Tuesday, 3 March 2009

This can't be true, can it?

The man had only a few yards to walk, from where he had been dropped off, to his hotel in Bagdad. Even so, after a few weeks in Iraq, he walked warily, cautiously on the look-out for an ever present threat and keeping a prudent watch for suspect vehicles. In actual fact, he considered that in present day Bagdad all vehicles, whether occupied or not, had to be regarded as potential threats.

As he walked he reflected on the differences between the Bagdad of ten years previously and the present. No longer were the streets thronged with vibrantly dressed individuals, chatting in groups or window-shopping. Instead these same streets were now drab, devoid of colour and almost deserted. The few people on the street scurried along obviously in a hurry to reach the comparative safety of their homes.

A blinding flash later the man found himself collapsed against a wall - with no clear comprehension of what had happened. With an overwhelming sense of unreality he looked around at a scene of incredible devastation.

An immense lethargy was spreading thoughout his body but, in the absence of any obvious wounds or fractures, he could not work out why this should be the case. When he put his hand on the ground in an effort to ease himself up he touched something warm.

To his absolute horror, he found that he was looking at a child's hand with a tiny copper bracelet round the wrist and nothing beyond that. In a curiously detached fashion he noticed the tiny bitten finger-nails and, pathetically, a tiny remnant of a blood-red nail polish. He wanted to look away but kept on staring in morbid fascination. He did not realise that he was crying until the tears stained and soaked his shirt. He was still crying when he drifted off into merciful oblivion ...

Three months later the man was able to return home. As he was eased out of a car outside his house his seven year old daughter rushed out to greet him. Being aware of his disability she reached out with her tiny hand to help him. He found himself crying again ...


  1. I've tried several times to comment brownlie; but everything I wrote down seemed trite and pointless...

  2. Aye - Iraq now enjoys the benefits of democracy. Mission accomplished.

  3. scunnert

    There is no such thing. Certainly not in Iraq and even more certainly not in this country. Electing individuals who ignore their constituent's wishes makes an absolute farce of our democracy. If MP's had taken any notice of their constituents this illegal invasion would not have taken place.

    If we really had a democracy the war crimes tribunal would be extremely busy.

  4. subrosa,

    Not only can it be true but it has been repeated in thousands of similar instance in that poor land.

  5. It must have been a terrible experience for this man. Every day innocent little children's limbs are being blown apart, they deserve so much better.

    The complete sad and pathetic irony of brownlies post is, 10 Years ago under Saddam life was so much better as this gentleman in the article clearly points out, 10 years later in a democratic Iraq (i say sarcastically) life is so much worse.

    Word to the wise!! sometimes its better to stick with the devil you know, even if he was an obnoxious tirent.

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  7. Spooks

    The man involved would like to challenge Blair and Brown to walk the streets of Baghdad with him without any security protection to see for themselves the fear and desperation which has become a way of life for the ordinary Iraqi.

    He would like to take them round hospitals where dedicated medical staff, short of funding and equipment, are coping with horrendous injuries. He would like them to talk to victims of this "democracy" they talk about and to watch them trying to weasel their way out on being asked, as this man was, the simple question "Why?".

    Perhaps Blair could convince them that, as he claimed in his retiral speech, "Britain is the greatest nation in the world". Then again, they might not be as gullible as the British public appears to be.

    It always amazes me why one of the leading TV companies has not done a "warts and all" documentary on Iraq. I would suggest if they showed that at prime time before an election the great British public would reject the architects of this outrage.

  8. Brownlie, the TV companies rely on government as a client. I doubt if there was one company brave enough to make a documentary such as you suggest because the plug would be speedily pulled on them.

    May a small company could manage it but who would screen it?

  9. time for some subscription based journalism, it's all the rage in the USA.

    Whereby online people contribute to jounalists and they pursue relevant stories. Also a lot of intel comes from userbase and online community

  10. Very touching post Brownlie.

    The misery that Bush and Blair caused is immeasurable. Both of them profess to be Christians, and once again I recall Ghandi's words... "Why are you Christians so very unlike your Christ?"

    If they are Christians, and if there is an after life, they will surely pay.