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An Average Iraqi

An Average Iraqi is just a fictional character whose....well, fictional. I will use this character to make a comparison between him and real human beings like myself or any one else.

Location:Baghdad, Iraq

My name is Hassan Kharrufa. I am a 20 year old Iraqi student. I study civil engineering at the Department of Building and Construction at Al-Jami3a Al-Taknologia (The Tecknology Univirsity), Baghdad, Iraq.

Iraqi Bloggers BiographyUpdated November 11

Monday, November 21, 2005

When Should the US leave??

     First of all the question is when, not should. Because it is a sure thing that the Americans should leave eventually. It is whether it should be done sooner or later that has been a discussion opener, in the US. Although there is a huge discussion about this in the US. But it seems that the Iraqis are not really interested at the moment. They have other things on their mind. The elections are coming, but that is going to be a topic for another post.

     My opinion: Iraq is not ready for the US to pull its troops out. Maybe in a year or so, but not at the moment. I have a few reasons:

     First: There are still many armed militias in Iraq. No country can prosper and grow with such militias in it. Like the Mahdi Army, Badr Brigade, Terrorist factions and even the Kurdish Besh Merga. . These militias have to be disbanded. Either peacefully or by means of arms. The US army would prove to be most useful in this I think. The Iraqi army may be trained well, but from what I have seen, they are way behind in equipment. They roam the cities in civilian pick-up trucks, and SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles, or as we call them 4WD in Iraq) that are not even bullet prove.

     Second: With no powerful government in command. And the many disagreements and infighting between the Iraqi politicians. Civil war might stir up when there is no unchallengeable power force in Iraq. Like the US army. In which I hope we can replace by the Iraqi Army in the future. As there is no question that we cannot rely on the US army much longer. As probably it is the main reason all this violence has started in the first place.

     Third: Iraqi is simply not ready yet.

     What is done is done. It won't do anything to disscuss whether the American ivasion of Iraq was right or not. We can only go on from here, the question is how do we go on. I know many Iraqis are going to disagree, Najma will be the first, American liberals will too. I know I have objected to what the US is doing in Iraq now. But I will object too if they leave now, guess I am hard to satisfy after all.

Note: This post has been emailed to my Email List subscribers.


Blogger Melantrys said...

Oh well, I'm even more left than an American liberal could ever wish to be I think, but seeing the situation in Iraq from afar I thought that the US should not leave yet either.
And not just because the Iraqis need their help at the moment controlling the militias, but also because they damn well should, having brought this situation along.
I said that before somewhere, but anyway: What is happening in Iraq now has been predicted by experts on the Middle East before Bush went to war. Did he care to listen? Of course not.

One problem I see though is that the presence of the US troops is - in part - fuelling the terrorism. But I know no better solution than to say, no, it's too early for them to pull out of Iraq.

12:09 AM  
Anonymous RJD said...

Hassan: I am in complete agreement with your thoughts on this matter. I would like to know how the majority of Iraqi feel. I believe the US will leave as soon as it is safe to do so.

1:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask any US military man risking his life daily for the Iraqs to be free and they too would love to leave and be home safe and sound in the US. It is not time as the Iraqis still need to step up efforts to be able to take control of their own freedom. To a man the it will be a great day when we can say Pack it up boys we are going home. Does not matter why people think we went there what matters now is a safe and FREE Iraq. The freedom is why we are there nothing more nothing less and each person that has made the sacrifice should be thanked.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Tex said...


Great well reasoned thoughts on a subject of great importance to all Iraqis! I have been gently encouraging Najma via email from time to time to think through the situation logically and put aside the antipathy for Americans which she has developed over time (she never responds to me though).

If one simply looks dispassionately at the facts of the current situation in Iraq and who is creating the violence and who is harmed by that violence, you can only come to three conclusions: 1) That there are no "freedom fighters"; 2) The terrorists are harming innocent Iraqis far worse than they are the Americans; and 3) For the Americans to leave now would leave Iraq at the mercy of groups like Sadr's militia and Zarqawi's Al Qaeda. Both groups have made it clear that they don't believe in free elections or in allowing any laws which don't conform to Sharia.

If that is what she wants for Iraq, then by all means, Najma should continue believing in and supporting her "freedom fighters". But if she will put away her animosity and look at the reality of the situation, hopefully she will eventually come around. I know she is a very intelligent young lady, and hopefully with equally intelligent friends like you, you can eventually help her see reality for what it is.

