Lately I’ve been really missing the days just after the war there was such a feeling of optimism. Anything was possible. Just wait a couple of months. Every development, every change in the political scene, in the movement of troops, in the type of soft drinks available on the market was for some stupid reason exciting. New shops opened and we went shopping in them. New restaurants opened and we went to watch the foreign journalists and contractors go eat in them. Change was good and exciting.
I used to explain away cracks in the fabric of things as structures settling onto new ground. Not to be resisted but taken as things that needed to happen. Ketchup bursts of emotion that will wash away when we sit down and start thinking about our future.

When things were going down the john I would say just wait until the [choose pointless “landmark” event] are over and see how things improved. I really believed that. I believed in the elections’ ability to improve things, I believed in both the national assemblies and I believed until recently that the writing of the constitution will be our salvation.

Now I’m just tired. I do not believe that the ratification of the constitution put up for referendum is going to improve things one little bit. And I am not holding my breath for the elections in December to do much good either.

I’m having a bad day, OK? So excuse the drama.

I’m not too happy about going out on the street with a camera. The novelty and excitement are wearing off after 2 years and all that is left is the worrying, it used to be easy to hide behind the excitement of doing it but now I am only anxious. The amount of bad news is just too overwhelming and there is just no end to it. From kidnappings of relatives to people getting killed by the thousands.

A relative of my mother has been kidnapped yesterday and whoever has him is demanding $50,000 ransom!!!! The guy is a vet for fuck’s sake I would be amazed if he makes $5,000 a year.
The three men who went kidnapped him called his family and told them he is being kidnapped as a punishment for his support of the Badr Militia, other than being Shia he has no link to the Badr Militia. They called a couple of hours later asking for the ransom. Were they a bit embarrassed to ask for the money the first time and where do they get these numbers from?

A son of a minister has been kidnapped almost two weeks ago. The kidnappers were in a police convoy wearing uniforms and after they kidnapped the young man they rushed away using the method used by Iraqi police forces driving down the road in Baghdad these days. Warning shots in the air and sirens. No one is going to stand in their way and they get clear passage from the traffic police on the street!
When the kidnappers called they claimed they were some Islamist group or other demanded $600,000 and a statement from the minister on television BUT she should not mention the $600,000.

I feel like everybody who is not in the kidnapping business is being farmed for those who do the kidnapping.

It just goes on and on.

Deaths and kidnappings. These have become the stories of everyday life. A constant level of stress because nothing is straight forward anymore and every time you see a scrunched face you think ‘god, who is it this time?’

There are some of you, Iraqis and foreigners, who will be tempted to lecture me on how all this is because of the occupier.
Hold your horses.

Yes the presence of the occupying forces is ONE of the reasons why things have been so bad but it does not explain all. By only blaming the US & Co. you are letting of the Iraqis too lightly. We have as much blood on our hands as the occupiers do. We have failed Iraq in so many ways, look at us squabble amongst ourselves, look at us steal and destroy.

So the US forces leave tomorrow, do you truly believe we will all become group-hugging lovelies the next day? The last year, even the last couple of months have revealed rifts so deep we don’t even know where to start how to bridge them.

Yes the US administration has messed things up badly and they have not shown enough respect but you can’t exactly say we were very benevolent to this country or respectful of each other.

Get of your high horses and smell the shit on the ground. The only suggestion you have is that the occupying forces leave but what about the internal issues? How do you respond to the spread of extremism? How do you deal with open sectarianism? How are we to deal with all this anger at each other?

———————————————————————————-

Fire on Babylon
Oh yes a change has come
Look what she did to her son
Look what she did to her son

Fire On Babylon – Sinead O’Connor

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