I've been writing to my friend Pat who has been stationed in Iraq for almost two months now. He's somewhere south of Baghdad near a city called An Nasiriyah. Anyways I thought I would share a bit from his recent letter as watching the news or reading the paper is no where near as revealing as some of the things he mentions casually.
30 June 2003
"The poverty here is startling. But then again perhaps by third world standards it's not as bad as it appears. The people don't look as though they are starving, albeit malnourished, but not starving. I guess in the end an education and cable tv didn't adequately prepare me and perhaps a lot of Americans are sheltered despite our own arrogance to the contrary....."
"The first thing you notice is the people. When you cross the border they line up along the road waving or begging for food. We're prohibited from throwing food to them from our trucks, too many children have run out into the street only to be crushed by military vehicles. Some of these children look no older than three or four......"
"The people in the cities are less friendly than those in the countryside. There is a large Iranian influence here. People were quick to tear down pictures of Saddam and replace them with pictures of the Ayatola. People in the south are mistrustful of the US. Many feel as though they were abandoned by the US after the Gulf War and were slaughtered by the Sunni dominated government. Years of war and rebellion have left whole blocks of An Nasiriyah in rubble...."Posted by nuala at July 16, 2003 03:58 PM