Friday, July 14, 2006

Baghdad Burning

Baghdad Burning: "Tuesday, July 11, 2006


It promises to be a long summer. We're almost at the mid-way point, but it feels like the days are just crawling by. It's a combination of the heat, the flies, the hours upon hours of no electricity and the corpses which keep appearing everywhere.

The day before yesterday was catastrophic. The day began with news of the killings in Jihad Quarter. According to people who live there, black-clad militiamen drove in mid-morning and opened fire on people in the streets and even in houses. They began pulling people off the street and checking their ID cards to see if they had Sunni names or Shia names and then the Sunnis were driven away and killed. Some were executed right there in the area. The media is playing it down and claiming 37 dead but the people in the area say the number is nearer 60."

This is a very moving blog posting. I have never experienced war, although I served in the US military. I was born during the Korean War, in an Asian country, where the populace made vases out of left over mortar shells, and my sister found the body of a downed US pilot. But, I know nothing of those things. I was too young. My knowledge of a conflict like this comes from a friend, a new US citizen, originally from Bosnia. Her stories of the war and genocide are innumberable and tragic, a picture of hatred and man's inhumanity to man. I found it interesting that in the former Yugolavia, as in Iraq, people can identify each other's ethnic origin by their names. I did not grow up learning that, although you knew some names signified a certain country of origin, it was not of great importance. Some kids were from Italy, some from Russia, some from other places, but all I knew is that their mothers made great food and were just like my Mom. However, as my friend told me, in Bosnia, if you had a Muslim name, you were a target to the Serbs. She speaks of seeing trucks go by that we full of dead bodies, covered in tarps to hide the evidence, but an arm or a leg might be sticking out. She fled at one point to the woods where they had nothing to eat, and no shelter, and of her fear. Eventually she made it to a refugee camp, pregnant, and starving. From that camp, she came to this country and became an proud US citizen and a Democrat. She believes in the values that many of our citizens have forgotten in their quest for money and greed. That all of us are created equal, that we can all suceed, and that we do not discriminate.
So, aren't these the values our President speaks so highly of? If so, why is it that we invaded a country for no reason, and subjected their people to continuous strife and hardship? Why haven't we fixed the electricity? Why do we allow this sectarian violence to continue? We stopped the genocide in Bosnia, but in Iraq we ignore the violence of one group upon another. This will bring democracy? I don't think so.
Why can't we all learn to celebrate our differences? Well, I believe corporate greed and oil have a lot to do with that. Such a sad state of affairs. May Allah bless Riverbend and her family, and some day grant them peace. The sooner the better.

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