TED Conversations

Mohammedridha Alaskari

Security Advisor, Nabors Industries

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Why does the security situation in Iraq remain as it is?

We need to focus on the real issues facing the Iraqi Security forces / departments to establish a good security conditions country-wide.

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    Mar 25 2013: I wish that I could write a more hopeful message but, it saddens me to realize that this world will never have any true peace till all men come out of their singular thought process and accept that we are all the same. Not one better than the other. No one worse than the other. Unfortunately, our egocentric nature is flawed. It causes more harm than good.
    When the day comes that we realize and accept this, togheter we will achieve great things. A new Paradigm will be born. The question of security will not exist because, together we will stand!! ..... yes, that is why we fall. We stand divided.
    Cheers
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    Mar 21 2013: Like the children's game of King of the Mountain when the summit is unoccupied, or vulnerable, there is great activity by all players to kick. scratch, and bite their way to the top. To hold the top spot it is necessary to demonstrate to the challengers that they are fighting a losing battle. Several forces in Iraq believe they can take the summit. They must be identified and "educated".
    • Mar 21 2013: edward,

      I cannot agree with your assessment.
      Too much like George Bush's Homeland Security and Privacy Act combined.
      Add Obama drones and stir.
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        Mar 21 2013: Who, or what, exactly is the "we" mentioned in the question? I assume it is not the Iraqi people, but some occupying force. Also, to me, the fact that you disagree is much less important than specifically why you disagree. In the western movies whenever a new sheriff comes to town he has to show all the bad guys who is in-charge. If he doesn't, the bad guys will continue business as usual. I'm guessing George W. was the new sheriff and he was replaced by Barack Hussein. It looks like the bad guys, aka Wild Donkeys, are still not convinced that their run of the town is over.
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          Mar 21 2013: occupation forces planted more hatred among the Iraqis and create a new generation of terrorists supplied with the latest technology 'as a result of non-deliberate decisions' that's led to exterminate the Iraqi people by those groups..
        • Mar 21 2013: edward,

          I have tried to draw Mohammedridha out a bit. Trying to get him to identify
          certain things like you have asked. "The "We" in the question.".
          He may come forward and supply a bit more. But, I think he might be afraid
          to open pandora's box. He just might get bit by the bad guys. I hope I am wrong.

          I followed the Blackwater exploits, The killings of 17 Iraqi's at a traffic stop.
          The white-wash. The corporate name change to Xe, then being sold to USTC,
          those private mercenary hiring and training camps located in North Carolina
          and in San Diego County, California. USTC is not related to the United States
          government. But ex-US Attorney General, John Ashcroft, did join their Board
          of Directors in Dec 2010. He was out of office then.

          This is research from the USTC internet Web Site. I've seen a copy of their
          employment application used to recruit private contractor trainees.
          Today they claim to train Police SWAT teams in weapons and tactics.
          Interesting?

          I'm guessing George W. and Barack Hussein decided to leave Iraq to the Iraqi's.
          At about the end of 2008, when Wall Street and the major Banks were raping
          our treasury and the lure of riches were too much to resist.

          As I write this I am reading Mohammedridha's comment wherein he states that
          occupation forces planted hatred among Iraqis. Hatred that created terrorists,
          supplied with the latest technology in weapons that's enabled them to exterminate
          the Iraqi people. I think he is right.

          The net result. edward, I mostly agree with you now.
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        Mar 21 2013: RE: "I have tried to draw. . . " Once again the old addage, "Ain't nothin' simple!" proves true. Thanks for all the details which have led-up to today in Iraq. I have the same feeling that this conversation may be under scrutiny as we speak. W. made some friends and some enemies when he snatched Sadaam Hussein out of his hole in the ground , gave him a fair trial, and hung him. I guess those faithful Sadaam supporters are on the side of anti-US militants. I'm sure the next dictator is just waiting for that last US warrior to go home and collect his unemployment. You know how the Forest Service learned to let some of the forest fires burn? The White House should consider letting some of the world's many conflicts burn themselves out. I vote for Isolationism!
        • Mar 22 2013: edward,

          Isolationism worked well before FDR and Churchill got together.
          FDR ran on a platform that he would not get us into a European War.
          Then he proceeded to do exactly that.

