Sunday, November 09, 2008


Riverbend - A Year Later

"The opposite of war is not peace; it's creation."

People of all nations are celebrating the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America, a celebration of hope and a new dawn for America and the world.

Yet in this time of joy perhaps we should give pause to reflect upon the magnitude of the human tragedy inflicted upon the world by George W Bush and his kind. A tragedy that becomes personal when we reflect upon the fate of one blogger from Iraq, who went by the name of Riverbend.

Riverbend, the pseudonym of a young Iraqi woman, a programmer and engineer in Iraq, she gave us, through her blog, a human face to the war and occupation. She offered eyewitness accounts of the everyday realities on the ground.

Riverbend recounted stories of life in an occupied city - of friends murdered, of neighbors whose home are raided by U.S. troops, whose relatives disappear into prisons, and whose children are kidnapped by money-hungry militias.

The only Iraqi blogger writing from a woman's perspective, she also describes a once-secular city where women are now afraid to leave their homes without head covering and a male escort.

In her last post, she and her family had fled Iraq, to join the millions of refugees in exile. That was a little over a year ago (October 22, 2007).

She hasn't posted since.

Another life destroyed by the arrogance and incompetence of George W Bush. We can only offer our hopes and prayers. She will be missed and we will not forget, Riverbend will remain forever in a class of one.

... I'll meet you 'round the bend my friend, where hearts can heal and souls can mend...



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