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June 09, 2005

Who to believe? Anonymous or named?

Jeff Harrell highlights this article from Howard Fineman. As Jeff points out, Fineman's first paragraph is model of self-parody.

I’m sitting here with a gloomy letter from Iraq, written by a high-ranking officer I cannot name in a branch of service I cannot name in a part of the country I cannot name. But trust me, because I trust him.
Umm, y'think after the spanking Newsweek took over the "anonymous source" on Koran-flushing Fineman might not want to use such a "letter" as his framing device for the article.

Ooo... doom, gloom and Vietnam "parallels" -- Fineman practically wallows in his prose.

Let me counter, just a tad, with a NON-anonymous source. Someone living, breathing and heading to Iraq. I present Basam Ridha Alhussaini.

SAN DIMAS - More than 23 years ago, Basam Ridha Alhussaini escaped Iraq, fleeing the regime that had killed his two brothers for refusing to join the ruling Baath Party.
Today, Alhussaini returns to his homeland to begin working as an adviser to new Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari.

The San Dimas resident will play a role in the future of the wounded country, its democracy, its rebuilding and its new beginning.

Basam isn't going with rose colored glasses. He knows the dangers.
"Iraq is making a big turn historically, and I want to be a part of this," Alhussaini said. "I'm leaving my family and going to a hostile environment, but to me it's worth being part of that."

Looking to the future, Alhussaini sees stumbling blocks that stand in the way of Iraq's success. Neighboring countries such as Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, where leadership is passed down through generations, don't want democracy to succeed in Iraq, he said, because those countries will be next.

"If democracy is successful in Iraq, their people will revolt against them. It will not be good for them," Alhussaini said.

So while Fineman "sows doubt" about how Iraqis "don't really want" democracy based on his anonymous letterwriter, Alhussaini puts his name and his life on the line to see democracy succeed.

Who ya gonna believe?

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