          Like North Korea said last week; "Preemptive War upon the US shores".
          It was in response for what our government has been doing these last
          63 years. "Non-stop Preemptive Wars upon other nation shores."

          Problem is that these are Secret Preemptive Wars. Fully started before
          the rest of the United States and even maybe Congress are informed.
          Technologies used are for example; Drones that require bases to be
          constructed within War Zones.

          I found out last week that we not only have been secretly training the
          rebels in Syria, but in at least 3 other interior African nations, all while
          constructing 2 new Drone bases. That is going on right this minute.

          Back home in the good ole' USofA we uninformed citizen voters are
          fed propaganda to keep us voting for and happy with our leaders.
          We of the starry-eyed clan just keep re-electing them.
          What fools we voters be...

          Since 1945 taxpayers have supported 147 Military bases located
          inside as many nations world-wide. We pay Trillions of Dollars to
          lease lands and safe passage on and over nations throughout the
          world so we can support our Military troops, sailors, and airmen.

          Since 1945 we taxpayers have supported 57 to 60 Armed Conflicts.
          And God only knows how many others we never found out about.
          Every one was started with a lie. Every single one.
          There is a rule in selling... One Lie, All Lie.
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        Mar 22 2013: I trust your facts are confirmed. Thank you for sharing them. We are about to vacate Iraq and that must play a part in the problem cited in the OP. Things are not getting better because, since Harry Truman, the POTUS has not been dedicated to the idea of Victory at all costs. America has never lost a "war" because she was not powerful enough to win it. We lose because we no longer unleash our massive military might to disable and conmmand our enemies as quickly as possible. Iraq would be better today if the POTUS had kicked ass and taken names from the get-go. Maybe we will try Isolationism since being the world's peacekeeper is not working out for us. Global economy and One-World doctrines be damned. Let each nation build its own economy.
  • Mar 23 2013: edward,

    Since 1945 -- US Presidents ignored Congress when deciding to make WAR.
    US President's use questionable constitutional executive authority to initiate WAR.
    US President's ask Congress to appropriate monies to pay for WAR after the fact.
    Appropriations that pay for (Non-stop) "Preemptive Wars upon other nation shores."

    Media propaganda then and now, that label America as "the world's peacekeeper", is a lie.
    Americans have no realistic idea of the (Secret) WARS created by US President's lies.

    The WMD reason for George W. Bush's WAR against Iraq was later exposed, as a lie.
    Colin Powell's integrity, folded like a cheap suit, when he tried to sell to the United Nations,
    the WMD lie.

    American voters have become co-conspirators with the US Presidents they elect and re-elect.

    As you can see, I hate WARS, and those idiots that start them.
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      Mar 23 2013: If I'm not mistaken, Shia - Sunni feud started before U.S. even existed. U.S. policy does not help, but it does not seem to be the cause of the violence.

      Despite the popular American belief, America is not the center of the world. Many countries have problems not caused by U.S. policies.
      • Mar 24 2013: Thank you Arkady,

        You're right, and you've won the HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD award.
        Thank you.

        Arkady, We have a few problems developing today, here in America.

        US foreign policies effect Americans.
        Policies soon become dictates. with threats of WAR should some country
        not change it's policies.

        Americans are daily fed a diet of Media garbage suggesting we should
        be ready to slay the monsters lurking beyond our borders.

        After 6 decades of such garbage, you would think Americans would have
        had enough. Not so.

        The voters continue to back the hawks of WAR.

        Everything in America's open and transparent government is a SECRET.
        Get out your calculators -- Homeland Security has in the last 18 months
        ordered Billions of bullets and 2600 new armored vehicles.

        "Surprise" the Social Security Administration bought 1.5 Million bullets themselves.
        More guns and ammo than we could have used in 10 years of fighting WARS in Iraq.
        Where on earth do they plan to use these weapons? The Mexican border?
        Disneyland?

        I apologize if my information is wrong. A check with the Congressional Record
        might clear it up. There are a couple Senators upset with these purchases.

        There is gossip that Homeland Security's Janet Napolitano will be running for
        President in 2016. Will these purchases help her to get elected?
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          Mar 24 2013: Frank,

          The data on buying bullets is without sources or context. Where did you get the data that Social Security Administration is buying bullets? I'm not sure what to make out of this statement without reading more.

