Sunday, August 22, 2004

Guest Post: One War

[From Katrina, currently in Iraq, doing contractual oversight work, including billing reviews, for a U.S. contractor rebuilding Iraqi water, oil, electrical, and irrigation systems at waterside facilities and branch systems.]

Some people in the West see vast differences between religious zealots who will go outside of their own countries to harm those of different religions, and those who profess to only be interested in doing it in their own lands. Yet the cause they cling to is the same. There's no difference whatsoever.

Both begin by regarding those not of their beliefs as unclean to the point where whatever we touch can somehow inflict them with unholy germs. Our bodies disgrace their holiness. And even our business with their nations disgraces them, if you have been paying attention. Theology wise, there's not enough difference in their basic beliefs to fit a needle through. And practically, there's not much room between them apart from a will to travel in order to religiously cleanse their world.

And the people who don't see this speak as if having a basic understanding of how to funnel money through international banking, produce a simple bomb or obtain weapons and jump on an airliner involves some vast amount of super intelligence and incredible planning. But none of those things do. Yahoos in Montana can do it.

Some people speak of the people of Fallujah as if they were all mud hutters who had never been anywhere. But there are people all over Iraq who have traveled all over the world. Some people say none of those fighting here would ever have the intelligence to jump on a plane and go to the U.S. But what do you really know about these people?

Apparently, very little. Traveling to the US or Europe for an education is a Middle Eastern accomplishment of some tradition, much as it is in India. It is a family thing, where young members are granted substantial sums and privileges in order to be educated in western universities and gain jobs that will profit the family and gain them economic and social status. You act as if you're speaking of some dead zone, but it's nothing like that at all. There is more than enough international sophistication residing in Fallujah to take out a nice big chunk of New Jersey and never skip a beat.