Wednesday, May 26, 2004

From Baghdad with love 

A nice little interview with Salam Pax, the original Iraqi blogger, "Guardian" columnist, internationally published author and soon to be subject of a movie.

Salam, as everyone's probably aware by now, is far from an uncritical admirer of the United States, and he's got plenty to say about what went wrong post-liberation. Yet after all the criticism, there is time for a deep breath:

"So what are the good things? What is wonderful about Baghdad today? His face lights up. 'The streets, full of things to buy. All the newspapers – some of them make you angry, some make you laugh, some are silly, but people are saying things.'

"Most of all, he says, the pride of his people. 'The best moment, best moment ever, was the announcement of the governing council. They're useless, 25 people who I know will be able to do nothing but, never mind, they're there. And the concert after that, people singing the new Iraqi national anthem. It makes the hairs stand on my neck every time I hear it'."
Little things, like free choices and greater options, freedom to speak and not to speak, undegraded national symbols. It's a post-totalitarian recovery syndrome; media wouldn't understand.


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