Via a friend on facebook, I see that our old friend, the Iraqi anti-war blogger Riverbend, has broken her long silence. In the early days of the Iraq war, she provided a literate and articulate inside view of the horrendous destruction our country had wreaked upon hers, and her updates were eagerly awaited by those of us who knew the Iraq war was a world-historical mistake and were desperate for news of how the Iraqi people would respond. Her chronicles of the descent into brutal sectarian violence, and the disappearance of the urbane, multicultural society in which she had lived, were must reading.
She eventually fled into Syrian exile, and now has been forced to flee Syria as well.
A taste of her most recent post:
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.
We are learning that those amenities we took for granted before 2003, you know- the luxuries – electricity, clean water from faucets, walkable streets, safe schools – those are for deserving populations. Those are for people who don’t allow occupiers into their country.