By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2004, 11:32am PT  

When she is able (when there is power, and she is emotionally prepared), a women in Iraq who writes under the pseudonym of "river" posts to her blog, "Baghdad Burning". She posted today for the first time since the beginning of August and speaks about the exhaustion of the ever increasing violence, fear and desperation that has wracked the populace in Iraq over the last few weeks.

The entire post is worth reading. Here's her closing thoughts...

[T]hings aren't better for Americans now than they were in 2001, and they certainly aren't better for Iraqis.

Three years ago, Iraq wasn't a threat to America. Today it is. Since March 2003, over 1000 Americans have died inside of Iraq... and the number is rising. In twenty years time, upon looking back, how do Americans think Iraqis are going to remember this occupation?

I constantly wonder, three years after 9/11, do Americans feel safer? When it first happened, there was a sort of collective shock in Iraq. In 2002, there was a sort of pity and understanding- we've been through the same. Americans could hardly believe what had happened, but the American government brings this sort of grief upon nations annually suddenly the war wasn't thousands of kilometers away, it was home.

How do we feel about it this year? A little bit tired.

We have 9/11's on a monthly basis. Each and every Iraqi person who dies with a bullet, a missile, a grenade, under torture, accidentally- they all have families and friends and people who care. The number of Iraqis dead since March 2003 is by now at least eight times the number of people who died in the World Trade Center. They had their last words, and their last thoughts as their worlds came down around them, too. I've attended more wakes and funerals this last year, than I've attended my whole life. The process of mourning and the hollow words of comfort have become much too familiar and automatic.

September 11 he sat there, reading the paper. As he reached out for the cup in front of him for a sip of tea, he could vaguely hear the sound of an airplane overhead. It was a bright, fresh day and there was much he had to do but the world suddenly went black- a colossal explosion and then crushed bones under the weight of concrete and iron screams rose up around him men, women and children shards of glass sought out tender, unprotected skin he thought of his family and tried to rise, but something inside of him was broken there was a rising heat and the pungent smell of burning flesh mingled sickeningly with the smoke and the dust and suddenly it was blackness.

9/11/01? New York? World Trade Center?

No.

9/11/04. Falloojeh. An Iraqi home.

Pay attention.