Ava called me and asked if I would see about others noting Refugees International's report because it is is PDF format and a lot of people will not read it as a result. C.I. did a wonderful job summarizing it in today's snapshot (which also has the PDF format link) but it it something that really needs attention. We will all highlight something at our sites tonight. As C.I. notes in the snapshot at the end, " Refugee International released a study, authored by Kristele Younes and Nir Rosen, entitled "Uprooted and Unstable: Meeting Urgent Humanitarian Needs in Iraq" [PDF format warning, click here]." This is the first paragraph under "Property Disputes" from page 15:
There is no unified process to deal with returning internally displaced persons or refugees. In particular, there is no body officially handling property disputes. As in the post-conflict Balkans, property disputes are likely to be a key issue in Iraq, and have already started surfacing, as many returnees were unable to go home since their houses were already occupied by others. Property disputes will linger for many years to come and if not handled properly are likely to be a spark for renewed violence. For now, there is no judicial entity mandated with dealing with the post-2003 property disputes. Instead, they are being handled on an ad-hoc basis, by a variety of actors.
My thoughts on the above. Iraqi refugees did not leave their homes because they were on vacation. They did not say, "I think I will go vacation in Syria." They left because their neighborhoods were violent and, in most cases, they were being threatened.
Once they were out of their homes, it was only a matter of time before someone would move in. Now there are a few who are renting their homes, a very small number. But the case more often is, they are threatened and forced to leave. Often, as part of the 'threat,' a family member is killed as a 'warning.' They pack up as quickly as they can and move.
Prior to the start of the illegal war, the Shi'ites were an oppressed majority. There probably were tensions from that which would brew over. But it is also true that Iraqis lived side by side with little concern over sect. The national identity was destroyed and that came from the US whose first questions were always, "Are you Shia or Sunni?"
The divisions are intense today. That is probably partly due to so many of the professional leaving. Those buffers or moderators are gone and it is now a scramble to see whom Iraq will belong to. The crisis was created by the Iraq War.
All the Iraqi security forces are compromised by sectarianism but the Iraqi Army is the least mistrusted of the various official bodies.
Okay, this is Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign's "HUBdate: Opportunity for All Americans: by Howard Wolfson:
Opportunity for All Americans: Today, Hillary discusses her own approach to the presidency that will expand opportunity for all Americans at the Newspaper Association of America’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC.
New Ad in the Keystone State: Hillary supporters speak out against Sen. Obama's small town America comments in a new TV ad that will air in Pennsylvania...From supporters: "I'm not clinging to my faith out of frustration and bitterness…I find that my faith is very uplifting...The good people of Pennsylvania deserve a lot better than what Barack Obama said...Hillary does understand the citizens of Pennsylvania better." Watch Here.
"A Can't-Miss Event for Clinton Supporters" in Bristol, PA: Yesterday in Bristol, PA "[t]he gymnasium was filled with red, white and blue signs that read 'Hillary Rocks,' 'Letter Carriers for Hillary' and 'Hillary for President.'...'The economy is the worse I've ever seen it,' the Bristol resident said. 'Oil prices are bad. She's the one who can do something about that. I've always been a Clinton supporter. They haven't let me down.'" Read more.
PA Endorsement Watch: Hillary received the endorsement of Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, earning her the endorsement of mayors from Pennsylvania's "three largest cities": "I support her candidacy and ask Democratic voters in Allentown to do the same." Read More.
MT Endorsement Watch: "Yellowstone County Commissioner Bill Kennedy says he is endorsing Hillary Rodham Clinton…[Kennedy said:] 'In Montana, going to church or going hunting is part of our heritage, not something we 'cling to' out of bitterness or frustration...Sen. Obama showed a real disconnect with rural Montana. It might work to look down on us from San Francisco, but it won’t sell when he comes back to Montana.'" Read more.
Save The Date: Hillary will appear on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" on Thursday. The program will be broadcasted from Philadelphia and will air at 11:30pm ET. Read More.
In Case You Missed It: West Virginians aren't happy with Sen. Obama's characterizations about the people who live in America’s small towns. Read More.
An e-mail from community member Brady asked why I did not post videos? I do not how. Marcia does not know how for the most part. C.I. calls her and says, "Marcia, I'm posting an entry, let's try it." So they will be on the phone together and somehow get videos posted. We actually all asked C.I. during Third's writing session and C.I. said, "I have no idea." Marcia has been working and found another way to post them and if it works for me as it has for her, you will see a video below.