“This is the last place on earth where you can find people who just love George Bush”, I am told by the Director of a local humanitarian organization stationed in Kalar, the town we settle in tonight. The sentiment echoes what I have been hearing from others in northern Iraq, Kurdish-country, the past few days.
“I was utterly hopeless before. Now I have hope”, Mohammed states, a bright, engaging man who lives here and shares a dinner with me.
“Yes, its true Bush invaded Iraq, and may have done so for oil or other reasons that were not right, but now we can live a life, and before we could not.” Bush as a beacon of hope. It is a hard pill for me to swallow, yet here it is, clear and true.
The younger Iraqi students we meet with today, 13-15 year olds, uniformly say how much they value freedom, and a good life. “Here people throw garbage in the street, children are not in school and need to get back in. In America, this does not happen, and people can do what they want”. We suggest they discuss this with their American counterparts when they go on-line this week. “You may be surprised by what you learn,” I say. They stare back with a look of skepticism in their eyes...