An Arab Woman Blues. Reflections in a sealed bottle…
An interview with Malcolm Lagauche by Layla Anwar (in Two Parts)
The Fall of Baghdad as seen by an American – 1
April 9, 2009
Some shameless Iraqis and others, will be celebrating 9th of April as a national public holiday – the day of the Fall of Baghdad. Festivities are being planned in the Green Zone on that “special” occasion. Iran will be contributing its poison laced — candies, tea and pistachios and on the food banquet will lay thousands of corpses…mutilated by its government militias. Fireworks specially imported from America will illuminate the skies of Baghdad – another shock and awe “celebration.”
I want to join in the “celebrations” as well, but being the black sheep of the Iraqi “family”, I will do it my own way…
So on this “special” occasion, I have decided to interview Malcolm Lagauche. This interview was not structured and intentionally so. I wanted it to flow, so there was no set of specific questions sent forth…it was one question at a time…a bit like our Iraqi lives, one day at time…
Layla: Hello Malcolm and nice to have you “on board”, the first question that comes to my mind as an Iraqi to an American, is why Iraq? I must admit, when I first read you a few years back, I thought you were an Iraqi borrowing an English name, till you assured me that was not the case. You are very knowledgeable about Iraq and its contemporary History. So why Iraq and what attracted you to it?
Malcolm: Before 1990, I had little knowledge of Iraq. But, I was disgusted with the U.S. invasion of Panama shortly before Iraq came into the U.S. cross hairs. After August 2, 1990, we saw in the U.S. a constant barrage of anti-Iraq and anti-Saddam propaganda. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe it just because of common sense. I asked myself, “How can the leader of a country be such a butcher and only now is the world finding out? How can a leader enjoy watching people boil in acid without the world knowing of this? The stories began to become more and more preposterous.
I went to a library and looked at World Almanacs for the years 1981-1989. An almanac is basically a book with statistics and no political agenda. I found out that the UN had praised IraqÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s education system. The UN had also spoke wonders of the Iraqi medical system. IraqÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s credit rating in international business was A+, much better than that of the U.S. In 1987, the New York Times called Baghdad “the Paris of the Middle East.” I knew then that I was being misled by my government.