Optimism is a rare commodity in Iraq, it's not always on the sidewalk
It's definitely not in the home of the Da'ami family. Before the war started CBS News visited them. They all survived physically unscathed. But now, as CBS News Anchor Dan Rather reports, Likaa Da'ami is mentally scarred.
Before the war, when Likaa used to look down at Baghdad from her home on the 15th floor, the view for her was "just paradise."
"Now, I don't feel anything about this, as if I am a stranger," she says. "I don't want to go out."
Likaa's worry, like many Iraqis, is the insecurity that has bred since the downfall of the old regime.
Under Saddam, Saddoun al-Zubaydi translated for the Iraqi dictator, but he has no sympathy for the former Iraqi president.
"The Iraqi people are afraid of the future," he says. "The only thing they fear today is the future."
Every day without fail, Zubaydi, who also served as an ambassador under Saddam, collects his teenage daughter from school. Their house isn't far but his daughter is vulnerable.
He fears someone might try to kidnap or harm her.
"Especially if you are an ambassador, people think you have a lot of money which happily is not the case," he says. "If I had a lot of money I'd worry more."
In the old Iraq, security was never an issue, and even if it was, it was kept under wraps. But now satellite dishes are everywhere and with them comes the news of the latest kidnappings and violence.
Wassan Jafar al-Mausauy wants to stop the criminals and build a new Iraq.
"I like the job with American soldiers, yeah," says al Mausauy.
Her image appears on a huge billboard for the Iraqi Civil Defense Force.
Before the war she was a pharmacist, now she's a poster child for the Iraqi Civil Defense Force charged with keeping order. An empowered woman, literally, who wants to be an inspiration to others, but is finding the going tough.
In Iraq, people, especially men, think badly of me, she says, they think I'm doing a man's job and that I am a bad woman.
And that's a critical point here. Islamic fundamentalists, who staged another big protest in Baghdad Friday, are using a well-known tactic -- taking over universities, hospitals and other critical institutions -- imposing the kinds of rules that wouldn't support a woman with a uniform or a weapon or the kind of democracy the U.S. hopes to grow here.
That, a crippled economy, and a murky political future have left the people of Iraq in a state of confusion.
Copyright 2004 CBS. All rights reserved.