American Elephants


While your attention was elsewhere, there were some good things happening in Iraq. by The Elephant's Child

Iraq’s leading Shi’a cleric, the Grand Ayatolla Ali Sistani, on Tuesday issued a call to his followers. He banned the spilling of Iraqi blood — especially of the Sunnis, and called on the Shiites to protect their brother Sunnis. “I am a servant of all Iraqis, there is no difference between a Sunni, a Shiite or a Kurd or a Christian,” the Ayatolla Sistani was quoted as saying during a meeting with a delegation of Sunni clerics from southern and northern Iraq.

Among the Islamic world’s Shi’a the Grand Ayatollah Sistani is seen as a direct competitor to Iran’s revolutionary and radical Ayatollah Khomeni. In contrast to Khomeni, Sistani sees possibility for a separation between mosque and government and room for democratic governance without theological conflict. Sistani’s support spreads beyond the borders of Iraq into Iran.

These are very promising developments. Did you hear about them?

Michael Yon reported earlier this month (reprinted at Belmont Club) on Christians and Muslims of Iraq placing a cross atop the newly re-opened St. John’s Church in Baghdad. They had retrieved the cross from storage and washed it carefully before carrying it up to the dome. Michael Yon wrote:

The Iraqis asked me to convey a message of thanks to the American people, “Thank you, thank you,” the people were saying. One man said, “Thank you for peace.” Another man, a Muslim, said, “All the people, all the people in Iraq, Muslim and Christian is brother.” The men and the women were holding bells, and for the first time in memory , freedom rang over the land between two rivers.

A lovely little story.  Did you read about it?

On October 29, Michael Totten posted a story about Iraqi Army officers in Besmaya  who raised a thousand dollars in donations for victims of the devastating fires in San Diego. A thousand dollars is a lot of money in Iraq. The average salary is only a few hundred dollars a month. This is a moment when the old saying “it’s the thought that counts” is really applicable.  (More..)  A moving account.  Did you hear about it?

These are small stories, underreported, or not reported because they don’t show the war in the necessary bad light, nor do they reflect badly on the administration–a necessary direction, it seems, for reporters who prefer spinning to reporting. It makes you want to weep, but there really are good stories out there…


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