Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Resistance "is a normal thing, and a right for everyone"


Perhaps more than any other element, contextual local perspective is missing from analysis about Iraq as a whole and Fallujah in particular. Western media, media consumers, and the political class offer strategic assessments about the conflict that confine the opinion and motivations of Iraqis to the general abstraction of religious sects and cherrypicked polls. It is a glaring oversight.

I spoke with dozens of Fallujans -- policemen, interpreters, day laborers, politicians, volunteers for the neighborhood watch -- in my quest to understand them and I still do not have the complete picture. And a single interview certainly cannot encapsulate the diversity of opinion in a major city. Sections of Fallujah trend together but have different atmospherics; you will get many more waves to a Humvee on the south side of the city than you will in the northwest, for example. But many narratives and beliefs are widely shared among the population, and the people of Fallujah have a worthy spokesman in “Leo” the interpreter. Read More.

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