Every time I watch the news I am incredulous and angry. I have sent many letters to the editor of various media, to no effect. That's fine. When I finally close my eyes, no one can tell me that I did not try. Generally, Americans do not seem to be interested in an approximation of the truth about what is going on in Iraq; I have no idea what the Brits think. Many seem to have an idea that I am from the lunatic fringe, but that would not be exactly true. I am an archaeologist with 55 projects under my belt. I have worked with urban Arabs, Bedouin, Fellahin, and Golan Druse. My book is about the years I spent living among Bedouin and Palestinian Arabs of the West Bank.
For several years I have been chewing over Iraq in my mind, and have finally come up with a personal model of what is happening there. As I said, I have sent out this model to various media, but no one is interested. It constantly amazes me that not one politician in America has made the slightest attempt to look at the problem from an Iraqi point of view. When I was in the U.S. Navy it took nine weeks to turn me into a sailor, and that process was called bootcamp. We have been training the Iraqis for several years now, and they don't need any more training; they know everything that they need to know about soldiering. They have proven it. When Shiite soldiers form a death squad and go after Sunnis, they suddenly know exactly what to do. If Shiites kill Sunnis, the whole Shiite society is liable (If you kill one of mine, I will kill one of yours, and it doesn't matter who). If a Shiite soldier were to go after another Shiite, personal blood revenge would be in effect between them ('A life for a life, the like of it'). That's why the Iraqi Army will never be any good, and why the American and British Armies will always be necessary. The American and British Armies are the perfect foil for the Shiites, Sunnis, and any other factions lurking in the Middle East, because they are able to absorb the blood revenge of the opposing side. In the truest sense of the word, we are caught in the middle.
What does it mean, "to absorb the blood revenge of the opposing side?" It means that any Iraqi who is killed by Americans must be avenged by his family members, in order to preserve the family's honor, and the only way to do that will be to kill an American; any American (or Brit!). The only solution to this problem will be to sit down with mad dog sons-of-bitches like Muqtada Al-Sadr, to ask what exactly he wants, and to negotiate. Most Westerners, including me, are ignorant about negotiations with Moslems. Once you've made war on an Islamic society, you have ten-thousand loose cannons, all of whom are out to kill an American (or Brit) to preserve their family's honor. What does it mean to sign a treaty? We have seen what it means among Palestinians; they have signed a truck-load of treaties, none of which mean a thing. I believe that negotiations will have to be global, including every Iraqi family that has lost men in war, and they must be ritualized. Example: "Seventy thousand and seven thousand and seven hundred and seventy and seven Dollars and seventy and seven Cents for every soul that has been taken." Sealed by the ritual and televised drinking of coffee, with all of the negotiators participating. You will no doubt think that I am a silly lunatic who doesn't know what he's talking about. But I am telling you what is in the Moslem mind, ignored by 99.9% of all Americans, at their peril. I have no idea what the leverage for American dead is, but I am positive that it exists, and it should be carefully researched. Doesn't anyone think that knowledge is power? If young American and British soldiers are dying, should they not at least know what is going on? We are now heading into a long period of Islamic blood revenge that could last for generations. If the avenging relative cannot find satisfaction in his own country, he will certainly come to America or the UK to fulfill his destiny.
Blessed are the peacemakers? I don't think so. My suggestions have met with a wall of silence from everyone, so I am reduced to communicate to single individuals, like you. If you care to pass this on to anyone, feel free.
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