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The Irony


By jimstaro - Posted on 25 December 2010

US trauma treatment center assists Iraqi refugees

Dec 23, 2010 - Ekhlas Gorgees kept her composure as she recounted the horrific traumas she and her family endured in Iraq.

She calmly recalled how her husband was severely wounded after a bomb exploded outside of his Baghdad plumbing shop, how she was threatened at gunpoint while walking home from church and how her family tried to escape north to the city of Mosul just before a bloody attack on civilians sent them fleeing back to the capital. It wasn't until later when she talked about the difficulty of leaving her homeland that the tears came.

"We are the native people of Iraq - it's hard for us to leave our native country," she said through an interpreter. "The hope - even now - is to go back to my country."

Such stories are told with increasing regularity in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights, the center of a growing population of refugees who fled the war in Iraq and home to a new facility for refugee victims of post-traumatic stress, torture and other war trauma. The center, run by the nonprofit Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, has become a hub for healing as thousands of Iraqis, both Christian and Muslim, try to put their lives back together.

Lead therapist Husam Abdulkhaleq said the conflicts in Iraq affect new and old clients alike, regardless of ethnic or religious background. And because many were persecuted because of who they are, resettling alone doesn't solve their problems. They continue to struggle with insomnia, depression and anxiety, he said. {continued}

Christian Iraqis, whichever way they refer to themselves, and this violence continues. There've been articles about this at www.uruknet.info for a while now and it's not letting up. Some or many (?) have fled the country and some are now reported to be fleeing to a part of the Kurdish north of Iraq, a part of a province or else a province there and where there've been Iraqi Christians for a long time. The KRG is reportedly accepting to allow Christian Iraqis from other parts of Iraq to flee to this area. And violence against them has been going on from pretty much the start of the war launched by the US in March 2003.

But I wonder who is committing this violence, for it is possible that these are more covert black ops that the US is more than aware of.

Muqtada al-Sadr is reportedly working on making the central government very strictly theocratic and this is certainly not good for Iraqis of religious minorities, but also isn't good for Sunni Muslim Iraqis and any non- or anti-theocratic Iraqis. But I wonder if this religious extremism is related to the violence against Christian and other Iraqis of religious minorities. Would he allow, or worse, order, his Mehdi/Mahdi fighters to attack Iraqis of religious minorities? I wonder. If he and they are responsible for this violence, then while I welcomed his opposition to the criminal foreign occupation of Iraq, I could not be supportive of him and the Mehdi any longer, now. I don't know how his famous father was, but from the little I did gather about him, he was a [fair] man and if his son is now responsible for violence and other injustices against innocent Iraqis, then the son would now be a [disgrace] to his father's name and history.

"Profile: Muqtada al-Sadr"
March 7, 2010

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2008/04/200861517227277282....

The caption for the photo of him reads, "Al-Sadr's love of computer games earned him the nickname Mullah Atari". (my emphasis)

Muqtada al-Sadr, of Lebanese ancestry, comes from a family of Shia scholars. He is the fourth son of the late Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, a highly regarded scholar throughout the Shia Muslim world.

Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr was murdered, along with two of his sons, allegedly by the government of Saddam Hussein - the former Iraqi president.

Al-Sadr is also the son-in-law of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr. Muqtada's father-in-law was executed by the Iraqi authorities in 1980.

Al-Sadr's cousin is Moussa as-Sadr, the Iranian-Lebanese founder of the Amal movement.

Despite his lineage and connections, he lacks the religious education and degrees required by Shia doctrine to take the title mujtahid (the equivalent of a senior religious scholar) and he lacks the authority to issue religious edicts (fatwas).

'Mullah Atari'

Before his father's assassination, al-Sadr studied in a seminary. According to Vali Nasr, a Shia scholar, he failed to finish his education and, as a student, was nicknamed "Mullah Atari" for his preference for video games over "the intricacies of Shia law and theology".

Shortly after the US-led invasion of Iraq, al-Sadr spoke out against the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), led by Paul Bremer, a former director of reconstruction and humanitarian assistance.

(snip)

Rather than now trying to establish very strict, apparently extremist theocracy, he should go back to playing video games. He'll hopefully ligthen up with the theocratic angle, though his basic reason is understandable. Basically, he wants for Iraqis to not make their society like that of the US, which is [decadent]. But he's going too far; totally banning consumption of liquor and surely drugs, probably even marijuana, women needing to wear burqas, and other strict rules or laws. He's been religiously studying too hard and should now smoke a little herb and relax.

"Iraq: Information on Followers of Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr"
published by the US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, May 23, 2002

www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,USCIS,,IRQ,,3dec99b54,0.html

Query:

Is there any evidence of radicalism, anti-American views, or advocacy of violence among the followers of assassinated cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr?

Response:

There is no hard evidence of radicalism among the followers of Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, the moderate Iraqi Shiite cleric who was assassinated in 1999, according to experts consulted by the RIC. They add, however, that al-Sadr enjoyed broad support among the diverse Iraqi Shiite population, making it difficult to be sure if individual followers share his moderate religious views.

