There is no more eloquent voice from inside the insanity of Iraq than the woman known as Riverbend . Her humanity is so powerful and her voice so beautiful that she regularly moves me nearly to tears. Trying to imagine the horror of living under the ongoing U.S. rape of Iraq is difficult from the U.S. where we have no idea what it is like to suffer aerial bombardment from supposedly “brave, manly” soldiers, where the arbitrary brutality of scared young men carrying heavy arms and (too many of them) on a crusade against Islam leads to acts that the word ‘degradation’ is far too soft for. Riverbend mostly seems to stay safely in her home and neighborhood, suffering the endless blackouts

and intermittent electricity and social breakdown with some wit and depth of humanity that I find astonishing every time I read her. Over the past two years her hopes for some improvement have been squeezed into narrower and narrower channels, to the point where just getting the U.S. out of the country is now the last best hope for her and all Iraqis who dream of some kind of normal life. Of course she’s clear about the perfidy of all the collaborators in the so-called ‘interim’ government, and she views the clerics who are jockeying for a post-U.S. invasion theocratic state with alarm. In other words, this is a person who seems like she could be your pal across the street, but instead she is stuck in her house with her family in a society that is on the receiving end of the Bush Doctrine: punish the weak to make the U.S. look strong… of course it has the opposite result outside of the House of Mirrors known as the U.S. media.
Riverbend is an ongoing testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming odds. For all the lefties and liberals who are wringing their hands and fearing the worst, get over it! Read Riverbend and get some perspective, and then roll up your sleeves and stay engaged.

1 comment to Riverbend

  • Bernard

    Hey Chris…great that you have a blog, but do you think any liberals are reading it? and if they did they would roll up their sleeves and run to the courthouse (as they are). NOW the Lefties, ah that’s a different story…they will run to their nearest cafe and order a double!
    I just talked to a Frenchie who thinks that we (lefties) must all be drowning in drink here . . . am I just too cynical to care?
    No, I think being at Inkworks and seeing the jobs come in affords me a privileged view of the amount of work and effort that people (I guess they are lefties) are putting into, not bashing Bush, but creating a viable community of oppostion in all sorts of areas. One only hopes that it achieves more clarity along the way. See you at one or more of your readings!
    “the next round is on me” – Bernard

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