Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Encounters of the Military Kind - 1

I challenge any Iraqi (or anyone who embarrassedly/proudly calls themselves thus) to deny the few or many drops of tears that trickled on watching the destruction of our homeland. Politicians are welcome to interrupt and tell me Saddam had already destroyed the country before then, so I must correct myself with – on watching the further destruction of our homeland.

Whichever way I look at it, America and Iraq have a dysfunctional (almost abusive) relationship. The one that ends with the man angrily storming out while the beaten and bruised woman still clings onto his leg as he walks out.

It sticks with me as very appropriate.

I speak for myself when I say throughout the years of war, my opinions of the soldiers parading around has differed greatly. It has switched between respect, hatred, embarrassment, disgust, playfulness, anger.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The First Time:

I was so excited and thrilled. It had been perhaps 3 or 4 months after the ‘toppling of the regime’. On driving across the border, we got stopped and searched. My dad was casually chatting with the soldiers that were supposed to be questioning us. From behind the safety of luggage and my parents, I peeked at the 7 or 8 soldiers. One smiled. I ducked.

That night, I mentioned how Americans were good looking. I based that judgement entirely on the hair and eye color. That day had been the first time I’d ever seen Americans. I had not spoken one syllable to any of them. I think it’s safe to say my mind was still of a child.