For she is My Sister, and I know whereof she speaks.
I live everywhere, too. I find that I must search for an identity every single day. I am in exile, shall always be in exile, my emotional life being lived in a St. Paul Minnesota that now longer exists for me.
Under stress, yes, the human being will always return to what makes them feel safe and is FAMILY ular (that's what familiar comes from, folks!) .. unfortunately, that does not lead to planetization .. and I feel that I fit in with no group, no tribe, not even my blogger ring identity. I've been critiqued and found wanting for posting too much, at too many times during the day .. I am to expect to be IGNORED for what I post, what I write, when I write it.
I can't afford a website and maintaining it - IN FACT, this winter I cannot even afford to even pay my ISP and I have the Red Cross delivering my (free) food as I cannot go out and get it; I cannot carry groceries home. Yet, I find that the so-called equals in my life are passing judgments on me. II live sick as hell, in a moldy apartment which they won't give me a transfer to leave, my eyes have sores, my lungs ache daily, I have real bad arthritis, fibromyalgia, plantar fasciatis, thyroid disease, lost 60% of my hearing so far and am legally blind. I also have post traumatic stress disorder, as I often point out here.
I've waited five weeks for my tax return. For four months last year the Social Security folks left me without a DIME, demanding I get a public guardian (first time in 48 YEARS that they've said I need one .. I've suddenly gone all demented, eh??) I am the face of POVERTY America does not want to know about. If you are smart, how come you are POOR??? If you are writing, why can't you write the way I tell you to write?? If you blog, why can't you accommodate all the other bloggers??
Life goes from one traumatizing event to the next - I maintain, if not humility exactly, at least a modicum of honesty and kindness. I am an affirming person which is more than I can say for most people I encounter.
If you don't want me in your webring, just shut me down. Sure won't surprise me one bit. HARDLY SURPRISING. The women and children without money are the "lucky ones" who commit all the problems in this society, right?????
It feels REAL BAD, the truth do tell.
And this is what's coming to North America if people don't wake UP!! It really is. Sing it, wail it, Layla. I know you are RIGHT. I told my story to someone: their only comment was "my, you've had an interesting life" .. I prefer to think of it as someone who was a Inconvenient Truth, and it was NOT interesting - it was a goddam tragedy. A Truth I try to find a way to deal with on a minute by minute basis, never giving up.
By Layla Anwar 12/27/07 "An Arab Woman Blues"
Yesterday's foes are today's friends, and today's friends are tomorrow's enemies...
And the show goes on...
I have been reading extensively about the Sunni Awakening Council, the new Sunni- Kurdish rapprochement, the Sunni–Sunni tensions, the Shia–Shia conflicts...
I have also been reading the so-called analyses circulating.
A lot of them are bullshit, as usual...
They all seem to miss the essential crucial point, the core essence, the crux of the matter and you don't have to be a wiz in sociology and politics to figure that one out.
- in the absence of a functional representative State,
- following the dismemberment of all political and civil institutions,
- in the wake of over 5 years of a condensed, concentrated, violence that has totally DESTROYED the country,
- with a massive exodus and a massive death rate
- with a continuous, debilitating, provoked poverty, and an unemployment rate of over 70% and over 50% of the population cannot afford to eat,
- with over 100'000 in jails, and a X number of disappeared
- with the total destruction of all the infrastructural system – the DELIBERATE destruction.
- when basics like water, electricity and fuel are still not available,
- when hospitals are non functional, when universities are ransacked and closed, when corruption is contagiously rampant..
With all of the above – it is simply not possible to talk of a FAILED STATE, what you need to address is the real issue – a NON-EXISTENT STATE in a country with no boundaries and no more structures.
You need to address the real issue, that of the breaking up of the country and its fragmentation. And the more a country fragments the more you will see walls being erected. And the more you will see some sort of local governance on a community/neighborhood basis...
Surely those 600'000 americans and their contractors and death squads did not come for a holiday. They had a mission...And that mission was exactly what I enumerated above. DESTROY.
So when all the conditions are created, provoked and grouped together they lead to one obvious socio-political reaction.
When the state disintegrates or is willfully destroyed, people fall back on religion and their sect, their neighborhood, their tribes. In other words, they hang on to the points of reference, the anchors they know best and they can trust.
It is called SURVIVAL. And Iraqis have been doing nothing and operating on nothing but SURVIVAL.
So those who pontificate and argue that the seeds of sectarianism/tribalism were already present in Iraq since the times of the British or those who hold the argument that in over 30 years, the Iraqi State had failed to form a national identity... And that after all, what is happening now is a natural consequence of those already existing divisions.
These same ones "forget" to mention that all those who fought on the basis of a "national identity " as opposed to sect, tribe, or ethnicity were either killed or are in prisons, under the pretext of insurgency and terrorism... And starting with, the previous legitimate leaders of Iraq. Something a lot of you seem to gloss over very easily.
It is mind boggling that these called analysts have not only understood nothing but are also in total denial of the massive, previously unheard of, unseen volume of destruction that Americans have wrought (and continue doing) in Iraq.
Imagine for one moment that any other multi ethnic/sect country has known the same amount of violence and destruction, and let us take for example the U.S.
Imagine all of your government being decimated (not a bad thing in your case, I admit), imagine thousands of foreign troops, contractors, militias, death squads, mercenaries roaming around your streets. Imagine you have no water and no electricity for over 4 years now. Imagine nothing functions anymore. Imagine you are evicted from your home. Imagine you are exiled. Imagine your kids and parents killed. Imagine you lost your job and your unemployment rate is well over 80%. Imagine there is a quisling government that took over the White house and who speaks Zulu as opposed to English, imagine your universities, banks, schools, hospitals ransacked and closed. Imagine...
I can bet you anything that in no time the Protestants will pit against the Catholics, the Whites against the Blacks, the Blacks against the Asians, the Asians against the Hispanics and the Hispanics against the Arabs...
Then add to that, special squads and forces whose sole aim is to ignite those tensions until they flare up...and Imagine what you will get.
In any society there are always tensions and low level conflicts between different groups be it religious, ethnic or racial...And a relatively healthy state juggles with these tensions and channels them appropriately either through representations, or interest/pressure groups...etc.
In Iraq there is NO MORE STATE. Is that too difficult to understand?
And when there is no more central state, you can create several small ones.
And who do you bring to rule these small states ? Your devotees naturally.
So when some of you start their pontificating, do remember that basic FACT. And exercise a little intelligence before spurting out your theories...
So, I said it before and I will say it again — It's the American (and British and Iranian) occupation, stupid !
Layla Anwar, Who am I ? The eternal Question . Have not figured it out fully yet . All you need to know about me is that I am a Middle Easterner, an Arab Woman - into my 40's and old enough to know better. I have no homeland per se. I live in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Egypt simultaneously ... All the rest is icing on the cake
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