No progress for middle class Iraq

October 9, 2006 | By | 2 Replies More

The NYT reports today on the violence that permeates middle class Iraq:

Three and a half years after the American invasion, the relentless violence that has disfigured much of Iraqi society is hitting young Iraqis in new ways. Young people from five Baghdad neighborhoods say that their lives have shrunk to the size of their bedrooms and that their dreams have been packed away and largely forgotten. Life is lived in moments. It is no longer possible to make plans.

“I can’t go outside, I can’t go to college,” said Noor, sitting in the kitchen waiting for tea to boil. “If I’m killed, it doesn’t even matter because I’m dead right now.”

I’d like to believe that when I don’t hear anything close to the ground in Bagdad, that things are going reasonably well there.   But I can’t believe this.  Whenever I read a credible-sounding report by someone who actually mingles with Iraqis in Bagdad, I hear about sectarian violence puncuated by large explosions.  This has been the case ever since the occupation.  Therefore our default position needs to be that no news is bad news.  Bad things are happening whereever the sun doesn’t shine.

We need to stop allowing our government to make policy on the assumption that no news is good news.  Whenever the government is failing to give us a stream of credible and candid primary source information, we should assume the worse.  


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Category: Iraq, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    James Baker — who was Secretary of State under Bush Sr. and who was in the hot seat over that Administration's decision to NOT overthrow Saddam during the first Gulf war — said yesterday, on one of the Sunday morning news shows, that for years after that decision was made critics would plague him with questions about why Bush Sr. didn't overthrow Saddam when he had the chance. Baker said that the only good thing that has come out of Bush Jr.'s invasion of Iraq is that those critics no longer plague him with those questions, and the reason why the questions have stopped is not because Bush Jr.'s invasion has absolved the previous Bush Administration of its decision, but because even the warmongering critics now recognize that maybe Bush Sr.'s decision to leave Saddam in power was perhaps not such a bad decision after all.

    I wonder what conversations are like around the Bush family dinner table: does George Jr. boast about winning re-election (something that eluded his father), even if it was achieved by his disastrous decision to invade Iraq, or does George Sr. quietly enjoy his peace of mind and a much better historical legacy by his decision to not invade Iraq? Seems to me George Jr. has merely repeated the same mistake he has made all his life: trying to outdo his father, but merely proving himself to be a second-rate idiot.

  2. Erika Price says:

    “If I’m killed, it doesn’t even matter because I’m dead right now.”

    I find that statement especially telling, and frightening as well. We already have sufficient proof that radical, fundamentalist ideas breed in dystopia and desperation. When even Iraq's better-educated middle class feels that life has no hope and no purpose, we know that we have achieved a new level of terrorist production. For every few depressed, reclusive citizens the war creates, a US-hating potential terrorist likewise unsurfaces.

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