Monday, July 21, 2008

Leaving the sinking ship US Occupation

That was mosque before a U.S. air strike in June. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg, New York Times

Under vigorous pressure from U.S. journalists and some military officers, the government finally has a program to facilitate immigration visas for Iraqis whose life expectancy in their home country has been shortened by their work for the occupiers. Apparently we aren't going to leave them all to be slaughtered when we finally pull up stakes.

Early June, the American Embassy in Baghdad met with bureau managers of the U.S.-based companies who work in Iraq and have Iraqi employees, especially the media outlets, to tell them about the new resettlement program.

Some of these managers didn't tell their employers about this program, fearing their offices will be empty, while others did....

Now the majority of the Iraqi [employees] are applying for this program whatever they are, from drivers to guards to cooks and senior employ[ee]s, while others are still reluctant including me as I fear to end up as a taxi driver or worker at a fuel station or vendor at a store...but still mulling it.

This fever is really frightening some American companies especially those who depend a lot on Iraqis and that has forced some of these managers to spread rumors in their offices that the one who applies for this program will be eligible to be dismissed when they find an alternative for him because his company will no longer count on him....

Baghdad's Kassakhoon,
July 12, 2008

There's a picture of whatever shreds of mutual trust exist fraying before wary eyes. It looks like most of the people in these positions will do anything they can to get out before the end of Bush's "time horizon," Obama's "timeline for withdrawal," or "al-Maliki's "sometime in 2010." It's not exactly people crowding onto the last choppers out of Saigon, but the prudent are making their getaways. Poor Iraq.

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