          Although you hate wars, what you say is not far from what you criticize: "Americans are daily fed a diet of Media garbage suggesting we should
          be ready to slay the monsters lurking beyond our borders." You seem to suggest that the monsters are inside our borders. But the message is, essentially, the same. I have a far more sensational news for you: "The Phantom of the Opera is here, inside your mind".
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    Mar 22 2013: In your blog, you say "The increase [in violence] is attributed to the resurgence of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). According to estimates by Iraqi officials, AQI’s membership has increased from 700 in 2011 to 2,500 today."

    This is a correlation, not a causality. Why do people join AQI? That's the question. Apparently, they resort to violence to resolve some issues. You say it yourself, "we need to focus on the real issues". What are the issues in your opinion?

    I have a coworker from Iraq. After talking to him, it seems to me that the religious differences between Sunni and Shia are at the center of the internal conflict as they are in Syria. There are also tensions between Arabs and Kurds. It seems to me that instead of focusing on issues, people focus on religious and ethnic differences and falsely blame each other for the issues. Blaming violence on Al Qaeda is just finding another culprit.

    Focus on similarities, not the differences and attack the problems, not each other.
  • Mar 22 2013: Perhaps the people have just got to change. Change takes time. It takes direction. Change comes from within. It comes from those seeing examples from around them. Set some good examples. Let them see the good examples. Don't let people lie to them about the good examples. Lies abound... let the truth set them free.
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    Mar 22 2013: What about gathering the chiefs, they must see this current time for Iraq helps no one? Not even a holy man can budge a people who have lost confidence in them? Iraq is Iraq and belongs to Iraq and it's tribes, democracy or whatever form of government takes place must have an element of the tribes input? the med is an area of very old cultures and sometimes it takes old cultures a long time to change or incorporate a new way of doing things for themselves.

    Obviously i have limited information of Iraq's current issues but the old men who are not religious or who leave it up to other more loud mouthed men are usually the wise ones? Hot blood can turn each man against his neighbor. Reach into the blood lines, find the old ones.
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      Mar 22 2013: Below article may help you out to give you a small picture so u can figure out how it is look like now in Iraq.

      http://maxexpat.blogspot.com/2013/03/iraq-in-focus-after-tenth-anniversary.html

      if possible please to tell me if this article was helpful..
      • Mar 22 2013: It seems obvious that the Shia dominate, so if your not Shia, you won't get much, that's just the way governments are.

        Is the Ayatollah Shia?
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          Mar 23 2013: Jim,
          Shiites are the overwhelming majority in Iraq .. No doubt they control the bulk of the government

          The Ayatollah for Both, I mean the are religious leaders for Sunni & Shiite as well.
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        Mar 22 2013: Mohammedridha.

        Who's bombing who? Maybe Iraq needs to expel all foreigners for a small time to work out what it wants. The foreign states will comply or be backed into a position that would affect their profile.

        Edit = Microsoft, bloody buggers, trick you into changing over to a supposedly better system of email and skype and now i don't get any comment alerts from this site.....typical, just like elections. Yes, thanks, it did help.
      • Mar 23 2013: Even those in power do not have justice. Yes, they get their way, but they do great harm to each nation. Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world. People the world over can easily be corrupted.

        How can anything we say or do make a difference, unless justice were worth more than money?
        Actually justice is worth a lot more, but most that want to lead do so for money, along with those they make promises to, to get them into those positions. However, once that's done, the entire population becomes corrupted in a vast amount of ways. When that is done, real intelligence suffers throughout the entire culture, because without justice and the truth, there is only a tiny amount of real learning, compared to what it should be.

        That leads to a sickness throughout the entire population.

        If you want to be a leader, you will have to get your people to tax themselves, get them to agree to accepting more and more gov control over themselves, help to dumb down school children so they offer no intelligent threat to expose the fully corrupt gov and corporations, as the media directs the concert, demonizes whomever and whatever.

        Fully corrupt people control and they always will, because they will do whatever it takes, even to murder and dumbing down most all children.
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        Mar 23 2013: Then all i can say is that maybe Jim is right, maybe an Ayatollah might curb the violence but they from my stand point are an Iranian tradition?. Right now brother is set against brother and there is the added stress of not knowing if your wife or kids could get caught up in a bombing, this should make men angry, that stress is not natural.
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    Mar 22 2013: Mohammedridha Alaskari, this is interesting.

