Impressions from Iraq: ‘It was Kind of Scary’
USC’s Daily Trojan profiles Sharif Ossayran, an Iraqi expatriate who went back to his home country and then returned to report on its condition. He did not like what he saw, and has switched from supporting Bush to supporting Kerry because he believes Kerry will bring in the United Nations.
Among the quotes: ‘ “The war itself was great, but the post-war was a disaster. They had no planning for after the war. Whatever planning they had was just Mickey Mouse planning . . . After seven months there is still no electricity . . . The electricity will come on maybe three or fours hours a day. That’s it.” He described the streets of Baghdad as plagued by traffic, sewer water, and masses of people waiting in line for everything from gas to money. In addition, Ossayran disapproved of the “iron fist” policy adopted by the U.S. Army which states that military person[nel] are required to shoot anyone acting suspiciously or anyone not following orders. “I can tell you that this iron fist policy has backfired.” Ossayran said that this policy has “created a kind of friction between the citizens and the American army” because the Americans ignored the people’s traditions and customs. While in Iraq, he did not feel safe because of the constant bombings, shootings and inspections. “It was kind of scary,” he said. “I did not feel safe at all.” Despite the numerous problems, Ossayran said he saw positive improvements in food supply and American consumer goods and the availability of health care and education. ‘