I just added a new link to my blogroll. It's to Baghdad Burning. Probably most denizens of the blogosphere already know about this incredible site. It's on just about every blogroll of every site that I visit and with good reason.
My God, can this young woman write. She makes me want to weep for what the Iraqis are going through right now. I couldn't imagine waking up to the sounds of explosions, gunfire, and peoples' cries on an almost daily basis.
Her writing is so vivid, even something as simple as describing the way that she can tell how the occupation is going in Basr by which vegetables are available at her neighborhood vegetable stand. It reminds me that when I first moved to the Washington, DC area people told me that I would be able to tell whenever the U.S. was going to mobilize troops to send them to a war because the Pentagon parking lot would be filled late at night. And the pizza delivery people always know when there's a crisis because they're delivering those late night pizzas while the military burns the midnight oil and plots their war strategies.
What was chilling, to me, was that Riverbend confirmed my gut feeling about the so called free elections in Iraq. It's not just the Sunni who have reason to fear. As I wrote, back in February, right after the elections, the religious factions are in the ascendancy. Iraq was once a secular Arab country. Now, the women are all veiled. Before our invasion, the women wore western-style clothing and had their hair styled in salons. They held jobs, went to universities, and were articulate and engaged in the politics and affairs of their country. And they expressed fears that if Hussein was deposed, the Islamic fundamentalists would drive them back into their homes and back into wearing veils.
Yes, Saddam Hussein was a tyrant. I know that; but what's coming up next is not much better, at least for women and Sunnis.
This is something the mainstream press doesn't report. To listen to our corrupt reporters, the election was a milestone. Even those who opposed our going to Iraq, like Paul Krugman, spoke in hushed and humbled tones about the election. Krugman isn't corrupt, but I think he felt chastened. After all, how do you wish for an election to fail? How do you just dismiss the signs of democracy or begrudge people a vote?
The wingnuts out there were already accusing progressives of doing just that and being mean spirited, elitist and anti-democracy. And so liberals were afraid to give the right wing more ammunition. So they bowed their heads and kept their mouths shut and ignored the obvious.
The women are in veils. The Sunnis are being silenced. And now, there is proof.