The Null Device
Salam's back. (Well, not entirely; he still has no Internet access per se, so he's getting confederates abroad to post his entries for him.) Anyway, his dispatches from the war and the subsequent anarchy of occupied Baghdad make for interesting reading. Good to know he has made it.
A whole market has emerged right there in front of the two hotels, Meridian and Sheraton. Thuraya [thuraya.com] phone owners standing in front of their cars offering you phone calls abroad for $5 a minute (it actually costs less than a dollar).
Hang on; Meridian and Sheraton? Have Baghdad's hotels been acquired by US multinationals that rapidly, or were they called that during Saddam's regime?
Yesterday I almost died of thirst in front of 30 bottles of pure water. I had 30,000 Dinars in my pockets but couldnt buy a 2,000 Dinar bottle. (2000 in itself is a crime you used to get 4 bottles for that price, but what to do, the war and all). 30k Dinars in 10,000 bills which now have the stigma of being stolen on them.
Who gave them permission to camp at the grounds of the ***** Social Club and the Iraqi ***** Club. What am I supposed to do with my membership? Where do I find another big indoor swimming pool? No, seriously. What is this thing with these foreign political parties who have suddenly invaded Baghdad? Do they have no respect for public property? Or since it is the season of the loot they think they can just camp out wherever they like and, ahem, liberate public buildings. PUK at the National Engineering Consultants building. PDK at the Mukhabarat building in Mansour. INC taking an army conscription center. Islamic Dawa at the childrens public library. Another Islamic-something taking a bank. Outoutout. Liberate your own backyard; you have no right to sit in these buildings.
Hopefully he'll resume blogging regularly once AOL or Earthlink or someone rebuilds the Iraqi Internet.