This from River, an Iraqi girl who writes a blog about living in occupied Iraq:
I know enough to not believe all the propaganda that Bush releases, but I had honestly imagined Iraq under Saddam Hussein to be oppressive and violent, even in the every day - like living in Chechnya or somewhere similar. It's interesting to hear it from the other side of the border.
We did not have Al-Qaeda in Iraq prior to the war. We didn’t know that sort of extremism. We didn’t have beheadings or the abduction of foreigners or
religious intolerance. We actually pitied America and Americans when the Twin Towers went down and when news began leaking out about it being Muslim fundamentalists- possibly Arabs- we were outraged.
Now 9/11 is getting old. Now, 100,000+ Iraqi lives and 1700+ American lives later, it’s becoming difficult to summon up the same sort of sympathy as before. How does the death of 3,000 Americans and the fall of two towers somehow justify the horrors in Iraq when not one of the people involved with the attack was Iraqi?
“We see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who exploded car bombs along a busy shopping street in Baghdad, including one outside a mosque. We see the nature of the enemy in terrorists who sent a suicide bomber to a teaching hospital in Mosul…”
Yes. And Bush is extremely concerned with the mosques. He might ask the occupation forces in Iraq to quit attacking mosques and detaining the worshipers inside- to stop raiding them and bombing them and using them as shelters for American snipers in places like Falluja and Samarra. And the terrorists who sent a suicide bomber to a teaching hospital in Mosul? Maybe they got their cue from the American troops who attacked the only functioning hospital in Falluja.
“We continued our efforts to help them rebuild their country. Rebuilding a country after three decades of tyranny is hard and rebuilding while a country is at war is even harder."
Three decades of tyranny isn’t what bombed and burned buildings to the ground. It isn’t three decades of tyranny that destroyed the infrastructure with such things as “Shock and Awe” and various other tactics. Though he fails to mention it, prior to the war, we didn’t have sewage overflowing in the streets like we do now, and water cut off for days and days at a time. We certainly had more than the 8 hours of electricity daily. In several areas they aren’t even getting that much.
“They are doing that by building the institutions of a free society, a society based on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and equal justice under law.”
We’re so free, we often find ourselves prisoners of our homes, with roads cut off indefinitely and complete areas made inaccessible. We are so free to assemble that people now fear having gatherings because a large number of friends or family members may attract too much attention and provoke a raid by American or Iraqi forces. As to Iraqi forces…There was too much to quote on the new Iraqi forces. He failed to mention that many of their members were formerly part of militias, and that many of them contributed to the looting and burning that swept over Iraq after the war and continued for weeks.
“The new Iraqi security forces are proving their courage every day.”
Indeed they are. The forte of the new Iraqi National Guard? Raids and mass detentions. They have been learning well from the coalition. They sweep into areas, kick down doors, steal money, valuables, harass the females in the household and detain the men. The Iraqi security forces are so effective that a few weeks ago, they managed to kill a high-ranking police major in Falluja when he ran a red light, shooting him in the head as his car drove away.
He kept babbling about a “free Iraq” but he mentioned nothing about when the American forces might actually depart and the occupation would end, leaving a “free Iraq”.Why aren’t the Americans setting a timetable for withdrawal? Iraqis are constantly wondering why nothing is being done to accelerate the end of the occupation.
Do the Americans continue to believe such speeches? I couldn’t help but wonder.