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Friday, December 29, 2006


More dystopia, this time from Riverbend

After a long absence, Riverbend returns. Starting on a light note that's really deadly serious, here's one of her signs about how you know things are bad:
An 8-year war and 13-year blockade are looking like the country's 'Golden Years'.
Like Hannah Allam, Riverbend reports that the last year has brought major changes:
This last year especially has been a turning point. Nearly every Iraqi has lost so much. So much. There's no way to describe the loss we've experienced with this war and occupation. There are no words to relay the feelings that come with the knowledge that daily almost 40 corpses are found in different states of decay and mutilation. There is no compensation for the dense, black cloud of fear that hangs over the head of every Iraqi. Fear of things so out of ones hands, it borders on the ridiculous- like whether your name is 'too Sunni' or 'too Shia'. Fear of the larger things- like the Americans in the tank, the police patrolling your area in black bandanas and green banners, and the Iraqi soldiers wearing black masks at the checkpoint.
And finally, some insightful remarks which bear on the impending "milestone" of 3,000 ("official") dead Americans:
Here we come to the end of 2006 and I am sad. Not simply sad for the state of the country, but for the state of our humanity, as Iraqis. We've all lost some of the compassion and civility that I felt made us special four years ago. I take myself as an example. Nearly four years ago, I cringed every time I heard about the death of an American soldier. They were occupiers, but they were humans also and the knowledge that they were being killed in my country gave me sleepless nights. Never mind they crossed oceans to attack the country, I actually felt for them.

Had I not chronicled those feelings of agitation in this very blog, I wouldn't believe them now. Today, they simply represent numbers. 3000 Americans dead over nearly four years? Really? That's the number of dead Iraqis in less than a month. The Americans had families? Too bad. So do we. So do the corpses in the streets and the ones waiting for identification in the morgue.

Is the American soldier that died today in Anbar more important than a cousin I have who was shot last month on the night of his engagement to a woman he's wanted to marry for the last six years? I don't think so.

Just because Americans die in smaller numbers, it doesn't make them more significant, does it?
And, I'll add, in defined, countable numbers. We'll know who the "3,000th American" to die is. We'll never know who the 1,000th, or the 5,000th, or the 100,000th, or the 500,000th Iraqi to die was. But, echoing Riverbend, it doesn't make them less significant, does it?

Out now! Just like "no means no," now means now! Not in a year. Not in six months. Not after a "surge." Now!

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