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05/09/2003 Archived Entry: "Raed is back"

Raed is back online. Raed is the Baghdad blogger who offered a window into the reality of Iraqi experience as the bombs were falling. He is posting again and is still -- to my mind -- one of the best sources on the impact of the war. I quote one of his recent blogs at length.

"Let me tell you one thing first. War sucks big time. Don’t let yourself ever be talked into having one waged in the name of your freedom. Somehow when the bombs start dropping or you hear the sound of machine guns at the end of your street you don’t think about your “imminent liberation” anymore.

But I am sounding now like the Taxi drivers I have fights with whenever I get into one.

Besides asking for outrageous fares (you can’t blame them gas prices have gone up 10 times, if you can get it) but they start grumbling and mumbling and at a point they would say something like “well it wasn’t like the mess it is now when we had saddam”. This is usually my cue for going into rage-mode. We Iraqis seem to have very short memories, or we simply block the bad times out. I ask them how long it took for us to get the electricity back again after he last war? 2 years until things got to what they are now, after 2 months of war. I ask them how was the water? Bad. Gas for car? None existent. Work? Lots of sitting in street tea shops. And how did everything get back? Hussain Kamel used to literally beat and whip people to do the impossible task of rebuilding. Then the question that would shut them up, so, dear Mr. Taxi driver would you like to have your saddam back? Aren’t we just really glad that we can now at least have hope for a new Iraq? Or are we Iraqis just a bunch of impatient fools who do nothing better than grumble and whine? Patience, you have waited for 35 years for days like these so get to working instead of whining. End of conversation.

The truth is, if it weren’t for intervention this would never have happened. When we were watching the Saddam statue being pulled down, one of my aunts was saying that she never thought she would see this day during her lifetime.


War. No matter what the outcome is. These things leave a trail of destruction behind them. There were days when the Red Crescent was begging for volunteers to help in taking the bodies of dead people off the city street and bury them properly. The hospital grounds have been turned to burial grounds when the electricity went out and there was no way the bodies can be kept until someone comes and identifies.

I confess to the sin of being an escapist. When reality hurts I block it out, unless it comes right up to me and knocks me cold. My mother, after going out once after Baghdad was taken by the US Army, decided she is not going out again, not until I promise it looks kind of normal and OK. So I guess the Ostrich maneuver runs in the family.

Things are looking kind of OK, these days. Life has a way of moving on. Your senses are numbed, things stop shocking you. If there is one thing you should believe in, it is that life will find a way to push on, humans are adaptable, that is the only way to explain how such a foolish species has kept itself on this planet without wiping itself out. Humans are very adaptable, physically and emotionally."

From libertarianism, the Libertarian Alliance is offering a new slate of free online publications, as follows:

--Joe Peacott, Jim Baker, and Others, Contemporary Individualist Anarchism: the Broadsides of the Boston Anarchist Drinking Brigade,
--Nigel Meek, Economic Freedom, Civil Freedom, and Material Prosperity: An International Correlational Study pdf format
--Antony Flew, The Third Way: Where To, and Between Which?
--Joe Peacott, Healthcare Without Government
--Joe Peacott, An Overview of Individualist Anarchist Thought
--David Marsland, Real Welfare: Self-Reliance or State Dependency?
--Nigel meek, The Nature Of Christian Democracy: A Review and Critique of Maurice Glasman's Unnecessary Suffering: Managing Market Utopia
--Dennis O'Keeffe, Admiration or Envy: The American Dilemma
--Scott Lomax, Trial and Error: The Case of Barry George
--Charles Earl, The Framing of Michael Stone for the Chillenden Murders: How Prison Confessions Have Become the Antidote to PACE
--Dr Robert M. H. Lefever, From Disillusion to Delight

Best to all,

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