Well, it’s been a while since I have had a chance to update. It has been really busy around here, what with the NON-civil war and all. I was reflecting with my interpreters just what that meant for them, and they didn’t quite think that a civil war as we define it, is the same as what they call it.
For us, a civil war is a generic term to describe one element inside a country to take up arms against another side. These sides can be divided along political or religious lines, or areas or the country, or a number of different things. In any case, a lot of people on both sides die, and it’s hard on everybody, because you are despised for who you are, or what you believe.
For them, for him, it’s not a civil war. He says that the people are not as bad as the press makes it out to be, and it’s not a civil war. He believes that the only reason that the Sunni and Shia are killing each other is because that is what they are told they need to do. I thought this was interesting, and asked him to explain. He says that it’s typically the militia that is killing the innocent people, and they are being told to do so by either religious or criminal leaders. I tried to say, but isn’t that against the religious beliefs of most of the people. He said, that most of the people have no idea what they believe, and that they believe in what they are told. So, if all you are told is that the Shia are evil, then you will go out and kill the Shia. If you believe that the Sunni are going to kill you, then you will kill them before they get you. It’s not a civil war, he says. He calls it a criminal war. The thugs are killing the people, and it’s not going to end until somebody kills the thugs.
All that said, I am tired of the bodies. The Shia and the Sunni are killing people at random, and dumping the bodies all over. I can’t understand how they could hate each other so much, and I know it goes way back to some religious thing. I don’t know how many we have found, or had to remove, but its frightening to think that people could hate so much. Our area is amazingly quiet, and we patrol the streets daily. We have gotten the Iraqi’s to meet and greet people every day to get information, and to enforce to the public that we (the Police) are here to provide protection and preserve the peace. I think we are doing a pretty good job, because wherever we go, people come up to us, talk with us, and tell us how happy they are that we are here. We go about our business, and then return to the compound. After we leave, there is some sporadic shooting, but its usually not in our area, but nearby. We have made some significant gains the past couple of weeks, and the police here are getting better very fast. Now if I could just get them to focus and plan properly, these guys would be in total control