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Wed Apr 17, 2013, 10:12 PM

Riverbend's memorable post from 2003 about her country before we invaded.

I was glad to see her new post this week. So many of us have wondered what happened to her and her family.

This post is filled with a kind of understandable bitterness about the attitude of Americans toward her country. What we did, our attitudes and propaganda were so very ignorant.

There is not a direct link, but it is about 5 posts down, and it is called The Promise and the Threat.

The Myth: Iraqis, prior to occupation, lived in little beige tents set up on the sides of little dirt roads all over Baghdad. The men and boys would ride to school on their camels, donkeys and goats. These schools were larger versions of the home units and for every 100 students, there was one turban-wearing teacher who taught the boys rudimentary math (to count the flock) and reading. Girls and women sat at home, in black burkas, making bread and taking care of 10-12 children.

The Truth: Iraqis lived in houses with running water and electricity. Thousands of them own computers. Millions own VCRs and VCDs. Iraq has sophisticated bridges, recreational centers, clubs, restaurants, shops, universities, schools, etc. Iraqis love fast cars (especially German cars) and the Tigris is full of little motor boats that are used for everything from fishing to water-skiing.

In other words- there was something there in the first place. We have hundreds of bridges. We have one of the most sophisticated network of highways in the region: you can get from Busrah, in the south, to Mosul, in the north, without once having to travel upon those little, dusty, dirt roads they show you on Fox News. We had a communications system so advanced, it took the Coalition of the Willing 3 rounds of bombing, on 3 separate nights, to damage the Maímoun Communications Tower and silence our telephones.

....Something you should know about Iraq: we have over 130,000 engineers. More than half of these engineers are structural engineers and architects. Thousands of them were trained outside of Iraq in Germany, Japan, America, Britain and other countries. Thousands of others worked with some of the foreign companies that built various bridges, buildings and highways in Iraq. The majority of them are more than proficient- some of them are brilliant.


Our ignorance of the country of Iraq allowed a shameful invasion to happen, with Americans cheering the shock and awe on TV.

I have never forgotten an article by Arundhati Roy. It told of one of our military who was unaware that we were bombing the hell out of the cradle of civilization. I am not sure how that happened in this America I thought I knew.

Private AJ, when told Iraq did not do 9/11..."Yeah, well that stuff's way over my head"

On March 21, the day after American and British troops began their illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, an "embedded" CNN correspondent interviewed an American soldier. "I wanna get in there and get my nose dirty," Private AJ said. "I wanna take revenge for 9/11."

To be fair to the correspondent, even though he was "embedded" he did sort of weakly suggest that so far there was no real evidence that linked the Iraqi government to the September 11 attacks. Private AJ stuck his teenage tongue out all the way down to the end of his chin. "Yeah, well that stuff's way over my head," he said.


There is more from Arundhati Roy.

But why should poor AJ and his fellow soldiers be burdened with these details? It does not matter any more, does it? Hundreds of thousands of men, tanks, ships, choppers, bombs, ammunition, gas masks, high-protein food, whole aircrafts ferrying toilet paper, insect repellent, vitamins and bottled mineral water, are on the move. The phenomenal logistics of Operation Iraqi Freedom make it a universe unto itself. It doesn't need to justify its existence any more. It exists. It is.

President George W Bush, commander in chief of the US army, navy, airforce and marines has issued clear instructions: "Iraq. Will. Be. Liberated." (Perhaps he means that even if Iraqi people's bodies are killed, their souls will be liberated.) American and British citizens owe it to the supreme commander to forsake thought and rally behind their troops. Their countries are at war. And what a war it is.


No one has ever had to answer for those lies that led us to that awful time in our history. Maybe it is because I am older, but it hit me so hard how much our country had changed almost without warning during that decade.

Now to top it off we continue the huge war budgets, and we are taking away benefits from our elderly and our needy to make it all happen.

I am home from the hospital a while now, doing okay. My husband is in health care rehabilitation, and we can see the effects of the cuts already made to such facilities in the name of fiscal responsibility.

