Iraqi Freedom

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From the South China Morning Post:

Iraq has gone through a revolution in the past three weeks, casting off decades of censorship and state control. Banned books, satellite dishes and video compact discs are now sold on the street—as are alcohol and women.

Nobody knows how long the permissiveness will last. Iraq's American administrators assembled Iraqi political leaders yesterday to discuss a new government, and many Baghdad residents believe that once it is in place, some of their freedoms will disappear.

Conservatives are counting on it. Horrified by the changes, some Iraqis blame America for what they call a cultural degradation. If it continues for long, they promise to rise up in a holy war against the US forces.

"Everything against Islam, everything we hate, has been imported by the Americans like a disease," said Abbas Hamid, a 60-year-old merchant.

"We'll fight them. We're tired now, but we'll rest up and use our guns to drive the Americans out."

For now, Mr Hamid appears to be in the minority as Iraqis excitedly discover worlds of vice—and virtue—long forbidden by the repressive regime of Saddam Hussein. Teenagers now gape at singer Christina Aguilera's navel via new satellite dishes, and young lovers smooch in roadside cars, hidden behind tinted windows that were banned by Mr Hussein because they prevented police from spying on motorists.

Prostitutes can also be seen walking the streets in some neighbourhoods, beckoning passing motorists.

"Before, everything was forbidden except the air," said retiree Mohammed Jabbar.

"Now, we don't have electricity, we don't have water, but we are free."

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  1. Maybe not today, but soon…Iraq, if it is going to thrive as a democracy, will need a political spectrum. We have cultural conservatives here, and they need some there, along with campus goo-goos, tree-huggers and tammany-style hucksters.
    I understand Ataturk felt so strongly about this, in creating the modern Turkish republic, that he actually created several opposition parties from behind the scenes. I’m not sure how well this went…how could it be done better?
    The flavor of politics throughout the Arab world is derived from nearby European models, more heavily ideological than in the Anglo-Saxon world. In Europe, by now, democracy has so evolved that it is perhaps harmless…but it seems to be far more deleterious in the Arab context.

  2. I wonder how many of those guys who flagellated themselves the other week eased their pain with a stiff drink and a hooker? ROFL.

  3. Don’t satellite dishes require electricity? And the first thing teenagers did was run out and get their windows tinted?

  4. “We’ll fight them. We’re tired now, but we’ll rest up and use our guns to drive the Americans out.”

    Guns and a nap, if only Saddam had thought of that. All that swimming had him worn out.

  5. I hope they have tasted enough of freedom to do what it takes to stop the theocrats.

  6. I certainly hope this goes on. Cultural “degradation” is the only reliable check on the totalizing religious impulse. That’s why the US is at once the most religious and deeply secular nation of the West. Our secular culture diffuses religious intensity.

  7. Who is selling satellite dishes and tinted windows two weeks after the war ended, with closed borders and no power or currency. Nice theme for a story, but ridiculous content. Zero credibility.

  8. Who is selling satellite dishes and tinted windows two weeks after the war ended, with closed borders and no power or currency. Nice theme for a story, but ridiculous content. Zero credibility.

  9. EMAIL: nospam@nospampreteen-sex.info
    IP: 212.253.2.205
    URL: http://preteen-sex.info
    DATE: 05/21/2004 06:11:30
    An unimportant door is never locked.

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