Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The War in Iraq as per "Today 101"

At the risk of sounding snobbish, it seems as though there is a population of people out there who need to get clarity on the situation in Iraq from Meredith Veira on the Today Show. In addition to the deeply insightful report on us drunk mothers that I know everyone has been buzzing about lately, it seems as though people are posting questions on her blog at iVillage (why I hate iVillage can be a topic for another day…) about things they want to know more about. From the Today Show. Today Show = Educational News Source? OK, whatever.

So today, they started a segment called “Today 101” and a person posted a question wanting to know more information about the background with the war in the middle east, specifically the civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites. Now call me crazy, but to me, the Today Show is like more of a glossed-over version of what’s happening in the world with Ann Curry’s “top news stories” delivered with the authority and tone of a preschool teacher.

To answer the question posed by the blogger on iVillage, they turned to Richard Engel, their resident correspondent in Iraq. In the 7th century, when the country’s leader, Muhammed, the father to only one daughter, died, he apparently did not indicate who should succeed him in running the country. (Because, God forbid, why should he had ever considered the daughter, right? The whole mess that follows would have been avoided in the first place.) Like a rich man leaving no will, a fight ensued within the country when the husband of Fatima (the daughter), decided he was going to run the country and of course, there were those that deflected, hence the formation of the Sunnis and the Shiites. And currently, there are now more Shiites than Sunnis in the country, and I think we all know how well they are getting along. Even George Bush didn’t know this little tidbit of history when he declared war on Iraq. I’m not kidding. Great leader, eh?

So that’s my stripped down, Today-show-like education on the Sunnis and the Shiites. Now let me tell you a story I heard first hand from a co-worker about the Sunnis and Shiites. A colleague of mine was born and raised in Baghdad, whose parents now live in Jordan. She has a friend who recently visited Iraq with his wife and 2 small children to see relatives. While in Iraq, the family was abducted. Supposedly the man’s blood line is Sunni and the wife is Shiite. They let the wife and the kids go, but then killed the man. His wife had to identify his body at the morgue 5 days after they had been released. I can’t even relate to the horror of something like that.

Can our military really stop something like that? It’s a mafia-style civil war. I was feeling rather fired up about this today after seeing their fluffy news segment this morning. So this is today’s politics from the Pillow. I hope I’ve gotten across where I stand on this issue. If not, I invite the debate.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled programming….

I received a baby shower invitation in the mail over the weekend. OK, maybe that doesn’t sound like such a big deal. But did I mention it’s for a baby shower that is taking place THIS weekend. Is it just me, or is that a little late notice? I feel like sending this as my RSVP:


Blogger soccer mom in denial said...

RIGHT ON!! And if anyone sits there and says "oh please" about the 7th century history, then would they just explain the differences between Baptists, Presbertarians and Congregationalists. Now why can't THEY all get along and believe the same things?

And regarding these wicked late invitations, lately we got 2 for kid birthday parties - one with 3 days notice. And, of course, gifts were expected. I really should have regifted something....

8:37 PM

Blogger Amanda said...

Yeah, I gotta say that as Meredith passed the "learn the dim ones" baton to Baghdad Dick I found myself feeling soiled and offended. Soiled because, yes, I did need the lesson, offended because somehow I felt the delivery suggested a marginilization. I'd like to think I might have been able to rise to the challenge of grasping the story without the hushed tones and slow talking.

And the invite, boy, that's lousy. Although eschewing things like calendars and planners, I appreciate late notice...harder to forget.

Didn't you say your throat was feeling kind of scratchy?

8:57 PM

Blogger Mayberry said...

Somehow the NPR series on Sunnis and Shiites was a bit more illuminating.

I love your RSVP.

11:07 PM

Blogger Alex Elliot said...

Great RSVP! They do say that many Americans can't even identify the state of NY on a map so your explanation I'm sure would be greatly appreciated! The Today show tends to annoy me a great deal anyway. Today (excuse the pun) there was a segment on whether or not your kid would be scarred for life if he has a different last name. My kids have my husband's last name and I have to say until the show I hadn't been too worried about it. Luckily after talking about all the bad things that could happen, they went on to say that actually those bad things are just myths. Phew! I'm so glad I watched it.

11:15 PM

Anonymous Nocturnal said...

Bottom line, why beLIEvers never seem to realize the bible(s) are all human-written is beyond me.

"Stupid is as stupid does." - Forrest Gump


Mr. NINfidel

11:45 PM

Blogger Mitch McDad said...

Holy Shiite!! You're right, the whole situation is f.u.b.a.r.

I have Middle Eastern me, they all hate each other. Always have and always will. Just bring on Hydrogen powered cars, and we'll never hear another word about the middle east ever again.

12:04 PM

Anonymous TB said...

Yeah, the Today show pretty much blows when it comes to any kind of real cutting edge journalism, but I have to say, given a choice between Ann Curry and Meredeth Viera, I'll pick Ann every time. I can't stand Meredeth.

And that card is awesome. Do you think I could send one to the organizers of MY baby shower?

6:54 PM

Blogger Heather said...

Wow, you get to watch the "news" in the morning? I'm almost happy that I can't watch it when I hear things like this.

I like that RSVP. I personally would just say that I have other plans and not go. My other plans could be to just stay home, they don't need to know why.

11:13 PM


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