Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
I still remember what my father-in-law told me that fateful day in 2003, as we sat riveted by the sight of American soldiers on television pulling down the iconic statue of Saddam Hussein from its pedestal in a Baghdad square.
My father-in-law, whose brother had fled Iraq after being jailed for a few days after Baathists took the power in 1969 and who was never a Saddam supporter, was reflective.
“The only thing I fear is that a day will come in which we will regret Saddam’s fall,” he said.
During a visit a couple of months ago to Jordan, where my children, my wife and her parents have lived in self-exile for almost two years, I asked my father-in-law whether he had come to regret the end of that era.
As soon as my plane landed in Baghdad airport earlier this month, I was struck by how much appeared to have changed since I left in March after more than three years’ reporting in Iraq.
Flights were landing from across the Middle East — Beirut, Amman, Damascus and Dubai — bringing many Iraqis back home after the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday.
In downtown Beirut, resurrected from the rubble of the 1975-90 civil war, one is spoilt for choice of smart restaurants, trendy bars and lively clubs. Performances by sexy Lebanese divas and belly dancers contribute generously to Lebanon’s gross domestic product by attracting Gulf Arab tourists enchanted with Lebanese talent and beauty — not necessarily in that order.
There is isn’t a single international designer who has not found his or her way to Beirut’s elegant boutiques and jewellery shops. On the other hand, Lebanese designers such as Elie Saab are dressing Hollywood stars these days.
Asked in a Reuters interview on Friday if it would be a tell-all memoir and reveal secret meetings in the build-up to the Iraq war, Rice replied: “Tell-all? What’s a tell-all?”
Posted by Randall Mikkelsen
ORLANDO, Fla – Decades of passing lie detector tests and the most stringent background checks count little when it comes to the U.S. no-fly terrorist watch list, the Pentagon’s former spy chief recalled on Monday.
Retired Lt. Gen. Patrick Hughes, once the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and a top Homeland Security Department intelligence official, said after he entered the private sector in 2005 he was denied boarding on a flight because his name was on the no-fly list. It has taken him ever since to clear up the confusion.