25
Jun
08

On Air: Has Iraq turned the corner at last?

You may have noticed recently that Iraq has been appearing far less in the news than it did a year ago. Last month there were fewer American casualties in the country than at any time since the 2003 invasion.

 Fighting has broken out in Nassiriyah over the past few days, but Iraqi forces have arrested 14 suspected militants after house-to-house searches. Iraqi national forces have also prosecuted successful campaigns against insurgents in Sadr City and Basra.

 

Meanwhile the the Iraqi parliament has passed a number of laws strengthening its rule, including a de-Baathification law, a pension law and an amnesty law. All this has happened since President Bush’s controversial ‘surge’ of 20,000 American troops.
So, is it time to acknowledge that despite all the nay-sayers, Iraq is getting back on its feet again? Has Iraq turned the corner at last?

Lubna from Baghdad has posted her impressions below.  This is the thrust of her argument:

The security situation on the ground in Iraq generally and in Baghdad particularly these days is actually much much much better than it used to be before… The streets are actually much more safer for us ordinary Iraqis to go out and move around… I mean we’re still feeling scared and terrified each time we or one of our loved ones leave the house and go out, but less than before though.

As Karnie posted this morning, Charles Krauthammer makes a convincing case for why it has in the Washington Post. 

If you think that yes, Iraq has turned the corner, why? Is it because of the surge? Are Iraqi forces finally taking the lead? Have the Sunni ‘awakening councils’ made a serious dint in Al Qaeda? Perhaps you think that Iraqi politicians are maturing into their roles as leaders of their country, finally finding their feet after dictatorship then war?

Perhaps you won’t think it’s turned the corner until a day passes without an Iraqi being kidnapped, shot or intimidated. Mitchell Bard from the Huffington Post says a report just out from the US Government Accounting Office shows that, measured against a set of goals the US Administration set in January 2007, Iraq hasn’t improved.

On the programme we’ll hear from Iraqis all over the country, plus bloggers making the case for and against. And of course from you too.


102 Responses to “On Air: Has Iraq turned the corner at last?”


  1. 1 Katharina in Ghent
    June 25, 2008 at 14:18

    I think it takes more than ONE day without killings or kidnappings for Iraq to turn the corner, make it more towards a year. (Okay, this is unrealistic for every single country on earth, but you know what I mean…) From what we’ve heard, the surge seems to work indeed, but I asked Lubna about two weeks ago on the Blank Page and her answer was that she “didn’t dare to hope just yet”. Only in retrospect will we be able to say “Yes, this was indeed the turning point.”

  2. 2 Dennis :)
    June 25, 2008 at 14:33

    I think that Iraq will turn the corner…Do i think it is TODAY (maybe not)…But they are sure working on the theory.

    Dennis
    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  3. 3 Mohammed Ali
    June 25, 2008 at 14:42

    I read Lubna’s post on the talking point this morning and it seems that things getting better of gradually. I think this modicum of calm is due to a combination of factors: 1. Sunnis turning against Al Qaeda 2. Iraqi forces gaining confidence and strength by the day 3. The surge in troops, etc. Having said that, we can’t yet claim that Iraq has turn the corner until the Iraqis themselves can fully take control of their own security with the loss of lives diminishing significantly

  4. 4 Lubna
    June 25, 2008 at 14:47

    Hi.. As I’m thinking of our beloved colleague, the 6th year medical student who was supposed to graduate this year from the medical school, Ali Hassan Askar, who had been murdered earlier during this month in a random fire shooting near his house, only one question rises up in my head : How far can our own tragic personal experiences as individual Iraqi families affect our making a rational judgement about whether the security situation in general on the ground in Iraq these days is actually getting better or not ?! All I can say regarding this thread is that the security situation on the ground in Iraq generally and in Baghdad particularly these days is actually much much much better than it used to be before… The streets are actually much more safer for us ordinary Iraqis to go out and move around… I mean we’re still feeling scared and terrified each time we or one of our loved ones leave the house and go out, but less than before though… Sectarian killings, bombed cars, roadside bombs, morter shells, kidnapping for sectarian and also for financial reasons, ect., ect., these things do still happen till now in Iraq, though to a lesser extent than before… As for my own personal experiences and impressions (and I’m only representing myself here), I really don’t know what to think of or what to expect… I’m still feeling scared and terrified, less than before though… All I know for sure is that all of this is actually so fragil and that it can just simply break down very easily at any minute.. You know guys, one of the most amusing blessings of living in Baghdad is that everyday you keep asking yourself these two questions : “Now what ?!” and ” What’s next ?!” or sometimes “Who’s next ?!” !! Our ordinary daily Baghdadi life is just so fluctuating and highly unpredictable, and at the same time very “individual” if I may say… Our own personal experiences as individual Iraqi citizens do vary greatly, I wonder what Ali’s parents will actually say about all this ?! With my love.. Yours forever, Lubna…

  5. 5 Virginia Davis
    June 25, 2008 at 14:48

    Change is happening in Iraq as change happens among the American electorate.
    Candidate Obama speaks of “bringing combat troops” home.

    Iraq needs to come to terms with itself.

    Virginia in Oregon

  6. 6 Shirley
    June 25, 2008 at 14:55

    There is much that happens on a daily basis in Iraq as a result of the illegal invasion and occupation of the coutry. The problem is that if one were to report every single incident – every dollar unaccounted for, every death, every rape, every robbery, every flight from home – the intended audience of the media outlet reporting such news would quickly tire. It would ot longer be sensationalist. And that simply would not sell.

    It really is too bad that money determines what kind of information we get about various current events of political policies. And it is downright shameful that we the public demand sensationalism from our news providers.

  7. 7 John in Salem
    June 25, 2008 at 14:59

    Turned the corner? I don’t think so.
    Violence is down because we are now paying groups like the Sons of Iraq to keep the peace. Pull the plug on that money and that “corner” instantly becomes a distant dream again.
    Paying people to not kill each other is not my idea of stability.

  8. 8 Shirley
    June 25, 2008 at 15:12

    How do I learn more about the Sunni Awakening Councils?

  9. June 25, 2008 at 15:21

    The situation on Iraq still needs improvement despite a decrease in violence. There are still social problems resulting from unemployment and the displacement of the Iraqis, about two million of whom are now refugees in neighbouring countries, mainly Jordan and Syria.

    The situation in Iraq shouldn’t be a political tool for the presidential candidates, especially John McCain who has been outspoken about the continuous military presence in Iraq and defending George Bush’s policy there.

    What can make Iraq stable is that all the Iraqis should come to their senses and consider their first enemy is disunity. As Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, they have lived together for hundreds of years under good and bad days. They still have a chance to unite. Surely, they can’t live forever under the protection of foreign forces which have so far failed to bring full stability to the country as there are still incidences of violence and bombing.

    One thing is sure. Iraq still needs foreign forces to prevent deterioration in its security situation. There is still much needed to be built, in addition to infrastructure, there is the permanent trust that should be between all the Iraqi components through shared hard work and equitable distribution of national wealth.