It is also one of the most irresponsible things our country has ever done.

Crossposted at Daily Kos


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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply Riverbend's memorable post from 2003 about her country before we invaded. (Original post)
madfloridian Apr 2013 OP
niyad Apr 2013 #1
madfloridian Apr 2013 #2
niyad Apr 2013 #8
madfloridian Apr 2013 #13
Elijah1 Apr 2013 #3
madfloridian Apr 2013 #4
niyad Apr 2013 #6
2ndAmForComputers Apr 2013 #7
madfloridian Apr 2013 #17
madfloridian Apr 2013 #28
Luminous Animal Apr 2013 #5
madfloridian Apr 2013 #16
emsimon33 Apr 2013 #9
KoKo Apr 2013 #10
madfloridian Apr 2013 #14
Initech Apr 2013 #11
madfloridian Apr 2013 #12
laundry_queen Apr 2013 #18
madfloridian Apr 2013 #19
laundry_queen Apr 2013 #20
Mnemosyne Apr 2013 #15
madfloridian Apr 2013 #27
jdadd Apr 2013 #21
madfloridian Apr 2013 #22
madfloridian Apr 2013 #23
madfloridian Apr 2013 #24
DemocratsForProgress Apr 2013 #25
madfloridian Apr 2013 #26
Octafish Apr 2013 #29
madfloridian Apr 2013 #30

Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 10:15 PM

1. k and r--thank you for refreshing our memories

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Response to niyad (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 10:18 PM

2. She writes from the heart. It saddened me all over again to read it.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 10:34 PM

8. amoung all the horrors of what this country did to iraq, that I will never roget, is the looting of

the national museum. 7,000 years of history, while our military stood and watched it happen. oh, but they did protect the oil fields (which, after all, was the real reason we were there)

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Response to niyad (Reply #8)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 10:52 PM

13. Well, as the Rumsfeld himself said....

Stuff happens

Such arrogance.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 10:20 PM

3. Islam still isn't exactly tolerant to women

But no invading, marauding army chan change the hearts of men.

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Response to Elijah1 (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 10:22 PM

4. Well, our own country hasn't exactly been tolerant about women's reproductive rights either.

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Response to Elijah1 (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 10:31 PM

6. welcome to du--perhaps you could research the status of women in iraq under saddam--it was

better than it is now. and the war on women in this country is not being conducted by islamists, you know. same shit, different clothes.

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Response to Elijah1 (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 10:33 PM

7. Due to the invasion, Iraq ended up LESS tolerant and MORE Islamic.

But you knew that already.

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Response to 2ndAmForComputers (Reply #7)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 12:09 AM

17. Yes, that is what happened.

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Response to Elijah1 (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 08:41 AM

28. You need to read this 2013 CNN article. Women are less free there now.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/18/opinion/iraq-war-women-salbi

Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- It is 10 years after the invasion of Iraq, and images of Iraqi women from various political parties are filling the streets of Baghdad ahead of April's local elections -- a sign to casual observers that women's equality is on track in this war-ravaged country.

But although the women of Iraq have obtained some benefits on paper, the reality is that they have lost far more than they have gained since the war began in 2003.

...Constitutionally, women were able to secure the ability to pass their citizenship on to their children by non-Iraqi husbands, making Iraq one of a handful Arab countries with such a provision for their female citizens.

But on the other hand, women are no longer guaranteed equal treatment under one law in terms of marriage, divorce, inheritance and custody. That law, the Family Statutes Law, has been replaced one giving religious and tribal leaders the power to regulate family affairs in the areas they rule in accordance with their interpretation of religious laws.


The whole article is interesting.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 10:31 PM

5. Kick.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #5)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 11:18 PM

16. Thank you.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 10:35 PM

9. K&R

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 10:36 PM

10. Thanks much... Remember "Riverbend's Posts."

They were widely read here on DU in the old days of the FDR and Peace Activist Democrats.

She disappeared and we all worried she'd been bombed.

