June 30, 2004
Autrefois

Thinking of departures, in relation to Bremer's exit stage right [said in the voice of the weekday-afternoon-cartoon Pink Panther]. The introductory text of Bill Burke's latest book (Autrefois, Maison Privée), is a letter from the former prime minister of Cambodia, Sirik Matak, sent to the U.S. Ambassador, in response to the U.S.'s offer of a chance to escape the country before it completely fell to the Khmer Rouge:

'I thank you very sincerely for your letter and for your offer to transport me towards freedom. I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion. As for you, and in particular for your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty. You have refused us your protection, and we can do nothing about it.

'You leave, and my wish is that you and your country will find happiness under this sky. But, mark it well, that if I shall die here on the spot and in my country that I love, it is no matter, because we are all born and must die. I have only committed this mistake of believing in you [the Americans].

'Please accept, Excellency and dear friend, my faithful and friendly sentiments.'

No, I'm not sure how this relates to Bremer, or the idea of freedom, or of the idea of Iraq. But maybe the idea of credibility, maybe I can see how it relates.

Posted by dbrown at June 30, 2004 01:46 PM
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