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Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Un-Happy anniversary.

It was on March 18, 2003 that the US-led invasion of Iraq began. It was supposed to be a cakewalk. Iraqis were supposed to meet their liberators with flowers. The US was going to rebuild Iraq. The Iraqis were supposed to start a Jeffersonian democracy. And everyone was going to be happy.

We all know what happened instead.

In Baghad, Riverbend has posted her relections on three years of occupation and violence:

The thing most worrisome about the situation now, is that discrimination based on sect has become so commonplace. For the average educated Iraqi in Baghdad, there is still scorn for all the Sunni/Shia talk. Sadly though, people are being pushed into claiming to be this or that because political parties are promoting it with every speech and every newspaper — the whole 'us' / 'them'. We read constantly about how 'We Sunnis should unite with our Shia brothers ...' or how 'We Shia should forgive our Sunni brothers...' (note how us Sunni and Shia sisters don't really fit into either equation at this point). Politicians and religious figures seem to forget at the end of the day that we're all simply Iraqis.

And what role are the occupiers playing in all of this? It's very convenient for them, I believe. It's all very good if Iraqis are abducting and killing each other — then they can be the neutral foreign party trying to promote peace and understanding between people who, up until the occupation, were very peaceful and understanding.

Three years after the war, and we've managed to move backwards in a visible way, and in a not so visible way.

In the last weeks alone, thousands have died in senseless violence and the American and Iraqi army bomb Samarra as I write this. The sad thing isn't the air raid, which is one of hundreds of air raids we've seen in three years — it's the resignation in the people. They sit in their homes in Samarra because there's no where to go. Before, we'd get refugees in Baghdad and surrounding areas ... Now, Baghdadis themselves are looking for ways out of the city — out of the country. The typical Iraqi dream has become to find some safe haven abroad.

Three years later and the nightmares of bombings and of shock and awe have evolved into another sort of nightmare. The difference between now and then was that three years ago, we were still worrying about material things — possessions, houses, cars, electricity, water, fuel ... It's difficult to define what worries us most now. Even the most cynical war critics couldn't imagine the country being this bad three years after the war... Allah yistur min il rab3a (God protect us from the fourth year).

Via Baghdad Burning.

| | Posted by Magpie at 11:06 AM | Get permalink




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