Monday, July 12, 2004

"One square kilometer" 

Mohammed of Iraq the Model posts today -- in the form of a dialogue -- on the positive changes he sees in a grumpy friend's neighborhood.
I became really angry, however I waited for him to finish then I asked him if I could answer. “Sure I want to see how you’re going to answer” he replied, putting a challenging face.
I said:
-you claimed that Iraq’s fortune was robbed an that you didn’t see a real change or any reconstruction and I will answer you with a picture that you have to see everyday because it’s within a circle of one kilometer around your house and you have to see this picture every morning while you walk out of your house for whatever business you want to do.
He looked at me and said:
-What do you mean!?
-Ok, let’s start with the first thing you see when you get out of your house . The first building you will see is that of the law institute for higher studies which was destroyed after the 9th of April. Was it destroyed by an American bomb? No, it was destroyed by criminals who carried out Saddam’s plan in “burning Iraq before handing it to the Americans” joined by some selfish people and other ignorant and simple Iraqis who didn’t understand that soon after the 9th of April all the state belongings that were Saddam’s have become all-Iraqis’ belongings. Alright, this institute was rebuilt few months later and now it functions in a way better than before and help to create a new law system that is honest and independent and to me this is another and more important addition.

Ok, now let’s move for few tens of meters and you can find the publishing house that used to publish Uday’s hateful newspaper (Babil) this one also was not destroyed by American missiles and we all remember how the thieves left it as mere walls with the vents missing their robbed air conditioners. Ok, what happened later; it’s working now with full power after it was reconstructed and now it’s printing Al-Sabah news paper that you buy every morning. To me this one was also rebuilt twice; once as building and equipments and once as a trust worthy press instead of the pathetic old propaganda machine. Now I’m going to move for only another ten meters to find the (open educational college) where teachers improve their teaching methods, this one, uncle was also not destroyed by American bombs but by the same way as the former two buildings and now we can see that it was soon reconstructed and a few days ago they celebrated the graduation of a new bunch of their students.

Ok, let’s take a look at the adjacent building which is for the transport department in the ministry of trade. We watched that building being robbed in the same way. Do I have to remind you sir that this building was rebuilt and it’s back to work?
I don’t think I have to; you see it every morning.

I’ll move for another 50 meters and cross the street where lies one of the former evil military institutes that was used to train professional butchers; it wasn’t a target for American missiles but was robbed by some sick people who left it as ruins, and you know uncle how the American unit in charge of this area turned it into a residency for students who come from other governorates to study in Baghdad. Now they have air conditioning, hot and cold water and decent bedrooms.

Ok I’m still walking within this single kilometer that you see every day and I’ll walk for another 100 meters to find the ministry of labor and social affairs; this building was not destroyed by American missiles but the thugs attacked it and ruined and robbed everything they found in it. Don’t you see this building every day with its new look after it was rebuilt and started to function again.

I’ll walk for a couple hundreds of meters in another direction to take a look at the beautiful building of the ministry of financial affairs; looting and fire caused more damage to this building than what a missile would cause, look at it now and enjoy its new look without Saddam’s portrait that was covering a whole side of the building.
Here my father tried to interrupt me but I insisted on going to the end with my speech and I added addressing everyone:
I didn’t exceed an area of one kilometer-that we all see and pass by every day-in this round. I have mentioned a lot of things but I also forgot a lot more like all the schools and public clinics that were rebuilt within this area. Now, do you still have doubts about where our oil money went?
And I’m not talking about the whole country here, have you asked yourselves why the exchange price is 1500 now instead of 2200 in Saddam’s days?
And do you think that a 100 times raise for some employees salaries doesn’t represent a part of the money you were talking about? Don’t you notice the private businesses that are starting and those that are booming?
Here one of my friends turned to our pessimist guest asking him “haven’t you turned an old dirty shop into a network gaming hall?”

Read the whole thing.


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