Archive for July, 2003

At the Al-Hamra Pool I’m a Babe Once More, And I Wanna Iraqi!

Sunday, July 20th, 2003


This June, I spent many evenings in Baghdad sitting around the pool of the Al-Hamra Hotel in a bikini. It was one of the Western oases in Baghdad, and at the white plastic tables foreign reporters drank cheap beer, gossiping and creating the viewpoint that magically becomes the consensus press stance in each war zone-here, it was that the Americans were failing and that the leader they backed, Ahmed Chalabi, was washed up. But I wasn’t terribly interested. I was there because all I had to do was sit in my bikini, copying Arabic verb tables in the dim light, to feel again, thanks to the skewed gender ratio, the sexual power I’d had at 25. I hadn’t expected this. The sex I’d been thinking about when I arrived in Baghdad was between Iraqis. I was fascinated with an article that claimed as many as half of Iraqi marriages were between first or second cousins, and that this made democracy difficult. On my first day there, I’d gone to see Ahmed Chalabi to see if he would discuss it for an interview. “Put that shit away,” he said, smiling, when I showed him my press credentials. I knew he’d prefer to talk about Persian literature or Arab grammar, as we had when I last saw him, in New York, but he took the article when I handed it him.

“By fostering intense family loyalties and strong nepotistic urges, inbreeding makes the development of civil society more difficult,” Steve Sailer wrote in The American Conservative this January. “The clannishness, corruption, and coups frequently observed in countries such as Iraq appear to be tied into the high rates of inbreeding.” (more…)