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[political] Comments to Baghdad Diaries

 
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Friends! Brothers and sisters! Let's keep our comments, especially cute ones, out of the main thread.
Come to think about it, does freedom of speech implies right to ever be heard?
Tom asked:
A one-sided view that makes the US look bad. Wonder why Map liked it.
Map liked it because it is real (some British insinuations notwithstanding) and it is personal. "A one-sided view" is a corollary from the last quality. We all are very one-sided and our views are one-sided also. If you want a two-sided view, go and listen to another speaker!
Heck, I was reading Amazon's review for a totally unrelated book and came across this in someone's review:
"The older I get the more I appreciate the struggles of others. It is not enough to understand our own lives- we must seek to understand the paths that led others into our lives, as well. I recommend this book highly to anyone with a mind open to understanding another person's life. Those who feel that only their own interpretation of reality is valid should not bother picking up the book."
----------------
"Curiousity is unsubordination in its purest form". - V.Nabokov.
[ September 06, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Mapraputa Is
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"makes the US look bad" -- how is it possible to bomb other and look good?
Here is the question I suffer from recently -- is it important for American people to "look good"? I was kinda expecting reaction that Baghdad Diaries got (except for insults, I thought somebody would come up with a good all-explaining insult, like this woman is very privileged (she is) etc.) Is it because someone like me, not quite American, throws all this at you? If you came across this kind of text would your reaction be different? Would you voluntarily read this kind of books... well, if you had time?
In all that grand press-campaign around the War, I've been missing Iraqi voices. Do we want to hear those whom we "liberated"? They might say something unexpected and unpleasant...
My favorite Russian newspaper did one thing right: they found a Chechen journalist living in Grosny and published her reports every week. Frankly, I was expecting something similar from the most free and democratic press, but couldn't find anything.
Back to our "look good" business. I am getting an idea that America has such a beautified image of itself that when some distant observer simply reports what he sees, America takes it as an insult. It's not too much unlike the image we have about ourselves: we always have explanations and justifications for what we did, so we look good in our own eyes, while other people may not be that excited. I experience this effect myself in a small dose. In case you still do not know there is "Asian Reporter" newspaper, and they publish stories written by an American woman who lives in Russia and teaches English. Just what she sees. My first reaction was that she is unfriendly, arrogant, ignorant, doesn’t understand anything in Russian life, in short anti-Russian. Well, what did you expect from a spoiled American I was even going to write to the editors and ask why they publish this crap. Being lazy I did not, which was good, because gradually I reconciled myself with her writings. In fact, she is being very friendly and polite, considering she has to actually live through what she describes. It's just that we got used to so many little stupid nasty things, that we take them for granted, do not notice them, have explanations for them, so when some foreigner points his (her in this case) finger, we get angry. "This is how things are, what you do not understand? Do not like it? Get out of here."
I think, that each of us should be subjected by law to reading foreigners observations about our countries, this is a kind of "reality check".
A final comment, when you read posts in this forum that look anti-American, this is not always so. Some are, but in many cases non-Americans simply do not know what myths America made about herself, so they are being disrespectful unintentionally.
Sorry for a long rant. It's late, stuffy and boring here. Thank you for your patience.
 
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Find them interesting to read.
Allways thought that's a little perverted to watch those aestetic flashes of the bombs and those huge tanks rolling in CNN sitting in my warm and peaceful appartment. Now that's the perspective of the people who are living in country which is bombed.
Maybe europeans of my generation are more sensible for those things, because we've grown up with personal war stories of our grandpas and especially grandmas.
For civil population it is worse than for soldiers. I know WW2 officers who told me that the war was good for their after-war carreer, because they were given executive functions being very young.
The grandmas and grandpas never, never ever complained about what "bad things" the allied forces did to them. They knew that fachism was crime against humanity. Two of them unfortunatedly much too late.
Was with my grandma at her ex-farm in now polish Silesia. She talked with an old polish women who has taken over neighbour farm after war and worked there as a forced labour during war. There were no feelings of revenge. They were just happy to meet and shared some stories. In a layer under CNN there is some micro-history going on, which might be sometimes more horrid and other times more encouraging than the democracy vs. tyrrani stuff, which is justified in my view. But the whole story has lots of more facets. And that's what this diary is about.
Axel
 
Mapraputa Is
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Thanks, Axel.
 
