Saturday, April 08, 2006

Hearts And Minds

A harrowing account from an Iraqi blogger of a nonexistent civil war:
People are fed up. Literally! All my friends are thinking of leaving the country. They live in fear every single moment. I have four Sunni friends whose names are Sunni names. I am so worried about them. Death squads are wandering freely in the country kidnapping and killing people one after the other, sometimes just for their names. Few days ago fourteen bodies were found in western Baghdad. All of the victims’ names were “Omar”, a Sunni name.

The sight of wooden coffins tied on taxis becomes an everyday episode. Bad news become like cookies we have with tea: a boy shot in the face during a carjacking, a ruffian stabbed in a neighborhood fight, a sheik ambushed by his rivals or insurgents, a son with a bullet through the heart, a woman weeping and sobbing for the loss of her son, a married couple shot “mistakenly” by US soldiers.

Few days ago, a friend of mine was caught in the middle of cross fire in Yarmouk neighborhood. He had to hide in one of the shops whose owner hesitated to accept for a minute until my friend begged him. He swore he saw armed men walking freely in front of one of the mosques. They were fighting the Iraqi army until the sheikh of the mosque called on the armed men to stop fighting. “We told you to fight the Interior ministry commandoes, not the National Guards [Iraqi Army]. These are our friends, not enemies,” my friend heard the Sheikh of the mosque calling through the mosque’s loudspeaker. Can you just imagine that? What kind of state is this? If the Iraqi army, which the US military said is improving, was not able to control one neighborhood, what should I expect? Should I dream of a state of law, a state where I feel safe?

“Lawless” is the best word to describe Baghdad for the meantime. Do whatever you like. No one will ask you what you are doing. You can kill whenever and wherever you want. You can stop your car in the middle of the street, pull your gun and shoot anyone you hate. Do you think police will come for rescue? Huh! Of course, not because they might be the ones who are shooting.
The full post, along with others, is here.


Anonymous Antonie said...

As a Christian-albeit not a very good one-, I was always taught that human life is sacred, no matter whose life it is.

In this Iraqi war, there seems to be a two-tier system: U.S. soldiers and everyone else. We don't seem to feel so much for the plight of the Iraqi people. It doesn't matter that our bombs cast a wide net. There is a reason why Iraqi forces are being pushed to do the job: U.S. soldiers stand back to keep U.S. casualties down. If Iraqi soldiers die, it's not as terrible. And still, U.S. casualties are mounting.

I do not understand this attitude from a largely Christian country. A life is a life, right? And Colin Powell was correct: the Pottery Barn rule holds. We own it.

4/09/2006 7:53 AM  
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