John Burns, the New York Times reporter who’s done some of the best work from inside Iraq had some interesting comments on PBS last night. Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for posting it:
“Along with all of this apprehension I think America should know that there is also a good deal of anticipation. Iraqis have suffered beyond, I think, the common understanding of the United States from the repression of the past 30 years here. And many, many Iraqis are telling us now, not always in the whispers he have heard in the past but now in quite candid conversations, that they are waiting for America to come and bring them liberty.
“It’s very hard though for anybody to understand this. It can only be understood in terms of the depth of the repression here. It has to be said that this is not universal of course…
“All I can tell you is that as every reporter who has come over here will attest to this, there is the most extraordinary experience of the last few days has been a sudden breaking of the ice here, with people in every corner of life coming forward to tell us that they understand what America is about in this. They are very, very fearful of course of the [?] bombing, of damage to Iraq’s infrastructure. They are very concerned about the kind of governance, the American military governance, that they will come under afterward. Can I just say that there is also no doubt — no doubt — that there are many, many Iraqis who see what is about to happen here as the moment of liberation.”