    The Iraqis have lost a great deal under Saddam Hussein who used Iraq’s wealth for his wars that plunged the country in further crises after the international sanctions. The Iraqis have lived some of the worst years in their history following the US invasion. Maybe they still have an opportunity to rebuild their life by burying all their hatchets and starting to plough their land to get whatever fruit that will benefit all.

  10. 10 Madeleine Morris
    June 25, 2008 at 15:35

    Hi Shirley,

    The Wikipedia site on the Awakening Councils has some good links at the bottom.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awakening_movements_in_Iraq

    Check it out

  11. 11 Ogola Benard
    June 25, 2008 at 15:42

    loathsome and depicting desolation. The US and British backing of the Jewish perhaps!

  12. 12 Mohammed Ali
    June 25, 2008 at 15:44

    @Boukili, I agree with you that the issue of Iraq should not be used by the candidates in the US elections as a mean of winning. During that could mean making mockery of the thousands of people being raped, kidnapped, murdered and etc.

  13. June 25, 2008 at 15:54

    Things may get to the ‘very best’ in Iraq but that does not still justify the morality of the war in the first place. It was an immoral war and forever shall it be. History has been written and cannot be re-written.

  14. 14 Nick in USA
    June 25, 2008 at 16:03

    Speaking metaphorically, no Iraq hasn’t turned the corner. In fact they’re not even on the right street yet because they’re still in the car park typing the address into the GPS. We have yet to see how a government could possibly work in such a separated country. As soon as the USA pulls out the different factions are going to act like the teacher has just left the room. There are so many things that will need to be sorted out by the Iraqi government. They could end up turning the corner onto a really nice street or the kind of street that makes you feel like locking your doors. For all we know now, the different sides could be conducting military coupes back an forth for the next 100 years. It’s the responsibility of the Iraqi people then, so I’d suggest that they stop complaining about the american occupation (although they are often justified in doing so), and start planning for their future. This war was bad for my country and the next president is going to rectify that situation. I feel bad for people like Lubna, but my people have sacrificed far too much already for her country, so I hope she and her loved ones are prepared for america’s withdrawal from Iraq.

  15. 15 AFB
    June 25, 2008 at 16:05

    that would be great if it had turned the corner

    just in time for the Taliban to regain control of Kandahar province and also AIPAC and the Israelis to bomb Iran’s alleged military nuclear sites and the Iranians to therefore bomb American forces in Iraq and close down Hormuz because America let Israel use our controlled airspace over Iraq..

    Just great timing for Iraq to be turning the corner.

    Just great.

  16. 16 Nick in USA
    June 25, 2008 at 16:15

    Abdelilah said:

    “What can make Iraq stable is that all the Iraqis should come to their senses and consider their first enemy is disunity. As Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, they have lived together for hundreds of years under good and bad days. They still have a chance to unite. Surely, they can’t live forever under the protection of foreign forces which have so far failed to bring full stability to the country as there are still incidences of violence and bombing.”

    I agree 100%. These groups should really be working hard to come together right now. People like Lubna, should be hosting social gatherings that enable people from different groups to communicate with eachother in a civil fashion. Perhaps a cultural awareness type of event or something of that sort.

  17. 17 Sunvolt
    June 25, 2008 at 16:15

    The real question that seems to be consistently circumvented by all of the mainstream media is: Why did the U.S. invade Iraq in the first place? Perhaps it is because the media as an extention of the big money behind all war is employed to diffuse the answer to that question which is: War is conducted for the love of profit, power, and greed.

  18. 18 Nick in USA
    June 25, 2008 at 16:26

    @ Ogola

    Your statement is extremely vague. Would you care to elaborate on it?

  19. 19 Mohammed Ali
    June 25, 2008 at 17:07

    @Sunvolt,
    This question has been asked over and over again and you will never get any genuine answer for it. What I think we should concentrate on is how we as free and peace loving citizens of the world can contribut towards Iraq regaining civility.

    I also beleive that the big media asking that question wouldn’t reverse the war; the war has happened whether justified or not. Let us concentrate on the solutions.

  20. June 25, 2008 at 17:08

    Hi Madeleine
    Akbar her in Tehran
    I would like to think troubles are over for Iraq, but it is simply not true.
    Nothing is settled. There is still talk of whether US should have special privileges and powers in the country.
    Iraq Foreign Minister Houshyar Zibari recently gave assurances that the US, Iraqi pact would be signed by end of July, but will it?
    The partition f Iraq into Kurdish, sunni and shia enclaves is another problem.
    The ethnic question and Arab dissatisfaction could upset any security arrangement.
    There are still no plans to repatriate the millions of Iraqi refugees now living in Jordan, Syria etc..
    Where does Iran stand with Iraq? You talk of shia dominance, but our prelates are having trouble holding their own in Tehran, let alone controlling Baghdad.
    There are simply too many problems and open wounds left form the US Coalition invasion in 2003 to heal overnight.

  21. June 25, 2008 at 17:09

    It should be clear to most that it would not suit the preferred candidate to have too much going on in Iraq. They wait with bated breath as do we here and in the whole rest of the world to see Obama be elected. Bushism is coming to an end. They are not stupid as not to know that the more violence goes on the better it helps McCain. Even if McCain gets in he could not be worse and might be miles better than Bush. I suspect McCain is having to make some noises of ‘drum beating’ just to ensure the vote. Bush has been able to do little in this last year and he and his policy are in limbo. He tries to mend fences abroad but it is too late. I don’t think there will actually be an ‘uprising’ in Iraq if McCain wins but if policies that have produced ‘Haditha’ and ‘Abu Ghraib’ were reintroduced then we would go back to square one. Without that ‘bring it on’ cowboy approach things are bound to be better in Iraq soon.

  22. 22 Anthony
    June 25, 2008 at 17:35

    I think the more important question is, is Iraq better now, or would it have been beeter if we never invaded at all? And was it worth a trillion of our $$$? If its better off then when we first went in that doesn’t matter to me, becuase if we shouldn’t have gone in at all, then that fact doesn’t matter.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  23. June 25, 2008 at 17:36

    Hi Nick in USA
    Your notion that Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds lived together for hundreds of years is good, but only holds true under Saddam, Hassan al-Bakr and Ghassem, not under Coalition Forces.
    Iran wsa perfectly happy with Saddam, why change him.
    Coalition Forces toppled Saddam in three weeks in March 2003. Why stay there! The same with Afghanistan, the States defeated the Afghan warlords, but why remain! The pattern has been the same in Iran and Lebanon.
    Nick, you have to live with the social habits and background of these people. You always end up patronizing and Americanizing these societies. Finally, you have to take them back to America since that is the only way that they will continue supporting the American way of life.

