Anorak News | Where In The World?

Where In The World?

by | 9th, November 2004

‘THE tendency to believe all Americans are dumb – they have no idea where Iraq is; they voted for Bush; they believe The Simpsons is a documentary – is a running joke not understood by all of us oh-so superior Brits.

Alabama by night

How many of us, when presented with a map of the world (a “globe”), could point with any degree of certainty towards Iraq and then to Falluja?

The Independent thinks not too many, and has therefore produced a map of the rebel stronghold on its front page, equipped with markers pointing to the railway station, the “George Washington bridge” and a place called “Martyrs’ School”.

There are arrows showing how the city’s Jolan and Askari districts are now known as the American quarters, while to the south a little bit of Britain has been created, with Tiffin served at four and gunfire round the clock.

As for the Iraqis, the Guardian has despatched one of its reporters to check them out.

The ones fighting on the side of the American-led coalition are – despite their small numbers – easy to find since they are routinely singing and dancing around in front of Western film crews eager to broadcast to the folks back home just how on-side the Iraqis are.

But the Guardian likes a challenge and went to see what was occurring in the enemy camp.

“It became apparent they were an odd bunch of people,” writes Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, “from different places and with different dreams.”

Well, yes and no. Odd is an unfortunate term, encouraging the less sympathetic reader to conjure up images of a gang of social misfits living in a land with poor mental health provisions.

The Guardian prefers to tell us they are everyday people from across the Arab world “feeling oppressed and alienated by the West”.

And as for the different dreams, this notion is contested by the male fighters’ shared idea that as martyrs they will feel no pain in death and will be greeted on the other side by loads of virgins.

These are, presumably, female virgins, although the Guardian is not in Falluja to judge, only to report.

The paper does, however, stop to hear one older fighter give his reason for being there.

“We are here not because we want to liberate Iraq,” he says, “we are her to fight the infidel and make victorious the name of Islam.”

Not all Americans are heavily involved in the rebuilding process either, and the Telegraph hears from one US marine keen to avenge his fallen comrades.

“I got myself a real juicy target,” says Sgt James Aynett. “Prepare to copy that 89089226. Direction 202 degrees. Range 950 metres.

“I got five motherf****** in a building with weapons. Dude, give me the sniper rifle. I can take them out – I’m from Alabama.”

Sure sounds like a scary place, Alabama. And now you’ve heard about it, see if you can find it on a map…’

Posted: 9th, November 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink