Thursday, March 23, 2006

More Salam?!

Salam Pax - Take 2!

I am currently at San Jose City Hall, preparing for Mr. Pax's second speech.
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image taken from

The first one was good - why not?

I was wondering if the topics or responses would change, and considering I don't have class tomorrow, well, here I am. I don't know if I was supposed to or not, but I got in with the rest of the camera/tech people as they were setting up.

I think they thought I was press; don't rat me out though, I'm at least in the major. ;)

Again, an officer is positioned at the door (though it's much more an everyday thing at City Hall - a school campus is a different story)

So about that (Some Random Thoughts on Liberty While I Sit and Wait...

It reminds me of a post though Mr. Pax posted a ways back, where he compared America to the Green Zone in Iraq.

I know it's not a great comparison in this situation, but the arming of America with security makes me pause for thought - are we keeping terrorist from getting in, or ourselves from getting out?

What do you think?

Another half an hour, and the speech will start. I look forward to hearing him again. (Google Video will have the video by tomorrow, fyi)

image taken from Googel Images

Maybe that's too extreme, but sometimes I wonder if we're locking the house in the middle of a fire.

Salam Pax: The Baghdad Blogger

Oh God - it's God Again!

"You have to be someone you’re not in Iraq” said Salam Pax, the internationally reknowned blogger.

He wore a green-striped, collared shirt with a blazer and short, buzzed hair. A manicured beard rounded his face slightly, giving The Baghdad Blogger, as readers know him, a warm presence.
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Good Muslims are supposed to have beards – I don’t know why,” he jokingly added.

Mr. Pax spoke at SJSU in MLK library today about his experiences in the war-torn country and about his book, The Baghdad Blogger. The book is a printed collection of his online posts.

His recollections and comparisons were a welcomed treat for me, though not altogether comforting.

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image from Google Images

"The more choice they [Iraqis] get, the more to the right they go,” Pax said with a negative tone.

I don't know why, but it sounded oddly familiar...anyways.

Who Gets to Kill Him First?

Mr. Pax also spoke about Saddam Hussein, and the problems he foresees Iraqis facing shortly.

image taken from Google News

Iraqi's expect an execution according to Mr. Pax, which he says won't settle well with the Kurds who want to see Mr. Hussein tried and convicted for the 1987 gassings for which Mr. Hussein was responsible.

Under the rules of the new Iraqi courts, any execution must be carried out within 14 days of conviction, said Mr. Pax.

That doesn't leave enough time for any other convictions.

Mo' Problems

Mr. Pax also addressed the war itself, possibly the most moving part of the presentation.

Three of his cousins have been taken hostage, one of which was killed after the kidnapper(s) had already received payment of tens of thousands of dollars.

When asked bluntly whether the US forces should withdrawl, Mr. Pax replied, “a rapid withdrawl would only plunge us (Iraqis) deeper into the darkness.”
image taken from Google News

“I’m afraid if the invader goes, I am left without a country.”

Iraqis, "made a deal with the devil," to get rid of Saddam Hussein, said Mr. Pax. Now they are at the mercy of the US and other foreign forces.

When asked if he was for or against the war, he added,
“I will never answer that question… it is not that simple.”

The presentation ended with a book signing, as two police office looked on in the back of the room. Their presence had been requested by the Center for Literary Arts to be there would be no interruptions.

Waiting for the speech/lecture/interview to begin...

Some Background

Today I'm going to blog on the Salam Pax presentation being given on the 2nd floor of MLK Jr. library. Pax is a reknowned blogger, and a bit of a statesman if you ask me.

He is also outwardly gay, which is a heoric thing to be open about where he comes from (especially in today's conservative Muslim environment).

Noteriety=Notorious (in Iraq)

He has been outwardly critical of sectarianism in the new Iraqi government at his own peril, known internationally for his allias, The Iraqi Blogger.

Tonight he will appear at San Jose's City Hall for a second presentation, where he will be showing a piece he did with the BBC (a videoblog).

Pax has offered a unique perspective - that of an Iraqi citizen before and after the US led invasion.

Today he'll speaking about his book, "The Baghadad Blogger". Should be interesting; I'll post the video and interview after on Google Video, and link it here.

image taken from Salam's profile on
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