These Green Zone residents have one primary job, provide proof that Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) was right when he claimed from the Senate floor "Mr. President, Your leading us off a cliff."
I don't want to minimize the violence, but I do want to tell you that the news reports on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC and FOX are terribly misleading. They are horribly wrong. If you believe what you see and hear each night, you will be forced to agree with Senator Biden.
And that would be tragic.
You see, a short four hour drive from the violence in Bagdad will take you into Iraqi Kurdistan, where there is virtually no violence, where Americans are the heroes and welcome as visitors and as investors and even as crusaders hoping to actually change a country even more for the better.
In Iraqi Kurdistan, building is booming. Children (both boys and girls) are in school. The markets are bustling and free of violence. And, while life there today is good, there is promise it will get better.
Not that there isn't a lot of work to do. Enter Simone Allmen, a feminist activist, film maker, photographer and student of humanity.
Let me emphasize Simone is no friend of the Bush administration and no supporter of the invasion and occupation.
So, it's important that you read her blog, look at her pictures and see her video (some of which is posted on her MySpace website).
By many accounts, Iraqi Kurdistan is the one of the most liberal and liberated countries in the Middle East. Women have many rights and privileges. But even in Iraqi Kurdistan, they suffer under the burden of centuries of customs, religions and war.
The most important thing about Simone's work, is that she is able to o it at all. Her presence in Iraqi Kurdistan is a victory in the war on terror all by itself.
Here is a little of what Simone has to say. I have edited the format of her writing slightly, but never altered a word. The emphasis is mine. You simply must read her blog to get the real flavor of her efforts in Kurdistan.
|as a gift to me, i was told that i would be going to|
the gravesites of where the anfal victims are buried.
i got a little huffy saying i came here for women's
rights. had a moment with my host and we got
8000 people. nothing like stepping onto land knowing
that this is what is underneath your feet. all the
families praying, crying, singing.
i of course shot beautiful painful footage. i played
hide and seek with 2 gorgeous little girls and then
was given cookies.
i cry at the simplicity and the pain.
again, i recognize that i am graced. blessed. and
the sky is big. the mountains are massive. the
villages are small but many. there are shocks of
color everywhere. i saw so many mountain dogs today.
they look like lions.
things here have changed. life is moving forward.
america is loved and my picture is in many cell
i am not ready to leave. i am not sure if i am ready
to commit. i was asked to give my opinion about the
conference. there were looks that said, well, you'll
come back and help build the shelter, won't you?
i knew this right? i mean i didn't come here thinking
i have been awake for hours needing to sleep. my body
the trip from kurdistan back to los angeles was one of
Brilliant and beautiful. Simone in Iraq.
SAVE THIS PAGE TO del.icio.us