Betsy announced herself headfirst, peeking around the partially open door of the hotel conference room. She had kept her curls, the salt-and-pepper spirals that offset her scholarly eyeglasses. She wore a loose shift and sandals, and to hear her talk was to remember what she was doing before Hodne invaded her life: interviewing potential roommates. She'd had a long career in human resources and raised a strong-willed, independent daughter. She had just recently become a grandmother and evinced the cheerful equanimity of a person who had heard and seen it all. Indeed, when she was asked to account for her verve in the face of all she's had to endure, she said, "When you have enough bad s--- happen to you, you get to check off the boxes. You don't have to be afraid anymore."
"We have no experience in this, governing a democracy. It's a little like raising a child. But we can do it."-- Nasir Chaderchi, member of the Iraqi Governing Council, The New York Times, August 12, 2003 "Saddam is gone. His prisons and palaces are gone. Look at all the happy faces of the people."-- Song sung by Iraqis greeting relatives returning from exile, The New York Times, August 11, 2003"Now we have freedom in all ways. But the freedom has its own limits."-- Abdul Rahman al-Murshidi, a comic actor in Iraq, The New York Times, August 10, 2003"The day they buried Uday Hussein was the day Iraqi football rose again. High in the mountains of southern Saudi Arabia the nation whose players had been tortured for years by Saddam's psychotic son have rediscovered their pride, dignity and ability not only to win again but also to play without fear."-- The Independent (London), August 10, 2003 "It is as if a great weight has been lifted from us. No more terror in our players' eyes. No more returning home to pain and humiliation if our boys are defeated. Now we are free to play the game all Iraqis love as we would wish."-- Ali Riyah, an Iraqi sports journalist and former torture victim, The Independent (London), August 10, 2003"Under Uday we lost all contact with the football world. He did not allow courses for referees or coaches, no books to help us. Now we are free again and must look to the future."-- Najah Hryib, president of the new Iraqi Football Federation, The Independent (London), August 10, 2003"We have not yet decided on the day, but it will probably be at the beginning of October. We will start by mid-October for sure."-- Hatim Attila al-Rubayi, deputy president of Baghdad University, on resuming classes, Al-Bawaba, August 10, 2003 "Me, I love the Americans." -- Atheer al-Ani, who runs a video store in Baghdad, The New York Times, August 8, 2003"Sometimes I think the only reason I survived was to tell people what happened. It has been a long time, but I think now I can be happy. Saddam is in the dustbin of history, and the black cloud has gone from the Iraqi sky." -- Wais Abdel Qadr, survivor of the chemical attacks on Halabja, The Washington Post, August 7, 2003"Saddam wanted to kill us all, but now he's gone and the Americans have come to bring us law and democracy."-- Jamil Azad, owner of a tea shop in Halabja, The Washington Post, August 7, 2003"Halabja was once a beautiful and historic place. We had famous poets, and we took many heroic stands. When Saddam fell, everyone here fired shots in the air."-- Jamil Abdulrahman Mohammed, mayor of Halabja, The Washington Post, August 7, 2003"We can't just fight the US because they are American; the people must give them a chance. Before the war, we couldn't have the internet, satellite TV or sat phones. There is all this technology in the world that we have been denied."-- Mohammed Suphi, an Iraqi interpreter for the Americans, The Age (Melbourne), August 7, 2003"In the 35 years that he ruled, Saddam poisoned Iraqis about the US. The Americans have been here for only four months ... The Kuwaitis worked with the US for 13 years to fix their war damage ... so we have to be patient."-- Omar al-Captain, an Iraqi interpreter for the Americans, The Age (Melbourne), August 7, 2003"Sometimes, when they [neighbors] see me, they think I am a ghost. They look and say, 'You live!'"-- Dr. Ibrahim al-Basri, Saddam's former physician who was imprisoned for 13 years after refusing to join the parliament, The Boston Globe, August 7, 2003"I am fighting for democracy. I am going to do my best. I am not afraid of any person. The only one I'm afraid of is God."