Monday, November 22, 2004

The American bubble in Baghdad: "They were perplexed, I was later told—astonished by what they believed was the stupidity of the document that had been handed to them. They exchanged glances as if to ask the standard Iraqi question when first encountering the CPA: could it truly be that these were the same people who had put men on the moon? ... "People just made assumptions about the level of sophistication and knowledge here. One of the Iraqi police told me a story of going to a training session given by the military, where some guy is explaining the Internet. Like, 'This is a phone.' And the Iraqi said, 'You know, we're not complete morons.' People came to the CPA, never spoke to an Iraqi, and just launched these projects." ... the CPA was visibly afraid of democracy, he said, and it was distracted by the pet theories of economic reforms. "That's where we went off the rails," he said. "Badly.""

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