Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Working Our Way Through Baghdad: Some stunning stuff in this report:
At one stage the marines opened fire after coming under attack from snipers, leaving at least two civilians wounded. One man needed treatment for gunshot wounds to his stomach and left arm. But his friend, Abdul Amir Jaffa, said he did not resent the Americans despite the shooting. "Americans are coming to free us," he told AFP.
We shot his friend but he doesn't hold it against us because we did it in the process of freeing him.

I've touched before on the mindset that makes the protesters tick. A lot of them were too young to protest Vietnam. Some of them were old enough but didn't and now feel they missed their chance. Some of them did protest, and are now reliving their salad days. At any rate, the protesters are looking through a prism of 1960s America, where war means 'Nam and hipness means marching. This is not an original observation. But this is: Some of us, myself included, didn't get to see or hear about the liberation of Paris, the dismantling of the concentration camps. Iraq is not WWII, but it may be as close as my generation will get. For me, the stories and images of freed people is a tonic in a country where we shout "Fascist" if someone tries to take away our "freedom" to do any number of silly things, like blocking traffic to protest the war. This, in Iraq, is freedom -- something you can only really feel so clearly when it is a new environment, like realizing you were dry and comfortable the moment before a downpour soaked you.

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