Divisions in the Mirror

The notorious shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist was received his sentence in court. And the verdict was met with mixed reactions

What I find interesting is that the sentiments among the Iraqi people regarding the US invasion and occupation of their country oddly mirrors our own. People in both countries oppose the war. People in both countries support it. 

With that kind of division, how can we expect there to be a positive outcome? How can we expect there to be no price to pay…on either end? And how can we help a nation–which we put in their current position–heal and move forward? After all, we started it. Perhaps we should find a way to help finish it.

Blissful Ignorance

I finally found a way to feel compassion for George W. Bush. And it really came to the surface after the shoe incident in Iraq.

Let’s face it. In many ways the whole situation was comical. An Iraqi reported took a line drive at Bush’s head not once, but twice. A little more force behind it and he would have succeeded. And then there’s W.’s quick, cat-like reflexes. And then there’s the humor afterward. “It was a size 10” and everyone laughs.

But here’s what else was said. The Iraqi reporter threw the shoe “for the widows, the orphans and those killed”. Bush remarked later that “It doesn’t bother me,” and that “I didn’t feel the least threatened by it.”

Telling words when you stop and really think about it. The strongest insult, the greatest act of hatred in that culture was sent his direction and he wasn’t bothered by it. Nor was he threatened by it. Which says to me that he doesn’t get it. And he never has.

He does not understand the impact he’s had on milllions of men, women, and children all over the world. He has no idea what he’s done to families, how his decisions of traumatized whole societies. God forbid that he ever does. Because if he ever really wakes up and realizes what he’s done, I’m not so sure he could withstand the weight of the impact of his decisions. I certainly could not.

So, Mr. President, after 8 years, I have finally found a way to have some compassion toward you. May you find peace and redemption, and may God help us all.

A Shoe for Women

We’ve all heard by now about the Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at W. What wasn’t as widely reported was what he said when he threw them. “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.”

Well this post is for the women of Iraq and one in particular.

A women’s rights activist was beheaded this week. Not because she committed a crime and was convicted, but because some men decided she needed to die. So they killed her in her home. And it made the news. But of the story posted (which was led the top 10 stories viewed on CNN.com), only 2-3 paragraphs were devoted to her. The rest was a platform for the story of the potential coup that was thwarted this week…that wasn’t really a coup…but people were arrested for starting a coup…but it wasn’t a coup.

“In all times, the advancement of women has been an important factor in the civilization of a people. The intellectual development of the native population cannot rapidly advance if women are left behind in the process.” (source unknown)

For Iraq, or any nation for that matter, to truly move forward, it cannot leave its women behind.