Freedom and ‘justice for all’?

Every time we talk about Iraq, we normally focus on the subject of the war and if we agree on the way President George W. Bush has handled it. But we tend to forget that there is more to Iraq than just the war it has gone through. It is a war we apparently won, but is it really? Are the Iraqis really free and living under a democracy with “freedom and justice for all?” Are they better off with or without Saddam Hussein?

There is no right answer for these questions, because everybody has different points of view. As Americans, we can only imagine what has happened in Iraq, and we can only voice our opinions based on what we have seen, read or heard on the news. But the truth is very far from what we know or we think we know.

Most of the people think that the battle in Iraq is over. But the truth is, it has not even started. It is estimated that there are currently more than 50,000 dead Iraqis and 5,000 dead American soldiers-these being made up numbers because nobody knows the exact number of victims the war has left behind.

Recently, the organization Students Towards A New Democracy presented a film called “Dreams Of Sparrows.” This film shows us the reality of life in Iraq after the war and the different point of views on it. It was made by a group of Iraqis that wanted to show the world the human and everyday life side of Iraq. It is a very strong movie, and I was very touched by it. Iraq has been left in very bad condition; there are people that have been living in tents for more than two years, kids not going to school and selling their bodies because they have no other way to survive. It is a very sad reality and it makes us all question if war was really the best solution. Did we free the Iraqis or just made them slaves to poverty and hunger?

Yes, we freed them from Saddam Hussein, and we went into the country as liberators-but we ended up tearing it apart, became occupiers and haven’t done enough to help build the country again.

We then wonder why America is the target of so many attacks. I don’t think any of us would like to be in Iraq’s shoes, no matter what ideology or political party we subscribe to.

Maria del Pilar Tobar is a sophomore majoring in motion pictures. She can be contacted at