so i am temperamental. so what?
i nearly wept after reading this article about the iraq peace team, a group of civilians from north america and elsewhere who traveled to iraq to witness the bombing and monitor human rights during the war the u.s. waged there. it made me realize how hungry i am for news that gives not only information on what happened in iraq, a country the size of california, but puts it into context and emphasizes the texture of daily life for everyday people. fine-grained details. like luscious tomatoes growing in an iraqi field, ready to be harvested. the effort farmers make the world over to keep the worms away from the firm red fruit. and the people who buy the tomatoes at outdoor markets and cut them up at home and savor the slices, thinking to themselves, now there’s a tomato.
i read it in conjunction with the other salon article about charlotte debeer’s/the state department’s utter failure to “sell” american foreign policy to the arab world. people elsewhere see right through the marketing spin. they have memories that last longer than ten minutes. it’s only in america where we’re served up lowest-common denominator junk and we eat it up just like we wolf our ground beef burgers laced with shit. we don’t seem to care that we’re eating crap. and we don’t seem to learn each time millions of pounds of beef are recalled due to e. coli contamination. we don’t care what we put in our mouths and we don’t care what we let into our brains.
what bothers me the most is that the fog of disinformation — of out and out propaganda — never used to be so thick. so brazenly and half-assedly slapped together for popular consumption. i worry about america. these pitiful scraps of detail are hardly enough for someone trying to intuit the humanity of the iraqi people. instead what i mostly sense is how we have lost our own.