Sunday, September 09, 2007

Evacuating Iraq

Riverbend, author of the books and the blog titled Baghdad Burning, has finally made it out of Iraq. (HT to Why Now? for the alert)

In that, she joins over two million other Iraqis, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, who have fled the country; and another 2.2 million "internally displaced" Iraqis, according to Prof. Juan Cole. That's about 16-18 percent of the entire population of Iraq as of 2003.

Four and a half months ago, Riverbend wrote about how her family had decided to evacuate Baghdad. This week, she broke a long silence to describe the difficult decisions to be made about what to pack in the single suitcase she was allowed and what to leave behind; the interminable waiting for the right day to leave ; the on-again, off-again departure attempts; the bribes it takes to leave Iraq; and the relief at finally arriving safely in Syria, where normal street life strikes her as completely unreal.

No excerpts here for our American readers. Instead, you should read the whole thing for yourself. After all, in a democracy like ours, you bear some responsibility for this, too.

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