Thursday, November 04, 2004

Hearts and Minds

Hey, whatever you have to say about the foolishness of the Iraq War, at least they're better off than when Saddam was in power, right?

Not according to some of them.

"Bush talks about freedom and democracy but all the Americans have brought is death and destruction. Where's our electricity? Where's our oil money?" asked Abu Ghazwan, a greengrocer in southwestern Baghdad.

"Bush got rid of Saddam, the madman behind the mass graves, the wars and the huge debts. Now let him do better. Bush wants to play occupier, then let him improve security."

Struggling with daily bombings and kidnappings that have plagued the country since last year's invasion, many Iraqis were dismayed Bush had won another term, though few had hoped for much better from his Democratic challenger John Kerry.

While glad to be rid of Saddam, many Iraqis, like most Arabs, worried that another four years of Bush would bring more bloodshed to a country that has borne the brunt of his administration's doctrine of preemptive attacks.

"They call Saddam a criminal, but Bush is the biggest criminal and terrorist in the world. I only expect crimes and killings and occupation of Muslim countries from him," said Waad Mohammed Ali, a butcher in Baghdad's central Karrada area.

Gee, isn't the latest excuse that we are there for the Iraqi people?

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