    I want to switch the direction of this conversation as most us are really stupid about this subject.

    What would you propose?

    What do you think of Rory Stewart? (this guy is awesome)

    http://www.ted.com/talks/rory_stewart_time_to_end_the_war_in_afghanistan.html

    Can you tell me about the viewpoint of the Iraqi people on the street?

    I must say seeing voters brave the dangers to pursue their liberty was awesome and made me misty eyed, but that may be more conjecture than reality?

    It seems like the answer should come from the bottom up?

    And that it basically boils down to communication?

    And that people never have higher communication than when they are trading at the market place? How can Iraq trade with the world?

    My neighbor is Iraqi and a doctor as are all of his 5 brothers. Once his brothers were visiting and asked if they could take a picture of my house that was tented for termites at the time. They wanted to show people back home how big the tents were in America. 8^)

    What does Iraq want? What do the Iraqi people want?
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      Mar 22 2013: I will check it out!
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      Mar 23 2013: Excellent speech..
      This is incredible facts!
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        Mar 23 2013: Why?

        What do you suggest?

        What does Iraq want?
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          Mar 23 2013: - Because his speech is logical
          - I would suggest to reassess our current situation & suggest better solutions..
          - More peace, more love for each other, respect for others views though opinions different & MORE EDUCATION
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        Mar 23 2013: Thank you, sigh retracted.

        No matter how you figure it this is a extremely difficult and dangerous endeavor, as if you did not know this...

        I think the answer is to emulate other successes in history.

        Rule number one, this has to be from the bottom up. Al Qaeda is from the bottom up?

        In this country before the revolution there was much talk about what the country should become. This was done through the Federalist Papers and the Anti Federalist Papers. This eventually evolved into the Constitution.

        You cannot create a future through force it has to be through Communication and Education this has to be from the bottom up. People have very high communication when they are in the market place. Ideologies simmer down when people trade.

        If you want some more ideas email me.
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        Mar 23 2013: One other thought on this. In order for there to be learning you have to evaluate or weigh 2 things. Here in the U.S. it is looked down upon as it is perceived to be a form of prejudice. In your country it is looked down upon because the only acceptable answer is the Quran. In both cases learning does not occur because there is no evaluation or weighing of the information. Again this is because there is an irreducible minimum of 2 in order to compare and learn.

        If there is only one thing there is only indoctrination (which is also a problem in the U.S.) by authoritarian teachers.

        I would suggest the below secular book as a comparison to cultural beliefs. It has been well received in other parts of the world and has actually changed cultural beliefs for the better. It is cheap and available in Arabic

        http://www.thewaytohappiness.org/thewaytohappiness.html
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          Mar 23 2013: Many thanks for this website, I think this is good one, but unfortunately this will be useful for English speakers readers only, I hope the webmaster add Arabic language as well so Arab can read it!
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        Mar 23 2013: When the web page opens click on the language button and select Arabic.

        Also this page may be of some interest

        http://www.thewaytohappiness.org/programs/crisis-zones.html


        Also this white paper on how to fight the corruption you mentioned earlier:


        http://www.brianpinkowski.com/BrianPinkowski/Home_files/New-Tools-For-Fighting-Corruption-in-Organizations-WP1Fin.pdf
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        Mar 24 2013: Mohammedridha

        I scanned the white paper, it contains the answer to what you are looking for.

        I alluded to this earlier, you have an organizational problem.

        Any organization has to define it's purpose and what it produces, it then has to make it's policy known and that the employees get corrected on this policy. If the policy does not exist the worker is FORCED to make his own policy. Which of course leads to corruption or at the very least decay of the government.

        You may think this only applies to Iraq, it does not as this is the VERY problem we have in the U.S.. The country is decaying from a lack of policy being being used. Starting with the VERY fundamental point of what is the main product that a government is supposed to produce.

        The reason for the sucess of this country in the past was having the policy known and used and what the main product of the government is. This policy is called the Constitution. So you see how important having policy and getting it used is?

        This white paper is EXACTLY what you are looking for. Do you understand this?
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          Mar 24 2013: Pat,
          This awesome. I may need to read the last clause one more time, It may change the way I'm thinking ..
          Many thanks Pat.
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        Mar 24 2013: Good luck brother.

