A LITTLE INTELLECTUAL DEBATE - THE MOSUL WAY

Hello,
I went to dinner last night with 3 PHD holders
that are professors in Mosul.

A intellectually invigorating night of questions
and answers. Two cultures working through the mysteries
of the other and trying to come to a consensous.
We agree more than we disagreed.

They do not trust the USA. They are trying to
trust the USA, but are impatient. They want the
solutions now and not in the future. Not that
they really explained the specifics of the solutions
but in the end it money. They want money to live
and feed their families.

Lets take that back. They are all sort of chubby.
That sounds a little melodramatic. They want
the normal life style to resume.

I think that is a trapping of writing. We use the
coined phrases and they are in written language
intepretted literrally.

3 PHD's
1 was an ex Soldier and tearcher of English Grammar.
1 was a working... I should not say. It could cause
him problems. It is an important city job.
1 was a professor of English.

If you know me, then you know. I was on friendly
territory. My English is not good, and the last thing
someone needs to do is scrutinize my grammar.
But that is fate some days. It was a good night though
and they never once corrected my English. I often
have people from Foreign countries correct my English
or ask if the way I say a sentence is correct or
incorrect? My normal answer is,
"I have no idea if it is correct."

The world wants perfection and all we get is our best.
In a perfect world my best would be good enough.

I was met at my Hotel and we took a taxi to the
restaruant. It was a wonderful open air restaruant on
a busy University street. Full of men.
All men. Where are the women? Not allowed I guess.
But all men nonetheless. I feel a little bit guilty.
In the USA to not have women at a restaurant would be
to purposely discrimanate against them. So I am feeling
guilty like I cause this discrimination. I guess it is
there problem and not mine.

Under the moon.
Background noise of Taxis.
Lots of space and light.
There was a card table size table with a lounge bench.
There could be a group of 6 people very easily.
A very comfortable place.

My friend Hassan ask,
"Have you every been to a place like this?"
I almost said yes,
But then I stopped.
I have never been to a place like this.
All men, smoking water pipes, and playing cards.
But I said,
"I have never been to a place like this, but...
in every city in every countrie I enter there is a place
where people go to talk. Discuss whatever, a place where
the discuss the world. My father goes every morning to
the restaurant to talk with the local yocals.
So this place is common. No women is not common,
but this type of place is common."

The Ex-Soldier sits down in the middle of the bench.
A little too close to me. I think he is doing one
of them test. This is a test. For the next hour we
will see who you are? OK. So what another test in life.
He is little macho, but not very good at it, and does
not fit him well. He also is not macho in the American
sense. He gets in too close to see if I will pull away.
He does not stink, and is sort of jolly looking.
With a stern face. Greying a little. But chubby.
I pat his stomach, and compare his to mine.
Mine is too large presently, and is shrinking,
but now is a good way to endear myself with people.
Show them an imperfection, and they show me theirs.

What a conversations.
All in Arabic... hehehe. I lie.
I speak now about 5 words. Not a difficult language
but I am lazy, and tired of learning lauguage. It is
a duty of necessity and not of fun and curiousity.
I say it is easy, but I cannot speak it, so who knows.
We spoke in English. Remember, they are English teachers
and they love to use some of the big words.

I could write for hours and hours on this conversation.
The sparring, the questions. The answers.
We all agreed on:
1. Saddam was an asshole.
2. All the Soldiers with no jobs is not good.
3. That people are not perfect.
Hello,
I went to dinner last night with 3 PHS holders
that are professors in Mosul.

A intellectually invigorating night of questions
and answers. Two cultures working through the mysteries
of the other and trying to come to a consensus.
We agree more than we disagreed.

They do not trust the USA. They are trying to
trust the USA, but are impatient. They want the
solutions now and not in the future. Not that
they really explained the specifics of the solutions
but in the end it money. They want money to live
and feed their families.

Lets take that back. They are all sort of chubby.
That sounds a little melodramatic. They want
the normal life style to resume.

I think that is a trapping of writing. We use the
coined phrases and they are in written language
interpreted literally.

3 PhD?s
1 was an ex Soldier and teacher of English Grammar.
1 was a working... I should not say. It could cause
him problems. It is an important city job.
1 was a professor of English.

If you know me, then you know. I was on friendly
territory. My English is not good, and the last thing
someone needs to do is scrutinize my grammar.
But that is fate some days. It was a good night though
and they never once corrected my English. I often
have people from Foreign countries correct my English
or ask if the way I say a sentence is correct or
incorrect? My normal answer is,
"I have no idea if it is correct."

The world wants perfection and all we get is our best.
In a perfect world my best would be good enough.

I was met at my Hotel and we took a taxi to the
restaurant. It was a wonderful open air restaurant on
a busy University street. Full of men.
All men. Where are the women? Not allowed I guess.
But all men nonetheless. I feel a little bit guilty.
In the USA to not have women at a restaurant would be
to purposely discriminate against them. So I am feeling
guilty like I cause this discrimination. I guess it is
Their problem and not mine.

