mr. zilla goes to town

Thursday, December 09, 2004

six degrees of occupation

When you're as skeptical and jaundiced over television news reporting as I am to the point that you don't bother actually having a teev in the house any more, the laptop screen and everything in it becomes the primary daily portal to the world outside the local hamlet. (The secondary portal here is the cosy Teddy Hall Middle Common Room, to which I have been kindly invited into as a guest member, with its six daily British newspapers, plethora of literary supplements, and occasional sherry, what what.)

If Vietnam was the first televised war, and the 1991 Iraq/Kuwait War the first conflict to go live to air on CNN, perhaps the Iraq War of 2003-200? will be remembered as the war of realtime multiplicity of perspectives. The preponderant view certainly comes from what might be called the military-entertainment complex, that is the military talking heads embedded in the US media and US media embedded in the US military. However there were and are a growing list of alternative interpretations of the conflict and its consequences; from the less mediated photologs, to the sickening habit of beheadings-as-press-release by the insurgents, to the slightly more stomachable diaries from the regular joes of baghdad and surrounds, like riverbend.

Perhaps perhaps the most famous (and best leveraged) throughout the early days of the conflict was Salam Pax. Well Salam eventually found his friend Raed who also has his own blog. I hadn't checked back on Raed in a while and it seems that most of Raed's family is now in on the act. The translated entries of Raed's mother Faiza at A Family In Baghdad are worthwhile reading, by turns contemplative, angry, humorous and sad, but ever so human:

Bush and the Alawwi Government are working with the most possible force to control the situation…and with all legal and illegal methods. And those who oppose them are also working with the utmost potential to keep on the confrontations and fights…by methods legal, and illegal.
And the people are in great pain and frustration.
We want peace and security.
We want reconstruction, and the vision of a new future to our children. We have had enough of this daily revolt, violence, and hatred.
Who will be able to help us??

Most days I open my eyes before 7 o’clock in the morning, listening to the noises of far-away gunshots, and explosions…and I whisper to myself: Oh GOD our Savior…there are dead people, and blood spilled since morning…
All my life I loved the morning…I find it the suitable time for the remembrance of GOD, to check on the garden and walk around it, and feel refreshed by the morning coolness, and the street quietness…but now, it became a meaning of attacks and assassinations…. May GOD curse whoever deformed our life…whoever he might be.

I don't take any pleasure at all in reading about the suffering of Iraq and its people which I fear is only going to interminably continue. But I can't look away.


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