  24. 24 kwabena owusu-ampratwum
    June 25, 2008 at 18:00

    The troop surge i believe has improved the situation in iraq. Bush got the solution right this time. I hope the situation gets even better so iraqis can live their well deserved normal lives once again

  25. 25 Devadas V
    June 25, 2008 at 18:01

    hello,
    nothing of sorts .its only a lull before the storm .the real iraq position will be known only when american troops withdraw from iraq .it will be all out sectarian war for sure .
    more america stays in iraq international rules and regulations are violated and its leaving a bad situation as far as international law is concerned .there is no law as its the prinitive might is right attitude ..its time un asks america to withdraw from iraq and general assembly of un plan some packages for iraq till its recover from after effects of war?
    devadas.v
    lln(internationallawa&humanrights)

  26. 26 Lubna
    June 25, 2008 at 18:05

    Hello gang ! :-)… To Precious Nick in the USA I say : Hello my good friend… I’m really very delighted to hear from you… Actually as you already know, the US government and the US occupation forces have chosen by their own will to come and invade my Iraq… We ordinary Iraqis didn’t invite them to come and save us from tyranny and dictatorship… They went into my Iraq and took part in creating a very big mess here… So it’s actually their moral responsiblity to stay in my Iraq until they clean up their own mess and after that they may leave as they please… After all, nobody at all likes to see his/her country being occupied by a foreigners eh ?! Anyway, I do totally agree with you and also with Precious Abdelilah that all ordinary Iraqis, Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds must sit down together and try to actually talk to each other, all of us ordinary Iraqis must find some way in order to communicate with each other and try to get over the dark and bloody past, and more importantly, we ordinary Iraqis must try to step aside from the foolish, irrational, and greedy aspirations and ambitions of our politicians who are actually doing a marvellous job at inflaming the sectarian tensions while we ordinary Iraqis are actually at the bottom of their priorities’ list, because all what they do really care about is to stick to their power chairs, even if that’d mean stepping over the national interests of the Iraqi people… Shame on them ! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  27. 27 Vijay
    June 25, 2008 at 18:07

    How could have Iraq turned the corner when the UK,Japan and Germany have not turned the corner ,because the Second World War has only been over for 63 years and the Cold War has been over for a mere 20 years and the US troops are yet to pull out.

  28. 28 Steve USA
    June 25, 2008 at 18:08

    Well if the benchmark for peace and success in iraq is an absence of murders, then there is no peace and success in the USA either. There are many murders every day here. Think of LA, Chicago, Washington, Detroit, NYC, and all the murders there, which probably easily tops that of Iraq.
    There was just today a shooting in Kentucky that killed 6 people.

    Steve
    USA

  29. 29 Nick in USA
    June 25, 2008 at 18:11

    Akbar, I didn’t mention and don’t claim to know how Iraqis live before the invasion. I just want my countrymen out of Iraq and back where they are safe. Also, I know that these groups will need to find a way to live in harmony with eachother if the country is ever going to be successful. Is that americanizing these people? I thought it was common sense.

  30. 30 m jackson
    June 25, 2008 at 18:13

    Gentlepersons,
    Krauthammmer is a hoot! The last of the neocons left standing. Ask him how will we know when the war is over. In other words, what is our OBJECTIVE?

  31. 31 Isabel from SF KALW
    June 25, 2008 at 18:17

    You’re speaking to Charles Krauthammer, a contributor to FOX News. You might want to mention that. Has he ever been to Iraq? And what exactly does he mean when he says, “we’re winning?” Why not invite guests who’ve actually been to Iraq or know the history of the country? Someone like Juan Cole?

    Just yesterday, 5 U.S. troops were killed and at least 90 people were wounded.

    Why is there no mention of Al Sadr’s cease fire? The situation has nothing to do with the so-called surge.

    And let’s not forget about the horrendous refugee problem. Millions of people have been forced from their homes and the U.S. is turning their backs on these people.

    At least this guy from Huffington Post did his homework and is citing facts. Krauthammer sounds like he’s spewing Bush talking points.

  32. 32 Nick in USA
    June 25, 2008 at 18:20

    Lubna,

    I agree that the USA has a moral responsibility to clean up the mess, but it’s absolutely impossible if the Iraqi people won’t help themselves. I am of the opinion that we never should have been there in the first place, so you and I have been put into a bad situation. Now it’s time for you and I took take care of our own people instead of looking at the past mistakes of corrupt leaders.

  33. 33 Tom F
    June 25, 2008 at 18:26

    Oh for goodness sakes, Krauthamer is just a propaganda shill for Bush and his PNAC neo-cons!

    Sheesh!

    Tom D Ford

  34. 34 Dennis :)
    June 25, 2008 at 18:26

    Hi everyone….

    To my dear friend, Lubna…I saw your post about the death of Ali Hassan Askar, ….Please accept my condolences and sympathy for me.

    Dennis
    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  35. June 25, 2008 at 18:27

    The molecular and centrifugal forces created by the USA and British governments make organic normality eternally impossible. If the USA and British governments cannot be punished for the terrible criminality, they should not be forgiven, and nothing should be done to take the minds of the Iraqis away from it.

    Prince Awele Odor
    Lagos, Nigeria

  36. 36 Isabel from SF KALW
    June 25, 2008 at 18:29

    Nick, you’re repeating American politicians’ talking points (Democrat and Republican): “impossible if the Iraqi people won’t help themselves.”

    How do you propose they “help themselves” while they are under occupation and living with a ruined infrastructure and corrupt government?

  37. 37 Jacques KO in Boston
    June 25, 2008 at 18:30

    Why aren’t our men coming home tomorrow?
    Why is my son going back there for the 3rd time?

    Jacques KO in Boston

  38. 38 Tino
    June 25, 2008 at 18:35

    I notice no one mentions the non-Muslim Iraqis much, even though they are currently being crucified (literally):

    http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=e7649576-0ebe-4b4f-b803-9a2c64449c41

  39. 39 John in Salem
    June 25, 2008 at 18:37

    Not surprisingly, Krauthammer totally missed my point – paying the Sons of Iraq is not sustainable.
    He reminds me of Saddam’s PR man who kept insisting the invasion wasn’t succeeding even as the tanks were rolling into Baghdad.

  40. June 25, 2008 at 18:37

    Hi Nick
    Sorry if I gave offense, no offense meant.
    I see what you are getting at.
    We all want peace, security and stability for Iraq.
    There are problems, and when people suggest everything is fine in Baghdad, we should take it with a pinch of salt.
    For one thing, Kuwaiti, Saudi rancour over the Iraqi invasion of the former in 1990 persists. Arabs don’t forget easy.
    I haven’t seen an Iraqi at diplomatic gatherings in Tehran for the last six months. The Morroccons, Algerians, Palestinians and others huddle together, but no Iraqis. Try running an Arab country with a Kurdish president.
    The problem is just beginning in Iraq.

  41. 41 WN
    June 25, 2008 at 18:37

    Dear WHYS,

    As usual BBC WHYS goes for the simplistic explanations so that it can appeal to the lowest common denominator. That you choose to have Charles Krauthammer, who was on the cheering squad for the invasion of Iraq, shows your tilt.

