A Letter from Iraq

Today I was reading the New York Review of Books (NYR), a publication which demands that the reader actually read something well and then causes that reader to think about it, so unlike the “mass media.” Anyway, I digress; the NYR article I was reading is called “What About the Iraqis?” and starts with the following:

“Sometimes there is nothing more gripping than the mundane. Consider “Baghdad Burning,” the on-line diary of a young Baghdad woman who goes by the pseudonym of Riverbend.”


The article goes on to state “she has provided us with the most comprehensive Iraqi view of the war to date.” It seems she was educated in the United States and her English puts most “native speakers” to shame as does her reporting from the street. Riverbend chronicles what it is like to live in Baghdad on a daily basis and gives all of us a point of view sorely missing from the stories coming out of the ultra-guarded (although not very safe) Green Zone of Baghdad. It seems that in bringing democracy, freedom and uh, oh yeh, peace to Iraq, it is not a good idea to venture out of the Green Zone unless you are a maniac, suicidal or armed to the teeth accompanied by a convey of troops whom the Iraqi children refer to as “targets.”

I believe we owe it to Riverbend to take a few minutes to read a few entries in her blog called “Baghdad Burning.”
All of you who are US citizens owe her that much, for after all, it was in your name that the Bush war machine created this mess, it was with the approval of your elected representatives and it is going to hang over your heads for a long time to come. It is more than heart breaking, it is criminal and someday, if there is real justice in the United States, George W. Bush and his war managers will be brought to court on charges of war crimes against humanity. Of course, I will not hold my breath in anticipation of seeing that happen…

As Riverbend says in her blog, “Bush has effectively created more terrorists in Iraq these last 4 years than Osama could have created in 10 different terrorist camps in the distant hills of Afghanistan. Our children now play games of ‘sniper’ and ‘jihadi’, pretending that one hit an American soldier between the eyes and this one overturned a Humvee.” Think about your children, do they think about killing Iraqis or even worse Muslims? Think about it, do they? Do you?

My sister refuses to even come near Turkey for fear of her children being the target of terrorists even though I am at least 1,000 miles from Baghdad. The reality is that she is right when she says terrorists target their victims and that Americans (those from the United States that is) are the targets. Of course she does travel by air to other countries out of the US and feels safe, which is of course sad and a bit absurd. The perpetrators of the horrible attacks upon the WTC on September 11 were NOT somewhere in the Middle East, they were in the heart of the American pulsebeat.

This war just goes on and on in spite of the change from Republicans to Democrats in the Congress, and if all of you were to read this girl’s plight and take it truly to heart you would demand more of your so-called “elected officials” than they have given you. This war has cost over 359 BILLION US dollars and still counting, how much can you really afford, how many more lives can we all afford? Last year over 30,000 Iraqis died and US troop deaths are now over 3,000. These are good odds I guess if you are keeping score as the US government did in Vietnam, something they called “body count.”

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