Empty Days

Wednesday, April 07, 2004



Galvanized - reality

Well, thank God I don't have CNN or FOXchannel or Al-Jeezira or any of those dumbass "show-me-the-blood" broadcasts. The shocked and sorrowful face of the young independent canadian reporter in the heart of Iraq is enough to gauge the straits out there - after talking to frightened young GIs overwhelmed in small towns, after talking to locals who tell of stray-bullet casualities next-door, after seeing people hiding hiding hiding in small homes from the violence in the streets.

I don't want to know what Rumsfield or any of those other masks-of-death have to say. And I don't want to know what a bunch of arm-chair internet strategists have to say. And basically I'd like to quote Belgravia Dispatch (minus the strategic fantasies thereafter) about how some things are not as bad as you would like them:
That U.N. blue helmets and/or NATO forces would be brought in during the months after the initial handover date so as to make the occupation look less distinctly American.

There may be a limited appetite for that in places like Paris, Berlin and Turtle Bay.

But the state of the Atlantic Alliance is not quite as dim as many think.

And preventing Iraq's descent into anarchy or civil war is in the interests of all these parties--no matter the previous trans-atlantic discord of '03.
Quite so. Time to forget all that idiot French-fries bashing mood. And maybe this too, as this kind of attitude has long been in short-supply:
But, on the other hand, it's certainly not time for cockiness, chest-beating, and talk of razing Fallujah, Sadr City, Najaf and such claptrap.
And may I also be permitted to quote this groung-level reaction from the Financial Guy in Iraq upset over lots of ignorance being widely broadcasted:
I may add that Safire's column in The New York Times on this is positively surreal. I suppose it is not hard to see how things have gone so poorly given people with his level of understanding are running things.
Who also has this wonderfully domestic tidbit about moods we are too far removed to appreciate:
I had another one of those chilling convos with my Iraqi Shiite maid.

Recall she is secular. I listened to a half hour rant from her about how great Muqtada as-Sadr is so great becuase he is finally teaching the Americans a lesson, and showing that the Iraqi people are gave and know how to stand up for themselves. Rarely do I bother to argue but her cheering the news of the helicopters going down (al-Jazeerah reported Fallujah and Baqoubah) really pushed things too far.

Normally I tolerate her outbursts as she's a simple woman whose political views derived from growing up in an extreme environment - and she swings back and forth. The lesson here is even Iraqis not naturally sympathetic to Sadr will, if they have to choose between as-Sadr and American troops will choose as-Sadr. Nationalist and particularist sentiment will trump reason, above all in violent, emotionally charged environments. This is a losing game for the CPA.

CNBC Arabiyah reports by the way that there was fighting between demonstrators and US forces (showed images of Bradley APCs in the street) in ... get this, Kirkuk.
If you're inclined to investigate some of Belgravia's fantasies at length, this is the light they should be read in. For he thinks strange thoughts:
It appears we lost approximately 20 U.S. soldiers over the past 24 odd hours.

That's just not acceptable.
Oh yeah? Brace yourself, good man. What is not acceptable today might just turn out to look like the norm a few weeks from now. But people adapt themselves. That's how you know you're back in Vietnam - when you find yourself getting used to and excusing things going bad. It's an easy road to take, really is.

***

Tell-it-all quote from Oldman's intense plan for turning things around on a dime:

41. Rename Airport from Bush International Airport to Baghdad International Airport.





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