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Riverbend returns
April 11, 2013 5:25 PM   Subscribe

Baghdad Burning, a blog written by an Iraqi woman during the course of the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath, has had its first update since 2007.
We learned that you can be floating on a sea of oil, but your people can be destitute. Your city can be an open sewer; your women and children can be eating out of trash dumps and begging for money in foreign lands.

We learned that justice does not prevail in this day and age. Innocent people are persecuted and executed daily. Some of them in courts, some of them in streets, and some of them in the private torture chambers.

We are learning that corruption is the way to go. You want a passport issued? Pay someone. You want a document ratified? Pay someone. You want someone dead? Pay someone.

We learned that it’s not that difficult to make billions disappear.
posted by the duck by the oboe (39 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite

 
What I remember most about reading that blog was her writing about the total inability to keep basic infrastructure like power and water running and the rage she felt about what was going on around her. She wrote with a lot of raw, justified anger and it looks like she still feels it, and she should.

Going without power for a few days during Sandy drove me absolutely nuts, I can't imagine my rage if I lived like that for months and years amidst a civil war because a bunch of brutally stupid, reckless, and self-righteous idiots decided to start an unnecessary war without even doing proper planning.

All I can hope is that all of us who know what a mistake it was make damn sure it never happens again, and that we really think about swinging our military dick around even in cases where it looks like it might be justified on humanitarian grounds.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:39 PM on April 11, 2013 [11 favorites]


Look what we did.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:42 PM on April 11, 2013 [30 favorites]


I'll just go ahead and take a stab at this one:

Finally, after all is said and done, we shouldn't forget what this was about - making America safer... And are you safer Americans?

Nope, less safe. And along the way we've taken major steps to turn our own society into the kind of society we were supposedly fighting against.
posted by flug at 5:46 PM on April 11, 2013 [30 favorites]


The first line of the previous entry in 2007 is mighty ironic and sad:
Syria is a beautiful country- at least I think it is. I say “I think” because while I perceive it to be beautiful, I sometimes wonder if I mistake safety, security and normalcy for ‘beauty’. In so many ways, Damascus is like Baghdad before the war- bustling streets, occasional traffic jams, markets seemingly always full of shoppers…
posted by beagle at 5:47 PM on April 11, 2013 [9 favorites]


And along the way we've taken major steps to turn our own society into the kind of society we were supposedly fighting against.

That's what they TOLD you. What THEY have been working toward is exactly what we're getting, and I suspect that the testcase of Iraq doesn't look all that unsuccessful.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:56 PM on April 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I loved that blog back in the day, and the one from Salam Pax too.
posted by salishsea at 6:13 PM on April 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


Reality is heartbreaking.
posted by mule98J at 6:22 PM on April 11, 2013


I'm not complaining, it was an honest read. But I hate this world, and I really don't want to live in the future that we're becoming. I'd say Naomi Klein's right. Iraq is the template for the nation state of tomorrow. Basic necessities of human existence are now a luxury reserved purely for landless elite. FML, FTHS (eff The Human Species).
posted by LeRoienJaune at 6:28 PM on April 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


FTHS (eff The Human Species).

Dear LeRoienJaune

America + Iraq + Syria ≠ The Human Species

Love,

The Rest of the Fucking World
posted by unSane at 6:35 PM on April 11, 2013 [4 favorites]



America + Iraq + Syria ≠ The Human Species


Patience, child. Give it time: where the US goes..............
posted by lalochezia at 7:01 PM on April 11, 2013


I think you underestimate the value of an object lesson.
posted by unSane at 7:15 PM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


America + Iraq + Syria ≠ The Human Species

"That can't happen to us -- we're better than that!"
posted by Etrigan at 7:16 PM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Look what we did.

Dear Iraq

Look what you made me do.

Love,

Abusive Boyfriend Superpower
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:19 PM on April 11, 2013 [16 favorites]


"That can't happen to us -- we're better than that!"


Yes, we are.
posted by unSane at 7:20 PM on April 11, 2013


She's alive in Syria.

I have desperately cried, sobbed and shook with anger on the verge of insane rage reading her blog, sometimes waiting for months on end to catch an update, hoping, hoping, she had not been killed or imprisoned.

She's alive in Syria.

I'm holding back tears. I've got to feed my son.
posted by roboton666 at 7:31 PM on April 11, 2013 [11 favorites]


But Syria is not really all that safe. Anyone watching the news lately?
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:39 PM on April 11, 2013


She's not in Syria
I eventually moved from Syria. I moved before the heavy fighting, before it got ugly. That’s how fortunate I was. I moved to another country nearby, stayed almost a year, and then made another move to a third Arab country
So maybe she's in Saudi Arabia, which is a fairly safe country -- not one of those Uppity Muslim states that think they deserve to be living in the 21st century.
posted by fredludd at 7:47 PM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Damn I missed that!