    The US and its coalition has lost Iraq before it began. This was made abundantly clear by the seasoned foreign affairs correspondent of The Guardian, Jonathan Steele in his book Defeat: Why America and Britain Lost Iraq. The fate of the invasion was sealed because the Iraqis were not going to have any more colonialism, especially after the Anglo-American machinations in the Iran-Iraq War and the decade of sanctions.

    The notion that because of the apparent quiescence in Iraq means that the US has prevailed is such a fantasy. It is only because the Iraqi groups have “pulled in their horns” and are going to wait this out. Do you remember how the Iraqi Army was soundly defeated in Basra recently when they sought to control the the oil terminal and port there? It is only a matter of time before the Mehdi Army asserts itself.

    Regardless of whether life is improving in Iraq, the occupation is bleeding (pun intended!) the US both in lives and the treasury. It can never hope to sustain its occupation over the medium term, let alone the long term. More importantly, life for most Iraqis, by any measure, has worsened since the invasion and many Iraqis hanker for the “good old days” of Saddam.

    The Americans know that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis detest their presence and that is why they will not put the Status of Forces Agreement to a general referendum; instead, the Americans want the illegal and non-representative Iraqi Administration pass this agreement. Likewise, the divvying up of Iraq’s oil resources is being managed by the administrative even though the vast majority of Iraqis will not brook such colonial-era agreements.

    Get real!

  42. 42 Shirley
    June 25, 2008 at 18:38

    Perhaps we owuld find that Arab and Kurd, Sunni, Shia, Christian, and Secularist could all live together once all foreign elements are removed. When the U.S. illegally invaded Iraq, thousdands of foreign extremists followed and have filled Iraq with a very foreign sectarin violence. If they are removed and the borders tightened against their return, isn’t it possible that the people of Iraq are already prepared to live peacefully with each other? Or is it perhaps more convenient for certain western powers that Iraq remain disunited, so it is better to chase foreign extremists all over the place but not kick them out of Iraq entirely?

  43. 43 Mason
    June 25, 2008 at 18:38

    I dont see that the surge has worked..attacks may be down, but the problem is still there and people are still dying everyday.  Charles is falling into the same trap that politicians and supporters of the Vietnam war fell into….relying on body counts as the key indicator of success.  The US should not be there simply to kill people, they should be there to help…in order to measure succes we need to look at the entire picture, individual success stories are great, and your guests father was clearly in a unit that was working well in thier area, that is not the case throughout Iraq…The overall stability in the country is tenuose at best, factions in the government and outside are still at odds…

  44. 44 Anthony
    June 25, 2008 at 18:41

    @ Steve in the US:

    Are you seriously saying that the US, has a higher rate of killings than Iraq? That sounds a little crazy to me. Are you taking into consideration all the innocent Iraqi civilians?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  45. 45 MICHAEL IN FRANCE
    June 25, 2008 at 18:42

    I HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR MR KRAUTHAMER, BUT HE’S REWRITING HISTORY! SADDAM WAS OUR BOY FOR YEARS. HIS TYRANNY HAD U.S. APPROVAL. MICHAEL IN FRANCE Michael

  46. 46 Blaise
    June 25, 2008 at 18:43

    We are there for the oil.
    I would reference Michael Parenti and his book Contrary Notions. We have one goal in the middle east and that is to destabilize and leverage any and all power in the interest of the United States.

    Blaise (Blez)
    Oregon

  47. 47 Blaise, Oregan
    June 25, 2008 at 18:43

    We are there for the oil. I would reference Michael Parenti and his book Contrary Notions. We have one goal in the middle east and that is to destabilize and leverage any and all power in the interest of the United States.

  48. 48 Melissa
    June 25, 2008 at 18:44

    Charles Krauthammer <– please don’t have him on again, he sounds very arrogant. I agree with everyone saying unless you’ve been to Iraq and have a first hand experience on the PROGRESS then you shouldn’t be on international radio calling other people wrong and can ‘read well’ Maybe Charles should read more than his own writings.

  49. 49 Emmanuel Hope, Nigeria
    June 25, 2008 at 18:45

    It’s too early to measure any progress in Iraq. My test for the Iraq will be to have a good government, run their schools effectively, stop suicide bombings on its citizens and foreign soldiers and will have to show its freedom before i can say that Iraq has overcome its struggles.

  50. 50 John
    June 25, 2008 at 18:45

    The question of whether Iraq has turned a corner is not the central question. The “discussion” between the two commentators indicates the real issue at stake: that it is nearly impossible for a civil discussion to be had in America. We see Krauthammer displaying his arrogance, common among the neo-cons, and the other fellow attempting to introduce facts. If Iraq is to do better, America’s politicians and “chattering class” must do better.

  51. 51 tikkooo
    June 25, 2008 at 18:46

    I don’t know which corner people are talking about. If they are talking about stability and democracy that will be an ever remote mirage.
    What we are witnessing here is lull before the storm. Once, the American have left Iraq all Iraq sections will lock horns on bloody war.
    You see the bottom line here democracy does not grow and flourish in any Islamic country especially Iraq taking account of its long history of conflicts and blood shed.
    The west refuses to understand that Islam and democracy are two different cultures which do not mix in any proportion. Establishing democracy in Iraq is like planting flower in the Sahara desert – neither democracy nor flowers will grow in these places respectively, period.

  52. 52 Steff
    June 25, 2008 at 18:46

    With all due respect to Mr. Krauthamer (sp?),

    I don’t recall our original mission to be to go into Iraq and create a democracy and dispose an evil dictator as he stated.

    If that is the case, there are plenty of other countries that we should be invading.

    Revisionist history and propaganda to support a point is poor journalism.

    Steff

  53. 53 Mason
    June 25, 2008 at 18:47

    Tell Charles that a decrease in violence DOES NOT equal building a stable democracy…ask him how close we really are to leaving a STABLE DEMOCRACY?  the answer is we are so far away from that point it isnt even in sight!
     
    Mason
    Park City, Utah

  54. 54 Raudel
    June 25, 2008 at 18:47

    There is a lot of talk about democracy and freedom, but we have plenty of facts from history to show that the only democracy that will be allowed will be “American” democracy. That is a democracy that will follow the orders of the White house and not challenge the take over of their resources. El Salvador is a prime example.

  55. 55 JoDee in Florida
    June 25, 2008 at 18:50

    Charles Krauthammer et al have accepted the false premise that the US has the right and duty to impose their political, economic, and religious systems on any sovereign nation or culture. History will judge the US as the aggressor.

    JoDee

  56. 56 Deborah Dise
    June 25, 2008 at 18:54

    I Deborah in S. F. CA, I want to know what the Bush administration is doing, negotiating a super long term “treatise” for continued US presence in Iraq, using from what I understand is 50 billion dollars,of Iraqi money,in the possesion of the US, as leverage. Th Iraqi do not want this I believe, and as it seems to be high level blackmail, no?

