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December 16, 2003

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Moe, the fact she's blogging suggests the power's back, hence the telly too.

Or someone else's television?

"Moe, the fact she's blogging suggests the power's back, hence the telly too."

No, the internal narrative makes it clear that she saw this program during the power loss.

"Or someone else's television?"

Still begs the question of how. James, you should know that I've always been skeptical of Riverbend's bona fides anyway. :)

"We heard about Saddam's capture the day before yesterday, around noon. There was no electricity, so we couldn't watch tv. The first sign we got that something abnormal was occurring was the sound of a Klashnikov in the distance. I remembering pausing in my negotiations with E. over who should fill the kerosene heaters and listening hard to the sounds of shooting. I grabbed the battery-powered radio and started searching the stations, skipping from one to the other. I finally located a station that was broadcasting in Arabic and heard that Saddam may have been caught.

We thought nothing of it at first… another false alarm. It happened on an almost weekly basis. When the sounds of shooting became more frequent, curiosity got the better of E. and he ran to our neighbor's house where they had a small generator running. Fifteen minutes later, he came back breathless with the words, "They've caught Saddam…""

Oooookay ... so where's her hearing about this on TV?

Moe, you're right about the internal narrative; "It was only later in the evening that we saw the pictures on tv", so that must have been the weekend, and not Tuesday, when her power returned.

Still doesn't make it her television.

Think you're looking for trouble. But then, one does, when one doesn't trust the source in the first place.

I haven't read Riverbend consistently enough to form enough of an opinion.

"Think you're looking for trouble."

Quite possibly. :)

Moe, the conspiracy theorists (and the rest of us) will have plenty to argue about soon enough - the Kean 9/11 commission is coming out with some make-one-sick-to-one's-stomach accusations. A link here.

Kean promises major revelations in public testimony beginning next month from top officials in the FBI, CIA, Defense Department, National Security Agency and, maybe, President Bush and former President Clinton.

I would imagine that the inclusion of the last name on the list suggests that there will be plenty of responsibility to go around. That's not to let the current administration off the hook, but I suspect that a lot more could have been done between the WTC bombing and 2001.

Anyone have a take on Kean? I remember when he was NJ Gov, but not much else.

"Anyone have a take on Kean?"

Bit of a smiling hardass. At any rate, new post on just this topic... :)

Moe, the internal narrative makes it quite clear that she didn't hear about Saddam Hussein's capture on television because the power was off. She saw it later when the power came back on. Basically, you're either radically misinterpreting her on purpose to make trouble (which I can't quite believe) or you're so determined to believe that she's not authentic that you're not actually reading what she says but what you want her to have said. Either way, not good. Just because you want Iraqis all to be happy smiling natives, doesn't mean they're going to fulfil your expectations....

Jes, the internal narrative makes it clear that she heard about it on noon Sunday, her time; that she saw it on TV that evening; that Monday and Tuesday were days of chaos; and that the power finally came back on Tuesday so she could post. Don't believe me? Read, dammit:

The electricity only returned a couple of hours ago. We've been without electricity for almost 72 hours- other areas have it worse. Today we heard the electricity won't be back to pre-war levels until the middle of next year.

We heard about Saddam's capture the day before yesterday, around noon. There was no electricity, so we couldn't watch tv. The first sign we got that something abnormal was occurring was the sound of a Klashnikov in the distance. I remembering pausing in my negotiations with E. over who should fill the kerosene heaters and listening hard to the sounds of shooting. I grabbed the battery-powered radio and started searching the stations, skipping from one to the other. I finally located a station that was broadcasting in Arabic and heard that Saddam may have been caught.

We thought nothing of it at first… another false alarm. It happened on an almost weekly basis. When the sounds of shooting became more frequent, curiosity got the better of E. and he ran to our neighbor's house where they had a small generator running. Fifteen minutes later, he came back breathless with the words, "They've caught Saddam…" Everyone was shocked. We all clamored for the radio once again and tried to find out what was happening. The questions were endless- who? What? When? How?

It was only later in the evening that we saw the pictures on tv and saw the press-conference, etc. By then, Baghdad was a mess of bullets, and men waving flags. Our area and other areas were somewhat quiet, but central Baghdad was a storm of gunfire. The communist party were scary- it's like they knew beforehand. Immediately, their red flags and banners were up in the air and they were marching up and down the streets and around Firdaws Square. My cousin was caught in the middle of a traffic jam and he says the scenes were frightening.

Yesterday was almost as messy. Most parents kept their kids home. There have been pro-America demonstrations in some areas, and anti-America demonstrations in other areas. At around 6 pm yesterday evening, the chaos began in Amriyah, a residential area in Baghdad. The streets were suddenly filled with anti-American demonstrators, some holding up pictures of Saddam. It lasted until around 11 pm and then the tanks pulled up and things settled down somewhat. Similar occurrences in A'adhamiya in Baghdad, and one or two other areas.

Today there were pro-America demonstrations in Baghdad organized by SCIRI and there were anti-America demonstrations in Tikrit, Falloojeh, Samirreh (where 11 Iraqis were killed- CPA claim they were 'insurgents'), Baghdad, Imsayab and the biggest one was in Mosul. Thousands of students from the University of Mosul took to the streets with an anti-occupation demonstration and some of the residents joined them… the university president had to shut down the university- it was huge. I was surprised the CNN wasn't covering it. The troops broke it up by firing above the crowd and bringing in the helicopters. The demonstration in Samirreh had a similar ending, except the firing was *in* the crowd and several people were wounded severely.

(all bolds mine)

If there's any radical misinterpretation going on here, it's by you.

Okay, let's run through this, Moe.

Riverbend posts at 9:58 PM, Tuesday, December 16. She says electricity has been off for 72 hours and only came back on a couple of hours ago, so that would be since 6 PM Saturday December 13.

"Day before yesterday" = Sunday. No electricity at noon: electricity came back on "later in the evening that we saw the pictures on TV". You're right: there's a confusion there.

Riverbend has mentioned electricity coming on and off again in her blog - as as other local reports mention that they may have electricity for two hours and then it's off again. She mentions her mother and aunts cooking frantically, foods that will keep and can be eaten unheated, during the short periods they have electricity. So from context, I would say she means "For 72 hours we haven't had reliable electricity - but it came on Sunday evening and we could turn the TV on and get the news".

I have to say that the pro-war right-wing blogger attitude to Riverbend is despicable - yours included, Moe. I'm not surprised she has comments turned off on her blog - I've seen some nasty things posted about her elsewhere, and your carping at her reportage is mild by comparison with some. One idiot has gone as far as to set up a fake blog called Riversbend.

Her crime? She's not a happy smiling native. She's being criticized with nitpicking detail from pro-war right-wingers because she isn't going Yassuh, Massa, thank you Suh for liberating me I'm sure grateful to you! She's reacting like a free person, not like a slave - and saying things that pro-war right-wingers don't want to hear.

Of course, the same thing happens to Salem Pax - another liberated native who's committing the crime of not slobbering gratefully at the feet of his conquerers.

I assume that this reaction is at root from good human feeling, warped into nastiness: you pro-war people wanted to believe that the crime the US committed when it invaded Iraq was justifiable by making the lives of the Iraqi people better. That's understandable. What is despicable is that you don't want to know that for many Iraqi people, their lives are worse - and therefore this slimy criticism of Riverbend, and Salem Pax.

How embarassing for you...

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