Monday, 22 December 2008

Unifying Iraq

News story from Iraq regarding the journalist who threw his shoes at Bush:

In Iraq, the traditional community is deeply rooted in tribal relationships. Whether Sunni or Shi’i (and some tribes contain members of both sects), in Iraqi tradition if a member of a tribe takes an action or is in trouble, members of his tribe will represent him and will be responsible for supporting him. But in Muntather’s case, tribal leaders from throughout Iraq, from the North to South and from East to West, have claimed him as their son. They have said that they want him released safe and sound, offering to pay whatever fine the government will set for him.

Muntather’s actions have, for these days, united Sunnis, Shiites, and Christians. It united Iraqis as Iraqis. And it only took a few seconds. Sunni and Shiite tribal leaders have publicly asked that Muntather not be referred to using his tribal affiliation (Muntather al-Zaidi), because they believe his tribal affiliation now encompasses all the tribes of Iraq: They’ve asked for him to be referred to as “Muntather Al-Iraqi” (Muntather the Iraqi). At the same time, the tribal leaders have said that they hope it is now clear that they have only one enemy — the occupation of Iraq.

On reading the US blogs, I don't know whether the right is deliberately ignoring or actually does not realise just how hated Bush (and by extension America) has become because of this war and occupation.

Good luck to Muntather Al-Iraqi. I hope he has the opportunity to use his fifteen minutes to help keep his country together and his countrymen and women thinking of themselves as a united group, even if just against an alien invader.