Jane Stillwater gets an interview with two Iraqi women in Parliament.
“The main thing we want right now is security," said the lawyer. “Right now there are no jobs, our schools are weak and there are military in the roads. Our lives have been stopped. We want to be able to safely walk on our streets without the presence everywhere of tanks and the military -- like any other community would want.”After typing up and filing her interviews she goes back to give the two women a copy but can't find them. An hour later the cafeteria is blown up. There is more to the interview.
“At first, when the Americans first arrived,” said the professor, “we had hope. Now there are no hopes.” She couldn’t understand why the Americans invaded. “For money and power?” In the beginning thetwo parliamentarians had been against Saddam. “But now we prefer him to America, who caused this terror. They are the invisible hand behind the terrorists. They pushed the terrorists to do it. However, now we cannot tell the Americans to go away until they help to subdue the Al Qaeda, terrorists and Baathists that the Americans caused as a reaction from the occupation.”
“I want the American people to know the truth,” said the lawyer. “You cannot believe what the media says. Most of them lie. There have been many more than 3,200 soldiers killed here – because they do not count the..." Her English faltered here and she stretched to try to find the right words. "...mercenaries.” Hummm. “In Basra, Americans released criminals from the jails.” "Over a million Iraqis have been killed. And there are three million refugees."
“We want the government to be strong, not weak,” said the professor. “The presence of U.S. soldiers here weakens the government. Maliki is okay – but he hasn’t any real authority." Then a debate ensued between the two parliamentarians regarding whether U.S. troops should stay and help the government or get out now. “All the problems come from them. Maliki doesn’t have any real authority.” Both agreed on this point. “Americans put their noses into everything here. They claim this is a democracy but it is not.”