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[casi] Re: Baghdad Bulletin


Here's a somewhat waspish piece which was published re this various places
around 12th May. To be fair they've done some good stuff. But its the smash
and grab angle that gets me. Compounded by taking over someone else's home,
someone else's printing press (Iraq is help yourself country these days -
looting comes to mind again. When Denis Halliday first went to Iraq he was
shown house after house of people who had left: '... clothes still in the
closet, change, even medication on the bedside table, tapes, books and
records on their shelves ... I had to ask them to stop showing them to me, I
was trespassing on peoples homes, lives.'

No such scruples for Baghdad Bulletin staff. Further, if I was had a
proposal to share my prining press with the US military, I'd be changing the
locks and battoning down the hatches. But then I always like to spoil a good
party, just a sour old moo .. best, f.

Felicity Arbuthnot

Baghdad Bulletin.

Amazing who is pitching up in formerly isolated Iraq these days to pick over
Meapotamia¹s bones and make a bit of dosh in the process.

The latest is a relation of the last British Ambassador to Iraq, Sir Harold
Walker. Ralph Hassall is moving in almost as fast as Sir Harold moved out.
In what is widely considered a diplomatic first and a discourtesy of mammoth
proportions, Sir Harold scarpered down the road Jordan just ahead of the
1991 bombs, allegedly without even delaying long enough to hand in his
credentials to Iraq¹s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Since then he has been a
keen advocate of bombing Iraq during every crisis, from the safety of a
television or radio studio thousands of miles away.

Hassall has reportedly raised money from Middle East banks, to start an
English language newspaper in Baghdad. ŒI think we need to listen to what
the Iraqi people want to say about the future of their country¹, he is
quoted as saying with  more than a whiff of whiff of colonial patronisation.

How the Iraqi people - who brought the world writing and the first written
records - will respond to an Englishman interpreting their views, remains to
be seen. Iraq has excellent journalists and Editors, most of whom speak and
write fluent English, now free of censorship sensitivities of the previous
regime. Prior to the embargo, Iraq printed the most newspapers of any Middle
East country and anyway has long had an English language paper, The Baghdad
Observer, whose offices were bombed last month.

ŒIraq for the Iraq¹s¹ eh? It is predictable that a blow in from a country
just involved in trashing every aspect of Iraq¹s culture, attempting to
hi-jack a remaining bit of it, will be met with a less than warm welcome.
Think again, Mr Hassall.

300 words.

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