Sophia's Peace Work

Monday, December 18, 2006

Have I become the Occupier?

I was sitting here feeling a bit sorry for myself because I have been having trouble working with our Baghdad staff. They seem resistant to working with me sometimes, unwilling to share information and they often just ignore my emails. They are friendly ... that is when they take my phone calls, but reluctant to tell me anything. Poor me, I've been thinking. They are being so silly. I'm only trying to help but they must see me as some kind of threat. How ridiculous.

As I was sitting there, it occurred to me that I'm not the only American who probably feels this way. I'm sure there are some U.S. troops (those who aren't of the "kill 'em all" persuasion), some officers, and some U.S. State Department/USAID types, who feel the same. They came to help. Why do the Iraqis view them as a threat? Perhaps they feel the same hurt feelings I do.

Of course, I didn't come to Iraq with a gun like they did, but in the end, what really is the difference? We both came into the country without asking. My God, I thought, have I become the occupier? Not just some pushy American woman ... but an occupier?

And if so, is the Baghdad staffs' passive-agressive attitude towards me not just simple pig-headedness but actually a form of resistance?

Food for thought.


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