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More conversations…but it is war time

Its more than a week since war began. And unlike Iraqis, the life of most Americans goes on almost untouched by miseries of the war. Except for the families of the troops that are stationed in the Middle East, the daily lives of most people here have hardly been disrupted. In fact from here it almost seems like a war between two totally unrelated countries. CNN got an interesting event to cover, protesters got a chance to protest…for the war, against the war…and the good Samaritans started making collections for “our boys out there”. And yes there was a fresh topic to discuss at the lunch break.

There have been some interesting conversations I have had with some of my colleagues here….most of which seem like statements culled out of watching too much CNN.

Some people actually believe that the war is being fought for altruistic reasons. I talked to a lady about the then impending war against Iraq, she said that she was against the war …As she put it “Why should our boys go there and fight to make someone else’s life happy? The Iraqis should learn to take care of themselves”. Till then I didn’t believe that it was possible not to mention Iraq, America and OIL in the same breath.

Some view it as completing unfinished business….Saddam should have been “finished off” in 1991. Its 12 years late now…. but better late than never. And of course most of them believe that Saddam was responsible for the 9/11 blasts. When it was pointed out that America had actually helped Iraq during the initial phases of Saddam’s “career”, the response was “I don’t believe that maaaan.,…I heard something like that too but of course the government could not be that stupid…what could they have been thinking of”
Touching , I tell you this faith in the American government.

Just one person admitted that oil “could” be one of the reasons that the war is being fought but then “We have got to have oil right….I mean oil is almost as important as food…and after all that’s been the way of the world…might is always right”

Some want to find those weapons of mass destructions fast. It took a Canadian research scientist to explain to this American guy that Iraq with all the sanctions and difficulty could hardly make any major WMD’s . So it’s going to take some time to discover what is not there in the first place. …Because you see if there is nothing the Americans will have to plant something there wouldn’t they?

I don’t support the war. I think the America’s “We can do it but you can’t” attitude is pathetic and I am disgusted at the total one-sided description of the war by the American media. And I am amazed at how the media can manipulate the thoughts of the American citizens and essentially brainwash them into believing that Osama=Saddam =evil=must be killed.

But on the other hand I did have a colleague here who was an Iraqi citizen. He was an Armenian by birth and was brought up in Iraq, did his medical school there and later was stuck there unable to get out of the country. He told me the tale of how he managed to escape from Iraq in the middle of the night along with his two sisters. He had to pay 1000 $ per person to reach Jordan where he worked for 2 years for an American visa. He said that on account of his last name, which was a prominent non-Iraqi name, he was routinely harassed by “Saddam’s people”. His house was searched constantly, he could not go out of the country, there was really no Internet access and even the e-mail sites were government controlled. When I asked him “Is Saddam really that cruel?”, this was his response “ If that man can turn off the air that you are breathing, he would do it”.

Hoping for peace.

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