-- Ibrahim al-Jaafari, first president of the Governing Council, Chicago Tribune, August 7, 2003 "We suffered 35 years. Now the best job is done, there is no more Saddam Hussein and his regime."-- Yonadam Kanna, leader of the Assyrian Democratic Movement and member of the Governing Council, Christian Science Monitor, August 7, 2003"I did not think this day would come. It is a great thing."-- Sadiq Al Mosawy, an exile returning to Iraq from Australia, Herald Sun (Melbourne), August 6, 2003"Baghdadis now freely surf the Internet and send e-mail without a government official pacing behind them."-- The New York Times, August 5, 2003 "Iraqis are very thirsty to learn what is happening outside of Iraq."-- Abbas Darwish, owner of a Baghdad shop that sells newspapers, The New York Times, August 5, 2003 "Recruitment for Iraq's post-Saddam army started on July 19, and this week, a two-month basic training course gets underway to produce its first 1,000-strong light-armoured mechanised infantry battalion."-- Agence France-Presse, August 5, 2003 "I can put my head on the pillow and sleep deeply. I can rest now."-- Ayad Hosni, a barber in Baghdad, Knight Ridder, August 5, 2003 "But neighborhoods in and around Baghdad, staggering from uneven electrical power and water supply, also buzz with normal summer delights. Ice-cream stands are jammed, soccer fields swirl with the dust of matches and bookstores down from the Shabandar [cafe] are open all hours and selling posters of imams and politicians once-reviled by the ousted regime. Booksellers grin when asked about their new reality."-- Chicago Tribune, August 5, 2003 "You never knew who was sitting next to you. In the past no one would dare to just speak out. Now everybody is talking. About federalism, about a monarchy. ... I think our aims are just one, to eliminate persecution for anyone ever again."-- Jafar Adel Amr, a tool salesman in Iraq, Chicago Tribune, August 5, 2003 "I can't be optimistic or pessimistic. I don't want to say we can do it or we'll do it well. But the way we've suffered in the past 30 years, we will try to create a new way."-- Jafar Adel Amr, at the Shabandar cafe in Baghdad, Chicago Tribune, August 5, 2003 "Iraq without its marshes is like the United States without the Grand Canyon. One of the communities that suffered the most under Saddam is the marsh Iraqis. If we're ever going to see justice done in Iraq, part of that justice is restoring these peoples' way of life. This is a matter that goes beyond the environment."-- Azzam Alwash, an Iraqi exile who has returned to Iraq to restore the wetlands, Los Angeles Times, August 5, 2003 "Iraq is now free and the hawza [or religious school] in Najaf enjoys a free environment like never before, where we can discuss anything and new ideas will certainly flourish."-- Ayatollah Seyed Hassan Khomeini, grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini, The Wall Street Journey, August 4, 2003"He's a bad guy who has been suppressing his people for 35 years. He needed to go."-- Nizar A. Zhaiya, who recently returned to his native Iraq, Associated Press, August 4, 2003"I used to serve sick people, but when I discovered my country was sick I came to politics. I hope to see my country treated, so I can return to a hospital and put my stethoscope back on."-- Ibrahim al-Jafari, current president of the Iraqi Governing Council, Associated Press, August 4, 2003"If Saddam had stayed in his seat, we would have gone to a third or fourth war. He made us go from war to war."-- Omar Hussein al-Azawi, an Iraqi soldier who lost his legs in the invasion of Kuwait, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 3, 2003"For the first summer in several years, Iraqis ages 12 to 14 are not attending military-style boot camps that Saddam Hussein used as indoctrination into his oppressive machine."-- Chicago Tribune, August 3, 2003"We have to be ashamed that we allowed children to go through that [Saddam's summer camps]. But we had no choice, only to go along."-- Zayneb Waleed Babab, a teacher at an Iraqi orphanage, Chicago Tribune, August 3, 2003"The only way for me to leave was to escape the country. If I had just quite and gone home, I was afraid that the people who worked for him [Uday] would have stalked me and killed me."