Friday, April 11, 2003

Who starts the fires
This morning I walked through the lunchroom at work and looked at the teevee. Like many workplaces, we’ve had a teevee going almost all day, every day for the last three weeks. The channel switches between Fox News, CNN Headline, MSNBC, and MTV depending on the preferences of the last person who cared enough to pick up the remote. Most don’t care; we just look for a minute or five and move on.

Today I was looking at the images of “liberated” Baghdad. Some celebration. Some milling around, followed by frenzied attacks on portraits of Saddam whenever someone noticed a camera pointed in their direction. Looting. Heartwarming images of small boys giving American soldiers a hearty thumbs-up, which doesn’t mean what the soldiers think it means. More looting. Government buildings burning. Still more looting. I began to think about those burning government buildings. When the fires are over and something like order returns, how many personnel records from the secret police do you think will have survived? Or am I getting old in my cynical age?

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