Oops. Collaboration with the Enemy. (joke)
At the bottom of an email I received.
For some reason today the internet cafe opened late. They are very dependable here in Dohuk. So by chance a business owner or person in charge of a municipal project... ( I will leave out the details on purpose ) invited me into his office.
His English was very good and he talked about the unstability of the areas.
Saying that the various Kurdish cities are squabbling with themselves.
He was calm, and looked at the whole world picture. This is very hard for most people. How can you look at the whole world picture when you have not seen the whole world. A reader of lots of daily newspapers may be able to decipher the closer truth. But television is just propaganda to make people angry. Plus talking bad about something sells.
I ask him what the problem was?
He was frustrated with dealing with government.
He has to plan the budget for his construction project.
Today he make a budget and tommorrow he must change it again.
So the future is not guaranteed.
Do one sure of their job or the future.
There is no clear path of the new government , although I believe presently that Kurdistan Iraq has its own country already. The US knows this, the Arabs know this and no one wants to rub it in their face. So they pretend they are part of Iraq.
I ask him the solution.
1. He wants to know that Bush will not stop.
2. Kill Saddam so his followers stop.
"Saddam - Ali Babba" resonate in my head. I hear them so much.
This gentleman did not say this, it is the children in the street.
The good part is they feel safe to say this.
Honesty is in the children sometimes. Unedited.
I am sad and concerned. Dohuk or Kurdstan is open. I could make it sound real dangerous. But there should be thousands of business people in here ready to invade the new markets of Iraq. The Turkey entrance is probably the best land entrance leading to Europe. These people want jobs and money guaranteed. So business is needed.
It is better for non Americans. Especially for dark hair and eyed people.
Kurdistan is probably less dangerous than Colombia. Plus the normal citizen is good and your are pretty much safe from petty crime.
Everyone stares at me, and all the little children come up and pull on my hand or clothes. This can make a normal traveler or tourist crazy. I am totally used to being looked at on a 24 hour basis, so I just smile, nod my head and say, Hello or Saloam.
This is necessary. Do not get angry or frustrated. The children want this so you will give them 1 dinar. But if you give 1 then you will give hundreds. I try to give them food. They do not want food. They want money. The say,
I have my secret pockets so I am not worried about being pick pocketed.
Secret Security Pockets
"Thank you for taking care of us."
Meaning the people of the USA.
Look them in the eye, and shake their hand.
I am proud of them.
This morning I met a couple of soldiers. There was a street kid selling an exceptionallly good switchblade. I see them in all countries, and this one was special. Stainless steel and not too cluttered with crap. Clean.
The soldier did not have 3 dollar or Kurdish Dinars and really wanted it.
I gave the kid 25 Dinar and paid for the knife.
What goes around comes around.
Not like he was not already real dangerous looking.
A soldier just came in the internet cafe.
They are always carrying a rifle.
I will ask what type?
He said it an M4.
Too heavy for me.
Talked and answered questions on the radio. I was not sure whether I was talking for one hour of five minutes. But I had enough Dinar in my pocket.
2 questions asked?
What is the attitude of the soldiers?
Bored or very hot walking around with enough clothes for winter.
What do the Iraqi people think of the USA.
There are two distinct Iraqi people.
The Kurds love Americans and I think probably 3/4 of the Arabic like the results of the war. The other 1/4 have had the corrupt nipple of Saddam pulled from their mouth and want it put back in so they can resume sucking on their "Mafia" like money.
These people are separated not only by culture, but in some ways there is a defined border around the Kurdish part. Each city so far appears to be a concentration of people and a no mans land in between. I am just starting my trip through Iraq and too early to say, but I believe they live almost totally separated except in the city of Mosul, my next stop.
It is a typical developing country in that what you see is not what is real.
I believe Kurdistan is a country, except for who collects most of the Tax.
i do not want to move to fast. Maybe Saddam is in Mosul. I would be great if they killed him now, I could join the celebration.
Trying to get these up fast for the group photo in Dohuk of soldiers.