I know you don't have any great love for Americans for some of the things that have happened to you and to your countrymen, and for that I truly am sorry. I know that we have made mistakes in how we have fought the war against the terrorists and allowed some of the worst among us to represent us poorly in places like Abu Ghraib. But I hope that as time passes you will see that the average American (liberal or conservative, soldier or civilian) wants nothing more than to see Iraq governed by a government elected by Iraqis and defended by Iraqi Police and Army independent and free.

A scholar who studied the writings of Voltaire (whose ideas about freedom and equality shaped beliefs of the writers of the US Constitution) once summed up Voltaire's beliefs with a quotation that is commonly attributed to Voltaire himself. It describes how many Americans think of their right to freedom of speech, and it also I believe applies to how most American soldiers who have fought in Iraq would feel about Iraqis who believe that our troops don't care about the Iraqi people or would deliberately harm Iraqi civilians. The quote goes something like this "While I may disagree with every word that you have said, I will fight to the death for your right to say it". You may not like them or agree with some of the tactics they are forced to use, they will fight for you anyways, and some will die doing so. Our soldiers are good men and women leaving their families to do an extremely difficult job. I hope that one day soon they can all be gone from Iraq, but that the Iraqis will invite some of them back, not because the Iraqis need help, but because they want to thank them for their sacrifices.

FWIW, Michael Yon (Michaelyon.blogspot.com) is an independent writer who has spent extensive time in the Mosul area with the US troops. I have encouraged Najma to visit his site to read what the soldiers experience when they operate in Mosul, and I would encourage you to do so also. It may not change your mind about them (which is ok), but it can give you an important view of the situations they face from their perspective.

As we sit down to celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, I will give thanks for ALL of the Iraqi bloggers who give us a view of Iraq that the news media never will, and I will pray for your continued safety and health, and for your future freedom and success.

Thanks Hassan!


11:15 PM  
Blogger Aunt Najma said...

"I know I have objected to what the US is doing in Iraq now. But I will object too if they leave now, guess I am hard to satisfy after all."

Me too..
It's just too confusing. TOO confusing.

If I come into someone else's room and mess it up, this someone will get too angry and will throw me out, but will want me to put it back together first!

Not the exact same as what's happening here, but it is similar, at least a bit.

And if I have left this impact on relatives, then I should have done something wrong, or said something wrong!

5:30 PM  
Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

You are writing about something that concerns me greatly. I never supported this war, but I do fear that a sudden withdrawal will force the country into more chaos and possibly civil war. I don't know if our military presence helps or not; I need objective people with clear perspective to tell me, and it is very hard to find anyone in the States who is like that, and the media cannot be trusted for the most part. We owe it to Iraq not to screw this one up even more than we have. Bush will leave and someone else will inherit his crimes; there has to be a solution.

5:42 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

First time reading your blog. Wanted to say I enjoyed it thorough ly. Put you in my favorites and look forward to reading more of your work.

5:32 PM  
Blogger laminar_flow said...

This basically Chaos Theory.

What happens in the abscence of order?

Average Iraqi,
You're an Engineering major.

In Fluid Mechanics, pressure is a powerful entity which must be managed the same way.
Open the valves (of a closed system)too fast and the sudden onset of pressure, will rupture the pipeline.

It's an Universal principle that applies to law and order. It's called step loading and unloading.

However, nothing can be done if someone sabotages the system. All rules fly out the window.

8:42 PM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

That's a very well thought out post, Hassan.

I think it may be too late to turn US public opinion around on this, though. It took 2 years of the world (and Iraqis) saying that the US should leave Iraq, to get us to the point now where even Republicans are calling for withdrawal. As you said, the past cannot be un-done. The invasion cannot be un-done, and neither can anything that's happened since the invasion.

That's why I was calling for it to be put on the ballot for this December vote. I think I actually was discussing that with you (I know Melantrys was there :p) on another blog. A "yes" vote on "should the US troops stay in Iraq" is about the only thing I can see right now that would give Bush the mandate he needs to leave the troops, for a while.

Anything other than that, and I'd expect drastic troop reductions, starting about January.

I wobble between one side and the other on this, myself. I'm not really convinced the presence of US troops doesn't do more harm than good.

To use Najma's metaphor, I think if the Iraqi voters don't tell us we should stay and clean up the room, we won't.

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