Friday, May 30, 2003

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.

Have I told you that my father agreed to act as the mediator in the surrendering process between a number of Iraqi government officials and the American administration here? He is a man with sound moral judgment and people listen to his advice. People at the American administration and many of the new political parties had asked him for consultation.
Did I tell you about the time when one of Bremer’s aides asked him what the difference between a tribal sheikh and a mosque sheikh is? They send them thousands of miles to govern us here and then ask such questions.
Did I tell you about his unending optimism in what the Americans can achieve here if they were given time? He is so much less of a skeptic than I am, we had our shouty arguments a number of times since the appearance of the Americans on our theatre of events.
You see, there is a lot that I have not told you about, and I don’t see an obligation to do so. You all hide behind your blog names and keep certain bits of your life private.
I think the things that were said in the email above and on other sites were out of line.
There is more
“It seems your writing is dedicated to proving two points, first, minimizing the American contribution to removing Saddam and then, proving what terrible things the US did to get rid of Saddam, so as to paint a picture that it wasn't worth it.”
As to the first. There is no way to “minimize” the contribution of the USA in removing saddam. The USA waged a friggin’ war, how could you “minimize” a war. I have said this before: if it weren’t for the intervention of the US, Iraq would have seen saddam followed by his sons until the end of time. But excuse me if I didn’t go out and throw flowers at the incoming missiles. As for the second point, I don’t think anyone has the right to throw cluster bombs in civilian areas and then refuse to clean up the mess afterwards.
I don’t really understand why among the 26 million Iraqis I have to explain everything clearly, are you watching the news? can't you see the spectrum of reactions people have to the American presence in Iraq?.
I was at an ORHA press conference the other day (got in with someone who had a press pass) the guy up there on the podium said in an answer to a question, that most probably the people who have had good encounters with the coalition forces were saying things are getting better and those who have had bad things happening to them were saying things are getting worse.
It is still too early to make any judgments, I don’t feel that I have an obligation say all is rosy and well.
Iraq is not the black hole it used to be and there are a bazillion journalists here doing better than I can ever do, they have a press ID and they know how to deal with stuff.
As to the question “why are you not documenting saddam’s crimes?” Don’t you see that this is not the sort of thing that should be discussed lightly in a blog like this one. And what’s with “documenting”, me tiny helpless salam documenting things that were going on for 30 years? Sorry to blow your bubble, but all I can do is tell you what is going on in the streets and if you think journalists are doing a better job of that then maybe you should go read them. One day, like in Afghanistan, those journalists will get bored and go write about Syria or Iran; Iraq will be off your media radar. Out of sight, out of mind. Lucky you, you have that option. I have to live it.