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On this page I have pointed out the Baghdad blog Baghdad Burning/Riverbend written by a young Iraqi woman who apparently lives right in Baghdad. She is very forthright, and to my mind a contrast to her neighbour Salam Pax.

The representation of the war we receive in the mainstream media is very sanitised. We generally do not see pictures of Iraqi civilian casualties. We see pictures of injured US troops who are represented as the real victims of ‘evildoers’, ‘thugs’, ‘terrorists’ or whatever meaningless phrase is current for people who do not want foreign troops terrorising their country.

In the past couple of weeks this blogger has given us stories of arrests and imprisonment without evidence or due process by the US forces. She is telling us about the broken families and mutilated bodies of civilians.

All people who think the war was right and that the occupation is benevolent should check in on this weblog for a reality check.

In a meditation about the impact of one year of occupation on Iraqi people and on the war on terror generally Riverbend tells us:

And where are we now? Well, our governmental facilities have been burned to the ground by a combination of ‘liberators’ and ‘Free Iraqi Fighters’; 50% of the working population is jobless and hungry; summer is looming close and our electrical situation is a joke; the streets are dirty and overflowing with sewage; our jails are fuller than ever with thousands of innocent people; we’ve seen more explosions, tanks, fighter planes and troops in the last year than almost a decade of war with Iran brought; our homes are being raided and our cars are stopped in the streets for inspections… journalists are being killed ‘accidentally’ and the seeds of a civil war are being sown by those who find it most useful; the hospitals overflow with patients but are short on just about everything else- medical supplies, medicine and doctors; and all the while, the oil is flowing.

But we’ve learned a lot. We’ve learned that terrorism isn’t actually the act of creating terror. It isn’t the act of killing innocent people and frightening others… no, you see, that’s called a ‘liberation’. It doesn’t matter what you burn or who you kill — if you wear khaki, ride a tank or Apache or fighter plane and drop missiles and bombs, then you’re not a terrorist, you’re a liberator.

The war on terror is a fraud … Madrid was proof of that last week … Iraq is proof of that every day.

I hope someone feels safer, because we certainly don’t.

I certainly don’t feel safer. Come to think about it, I didn’t feel threatened until the US went to war on our behalf.

Now because of my nationality and my country of residence, I am a target. Worse than that, my kids are targets too. All in the name of corporate interests and the SUV.

Click here for Baghdad Burning/Riverbend.

April 10, 2004

By chris page

Magazine editor, writer of fiction and non-fiction; exile; cat person; red wine for blood and cheese in his soul. Chris Page is the author of the novels Weed, Sanctioned, Another Perfect Day in ****ing Paradise, King of the Undies World, and The Underpants Tree. He is also a freelance journalist, copywriter, editor, cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer, and consultant in the use and abuse of false moustaches (don’t wear them — you’re welcome — the invoice is in the mail).

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