Thursday, August 09, 2007

The interpreter

Michael Totten interviews an interpreter for the American army. He calls himself 'Hammer'. You can feel the guy's desperation.

Just a couple of quotes. This one hits home.

In 1991 the Americans were heroes to the Kurds, but they disappointed the Shia and left them to Saddam. They were not reliable. So the next time, in 2003, some Shia thought they should get help from Iran. They know Iran is not going anywhere. Iran is a more reliable ally than the Americans.

The Shia never forgot being abandoned by the Americans. They talk about this all the time, still. They know the U.S. will leave Iraq and they will face Al Qaeda alone.

This one is like something from a Fellini film.

MJT: What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen in this country?

Hammer: In all my life? When I was seven years old I heard the sound of wild pigeons every morning. Then something happened and I never heard them again.

Then, on the morning of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, I heard the pigeons again.

Really, I am not joking. I can see you don’t believe me, but I am not faking it.

I wonder if he hears them now.

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