This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Frivolous Conceit in a Background of Debauched Humanity

"These numbers [on a preferred SIM card] are a language. A man makes calculations for what will make him successful in life or in business."
"Among them is what his phone number says about him."
"It says he has taste. It also says he's loaded. It gives him optimism. It gives him prestige."
Haider Mohamed, 45, cellphone dealer specializing in 'distinguished' phone numbers: "World of Distinction" shop

"This number gives the impression that I am distinguished, which helps me get business, especially among officials in the state ministries who I am dealing with."
"If I call them from a regular number, they wouldn't answer my call but when they see this number, they can't ignore it because they know a VIP is calling them."
"I am always keen on carrying the latest iPhone and having latest Land Cruiser. The phone number completes the prestige."
Essa Sultan, 47, Iraqi contractor

"A friend of mine has a distinguished number that helps him get many girls."
"So I thought of trying it, but I was stunned by the prices. Some numbers are even more expensive than fancy cars."
Hussam al-Zaidi, 29, Iraqi
Corruption in Iraq extends to cellphone numbers
Corruption in Iraq extends to cellphone numbers   thebaghdadpost

In a country where just a few years ago the vicious ferocity of sectarian hatreds pitted Shiite Muslims against Sunnis, where entire neighbourhoods were subjected to 'cleansings' of the factions claimed by the others as impure in Islam whose penalty should be death, and where resulting from the Medieval-era brutality of the assaults minority Sunni former members of Iraq's Saddam-era military leaders gathered to form the final jihadist-inspired Islamist terrorism group, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant whose atrocities horrified the world at large, the society has adopted a culture of elitism.

A nation fragmented by its incapacity to rise above the tribal mentality generating hatred, resentment and violence resulting in a nation-wide bloodbath, finding purpose in posing as cultured and influential through the access of SIM cards affording them the appearance of prestige and power and glamour. Is this a psychological coping mechanism resulting from the breakdown of civilized society, or the measure of a tribal, theocratic society with no ethical, moral yardstick of what constitutes enduring human values?

Evidently in a number of countries of the Middle East owning telephones with very special numbers conveys the impression of status, sophistication. The ownership of such a numbered telephone that is unique and draws attention is viewed as a savvy entrepreneur, an ambitious power-broker, admired and influential. It is in Iraq in particular, however, where the desire to own a luxury telephone number has elevated its acquisition into power status and explosively costly to acquire.

Mr. Sultan, the contractor, acquired his special number in 2009, paying $1,200 for it. It is distinguished by ending with six number sevens. Its value has soared to $10,000, but Mr. Sultan has no intention of parting with his very special numbered phone. It is essential as an elegant tool.

Essa Mohsen, 44, believes himself to have been personally responsible for inflated SIM card prices; he is "the King of Distinguished Numbers"; his shop boasts that very name. His stock of 2,000 distinctive cards, valued up to $3,000 is in high demand. He identifies former prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's two numbers valued at over $10,000 each. Major General Fadhil Jamil al-Barwari of the elite American-trained Counter Terrorism Service, possessed a number whose value is at least $38,000 reflecting its consecutive zeros.

Mr. Mohsen has been commissioned to acquire a rare number for $120,000. This particular phone number is imbued with seven consecutive zeros and is possessed by a police officer in Kirkuk, but the officer refused the offer of $120000, proffered by a television baron. "He cherishes it. Just like wine, the older it gets, the more valuable it becomes", Mohson explained of the reluctance of the police officer to relinquish his special number even for the amount offered.

At the elite governmental level, SIM cards with distinguished numbers were given to politicians as a way of bypassing endemic corrupt graft, currying favour by presenting these desired numbers where the cards were viewed as laundering bribes, to be traded for cash. According to dealers, many of their regulars are assistants to Iraqi politicians and military officers who come to them to sell the valuable SIM  cards given as gifts to their bosses.

The cards capable of attracting big money are recognized as "presidential numbers". Haider Mohamed, owner of the shop "World of Distinction" in central Baghdad, claims he had once traded a particularly 'beautiful' number to a businessman for a $60,000 Lexus.

An artificial societal prestige symbol for a people lacking a moral base, absent values, seeking to advantage themselves through impressing others possessing the very same culturally debased ideation.

Golden 40,000 IQD Example: 78XXAABBCC
Golden plus 80,000 IQD Example: 78XXABCABC
Platinum 160,000 IQD Example: 78XXXXAAAA
Platinum plus 280,000 IQD Example: 78XXAABBBB
Diamond 800,000 IQD Example: 78XXAAAAAX
Diamond plus 1,600,000 IQD Example: 78XXXAAAAA

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