Iraqis are often confronted by people who sometimes label them as "pretend" Iraqis, and often claim that we are not "real" Iraqis. We do not represent anything Iraqi, they often say. So this got me wondering: who are the REAL Iraqis? What does it take to be Iraqi? How many years of one's life must one spend in Iraq in order to gain the status of REAL Iraqi? 50% of your life? 100%? Or does it matter at all how many years we actually spend in Iraq, as long as we truly care for the welfare of all Iraqis, and want the best for Iraq? Of course this leads to the question: what is best for Iraq? And that leads to other questions that are endlessly debatable, and sometimes irreconcilable.
I like to think that real Iraqis do not commit violent crimes, they do not murder Iraqis. Iraqis who attack Iraqi Christians, even the Christians who collaborate with the US, belong in jail. Iraqi Christians are the descendants of Mesopotamia, and yet some Iraqi Muslims have murdered them, and have driven them out of the country.
Iraqis who blame the US, or even if they blame Bush only, for JAM & AQ killing Iraqis may also be real Iraqis. Some of them will never apologize for what Iraqis have done to each other, and would instead pretend that all innocent Iraqis who die violently are killed by the US.
Real Iraqis are the ones who defend each other, regardless of sect or religion, and do not kill Iraqis for being "un-Islamic". If Iraqis want Islamic law, they can move to Saudi Arabia or Iran. Real Iraqis are the ones who protest to protect their civil rights. They are not afraid to stand up for what is right, even if it defies the current Iraqi government, even if it defies the US, as long as it is just.