It’s very easy to say “yes that ‘happened’, but we’ve moved on”, when you are on the perpetrating, winning or ‘privileged’ side of that ‘thing’ which ‘happened’.
I see it all the time in White Australia.
As a white kid growing up that was the attitude I was taught toward history, that history was just a bunch of interesting stories that happened in the past. Stories we should enjoy and remember, but barely any different from fiction.
Who knows what is and isn’t true about history I was told. History is written by the victor, I was told. History is mostly about wars and how they were won, I was told.
In White Australia, we do not pay much attention to history as a general social rule and where we do our inability to do so respectfully is infamous.
Tony Abbott’s latest declaration is absolutely indicative of that:
“The arrival of the first fleet was the defining moment in the history of this continent. Let me repeat that: it was the defining moment in the history of this continent,” (emphasis added).
I disagree. Certainly that was a defining moment in the history of this continent, but this continent’s history is MUCH longer than the history of this ‘country’. Continue reading Stop ‘moving on’ – a message to White Australia.
Terra Nullius, a convenient lie.
Taught it in our schools, yet we wondered why
when Indigenous girls broke down and cried.
We were NEVER taught the price in Indigenous lives.
The reality of it was invasion and genocide,
and even language couldn’t survive the genocide;
of six hundred dialects, less than two hundred survive.
Terra Nullius, a convenient ‘white lie’.
But Tony Abbott still dropping the line,
Coz who gives a fuck about the truth anyway right?
Since the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, Iraqi civilians have suffered through many tragedies; but perhaps none is so great as the poor state of their general services.
Electricity supply in Baghdad, like many of the other major cities in Iraq is unreliable and comes at most a few hours a day; though this is not the most pressing issue for Iraqi’s who have lived with similar electrical conditions for more than a decade. Medical supplies are few and far between even the most rudimentary kinds such a gauze and anaesthetics. These are in high demand due to the security situation and short supply due to the unwillingness of international actors to supply the Iraqi population.
Those who suffer from conditions such as diabetes and cancer are left with no hope for treatment even during emergencies. Aid groups have established channels for the transportation of basic medicaments for treating these illnesses but are unable to supply the huge demand. NGOs simply cannot fill the void created by the dysfunctional nature of Iraq’s government.
Even those who suffer from highly treatable conditions such asthma are left in shortage of supply; a death sentence for many in Iraq’s dusty, hot and highly polluted conditions.
In a few days the new chief of staff at UK foreign ministry, David Miliband, will be giving his first major speech and has agreed to take questions and suggestions from the online international community via Avaaz.org; the suggestions and questions will be both put forward to him at his speech and also compiled into a book which will be kept on Mr Miliband’s own desk for reference after the speech.
I have taken this opportunity to pass my own suggestions to Mr Miliband; suggestions as to how he might change his Iraq policy to be focused towards stocking the shelves of libraries in Iraqi schools, stocking the medicament cabinets of Iraqi doctors and sending in electricians, supported by companies like Powertec Electric Inc., to local Iraqi neighbourhoods to help them set up their neighbourhood-run generator systems in a safe and reliable way for maximum efficiency.
Perhaps you should consider putting in your own suggestions and questions also.
As a result of the US-lead invasion of 2003, religious extremism has become prominent in Iraq. Under Saddam Hussein religions were oppressed and all voices of opposition silenced. Religious extremism did not have a chance to receive the popular support it claims today (2006). Under the Coalition occupation much of Baghdad has fallen under the control of religious extremists, as has much of the Shiite-dominated south.
In other parts of Baghdad “neighbourhood watch” groups and resistance fighters’ man checkpoints to deter militiamen and “government forces” (2, 3) from entering the area. Some of Islam’s worst extremist groups including “Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia” managed to infiltrate the resistance under the guise of fighting the occupation. However their strategy of targeting Iraqi civilians made them extremely unpopular.
It was only by standing against the occupation that these religious extremist groups managed to establish themselves in Iraq. Given Iraq’s complex multi-cultural history, it is likely that had the occupation brought progress or not occurred at all these groups would never have risen to the level of prominence they hold in Iraq today.
Continue reading Religious extremism in post-Saddam Iraq
The rise of religious extremism in Iraq is a result of the US-lead invasion in 2003. In dire times it is not uncommon for people to turn to religion and extremist groups who knew this used Anti-US sentiments to gain support in Iraq after Saddam’s fall.
Extremists groups crossed the border from Iran (the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq // “Badr Corps”), Saudi Arabia and Jordan (“Al-Qaeda in Iraq”). Prominent religious leaders, whose strong stance against the presence of Coalition forces in Iraq had won over many Iraqi’s, began to envision an Islamic theocracy in Iraq. Damage caused to important religious sites also inflamed caused people to rally behind their religious leaders, who have become more extreme as the occupation continues. As a result of the invasion and the cunning of extremist leaders, religious extremism has thrived in Iraq since 2003.
Through out history it is noted that people tend to turn to religion in times of crisis and war as faith allows us to remain optimistic. This means the already deep roots of religion in Iraq became suddenly much more important during and after the 2003 invasion, providing religious figures with the confidence to speak their minds and promote their own motives. Irani religious leaders including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani provided imported Shiite leaders with credibility and support by endorsing the United Iraqi Alliance (Shiite Bloc) in Iraq’s first round of elections. Continue reading Religious extremism on the rise in post-Saddam Iraq