Al-Sadr attracted a wide following among Iraqi Shiites because of his calls for Saddam Hussein’s regime to release detainees and ease repression, according to a senior program officer for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington. The program officer said that al-Sadr was not identified with any particular political ideology. Al-Sadr also did not lead any formal organization, the program officer added, although many Shiite imams were loosely affiliated with him (NED 23 May 2002).

The program officer noted that al-Sadr’s broad support among Iraqi Shiites makes it impossible to know for sure the views of individual followers. He added, however, that the slain cleric had no connection to armed Shiite groups operating in southern Iraq (NED 23 May 2002).

A desk officer for Iraq at the U.S. State Department, said that al-Sadr’s moderate brand of Shiite Islam was somewhat comparable to the relatively tolerant religious outlook of Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, also a Shiite. He said, however, that al-Sadr was not pro-Teheran and did not call for the imposition of Islamic law. He described al-Sadr as the most prominent Iraqi Shiite cleric at the time of his death, and an independent religious figure who could have vied for the leadership of the Shiite branch of Islam. This made al-Sadr something of a threat to Iran’s clergy, the desk officer said (USDOS 21 May 2002).

Like the NED program officer, the State Department Iraq desk officer said that there is no evidence that al-Sadr’s followers have anti-American or other radical views, while noting that it is hard to be sure of the views of individual al-Sadr supporters (USDOS 21 May 2002).

In his last sermon, al-Sadr criticized government restrictions on religious freedom, according to the London-based Amnesty International. Al-Sadr also called for the release of Shiite clerics detained by the regime (AI 24 Nov. 1999).

(snip)

The NED is not a reliable source and neither is the US State Department, but maybe all or most of the above excerpt is accurate for a depiction of Muqtada al-Sadr's father. Otoh, Saddam Hussein was firmly against theocracy, his government consisted of many Iraqi Shi'ites as well as Iraqis of religious minorities, besides Sunni Muslims, who were also a minority, and Saddam's government was not only oppressive towards non-Sunni Iraqis, plenty of Fallujans evidently having been also oppressed by his government and they were Sunni. So I wonder what the complaint about him not allowing religious freedom was about.

He came down hard on Iraqis who publicly opposed his government and I guess most of these Iraqis were Shi'ites, but extremist Shi'ites firmly wanted theocratic government, which would definitely be unjust, so they certainly had to be quieted, say. If he didn't put them under arrest and jail them, then they would've continued to try to build a movement for extremist theocracy, so they deserved to be jailed. They didn't deserve to be tortured or ill-treated, for they and their likes only suffer from lousy educational rearing, but jailing is what they "begged" for with their incessant and loud demands for the establishment of theocratic government. They clearly didn't care about the millions of Iraqis who didn't and would not want theocratic government; only caring about their nonsensical religious extremism. So I wouldn't consider jailing them religiously unjust.

Maybe some of the Iraqi Shi'ite clerics who were jailed were not publicly opposed to Saddam's government and didn't publicly call for theocratic government; perhaps they just got included in a "round-up" of Shi'ite clerics who did these things. If this happened, then the innocent clerics should have been released. Otherwise, jailing was deserved.

Similarly, Zionist Americans should be jailed, or placed in psychiatric asylums, or certainly under psychiatric treatment, psycho-therapy, some solution that's healthy for both society and the individual, anyway.

Anyway, it seems that Muqtada al-Sadr's father, who was a Grand Ayatollah, was religiously moderate, so the son should definitely follow in his father's footsteps; in this and all other ways that his father acted and spoke fairly.

Re. former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami:

The US would evidently like him. He served as President from August 2, 1997 to August 3, 2005 and was for "a free market and foreign investment", according to Wikipedia. Former Iranian PM Mir-Hossein Mousavi was also Mohammad Khatami's "long-time friend and adviser", and the NED, hence US, definitely favored Mousavi in the 2009 presidential elections in Iran, something the US never does unless it's for denationalizing natural resources, et cetera. The NED was also very involved, covertly, in Mousavi's Green "movement"; something that we can expect that not all Iranian supporters of the Greens would've known about, though perhaps they all did. Whenever we hear or read about political or electoral "color revolutions", however, look for the hidden presence of the NED, which most definitely is not an organization that respects or works for [real] democracy(ies). It's another instrumental organization for the imperialist capitalists of the US.

The al-Sadr's having been pals with Khatami is [not] a good sign.

According to the following article, his father was not against Sunni Muslim Iraqis.

"Muqtada comes in from the cold"
by Sami Moubayed, May 7, 2009

www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KE07Ak03.html

(snip)

He also clearly wants the Americans out of Iraq, a view shared by the Turks and the Syrians. Although involved in sectarian violence in 2006 - after the famous Samara bombing which was blamed on Iraqi Sunnis - he nevertheless has since been searching for creative ways to bring the Sunnis back into the political process. Iraq can only remain united and Arab in its identity, he believes, if it is co-led by Sunnis.

