Rumsfeld, Rice visit Baghdad
Donald Rumsfeld and Condeleeza Rice visited us yesterday. I stayed in my hole, as I usually do. I have no real desire to meet the high and mighty in my government, as I might say something that would get me into trouble. I don’t get star struck like some people, and I’m not impressed by rank.
Reviews of the surpise visit by our Secretary of State and Defense Secretary were mixed but that is to be expected.
I try to read between the lines whenever these types of events happen, to figure out if anything truly noteworthy might result from such visits. I think the most hopeful development I heard out of yesterday’s visit was this:
He (Donald Rumsfeld) said as a practical matter, one of the first things he wants to do is address a long-standing irritant for ordinary Iraqis: the poor quality or lack of electricity.
Now that would truly be progress. For three years, Iraqis in Baghdad, the capital city, have suffered with spotty, erratic electricity. I don’t think a nation can be truly civilized without electricity. Air conditioners, televisions and computers are things that would greatly benefit this city. Not too mention the ability to refrigerate food, light your home and so forth.
In large American cities, when the power goes chaos isn’t usually far behind. I hope that the electricity situation in Baghdad and throughout Iraq really is going to be a higher priority. Keeping the power on would truly show Iraqis that their fledgling government is looking out for them, and that infrastructure is a priority and basic improvements to quality of life are coming.
I’m slightly dubious but hopeful.