The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

17 August 2003

Baghdad laughs and sweats some more

I had heard Anne Garrels' All Things Considered report on the Iraqi response to the Northeast blackout Friday afternoon, and inasmuch as it had been a long day at the salt mine, I assumed that what I heard as smugness and snideness was just the effect of fatigue on my remaining brain cells, and thought no more about it. I mean, I'm sort of fond of Garrels: she's been through a hell of a lot as a Baghdad correspondent, and under the circumstances, a little bit of attitude is forgivable.

Well, I'm not the only one who picked up on smug and/or snide. At The Sound and Fury, LAN3 singled out this particular paragraph, matching the italics to Garrels' inflections:

It seemed like God was finally on their side after a long long time, inflicting a hint of the pain Iraqis have experienced for the past 5 months. Iraqis were just disappointed the blackout hadn't lasted a little longer, so Americans could really understand what it means to live without regular power. And when told that Americans were suffering in 95-degree heat, Iraqis were a tad disappointed; suffering is living every day with daily highs topping 125.

Ain't it awful? This isn't quite as annoying as, say, Palestinians cheering after 9/11, but it does make me wish that I owned the patent on Schadenfreude; I could retire tomorrow without a care in the world.

Posted at 3:10 PM to Almost Yogurt


awwwww c'mon!?

Is this any less horrible than the BS that we americans dish out in our smug assesments of the Iraqis? "Why can't they just act civil?" or "They should just be happy they are free of Saddam" without even an inkling of what the real situation is there in the country. All they want is for the average American to get a sense of what they are dealing with, how they are suffering and maybe, maybe... just a little, sympathy?

Its difficult if not next to impossible to empathize for people you dont know or cant relate to, but you do have to realize that everybody else on the face of this earth is fundamentally human and deep down they want exactly the same things you do, security, comfort, enough to eat, and freedom to say and do what they want.

When you have those things its easy to forget about the millions of people who dont. Its a tragedy every day that a human being has to live under repression or horrible living conditions.

Posted by: bruce at 9:14 PM on 17 August 2003

This teeters perilously close to "Say what you will about Saddam, at least he kept the air conditioners running." Like Mussolini's trains, I suppose.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:23 AM on 18 August 2003

Not really, saddam needed to go, if you look at how people lived under his regime then you come to the quick conclusion that people would be better off without him around. They didnt have the freedom that people want, the same goes for N Korea, Saudi Arabia, and china.

The world should be doing lots more for Africa and its shameful that we dont.

Posted by: bruce at 10:40 AM on 18 August 2003