Sophia's Peace Work

Friday, June 18, 2004

A Relative Asked Me About ...

What do Iraqis think of the sabotage and violence happening right now. Here is my take on it ... for what it is worth

It's hard to guage what the Iraqi people think ... I would say most are sick of the sabotage ... but there are also alot of people here that have seen no benefit from the occupation ... people in Sadr city get all the problems (no jobs, no power - even when exists elsewhere in the city, horrible water, rotten education system ... basically big poverty problems). And on top of that the house raids too.

These are the people who don't get much benefit from oil or electricity anyway, so why shouldn't they bomb the electricity lines and the oil pipelines. There are some pretty big class divisions here ... with most of the people who are upset being upper middle class (of which there are few) or weathy, and the rest apathetic to downright angry at the coalition for being so incompetent. And there are all the Sunni's that have been shut out from the new government (old Bathists of various strips) ... just because they were shut out doesn't mean they just disappeared. And then you add religion to this mix!

If your life is shit with no hope of improvement, and you saw the pictures from Abu Ghraib or saw the fighting in the holy cities and your Iman or whoever is preaching resistance, and maybe there is some guy paying you to shoot mortars and you've got kids at home to feed, and maybe there are also some outside resistance fighters hanging around who hate America for whatever reason, stirring up trouble. Anyway, as you can see it is quite a soup here. After the attack on the convoy of contractors a few days ago (in which by-standers were killed), there was a spontaneous demonstration against the Americans ... the general feeling being against the Americans who they feel aren't doing enough to protect the people from the violence (i.e. haven't done enough to secure the borders, spending loads of money on their own security but little on the security of Iraqis, etc.)

Anyway, the public outcry against the violence exists but the sentiments of the Iraqis are all over the map.


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