-- Uday's former bodyguard, Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2003 "Freedom is much sweeter. I can get up in the morning and decide whether I want to shave or not; if someone in my family is sick, I can stay home with them. I don't need to ask permission."-- Salim Kasim, one of Uday's chief mechanics, Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2003 "It brings us to the future, this train."-- Mohsin al Naif, watching the first train pull into Rabiyah in over a year, Associated Press, July 31, 2003 "Their textbooks were filled with Hussein's regime as well: Math texts substituted S and H for the variables X and Y, reading comprehension paragraphs discussed 'Zionist aggression' and using oil as a political weapon, and other exercises promoted joining the Popular Army as an everyday activity such as buying a music cassette or acting in a play. ... That is changing, as Iraqi teachers and parents team up with U.S. and international organizations to root the former Iraqi dictator out of textbooks and replace militaristic rote learning in Iraqi classrooms."-- Chicago Tribune, July 31, 2003 "We didn't believe these things, but we had to say them. Saddam was there in all the books, even the math books."-- Ghada Jassen, a fifth grade teacher in Iraq, Chicago Tribune, July 31, 2003 "We don't want patriotic education anymore. Nothing about war. We want flowers and springtime in the texts, not rifles and tanks."-- Dunia Nabel, a teacher in Baghdad, Chicago Tribune, July 31, 2003 "Long live great Iraq!"-- Iraqi students, who are no longer required to salute Saddam at the beginning of class, shouting their new salute, Chicago Tribune, July 31, 2003 "We want to have a real education, to be a progressive country. Education is very important to the reconstruction of our society. If you want to civilize society, you must care about education."-- Al Sa'ad Majid al Musowi, a businessman on Baghdad's city council, Chicago Tribune, July 31, 2003 "This is where all the money went-all our money went. I am astonished and angry."-- Salih Fadhil, viewing Saddam's palace in Tikrit, The Daily Telegraph (London), July 31, 2003 "It just reminded me of how powerful Saddam was."-- Mudhfar Awad, after seeing Saddam's palace in Tikrit, The Daily Telegraph (London), July 31, 2003 "Water is returning to the Mesopotamian marshlands, turned into salt-encrusted desert by Saddam Hussein."-- The Christian Science Monitor, July 31, 2003 "The return of water had an immediate effect on the people [the Marsh Arabs in Iraq] whom the war had freed. They are fishing again from boats that had not floated for years. Water seems to hold the promise of reviving an old way of life."-- The Christian Science Monitor, July 31, 2003 "We have full freedom to print anything we want. The coalition doesn't interfere in our work but, of course, we have our own red lines." Ishtar el Yassiri, editor of the new satirical Iraqi newspaper Habez Bouz."-- Financial Times (London), July 31, 2003 "Volleys of Kalashnikov gunfire erupted above the dusty village of Haush al- Jinoub in southern Iraq. Children and weeping women thronged around the bus as it drew to a halt. Out stepped Thabed Mansour, frail and weary after 12 years of exile, for an overwhelmingly emotional reunion with his wife and family. Mr. Mansour was one of 244 men who returned to their native country yesterday in the first formal repatriation of Iraqi refugees since the war ended."-- The Times (London), July 31, 2003 "It is like the soul coming back to the body."-- Ibrahim Abdullah, a refugee returning to Iraq, The Times (London), July 31, 2003 "Since Iraq's liberation, the dominant theme of Western news reporting has been the guerrilla attacks against U.S. troops. The focus obscures a larger truth: Life is returning to normal in Iraq-better than normal, actually, because this 'normal' is Saddam-free. All of the country's universities and health clinics have reopened, as have 90 percent of schools. Iraq is now producing 3.4 gigawatts of electric power-85 percent of the pre-war level."-- National Post (Canada) commentary, July 29, 2003 "The tension is reducing every day. We are seeing a change. People are starting to realize that the soldiers are not here to occupy Fallujah forever-they're here to help us rebuild."