"In a very straighforward descriptive style, (Ambassador) Khalilzad writes that Iraqis must hide the fact that they work for the US or face ostracism or worse. Women are being treated only slightly better than if they were living under the Taliban in 1999 --- and they are being asked to wear clothing that Khalilzad admits was not even required by the most repressive Iranian Ayatollahs. They are losing their driving privileges and are considered suspicious if they use a cell phone --- they might be calling a lover, you see. (This is your fundamentalist religion working to "free" women from the burden of being full citizens.)* tristero:
People are being gouged for electricity, to which they barely have access anyway (in 115 degree heat!) They face kidnappings and violence every day of their lives. Sectarian divisions are showing up in all their social interactions, even among families. They must adopt separate customs, dress and manner of speaking to travel freely through various neighborhoods in Baghdad or risk violence. They cannot trust the security forces, who seem to be getting more hostile to the population, especially those who work for the US. Their anxiety is palpable as they feel their lives are hurling out of control.
Did I mention that the people he is talking about in this cable are all employees of the US embassy in Baghdad? That's right. These are the highly privileged, educated elite who work inside the Green Zone. Imagine what it's like out in the hinterlands.
The country has obviously already spiraled into a state of civil war. It's not surprising that it's taken on this character of secret informants, ethnic cleansing, paranoia and neighborhood militias because the whole society was shaped by an authoritarian police state. But civil war it is, and from the sound of this cable, it's happening on a far more fundamental level than we knew. The whole society is breaking down from inside out."
" But relegating a person like Gore to permanent outsider status in national electoral politics is a waste of a precious natural resource that this country simply can't afford, even in the best of times. And these are not the best of times."* jeralyn:
"John Walker Lindh was a trophy to the Ashcroft Justice Department. Hopefully, his sentence will be revisited once the Bush Administration is gone."that just about sums up the egadministration. the hope that somehow, at some time in the future, we might be able to undo some of their crimes.