Friday, November 11, 2005

Iraq restaurant bomb kills dozens

Around 30 people having breakfast there were killed and about 50 injured.

That was Kaduri’s. If you are person who likes BIG Iraqi breakfasts then that’s your place. While G and I were working for the NY Times we used to joke that the best way to put western media in Iraq out of action is to attack Kaduri’s. Every morning drivers, interpreters and fixers for many of the media organizations staying at the Palestine or Sheraton Hotels in Baghdad would be there. It was always like this, very busy. Kaduri’s morning shift ends around 11 because he opens very early.

It’s like a Baghdadi institution. You could get takeaway for some culinary slumming or go wait for a seat. Kaduri had a strict no loitering policy, he didn’t even let people just drink their little glasses of tea inside because there would always be way too many people waiting to get a chair. And tables are obviously communal, grab a seat, say good morning and order. If you don’t like strangers on your breakfast table them you better not come here.

That’s all gone now. And what really gets my goat is that all the news say things like “this was a restaurant frequented by policemen” as if this is an excuse for the bombing, enough of an explanation as to why places get blown into smithereens.

The attack on the Kaduri's was the morning after the attacks on 3 hotels in Amman.

I can’t avoid sounding a bit crass saying what I’m going to say but I guess since our PM’s spokesman said it in a press conference yesterday at least I am not the first. It is really terrible that most people do not understand how terrifying and life disrupting this random attacks on civilian targets are until they happen in their own backyards.

The problem with the majority of the Jordanian street is that it is pretty supportive of the insurgency in Iraq. I used to get really worked up whenever I got into a taxi in Amman and listen to the driver tell me how sorry he feels that Saddam is gone and how brave the Martyrs and Mujahideen are.
No one I talked to acknowledged the fact that most people who are dying in Iraq are Iraqis and not Infidel Invaders and when you push them they tell you something like these dead Iraqis must have done something to deserve it. And you also hear that from Jordanian “political analysts” Arabic news networks bring in to talk about the region.

So according to that logic the list of reason why it would be OK for you to die in Iraq even if you are not an “invading infidel” is quite long:

- Member of new Iraqi Army
- Member of new Iraqi Police
- Working for any media organization even Iraqi ones
- Working at an executive level at any Iraqi ministry
- Doing ANYTHING for the government even if you were the guy who makes tea
- Being part of a political party
- Being there when a bomb explodes near any of the above since you are obviously incriminated by association.

It is really difficult for me to talk about the sympathy towards the insurgents in Jordan and other Arab countries without feeling very angry. The other day I was watching an interview with an Egyptian actress on Iraqi television and the Egyptians having the same blind spots as the Jordanians are fiercely Arab-Nationalists. So she saying how sorry she feels for all the children dying in Iraq and how difficult life must be for everybody living there, but she is sure that “the struggle” will be victorious.

This is the sort of thing you get in Jordan a lot. If it says Islam and is against the US then they raise their voices with calls of “Allahu Akbar” without even for a moment looking at what is really going on.

What also very annoying is that in most cases the people in these countries seem to have a really really large blind spot to their own country’s relationship to the western Satan they tell us Iraqis we should be fighting.
The Jordanian government, for example, is so far up Uncle Sam’s butt it is practically looking at the world through Uncle Sam’s nose.

And if it is the Zionist State the Mujahideen are fighting against, the Jordanian Mujahdeen sympathisers seem to forget that it is Jordan that has an Israeli embassy not Iraq. And so is the case with Egypt. Egypt gets a lot of aid from the US but you would never know that listening to the Egyptian man on the street because he would spout so much venom in that direction you would think it would be impossible he would put in his mouth bread made out of US subsidised wheat.

The world is a very strange place.

When daily bombings become part of your everyday life, when a random pointless death because of a car bomb is part of your daily worries while driving to work (besides the traffic jams and the promotion you really want to have) you become a bit numb to these things. So please excuse me if I’m being rude.

But my point is why was it OK for the typical Jordanian on the street to say that the carnage in Iraq was justified? Why was it OK for them to say “may God give power to the Mujahideen”? Why is it OK if it is Iraqis dying and an atrocity if it is a Jordanian? And remember many Iraqis have not forgotten that there were Jordanian newspapers calling a Jordanian suicide bomber who did his “Jihad” in Iraq a Martyr and a Hero.

It is not only Jordan, it is practically all the Arab countries. What good has being an Arab been to us? And what good has the Arab League been to us? They fuckers wouldn’t even acknowledge the transitory government, an Iraqi elected transitory government! And look at how many diplomatic representatives from "brotherly" Arab countries are there in Iraq and how many Infidel western governments have supported Iraq through our horrendously difficult past two years? The Arabs only started to open their embassies after they have been pressured by western goverenmnts.

Anyway. Enough of the ranting.

From the news and the big demonstration out in Amman today I guess we can see that there has been a change in the way the “Holy Jihad” is being perceived. It really is very sad that it took such a horrible event for many on the street there to understand the hurt and pain terrorist attacks on innocent civilians bring.