Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Iraq: Two Voices"

IraqPundit has just published a good post about two Iraqi women with very different views on the occupation.

Guess who this is: "You lost," the blogger tells America. "You lost the day your tanks rolled into Baghdad to the cheers of your imported, American-trained monkeys. You lost every single family whose home your soldiers violated. You lost every sane, red-blooded Iraqi when the Abu Ghraib pictures came out and verified your atrocities behind prison walls as well as the ones we see in our streets. You lost when you brought murderers, looters, gangsters and militia heads to power and hailed them as Iraq’s first democratic government. You lost when a gruesome execution was dubbed your biggest accomplishment. You lost the respect and reputation you once had. You lost more than 3000 troops. That is what you lost America. I hope the oil, at least, made it worthwhile."

Now, one could pause to footnote many of these assertions. Were all the people cheering the fall of Saddam really "imported, American-trained monkeys"? Who dubbed Saddam's botched execution as being America's "biggest accomplishment"? Weren't Iraq's current rulers elected by Iraqis? But we're not here to argue. Rather, let's bring on our contrasting voice.

It belongs to Jabria Jassim, an Iraqi-American who teaches in the Chicago area. Prof. Jassim recently spent time with family members in her native Baghdad, and has since written a description of what she saw and heard there. (I should note that I found Prof. Jassim's piece because it was recommended by none other than Juan Cole.)

"My heart aches," writes Prof. Jassim, "for all of the military and families who have become caught up in this fire of hate on behalf of my people. I know the media here [in the US] is doing a great job reflecting the hate of the insurgents and the terrorists toward the American troops. What they don’t show is the reality of millions of Iraqis praying to God to protect the soldiers who are fighting for their freedoms from the clutches of these ruthless criminals and murderers.

"Believe me," she continues, "I was there when people in my neighborhood were happily spreading the good news and congratulating each other when America troops kicked off doors in the Haifa neighborhood, one of the safe-havens for terrorists. The operation lasted a whole day. I, myself, wanted to hug the soldiers and convey to them the gratitude of the Iraqis; but it was impossible to even leave the house that day."

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