  57. 57 Michael Kemper
    June 25, 2008 at 18:55

    I wonder why there is a person like Charles Krauthammer “answering” questions about Iraq. Wasn’t Mr. Krauthammer one of those beating the drums for war on the issue of WMDs? Wasn’t Mr. Krauthammer one of those suggesting that Saddam Hussein was in league with Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda in the destruction of the twin towers on September 11, 2001? Mr. Krauthammer’s credibility, columnist or not, is seriously in question. One wonders, with all the resources you have at your disposal, why such an incredible person such as Mr. Krauthammer is considered to be some sort of authority on anything but his own, obviously partisan opinions.

  58. 58 Stephen
    June 25, 2008 at 18:56

    I don’t support the view of either guest, but what I know is Mitchell needs to quit interrupting. Aand both guests need to find common ground so they can debate like adults without their condescending attitudes.

  59. 59 Denise San Francisco
    June 25, 2008 at 18:56

    What an absurd argument. When has the U.S. supported democracy anywhere. Chile, Iran and others come to mind. All democratic efforts the people themselves not by military intervention, were thwarted by the U.S.
    and other western countries, such as the U.K.

    Who in the world accepts occupation of their countries?

    Denise
    San Francisco

  60. 60 Jacques from Boston
    June 25, 2008 at 18:58

    We do not belong in Iraq, we never did. Our children should come home and let the Iraqis solve their problems. The so called democratization has failed, we should recognize it and stop wasting great lives and good money to bad policy.

    I WANT MY SON TO FIGHT FOR A WORTHY CAUSE, NOT FOR BUSH AND CHENEY

    Jacques KO from Boston

  61. 61 Nick in USA
    June 25, 2008 at 19:02

    @ Isabel

    I would suggest that they start rebuilding their infrastructure. There is nothing on earth that has been built, which cannot be rebuilt. I would also suggest that the people begin policing themselves. Something similar to a neighborhood watch. If someone sees someone behaving suspiciously and possibly contributing to a terrorist attack, then they should report that person to the authorities. Finally, to remove foreign occupation, they need to prove that they can police themselves, so the occupying forces can leave their country. If there were no terrorist attacks currently happening in Iraq, the USA would have no explanation for being there. They would be forced to pull out by their own people as well as the international community.

    @ Anthony

    No, Steve did not say that at all. He was saying that no place is perfect and 0 killings per year doesn’t exist in any country.

  62. June 25, 2008 at 19:07

    t is incredible that anyone would defend the outrageous criminal invasion, murder, and usurpation that took place in Iraq as an intention to bring democracy to the people. It is outrageous!!!

    Let us be candid and honest as we consider these questions: If the monarch had no divine right to rule HIS PEOPLE — despite what we read in the book of Samuel in the bible — has the USA government divine right to rule THE WORLD? Where did the USA government get its right to impose democracy on the people of Iraq from?. What does that mean against the demands of natural law, sovereignty, independence, state and human rights and freedom?

    If the government of the USA did not have divine right to impose its idea of democracy on the sovereign, independent and free people of Iraq, is the imposition of American idea of democracy on the sovereign, independent and free people of Iraq not authoritarian, dictatorial, totalitarian, bigot or anti-democracy, godless and satanic?

    No one can proof that the terribly outrageous criminality perpetrated in Iraq by the godless and satanic government of the USA, aided by the government of Britain, is democratic. The USA should recall its article of war for independence. It says that its time is long spent.

    Prince Awele Odor
    Lagos, Nigeria

  63. 63 Shedun W
    June 25, 2008 at 19:08

    Your moderator was one of the worst I have ever come across. Chales was given all the time in the world to remble on, and Michel, waw cut short on several occasions. Only those Iraqis who were pro Amcerican were aired. The moderator will bring them on, just after Charles had spoken – cutting into Michel’s response time.

  64. 64 Babagana in Nigeria
    June 25, 2008 at 19:10

    Dear BBC, Iraqis should forget their past and avoid sectarian violence to develop their country. From Babagana, Nigeria.

  65. 65 Dennis
    June 25, 2008 at 19:14

    Maybe it is going to happend, Iraq may have started to changed corners.

    Dennis
    Onondaga Community College
    Syracuse, New York
    United States of America

  66. 66 Hope in Nigeria
    June 25, 2008 at 19:30

    Great show!

    It’s too early to measure any progress in Iraq. My test for the Iraq will be to have a good government, run their schools effectively, stop suicide bombings on its citizens and foreign soldiers and will have to show its freedom before i can say that Iraq has overcome its struggles.

    Hope

  67. 67 Nick B
    June 25, 2008 at 19:32

    Debating Iraq without hardly any Iraqis! Bad call World Have Your Say.

  68. 68 Shirley
    June 25, 2008 at 19:32

    My main concern with Sahwa is whether or not it is based on legitimately Sunni Islamic principles. A warning that one Sahwa group sent to another that its members should not pay rent to Shia “dogs” concerns me, because while Sunni Islam consider us to be deviants and grave sinners, it does not in general consider us to be infidels. The blanket consideration of all Shia Muslims as infidels is a standard marker of the salafist sect that broke away from Sunni Islam. And in November 2007, Sheik Harith al-Dhari of the Association of Muslim Scholars, disparaged the Sahwa.

    My understanding to this point is that the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence dominates Iraq’s Sunni Muslims (though they are confused in the sense that they have adopted many Shia Islamic beleifs and practises). This is only my assumption, though, because of the fact that the shrine of Imam Abu Hinfa lies in Baghdad. I would expect, therefore, that legitimate Sunni movements embrace the Hanafi school of thought, though any of the four Sunni schools of thought would suffice. This would characterise the movement to me as legitimately Sunni and not salafist. Other things that would be useful to look for would be a rejection of Sufi movements and intercession (salafists), use of prayer beads (Sunni), constantly raising and lowering hands during prayers (salafist), keeping a shapely beard (Sunni – salafists let it grow wild), etc.

    I was not able to determine from the Wikipedia article whether Sahwa is strictly Sujnni or whether it has allowed salafists to attain high ranks in the organisation.

  69. June 25, 2008 at 19:41

    @ Nick B,
    there were enough Iraqis on today’s the show, among whom Lubna. There were four Iraqis from Iraq on the phone. Just listen to the show again on the podcast http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/podcasts/whys/ . It will be available one hour after the show is broadcast.

  70. 70 Thomas Murray
    June 25, 2008 at 20:35

    Lubna: Many people in the states feel exactly as you do, possibly a majority of us.

    The problem is that most Americans are lazy at informing themselves about international affairs. Before the invasion of Iraq, a plurality of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was allied with al Qaida — the opposite of what we now know to be true.

    But when I think of the Iraqi families our foreign policy has bloodied, humiliated, mutilated, maimed, killed, and destroyed, it makes me sick to my stomach.

    The “surge” has not quelled sectarian violence alone, and our generals are not alone in admitting this. They are also not alone in admitting that it is Al-Malichi’s engagement with Iran’s Amadenahjad as well as our approachment with Syria that has cooled things off. Improving relations with Iran and Syria will turn night into day for Iraq.

    Afghanistan is another matter. The minute the last American 19-year-old soldier steps over the border, the Taliban will snap back into power like a rubber band. That’s what Senator McCain meant when he said we could be over there for another one-hundred years.

