The show Put Him in [Camp] Bucca has drawn numerous protests but has stayed on air throughout the fasting month, broadcasting its stings on well-known Iraqi personalities.
All of them were ensnared by being invited to the headquarters of the private television station Al Baghdadia to be interviewed, but en route to the station a fake bomb would be planted in their car while they were being searched by Iraqi soldiers, who were in on the deception.
Soldier : Which group you are working for?
Television Host: Al Qaeda for sure.
Guest: I am an actor. What are you saying? Is this a game or what?
Soldier: This a military checkpoint. What do you think we are playing here? You have got a bomb in your car.
Television Host: Why are you doing this? Why are you putting me in such trouble?
Guest: I am a family man. I have two kids. How could I do this to my family? I am telling you the truth, its not me who planted the bomb.
Knowing the sort of "pranks" they are fond of in Iraqi run prisons I'm sure such encounters causes a few brown dishdasha moments. Iraqi humor has always been rather robust. It's nice after losing tens of thousands of dead to bearded dingbats they now find terrorism amusing. Shame we didn't think of it during The Troubles, just think Frank Carson being dragged off to Castlereagh for a spot of RUC chiropracty.
Seven years after the disastrous American invasion, the cruelest irony in Iraq is that, in a perverse way, the neoconservative dream of creating a moderate, democratic U.S. ally in the region to counterbalance Iran and Saudi Arabia has come to fruition. But even if violence in Iraq continues to decline and the government becomes a model of democracy, no one will look to Iraq as a leader. People in the region remember -- even if the West has forgotten -- the seven years of chaos, violence, and terror. To them, this is what Iraq symbolizes. Thanks to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other failed U.S. policies in the broader Middle East, the United States has lost most of its influence on Arab people, even if it can still exert pressure on some Arab regimes.
Last week, the Western media descended upon Iraq for one last embed, for a look at the "legacy," to ask Iraqis whether it was "worth it." On the night of August 31st, I overheard one American TV producer trying to find an Iraqi family that would be watching Obama's speech on Iraq live. Obama's speech was aired at 3 a.m. in Baghdad. But Obama did not address Iraqis in his speech. And they weren't interested, anyway. Most Iraqis were awake at that hour, but they were lying in bed sweltering, unable to sleep, waiting for the electricity to come back on so they could power their air conditioners.
Doesn't sound so bad. Freedoms march was always dangerous bolloks liable to wreck our interests in the region.Given a bit of luck it might be Lebanon by mid century. Ordinary Arabs lost faith in DC back in LBJ's day, all that's changed is the level on contempt.