruption, theft, and utter recklessness in their handling of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well as internal Palestinian affairs.

Normally I would be feeling frustrated and angry at all this. The problem is I feel nothing...almost indifferent. It's like déjà vu every day. So what's the difference? The other day I was watching the regular Aljazeera headlines at the top of the hour and what caught my attention was that there was no report of a car bomb or similar explosion in Iraq. I kept on listening, and even reading the headlines scrolling on the bottom of the screen, waiting for the number of dead today. But it wasn't in the top headlines. It's sad. Why do I notice such things? Have the car bombs become a norm? An expected headline everday? Do I just wait for the "number" of people who have lost their lives because some bastard decided he was powerful and smart enough to be able to drive a bomb laden car through a crowd on a Baghdad street? And what's the different between 10 and 75 anyway?

Or those poor souls in Darfur, protesting and begging for some attention from the world. Don't even get me started.

I wish I could visit the moon or Jupiter for a few days, or maybe a few months.

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At 12:39 AM, Anonymous tommy said...

Oh, and we can't forget about the Palestinians, can we know. An Israeli air strike killed a grandmother, mother, and her 4-year old son who were riding with a member of Islamic Jihad, the "target" of another Israeli state sanctioned assassination plot.

Yes. I think the madness needs to stop. The Israelis never should have pulled out in the first place. Time for them to reoccupy Gaza.

At 10:02 AM, Blogger Abed. Hamdan said...

moi, ett3awwadna, we2refna...

and we'll probably see no change in the near future..It's so common to see dead palestinians and Iraqis and Muslims in General...sad but true

At 7:54 PM, Anonymous f. d. rahman said...

most Iraqis (& I'm sure this goes for many Palestinians, Sudanese, and countless numbers of people living in war-torn countries.. I'm just saying from my experience after being there for two very short months) just got used to hearing the gunshots and bombs and live their life knowing each day that it could be their last... but they still live it.. its sad that now, many of them are not afraid of death, but they pray that they are not tortured in the process..

did you read Fatima's new post? ..just another example..

At 12:10 AM, Blogger Akram said...


While we're at it, why not bring back apartheid in South Africa and reinstate slavery in the US? Because enslavement and occupation is the way to go.

At 12:27 AM, Anonymous tommy said...


It is clear that the Palestinians haven't drawn any substantial benefit from the Israeli withdrawal and the Palestinians have only this withdrawal as a sign of weakness on the part of the Israelis. There has been no let up in the violence, quite the opposite. Instead, Islamic Jihad fires crude missles constantly and the Israelis either retaliate with helicopter gunships or mortars. It isn't an ideal situation.

Better, I believe, to reimpose occupation for a temporary period of time to restore order and reduce the violence. Once things are quiet again, the Israelis could withdraw. I don't believe the current round of back-and-forth violence helps anyone, Israeli or Palestinian.

It needs to be made abundantly clear to the Palestinians that attacking the Israelis from Gaza is only going to bring on further restrictions. The Palestinians need to know that violence will not be useful in obtaining their ends.

On the other hand, if the Palestinians can manage to eventually maintain some order and peacefulness in Gaza (which, given the clan violence in Gaza, they are sadly far from achieving currently), the Israelis should reward them by trying to (slowly) open up Gaza to the outside world. The important thing is to make it clear that autonomy will be the reward for peace rather than violence.

Frankly, I think the Israelis might be best off splitting the West Bank and Gaza entirely and aiding them in becoming two separate countries rather than a single united nation. That would give them two negotiating partners rather than one and perhaps they can make progress with at least one of these separate partners if not the other.

At 12:40 PM, Blogger Akram said...

I agree that autonomy should be a reward for non-violence, but that will only work if the Israelis are truly engaged in an actual peace process. It's not like before the disengagement, the Gaza Strip was a shining example of peace and prosperity. Yes, there was less internal strife, but the tit-for-tat violence was still there. To say reoccupation will restore order and possibly peace is assuming there was order and peace before the pull-out, which I don't think is true.

Unfortunately, this culture of violence that is increasing in Palestine is a direct result of extreme socio-economic hardships. Just imagine if unemployment in the US was at 50% and poverty at 75%, etc., etc. There would be more guns in the street per capita than even in Gaza.

Instead of romanticizing the idea of "Palestine" or fighting for political supremacy, the Palestinians, along with the Israelis and the Americans (which both hinder any progress) should be thinking about housing and feeding people and finding them jobs.


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