Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Unremitting heat in a trashed city


While Republicans party and politicians pander in St. Paul, life goes on in the strange, harsh Baghdad that the U.S. invasion and occupation have made. Here's a bit of a word picture from Laith at Iraq Today.

It is summer in Iraq as it is in the northern half of earth but summer in Iraq is something different. ... let me say it is like hell. Yes, we practice hell every minute during summer in Iraq with a temperature of 107 degrees. Furthermore, Ramadan started. Today is the second day of Ramadan. ... That means to control myself from dawn until sunset. I must not eat or drink and I have also to control my nerves because fast means more than feeling hungry or thirsty. It means to feel the suffering of poor people and to behave like real good people.

When I come to office, I pass through the city center....Most of the convoys of the officials pass through this area also. ...A convoy of one of our (sacred officials) was waiting to pass. Six pick- up trucks of the Iraqi national police and the car of (his majesty the sacred official) is in the middle of them. I was walking in this hot day while his majesty was in his bullet proof air conditioned vehicle.

I was about to cross the street when one [of] the policemen ... shouted "Stop. Wait. Don't pass." I was like "what you want me to wait in this sunny place for the sake of a man?" I lifted my shirt mocking "see there is not explosive vest." ...A young soldier from the checkpoint on the side of the street came towards me smiling. He took my hand and he helped me to cross the street as if he was telling the policeman to be a human being. The policeman kept watching without saying a word. I felt I'm a child who can't do anything without the help of an adult....

With such officials who moves only with protection and air conditioned vehicles and who know nothing about their duty in Iraq and with such a stupid policeman (we have a lot of policemen who are the same as the one who stopped me); with such arrogan[ce] Iraq has no chance to walk one step forward.

Laith wants her country back -- and more and more sees no hope for ordinary Iraqis while politicians dither.

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