"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Monday, August 15, 2005

Money fight

While a "Top civilian in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blows whistle, and may lose her job," Iraq's new constitution is being prepared.

A constitution that means nothing to ordinary Iraqis
Monday, 15th August 2005, by Robert Fisk

Behind ramparts of concrete and barbed wire, the framers of Iraq’s new constitution wrestled yesterday to prevent - or bring about - the federalisation of Iraq while their compatriots in the hot and fetid streets outside showed no interest in their efforts.

Today is supposed to be "C" day, according to President Bush and all the others who illegally invaded this country in 2003. However, in " real" Baghdad - where the President and Prime Minister and the constitutional committee never set foot - they ask you about security, about electricity, about water, about when the occupation will end, when the murders will end, when the rapes will end.

They talk, quite easily, about the "failed" Jaafari government, so blithely elected by Shias and Kurds last January. "Failed" because it cannot protect its own people. "Failed" because it cannot rebuild its own capital city - visible to it between the Crusader-like machine-gun slits in the compound walls - and because it cannot understand, let alone meet, the demands of the "street".

In the Alice-in-Wonderland Iraq of Messrs Bush and Blair - inhabited, too, by the elected government of Iraq and its constitutional drafters and quite a few Western journalists - there are no such problems to cope with. The air-conditioners hiss away - there are generators to provide 24-hour power - and almost all senior officials have palatial homes in the heavily protected "Green Zone" which was once Saddam Hussein’s Republican Palace compound. No power cuts for them, no petrol queues, no kidnaps and murders.

continued... Selves and Others