Pax Attacks

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Salam Pax has an insider’s view of the Baghdad restaurant that the terrorists attacked:

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.

And from there, he segues into the Jordan bombings the next day:

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.

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.

And so forth.

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