Iraqis: Well, I suppose violent sectarian chaos is a kind of freedom.
Amidst all the heartbreak, disappointment and anarachy in Iraq, there is a refreshing trend emerging in the American media- asking actual Iraqis what they
think, rather than listening to the blithering head-in-the-sand platitudes of the Bush Administration
In that vein, here's a great story in The Washington Post
. It talks to quite a few 'ordinary' (if living in a war zone can be considered ordinary) citizens of Baghdad. Said Internet Cafe owner Bashar Muhammed:
"It is true that we got freedom after the war, but uncontrolled freedom -- chaos and violence."
And Newspaper Editor Fakhri Fikry Kareem:
"I am not pessimistic...But I'm upset, because the war and the occupation, which could have led to a new situation in Iraq, were squandered by the stupid mistakes committed by the American administration and military and the U.S. representatives in Iraq."
The story reveals the rock-and-a-hard-place mentality of many Iraqis, who are grateful to be rid of Saddam Hussein, but dismayed at the chaos that has consumed their country. And deeply uncertain about their future. The NYT is reporting that Iraqis are now able to buy the world's first "off the shelf" Terrorism insurance policy.
Of course, the papers are also full of stories of American soldiers and officials busily shooting themselves in the foot and/or committing war crimes. First, the US Navy has announced an investigation into the death of 15 civilians last November in Haditha was an accident or an act of vengeance by US Marines
. Iraqi police near the city of Balad are reporting that Marines 'executed' 11 civilians
last week. And back in the States, it looks like three years of lies might be finally catching up with Bush.
All of which begs the question: when 'democracy' looks this bad, where do you turn for alternatives?