A Reflection of My Life after living in Uganda as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Outsourcing War With My Friends

I was told my friend Deo moved to America. I couldn't believe he'd just move there without telling me especially because I am American. Most of the people I meet here want connections in America so it didn't make sense that Deo wouldn't have talked to me before moving there to try and get connections.

Yesterday I was talking to his mom and in my slightly in-direct way I asked when Deo would be coming back to work. She'd never told me he left and when I asked this she just said he wouldn't be back for a long time. I became more direct and asked where in America he was because I had friends there I may be able to connect him with. She looked startled then said, "No, Deo isn't in America. He's working for Americans but in Iraq. He's a soldier."

Now, as one who only gets news from the United States every now and then I tried to recall what I had last heard about the War in Iraq. I thought I remembered Obama saying he was pulling out our troops. As I guess has become common in modern warfare, we (the USA) are now outsourcing our war with other countries citizens. We can pacify the countries of the world who hate us because of our involvement in wars by saying we are leaving; we provide good paying jobs to people from developing countries; and our privatized military consultant groups get richer and richer. Did we learn nothing from Blackwater?

For Deo, this job in Iraq is going to provide him with a lot of money. Compared to what an American is/was paid to be in Iraq Ugandans are making next to nothing. But compared to life in Uganda Ugandans are making quite a bit of money. His mom is happy for him that he got this job because he hadn't had a paying job since graduating from university 5 years ago. Deo was a volunteer teacher with Gayaza Christian Caring Community, a CBO. She also said she was proud of him because people of the world need to stand up and fight for human rights and she believes there are very few human rights being acknowledged in Iraq especially for women.

Deo will be gone for at least a year. I will probably never see him again. When he returns to Uganda he will be a different man. My feelings are jumbled on this one. I'm angry with our world for using others for the gain of a few. I'm sad for those who live in perilous places. I'm frustrated with people justifying their actions in the name of religion. I'm a little glad for Deo that he has a job and the chance to see another part of the world. I hope he will get to know more about different cultures. With the whole situation I am not happy. I don't know how you can be.

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