Very busy, but amid all the "democracy" braying that's currently choking the Web (what? you disagree? freedom hater!!), I wanted to post the latest entry from Riverbend's Baghdad blog. Anti-Saddam & anti-occupation, she provides a glimpse from ground level in "liberated" Iraq, and describes the installation of a new system of control there:
"What it seems policy makers in America don't get, and what I suspect many Americans themselves *do* get, is that millions of Iraqis feel completely detached from the current people in power. If you don't have an alliance with one of the political parties (i.e. under their protection or on their payroll) then it's difficult to feel any affinity with people like Jaffari, Allawi, Talbani, etc. We watch them on television, tight-lipped and shifty-eyed after a meeting where they quarreled about Kirkuk or Sharia in the constitution and it feels like what I imagine an out-of-body experience should feel like.
"In spite of elections, they still feel like puppets. But now, they are high-tech puppets. They were upgraded from your ordinary string puppets to those life-like, battery-powered, talking puppets. It's almost like we're doing that whole rotating president thing Bremer did in 2003 all over again. The same faces are getting tedious. The old Iraqi saying sums it up nicely, 'Tireed erneb- ukhuth erneb. Tireed ghazal- ukhuth erneb.' The translation for this is, 'You want a rabbit? Take a rabbit. You want a deer? Take a rabbit.'
"Except we didn't get any rabbits- we just got an assortment of snakes, weasels and hyenas."
Read the rest.
More on Lebanon, the masses stirring in Bolivia (where?), and some Palestinian blogs I've come across. Be back soon. Aloha.