May 14, 2003


SALAM PAX, BAATHIST?: David Warren makes the case in the Ottawa Citizen.

I don't doubt that Salam is the scion of privileged circles, or that that implies some conection to the ruling party. I think Warren is a long way from proving some anti-American conspiracy, though. If Salam is a propagandist, he's either very good or very bad at it, depending on your perspective-- he trashed Saddam often, and never made any really serious effort to plead against a U.S. invasion (which he merely said he couldn't bring himself to support). Has he been preparing all this time to undermine Western resolve in the post-war era? It seems far-fetched.

Warren admits that a real conspiracy (i.e., Salam working for Baath elements) is impossible to know, but says Salam is "up to no good." His main concern seems to be that people might take his views as representative of ordinary Iraqis, when in fact it isn't. Well, obviously it would be stupid, and indeed condecending, to assume that one guy represents the view of every Iraqi. It's a blog, not a poll. I do note that this is exactly the kind of mistake journalists are apt to make.

I'd like to see a bit more evidence before we convict Salam as a Saddamite.

Posted by John Tabin at May 14, 2003 03:42 PM