Riverbend to leave Iraq


After much discussion Riverbend's family is joining the ranks of refugees fleeing Iraq:

"Since last summer, we had been discussing it more and more. It was only a matter of time before what began as a suggestion- a last case scenario- soon took on solidity and developed into a plan. For the last couple of months, it has only been a matter of logistics. Plane or car? Jordan or Syria? Will we all leave together as a family? Or will it be only my brother and I at first?

After Jordan or Syria- where then? Obviously, either of those countries is going to be a transit to something else. They are both overflowing with Iraqi refugees, and every single Iraqi living in either country is complaining of the fact that work is difficult to come by, and getting a residency is even more difficult. There is also the little problem of being turned back at the border. Thousands of Iraqis aren't being let into Syria or Jordan- and there are no definite criteria for entry, the decision is based on the whim of the border patrol guard checking your passport.

An airplane isn't necessarily safer, as the trip to Baghdad International Airport is in itself risky and travelers are just as likely to be refused permission to enter the country (Syria and Jordan) if they arrive by airplane. And if you're wondering why Syria or Jordan, because they are the only two countries that will let Iraqis in without a visa. Following up visa issues with the few functioning embassies or consulates in Baghdad is next to impossible.

So we've been busy. Busy trying to decide what part of our lives to leave behind. Which memories are dispensable? We, like many Iraqis, are not the classic refugees- the ones with only the clothes on their backs and no choice. We are choosing to leave because the other option is simply a continuation of what has been one long nightmare- stay and wait and try to survive.

On the one hand, I know that leaving the country and starting a new life somewhere else- as yet unknown- is such a huge thing that it should dwarf every trivial concern. The funny thing is that it’s the trivial that seems to occupy our lives. We discuss whether to take photo albums or leave them behind. Can I bring along a stuffed animal I've had since the age of four? Is there room for E.'s guitar? What clothes do we take? Summer clothes? The winter clothes too? What about my books? What about the CDs, the baby pictures?

The problem is that we don't even know if we'll ever see this stuff again. We don't know if whatever we leave, including the house, will be available when and if we come back. There are moments when the injustice of having to leave your country, simply because an imbecile got it into his head to invade it, is overwhelming. It is unfair that in order to survive and live normally, we have to leave our home and what remains of family and friends… And to what?

It's difficult to decide which is more frightening- car bombs and militias, or having to leave everything you know and love, to some unspecified place for a future where nothing is certain."

"The Lasting Legacy of the

"The Lasting Legacy of the Liemaster"

In my 10 years in  office I have successfuly screwed up the NHS, Education, Security etc etc .......the list goes on. But my biggest achievement must be Iraq. Me and my buddy Bushy have made the lives of those Iraqies shear bloody hell. They thought they had it hard with that Saddam guy but we've shown them what hell is really like.

But you can't blame me!!!! 

I'm just a stupid deluded politician. It's all those people that advise me are to blame. Take that Scarlett fellow, he said that they had WMD. Well he did after I promised him the top job and a knighthood. And the Attorny General said it was alright to go to war so it wasn't me. As for the cash for honours! Well I'm just disgusted that Lord Levy would do that and I told the police so when we had our little chat.

Anyway I don't give a toss really 'cos I've got a pretty good pension lined up .... those silly tossers who lost theirs well its not my fault and they can't expect the government to bail them out cos Gordo said he needs all the cash to pay for the Iran invasion. Oh! sod I shouldn't have let that slip Bushy will be furious he wanted to keep it a secret. It's not me that lets things out (keep it to yourself but it's usually them chaps at the Home Office)

I had rather hoped that the people of britain would get rid of the queen and put me in her place.

Just imagine King Tony and Queen Cherie!

"Me and my buddy Bushy have

"Me and my buddy Bushy have made the lives of those Iraqies shear bloody hell. They thought they had it hard with that Saddam guy but we've shown them what hell is really like".

Four years ago, Sami Ramadani, who was brought up in Baghdad, wrote the following words:

'One of the popular sayings I repeatedly heard in Baghdad, describing the relations between the US and Saddam's regime, is "Rah el sani', ija el ussta" - "gone is the apprentice, in comes the master'.

That really sums up the whole invasion, in one pithy, disillusioned sentence. It is well worth reading the whole article, now that nearly four more years have gone by:   http://www.ccmep.org/2003_articles/Iraq/092703_patriots_and_invaders.htm