My best friend and I used to roam Baghdad, surveying the daily destruction
and checking on friends and relatives to see if they had been consigned to
the dubious category of "collateral damage". The bombing had severed all
communications in the first week, and the phones were dead. Now, tanks spit
their fire towards a row of houses on the eastern bank of the Tigris, and
blazes go up. A correspondent announces that Apaches are hovering over
Baghdad for the first time, but, alas, this is a familiar species in our
part of the world. They have come to make sure that Baghdad's residents join
the Palestinians as the fortunate recipients of the latest form of lethal
A review of Don DeLillo’s novel “Cosmopolis”
By John Menick
Published on THE THING (http://bbs.thing.net)
Except for its most dutiful votaries, the collapse of the ‘90s
cyber-economy surprised few, but what is unexpected is how attractive the
nostalgia has become for that minor utopian moment. In fuzzy hindsight,
the era before September 11th, Bush II, climbing unemployment and
evaporated retirement accounts, is almost beatific. The nostalgia is easy,
attractive, and like all nostalgia, mostly false. The ‘90s boom delivered
on almost none of its promises, and many Americans were left worse off
after the decade came to its inauspicious close than they were at its
optimistic opening. The majority of the political and economic problems
the Bush administration is currently augmenting can be traced to long
before the spectacular deflation of the then new, now old, economy. But
the longing for the days of adolescent instant billionaires and sleek
start-ups persists, and is as worthy of study as any other mass
The entries which follow, were recently published online as a part of a series called Iraq diaries (http://electroniciraq.net/news/iraqdiaries.shtml) on the website set up by Voices in the Wilderness and Electronic Intifada.
The last Journalisms we sent out were letters from Rachel Corrie, so it is difficult to send a subsequent text that matches the intensity, courage, and sadness that was contained in those correspondences.
The following letters were selected because they are journals, letters, of a first hand nature, a "micro" perspective on the situation in Iraq. Little bits of the everyday, a television broadcast of George Bush during the military's full scale incusions into Baghdad, a cab driver noting his former bank, ... . If you are interested in reading more accounts like this, please visit the link provided above.
Also we should note that less than 24 hours after issuing a press release (http://electroniciraq.net/news/674.shtml) highlighting the failures of the U.S. military's attempts to oversee humanitarian intervention in Iraq, Voices in the Wilderness was banned from meeting with the U.S. Civil Military Operations Center, or with international journalists working out of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad.
If the freedom to critique U.S. policies in Iraq regarding humanitarian issues is being curtailed already, then exactly what does this mean for building "democracy" there?