Thursday, June 12, 2003

Back in Baghdad 

I've been reading Where is Raed? today. Fantastic from the heart of Baghdad stuff. He referred readers to another Baghdad blogger, new, G. in Baghdad, who is also excellent. Here is an excerpt from Where is Raed? This man is real and right on:

I really need to get something out of my system.
I got an email. After throwing everything and the kitchen sink at me they ask:
"How are your parents doing?
Ah yes, your parents. Salam, people are wondering."
Actually they are doing very well, thank you. My father was invited to an informal dinner attended by Garner the second week he was in Baghdad; he also met some of Bodine’s aides and has met some of Bremer’s aides a couple of times too. Not to mention many of your top military people south of Baghdad.
Seriously, not joking there.

Let me make a suggestion. Do not assume, not even for a second, that because you read the blog you know who I am or who my parents are. And you are definitely not entitled to be disrespectful. Not everything that goes on in this house ends up on the blog, so please go play Agatha Christy somewhere else.
My mother, a sociologist who was very happy in pursuing her career at the ministry of education decided to give up that career when she had to choose between becoming Ba’ath party member and quitting her job, she became a housewife. My father, a very well accomplished economist made the same decision and decided to become a farmer instead.
You are being disrespectful to the people who have put the first copy of George Orwell’s 1984 in my hands, a heavy read for a 14 year old with bad English. But that banned book started a process and gave me the impulse to look at the world I live in a different way.
go fling the rubbish at someone else.

Then here is an excerpt from G. in Baghdad, who impresses me as eloquent and a keen observer:

If we were in Beirut, grozny or Tehran with the same set of events we just had in Baghdad, We would have half of the politicians around us assassinated by rival factions, at least 10 suicide bombers, half of the American journalists here taken as hostages and sectarian / ethnic fighting’s in the streets.
Instead of that what we see around us, is a city going back to life some times grudgingly but other times with fast speed.
Electricity is almost as normal as in the days of Saddam, the markets are just beautiful, people are going out shopping for clothes, satellite dishes, or just buying cokes, you have families in the streets, Americans in humviees surrounded by kids, security is much better and people are still selling beer on the side walks in some districts of Baghdad in spite of all the fiery sermons by Shi’a / Sunni clerics calling for a virtuous – read alcohol free - society).
I don’t want to give the impression here that every thing is all right and there is no crisis in Iraq, I just want to say that the Americans had - and still have - a perfect opportunity in Iraq, an opportunity they won’t have anywhere else, they could have won the hearts and minds of the Iraqis from the first week after the toppling of the regime, but instead they just provided the extremists with all the pretexts they need - as if they needed any- to attack the Americans they have wasted a good deal of good intensions and hope.
please stop and start doing your homework properly, I don’t want my country to be another breeding place for Osamas and lunatic terrorists.