I hadn’t read anything else on Kazimi’s blog before linking to his translations of Itani’s articles. Today I did, and the first thing I stumble upon is this gem (again, the emphasis is all Kazimi’s):
‘Now that the insurgency—the war that Al-Qaeda and the enemies of the New Iraq had launched—is over, we can start dealing with the trauma of what has happened to us over the last four years, in addition to the pain and suffering of the preceding Ba’athist nightmare. Yet there’s one thing I will never get over: how the anti-Bush crowd and the insurgents have overlapped in rhetoric and fantasy. So when dilettantes claiming to be Iraq “experts” still obsessively adhere to the “Iraq is a disaster” line, I begin to imagine that their wounded egos—since they’re wrong, so utterly wrong—would secretly cheer whenever the bad guys strike again in Iraq, because that may generate a bad headline with a Baghdad byline thus prolonging the shelf-life of the myths they’ve constructed. There’s been a diarrhea of “experts” who’ve weighed-in on Iraq after having picked-up a couple of primers on the topic. They are intellectual frauds, and they know it. What’s funnier is that they believe they have a firmer grasp on Iraq’s reality because they read the New York Times and news outlets of a similar ideological bent, and foolishly challenge the opinions of those who rely on their own sourcing.’
Just to give you an idea of the planet the man lives on. I suppose it would be unfair to others in his case to blame it on ‘the US-employed Iraqi syndrom’. None of this, obviously, reflects on Fida’ Itani or his work. It does, however, throw some doubt on Kazimi’s analysis of Akbar’s confessions, and possibly (I haven’t the time to check right now) even on his translation.
Oh, and in case you haven’t read this anywhere else yet: the presidential elections in Lebanon, scheduled this time for 12 Novermber, have been delayed again, this time to the 21st of November. We now have 12 days left to the end of Lahoud’s term on the 23rd (the Number of Chaos, remember? Hail Eris!). Berri fnord had previously announced that parliament would be in permanent session for the last 10 days of Lahoud’s term. I’m really annoyed that I’m not in the country now that the countdown has started. (I’ll be flying to Sharjah tomorrow and on to Riyadh from there.)