Yet, you, Zane Grey, have no power, no running water, you get your news at the coffee shop nearby (though it's difficult to get coffee these days.). You're certainly happy that Scudder is gone, he was a son of a bitch, you always thought, but, of course never said out loud.
People are grumbling all around you. A few are saying that it's worse than when Scudder was in charge, but nobody wants him back. No one that you know anyway.
I suspect once power and water are restored, a lot of this grumbling will disappear. A lot of people were grumbling after Hurricane Andrew, too. The absence of conveniences is certainly not so great a hardship as the threat of being slain out of hand by Saddam's soldiers.
Your sister's family died in a bombing incident last year. This is nothing special. You don't know anyone who hasn't lost sombody in this thing. At the same time, you remind yourself, you don't know any family that wasn't hurt by Scudder and his goons.
You forgot to mention the terrorist attacks, perpetrated by your own people, that kill as many of you as they do the occupying force.
The few troops you've encountered were abrasive, rude, and frightening. They spoke Arabic to you, a language you can only describe as ugly (and it always sounds like they're angry even when there's no reason to be).
Why don't they learn English?
I'd rather they not stick around long enough to learn English, personally. Given the rate at which average adults learn foreign languages, especially one with no roots in common with their own, that would entail a long stay.
You just want to live your life, be a good Christian man, and raise your children properly. These troops aren't Christian, they are Muslim, and you've heard rumours that they treat us the way they treat us because we're not muslim.
Rumors fostered and spread by terrorists, no doubt. Really trustworthy guys, that lot.
This isn't the Crusades. We're not killing people because they're Muslim.
They don't look like you, they don't speak like you, they tell you what to do, and hold out the promise of freedom -- someday.
Actually they hold out the promise of a democratically elected government. After that, it's up to the people and their elected officials whether the end result is "freedom."
Say all you want about Scudder, an eerie thought erupts more and more often inside your head, especially as the regime recedes further in your memory. He was a son of a bitch.
But at least he was our son of a bitch.
Nobody likes war, and nobody expects to like it, especially when it's fought on your own soil. Luckily, war is a means, not an end; the telling factor will be whether or not the Iraquis succeed in maintaining their democracy after we've left. Certainly there will be obstacles, but they are not insurmountable, and the national pride that could be gained by attaining these goals as a people is not to be discounted.
As to "our" S.O.B. vs "their" S.O.B. - well, change is a frightening prospect sometimes, but it's got to be a relief to know that eventually, the US will leave. Sure, Saddam would eventually have died, but it's as likely as not that someone just as bad would have taken its place.
At least Iraq has the financial support of many nations, including the US, in their rebuilding efforts.