Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Daily Doldrums.

Day amid the humdrum of the usual workday a friend came to my office and we visited. She is a single mother of three, having lost her husband to the violent aftermath of the US invasion. Don't get me wrong, I don't know anyone who isn't happy that Saddam is gone but there was a lot of terror and murder and destruction in the years afterwards that took many, many lives. Yes, I don't know anyone who wishes Saddam was still in power. But I also don't know anyone who hasn't felt the loss of loved ones and heart wrenching tragedy.

So we chatted for a while, mostly about how boring life in Iraq is. As I've written before, there's a total lack of entertainment and the difficulties women face in just going out for lunch together. So I'm considering a second job for lack of anything else to do. I'm very fortunate that in my field I can find work, as many in Iraq can't. All these projects, all the millions of dollars, both American and Iraqi, and we can't seem to find enough work for everyone. Where is all that money going? Certainly not to fix our electrical system-we're lucky to get 6 hours a day, and that's sporadic, maybe fifteen minutes here, maybe an hour there. How do you plan a life around that?

Iraq has known war after war after war. Before Saddam we couldn't speak out, had no voice, then with Saddam we had war with Iran, with Kuwait, then the US. I've known war my whole life. After 2003 we had such high hopes for change, for freedom, for rebuilding Iraq after Saddam and war and the sanctions destroyed her, and now we have a voice, we can speak out against the government, but what good does it do? Where are the great benefits of democracy, of freedom? Some say blame the Americans, but even if they're to blame, don't we, Iraqis, ultimately own Iraq? America didn't take over forever, they're leaving, will fully leave next year if we so choose. So who is responsible for Iraq, in the end? We are. And we are not doing a very good job. We can't even get our government to work. Elections were back in March and we still don't have a functioning government.

As anyone in the Middle East knows, bureaucracy is the real king, and not having a government in place doesn't let the king do his job. Nothing is getting done, no power, water problems, no jobs, our education system is still in the 1980's. America threw money at us and the greedy and corrupt among us just took it, put it in their bank accounts in Switzerland. Are these the Iraqis we want leading us into the future? Where are the good Iraqi leaders? Are there any left? So many decent, intelligent people fled with the war and violence. Who is left who can lead us to victory?

So another boring day in Iraq, awaiting change. They tell me I have a voice, but I can't do anything with it. Some say it will take a generation, if not two to get Iraq rebuilt, modernized. I think they're probably right.
But that doesn't mean I want to wait for it.


Outlaw Mike said...

Eastern Liberty, where was that photo in your header taken? It definitely does not look like a Middle Eastern park - the vegetation looks verrry European.

Outlaw Mike said...

Eastern Liberty, are you Christian? Hey, if Iraq gets too hot for you, come to Belgium. We could use people like you. Check out the website of the Assyrian community in Mechelen, central Belgium.

Tom the Redhunter said...

Eastern Liberty, I wish you and your country well.

Our own revolution and eventual liberation from Britain only came after 7-8 years of war and it left us economically devastated. 80 years later we fought a terrible Civil War. But in the end it worked out.

It can work out for you, too. We have given you a republic, now it is up to you to keep it.

Freedom said...

Hey Outlaw Mike...

Yes, we are Christians & thanks for your offer & link. for weather this year is the hottest as ever in Iraq & whole world as I watched in T.V.
I like that photo yes, though isn't from here
hopefully we have same one in Iraq someday-:D

Freedom said...

Hey Redhunter...

Redhunter, as you said it is up to us but, most good people, intelligent men were gone outside Iraq. And our neighbors countries have an impact & get involved in our government working & terrorism from other side, It seems like Iraq is a cake & everyone wants the biggest bite from this cake!

I think it needs many generations to have a better normal life just like others in the world.