        Write back and let us know how it is going.
  • Mar 21 2013: As a "westerner" I feel a certain amount of blame can be placed on our shoulders for much of the problems faced in the middle east. I believe that the current situation in Iraq will continue for a long time mainly because most of the extremism is perpetrated by people who do not have a real agenda and so with no real purpose they understand what they want is unattainable. However the individuals who control the extremists do have an agenda and it is always about power it is in our very nature.
    Once one extremist leader feels he has achieved his goal a different group will emerge trying to take power it will just go on perpetually until one group gets enough power to crush any opposition this is what we had with Saddam.
    There is in my own opinion only one cure for this and it is education education followed by some more education. I am well travelled and I have experienced many cultures and frankly I consider myself worldly wise and race colour or creed have no meaning to me but I very much understand how easy it is to think otherwise.

    How we can make i difference in Iraq and other countries with similar problems is maybe a little extreme but if i had the choice i would implement a severe criminal code for all crimes that are similar to western ideals but i would make punishments more severe in themselves.
    I would then throw money into a moderate education system to allow the future generations to question themselves and there own beliefs. I would not for one minute suggest you educate in a fashion to say this is wrong you will go to hell for this etc etc only educate children so they have the strength to form there own opinions and beliefs.

    Only the 2nd generation will be strong enough in its conviction to make change if you take a look at all moderate governments its taken them centuries to get to these positions but in today's society we have Facebook and expect immediate change when reality just doesn't work that way.
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      Mar 21 2013: Charles,
      I agree with most of your solutions..
      I guess that the moderate education very important for this generation.
      • Mar 21 2013: I reread my post and felt i should make it clearer regarding education.
        the current system is beyond economical repair so its bust but the future is the key teach them how to think and reason give them the stability to grow and they shall change the nation of yours for the better.

        I do not think currently that my homelands policy on education is any good in fact i think it is as broken as your current leadership so please don't look to us for help in this!

        But it tires me out when meeting everyday joe who has the stupidest misconceptions and stereotypes that are not from there own personal experience but claptrap they have been spoon fed by media, religion or government. People need to stop and realize they don't tell lies for no reason there is always a motive. I always like to think humans have an absolute need to have a common enemy if it is based on sexuality, gender or religion it does not matter to the masters only that they are not under the spotlight and can follow there own agenda without scrutiny.

        So leave the government to do as they please let the masses ignore them for the time being eventually they will die from old age and you can hope the next generation can make the difference from the ground up.
  • Mar 21 2013: Mohammedridha, what would you suggest? From what little I understand of your people, Saddam, as bad as he was, is probably the best that can be expected. Do you not call yourselves, "Gods holy warriors"?
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      Mar 21 2013: I would suggest to have qualified men to establish technocrats government so we will have most of the things in place.
      We need to forget about the religion, sectarianism when we build our government. make everybody comfortable with what the government achieves
      • Mar 21 2013: Can you point to one government that is not corrupt?
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          Mar 21 2013: I cannot, but we can replace the current government with new one depending on technocrats system.
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    Mar 21 2013: Your question is the answer.

    Somewhere I read government defined as force. And that is what you need especially around people who are kamikazes.
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      Mar 21 2013: That's what we need at this stage but, the problem with this government itself. I mean part of this government are supporting kamikazes & terrorist to achieve their goals against other parties in the government itself.
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        Mar 22 2013: That is a problem here in the U.S. as well. Aim for improvement, forget perfection.
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    Mar 24 2013: anger, rage, fear, a population of people who were segregated for so long now living as one nation ...how do you address this? how to you promote tolerances of another's beliefs? how to do teach compromise? what words or actions can be used to teach unity? I don't know, time, perseverance? How I wish I had a crystal ball to peer into with answers for truly, my heart bleeds for the people of your nation. I continue to pray for all souls
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      Mar 24 2013: Mary,
      I guess by teaching ourselves to love the other inspite of their colour, ethnic, place of birth, we need to look to each other as a human as a partner in this country agree with others to live in peace.. this is only speech but we cannot implement it in the real world scenario.
      Thanks Mary
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        Mar 24 2013: I know Mr. Alaskari and I must apologize.It is so easy to sit where I am typing this and create "a speech" about tolerance...blah,blah,blah.My heart is in the right place But you're right, sadly not real world.

