Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The "perils" of Freedom 

It's not like anything worth writing about happened in Baghdad this week:
The trip from Ali's village to Baghdad takes an hour and a half by bus. As soon as he arrives, the 21-year-old Iraqi heads straight to Abu Abdullah's, just off Sadoun Street in an alley with a number instead of a name. "I don't have a wife," he says. "I don't have enough money to get married. So I come here." At Abu Abdullah's, $1.50 buys 15 minutes alone with a woman. The room is a cell with only a curtain for a door, and Ali complains that Abu Abdullah's women should bathe more often. But the young man says it's still a big improvement from Saddam Hussein's day. Back then, he says, the only establishment for a poor boy like himself was at a Gypsy settlement on the capital's western outskirts. "But now there are plenty of places." He grins. "Now we have freedom."
Lucilly, Iraqis appear to be very intelligent people:
Most Iraqis say they don't know what to do about the vice explosion. Few seem at all enthusiastic about the idea of Saudi-style morality police. "We can't forbid freedom," concedes Fuad al Rawi, a leader of the predominantly Sunni and deeply conservative Iraqi Islamic Party.
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