I’ll write a full post about all of this tomorrow, but I wanted to throw up a quick note to tide readers over.
I will be presenting in Manchester New Hampshire tomorrow, so I may not get to writing again until Tuesday. I was in Rochester New York at the end of last week, which prevented my writing until now.
The “In Their Own Words” tour is continuing and we are in the process of arranging events in Michigan, North Carolina, and south Florida. If you are interested in having an event in your area, please send us an email, and if you are interested to receive updates in your email, you can click here: Or click here to subscribe.
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As for the matter at hand, Reidar Visser has some very interesting commentary and a detailed analysis regarding the UIA’s results in the december election. Reidar’s analysis of the political situation in Iraq can be followed regularly at his website: http://historiae.org/index.asp
Regarding Jill Carroll, and the Christian Peacemaker Teams, I have already discussed some of the interesting details here. It is interesting that both kidnappings were by an unknown group with a similar name; “Swords of Righteousness Brigade” and “Brigade of Vengeance.” Both groups also demanded the release of Iraqi prisoners in exchange for the release of hostages. These groups have not been heard of previously and are still unknown as major players in Iraq.
One thing which has not been considered is the possibility that Shiites are involved in the kidnapping. Despite the fact that Rory Carroll has reported he was abducted by Iraqi Police officers in late October, this event has received very little play in the media or consideration when constructing a more nuanced impression of the situation in Iraq.
I am not intending to suggest that the interim government or Shiites are responsible for the kidnappings of Christian Peacemaker Teams members or Christian Science Monitor journalist Jill Carroll. However, I do believe it is worth at least considering. It is also worth being clear that there is little evidence of specifically Sunni involvement in the kidnappings.
Sunni organizations who have been connected to resistance groups in the past, such as the Association of Muslim Scholars, have unanimously condemned the kidnapping, and since Al Qaeda has not claimed responsibility, it is hard to believe it is a major Sunni resistance group that is involved. Furthermore, with the revelation of secret prisons being run by the interim government, the world could no longer ignore the brutal nature of Iraq’s new leaders.
Another question that is also worth asking is why the media is so quick to condemn the kidnapping of Jill Carroll, yet ignores the repeated killing, harassment, and detention of Iraqi journalists by the United States military.
This is not to suggest that one act is better or worse than the other. However, if we are trying to determine a third way in Iraq, beyond US occupation and Shiite/Iranian dominance. But in order to see Iraq achieve stability, security, and something resembling a “government of national unity,” the mainstream press must do a far better job of providing a nuanced understanding in Iraq, and providing equal defense and support to Iraqis as they provide to foreigners, specifically non-Arabs.
The dangers of kidnapping are far greater for Iraqis than foreigners. OF the five confirmed deaths of kidnap victims, four of them were Iraqi. 70% of the journalists killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003 have been Iraqis.
More soon about the situation in Iraq and the prospects facing Iraq in light of the election results.