The stock market fell below 7,000, Afghanistan is seeing more casualties, and Joe the Plumber's terrible book is not inspiring any confidence in the musings of average Americans (read the Amazon link for some funny reviews). But, hey, at least Baghdad's citizens are having a good time. From Times Online (thx Eric):
For a few hours the violence of the past six years was eclipsed by beer and music.Alcohol is probably the best weapon against the crippling reality of today's world where economies built on credit/debt are rapidly collapsing (see Ron Paul's speech at CPAC). So it's good to know that Iraq doesn't have Shi'ite death squads roaming the streets of Baghdad looking to drive nails into anyone's head with a vendor stall dedicated to Western music. Three years ago all you heard anyone in America talking about was how messed up Iraq was. Now all we talk about is how jacked up everything else is in American society and politics, but Iraq gets a back seat. How the tables have turned.
The burgeoning nightlife in the Iraqi capital is the most dramatic evidence so far that this city is returning to its old, pre-war ways, after the nightmare of sectarian violence and a bloody insurgency punctuated by suicide bombings and beheadings.
Even during British rule, Baghdad's residents enjoyed their alcohol, music and dancing. For the best part of 15 years, however, those pleasures have been denied them.
First, Saddam Hussein moved to close down the bars and nightclubs around the city. In 1994 he launched the “Faith Campaign”, an attempt to persuade the Islamic world that he had become a Muslim believer after years of sectarian rule. He shut bars and nightclubs to demonstrate his faith.