The Corner

Iraqi Mood

From Michael Rubin, who is currently travelling in Itaq:

It is possible to learn a lot about politics and attitudes from local humor. Accordingly, here are two jokes now circulating in Iraq, a bit reflective of the self-depriciating humor and stinging political criticism fairly common in Iraq:

1. A Japanese, American, and Iraqi are killed by a roadside bomb and go to hell. After several days in hell, each expresses a desire to call home. Satan gives the Japanese a phone. He calls Japan and talks to his family for five minutes. After the call, he is given a bill for $5 million. “Why so large?” he asks. Satan responds, “Well, Japan is a long way from hell.” The American then calls home and speaks for ten minutes. His bill? $10 million. Last, the Iraqi asks to call home. After several tries, he finally gets a line. He speaks to his friends and family for an hour and a half. His bill? $2. “Why only two dollars?” he asks. “For Iraq we only need a local line,” Satan responds.

2. Ibrahim Jaafari goes to his office on his first day as Prime Minister. He walks into his office, and sees a rooster, a dog, and a donkey. “Why are you here?” he asks the rooster. “There is so much work to be done in Iraq, that my job is to wake you early so you have enough time to do it,” the rooster responds. “What about you?”” he asks the dog. “Security is a huge problem in Iraq. My job is to make sure you are protected from terrorists.” “And you?” he asks the donkey? “I don’t know,” the donkey responds. “They dumped me in this office, the same as you.”

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