Sunday, May 30, 2004

Salam Pax and the Parental-Unit

This blog comes from Salam Pax's archives and offers us a glimpse of the contentious dialogues that are possible among Iraqis of different generations. Let's dig right in:

:: Saturday, February 08, 2003 ::

8th February 1963
president Abdul-Kareem Qasim is ousted in a coup led by the Arab Socialist Resurrection Party (the first Ba'athist "revolution", later to be called the "fair maiden" of all revolutions), Abdul-Salam Arif becomes president and kicks out the Ba'athists 10 months after they have put him in the president's seat. Saddam is among the group who attacked adul-karim's car in al-rasheed street.

17th July 1968
the second Ba'athist led coup, Arif is ousted, General Ahmad Hassan Al-bakir becomes president, Saddam Hussein is vice president. 16th July 1979
Al-Bakir "resigns", Saddam Hussein becomes president of the Republic of Iraq.

We get a public holiday to contemplate how could there have ever been people who were fooled by Ba'athist ideology.
One Arab nation with an eternal message.
Unity (wahda)
Freedom (huria)
Socialism (ishtirakia)

Sometimes when talking to someone who was there during all this, the generation which had a chance to go out in the streets and affect change, it just slips out:

- Salam Pax: "you were tricked and used, you realize this."

- Parental-Unit: "yes, now what? do you want an official apology?"

- Salam Pax: "no just wanted to make sure you acknowledge it"

only my commie uncle starts shouting abuse at me :-)

Here's Zeyad from Healing Iraq, in conflict with his uncle:

The next day ... a long convoy of American vehicles stormed through our street. I stood in front of the house watching, M1 Bradleys, Humvees, Abrams tanks, APC's. I was impressed. Most of the Americans were so so young. They waved at us, and I waved back. Everyone in the street looked happy.

After they left, I was surprised to find my uncle standing at the door, his face violet red with rage, he was plucking his hair from his head and shouting, I didn't at first realize what he was saying, his mouth was frothy and he was shaking his fists at me, he was so ashamed and enraged about the fact that I was waving to the 'invading' Americans. ... I haven't talked to him to this day, although he lives next door.

We don't hear much about these conflicts, but they too are part of Iraq's ongoing story.

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