– fordi tiden kræver et MODSPIL

21. Jun 2006

Hilsen fra det 'befriede' Bagdad

Salam Pax skrev for et stykke tid siden om sine problemer med at finde villige interviewofre til et TV-program om livet i Bagdad:
I started off wanting to ask do life and death take on a different meaning when we live with them everyday? Or does fear of death stay the same, even when it is a constant presence?

But I quickly realized that fear of death isn’t what has been turning my stomach into a tight knot whenever I go near one of the so-called hot zones in Baghdad. It is the life we live that fills me with fear.

I have newly found out that I should avoid getting out of Baghdad through a certain road to the south because the Iraqi Army battalion situated there really hates my family name. People driving through that route towards the city of Hilla have been arrested just because they have that name.

The reasons people are killed for are absurd to the point of being funny. On the top of my list is wearing shorts. Teenagers in my neighbourhood have been killed for that unforgettable crime and probably it is the reason why two sportsmen who play for the Iraqi Tennis team and their trainer have been murdered...
Men Salam Pax er jo også bare en sølle iraker, der bor i Bagdad - hvad ved han om, hvad der foregår i byen?

Så er det jo godt, at den amerikanske ambassade i Irak har beskrevet situationen for dens lokale ansatte i en rapport til det amerikanske udenrigsministerium, som Washington Post har været så heldige at få fingrene i:
Hours before President Bush left on a surprise trip last Monday to the Green Zone in Baghdad for an upbeat assessment of the situation there, the U.S. Embassy in Iraq painted a starkly different portrait of increasing danger and hardship faced by its Iraqi employees. This cable, marked "sensitive" and obtained by The Washington Post, outlines in spare prose the daily-worsening conditions for those who live outside the heavily guarded international zone: harassment, threats and the employees' constant fears that their neighbors will discover they work for the U.S. government.
Du kan læse hele rapporten her (PDF).

Rapporten er også tilgængelig i klartekst, og skal man tro de amerikanske myndigheder i Irak, står det altså ikke godt til - vi bringer et par uddrag:
Staff members have reported that it is now dangerous for men to wear shorts in public; they no longer allow their children to play outside tn shorts. People who wear jeans in public have come under attack from what staff members describe as Wahabis and Sadrists.
In April, employees began reporting a change in demeanor of guards at the green zone checkpoints. They seemed to be more militia-like, in some cases seemingly taunting. One employee asked us to explore getting her press credentials because guards had held her embassy badge up and proclaimed loudly to nearby passers-by 'Embassy' as she entered. Such information is a death sentence if overheard by the wrong people.
We cannot call employees in on weekends or holidays without blowing their "cover. Likewise, they have been unavailable during multiple security closures imposed by the government since February. A Sunni Arab female employee tells us that family pressures and the inability to share details of her employment is very tough; she told her family she was in Jordan when we sent her on training to the U.S. in February. Mounting criticisms of the U.S. at home among family members also makes her life difficult. She told us in mid­June that most of her family believes the U.S. ­- which is widely perceived as fully controlling the country and tolerating the malaise ­- is punishing populations as Saddam did (but with Sunnis and very poor Shiite now at the bottom of the list). Otherwise, she says, the allocation of power and security would not be so arbitrary.
Virkeligheden synes at være, at USA har mindre og mindre kontrol over situationen, for hver dag, der går, og et brev som dette er blandt de dag for dag tydeligere sprækker i den officielle historie - sprækker, som nok så mange præsidentielle photo-ops hverken kan gøre fra eller til ved.

Vi har skrevet om det tidligere, men bliver desværre mindet om det igen og igen: Tingene er gået virkelig, uhjælpeligt og grusomt galt i Irak, og det er svært at det noget håb på denne side af en betingelsesløs amerikansk tilbagetrækning.

Måtte den komme snart.