Thanks for the post.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #10)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 10:59 PM

14. Long ago days.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 10:38 PM

11. FU GWB!!!

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #12)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 12:19 AM

18. Thank you so much

A few days ago I was wondering what happened to her, and I was hoping she was ok. Sad she said it will be her last post. Sad for what happened to her and her family and her country. Glad she is still alive.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #18)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 12:25 AM

19. I hope she reconsiders and posts again.

There's a sadness to her latest post...and bitterness. I don't blame her.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #19)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 12:28 AM

20. Me either. *sigh* nt

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 11:05 PM

15. K&R nt

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Response to Mnemosyne (Reply #15)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 07:33 AM

27. Thanks.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 12:46 AM

21. Thank you so very much.....

I was a faithful reader of Riverbend, back in the early days of DU...Glad She made it...I forwarded the link to my cousins...

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Response to jdadd (Reply #21)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 12:48 AM

22. Thanks for that. She needs to be read by as many as possible.

We need to remember the horrors of our invasion.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 01:03 AM

23. An Iraqi bridge est. at 300,000 went to US company for 50 million according to Riverbend.

Last edited Thu Apr 18, 2013, 01:37 AM - Edit history (1)

As May was drawing to a close, his manager told him that someone from the CPA wanted the company to estimate the building costs of replacing the New Diyala Bridge on the South East end of Baghdad. He got his team together, they went out and assessed the damage, decided it wasnít too extensive, but it would be costly. They did the necessary tests and analyses (mumblings about soil composition and water depth, expansion joints and girders) and came up with a number they tentatively put forward- $300,000. This included new plans and designs, raw materials (quite cheap in Iraq), labor, contractors, travel expenses, etc.

Letís pretend my cousin is a dolt. Letís pretend he hasnít been working with bridges for over 17 years. Letís pretend he didnít work on replacing at least 20 of the 133 bridges damaged during the first Gulf War. Letís pretend heís wrong and the cost of rebuilding this bridge is four times the number they estimated- letís pretend it will actually cost $1,200,000. Letís just use our imagination.

A week later, the New Diyala Bridge contract was given to an American company. This particular company estimated the cost of rebuilding the bridge would be around- brace yourselves- $50,000,000 !!


http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com.au/2003_08_01_archive.html#106208201838841818#106208201838841818

From the link. Scary stuff.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 01:35 AM

24. From her latest post this April...sadness and anger.

Ahmed Chalabi, Iyad Allawi, Ibrahim Jaafari, Tarek Al Hashemi and the rest of the vultures, where are they now? Have they crawled back under their rocks in countries like the USA, the UK, etc.? Where will Maliki be in a year or two? Will he return to Iran or take the millions he made off of killing Iraqis and then seek asylum in some European country? Far away from the angry Iraqi massesÖ

What about George Bush, Condi, Wolfowitz, and Powell? Will they ever be held accountable for the devastation and the death they wrought in Iraq? Saddam was held accountable for 300,000 Iraqis... Surely someone should be held accountable for the million or so?

Finally, after all is said and done, we shouldn't forget what this was about - making America safer... And are you safer Americans? If you are, why is it that we hear more and more about attacks on your embassies and diplomats? Why is it that you are constantly warned to not go to this country or that one? Is it better now, ten years down the line? Do you feel safer, with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis out of the way (granted half of them were women and children, but children grow up, right?)?


http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com.au/2013_04_01_archive.html

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 01:47 AM

25. Thank you for this post n/t

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Response to DemocratsForProgress (Reply #25)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 02:45 AM

26. You are most welcome.

Riverbend was read regularly here back in those days. She should have been read by those who chose to invade her country.

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Response to madfloridian (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 08:48 AM

29. Odd how no one responsible for attacking a nation at peace has been called to account.



The traitors who did so -- the ones who used their powers of office to lie the United States of America into an illegal, immoral, unnecessary and disastrous invasion and war upon an innocent people who had NOTHING to do with the attacks of September 11 -- sit, walk and roll free.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #29)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 09:31 AM

30. Odd indeed, Octafish.

Just looking at those faces makes my stomach churn.

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