Thursday, October 30, 2003

Iraqi Public Opinion

The Sand storm only lasted for a few hours. It went away and it started to rain. It has been cold all day. It reminds me alot of like spring time back home. The cool breeze just feels like fall back home. I keep thinking about seeing leaves on the ground. So, now I kind of feel kinda feel alittle more like it's home. It is amusing to watch Iraqis bundle up in winter jackets and shiver when it's probably 60 degrees at night. They come up and ask me "Aren't you cold"? I just laugh and say no i'm not. However, that is a lie, since being used to the hot weather it feels cold, but i know back home 60 degrees would be cause for celebration and a visit to the beach.

Some people look at Iraqis as camel riders and sheep herders. The truth is, they are very civilized. The city of Baghdad is just like any big city I've been to in the states. However, there is the occasional bombed out buildings you pass by. Everyone has cars, and there are shops open all along busy streets with people trying to sell goods. Talking to alot of the people, they seem much like us americans. The only difference is, they have a more conservative culture. They aren't as open as we Americans are. With all the ridiculous haircuts and cloths some people wear back in the United States. I think those who are not happy with the occupation thought when the Americans came that everything would become much better. Though much has improved since then, these people are really impatient, they are always worried about what is going to happen tomorrow, rather than further in the future. One well educated Iraqi I talk to often that lives by, he used to live in the UK for a few years and speaks perfect english, expect for an occasional word or 2 that you have to explain the meaning of it. He owns a computer gaming cafe in Al Mansur district which is one of the better neighborhoods, mostly doctors and engineers. He seems pessimistic about the whole thing at first. He thought the Americans were doing a noble thing, but he had doubt that the Iraqi people have the patience for this. A few months ago though, he said the Iraqi attitude was starting to change and that while riding with strangers in Taxi's, he told me alot of the people are getting optimistic now and looking forward to the future. Some Iraqis do blame the coalition for the bombings. I can't really blame them, after all, the CPA is responsible for returning order. Some would say that is unfair. However, if everything started to go chaotic in the states and the police were unable to stop or contain it, I know Americans would be blaming the government and the police for it.