Reading blogs while cooking dinner...
posted by roboton666 at 7:51 PM on April 11, 2013


Oh my god, she's alive. I was talking about her days ago, I just started rereading Baghdad Burning from the beginning. I'm so happy she's alive.
posted by VoxExMachina at 9:08 PM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


"That can't happen to us -- we're better than that!"

Yes, we are.


For one thing, you're not as exceptionalist.
posted by Etrigan at 9:20 PM on April 11, 2013


This is so good news. I had been religiously reading her blog from when I read about it, and then she moved to Syria and stopped. I kept hitting the link for a few years until the Syrian mess then gave up, think that she had probably escaped that as well.

She's bitter, but not half as bitter as those left behind, who will need to repair, resolve and retrieve only a fragment of what was lost. Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Iran? It's a sad and bitter chain that holds new hostilities.
posted by arzakh at 10:31 PM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


<meta> Since when was it OK to post links that are locked behind regwalls?
posted by genghis at 11:28 PM on April 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


<meta> Since when was it OK to post links that are locked behind regwalls?

Relevant MeTa from the last time someone tried an FPP from this same annoying website (which was rightfully deleted).
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 1:23 AM on April 12, 2013


Fwiw, I had no difficulty reading the FP article without having to register on several devices/browsers.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 1:37 AM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


We are learning that ignorance is the death of civilized societies and that everyone thinks their particular form of fanaticism is acceptable.

I have so many complicated feelings around this, but she is so powerful, and I'm glad she's alive.
posted by corb at 5:24 AM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


The former link doesn't seem to be behind the same wall as the latter link, genghis.
posted by mr. digits at 7:59 AM on April 12, 2013


unSane: "That can't happen to us -- we're better than that!"


Yes, we are.
All of recorded history says otherwise.

But, please, continue to bask in your short-term memories.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:19 AM on April 12, 2013


Wow, it's good to know she's alive. Thanks for posting this, the duck by the oboe.
posted by homunculus at 12:07 PM on April 12, 2013


In other "where are they now?" news:

Saddam's statue: the bitter regrets of Iraq's sledgehammer man. Kadom al-Jabouri became famous when he took his hammer to the dictator's statue. Now he wishes he had never done it

Flag that covered Saddam’s face stashed in N.H. safety deposit box: U.S. forces pulled down the statue 10 years ago today. Now one Marine doesn't want that flag used as propaganda
posted by homunculus at 12:12 PM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


All of recorded history says otherwise.

Some of recorded history says otherwise. Quite a lot of it involves people leading uneventful lives and not killing each other in vast numbers.
posted by unSane at 1:30 PM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why now, I wonder? What changed that she'd make a post now?
posted by merelyglib at 3:01 PM on April 12, 2013


Tenth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 3:14 PM on April 12, 2013


Recorded history isn't everything it's cracked up to be. I'd be surprised if 5% if us here at Mefi will matter much in the historical record. Doesn't mean I haven't got something going on.
posted by salishsea at 3:41 PM on April 12, 2013


It's just...she stopped writing so suddenly. I thought Something Had Happened to her. But I guess she just got on with her life.
posted by merelyglib at 4:28 PM on April 12, 2013


Tenth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, the George W. Bush Presidential Center is set to open on May 1, which happens to be the tenth anniversary of the Mission Accomplished speech.

Unbelievable.
posted by homunculus at 1:14 AM on April 13, 2013


It's just...she stopped writing so suddenly. I thought Something Had Happened to her. But I guess she just got on with her life.

I suspect it's less that, and more - when your living circumstances improve, but thousands of people you know are still stuck in hell - it might seem a little insensitive to post about it.
posted by corb at 6:37 AM on April 13, 2013


unSane: All of recorded history says otherwise.

Some of recorded history says otherwise. Quite a lot of it involves people leading uneventful lives and not killing each other in vast numbers.
The same can be said of most Americans, so... again, there's no real difference. America is the current Bad Guy beating up on innocent people of other nations, but in the past that position has been held by: England, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Italy, China, Japan, India, Greece, Aztec S.Am., Mayan Empire, League of 5 Nations, Hopi, Babylon, ....
posted by IAmBroom at 9:54 AM on April 15, 2013


Iraq violence: Baghdad cafe hit by deadly bomb attack. At least 27 people, including two children, have been killed and dozens more injured in a bomb attack on a cafe in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, officials have said.
posted by homunculus at 9:36 PM on April 18, 2013


The George Bush Manure Locker Is Now Open

Meanwhile, Back At The War
posted by homunculus at 2:14 PM on April 25, 2013


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