Var är Riverbend?

Någon bloggare, kan tyvärr inte komma ihåg vem av alla de jag besökt den senaste tiden, påpekade det faktum att Riverbend inte har postat på sin blogg Bagdhad Burning sedan augusti och ett besök visar att det stämmer. Inte minst med tanke på vad hon skriver om gör att man får en lätt rysning. Riverbend har för mig varit en av de fåtaliga rösterna som förmedlat vardagen från det uppslitna Bagdad. En personlig vägvisare mellan vägspärrar, dödshot, kalasjnikovs, Humvees och elavbrott och jag hoppas bara att det inte har hänt henne eller hennes närmaste något. Förhoppningsvis har hon lyckats fly till en säkrare plats. Riverbend berättar i den senaste postningen om alla de som flytt Bagdad och Irak.
I’ve said goodbye this last month to more people than I can count. Some of the ‘goodbyes’ were hurried and furtive- the sort you say at night to the neighbor who got a death threat and is leaving at the break of dawn, quietly.

Some of the ‘goodbyes’ were emotional and long-drawn, to the relatives and friends who can no longer bear to live in a country coming apart at the seams.

Many of the ‘goodbyes’ were said stoically- almost casually- with a fake smile plastered on the face and the words, “See you soon”… Only to walk out the door and want to collapse with the burden of parting with yet another loved one.

During times like these I remember a speech Bush made in 2003: One of the big achievements he claimed was the return of jubilant ‘exiled’ Iraqis to their country after the fall of Saddam. I’d like to see some numbers about the Iraqis currently outside of the country you are occupying… Not to mention internally displaced Iraqis abandoning their homes and cities.

I sometimes wonder if we’ll ever know just how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis left the country this bleak summer. I wonder how many of them will actually return. Where will they go? What will they do with themselves? Is it time to follow? Is it time to wash our hands of the country and try to find a stable life somewhere else?

Be safe, Riverbend.

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