21 June 2006

How things really are in Iraq

George W. Bush keeps telling us about how we've liberated the Iraqi people, given them the right to vote, set up a free democracy, and made their lives so much better.

Heck, he's an eyewitness. He was there just last week, right smack in the heart of the Green Zone. So, yep, he knows.

And then there's reality.

3+ years ago we did our "Shock and Awe" thing and bombed Iraq to bits. But so far we've done no significant rebuilding. Apparently that would be too much work, even for Halliburton.

But, of course, we reserve all rights to the rebuilding efforts. Bush-crony-owned companies only. No local workers need apply. The Iraqis shouldn't expect actual employment in addition to the privilege of living in the "liberated" Iraq of George W. Bush.

And unemployment isn't the only problem, nor is the daily violence.

In this Bushian wonderland, Iraqis still don't have reliable electric power. Imagine living in the desert with temperatures well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit each day with only an hour or two of electricity. Room air conditioning takes a back seat when you're trying to keep your family's food from spoiling.

And then there's the small matter of Iraq's rapid transformation from Saddam's secular government into an Islamic theocracy.

Iraqi women are having a particularly hard time. Modern professional Iraqi women are now facing repression that they've never experienced before -- pressure to wear the veil and otherwise conform to conservative Islamic rules. Kinda like the American religious right's efforts to put women in their place here in this country. Coincidence?

A leaked memo to the Washington Post from the Iraqi embassy outlines the grim details. [Read more.]

Nice "liberation", George.

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