Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Just wanted to let you I peruse the hundreds of headlines today I am struck by the astonishinly negative tone applied to an equally astonishing bit of history transpiring before our eyes.

I'm seeing headlines referring to Tuesday, the day after Mr. Bremer handed the reins to Prime Minister Allawi, and those headlines read "No Celebrations Seen in Baghdad On Day After Power Transfer", and "Just Another Day in Baghdad".

Of course, these are headlines come from many of the same news outlets who, six, eight, or more months ago were editorializing that the US needed to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis with all due haste...

I don't need to reiterate my loathing for the agenda driven media. You know it well and many of you share it.

So...once again, here I am, in a tiny room in Germany, with only my internet connection through which to view the happenings in Iraq, and I am able to find the stories that appear to elude the half-assed efforts of Reuters, AP, CNN et al.

Consider these words, written by an Iraqi.
Some of us were celebrating regaining sovereignty, some were celebrating the end of occupation, others were happy because they think the new government will bring safety and order. I was celebrating a new and a great step towards democracy, but we were all joined by true hope for a better future and by the love we have for Iraq.

After wards we sat for a while discussing different matters. The hall was busy and everyone was chatting and laughing loud. They had Al-Jazeera on (something I never managed to convince them to stop doing). Then suddenly Mr. Bremer appeared on TV reading his last speech before he left Iraq. I approached the TV to listen carefully to the speech, as I expected it to be difficult in the midst of all that noise. To my surprise everyone stopped what they were doing and started watching as attentively as I was.

The speech was impressive and you could hear the sound of a needle if one had dropped it at that time. The most sensational moment was the end of the speech when Mr. Bremer used a famous Arab emotional poem. The poem was for a famous Arab poet who said it while leaving Baghdad. Al-Jazeera had put an interpreter who tried to translate even the Arabic poem which Mr. Bremer was telling in a fair Arabic! “Let this damned interpreter shut up. We want to hear what the man is saying” One of my colloquies shouted. The scene was very touching that the guy sitting next to me (who used to sympathize with Muqtada) said “He’s going to make me cry!”

Then he finished his speech by saying in Arabic,”A’ash Al-Iraq, A’ash Al-Iraq, A’ash Al-Iraq”! (Long live Iraq, Long live Iraq, long live Iraq).

I was deeply moved by this great man’s words but I couldn’t prevent myself from watching the effect of his words on my friends who some of them were anti-Americans and some were skeptic, although some of them have always shared my optimism. I found that they were touched even more deeply than I was. I turned to one friend who was a committed She’at and who distrusted America all the way. He looked as if he was bewitched, and I asked him, “So, what do you think of this man? Do you still consider him an invader?” My friend smiled, still touched and said, “Absolutely not! He brought tears to my eyes. God bless him.”

Another friend approached me. This one was not religious but he was one of the conspiracy theory believers. He put his hands on my shoulders and said smiling, “I must admit that I’m beginning to believe in what you’ve been telling us for months and I’m beginning to have faith in America. I never thought that they will hand us sovereignty in time. These people have shown that they keep their promises.”
As always, I just thought you'd like to know what your media won't show you if they can help it.

Click through and read his entire piece.

UPDATE: Here is someone who says it all much better than I can.
Not to pick on Sherman, but she's a convenient example of how schadenfreude sometimes masquerades as diplomacy. Loosely translated, here's what Sherman was really saying:

Bush overthrew a brutal dictatorship; arrested and detained Saddam Hussein, soon to be handed over to Iraqi courts; killed the tyrant's murderous sons; restored or invented infrastructure while safeguarding Iraq's oil wells; and created and installed a new provisional government in just over a year following 13 chaotic months of insurgent attacks, with little international support and daily assaults by the media and the far left, while apparently preventing new terror attacks on American soil.

But he's got to go. Why? Well, because he's a Republican.

Even as I type, a CNN Insta-poll says a majority of Americans have little faith in Iraq's future. Yet another recent poll of 2,200 Iraqi households by an Iraqi firm offers a different perspective: Half of Iraqis interviewed believe Iraq is headed in the right direction; 65 percent think Iraq will be better off a year from now; 73 percent "believe the handover of authority to the Interim government will improve the current situation."

Such optimism following decades of tyranny, war and terror may be explained several ways, including the fact that Iraqis lived the war rather than had it interpreted for them by the American media. And possibly, they've caught wind of their reborn nation's new administrative law, which establishes inter alia that the people of Iraq are sovereign and free with rights of free expression, justice, thought and conscience.

Pretty heady stuff. Maybe the word will spread to others who need to hear it, including many in the United States.

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