-- Taha Bedawi, mayor of Fallujah, The Washington Post, July 29, 2003 "It's a chance to defend our country for our people. It's good to work with the American soldiers. They give us new training and a mutual respect."-- Omar Abdullah, a recruit for Mosul's newly formed joint security group, Associated Press, July 29, 2003 "I want to serve a new Iraq."-- Shevin Majid, a former Kurdish fighter who is now a recruit in the Mosul joint security force, Associated Press, July 29, 2003 "We're happy, we're rid of Saddam Hussein; the torture and executions of 35 years are over. We should wait to see what the Americans will do."-- Ahmed Abdel-Sahib, in Najaf, The Washington Post, July 28, 2003 "Most Iraqis aren't worried we'll stay too long; they're petrified we'll leave too soon."-- Paul Gigot, The Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2003 "There is a certain harmony. But you can not rebuild a city or country-a country destroyed by war-in one month."-- Mohammed Tahar al-Abid Rabu, a member of the Mosul city council, Agence France-Presse, July 28, 2003 "More and more businessmen are coming to Iraq. It is a rich country and the Iraqi market is enormous. All the world wants to come and do business here."-- Captain Adel Khalaf, director of the port at Umm Qasr, Agence France-Presse, July 27, 2003 "For the first time I feel really free."-- Latif Yahia, Uday's former double, after hearing of Uday's death, Agence France-Presse, July 26, 2003 "The Iraqi people have got rid of two of the biggest criminals in history. Their victims and the sons of their victims, who lived for 35 years under oppression, are feeling proud and happy."-- Muwaffak al-Rubaiei, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council, Agence France-Presse and Reuters, July 25, 2003 "We are more free nowadays. My father gave me the full freedom to marry whom I choose."-- Raina Nuri, a woman in Baghdad, Christian Science Monitor, July 25, 2003 "We heard about Uday and Qusay being killed and, frankly, we are happy."-- Fadil Abbas, in the Sadr City suburb of Baghdad, Associated Press, July 24, 2003 "We felt better after the regime fell, now we are really happy-we have been freed from our nightmare."-- Alaa' Kathem, an Iraqi soccer player who had been punished for losing games, Financial Times (London), July 24, 2003 "If it's really him, we will be so very happy. We will be able to start a new regime of Olympic sport in Iraq. OK, he's gone. We start a new life."-- Jaffer al-Muthafer, an Iraqi soccer player, Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2003 "Iraq is now free from torture. Free from Uday."-- Amu Baba, a legendary soccer star in Iraq, Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2003 "We feel safer now because we used to hear lots of stories about girls. We were so afraid to go out in case Uday saw us."-- Farrah, a 15-year-old Iraqi girl, Newsday (New York), July 24, 2003 "My father died because of Saddam. I don't want to speak about the reasons. But I was so happy. I was at home when I saw it on the TV. I woke up my aunts and told them the good news. I used to hate those guys so much and so I felt so at ease in my heart."-- Osama Zaid, a distant cousin of Uday, after learning of Uday's death, Newsday (New York), July 24, 2003 "On July 4, some shops and private homes in various parts of Iraq, including the Kurdish areas and cities in the Shiite heartland, put up the star-spangled flag as a show of gratitude to the United States."-- National Post (Canada), July 22, 2003 "Mobile phones rang Tuesday morning, ushering in the cellular era for Iraqis long deprived of the latest in information technology during their isolation under the fallen strongman Saddam Hussein."-- Agence France-Presse, July 22, 2003 "Thanks to them [the U.S. army] the security is good. Without them, people would be killing each other."-- Abdul Wahed Mohsen, in Iraq, Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2003 "Even the blind can see what Saddam Hussein did, taking Iraq into so many wars and doing little even for this town, no sports club, no decent hotels."