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Was this book published while this woman's family was still in Iraq under the control of Saddam? Was she in Iraq when it was published?
 
Mapraputa Is
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"P.S. - August 1992, Frenchman's Bay, Maine
I swore that I would not come to the West again, but I was nagged into it by Sol — life must go on, as she says. Everybody who knows Sol knows how determined she can be. Letters were written, and visas obtained. Long queues, humiliation, no country wants us. We are the pariahs of the world.
When I first arrived in London, I felt sad and distant. With the drama of the war over, no one seemed interested or even aware of our tragic situation. The papers only write about the Kurds or about the UN inspections.
Now I'm in Maine, staying with Sol and the Doc. A family reunion: Ma, Kiko, all of us together, only Dood and family missing. We are editing the diary; Sol is chief editor."
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
"With the drama of the war over, no one seemed interested or even aware of our tragic situation. The papers only write about the Kurds or about the UN inspections."

Now this is just too good! She is upset because everyone is writing about the massacred Kurds or the UN inspectors trying to locate WMDs instead of worrying about her broken toilet! Poor baby!
 
Mapraputa Is
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I am going to move to Germany. I am an alien in this country. Axel, do you have quota for American political refugees?
Tom, I understand that you wouldn't mind your city to be bombed for various humanitarian reasons for a few weeks. Nice to know.
 
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Tom, I understand that you wouldn't mind your city to be bombed for various humanitarian reasons for a few weeks. Nice to know.
More sarcasm, Map? Of course you know that Tom wouldn't want his city bombed. Of course you know nobody is suggesting bombing for "various humanitarian reasons". But it's cute, and sarcastic, and you can say it without actually having to work for a real opinion.
We bombed Iraq to remove Hussein. He knew we were coming, he chose to fight it out. He would have killed the invading troops. So instead, we blew up as much of his infrastructure as was required to oust him. Had he surrendered and/or left peaceably, no bombing would have occurred. But of course, he would not, and so we bombed.
There is no comparable reason to bomb the United States. If there were - if a secretly maniacal fascist President was elected who then violated his oath of office and somehow managed to suborn the Supreme Court, twist the entire Joint Chiefs to his will, smash Congress to pieces and begin a campaign of rape, pillage and plunder, using chemical weapons on Americans and committing genocidal terror on entire segments of the populace, then I would hope with all my heart that those people we count on most - the English, the Aussies, and even my dear countrymen in Poland - would rise together and work with American patriots to bomb the bastard out of existence.
And afterwards, I would hope that, rather than sitting around writing weblogs about how my bathroom wasn't working or complaining about the cost of gas, that I would instead be lending my services in whatever way needed to rebuild my country.
Joe
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Tom, I understand that you wouldn't mind your city to be bombed for various humanitarian reasons for a few weeks. Nice to know.


If my country was ruled by a brutal dictator I would welcome the invaders that liberated me. I wouldn't be complaining about a leaky toilet.
I think you might be better off in Germany. I don't think you understand how much Americans value liberty.
 
