An Iraqi exile describes, My First Day of Freedom:

The downfall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, metaphorically incarnate in the toppling of his statue in Firdos Square in Baghdad, filled me with hope.

If the regime were still in power, I would not have had the courage to contribute even these few lines under my name to The New York Times. Although I am a self-exiled Iraqi who has lived in Beirut for the past two decades, I have family and friends in Iraq — and I had every Iraqi’s dread that Saddam Hussein’s security apparatus could sweep down on them at any moment.

Even in the relative safety of Beirut, I was always worried that Iraq’s so-called diplomats might call me any time, any day, to revoke my citizenship and leave me stranded and stateless. As a journalist for the past few years, I have always withheld my byline or used a pen name when writing about my the politics of my homeland.

Therefore, this is my first step in the first day of the first year of freedom.

Not much more to be said, is there?

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.