Thursday, March 31, 2005

Shiia Stuff

One of the more aggravating things in watching MSM news coverage of the ME is the automatic lumping of Muslims as one big monolithic block. Kind of like how the MSM treats minorities and other advocacy political groups in the USA. I saw some clown on NBC the other night who claims to have spent two years in Iraq doing news there and he trotted out the "Shiias in the south, Sunnis in the center, Kurds to the north oh my!" conventional wisdom of those who I see as not having much contact with actual Iraqis. Of course, he was framing his news story about how the Iraqi government was in trouble because TWO WHOLE MONTHS after the elections there wasn't a complete government yet. Two years of living in a Bahgdad hotel might lead one to conclude that but I suspect others who speak to actual Iraqis around the country might find something different. He went on with more blather about how the country could split up, with the Shiiah south joining with Iran to form a Sharia State(nevermind that Iraq and Iran were at war for eight years and their no love lost between the two countries), A Kurdistan to the north and the Sunnis controlling the developed center. This has been the CW since Iraq was declared a "quagmire" by the MSM shortly after Bahgdad fell. Again this ignores what alot of Iraqis actually think and desire.

Having been there for one year less than this supposed reporter, but having been in closer contact to a variety of Iraqis, I found that they are more nationalistic than religiously oriented in their political views, even the devout Muslims. Americans tend to a distrustful view of Shiias because of their dominance in Iran and the perception that they support the sort of Islamic State represented by the revolution that overthrew the Shah back in the 70's. Indeed my views of Shiiah Muslims were largely shaped by those events as I came of age during the hostage crisis, casting my first ever vote for Ronald Reagan because I knew he would put the hurt on Iran if they didnt release the hostages.

It wasnt until I was living on a poultry farm outside of Karbala with the 3/7 Marines of the 1st MEF that I found out that the Shiia majority there were actually failry pro American, aside from some resentful shit disturbers like Muqtada Al Sadr, who was trying to consolidate power and make a name for himself by "standing up to the American Oppressors". You see, the main difference that I have seen between Sunni and Shiiah sects of Islam is that the Shiiahs see a religious duty to over throw oppressive governments. The top Shiiah Mullahs in Iraq also desire a separation of religious and political policy. This has been the position of Al Sistani, the top Shia cleric in Iraq who is an Iranian who fled to Iraq during the Iranian Islamic Revolution. If any branch of Islam has the potential to undergo a reformation in respect to human rights, I see the Shiia being the best able to do so.

But back to my point about the clueless MSM and their boilerplate ideas and attitudes towards Iraqi Muslims desiring a Sharia state. I saw on Powerline a news bit on a poll taken in Najaf, the most holy city for Shiias, was published in an Iraqi newspaper. It confirms what I learned on the streets in that part of the country and utterly refutes the party line of a still clueless Big City Liberal media culture about events and attitudes in Iraq, who seem to be locked in a negative mentality towards anything that might make President Bush look good. Thus they ignore anything with doesn't fit in their mold if "Iraqi Quagmire/Civil War/Sharia State" reporting.


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