". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

City of Widows

City of Widows: An Iraqi Woman's Account of War and Resistance by Haifa Zangana.

Ms. Zangana is an Iraqi political commentator, novelist, and former political prisoner of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

She is solid in her declaration that she, like everyone else in Iraq, wants the U.S. OUT OF IRAQ NOW. When interviewers respond, "But won't that create chaos?" Her answer is, "We are living, we have been living, in chaos for years already."

Further she lays out a very strong case -- and she is one of the millions of Iraqi women she speaks of here -- that the U.S. occupation has set back the status of women in that region a thousand years. She estimates that in Baghdad alone there are 300,000 widows, and likely a million more in the country outside.

Her interviewer wondered, "The picture you are giving of Iraq and the war is very different than what we are getting here. Why is that, do you suppose?" "Because there is no free press in Iraq," she answers.

He further says {Fox's sarcasm mode is now switched ON} with the greatest of sympathy and sensitivity, "Americans aren't really noticing these things. I suppose they are worn out by the war." Her restraint in response was remarkable.

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