You should read Hala Fattah's account of a conference of Iraqi historians she is organizing in Jordan. Here's a snippet:
"In this maelstrom of politics and revenge/ politics and gangland style killings, I called upon several professors that I know (and some I don’t know) to attend a conference in Amman, Jordan on the history and politics of identity in Iraq. Some cannot come, because they’re ill or are worried about leaving their families. Others rose to the challenge, even though it meant crossing the most dangerous road in the world, that linking Baghdad to Amman, bypassing Fallujah, Ramadi and a host of other Anbari towns that are being laid siege to by the Americans for their “anti-Iraq” elements (this is the new term coined by the US forces to label the insurgents). I am full of admiration for those brave souls, the more so that whatever tangible benefits that accrue to them for attending the conference – making new contacts, presenting their case to a broad rostrum of international scholars, and generally opening up to the world – cannot possibly make up for the life-threatening conditions that they live in. Just to put this into perspective, we hired a coordinator to assemble the Iraqi professors and see that their papers are in order for the trip to Jordan. On his way to Baghdad by road to accomplish this task, he was stopped twice, the second time by a group of mujahideen (the local term for “anti-Iraq” forces) who wanted to know if anybody in the car had a Western passport, and frisked everyone thoroughly just in case anyone was lying.
"I am all the more impressed by those Iraqi professors’ determination to come to Jordan to present their case because even simple opinions have repercussions nowadays, and not only in Iraq. I asked a Kurdish historian, and several scholars of Sunni and Shi’i backgrounds (including a woman) to attend the conference; I’m still not sure that all of them will attend (I asked fifteen historians in all) but I’m certain that in the end we will have as representative a group of Iraqis as anyone can hope for. But I believe that those historians will present much more nuanced examinations of identity than others; even those historians espousing a polemical and sectarian line will add to our knowledge on Iraq simply because it springs from their life work and experience. They must be heard, even though at times they will contradict what Western scholars of Iraq espouse."
Kudos to Fattah for organizing such a conference, and only speechless admiration for those brave historians who are participating. I can't wait to hear a report on the conference proceedings.