Joe Pluta
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the English
Whoops! I should have said "the Brits". No offense, I hope, to my UK friends!
Joe
 
Mapraputa Is
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More sarcasm, Map? Of course you know that Tom wouldn't want his city bombed.
Of course Tom knows that watching one's city bombed isn't quite equal to "her broken toilet"? I was responding to courtesy with courtesy. :roll:
But it's cute, and sarcastic, and you can say it without actually having to work for a real opinion.
Are you talking about Tom? He started first. Or his post wasn't sarcastic? But you do not mind his sarcasm, only mine? You complain that I am missing your points, could you not to ignore this one please?
We bombed Iraq to remove Hussein. He knew we were coming, he chose to fight it out. He would have killed the invading troops. So instead, we blew up as much of his infrastructure as was required to oust him. Had he surrendered and/or left peaceably, no bombing would have occurred. But of course, he would not, and so we bombed.
"his infrastructure"? He wasn't using it alone. That's the point, that the civil population suffered most, and regarding "was required to oust him" -- he wasn't ousted in 1991? Joe, you said my comments are lazy today, should I return a compliment?
And afterwards, I would hope that, rather than sitting around writing weblogs about how my bathroom wasn't working ... I would instead be lending my services in whatever way needed to rebuild my country.
if to speak about *this* woman, she wasn't writing a weblog in 1991. Now, in 2003 she is 62. She is an artist, I thought artists have their own ways of contributing to the society! With 65% of unemployment there isn't a shortage of labor, I suppose. I have no idea where she is now, she was in exile last years, hope she's still alive!
If to speak about the girl, she is sitting home, like other women, and goes outside only when she is accompanied by men because of problems with security! That she is speaking to us trying to explain her vision and has to read hateful mail for it is good enough for me. We all contribute what we can.
---------------
*) "Apparently, I should be grateful Little Dougie, as I am fond of calling him, wasn't in the Pentagon either, because he finishes his compassionate email with the following:
"If it were up to me I would have vaporized you ten minutes after the Trade center attacks."
Good stuff.
[ September 06, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Mapraputa Is
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If my country was ruled by a brutal dictator I would welcome the invaders that liberated me. I wouldn't be complaining about a leaky toilet.
"invaders that liberated me"? I am getting tired of remining that this book is about 1991 events, not 2003.
I think you might be better off in Germany.
I am starting to think so also. They have some decency for not to insult victims of their own bombings.
I don't think you understand how much Americans value liberty.
Why, a few hundred American lives per liberated country. Then Americans freak out, President's rating goes down and the President calls for international support. Tom, if there will be a Civil War in Iraq tomorrow, will you feel guilty? Or you will cling to empty rhetoric?
[ September 06, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
If my country was ruled by a brutal dictator I would welcome the invaders that liberated me. I wouldn't be complaining about a leaky toilet.
"invaders that liberated me"? I am getting tired of remining that this book is about 1991 events, not 2003.

It might be hard for you to remember back that far, but we liberated Kuwait in 1991 from Iraq. Saddam did not take Kuwait by himself. He had the help of the Iraqi elite like your friend who wrote that diary.
 
Mapraputa Is
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It might be hard for you to remember back that far, but we liberated Kuwait in 1991 from Iraq.
Not too hard. In fact, this is all I remember from 1991. That Iraq invaded Kuwait, and the USA kicked their butt back to home -- this is all I remember. Mind you, we had our own "revolution" in 1991, why would we care about Iraq.
Saddam did not take Kuwait by himself. He had the help of the Iraqi elite like your friend who wrote that diary.
Now don't blame it on 50-years old lady, ah? She did not help Saddam, she peacefully shit in her garden. God bless her shit as she did not kill any breathing creature, God be with you also.
 
Axel Janssen
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

I think you might be better off in Germany. I don't think you understand how much Americans value liberty.


Ahh. what a great lazy sunday. Now our basketbal team only have to win against Lithunia to make it straight to quarter final.
Joe: I am considering to buy your eclipse book, because of your interesting contributions in MD. You see. MD can generate business
 
Joe Pluta
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AJ:Ahhh. what a great lazy sunday. Now our basketbal team only have to win against Lithunia to make it straight to quarter final.
Here in Chicago, for the first time in as long as I can remember, both of our baseball teams are right at the top of their divisions in September. It's a great year for baseball in Chi-town!
AJ:Joe: I am considering to buy your eclipse book, because of your interesting contributions in MD. You see. MD can generate business
Great! Because I already know that MD can generate stomach acid .
Joe
[ September 07, 2003: Message edited by: Joe Pluta ]
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Now don't blame it on 50-years old lady, ah? She did not help Saddam, she peacefully shit in her garden. God bless her shit as she did not kill any breathing creature, God be with you also.