Under the moon.
Background noise of Taxis.
Lots of space and light.
There was a card table size table with a lounge bench.
There could be a group of 6 people very easily.
A very comfortable place.

My friend Hassan ask,
"Have you every been to a place like this?"
I almost said yes,
But then I stopped.
I have never been to a place like this.
All men, smoking water pipes, and playing cards.
But I said,
"I have never been to a place like this, but...
in every city in every countries I enter there is a place
where people go to talk. Discuss whatever, a place where
the discuss the world. My father goes every morning to
the restaurant to talk with the local yokels.
So this place is common. No women is not common,
but this type of place is common."

The Ex-Soldier sits down in the middle of the bench.
A little too close to me. I think he is doing one
of them test. This is a test. For the next hour we
will see who you are? OK. So what another test in life.
He is little macho, but not very good at it, and does
not fit him well. He also is not macho in the American
sense. He gets in too close to see if I will pull away.
He does not stink, and is sort of jolly looking.
With a stern face. Graying a little. But chubby.
I pat his stomach, and compare his to mine.
Mine is too large presently, and is shrinking,
but now is a good way to endear myself with people.
Show them an imperfection, and they show me theirs.

What a conversations.
All in Arabic... hehehe. I lie.
I speak now about 5 words. Not a difficult language
but I am lazy, and tired of learning language. It is
a duty of necessity and not of fun and curiosity.
I say it is easy, but I cannot speak it, so who knows.
We spoke in English. Remember, they are English teachers
and they love to use some of the big words.

I could write for hours and hours on this conversation.
The sparring, the questions. The answers.
We all agreed on:
1. Saddam was an asshole.
2. All the Soldiers with no jobs is not good.
3. That people are not perfect.
4. We all hope the USA finishes what they started.
5. The media distorts the truth.
They believe that they make the Arabs appear stupid
and I agree. I try to explain a free press and they
accept the free press and change the word from propaganda
to news for money. They call the BBC propaganda.
They do not get CNN here, but do get BBC so this is
why. I think the would call CNN the same.
I have picked up on my friends Nates words.
Commy News Network. Such good fun and sometime very
accurate.
6. We agreed the flat pancake bread that we wrapped
the kebob type beef was excellent. They had tomatoes,
onions, other veggies that I hate. But I will note
to put in the rolled up finger food.
7. They want the people to change Iraq. They are talking
about the soldiers. I said that the soldiers at not people.
Ooops. Yes they are, but more of trained killers. I use
these exact words. They have one goal to kill the enemy.
At least in my mind that is the goal I hope they have.
We agree that they are soldiers and trained to kill.
Not to rebuild countries.
8. Bremmer the USA leader of Iraq right now should have
maybe handled the firing of the military different.
They all agreed on this. I am 60 percent in agreement
with them. It only takes a few idiot soldiers to destroy
the whole bunch. Remember this is a bunch of idealist
Professors, and not really trained killers. At least
not on their day job.
9. We all agree that I was Christian. And they were Moslem.
This is always the first conversation in Iraq.
They want to know what religion you are?
I never think of myself as Christian, but it is the correct
answer. A wimp answer would be something else.
They want to talk to men and not women.
10. Suicide bombers are idiot.
I proposed that, and explained in my culture.
Random killing by wrapping bombs around themselves
is going to get their whole country demolished.
The soldier said,
"It only kills a few."
He sort of jumped back when I said,
"But in retaliation I would rather have them
wipe out your city then have son of mine killed."
The one of them pipe up,
"A nuclear bomb."
I said,
"No, I am making a point. We have a choice.
We do not have to be nice about a war. A war is to kill.
We could have erased Mosul off the map or Iraq of the
map and then there is not problem."
They all feel a little fear on this concept, and I do
not believe that they thought I could think that way.
The want war to be with rules. I want war with rules.

The funny statement of the night was a prodding question
by the Ex Soldier.
"Why was Saddam mad at the USA?"
He would not tell me the answer he wanted.
He kept asking the question.
He restated the question,
"Why did Saddam do what he did?"
I said,
"He is Suicidal."
They all started to laugh. I said,
"Only a crazy man would fight with the USA."
They sort of agreed on the crazy part.

He said the reason that Saddam was mad at Bush
and not Clinton was because Bush Senior gave the go
ahead to attack Kuwait. He then destroyed him.
So it was a sneak attack.
I said,
"We call that.. Conspiracy Theory."
Another great laugh.
We was all friend.
I got another free meal and life is good.
I am calling Iraq a
"No pay zone."
They will not allow their guest to pay.

They want me to tell someone what they think.
So I told you.

I tried to get them to tell me where Saddam was.
"We can all split the reward money."
The solder looked at me,
"He killed my mother and brother."
Gave me want of them deep eye probes.
Saying and I translate the eyes.
"If I could find him, I would take care of him."

They all agreed on the idea that maybe Bush was
an idiot. But I said all leaders are idiot.
The understand though that a leader has power
and did not get that power from being stupid.
They have a better understanding of power then
the western societies.

OK. My job is done. I told you.
I go to lunch at the Soldier house today.
We can talk about Weapons of Mass Destruction
and all sorts of fun things.

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