27 August 2006

The future of Iraq

On a recent job-related trip to another base, I witnessed something on a scale that I have not seen in quite a while. Whether it was the particular day of the week, I am not sure, but it was pretty unique. Children were out doing what they do best: being kids. Whether it was playing soccer (every little town in Iraq seems to have at least one soccer field, much like the baseball fields in parks all over the United States), swimming in the canals splashing water on each other, or riding their bikes, these kids were enjoying themselves.

Kids, especially the younger ones, often smile, wave, and give a thumbs-up at passing Coalition convoys. But it was a greater presence yesterday than I have seen in a while. For a moment it felt to me like there was no war. But of course, reality is never too far away, and soon returns.

I wonder quite a lot about the children of Iraq. How much do they know about what is going on? Do their parents bring them up yearning for the freedom which was so absent from the previous regime? Or are they brought up in a culture of violence, destined for the desert's dustbin?

As it is with any country, the children of Iraq are its future. If the other day was a small glimpse into Iraq's future, I'd say things are looking up.
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