Those who thrive under a dictatorship while those around them suffer and are murdered are just as guilty as the actual killers:
In Germany they came first for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me--and by that time no one was left to speak up.
--- Martin Niem�ller(1892-1984)
 
Joe Pluta
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Thomas Paul: Those who thrive under a dictatorship while those around them suffer and are murdered are just as guilty as the actual killers
And that's really been my whole point this entire time. Those who Map has been quoting are, IN MY OPINION, guilty of genocide by omission. They miss the fundamental concept of carnig about their countrymen. It is that belief - that we are responsible for our fellow Americans - that has given rise to every civil rights movement in America. We're not perfect at it. Too many Americans still suffer from poverty and disease, and there is still lingering inequality. But we've made some pretty good strides in just 225 years, and each generation seems just a little more tolerant than the one before it.
For example, my kids are all but color-blind, and I hope that continues with my grandkids.
Joe
 
Mapraputa Is
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Joe: Great! Because I already know that MD can generate stomach acid
... when you do not post here for several hours. You are addicted, admit it.
(Disclaimer: no insult intended!)
Tom: Those who thrive under a dictatorship while those around them suffer and are murdered are just as guilty as the actual killers.
I wonder if I "thrived" under communist "dictatorship" and if I am as guilty as the actual killers... My weak excuse is that I did not know back then than I am thriving under dictatorship, and that there were murders going on... Under democracy, though, it was perfectly clear that there is genocide going on in Chechnya, and I will always feel guilty that I did not do anything. At least, they do not have my taxes to run the war now. Rest of the world doesn't seem to be too bothered, though. I guess, only murders made under "communism" sign are considered atrocities, if you murder people under "democracy" sign, it's just fine.
 
Axel Janssen
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first of all: like the Niem�ller quote very much. Hitler was voted and very popular and the popularity of the government to the shame of the generation of my grandpas and grandmas actually did rise before war.
He forcasted every evil thing he did in power in the "mi fight" book, written in the early 20ties. When they said after the war, they did not know about concentration camps is not true for a lot of them. The deportation of jews often was quite visible, at least in the big cities.
If you dig down to the personal histories of the persons during the time things are getting complicated and confused. None of my family members were slaughtered in a concentration camp. Some more or less openly did acts of resistance. Grandpa1 was communist and harbour worker with some but quite little formal education. He told stories about destroying some nazi symbols in 33, dissolution of communists organisation in 33 and singing communist worker song in bunkers. He was married and had a small daughter. I think he shut his mouth quite soon, but what would you do?

Grandpa2 was nsdap member since 1925. My grandma believed in that nazi-crap, too. For me this is a huge mistery seeing her as a nazi. How can it be, that such a warm hearted, nice, pragmatic person which lots of family and community sense go enthusiastically to nsdap propaganda shows in the 30ties. Grandpa2 died before I was born, but my mother had a very deep relationship with him. Silesian farmer lived under big economic pressure at the end of the 20ties, beginning of 30ties. Of course this is no excuse. I read books. It was kind of a dying rural world.
The father of grandpa2 was anti-nazi. He often spoke polish in their small silesian village as open but helpless sign of protest. The family of my mother looks actually quite polish. They are border people. A brother of gandpa2 was anti-nazi, too. He wrote a text about the time. Very interesting. One gets an idea about the pressure, the contradictions, his deep disgust for the nazi stuff and that normal life goes on 120 miles north-west of Ausschwitz. He was married with kids.
Another story from the mother of my chilean ex. In the chaotic days following golpe militar of A. Pinochet in 1073 a brother of her husband entered their apartment with a pistol, shouting "Gerardo, degenerated communist, I am going to kill you". They had lots of fear, but the drunken brother left some time later. They had 2 kids 2 years and 3 month old. What would you do if you were him. Go to anti-Pinochet demonstration next day?

