This month marks the 5th anniversary of the War on Iraq and incidentally it is also our 7th anniversary as a couple. I remember back in 2003 telling Fatima that it would only be 6 months and then we would re-evaluate the situation and make decisions accordingly. I remember insisting on not living in the IZ because I said that if we were there to serve the Iraqi people we have to live among them. Sadly...instead of still living in my house and being proud to be working for Iraq I am now a resident of the Rasheed Hotel and only travel out with armed guards. People talk about the situation improving but I want to mention a few things aside from the media pronouncements. In reality there is a growing problem that is not being addressed. It was evident during the recent visit of President Ahmedinajad and how he was received and the way he announced his visit weeks in advance and toured Baghdad in stark comparison to how VP Cheney and any other US official comes. When Ahmedinajad was here Baghdad was eerily quiet while when VP Cheney was here bombs and mortars were going off. It was also evident when the Iraqi delegation was the only delegation that refused to stand with its Arab neighbors in condemning Iran for occupying the three Emirate Islands. It is evident in our trade relations with Iran as compared to every other country including the US.
I ask myself the question sometime, was it worth it for the United States? The blood and treasure spilled and spent and yet instead of Iraq standing with the US on basic policies it has turned to Iran on every aspect of governance and economy. This is a more fundamental issue than when and should US troops leave Iraq. The answer should be that now that the US has done all of this what does the US want to accomplish and is it working towards that goal or simply calming the situation to placate an anxious and angry US population during an election year. Unfortunately, the one player who has gained the most at the expense of the US and Iraq is Iran, yet interestingly enough either people here fail to see it or fail to do anything about it.