What do you think about the situation in Iraq?

In the US, we mainly see pictures and video of Iraqi cities, so it would be hard to find an American who thinks Iraqis live in tents, unless he was completely ignorant.

However, many Iraqis who arrived in the US before the 2003 invasion tell me that they had no access to computers. It wasn’t because there weren’t any computers, but because (according to them) access to computers was restricted by the government, in much the same way it was restricted in the Soviet Union or other communist countries. So I had to teach an Iraqi friend everything about how to use a computer.

We know in the US that things have been very bad over there. Some of my students are in the US because they had to run to Kurdistan after their relatives were kidnapped for ransom. Some of the relatives were released very badly beaten, but some of them never came back at all.

Another friend here lost her house in Baghdad. Her cousin was living in it when a gang of Muslims came. The gang gave them three choices: 1. Convert to Islam, or 2. Pay the jizyah (a Muslim tax on non-Muslims), or 3. Leave the house and all its contents so that a Muslim family could take it. At first my friend told her cousin to sell the house, but her cousin said that if he sold it the purchaser might kill him instead of paying him. Finally, she told him just to leave the house and run to Kurdistan with his family.

Very sad stories.

But restriction on access to the whole Internet also happens in the US, doesn’t it?

“US MARINES stationed in Iraq are complaining that the US government is restricting access their access to websites too much.
Along with porn sites, on the Army’s list of banned sites include mail sites such as Yahoo, AT&T, Hotmail. The censors are also blocking blogs and sites that do not agree with the current administration.”

theinquirer.net/en/inquirer/ … s-websites

You should one day list for us your group of “friends”, Jamie. How do you get time for all of them? You seem, as I’ve noted before, to have one for every online occasion. :wink:

Sh*t happens everywhere, Jamie.

"The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that local governments may force property owners to sell out and make way for private economic development when officials decide it would benefit the public, even if the property is not blighted and the new project’s success is not guaranteed.

washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co … 83_pf.html"

No it doesn’t. And what I was talking about in Saddam’s Iraq was not restriction on access to the Internet, but restriction on access to computers at all.

Molly, you always use these unknown scandal rags as documentation. Then when I look up the full story, your scandal rag turns out to have distorted it. They talk about “the list of banned sites”, but where’s the list? I’ve googled for it, but I can’t find it. Is this like the fictitious list of books banned by Sarah Palin? You also read sketchy information about specific incidents and generalize it to the whole nation.

The US military restriction is on streaming video sites, and the soldiers are simply not allowed to access them at work on the military network, but could access anything they wanted to at home.

stripes.com/article.asp?sect … chive=true

This story will be bogusly used overseas to make the US government appear fascist.

Also, American workplaces and universities generally ban the use of inappropriate sites, mainly porno, in the public computer labs. This is a good thing.

But this has nothing to do with general restrictions on ANY computer use that went on in communist countries and under many other dicatorships.


It would be great if we could keep this thread just the essential question ‘where are you from’ rather than discussing any political conflicts. If you want to talk about Iraq, Georgia, 9/11, the presidential elections or the supreme credit crunch, please start separate threads on those questions.

Many thanks,

TOEIC listening, photographs: Relaxing in a hammock[YSaerTTEW443543]

hi everyone,
I am from India.India is a very beautiful country. there are many places to visit one of them is AGRA where you can see Tajmahal. Its very beautiful It is near the river yamuna IT IS A SYMBOL OF LOVE You can also find the different religious people living together they have a respect for each others religion. we enjoy different festivals of different religions with equal joy and enthusiasm.

I don’t agree with that decision by the Supreme Court (and it’s an illustration of why conservatives need to be chosen for the court, because the liberals are the ones who back that kind of seizure), but it’s hardly the same thing, as you imagine it to be. In the first place, when the government in the US wants to seize your house, they don’t first demand that you change your religion or pay a religiously based tax. Secondly, the government has to pay you the market price for the property. Molly, the fact that you can’t tell the difference just shows, again, that you have an impaired ability to make moral distinctions.

Hey, Jamie, I can tell the difference, it’s just that you cannot, or don’t like much speaking about, the similarities.

As for religious taxes:

I’ve just split the thread in two.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Single white water canoe[YSaerTTEW443543]

Or, in your mind, with restrictions made upon US citizens by US administrations over many many years, right?

We’re getting that “squeaky clean USA” approach again.

Tithing times, right? :lol:

Again, Molly. You are unable to make moral distinctions. I don’t believe in religious taxes at all, but the situation in your quote is completely different from the jizyah.

In that European situation, people register their religion and pay a tax to their own church. If they don’t belong to a church, they don’t have to pay the tax. There is no pressure to change religions, except that there is an incentive to declare oneself as NOT religious so as to get out of paying the tax. And the European governments won’t murder you if you get out of paying the tax.

The jizyah is a tax that non-Muslims have to pay to Muslims. In other words, they have to pay taxes to the authorities of a religion that is not their own. The only way they can get out of it is to convert to the other religion, which is the whole point. Traditionally the people are given three choices: convert, pay the tax or die. This is nothing like the situation in Europe, except that the words “religion” and “tax” appear in the descriptions.

You’re fantasizing, Molly. They don’t restrict computer or Internet use. I imagine they would be very happy if people never accessed certain sites, but they nonetheless do not censor them.

If you think we have fascist censorship restrictions, then you have to name them. And if you find something, please make sure it’s from a reliable source, and not a scandal rag.

Nobody has to tithe in the US. The government has nothing to do with that.