-- Wail al-Ali, Tikrit's new mayor, The Guardian, July 22, 2003 "Also, some 85 percent of primary and secondary schools and all but two of the nation's universities have reopened with a full turnout of pupils and teachers. The difference is that there no longer are any mukahebrat (secret police) agents roaming the campuses and sitting at the back of classrooms to make sure lecturers and students do not discuss forbidden topics. Nor are the students required to start every day with a solemn oath of allegiance to the dictator."-- National Post (Canada), July 22, 2003 "A stroll in the open-air book markets of the Rashid Street reveals that thousands of books, blacklisted and banned under Saddam Hussein, are now available for sale. Among the banned authors were almost all of Iraq's best writers and poets whom many young Iraqis are discovering for the first time. Stalls, offering video and audiotapes for sale, are appearing in Baghdad and other major cities, again giving Iraqis access to a forbidden cultural universe."-- National Post (Canada), July 22, 2003 "We don't know who are those people who say that. They are outlaws. They just want to make problems."-- Abdul Wahed Mohsen, on anti-U.S. sloganeering in Iraq, Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2003 "The Americans are giving the Iraqis the space to get our affairs in order."-- Sheikh Khalid Al-Nuami, a representative on the Najaf ruling council, Agence France-Presse July 21, 2003 "We are flying with happiness since Saddam is gone."-- Zahar Hassan, in Iraq, Agence France-Presse, July 21, 2003 "There's more opportunity, more chances to earn money."-- Um Khalid, on life in post-Saddam Baghdad, The Christian Science Monitor, July 21, 2003 "There is a lack of security, but psychologically, things are better, because freedom is nice."-- Ali Shaban, in Iraq, The Christian Science Monitor, July 21, 2003 "Let the Americans stay, they protect us. I don't see them hurting anyone."-- A mother living in Baghdad, The Christian Science Monitor, July 21, 2003 "Before it was all about Saddam and his followers. Now there are different topics."-- Hassan Ali, on the Iraqi newspapers, The Christian Science Monitor, July 21, 2003 "He [Uday] was a sick man, and he kept lions and tigers just to show his manhood, to show everyone that he cared more about animals than people. But he amputated their claws, and he took away their freedom, just like the people."-- Alaa Karim, a Baghdad zoo employee, The Washington Post, July 21, 2003 "[Uday] was a bad man, and he used to beat the soccer players if they lost a game. I think he used to treat the lions better than the people."-- Mussab Ismas, a 13-year old boy, viewing Uday's lions at the Baghdad zoo, The Washington Post, July 21, 2003 "But the shock for a first time visitor to Iraq is that the destruction committed by Saddam's tyranny is so much worse than advertised. ... The most horrible damage on Iraqis was inflicted by Saddam himself. The Americans who are giving their lives to stop his Middle East Stalinism will end up saving many more lives."-- Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2003 "I can see that the American soldiers are free. In our old army, we were always under pressure and strict military orders. There was tough punishment."-- Raad Mamoud, a former Iraqi soldier, USA Today, July 21, 2003 "Before, I would not even say hello to them [Iraqi army officers]. We are all equal now. This is justice."-- Husham Berkal, an enlisted soldier in the former Iraqi army, USA Today, July 21, 2003 "When I heard on the radio that the Baathists had seized power I was not surprised. I was hoping it would make the situation better but, well, you can see. I have hope that things will get better now, that the new government can get rid of all the problems."-- Abdul Karim al-Qaissi, a pharmacist in Baghdad, on the anniversary of the Baath Party's seizing power, Agence France-Presse, July 17, 2003 "But I blame the Baath [for problems with security and infrastructure]. It's not the Americans' fault. I like the Americans."-- Nuri Mansour, in Baghdad, Agence France-Presse, July 17, 2003 "Iraqis were living a good life. We had security, jobs, people were getting paid. People used to get on and would help each other..."-- Nuri Mansour, reflecting life before the Baath Party overthrew the Iraqi government in 1968, Agence France-Presse, July 17, 2003 "During the Baath Party's time we didn't see 1,000th of Iraq's wealth come to us."