Empty Days

Saturday, April 10, 2004



Iraq-n

I am not much of a news-hawk so I am not aware of who's saying what where at any given time, but I've finally noticed that the CBC has joined forces with ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corp) to give a broader perspective on international events. The daily program is aptly called Hemispheres and while it doesn't really give you any special peek into things, it does inform us of what Australian official network thinks of the world.

Well, viewers, brace yourselves: it thinks and acts very much like BBC. So now we know - it's still the old Dominion logic. Proof: today's BBC World had a special report on Saddam's prisons as well as renewal of secular culture in Baghdad (theater); curiously ABC had reports on the same subjects (Saddam's prisons revisited + instead of theater it was opera). It can't be a coincidence, I figure.

***

In the kindnapping spree in Iraq a Syrian-born Canadian social worker went missing and the Canadian gov is trying to address the problem by appealing to hostage-takers through... no, not embassies or "diplomatic channels" - the Arab media. Yes. That's what Iraq is right now: the true representatives of everything Iraqi are the media, and not the Western media but those bad and awful Arab networks. Satellite TV is running Iraq at the moment - at the ground level, in the absence of functional government.

Reminds me of Gaza. We were so wrong to mistake Fallujah for Mogadishu.

If this guy was taken by thugs or Jihad crazies, there's little chance he'll be released just like that. Because to those fucks it doesn't matter that he be non-coaltion and thoroughly non-military. Like the 3 Japanese - journalist+NGO kids. To them they're westerners: white fodder for wild claims. Have you noticed? The takers of the Japanese changed their demands today from withdrawl of Jap troops to lifting siege of Fallujah. Whatever. The Japs are planning a mil operation from Jordan to free their guys. Hope it works out - otherwise they'll die. Like that journalist, Pearl, died in Pakistan at the hands of Islamists when US took over Afghanistan - remember? Wild claims are meant to provoke certain death.

For the canadian guy the only chance would be that his takers are thugs or improvising non-militia elements: in that case al-Sadr folks are the ones to talk to, they can get the guy out. If it's fringe Jihad fucks, then nobody can do a thing.

For all the violence out there, it is not a good idea to equate all of the uprising with pure savagery. There are structured elements who have some sort of leverage with the wilder crowd. It is just possible that the hostage-taking spree is in fact an improvised consequence of Arab TV reporting about initial kidnappings. I guess what I am trying to say is that as long as there is some structure to insurgency, there is still hope that this thing won't degenerate into a lethal and final mess.

Slim hope.

***

Forgot to mention that the Canadian guy entered Iraq under false identity (Palestinian from Gaza). I wonder why. Maybe I am mistaken, but I haven't heard of other Canadians joining NGO's in Iraq. Perhaps it was the only way to get in?





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