        I do know one thing for sure, keep on trying, again and again. there is an answer out there. I respect and admire your commitment
        thank you for your response.
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          Mar 24 2013: Mary,
          No need to apologize please..
          Believe me there's a lot of Iraqis still trying to implemebt whta you said but they are not matching a half of those whom exposing the violence or equal a half of them at least. Eventhough they will be treated badly. But some of us never give up and keep trying :)
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    Mar 24 2013: Ken,
    I recommend you to watch BBC & Alhurra Iraq. As I see, Aljazeera & most of Arab media are working against Iraq.
  • Mar 24 2013: Arkady,

    Like most people, "just not interested" fits.
    At least you have the knowledge now to add to whatever your future brings.
    A warning usually keeps one alert.
    Good Luck.
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    Mar 24 2013: Mohammedridha,
    Who are these extremists that you mention? What kind of people are they? What do they want? Why do they believe that violence is the way to get what they want? You said, there are extremists on both sides, Sunni and Shia. What side does AQI take?
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      Mar 24 2013: Arkady,
      here are the most active extremist groups in Iraq:
      1- AQI (alqaeda in Iraq).
      2- Baathists
      3- AII (aljash aleslami in Iraq)
      4- (PKK) Kurdistan Workers Party
      5- AAH (asaed ahl alhaq)
      6- Alyaoum Almawood Brigade

      There's a lot of them but the groups show above conducting the most effective attacks in Iraq, by the way Muslims don't considering them as a part of Islam.


      - They are radical people.
      - They want to oust anyone who does not agree with them and not be subjected to them.
      - I guess they believe in violence because they have brains been washed by the extremist leaders.

      I would like to explain something important: EXTREMIST GROUPS ARE NOT FROM SUNNI OR SHIITE SIDE. THEY HAVE DIFFERENT BELIEFS THAN SHIITE OR SUNNI. AS I SEE, EXTREMIST ARE TARGETING ALL IRAQIS AS A ONE TARGET.
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        Mar 24 2013: This seems like an extremely tough situation. My philosophy is to stay away from violence altogether. But I admire people like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

        I find that Westerners are very misinformed about Middle East. I'm not sure if you can get a good advice or solution from the Western culture.

        I wish you the best in your pursuit.
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          Mar 24 2013: Arkady,
          The reason of posting this question in English is to get advice by westerns because most of their countries used to have kind of same issue in my country long time back, and now most of the western countries they live in peace & sustainability.
          I believe Arab failed to make arab world much better, you can see what we earned from ARAB SPRING !!
          More bloody Arab nation..
          So sorry to say so, but it is the truth my friend..
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        Mar 24 2013: Look back at history. After the United States declared their independence in 1776, there was a war with Great Britain, there were decades of slave trading and driving out Indians from their land, there was a Civil war that ended in 1865 (89 years after Independence), women got to vote in 1920, apartheid ended in 1964, and gay rights just start to be debated. French history is not much "more civilized".

        When Mahatma Gandhi was asked, "what do you think of Western civilization?", he answered: "I think, it's a good idea." I don't think Arabs are lacking anything. It just takes time.
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          Mar 25 2013: Arkady,
          Its been a long time, Arab still remain in same stage, this is my point of view, I might be wrong, or right..
          I also agree with what Mahatma said; Western civilization is good idea!
  • Mar 24 2013: Arkady,

    You may be right. I may have a figment of my imagination working overtime.

    I bet you nickles to donuts that you will not research the facts.
    Not that you won't find anything. Just that you won't do the work.
    But, you might prove me wrong. I doubt it.
    Sleep on...
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      Mar 24 2013: The facts that you mention are not something I worry about. If you believe, I should, I might be interested to learn if you provide the references. But you are right, I don't feel like researching these topics on my own just to prove you wrong. I don't see value in proving people wrong.
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    Mar 23 2013: Walter,
    I think you meant: because they are human without a force to impose the law enforcement on them?
  • Mar 23 2013: Because their human.
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    Mar 23 2013: I'm not talking about perfection, all what we looking forward is to get the some more of our rights..
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      Mar 23 2013: You need to specify whose rights you are talking about. I believe, that's everyone's goal. And that's what everyone is fighting for.
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    Mar 23 2013: Arkady,
    I disagree with your point of view about Sunni - Shiite feud..
    We never had this before invasion, I was born in 1986 i never seen the violence between Sunni & Shiite before 2004, this violence was created due to the incorrect policy of the occupation forces in Iraq.
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      Mar 23 2013: It's because it was suppressed by the Saddam regime. I grew up in the Soviet Union. "Friendship between peoples" was the official motto. But the moment Moscow released its grip on power, there was violence in Azerbaijan, Baltic republics seceded implementing strict nationalistic policies to drive Russians out of their countries, and Ukraine politically split into 2 parts - one pro-Russian, one pro-Western. Note, there was no U.S. intervention whatsoever.

