What’s the value of freedom without security?

By Sarmad S. Ali

So many things have changed in our lives since the war. Some are for better, but some are for worse. Employees’ salaries have improved notably, if the employees ever get them. There is freedom of speech, if you are secure enough to actually speak. And there is a dream of a better day, if we can get past the crime and violence that has overtaken Iraqi streets.

Freedom wasn’t mean to taste so bittersweet. Either we are abusing our newfound freedom, or we are misunderstanding America’s concept of freedom. If freedom is intended to mean falling foul of the law, being imprisoned at home in a curfew, pillaging and sabotage, and numbing our nerves with false promises, no one can applaud.

As they look for some form of leadership many are left scoffing. The electricity shortage won’t be solved be for a year provided that the looters and saboteurs stop pillaging and vandalizing power plants, say CPA authorities and even the Governing Council. To the Iraqi ear, it sounds something like this: We can’t bring security until there’s power, but there won’t be power until we have security.

Freedom wasn’t supposed to be so ironic. Of course, some are applauding: the looters, tramps, saboteurs and the recently unleashed culprits. They’re the new nouveau riche of Iraq. This freedom made their lives richer indeed. They now swagger in their newfound wealth while Iraqi families struggle for security and basic survival. As the criminals rove the streets, Iraqi families are left living in a general state of panic and psychological disorder.



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