You may not know, or you may know depending on how interested you are; that one of the biggest and most concerning issues facing the average Iraqi citizens is the wave of assasinations taking out intellectuals across the whole of Iraq.
There are many blogposts to confirm this, I point to Khalid's blog Secrets In Baghdad
(somewhere in the archives, or you can email him for more details) about proffessors in his university dissapearing. Riverbend
's blog Baghdad Burning has many many posts about individuals, mostly doctors, professors and lecturers for universities being targetted by kindappers and gangs of armed men; usually ending up in an unsolved mystery or a death.
It is an enormous tragedy to see Iraq's intellectuals being targettted for they are what has put Iraq apart from the rest of the Middle East in my opinion; a huge class of intelligent, well trained and well informed men and women alike. Even in the youths now it is obvious their level of intelligence, one only needs to read Najma
's or Sunshine
's blog posts to understand this.
The targets have been intentional, those with expertise in history, Politics, georgaphy and Arabic literature have been targetted at a higher ratel, suggesting relations to possible debaathification groups or Irani extremist groups.
I would be deeply suspicious of the depth of Tehran's intervention in Iraqi affairs in current times, and I believe the elimination of these particular groups is to try and whipe out the strong Iraqi identity which bonds the nation together. This would make it much easier for the implementation of Sharia laws and the gradual move towards islamic theocracy similar to the one in Iran.
I would believe this is the intention of more than just one group, but particularly the intentions of SCIRI and the related Badr militia and other Iran backed militia's. I can not see any other reason for wanting to remove Iraq's massive pool knowledge, skills and abilities.
Please get along and sign the below petition, and take heed of what it calls for. I am going to design some posters in the next few months to post up at my university in large numbers. To alert people of Iraq's intellectual crisis. Here's the link:http://www.petitiononline.com/Iraqacad/
oh and don't forget to put your donation in at Najma's books-for-Mosul-university campaign: #1 project