The news I get from the Arab League Conference in Cairo brings hope back to me. It seems that the different political and religious factions in Iraq demanded from the United States a schedule for the withdrawal of its troops. This means that the Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish leaders have put their differences aside for a while to jointly demand the immediate withdrawal of the foreign troops from their country.
I would like to feel optimistic too about the news on the ground but, in this sense –in particular in Baghdad-, the sectarian violence is not reducing. There’s not a single day in which a political or religious personality is not murdered.
The daily life of the inhabitants of Baghdad is completely abnormal. The lines in front of gas stations are two kilometres long. In a country that has 22% of the oil reserves, drivers spend at least six hours a day filling their tanks and they can only drive their cars every other day, according to the number plate. Electricity is only available 4 hours a day. Employment is doing better because of the numerous private construction works (BTP) being done. And, security, of course, is still catastrophic.
I have never seen a people as resistant as the Iraqis. But it’s all like an elastic can be stretched up to a certain point but sooner or later it will snap. All I ask them is to resist a little more, to resist the time it will take for the American troops to withdraw and take with them the rest of the foreign combatants. The Iraqis have a huge task to do in order to solve their domestic problems but I don’t think these conflicts can be solved as long as Mr. Bush and Mr. Bin Laden’s soldiers don’t find another place to kill themselves.


Sooner or later it will snap”, by Tom Fox, PressAction, December 5, 2005. This text has been adapted from the last email sent by the author the day before his kidnap.