Saturday, January 31, 2004

Which way will Iraq turn?

The Shiite Surge If you haven't been keeping up on the Iraq situation, here's a chance to catch up and understand some of the background behind the current problems that face the US. Look's like it's going to be tough to turn back this Shiite religous conservatism. What to me is troubling and much more so to those who are not ultra-conservative in that country, is that the Shiites, long repressed, are following the lead of those who wish to take the country back into a conservatism that bodes no good for women - shades of the Taliban. It would be one thing if that type of authority allowed for open expression on the parts of those who didn't necessarily have their viewpoints, but I doubt that it will in the long run. As the article suggests, they don't wish to be like Iran, but it could be easy to slip into that same type of governing. For those not of this ilk, they may find themselves worse off than they were under Saddam.

Word of the day ( from article above )
Sanguine - a. Of the color of blood; red. b. Cheerfully confident; optimistic (from the article - "Subsequent events have proved this view far too sanguine."

(The similarity in form between sanguine, “cheerfully optimistic,” and sanguinary, “bloodthirsty,” may prompt one to wonder how they have come to have such different meanings. The explanation lies in medieval physiology with its notion of the four humors or bodily fluids (blood, bile, phlegm, and black bile). The relative proportions of these fluids was thought to determine a person's temperament. If blood was the predominant humor, one had a ruddy face and a disposition marked by courage, hope, and a readiness to fall in love. Such a temperament was called sanguine, the Middle English ancestor of our word sanguine. The source of the Middle English word was Old French sanguin, itself from Latin sanguineus. Both the Old French and Latin words meant “bloody,” “blood-colored,” Old French sanguin having the sense “sanguine in temperament” as well. Latin sanguineus was in turn derived from sanguis, “blood,” just as English sanguinary is. The English adjective sanguine, first recorded in Middle English before 1350, continues to refer to the cheerfulness and optimism that accompanied a sanguine temperament but no longer has any direct reference to medieval physiology. (definition courtesy of GuruNet)  

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