    But Iraq is a sophisticated, urban and ancient civilization capable of drawing on its vast cultural experience to pull itself together again. The U.S. needs to help you clean up the mess we made. I hope we will. But the people of Iraq have got to stop attacking each other.

    Whatever sectarian or terrorist groups are doing this must be brought into the light and eliminated. No, I don’t mean routed-out or imprisoned or exiled, I mean eliminated, as in killed, because they are NEVER going to stop. They hide behind religion the way that cowardly men hide under a burka to do their killing. They are not religious. They are pawns driven by ruthless men poisoned with ambition. And they are going to keep murdering till, like Adloph Hitler and his bunch, they have achieved some strange morbid power in the world.

    I’ve said it before in this blog, and it’s worth saying again: As soon as the Iraqi people stop killing each other, the sooner the U.S. can prepare to leave.

    P.S. Were you, Lubna, recently featured in a New York Times article (about a month ago)? Since I’m only on a public library Internet terminal, I’ll look for your answer tomorrow.

    –Regards. Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  71. 71 Zainab
    June 25, 2008 at 20:47

    Salam alycom,
    Hello all,
    First of all it’s my dream when Iraq will not appear in news any more.
    Thank God it is true that there is an improvement in the security situation ,but it is sooo slow.
    The problem is that whenever the government starts an operation, they don’t end it, but they just leave it without an end. As what is happening in Sadr City, Musil …etc. Things get back to what they were.
    Look i live in Sadr City and since 3 months the government and the American start an operation aiming to get rid of the surges. Well they achieved what they want, there is no insurgents walking on the street now, as they did before. But we don’t want them to leave things at this level. There must be plan number 2. That is keeping the results of the operation.
    Yours truly,
    Zainab from Iraq

  72. 72 Mason Barnaby
    June 25, 2008 at 20:54

    @abdelilah
    i just listened – there should have been more iraqis, only they can tell us if things have got better, and i wanted to hear from more of them. Otherwise there is o real point to this discussion. i love world have your say, but this was poor.

  73. 73 Peter (Portland, US)
    June 26, 2008 at 00:19

    THIS was the most horridly biased show to which I’ve listened to in a long, long time. This entire broadcast was SO obviously biased to a PRO-US stance, it was disgusting. I had to change the station.

    The real point in Iraq is NOT ‘how well it is going.’

    The real point of Iraq is that it was an ILLEGAL invasion by the United States, and remains an ILLEGAL occupation. The United States should not even be there, and should leave immediately, so that the Iraqis can begin to heal their own, sovereign country.

    The United States is only seeking to occupy Iraq and install a puppet government so that the United States can plunder Iraqi oil and have strategic, imperialistic bases.

    Mr. Bush is responsible for the deaths of possibly over 600,000 innocent Iraqi civilians, as well as over 4,000 U. S. troops, based on lies. Mr. Bush should be tried for war crimes.

    For this show to broadcast such a transparently biased show was revolting, and not in the best interests of NPR.

  74. 74 Pangolin-California
    June 26, 2008 at 00:25

    I see Iraq becoming ‘Gaza with an oil field.’ All the ingredients are there; the walls, the checkpoints, the cash payments to warlords, the mortar and rocket attacks, the separation of the population into factions and the encouragement of a diaspora.

    An Iraqi who thinks the US government is their friend is a fool. They are being herded into isolated groups like cattle at a feedlot and for the same purpose.

  75. June 26, 2008 at 00:38

    Any Americans – any anybody, who thinks this is a true statement need only think of how you would feel, what you would do IF anybody invaded your country….

    AND you knew they would EVENTUALLY be leaving… You also know that your culture is ancient – thus far more open to the “long view” than many western cultures-especially American

    The fighting Iraqis are consolidating…resting… gathering… planning…. stashing resources…. WAITING for the Americans to change their national mind…

    There is no “corner”. As long as we are there.

    This is such a fatally flawed use of blood and treasure… It should be criminal..

  76. 76 Jonathan (sunny San Francisco)
    June 26, 2008 at 01:10

    Tongue twister: How many points could Peter in Portland perceive, if poor Peter could tolerate any opinion differing from his own without gagging and changing the station.

  77. 77 Peter (Portland, US)
    June 26, 2008 at 01:24

    Jonathan: sounds more as if you’re ‘fogged in.’

    Opinions, I tolerate very well; it is biased shows and moderators on which I gag.

  78. 78 Nick in USA
    June 26, 2008 at 01:32

    @ Peter

    In what way was a show with two guests debating very different opinions biased? Also, this is a BBC show. Just because neither of the two guests shares your exact viewpoint, it doesn’t make the show biased.

  79. 79 Peter (Portland, US)
    June 26, 2008 at 02:14

    Nick: the moderator gave much more time for responses to Mr. Krauthammer, and was constantly cutting off Mitch and switching to other respondents, most of whom (to me) seemed pretty universally in favor of what the United States was doing, and lauding the ‘progress’ through individual, anecdotal, reports of progress within very limited areas.

    The GAO report which was cited by Mitch, is undoubtedly the superior documentation to which to refer for viable information – and the moderator constantly dismissed it in favor of individual respondents who were speaking favorably.

    I listen to World Have Your Say and other similar shows very frequently, but this was the first time I’d witnessed such obvious bias.

  80. 80 Tom D Ford
    June 26, 2008 at 02:48

    Iraq was a democracy under Saddam Hussein, but Krauthammer just kept repeating the neo-con lie that Bush is trying to establish the first democracy in the Middle East. That is the reason I called Krauthammer a shill for Bush and a liar. He keeps pushing the the Bush and neo-con propaganda of democracy when the facts on the ground prove otherwise.

    All Bush is doing is trading one corrupt democracy under Saddam Hussein for another corrupt democracy under the Occupying Power, President Bush.

    I don’t call someone a liar unless they present themselves as a liar. I just recognize them as they present themselves to the world. That is their choice and I honor their freedom to make their own choices even if their choice is the opposite of mine.

    Krauthammer told a lie and I called him on it. I didn’t dishonor him, he dishonored himself.

  81. 81 Shirley
    June 26, 2008 at 03:07

    Peter,
    What you have described fits perfectly on NPR. Why do you think they cover Palestine the way that they do? I’d have to listen to today’s show to hear for myself what happened, but the previews do sound disappointing in terms of the normal quality of BBC programming.

  82. June 26, 2008 at 03:51

    A Set up Dictator abuses Iraq. Then US, Great Britain and Allies destroy Iraq Then they imprison and kill their ‘Dictator. The worlds 2nd largest oil fields are in the greatest production of oil ever, still the gasoline prices soar. I despise armies and the citizens can’t disband them. Violence and abuse is paraded by the citizens of all nations. Governments abuse the minds and lifetimes of their citizens. Now, I am going to be asked to condone savages that call their world a civilization? Well forget it.

  83. 83 David Romano
    June 26, 2008 at 05:01

    I recently received this report. Apparently it is too late to “turn the corner” in Iraq.

