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January 02, 2007



Dear AA,

did Jabburi argue that the timing wasn't American but insisted upon by the Shi'ites?

Those shows are good in that they show to the public that politicians aren't sacred demi-gods. But they rarely get any results, nor do they result in opposing figures actually listening to each other or trying to arrive at commonalities.

But yeah, it's great public theater.



The Lounsbury


TV is not about results, it's about showmanship. Don't confuse TV w political process. It might not have an effect, or it might indirectly.


"why didn't Nuri al-Maliki refuse the American timing of an execution on the Eid if he is really a Muslim?"

That actually makes me feel good! I was actually starting to believe that America was viewed as being so ineffectual that nobody would even believe we could pull something like that off if we tried :)

Don't mess with Texas!



if you'd followed the coverage you'd've realized by now that the U.S. officials WERE ineffectual as they could not prevent Al-Maliki and his boys from pushing through the execution of Saddam on the morning of the Sunni Eid al-Adha.

So much for U.S. control over the Iraqi government.





Yes I agree, but yet that show opened with an accusation that the US basically FORCED the execution to be conducted on the day it was. It makes me happy that the US still has so much street cred with Arabs, even after all the blunders :)

Nur al-Cubicle

The US could have pulled some "legality" out of the hat and continued to hold Saddam. I mean, it pulled the "legal" pretext for the damn war out of its ass. No doubt the US was eager for this hanging...and the heckling.


Right, you're the same Nur who makes demeaning comments about white people and Christians on her blog, right? Just checking before I weigh your comments about America :P


craig- Maybe it is the same Nur- and so what? You expect them to love us after all of this..Still waiting for flowers and a parade? You're dreaming. Can you blame Nur, really?
The question is not if Nur should be angry at America, LIKE THE ENTIRE WORLD IS, the question is how do we get our image back after so many errors.
This execution played out for Saddam and Al Sadir like a damn Shakespearean tragedy, except it is real life. Don't you get that?

mark safranski

Hey...it's Crossfire ! Where's Robert Novak ?



craig- Maybe it is the same Nur- and so what?

It is the same Nur. It happened on her blog, Nur-Al-Cubicle.

You expect them to love us after all of this..

Who is "them"? My best friend is an Arab Muslim and she likes me just fine, I'm pretty sure :)

Still waiting for flowers and a parade? You're dreaming.

And you're putting words in my mouth.

Can you blame Nur, really?

You bet your ass. She's a bigot. It's not political with her. She hates white people and Christians on a personal level. And the worst part about the example I used from her blog, is that on the same day she put up a post complaining about Islamophobia in America.

She isn't just a racist and a bigot. She's also a hypocrit.


Craig- You are missing the point. It does not matter if Nur is a raving bigot. Why argue with Nur? Nur is not a policy maker. Nur is not important. The point Nur makes is.

1) Why did this happen?
2) Why did we let it happen?
3) Are we in control at all, or just being used?
3) Is there a larger historic and metaphoric meaning?
(How does it play at home and abroad) (Shia/ Sunni?)
4) What the hell do we do now?

Please give your opinion on the event, not Nur's comments.


PTC, I don't attempt to engage bigots with rational arguments. They are not rational people.

I gave my opinion on the portion of the post that I wished to comment on, before Nur entered the discussion.

However, since you asked specific questions, I'll give my opinion on those:

1) Why did this happen?

Because that's the way the representatives that the Iraqi people elected in December 2005 wanted it to happen.

2) Why did we let it happen?

Because, it's none of our business? Either the Iraqis had jurisdiction over Saddam, or we Americans did. If we Americans did, we would have tried Saddam in the US, and executed him here. And we would have done it our way.

There cannot be two sets of jurisdiction for one court. It's a basic principal of law.

3) Are we in control at all, or just being used?

We are in control to the extent we choose to take control. If we wanted to depose the sitting Iraqi government, and then go after the Shia militias, we could.

But if we intended to do that, we would have done so 2 years ago. Not now. We are (I believe) about to withdraw from Iraq.

3) Is there a larger historic and metaphoric meaning?

Yes. Iraq is no longer part of the old order in the arab world.

(How does it play at home and abroad) (Shia/ Sunni?)

It sucks for the US. It sucks for Sunni arabs. It doesn't suck for Iran, or for Shia arabs.

Al Qaeda and the Baathists have handed Iraq to Iran. They think Iran is better for them than democracy, and American patronage. They won't survive to regret their mistake, if historical precedent means anything. Allies of convenience have been disposed of in extremely brutal manner by Iran in the past, and I expect there will be no change in the future.

4) What the hell do we do now?

Invade Iran, while at the same time withdrawing from Iraq. Isn't it obvious? That's the one thing that solves everyone's problem. Lebanon, Syria, Iraq - there would be an immediate improvement in these three countries. And not just from an American perspective. And once we have invaded Iran and effected a regime change there, the war on terror is over. Won. Whatever happens in Iraq.


Wow. You are delusional Craig, I'll give you that. No need for further comment or discussion.


Yes, invade Iran. Because Iran is run by a President elected by an overwhelming margin rather than by a President "elected" via electoral fraud in Ohio and Florida, and thus must be invaded and its government overthrown because we must defend democracy. As vs. our democracy-loving friends in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan (all of which, BTW, are dictatorships whose leaders rule with an iron hand), which don't need to be invaded because, uhm, I forget, oh yeah, because we love democracy!

Yeah, Craig, pull the other one...

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin


So, while Arabs sit and shout at each other about a dead dictator, Europe, the Americas, Asia, India move ahead with growing economies and political systems, enfranchising their citizens. And in the Middle East?...

Why are we still waiting for the Arab world to put a foot or two in the 20th century and work hard to join us all in the 21st? (And go tell the Chinese and Indians about the deleterious effects of colonialism and stunted development under western powers.)

Whether Saddam lived or died; whether Israel kills ten or 100 Palestinians this month - or falls into the sea; whether America stays or goes from Iraq... None of this changes the bare facts of high rates of illiteracy, disenfrachisement of half the population (women), stagnant and shrinking economies, and strong-man political systems that still dominate the Middle East - just as they always have...

Listening to these guys shout at each, the stale screaming which passes for "debate," is sad and pathetic. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is still waiting for you, Arab brothers and sisters. We're waiting for you to be known for something creative - not suicide bombers, not martyrs for Palestine, not angry mobs burning embassies over cartoons.


After the program ended, the two guests had to be separated and Musawi rushed to his car.

While the episode highlighted the deep sectarianism in Iraq today, there wasn't enough or 'deep' debate about the issue at hand. Other speakers might have been more suitable for such an important issue to the Arab public.

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