Iraqi Bloggers Roundup

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Seeing Eye to Eye with Faiza

Faiza's latest post begins with a description of her daily life. An end to the oppressive heat is in sight. The ride to work is (understandably) filled with fear and loathing. Business with state officials reveals the corruption and dishonest practices that Westerners have come to expect from government (I guess she's never heard the $500 hammer theory). Just when the doom and gloom of the current situation pervades her post, we see a ray of light peeking through the clouds:

"I can perfectly understand the attitude of the American Government…. They have waged war on Iraq, they have vouched to rebuild Iraq in a new style… so, it is to their advantage, and to keep face, they would say everything is all right in Iraq…and moving according to schedule. Because admitting defeat would destroy the government's future, and that of the Ruling Party…Well, all we care about as Iraqis is for the coming administration to be more honest and transparent in dealing with the Iraqi file…we want no excuses for the catastrophes that happened, but we want a successful and tangible work plan, that would rebuild our life again…this is better than apologies. If I have done some wrong to a person, or a group, the best thing would be to help them get over their pains, which I was partly responsible for. That is how I understand things, according to my view and experience in life. To help those whom I have, intentionally or non-intentionally, shared in destroying their lives. To lead them to a better future…to help them build their new life…
This is what Iraqis want from America and its new government….good deeds on the ground of reality…deeds that would make Iraqis happy, and prove the honesty and seriousness of America towards us….I do not wish for four new coming years of pain, unsuccessful experiments, unclear visions, and going astray…..
The American people will be the one to help us, they will be in test, and not only the government's credibility…. The whole nation there is subjected to the test…. A test of truthfulness in keeping promises, a test of the humanitarian vision towards other nations….The test of Civilization, and the ability of Cultural Communication with others….without violence, without boasting or bragging, nor lying to oneself.
I hope America will succeed in the test here, for it will give her a good, clean reputation, and will give us a lot of hope in the presence of an honest, understanding partner, who intends to help us..........Days will be between us........"
[emphasis mine]

I couldn't agree more. This is indeed a test of America's intentions in the Middle East and a chance to show the world that we do more than merely tolerate alien cultures; we embrace them. I see further signs of enlightenment and hope in this statement:

"I only want to understand the true face of America…is she with us, or against us… I want frankness…nothing but frankness, for that is the first key to know the other, and his true intentions. The military operations of the war ended in a short time….But that who deserves respect and clapping, is the one who can make peace and stability, reducing the disasters of the after-war period, disasters like gangs, thieves, robberies, and official corruption…This is the true test of the American ability here….If she succeeds, she deserves to be the Paramount Nation who deserves respect… And if she doesn't….then she is the nation who deserves pity….more than Iraqis. For her bereavement is a lot bigger than theirs."

I can only speculate as to what has brought about this new sense of hope and a desire to understand the intents of the American government. Perhaps her involvement in the Iraqi Business Women Society has been the positive influence on her new perspective. Perhaps the uncontested truce with Al-Sadr and the withdrawal of American forces from Najaf have demonstrated the willingness of our government to compromise and seek peaceful resolutions. The cause for this shift in attitude is not as important as the apparent result and I hope this is only the initial sign of evolution from helpless victim to empowered citizen... "Inshallah" as the Iraqis might say, or "God willing and the creek don't rise" as my Appalachian relatives would say.