      It is not sufficient to witness less than 30 years of history to make the conclusion that you make. I'm not familiar with the history of Islam and Iraq, but I'm sure that a look into few centuries back in history of the region will explain a lot. Hitler did not invent antisemitism. It existed in Europe for centuries before Hitler and goes back to Roman empire.

      By the way, try to do some soul-searching. What group do you belong to ethnically and religiously? How do you view people from other groups? Who, do you think, al Qaeda is? It can be your neighbor - a person just like you. I'm not blaming you for the violence - I'm saying that the attitudes that cause the violence start within our own heart.
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        Mar 23 2013: Arkady,
        it was good preview and good information for me but I already know more of it..
        to answer your questions no need for some soul-searching; ethnically I'm from the south of Iraq but I would rather not to answer second question with the details you want, I would say I just believe in God, I divide people as follow: people love the life & people hate it. And I'm from the first group..
        I don't think alqaeda will be my neighbor because they will kill me for sure..
        as you said, "attitudes that cause the violence start within our own heart" so what you think about alqaeda's attitude?
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          Mar 24 2013: Re: "I divide people as follow: people love the life & people hate it. And I'm from the first group."

          There. I think, you named it. I believe, such mental division of people into "good" and "evil" categories is the source of violence. Of course, you are on the "good" side. That's what everyone thinks :-) Why do you think al Qaeda will kill you for sure? Is it because THEY THINK that you would kill them for sure? What's the solution? I think, both you and al Qaeda need to stop thinking this way to stop the violence. And this is the tough part. You might say, "I can stop thinking that way, but how do I make sure THEY stop thinking that way" or, maybe, you are sure that they will NOT stop thinking this way. I don't have an answer for you, but this is how I see the problem.

          Here is an interesting article http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2006/2006-7.pdf. I myself believe in God. I had a debate on an atheist forum arguing against atheists who claimed that religion causes violence. They sent me a link to this article. However, the article does not show correlation between homicide rates and religion. What it does show is a strong correlation between "dualistic" world view and homicide rates. "Dualistic world view" means dividing people into "good" and "evil" as I mentioned above. I think it's this mentality, not religion that's causing a problem. For example, in the Soviet Union that was officially atheistic, propaganda divided people by ideologies. Millions of people were declared "enemies of the people" and exterminated in camps, and the world was on the edge of a nuclear disaster for decades. Nazis viewed Jews as evil, etc.

          There is no simple answer to your question, but I think, we must search the answer within ourselves.
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          Mar 24 2013: I realize that my suggestions are idealistic. Hate is irrational. It's often impossible to make other people change their mind about each other.

          What you suggested earlier sounds like a good idea: "More peace, more love for each other, respect for others views though opinions different & MORE EDUCATION "
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    Mar 23 2013: Ben,
    You are right, those factors affecting the situation but the 4 things are been developing but it doesn't meet the requirements of the current situation, and it is not the main cause of the violence.
    I believe the main factor in the violence in Iraq is the unstable political & security situation. Many thanks for your comments it is been so useful.
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    Mar 23 2013: Ken,
    Foreign are developing the infrastructure, they have nothing to do with political situation in Iraq, it's between Iraqis themselves but I would recommend the UN to be engaged in this case to settle down the dispute .

    to answer your question: extremist are bombing the civilian
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      Mar 24 2013: I see your point man, Are there a lot of these groups in Iraq? What news groups can a person like me trust to give a close view of what's happening there from Iraq? Is Al jazeera still good?
  • Mar 23 2013: because the standard of living hasn't improved. violence naturally declines with food, jobs, healthcare, and education availability, not with the removal of regimes (although that can be a first step is said regimes are preventing the implementation of these 4 things).