“Iraq will be an oasis of democracy”, this was the American promise to the world.
I remember these few weeks before the invasion, I was living in Baghdad. People were optimistic; they were desperate to see the moment of being free from Saddam and his regime. They had a dream of living in a democratic free country.
Be able to speak and travel, able to live a respectable life, to have a dish satellite at home, and to be able to see what’s is going on in the world were the simple hopes of most of the Iraqis.
My opinion of the situation at that”glorious” time was different, I was worried about my country and its future, I was thinking about the “civil war”;
Will it happen?? Will my people kill each other? These questions were haunting me. I tried to argue with my friends and relatives who used to say;” never mind, Iraqis will never kill each other, we will have the democracy, we will live in peace and comfort”.
The last week of the war was very hard for me; I was doing my voluntary work in the causality unit of AL-Yarmook hospital. I had never had such hard experience before, hundreds of corpses and a lot of injured people, some of them were civilians.
I heard some of the victims’ relatives shouting “is this the democracy?!!” I remember one family which was completely destroyed by the Americans”sorry it was a mistake”. The head of the family who was and elderly man used to live in AL-Amil region in Baghdad, his two sons Ahmed and Ali were killed, his daughter Israa was injured so as his little son Hussein.
He was sitting near the main entrance of the hospital calling his sons by names, however no response was received. When we asked his relatives how it happened, they told us that it was a small “stray” American rocket fell on the roof of the house “by mistake”.
Within a couple of days, Baghdad was invaded, the “Great leader” ran away leaving his statue and his followers, I have to admit it; silent tears were running down my face at that moment.
During the next few weeks there was a complete chaos, looting, mugging, and a new type of crimes for the Iraqi society: rape. “Where are our liberators??” ”why don’t they stop this chaos??” people used to ask these questions, actually the only strategic point which was protected by the American troops was the ministry of oil!!
Any way, people were optimistic; all the Iraqis who had to live for a long time outside the country were able to see their families again. Everybody was talking about Iraq and how united we are, and nothing can destroy our unity. I became optimistic also; I had that dream of reconstructing my country. The feeling of joy and happiness peaked when we saw the “rat” being captured in his hole. ”The criminal will be punished”.
Gradually, the things were going from bad to worse, long queues in front of each petrol station, the of feeling of insecurity while walking along the street, mugging and unsolved crimes.
Day by day, everything was getting more complicated; The American started facing real problems which were out of their expectations; the insurgents which some people used to call them “The Iraqi resistance”, the horror came back again.
Academic people and professionals were persecuted, they had to flee in order to save their lives, and many of those who didn’t run away were killed. Car bombs and suicidal attacks in any crowded place became common. Iraqi oil export was badly affected.
People’s expectations turned into desperation, and their believes in the “American paradise” started to vanish.
Nowadays, three and half years after the “liberation”, Iraqi people are living in a turmoil, more than half a million of my people have been killed, thousands of Iraqi families left their houses under threat, two million Iraqis have left the country to live somewhere else since 2003, Iraqi universities are going to be closed because of the lack of the staff and the loss of security .Militias are controlling the streets and the sectarian mentality is ruling our life. Hundreds of people are being kidnapped to be tortured and killed; everyday tens of corpses are thrown into the streets.
These are the “American achievements” in this short period of time.
They have liberated nobody, but destroyed everything; the” oasis of democracy” turned out to be “bloody swamp”.
Unfortunately, instead of being the beacon of democracy, my country has become the beacon of horror