Thursday, December 04, 2003[posted by jaed at 5:12 PM]
Listening to Iraqis
John Burns's reports from Iraq are becoming indispensable. I am starting to wonder what we'd be seeing if every Western reporter in Iraq 1) got out of the hotel once in a while 2) got out of Baghdad once in a while 3) got edgy and risk-taking enough to use translators who didn't used to work for the Mukhbarat.
Today's article in the NYT recounts a conversation with four Iraqi men in Amariya (the quote below is heavily elided to give a flavor of the direction of the conversation, but you should read it al):
"...Saddam is still there, and we count on him, every last man among us."(via the permalinkless Dignified Rant, via He Who Must Be Linked)
"Well, O.K., we didn't love Saddam, we have to be honest about it."
"O.K., let us be honest here. Whatever we may say to foreigners like you, the truth is that we were never really with Saddam; in our hearts, we were always against him. But he is gone; what we are against now is America."
"The Americans should go home, but not right now, not until they have ended all this trouble."
"Look, we really don't have anything against the Americans."
"But it would make things worse now if they were just to go away."