Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Strange thing, the BBC

Before the war began you could only hear anti-war voices, during it you began to hear Iraqi exiles who supported GWB, and as I write (Saddam's statue has just fallen) Radio 5 seems to have an inexhaustible supply of ecstatic exiles ringing in, Rageh Omar in Baghdad is handing his mobile to Baghdadis too tearful to say much, and general anti-Saddam hysteria seems to have infected Shepherd's Bush. Mind you, the scenes as the statue fell were enough to bring a lump to the throat - until the camera panned back to reveal a surprisingly small crowd. After all, if the Soviet Union had staged a lightening coup in 1990, you'd have had more people than that on London's streets to destroy all traces of the hated Thatcher regime.

It'll be interesting to see if the crowds get bigger - or will survival be the biggest worry for most Iraqis ? The US and Brits are going to have to turn themselves into aid workers and/or policemen with some speed. When a strong police state collapses, anarchy often follows - and strangely people don't seem to enjoy it as much as young UK anarchists, many of whom will soon be on London's streets for the annual May Day riots, might think. In fact considering the damage done to Churchill's statue two years ago, were I the Met commissioner I'd be wary of any tow trucks near Parliament Square come May 1st.

Night is falling in Baghdad. Let's hope they don't wake up to a looted and burning city tomorrow. I'm very pleased - but it seems to me that for the Coalition the hard work has only just begun.

I wonder what George Galloway is thinking ? Not to mention the Stop The War Coalition. Their wish is granted !