    David

    Radioactive Ammunition Fired in Middle East May Claim More Lives Than
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    By Sherwood Ross, November 19, 2007

    By firing radioactive ammunition, the U.S., U.K., and Israel may have
    triggered a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East that, over time,
    will prove deadlier than the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan.

    So much ammunition containing depleted uranium(DU) has been fired,
    asserts nuclear authority Leuren Moret, “The genetic future of the
    Iraqi people for the most part, is destroyed.”

    “More than ten times the amount of radiation released during
    atmospheric testing (of nuclear bombs) has been released from
    depleted uranium weaponry since 1991,” Moret writes, including
    radioactive ammunition fired by Israeli troops in Palestine.

    Moret is an independent U.S. scientist formerly employed for five
    years at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and also at the
    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, both of California.

    Adds Arthur Bernklau, of Veterans For Constitutional Law, “The long-
    term effect of DU is a virtual death sentence. Iraq is a toxic
    wasteland. Anyone who is there stands a good chance of coming down
    with cancer and leukemia. In Iraq, the birth rate of mutations is
    totally out of control.”

  84. 84 Nathan Xu- Australia
    June 26, 2008 at 05:31

    I think the situation in Iraq is getting better. I believe as long as all the Iraqi people united and leave out the difference of their ethnic group. They will be able to live “ever after”. There is no doubt the occupying forces are slowly withdrawing and they will be able to hand over the job to Iraqi security forces. I hope it will be its people who will benefit.

  85. June 26, 2008 at 08:03

    A Set up Dictator abuses Iraq. US, Great Britain and Allies destroy Iraq. Then they imprison and kill their ‘Dictator. The worlds 2nd largest oil fields are in the greatest production of oil ever, still the gasoline prices soar. I despise the military and citizens can’t disband them. Violence and abuse is paraded by the citizens of all nations. Governments abuse the minds and lifetimes of their citizens. Now, I am going to be asked to condone savages that call their world a civilization? Well forget it.

  86. 86 Mark from kansas
    June 26, 2008 at 09:12

    From what I have read from independant journalists things have changed, but there is allot of corruption, and political hot air without much action. A true american creation. I am not sure we can say to much about the state of Iraq as a country until they get home. We should asses the refugee’s and their host countries to see the state of the country. Maybe do a pole of the hundreds of thousands killed, see how they feel their country is doing.

  87. 87 Anis
    June 26, 2008 at 10:25

    Thomas Murray: ‘Whatever sectarian or terrorist groups are doing this must be brought into the light and eliminated. No, I don’t mean routed-out or imprisoned or exiled, I mean eliminated, as in killed, because they are NEVER going to stop. They hide behind religion the way that cowardly men hide under a burka to do their killing. They are not religious. They are pawns driven by ruthless men poisoned with ambition. And they are going to keep murdering till, like Adloph Hitler and his bunch, they have achieved some strange morbid power in the world.’

    This statement is heartening. But there are flaws and exceptions in it. You ask every Muslim who is educated. I can assure you majority would agree that these terrorist groups and Taliban in Afghanistan as well must be simply wiped away from the scene forever.

    But the flaw is that this is a ‘religion by itself – an offshoot of Islam, if you like, and it comes back again and again. It can never die as long as there is a country like Afghanistan which is remote and out of bounds of the international community.

    This has been aggravated by many causes over a period of about a century or so. One great contributor to ‘terrorism’ has been illegitimate birth of Israel on Muslim soil. Majority of Muslims have not been able to reconcile with the existence of Israel till today. They consider terrorism as only a reaction to the existence of Israel. Educated or otherwise, barring few, Muslims are not in a mood to reject terrorism yet.

    Then repeated interference of the West into Muslim affairs particularly in ME – Iran to Iraq and others have outraged Muslims all over. They just cannot accept the powerful countries to do as they like. Remember Soviets were removed from Afghanistan not because the West did it. The Afghans did it with the help of the West. That experience helped them to respond to USA as USA is considered the most anti Muslim country today. Bush has simply taken it to a greater height.

    So, if you think there is a quick fix to terrorism and Taliban, you will be on the wrong track. They will live. Hamas, Hezbollah will always be there as long as Israel exists. If you think Israel can live side by side with Palestine – you will not live to see that even if you are just 5 years old now. Terrorism will stay – you have to finish Islam to eliminate terrorism associated with Muslims. But mind you Muslims generally do not consider these as terrorism. It is fight back. Or Israel has to go. What is feasible is not known. Only time will tell.

    The victims will always be educated tolerant Muslims who do not subscribe to Taliban theory. Or terrorists’ views. But if Muslim terrorism goes by whatever means, Taliban will be only a matter of time when they will be eliminated.

    If USA has to fight terrorism they have to deal with Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaida. You cannot call them terrorists and simply lodge them on the other side and expect to eliminate them – that is short sighted policy. Engaging them with clarity of mind will be the most constructive way.

  88. 88 Rick
    June 26, 2008 at 10:40

    Thomas Murray
    I found your comment that “they hide behind religion” interesting.
    My recent interest in Islam has led me to as sight authored by a guy named Ali Sina in Canada. He is saying that these terrorists are following their faith and that all the “moderates’ are not. Have you seen the sight at http://www.faithfreedom.org . He continualy quotes the Quran to back up his views.
    Are there any islamic blogers that would care to refute his teachings or lead me to sights that do?

  89. 89 Mark from kansas
    June 26, 2008 at 11:04

    @Pete

    Got to take the good with the bad brother. There are two sides to everything, I happen to agree with you, and so do plenty of other people. We are there and we did destroy allot of what little infastructure that was there. If Mr. Bush is going to blow the place up in the name of america, the least we could do is put some of it together before we leave. Mr. Bush will not be prosecuted while he is president, and our congress (lazy good for nothin rabl rabl rabl…) won’t impeach him although 35 articles have been presented for him alone. Be patient and we can throw a party while we watch Mr. Bush live rom the hague. In the mean time we need to get the oil flowing and in Iraqi state controll (up yours exon) and the rest is up to the people of Iraq. If they want it they will keep doing what they have to do to put their country back together.

  90. 90 Mark from kansas
    June 26, 2008 at 11:07

    @rick
    See Quran, but read all the parts in between what the nut job is posting.

  91. June 26, 2008 at 11:30

    whether a surge has made things fair than when militants and American forces have been in a cat and mouse game or whether there will eventually be a complete withdrawal of US forces from Iraq,the fact is that Iraq has been taken backwards by these terrorist hunters.

  92. 92 Shirley
    June 26, 2008 at 13:32

    reference point: I am so sorry, Lubna.

    Anis, I am wondering what you meant when
    you said
    , Engaging them with clarity of mind will be the most constructive way.

    Rick, I have copy-pasted a couple of old posts of mine to an old topic: “How Can We Fight Islamist Extremism?” Post #1 | Post #2. I argue in them that Islam does not support terrorism.

