All the Shock and Awe,Weapons of Must Destruction?....regards from Rumsfeld and Co.- by the way :
"It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could be six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
- Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, 2/7/03
I nstantly, his eyes dimmed, as if to tell me the country I saw was not the one he knew. I have seen the same look on the faces of many other Iraqi exiles. Their Iraq was a different place: not peaceful, exactly, but a world away from the shattered place I spent time in.Their Iraq was Basra before the first Gulf War, when it was full of cafes and canals, still known as “the dark land” because of its thick canopy of date palms. It was Baghdad when people still strolled down Abu Nawass Street on Friday nights and sat out watching the sunset drinking beer and eating mazgouf.
I came to feel an intense nostalgia, while I was there, for the Iraq I never saw. I became friends with a number of older Iraqis, who told me long wonderful stories about what Baghdad was like in their youth. Their living rooms were full of art and antiques; they drank Scotch, discussed novels, listened to friends recite poetry and play the Oudh. Sect meant nothing to them; the spoke proudly about how their parents had scorned religion. They showed me yellowed photographs from the 1950s of their parents and aunts and uncles in Western-style suits, the women unveiled, or proudly posing at graduate degree ceremonies