Friday, August 26, 2005


I am right now reading an article by Phillip Robertson (a great correspondent) on I love Robertson's articles because they always give a complex and interesting picture of culture in Iraq. This particular article is about a certain literary street where men used to gather to discuss literature and dissident ideas. Now the whole makeup of the area has changed and ideas are not discussed, foreigners are not welcome. This is due to the threat of terrorism and attacks by religious fundamentalists. It is interesting to note that people no longer feel as safe as they did even under Saddam.
And before anyone yells at me, I am not saying that Hussein was somehow not so bad - but the country of Iraq is complex just as this country is - just as any society is. I also want more people to realize that even with some 'steps in the right direction', this is a culture and a people that are being forced to change and their lives are profoundly affected in ways that will likely not be repaired in one lifetime, if ever. I think some Americans do not understand this. The positives that some look to for justification are certain numbers and small anecdotes of something being built or someone being captured. But the picture is much wider than that and I recommend Robertson's articles, even older ones that he wrote earlier in the war, to get a better idea of Iraqi culture and life and the ways it is changing.