May 14, 2004

"Those were the peaceful and stable times..."

The blog IRAQ THE MODEL has the most fascinating stuff. Mohammed, Ali and Omar tell tales of everyday life that illuminate what's going on in Iraq. If you are one of those people who wishes we had left the Iraqis to Saddam's tenderness, you better not read it! All those uncles and cousins and their odd stories are just too real and charming.

Ali's recent post Ibrahim and the dark future I've seen quoted several times. But only the first part, the conversation between Ali's oldest uncle and his stuffed-shirt 16 year old son Ibrahim. (which is a don't-miss!)

But the rest of the post also interested me. Ali writes about his simple delight in having a stable currency! A luxury we take for granted. And what that might mean for the country...

...Saddam’s regime used to sell dollars at half the market price, for about one week or so, in small amounts and spread rumors that the sanctions were going to be lifted as part of a secret agreement, and when the price goes below even that of the bank, as many people change their dollars into dinars in the hope that it will rise more, the Mukhabarat, through their men in the market, would buy back more than what the banks had sold, striking two birds in one stone; giving Iraqis a false hope to keep them busy and stimulate the greed of rapid fortune that occurs at such circumstances, and getting extra profit to keep his regime alive (this was not just a guess, I knew this from many Mukhabarat’s men with big mouths). The results were as expected disastrous; few people get rich and thousands get bankrupt, which led in many times to furious disputes between people about unsettled businesses or debts in Iraqi Dinars that mounted to murder in some cases. Those were the peaceful and stable times...

Posted by John Weidner at May 14, 2004 9:00 PM
Weblog by John Weidner