I think that only a tiny fraction of people is ready to start heroic acts under a dictatorship. Its very easy to throw stones on the other.
[ September 07, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
 
Mapraputa Is
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I typed this post and then saw Axel's post. I made my decision, I am moving to Germany.
One of my grandfathers was a communist. He died long before I was born (probably war's consequences). Mom said communists picked him up when he was 14, he had a couple of years of education. He didn't know anything besides what he was told, and he believed in communistic idea, go on, blame him. One thing I like about him, Mom said he never made any profit from his position (he finally was relatively high ranking functioner). He never had his own house, always lived in rented appartments. He didn't even had too much furniture. When he died, there was basically nothing he owned.
And my father personally participated in bringing down Hungarian uprising in 1956! (he did not kill anybody, though, and he was in Germany, not in Hungary, but anyway). So what am I supposed to do, Tom, you know all the answers!
It pleases me to no end to see such an enthusiasm about fighting dictatorship. This reminds me myself when I was 9 years old and also believed in fighting dictatorships!
Niem�ller quote was very popular in the Soviet Union. Communists loved it.
[ September 07, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Joe Pluta
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I think that only a tiny fraction of people is ready to start heroic acts under a dictatorship. Its very easy to throw stones on the other.
Axel, I wouldn't even think to "throw stones" at your ancestors; I praise God that I never had to make the choices they did. (I am sitting here literally with a chill up my spine at the thought.) However, once the liberation came, my guess is that those people did not sit around and complain that their toilets were leaking - instead they probably worked with the liberationists and with each other to rebuild their neighborhoods and their country.
That's my only point. The two people Map quoted both had two things in common: they did nothing while their countrymen were being killed, and once the killing was stopped, rather than acknowledge the liberation they were more worried about their loss of creature comforts. I find that distasteful.
Joe
 
Axel Janssen
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I made my decision, I am moving to Germany.


@Map: Mi casa es tu casa
@Joe: I thought that, don't forget your stomach.
 
Mapraputa Is
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@Map: Mi casa es tu casa
No amount of Spanish can keep a German and a Russian from understanding each other!
 
Axel Janssen
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its "my flat is your flat",
if you need exile
 
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Map liked it because it is real (some British insinuations notwithstanding) and it is personal.
Who me?! Iwasn't implying it wasn't real. And I speak for Britain about as much as you speak for Russia and the US
[ September 07, 2003: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
 
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Richard: Who me?! I wasn't implying it wasn't real.
I misunderstood you then.
And I speak for Britain about as much as you speak for Russia and the US.
I am going to start speaking for Germany soon. Tom is looking for a German dictionary for me, and Jason will help to pack my things, I am sure.
Axel: its "my flat is your flat",
if you need exile

Yeah, I understood it. My Spanish is about as good!
 
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
so when some foreigner points his (her in this case) finger, we get angry. "This is how things are, what you do not understand? Do not like it? Get out of here."


No US, no Baghdad, no misunderstanding ....
Recently I was wacthing movie "What planet you are from", hero was an alien and came to study human psychology on earth and as usual he lanaded in US
So basically he studied american psychology.
Alien job was to get marry and make woman pregnant.
So he decided to marry a girl and his collegue[earthian, basically american] said how could he[now alien is working in bank] marry a girl without having sex [it was this dialogue which made me to put down my remote and watch movie].
I am still confuse, what picture an alien would have had in his mind after this conversation ?
Long back, when I was kid, I read a short story, where an alien came to earth, landed in some bungalow. He was there for some time and he met eveyone[dog, cat, TV, fridge, statue, radio, tape recorder etc] in that house except human[master of all these].
and the alien sent a very funny report[about earth's ruler] to his seniors. As per him dog was the master of home which controled all other things[all other things where also living creatures as per alien].
What I am saying ... yes I am saying, let me marry without having sex and please dont call me alien
May I say I am talking to Map only
 
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