Sunday, September 16, 2007

Stressed-Out by Iraq? You're Not the Only One

Different people react differently to stress, and the war on terror has stressed quite a few people, one way or another.

"Tens of thousands of anti-war demonstrators" marched in Washington D.C., and had a die-in. Their chant made their desire clear: "What do we want? Troops out. When do we want it? Now."

One of the peace movement's stars, Cindy Sheehan, addressed the multitude. "It's time to lay our bodies on the line and say we've had enough," she said. "It's time to shut this city down."

There were some U.S. veterans at the march and die-in, including 25-year-old Justin Cliburn. "We're occupying a people who do not want us there," he said about Iraq.

I saw a reporter interviewing one of the die-iners. It was like a scene one of those old 'grandson of Dracula's nephew's cousin' movies, except the blood-stained ersatz corpse was in bright sunlight. In answer to the reporter's question, she said that U.S. soldiers are dying 'for nothing, for no reason.' I wouldn't swear to those being the exact words, but it's a close paraphrase.

Meanwhile, over in southern Iraq, the Migasees tribe's leader in Wasit province, Sheik Majid Tahir, has his own interests in the country. He says tribal leaders in Iraq have talked about creating an American-trained brigade of Iraqis. The brigades' purpose would be to help local security and help patrol the Iranian border.

Although Iraqi politics at the national level impress me no more than that of the American Congress, I admire the courage of Iraqis at the local and regional level.

Faced with the death of one of Iraq's leaders, Sheik Majid Tahir said that the assassination of Abu Risha increased the resolve of Shiite tribal leaders. "The death of Sheik Abu Risha will not thwart us," he said. "What matters to us is Iraq and its safety."

Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha pulled 25 Sunni Arab clans together, and organized them as the Anbar Awakening Council. The Council's purpose was to oppose Al Qaeda, and run terrorists out of sanctuaries where they had flourished after 2003 the U.S.-led invasion.

Abu Risha was killed on Thursday, September 13, 2007, when a roadside bomb near his house exploded. It was the first day of Ramadan.

Al Qaeda's Islamic State of Iraq claimed credit for the assassination on Friday. Allah enabled your brothers ... to track down and assassinate the imam of infidelity and apostasy ... one of the dogs of (U.S. President George W.) Bush," the Web statement said.

It's going to be interesting, seeing who makes the most difference: Sheik Majid Tahir; Al Qaeda, or Cindy Sheehan and company.

Related posts, on Individuals and the War on Terror.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.