Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Old Emails

Even though I have been extremely critical of Raed Jarrar on this blog, I should add that we have been sort-of friends in the past and we even conducted a vigorous, engaging, and interesting email correspondence for several months around a year or so ago. We flamed each other, to be sure, but we also talked to each other and learned to respect our differences. As decorum dictates, I would never post any of Raed's emails to me, but I will post one of my emails to Raed here as a kind of example of possible moments of accord between two people of very different backgrounds and very different views on the present and future of Iraq.
Sunday, April 18, 2004 4:42 AM

Raed,

Yes, sometimes I indeed sound like a broken record to myself. For most of my life I did not involve myself in politics and international relations. My field is linguistics, like I told you, and I was happy to concern myself with linguistics and literature. Then 9/11 came along and kicked me in the nuts. (The air in New York stank for two weeks after 9/11.) Now I've read a lot about the issues and learned a lot from people on the internet -- I may even have learned a few things from YOU (but don't let it boost your ego just yet).

Some of the early bloggers like Salam and Zeyad and the Iraq the Model brothers talked about the difficulty they thought Iraq would have clearing its head of nearly 30 years of Saddam's seriously deadly mind games. I think we're seeing some of that now.

Raed, I may curse you now and again and blow my top, but remember that I really hope Iraq becomes a prosperous and successful country in the Middle East. First of all, of course, for selfish reasons. A democratic Iraq just may change the political dynamics in the region. And then because I hope for the best for all the Iraqi friends I've made through the Iraqi bloggers.

Jeff
New York
In Raed's reply email, he admitted to me that he had moderated his own views because of our email correspondence.

Today Raed Jarrar and I are again looking at each other from across a large chasm, but who knows what the future may bring? One thing I have always admired about Raed has been his crazy humor and his passion. These days Raed's blog is more incendiary and no longer serves as an outlet for Raed's humor. Like I once wrote in a blog entry, it's like Raed has "got all grown-up." I miss the wild-ass side of Raed, but hey, that's just me.

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Over at Sandmonkey, Sam jumps up and down on Mr. Chavez.

Like the monkeys jumping up and down on the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz!!!

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Over at Iraq the Model, Mohammed reports on a protest in Firdus Square and how this protest was assaulted by a Black Cloud! No kidding.

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