Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Just a Random Thought


I saw grandpa smile as he saw this picture and when I ask why he was smiling he gave me this answer.

"What am I smiling about, boy? Nothing really except for the first thought that popped into my head as I spotted this picture.

It was the thought of a Muslim woman shedding her burka for the first time in the protection of a soldier walking along side of her. It was the thought of how safe she must have felt that she could finally do this without fear of being punished for it.

Then I thought of all of those men and women who sacrificed their life so that this lone woman could have the freedom do just that. And a feeling of pride came over me that brought on this smile. Pride that there are such men and women.

Some will say that the sacrifice was too great for such a small freedom but in looking at the woman and the little girl next to her I'd have to disagree. And you know something, boy, I think that soldier would disagree also. But that is but a thought I had. I'm not saying that is what really was going on in the picture."

With this said I could see a small tear of pride run down the cheek of my grandfather.


19 comments:

Dora said...

However, it seems that since the invasion, Iraq has become a lot MORE religious and pious than before...

The Griper said...

Wars do that dora. there is an old saying that says "there are no athiests in a foxhole."

that principle applies to a nation of people where war is being waged also. for death is always on the thoughts of people.

Donald Douglas said...

Hi Griper! The picture itself tells a thousands words. Thanks for this!

repsac3 said...

I think what Dora was getting at is the new Iraqi government is not entirely secular, and there are laws based on the teachings of the Koran that make certain Iraqi citizens, including homosexuals & women, LESS free than they were under the previous government.

While I doubt that anyone is headed down to their local Burqas'R'Us, it isn't the case that everyone is more free post-invasion than they were pre-invasion.

The Griper said...

repsac3,
as to what dora meant i don't know. i can only respond in accordance to what she said. if my response does not address her comment as intended then she can respond back and clarify her meaning.

as for the idea of whether or not people have more freedom now than before i cannot be the judge of that. that is a question only an Iraqi can answer.

though i would say that if we were to use history as a basis we would have to admit that there is greater opportunity for greater freedoms under this government than under the last government.

as for my post itself there is nothing in it to declare that the woman and child were Iraqi. I only referred to her as being muslem. and the post does not declare anthing about having greater or less freedoms. it only refers to one issue that has been used to describe the muslem faith.

lastly I made it very clear that what i said in reference to that picture was only a thought after seeing it. in fact my title of the post makes reference to that very idea.

Dora said...

Well, I'm an atheist, and I've never been in a foxhole, but i've been in some pretty trying times, and I didn't feel any religious impusle.

Whatever you want to say to weasel out of your original thought, Iraq is much more religious than it was before. The US occupation has made it more likely that a woman will put on a burka than take one off.

The Griper said...

dora,
welcome back.
my original thought remains as is. but your own argument backfires on you because if what you say is true then women will be putting on the burka out of religious conviction rather than fear of punishment.

my post clearly revealed that fear of punishment was a factor in this woman's wearing of the burka. remember, freedom is about choice.

Dora said...

But Saddam had a relatively secular regime, and never forced women to wear burkas, whereas now, many deeply religious people run around and kill grocery store owners because they have "provocatively arranged fruit" in the stalls (true story). The religious people have the power, and they force it on everyone else in some parts of Iraq, so whether by choice or by force, women and men are forced to obey the religious dictates more than before.

Now, if there is a greater opportunity for greater freedoms, that's good and nice, but how much is that worth if the parliament's cafeteria is blown up? I wonder how many Iraqis would say that the price they have all paid was worth this "greater opportunity."

The Griper said...

nice to see ya back dora,

your argument fails, dora. first of all if you are going to compare Sadaam's regime to now you must make proper comparisons. you may be right that he never forced women to wear burkas. i'll even concede that point without argument. but neither does the government now in power. there is your proper comparison.

if you declare that people are forced to obey anything when obedience is by choice then i'd have to really question your understanding of the meaning of and the use of the word "choice".

as for the price of the opportunity of greater freedoms, i would say that the price is a high as it costs or the price that people are willing to pay before giving up that opportunity. but that price can only be determined by the person who must pay the price.

and the price of such an opportunity cannot be determined in dollars and cents. life is the determinant.

remember one thing. before you can possess any freedom you must first possess the opportunity of it.

you also first used the term "pious" as a part of your description of the society of Iraq. i don't know how you define it but piety has always been considered a virtue as far as i know and something to be commended. myself, i see nothing virtuous about killing a person in the circumstance that you used.

and while i admit i am not a student of the Koran i do not believe it would allow a killing under those circumstances.

and i see nothing virtuous about forced obedience either.

the first question you must ask yourself is what is the price you'd be willing to pay before submitting to forced obedience?

second question, was the price others paid so that you might enjoy the freedoms you now possess worth the price?

i don't know your answer but i do know mine and i am most grateful to those who paid that price. and i be most grateful to those who are willing to pay that price so that i may keep those freedoms that i was given the privilege to possess.

dcat said...

