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Sunday, August 24, 2003

Bollettino

The NYT has a nice story about the peaceful coexistence between Americans and Iraqis in the city of Diwaniya

"As the area around Baghdad endured a week of repeated violence, a happier scene unfolded in this city, a two-hour drive to the south.

American soldiers, without helmets or flak jackets, attended graduation ceremonies of the Diwaniya University Medical School. At ease with the Iraqi students and their parents, the American marines laughed, joked and posed in photographs. One by one, the students walked up to thank them, for Marine doctors had taught classes in surgery and gynecology and helped draw up the final exams.

"We like the Americans very much here," said Zainab Khaledy, 22, who received her medical degree last Sunday. "We feel better than under the old regime. We have problems, like security, but everything is getting better."

In goes on in this vein for quite a while, making Diwaniya seem like a candidate for Forbes One Hundred Best Cities to Work In. No attacks on friendly American GIs, no anti-American grafitti on the walls, the lion lying down with the lamb, etc.

Yet according to Spanish new agencies, the a military base located in this 'relatively peaceful' city in which Spanish soldiers are being trained was attacked just two days ago. 19 mortar shells were lobbed into the camp. Perhaps the NYT reporter doesn't pay attention to the papers owned by the NYT Company, because the story is up on the International Herald Tribune website. Alas, it is in pdf. Still, it does make you wonder who is in wonderland, here. At the very least, I think that the editors of Forbes would hesitate to recommend a city as Great to Work In that was subject to occasional mortar bombardments.

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