Featured Blog, I: Three Years
Baghdad Burning on Baghdad Burning
Baghdad Burning/ March 18, 2006
It has been three years since the beginning of the war that marked the end of Iraq’s independence. Three years of occupation and bloodshed.
Spring should be about renewal and rebirth. For Iraqis, spring has been about reliving painful memories and preparing for future disasters. In many ways, this year is like 2003 prior to the war when we were stocking up on fuel, water, food and first aid supplies and medications. We're doing it again this year but now we don't discuss what we're stocking up for. Bombs and B-52's are so much easier to face than other possibilities.
I don’t think anyone imagined three years ago that things could be quite this bad today. The last few weeks have been ridden with tension. I’m so tired of it all- we’re all tired.
Three years and the electricity is worse than ever. The security situation has gone from bad to worse. The country feels like it’s on the brink of chaos once more- but a pre-planned, pre-fabricated chaos being led by religious militias and zealots.
School, college and work have been on again, off again affairs. It seems for every two days of work/school, there are five days of sitting at home waiting for the situation to improve. Right now college and school are on hold because the “arba3eeniya” or the “40th Day” is coming up- more black and green flags, mobs of men in black and latmiyas. We were told the children should try going back to school next Wednesday. I say “try” because prior to the much-awaited parliamentary meeting a couple of days ago, schools were out. After the Samarra mosque bombing, schools were out. The children have been at home this year more than they’ve been in school.
I’m especially worried about the Arba3eeniya this year. I’m worried we’ll see more of what happened to the Askari mosque in Samarra. Most Iraqis seem to agree that the whole thing was set up by those who had most to gain by driving Iraqis apart. Read the rest at Baghdad Burning...
Featured Blog, II: St. Patrick's Death
Kim du Toit, The Other Side/March 20, 2006
I have a dislike for St. Patrick’s Day like I have for all artificially-created excuses to drink (cf. New Year’s Eve, etc). Also, I’m not Irish—not a drop of Irish blood in either branch of the family—so I have no reason to celebrate the day. (Son&Heir has some Irish blood through his mother, courtesy of some dodgy goings-on during the Scottish Plantations Of 1680-90, but so far he hasn’t shown any signs of mental retardation.)
Yeah, I don’t have a lot of time for the Irish, but I have even less time for their poxy “holiday”, which purports to give the Irish a chance to act like idiots and get drunk, in no specific order—not that they need any encouragement to do either. Worse still, it seems as though just about every American claims, on St. Patrick’s Day, to be part-Irish. Myself, I would have thought that was something to keep quiet about, like your syphilis at Thanksgiving dinner, but one has to make allowances, I suppose.
Anyway, I have a small story to tell about this St. Patrick’s Day nonsense. I, as an immigrant to this country, was totally unaware of the fact that SPD apparently gives everyone an excuse to act like an idiot and/or get drunk, and I also didn’t know that it was obligatory to wear green on SPD. I don’t wear green very often—other than as part of camo—and I certainly don’t have any sputum-colored ties of the kind so often seen on SPD in America.
Well, on my first SPD here, some twerp at the office came up and punched me hard on the arm for, it appears, not wearing a green item of clothing.
So I smashed him in the face, nearly breaking his nose. Read the rest at The Other Side...