I keep my visions to myself.

People are idiots in all countries and if one doesn’t have freedom you either fight for it or move the hell away! But let us not be blind to the fact they would love to take ours away!

True it has always been free for men women must fight for their stance always and so do the gay’s in this country. There are women in the ME that love the regime and are just if not as bad as the brainwashed men in that culture. In other words they have a long way to go!

dcat said...

I am willing to pay that price and fight! That goes for my profanity at my place ;)

Yes I am that passionate about this country and get down angry about the %#@! that don’t get a clue!!! I’d like to slap the U KNOW WHAT OUT OF THEM!!!

The Griper said...

hello dcat,
glad to see ya back. see ya got those claws all sharpened up. good for you. then grins

The Griper said...

btw, don, i welcome you to my site. glad to see you saw the pic in the same light as i did. too bad some try to see more into it than it portrays.

repsac3 said...

It wasn't the picture anyone was reading into, but the commentary that went with it... While we did increase the freedom of women in Afghanistan, we may've made it worse for them in Iraq, where the government we helped put into place and are fighting for is more theocratic than the one we toppled.

It is all well and good to acknowledge the good we've done, but we also need to recognise & be willing to talk about those areas where the results of our efforts have been more mixed, or worse. (On the other hand, we don't need to do so every time, I suppose... 8>)

"Some will say that the sacrifice was too great for such a small freedom..."

Those that do (few in number, I think) would be mistaken, in my view... I did not oppose the invasion of Afghanistan (though I did question some of the tactics, as I recall...) I don't see Afghanistan & Iraq in the same light...

(and the magic word is: ctibicw zqqxz)

dcat said...

Ahhh yes it's gonna take years!

The Griper said...

persac3,
then your argument fails if what you say is true in the following statement;
"It wasn't the picture anyone was reading into, but the commentary that went with it... "

for there is nothing in the commentary that even implies that it was about Iraqi women as i said previously and am repeating now.

thus the only basis one could argue that it was an Iraqi woman is from the perception of where the picture depicted it and then applying the commentary to that perception.

thus you acknowledge the validity of the post by saying;

"While we did increase the freedom of women in Afghanistan"

it could have been taken as depicting an afghani woman also.

thus, if in your viewpoint my commentary was symbolic of greater freedom for women instead of this one lone woman as i have clearly declared your argument fails by taking my post out of context.

repsac3 said...

That you did not define the context opens it up to such interpretation.

In that regard, the assuption that it may be from Afghanistan, where freedom for women has increased, is no more or less valid than the assumption that it may be from Iraq, where the result for women hasn't been as clear.

Different people will perceive different things when the context isn't clear. In truth, as long as it's based on assumption, neither argument carries all that much water, though either is possible.

The Griper said...

persac3,
the fact i did not portray it in regards to any particular state allows it to be valid if it be true in any particular state. thus by declaring it true in one particular state as you did declares agreement with me. the only way it would declare disagreement is the fact you continue to assume it is an iraqi woman.

assumptions that are not in accordance to the intent of the author are false assumptions. and i made my intent very clear.

if you reread my post you'll see i defined the context very clearly.

1. i declared that it was result of the first thought (first impression) that came into the head of grandpa.

2. i made it very clear that it pertained to this one woman by the use of the singular not the plural of woman.

3. i reenforced that by stating it as a freedom of this "lone" woman.

4. i also declared her as a muslem not Iraqi, Afghan or of any other nationality.

5. i reenforced the fact it was only an impression by my disclaimer at the end of my post.

6. i also presented it in a manner that would declare that the only reason that this particular woman wore the burka prior to this moment was out of fear of punishment.

7. to place it in context of all muslem women would be foolish of me because i know and so do you that many women do not wear the burka out of fear but out of faith in their religious beliefs. and to portray it as a statement without this consideration would be an insult to the intelligence of my readers.

now, whether or not a moment such as this ever actually occurred as i portrayed it i don't know. i never claimed it did.

in fact the most anyone should get from this post is a principle revealed of being given the opportunity of a freedom one should take it as i portrayed this particular woman as doing.

another principle it might portray is that religious beliefs should not be forced on anyone but accepted out of faith.

one might also come to the conclusion from this post that freedoms are not free and that someone must pay the price for them, the ultimate price of life.

dcat said...

I'm proud too Griper :)

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