  93. 93 Nick in USA
    June 26, 2008 at 14:03

    @ Peter

    This biased show argument is getting old on here. I’ve heard people on both sides calling foul on just about every political show WHYS has ever done. Running a radio show is not exactly the easiest thing on earth. She has a million things going on at one time when she is doing this. She doesn’t just sit down and talk, so forgive her for not putting every guest on a timer with a bell.

  94. 94 Nick in USA
    June 26, 2008 at 14:06

    @ Tom D Ford

    Your attempt to attack Krauthammer with personal attacks falls on deaf ears here. I don’t agree with anything he said, but making personal attacks is not what this show is about. Stick to the issues please.

  95. 95 Anis
    June 26, 2008 at 14:39

    Shirley: By calling those terrorists – Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaida just terrorists and saying we do not want to deal with them is simply pushing the problem away for a future time. It does not go. It has been the American position that once Palestinians recognise Israel, the problem of terrorism will vanish. It is a wrong view. Muslims will never accept Israel on their land. Jews can be accepted but now Israel.

    If the Americans are serious they must talk of bringing Israel into full democracy – one person one vote. Today Muslims are not participants in that democracy. Jews want to keep them away because the numbers game will come in play and Jews will lose their control. That part should be understood. I, for one, will like the control to remain in the hands of Jews for the sake of better management and better administration.

    On the other hand America is trying to complete the job of removing all Muslim powers in the region so that there will not be any support for Muslim ‘terrorists’ in the region and they will then, hopefully, succumb to the pressures of Israel or America.

    Palestinian authority president – Arafat – was reduced to non entity by Bush; he was humiliated and after his death Mahmoud Abbas was propped up by Bush with the hope that he will hand him over the ‘Israel recognition’ on a silver platter. Bush seems to be hopeful still that this trick will work. Cunning Bush knows little of this region.

    He destroyed Iraq to safeguard Israel from a probable menace; his new target is Iran the last bastion of hope for Palestinian people. Iran may be able to support and even deliver them freedom from Israel. America knows that and therefore is making all plans to finish Iran. All this is happening for Israel. Just imagine, the entire Muslim world is being sacrificed for Jews. The Jews are not wanted in the West and must remain in ME. This must happen before Bush is out. So, stage 1. Get Iraq to sign security pact, that will give the freedom to America to act against anyone including Iran & 2. Get Saudi to deliver increased quantity of oil to compensate for the loss of oil supplies to be caused by attack on Iran. Stage 2 has got cleared and stage 1 is in the process. I hope Iraq refuses otherwise Iraq will be completely finished. This is what I told Lubna in one of my suggestions to her.

    What makes me feel so sad is that the whole of Western World is going hammer and tongs after Muslims to surrender the land that is Israel. Muslims realise this that there is a very large group of Christians who are targeting them just with one objective in mind.

    My last line is that once Israel matter is settled to the satisfaction of Muslims, I can assure you, terrorists will have vanished, in fact the terrorists themselves will convert to a better being for the rest of the world. Afghans are very warm people and very respectable but unfortunately their circumstance is against them. So are Arabs.

  96. 96 Anis
    June 26, 2008 at 15:27

    Rick:
    My recent interest in Islam has led me to as sight authored by a guy named Ali Sina in Canada. He is saying that these terrorists are following their faith and that all the “moderates’ are not. Have you seen the sight at http://www.faithfreedom.org . He continualy quotes the Quran to back up his views.

    My response:
    There have been many many people even before he came in this world who have said so many things against Muhammad and the religion but these people come and go, the best is to hear them and if you have material in you to weigh his views then judge for yourself. He is a good material for some extreme Jews and Christians or other Muslim haters. A conman – as he terms Muhammad to be – cannot influence so many people in the World. Remove your reservations about Islam, Muhammad and study him, he is different, a real leader.

    He said, if someone hits you, you have a right to retaliate but to forgive is divine. He made it a law (Islamic) to contribute 2.5% of your uninvested assets for the development of the community. It is law that women children are entitled to 40% of the property inherited from parents and 60% are for male children. Mind you these are 1500 years old law. Do not kill your female children – this law was made in view of people killing their female new borns as people those days thought it to be dishonourable to have a daughter who would bear someone else’s children. Even today some of the honour killings are nothing but the same practice. Do not practice or encourage Usury – money lent on high interest, sometimes 30% to 50% per month. This was Jewish practice (Shylock, if you will recall).

    Do you think this will come from a con man? I do not think so.

  97. 97 Anis
    June 26, 2008 at 16:52

    To Mohammad Ali:

    ‘I also beleive that the big media asking that question wouldn’t reverse the war; the war has happened whether justified or not. Let us concentrate on the solutions.’

    This is not acceptable. Lockerbie had happened and no one forgot anything about it. They ensured that Libyan govt was implicated for that terror attack on PAN AM flight and Libya was made to pay in Billions of Dollars. Even France jumped in to earn some fast buck.

    This is the time to get those dollars and more back from Bush’s America and Blair’s GB. That would mean UN also has to take responsibility for the sanctions after 1991 that was unjustified despite all the proofs available through inspection reports. Inspectors made their positions and beliefs clear repeatedly those days.

    The civilised world must get this action going. Bush’s America and UN must pay. To Iraq. Bush is not a civilised human being but a rogue.

  98. 98 Venessa
    June 26, 2008 at 16:58

    Anis ~

    While I can agree with you on your point about Bush I would have to say that most Americans didn’t want this war. Unfortunately we are already paying a price for it. I’d like to see the payout come out of Bush’s pocket and all his frat buddies. I’m sure they gained plenty for themselves in all of this.

  99. 99 Anis
    June 26, 2008 at 19:02

    Vanessa: ‘……most Americans didn’t want this war’. This statement is not true. There was an opposition all over the world but your law makers wanted this war and that list includes – Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and perhaps McCain too? Obama stood against this invasion. The majority in the congress approved and that is how America is guilty. Across the Atlantic Blair told lies and drama he unfolded in the parliament was unbelievable. He was so mesmerised by That Greatest Satan that he simply took his parliament by storm.

    An Englishman once told me that Blair will not lose election due to Iraq invasion before the last British General Election. Because the British do not view the invasion an error. How the world was seeing the same picture and drawing conflicting inferences? How grand was the design of this Greatest Satan, Bush. He must be punished. Mind you Muslims will take their revenge on this man one day. It is a matter of opportunity. I hope that day comes while we are alive.

  100. 100 Anis
    June 27, 2008 at 03:48

    Latest today: Israel’s message to its only ally, the United States, was quite clear. Either President Bush orders military action on Iran, or Israel will have to strike on its own.

    That is it. The planning is on full swing. Almost every action taking place at high level in that part of the world is a part of the plan to attack Iran. The Great Satan is out with a hidden dagger. Ready to stab.

  101. 101 Alix
    July 12, 2008 at 19:51

    One more, belated, comment – there was only one Iraqi woman on the show, which of course is unrepresentative, and also contributed to the failure to discuss some of the specfic situation of women in Iraq, and of Iraqi women refugees. A good place to go for information is the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (they have a website and in the US partner with the international women’s human rights organization, Madre).


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