Actually, when the bombing of the Golden Dome mosque in Samara occurred, both Muqtada al-Sadr and Ayatollah al-Sistani called out to all Iraqis to tell them to not treat this bombing as if it was necessarily committed by Sunni Iraqis. They added that it was more likely that the bombing was a covert (black) op of the US and that it was possibly committed by Israel. Some Iraqi Shi'ites perhaps did not hear this firm call made by these two Shi'ite Iraqi leaders, before blindly seeking revenge against Sunni Iraqis, but the call was promptly and publicly made.

The atimes.com article also refers to some of Muqtadr al-Sadr's fighters having spoken of the need to commit these revenge killings against Sunni Iraqis and if they really said this, then it's clear that some of them didn't pay much attention to their leader's public warning. But the article also says that they referred to the situation as "civil war" and there really never was one during this war on Iraq. There was sectarian violence and killing, but not of "civil war" scale. Plenty of competent analysts have written about this non-existant "civil war".

Back to Muqtadr al-Sadr's father not having been against Sunni Iraqis:

Sources close to him confirm that his militias were indeed implicated in the so-called "death squads", but justify the action, "It was either we kill, or be killed. It was civil war and in times like those, one has to defend himself, and his community."

This is no longer the case for Muqtada. On the contrary, he is now calling for joint prayers with Sunnis, and echoing some of their same demands, which include greater representation in government, a general amnesty for all those who had carried arms against the Americans - and more importantly - "no" to the enlargement of Iraqi Kurdistan, at the expense of Arabs.

As Muqtada has matured, he has realized that if he is to become the all-Iraqi leader his father Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr was, he has to reach out to both Sunnis and Shi'ites, and needs to get regional backing - or at least a truce - with countries that range from Iran to Saudi Arabia.

(snip)

If he's not against Sunni Iraqis, then I can't imagine why he'd have his Mehdi/Mahdi fighters attack other religious minorities of Iraq; Christian, Jewish, et cetera.

I don't know if the Iraqi Jews have been in Iraq for as long as Christians have been and imagine that they have, but the Christian ones were there long before the Muslim Iraqis, and they have not been opposed to the Shi'ite Iraqis, except that they would clearly not want a strict theocratic government, definitely not an extremist kind anyway. Iranian Jews and Christians, as well as Christian Palestinians, are not oppressed by the Shi'ite regimes of Iran and Hamas. Religious minorities, including Muslim, aren't quite equal in rights and/or privileges as Shi'ites in Iran, but are not wrongly treated and Jewish Iranians have their institutions, et cetera. And Hamas, as well as Hezbollah, don't apply their theocratic policies against non-Shi'ites, not against Christians anyway. When Israel-US ostensibly attacked southern Lebanon, so Hezbollah, in 2006, while really having attacked [all] of Lebanon, Hezbollah and its supporters provided a lot of aid and this was not only for Lebanese Shi'ites; it was for all Lebanese citizens Hezbollah could help. Hamas has said that while it wants theocratic rule or Sharia Law for Muslim or Shi'ite (which?) Palestinians, Hamas also said that this was not for other Palestinians.

Who's committing the extreme violence against Christian Iraqis?

And who stands to gain from this violence? Certainly no Iraqis who aren't for the criminal foreign occupation of Iraq and corruption of the Iraqi government stands to gain anything from this violence.

Maybe it's committed by renegade Mehdi/Mahdi fighters, but maybe it isn't them. If it is them, then they don't stand to gain anything from committing this violence or any oppression of innocent Iraqis. All the Christian Iraqi leaders have called for is [security]. They can seem to be in support of the criminal foreign occupation of the country because of speaking as if the US can and would care to provide them with security; very dreamful thinking. But that really is only about wanting and needing security, which is something basically all Iraqis need. Asking the US to provide this needed security does not really make them complicit in the criminal foreign occupation of their country. They simply need security and will surely accept it regardless of which force can and does provide it.

No Iraqis stand to gain from violence against [any] innocent Iraqis. Since they don't and some party clearly thinks it does, who is that party? It is not extra-terrestrials.

It's time to find out who the bastards committing this violence are.

Edit:

The following article is very good. It's for biographies of Muqtadr al-Sadr and Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah, and related history(ies). If Muqtada al-Sadr still holds to his political and Iraqi demographic views the article describes, then he certainly should not be responsible for the violence against Christian Iraqis.

"Iraq's Muqtada not quite Hezbollah mold"
by Sami Moubayed, Dec. 18, 2007

www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IL18Ak03.html

it's very good news, and all PTSD'd persons definitely need treatment, including without needing to pay for it when the affected persons can't afford to pay.

Washington will use this for corrupt political gain, but these refugees nevertheless need to be provided care.

Meanwhile, it's been reported that European governments, political parties, and possibly also Washington, have been talking about forcing Iraqi refugees back to [traumatizing] and dangerous Iraq; and Washington wanting to force Haitians in the US back to Haiti during this cholera epidemic when the persons in the US have any allegations against them for alleged crimes. And to make the latter extra sadistically "fun", the cholera epidemic in Haiti is especially bad in the prisons, there.

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