It isn't clear who gave the notorious Baghdad district know as the "Green Zone" its name. But one thing that every Iraqi knows is that its presence is associated with arrival of the first U.S. occupation soldier in the country.
This "Green Zone" is linked to two of the darkest periods in Iraq's history. The first connection is to the former leader's despotic rule. This is an area that contained a complex of lavish palaces where Saddam Hussein and his henchmen resided.
Today, this same area is headquarters to U.S. occupation administrators and the U.S.-backed Iraqi government. This heavily fortified "Green Zone" has turned into a symbol of oppression and isolation, just as it was during Saddam Hussein's days.
But at least Saddam and his troops and security forces felt secure outside this zone. Today, U.S. and the Iraqi leaders don't even feel safe inside it.
Not only is Baghdad's "Green Zone" separated from the Iraqi people by concrete slabs, blast walls and heavily armed U.S. patrols, it is psychologically separated from the rest of the country, as if those inside it come from a different planet.
While Baghdad drowns in pools of blood, and while death, terror and violence devour the city, we still hear of the presence of a "Green Zone."
In some mythologies, the color green symbolizes hope, growth, fertility and life. In this sense, there is now nothing in Iraq that is green.
It's hard to imagine that there are people right now living in the luxury of this "Green Zone" while the U.S. occupation has brought the rest of the country nothing but death and destruction.
It's time to end the lease on this zone and throw its occupants out, or at the very least, the Iraqi government or U.S. administration should issue a decree to changing its name.
That is what many Iraqis expect to happen after the change that the latest congressional elections have brought to Washington.
Iraqis expect the "Green Zone" to be disbanded the way our army, police, ministries and border posts were the moment the occupiers did after they landed on our land.
This dismantling of the Iraqi military and civil institutions by the occupation has turned the country into an oasis of terror and violence rather than freedom. One wonders what kind of oasis awaits Iraqis as the occupiers address the fate of their "Green Zone."