Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Flying Pigs Alert

For a little while this morning, I thought some hacker had hijacked the English-language Der Spiegel site. I have this on my reading list mainly because it has consistently (and stridently) presented the leftist European view of American foreign policy – most especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words, you can normally rely on Der Spiegel to echo the prevailing European “let's bash America” views, with a special emphasis on Bush, Rove, and cowboy diplomacy – and sneering ridicule of American intellect and ideology.

So imagine my surprise when I read this (in the current edition of Der Spiegel):
Ramadi is an irritating contradiction of almost everything the world thinks it knows about Iraq -- it is proof that the US military is more successful than the world wants to believe. Ramadi demonstrates that large parts of Iraq -- not just Anbar Province, but also many other rural areas along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers -- are essentially pacified today. This is news the world doesn't hear: Ramadi, long a hotbed of unrest, a city that once formed the southwestern tip of the notorious "Sunni Triangle," is now telling a different story, a story of Americans who came here as liberators, became hated occupiers and are now the protectors of Iraqi reconstruction.
There's more – much more. For example:
Dinner arrives and it's a true feast, with a spread of kebabs and large pieces of roast chicken, salad and rice with coriander leaves. Chudeir serves sumptuous meals whenever the Americans come to visit, not only because he is a good host, but also because he is grateful to his American friends. Thanks to the American engineers, he says, the city has up to 10 hours of electricity a day now. "We have never had this in all of Ramadi's history. In the end, we will live like civilized people."
I have the same sense of wonder about this that I might if Teddy Kennedy stood up one day and announced that he was resigning the Democratic Party in disgust and had applied for membership in the Republicans. What on earth was in the editor's coffee yesterday morning? Could it be that they simply woke up one morning and realized that they were wrong?

I'm expecting a retraction to be announced at any moment, and probably some kind of excuse, such as a CIA mole planted within the web team…

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