-- Yasua, an Iraqi man in Baghdad, Agence France-Presse, July 17, 2003 "I hope Iraq comes back strong. I am in favor of the new government."-- Uday Kadhu, a Baghdad car salesman on the Iraqi archery team, Agence France-Presse, July 16, 2003 "The residents of glorious Fallujah suffered from the confiscation of freedom and the absence of justice under the dictatorial regime."-- A statement released by the "League of Fallujah Residents," Agence France-Presse, July 16, 2003 "The Governing Council is a step towards building a free, democratic Iraq."-- Iraqi newspaper Al-Zawra, July 15, 2003 "In our opinion, the most significant thing about the formation of the transitional Governing Council is that it includes important personalities that are known to the masses and that represent the different political, national, democratic and progressive forces, as well as independent political organizations and religious denominations."-- Iraqi newspaper Al-Manar, July 15, 2003 "I felt that we had gone back to the year 1930. I feel that Iraq has started back from zero. We have wasted 75 years waiting to taste freedom."-- Hadid al-Gailani, after the Governing Council announced the abolition of Baathist holidays, The Boston Globe, July 14, 2003 "I helped deliver thousands of Iraqi babies, and now I am taking part in the birth of a new country and a new rule based on women's rights, humanity, unity and freedom."-- Raja Habib al-Khaza'i, the director of an Iraqi maternity hospital and a member of the Governing Council, Associated Press, July 13, 2003 "The formation of this council which represents all sectors of Iraqi society is the birth of democracy in the country. It is better than Saddam's government of destruction and dictatorship."-- Razzak Abdul-Zahra, a 35-year-old engineer in Baghdad, Associated Press, July 13, 2003 "The establishment of this council represents the Iraqi national will after the collapse of the dictatorial regime."-- Muhammad Bahr al-Ulum, a Shiite cleric on the Governing Council, Associated Press, July 13, 2003 "This is a great day. It's unbelievable."-- Yonadam Kanna, an Assyrian Christian on the Iraqi Governing Council, Associated Press, July 13, 2003 "It's a hard situation. But now that Saddam has fallen, it's OK. We can wait for the future now."-- Muhammed Abdul al Sudani, the night watchman at a school in Baghdad, Baltimore Sun, July 13, 2003 "Iraqis are looking forward to this day. They have been dreaming for so many years to have a government run by not only one man."-- Sherwan Dizayee, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Los Angeles Times, July 13, 2003 "The building of a new Iraq shall remain among the first priorities of the good Iraqi people. It will require the participation of all Iraqis from all political and social strands who are willing to help accomplish this historic task."-- Mohammed Barhul Uloom, an 80-year-old Shiite who has returned to Iraq to serve on the new Governing Council, AFX News, July 13, 2003 "Saddam is gone, he's history, he's never coming back."-- Mohammed Barhul Uloom, at the first meeting of the new Iraqi Governing Council, Agence France-Presse, July 13, 2003 "In our view, political life must not be based on ethnic, religious or sectarian considerations."-- Adnan Pachachi, former Iraqi foreign minister and current member of the Governing Council, Agence France-Presse, July 13, 2003 "Farther down the block [in Baghdad], a new Internet cafe just opened three weeks ago-$3 an hour buys you a satellite link on a computer that runs Windows, and a shortcut to Yahoo! E-mail is already on the desktop."-- Winston-Salem Journal, July 12, 2003 "He [Saddam] occupied Iraq for 25 years. It's not important that the Americans are here. What is important is that they got rid of Saddam Hussein. Now I feel free."-- Fadil Emara, a shopkeeper in Baghdad, Agence France-Presse, July 12, 2003 "My optimism grows ten-fold every day. We've got a wonderful and brilliant future in front of us."-- Fadil Emara, a shopkeeper in Baghdad, Agence France-Presse, July 12, 2003 "In Saddam's time, the mere act of pointing at something-a building, a person-risked attracting the attention of a secret policeman. Now people freely jab their index fingers on the streets. To a visitor returning, it's something of a shock."-- Associated Press, July 12, 2003 "It's a dream for me to participate."