Saturday, May 15, 2004

American Expectations?


I am enjoying the warm shower spray when I realize that maybe this may be the answer to the biggest problem in Iraq in May 2004. U.S. leaders and policy makers are moaning: Why don't they like us? Why are they acting ungrateful? What's wrong with the average Iraqi on the street?

I'm not talking about assassins who behead American captives for the video camera. I'm talking about the average Iraqi with access to newspapers and satellite TV. The image and expectation of the citizens of America-occupied-Iraqi may be exactly the one we feed the world daily through our media.

It's the shower with hot running water. It's the working traffic light on the corner, the timely pick-up of garbage, the food on the grocery shelves, the plumbing that flushes, the light that comes on at the flick of a switch. It's air conditioning, malls and smiling people in jeans. It's cars on smooth ribbons of paved super highways that America sells to the world. The lifestyle we take for granted: where everything works, the alarm goes off, we brew our electric perked coffee, the paper gets delivered, the school bus picks up the kids. It's that everyday routine. Life is easy and we take it for granted.

When everyday Iraqi's heard America was coming, that's what they thought they would get. The ease of a life where everything works the way it's supposed to, where logic applies, and they're in the flow.

Instead, we created chaos in a country where the normalcy was oppression, where any day, at any time, something could slip out of the routine into violence. But, when the Americans came, they may have been certain all this would be resolved. We can live in peace instead of fear, they may have said. We will have the certainties of the Americans; we will have a harmony of things that work, an abundance of goods, a routine of services just like those Americans. Instead we got more chaos and we resent it.

Cross posted at Its Certainly Time

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