Just a few months ago, Ali Hammid Abdullah thought his life, at 42 years, was over. A lieutenant colonel in Saddam Hussein's army, he offended the regime and was slammed into prison, his family terrified, his own future narrowing to torture and a painful death...
With no government to turn to, Ali and his neighbors decided to make their own, forming a neighborhood council and taking responsibility for getting power and water up and running, cleaning up the sewage, arranging delivery of cooking gas canisters, clearing the schoolyards and every other detail of municipal life.
And the headache of it all -- the nitty-gritty, unsolvable, hair-tearing frustration of trying to run a city neighborhood with no money, office, phone or car -- fills Ali with pure elation...
Caffrey, a Hartford, Conn., lawyer and veteran civil affairs specialist serving as a reservist, finds the councils' emergence miraculous.
Under Saddam, he said, "anyone who displayed any initiative, anyone who stood up or stood out, was either killed or neutralized. These people have lived in fear for years, and the fact that they are standing up now is just astounding.
"It gives you an idea of how deeply these people want to be free."
Its a good story. Read it here.
Saturday, June 21, 2003
INITIATIVE ALERT! There is a go to guy in Baghdad.