-- Afrah Abas, an Iraqi archer competing in the 42nd World Archery Championships, Associated Press, July 12, 2003 "We have been celebrating the Iraqi revolution and the fall of the kingdom every year. Today we combined the celebration with the fall of the second monarchy-the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein."-- Aladdin Sabih, an Iraqi living in the Czech Republic, Czech News Agency, July 12, 2003 "Cutting through all the barriers of religion, culture, war and economics are stores filled with hundreds of pairs of high-heel pumps, clunky platforms and spiked heels in scores of styles. Other stores with similar numbers-but fewer styles-of men's and children's shoes are open for business."-- Winston-Salem Journal, July 12, 2003 "I want to help my country to make a new life, to get human rights, and also to get modern life, especially because we are a rich country."-- An Iraqi translator for the Allied forces, The New York Times, July 8, 2003 "In Baghdad, Shiite Muslim tribes from central and southern Iraq met for the first time to discuss how they, as the country's religious majority, could help create a united Iraqi nation."-- The New York Times, July 8, 2003 "We will be happy to get rid of Saddam's face and this useless money."-- Hillal Sultan, an Iraqi moneychanger, Agence France-Presse, July 8, 2003 "We can't train staff fast enough. People are desperate here for a neutral free press after 30 years of a totalitarian state."-- Saad al-Bazzaz, editor of the Azzaman Daily in Baghdad, The Independent (London), July 8, 2003 "This guy [Uday] had nothing to do with journalism but he saw it as a powerful way of trying to control the minds of the Iraqi people. He knew very well that most journalists were not supportive of his father. By day they did their jobs quietly. ... By night many worked against the regime."-- Saad al-Bazzaz, former head of Iraqi state television and current editor of the Azzaman Daily, The Independent (London), July 8, 2003 "The Americans did a very good thing when they crushed Saddam for the Iraqis."-- Khither Jaafar, a member of a Shiite party outlawed by Saddam, Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2003 "We as a council were chosen by the people. God willing we will work to achieve the hopes and wishes of the people."-- Mohammed al-Assadi, a representative on the new Najaf City Council, Associated Press, July 7, 2003 "During the days of the old regime, only members of the Baath used to benefit and got what they wanted. This council has nothing to do with any regime because all of them are intellectuals and chosen by the people."-- Angham Fakher, a hospital employee in Najaf, speaking about the new City Council Associated Press, July 7, 2003 "We were like a tightly covered pot which no one knew what it contained. Now that the cover has been removed, you can't imagine what you will discover."-- Majed al-Ghazali, who now dreams of setting up a children's music school in Iraq, Associated Press, July 7, 2003 "U.S.-U.K., Liberators of Iraq from Saddam's Terror."-- A banner hanging outside the entrance to central Suleimaniyah in Iraq, Chicago Tribune, July 5, 2003 "We feel liberated. We're very very happy."-- Dana Mohammed, manager of a fast food restaurant in Suleimaniyah, Chicago Tribune, July 5, 2003 "I've been like a blind man during Saddam's time. Look at my hair. It's already turning gray, and I don't even know how to get on a plane at the airport yet. I haven't done anything. Now the future is very different. I'm free. I can travel, and no one will follow or arrest me."-- Dana Mohammed, a 19-year-old Iraqi, Chicago Tribune, July 5, 2003 "I can feel it inside. All Iraqis are feeling freedom. This is a good start of a new Iraq."-- Saniya al-Raheem, a 56-year-old housewife in Baghdad, Agence France-Presse, July 3, 2003 "It was a cruel system. We were living under terror and we all suffered from it. It was for our own survival not to talk about politics. We could not even discuss our personal problems openly."-- Balkis Al-Shamary, a clerk in an Iraqi shop, Agence France-Presse, July 3, 2003 "I like free discussions. I talk about these issues with my families and friends. This could never happen during the Saddam years."-- Maha Abrahim, owner of a wedding dress shop in Baghdad, Agence France-Presse, July 3, 2003 2b1af7f3a8