You want the truth about Iraq?

Why not ask an Iraqi blogger?

Riverbend documents daily life in Baghdad, and as you can see from this recent excerpt, things are going swimmingly:

For me, June marked the first month I don’t dare leave the house without a hijab, or headscarf. I don’t wear a hijab usually, but it’s no longer possible to drive around Baghdad without one. It’s just not a good idea. (Take note that when I say ‘drive’ I actually mean ‘sit in the back seat of the car’- I haven’t driven for the longest time.) Going around bare-headed in a car or in the street also puts the family members with you in danger. You risk hearing something you don’t want to hear and then the father or the brother or cousin or uncle can’t just sit by and let it happen. I haven’t driven for the longest time. If you’re a female, you risk being attacked.

Now hold on just a second. Won't some uninformed conservatives just shrug that off as "the way things are in Muslim countries?" Well, once again, they would be wrong:

I look at my older clothes- the jeans and t-shirts and colorful skirts- and it’s like I’m studying a wardrobe from another country, another lifetime. There was a time, a couple of years ago, when you could more or less wear what you wanted if you weren’t going to a public place. If you were going to a friends or relatives house, you could wear trousers and a shirt, or jeans, something you wouldn’t ordinarily wear. We don’t do that anymore because there’s always that risk of getting stopped in the car and checked by one militia or another.

What have we done? What can we do now? I really don't know, but one thing we can stop doing is ignoring reality. Thankfully, Riverbend is there to hammer that reality home in real time.

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