Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Everyone seems to be blogging about war & Iraq at the moment. There should be a way of linking computers up (as they do for UFO spotting etc) so that this message can somehow be spread more widely and powerfully than it is now. I follow the situation in Iraq very closely, not least because my brother is there and I care about him and his colleagues. The idea of being stuck in a compound for a few months at a time, not able to go anywhere except under heavy escort must seem pretty demoralising for journalists. When Peter first started going to Iraq several years ago it was a completely different story able to visit some of the most ancient sites in the world and stroll freely around the market stalls etc. Even when he was imbedded in Baghdad watching cruise missiles fly past the hotel he had more freedom.

But freedom is a word missing now from Iraq's vocabulary. The promises of freedom by Bush & Blair have evaporated and Iraqi citizens have become prisoners in their own country, afraid to go out as the risk of kidnapping and suicide bombers grows in its ascendency. The only freedom that now exists is one that breeds anarchy, a distrust for the invader, the government, and one's neighbour. Saddam Hussein no longer holds any power over Iraq, but he must go back to his cell each night with a big smile on his face, knowing that what he started, the combined forces of Britain and America have managed to exacerbate - a country now divided, fueled by religious hatred and mistrust of those who claimed to offer peace.

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