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Iraq...A Concern for its Neighbours - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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How can the Iraqis – who barely say goodbye to victims of suicide bombings before another bomb has been set off – understand why large numbers of Arabs are fascinated by their deaths?

The number of those looking into, reading and praising the statement issued by the so-called “Islamic State of Iraq” organisation on the internet, in which it claimed responsibility for last Sunday’s bombings in Baghdad, suggests that senseless phrases such as those mentioned in the killers’ statement still attract and even help recruit many Arabs, even if some people claim otherwise.

It is no longer useful to hunker down behind phrases that condemn and hold the US occupation responsible [for the bombings]. Divisions have been further consolidated and the killers are known and are explicit in expressing their objectives and means to the extent that they boast them. This was the case with Al Qaeda’s recent statement.

After the Iraqi-Syrian crisis that occurred following last August’s bombings, the crisis is beginning to resurface with Iraqi officials blaming neighbouring countries for harbouring and financing operations by terrorist groups. This blame was cast on the ground as well as in the media shortly before the Iraqi parliamentary elections are due to take place.

Figures show that the number of terrorist websites increased from 12 in 1998 to 5,000 in 2009. These figures have also proven that the websites of these groups and their recorded messages that are broadcast via the internet or news channels are the real centre of attraction for those sympathetic to the Al Qaeda organization in Iraq. In fact, this is what these groups are attempting to revive today…

This is a fact that Arabs should confront head on and the Iraqis should understand and build on.

It seems that present-day Iraq is alien to the community that Arabs are used to, whether in terms of its political or social structures. Inasmuch as the current Iraqi model is a cause for concern for those surrounding it, the so-called resistance, whether Baathist or Al Qaeda, came to light and gained a reaction from Arab societies and amongst elites and the media [that supported it] whether for political or social reasons.

This reaction, even if it is at a lower level than the first few years of the occupation, is still a notable one. The recent bombings, just like those that took place on bloody Wednesday, did not target Americans at all. The target was the Iraqis and civilians, and it is very odd that this fact makes no difference to those who celebrated the immoral bombings. The same applies to many news media and websites (non-terrorist) whereby many of them do not seem concerned about terrorist acts and the bloody nature of the act. This issue will further aggravate the dilemma between these news media and the Iraqi people, and will once again place the media in a position where it finds itself face to face with the Iraqi nation’s ambitions to lead normal lives and hold peaceful elections.

New facts have emerged on the present-day Iraqi scene, and it is apparent that understanding this reality encounters the kind of “resistance” that will result in nothing other than more bloodshed and the fear is that this blood will also be shed in places other than Iraq.

Diana Moukalled

Diana Moukalled

Diana Moukalled is a prominent and well-respected TV journalist in the Arab world thanks to her phenomenal show Bil Ayn Al-Mojarada (By The Naked Eye), a series of documentaries on controversial areas and topics which airs on Lebanon's leading local and satelite channel, Future Television. Diana also is a veteran war correspondent, having covered both the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan, as well as the Israeli "Grapes of Wrath" massacre in southern Lebanon. Ms. Moukalled has gained worldwide recognition and was named one of the most influential women in a special feature that ran in Time Magazine in 2004.

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