Friday, August 31, 2007

Cartoon Zone

This little article in the Washington Post is interesting mainly for the information control of visiting congresspersons in Baghdad's "Green Zone." But it's this part that diverted my attention.

But even such tight control [on information and movement in the "Green Zone"] could not always filter out the bizarre world inside the barricades. At one point, the three were trying to discuss the state of Iraqi security forces with Iraq's national security adviser, Mowaffak al-Rubaie, but the large, flat-panel television set facing the official proved to be a distraction. Rubaie was watching children's cartoons.

When [Rep. James P.] Moran asked him to turn it off, Rubaie protested with a laugh and said, "But this is my favorite television show," Moran recalled.

[Rep. Jon] Porter confirmed the incident, although he tried to paint the scene in the best light, noting that at least they had electricity.

"I don't disagree it was an odd moment, but I did take a deep breath and say, 'Wait a minute, at least they are using the latest technology, and they are monitoring the world,' " Porter said. "But, yes, it was pretty annoying."

Perhaps Moran and Porter were mistaken and Rubaie was in fact watching CNN or Fox News reporting on Iraq, the Green Zone, and what they themselves were doing in that place.

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