Friday, January 18, 2008

Baghdad Burning, by Riverbend

Subtitle: Girl Blog from Iraq
ISBN: 155861489-3

It's wrenching to read. I've sometime tried to imagine what it would be like to live through a war, and I've shied away from it. I feel strong empathy for her and her family, and I feel ashamed at the actions that my country has taken in Iraq. The book publishes the first year of her blog, and covers capturing Sadam, the first suppression in Falloojeh, and the Abu Ghraib torture abuse photo scandal. Her view of the early Iraq government is telling - sarcastic, the 'Puppets', and dismissive of these exiles and outsiders who don't have much invested in Iraq, except an opportunity to grab power.

Try to imagine living in a city, which reaches 100+ degrees every day in the summer, with electricity on for 2 hours, off for 4. Water available only some of the time, and pressure so low that it only comes out the lower outside faucet. Riverbend is unusually articulate for a computer programmer. I think she's still going at riverbendblog, but the last post in 2007 has her leaving Iraq with her family. Who's left?

Recommended, but not for too much longer. The situation it portrayed in 2003-2004 is drifting from the current reality.
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