When [Bremer] left Iraq on Monday after surrendering authority to an interim government, it was with a somber air of exhaustion. There was no farewell address to the Iraqi people, no celebratory airport sendoff.
Wrong! It turns out that — as other newspapers are beginning to report — Bremer actually gave an eloquent speech, partly in decent Arabic, that changed the minds of some cynical Iraqis about America.
And how did Tim Blair first learn this? By reading Iraqi blogs. The Iraqi blogger in question described Bremer’s speech this way:
Suddenly Mr. Bremer appeared on TV reading his last speech before he left Iraq. I approached the TV to listen carefully to the speech, as I expected it to be difficult in the midst of all that noise. To my surprise everyone stopped what they were doing and started watching as attentively as I was.
The speech was impressive and you could hear the sound of a needle if one had dropped it at that time. The most sensational moment was the end of the speech when Mr. Bremer used a famous Arab emotional poem. The poem was for a famous Arab poet who said it while leaving Baghdad. Al-Jazeera had put an interpreter who tried to translate even the Arabic poem which Mr. Bremer was telling in a fair Arabic! “Let this damned interpreter shut up. We want to hear what the man is saying” One of my colloquies shouted. The scene was very touching that the guy sitting next to me (who used to sympathize with Muqtada) said “He’s going to make me cry!”
Then he finished his speech by saying in Arabic, “A’ash Al-Iraq, A’ash Al-Iraq, A’ash Al-Iraq!” (Long live Iraq, Long live Iraq, long live Iraq).
Don’t expect to see this point of view in your local paper. It sounds too much like good news.
Speaking of the suppression of good news, see what another Iraqi blogger has to say about the media. Blair has turned over his weekly column to some Iraqi bloggers. One of those bloggers, named Omar, says something I just have to share with you:
Something you may not have read about: in May, Iraqi soldiers saved the life of a US marine shot during patrols in Al Karmah, near Fallujah. Private Imad Abid Zeid Jassim dragged the injured marine away from gunfire then attacked the enemy. We (and you) don’t read any good news like this. All we get are pictures of idiots throwing bricks at burnt cars. Why don’t the media cover such stories? The attitude of the major media no longer surprises me. It only disgusts me.
Looks like Iraqis have more in common with Americans than you’d think!
And another blogger named Ali has this wonderful observation:
Like all Iraqis, I hate Americans. Of course. Here is why:
The Americans, although they brought us freedom, acted without authorisation from the United Nations. Arrogant Americans.
The Americans, although they rescued us from Saddam Hussein, defied the will of many nations. Insular Americans.
The Americans won’t leave Iraq, say newspaper reports. Get out, Americans!
Other newspaper reports say the Americans want to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible after throwing us into chaos. Stay here, Americans!
The Americans spent tens of billions of dollars to liberate Iraq and help it become a prosperous democratic nation. Don’t Americans care more about fixing their own problems? Crazy Americans.
The Americans started this whole war because of oil. That is why fuel costs are at record high levels in the US and is cheaper than water in Iraq. Selfish Americans.
The Americans are not using the necessary force to keep Iraq safe and secured. Lazy Americans! The Americans are also using excessive force in Iraq while dealing with the security problems. Brutal Americans!
The Americans support the Israeli terrorist government instead of the good peaceful people of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Says it all. Violent Americans.