From the McClatchy Baghdad Bureau blog, Inside Iraq
Yesterday I went to the bank.
Wow! I thought. So many people!
Iraqis are not “bank oriented” people, if they have any excess; they tend to keep it at home.
Previous experiences have taught us not to trust banks; they have been known to hold on to your money when you need it in a jiffy!
But looking at the numbers inside that bank, I thought, “I have been out of touch; bad girl.”
I go in, only to find people pushing and shoving one another; fighting, shouting and cursing each other. “This is not normal,” I said to myself.
I try to reach the employee with whom I have business, but my efforts are to no avail. One human current pushes me this way and another pulls me that. A proper riot!
I began to have serious misgivings.
“What is this all about?” I asked a lady who was trying, in vain, to keep from being crushed between two men, to my right, “Have you got any idea?”
“Where do you come from? Don’t you know that the government is giving people relief? At last we are remembered!”
“Really!! That’s excellent!!” It was my good fortune to be at the bank this day! Although half suffocated, I felt elated at being “remembered”. “How much?”
“10 000 Dinars!” (Equivalent to $7.75, purchasing power: 50 eggs).
….. Numbness.. …..
Fighting ….. Rioting ….. Flayed nerves and hot tempers flying ….. for 10 000 Dinars.
Where do I come from?
How many thousands have been decommissioned?
How many thousands were in Saddam’s army, police and intelligence agencies?
Thousands of others – professionals – dismissed from their government jobs on pretext of debathhification?
Yet more thousands displaced; and more still terrorized into a futile stay-at-home existence??
Riots in the bank for ID 10 000, $ 7.75.
And for $100; what would they be prepared to do?
How many will cross that line? It’s not easy to see your family starve for principles.
Mercenaries on Iranian payroll.
Mercenaries on American payroll.
Mercenaries on ANY payroll.
Hear! Hear! An army for a pittance. Gather yea all, who have an interest to participate in this charade. Stakes are high! All of Iraq is the stage.