Salam’s passionate defence of his father was sparked off by comments from those who see conspiracy theories behind everything outside their everyday experience. Salam is real, alright, I have my reasons not to doubt him. Those who challenge his identity and connections are simply ignorant of the workings of a world profoundly different from theirs. It does not fit the same categories and does not conform to the same black&white distinctions.
The fact Salam is disillusioned with American ‘occupation’ of Iraq and that he falls into the same ‘liberal mindset’ traps as many intellectuals in the West is not a sign of Ba’atish mis-information machine at work, as some have suggested. Simply, Salam has seen enough of the West not to believe that it has a panacea for Iraq’s woes. Can you blame him for that? He may take a very different journey from that point to the one we take at Samizdata.net but so what? That can happen to anyone and it does not make them a KGB agent.
I do feel a bit of regret that Salam has been dragged to the media spotlights, not because I begrudge him the popularity but because his idiosyncratic style and personality will get edited and analysed ad nauseam. Until, of course, something else becomes the flavour of the day.
I hope Salam’s future is safe and wish him best of luck.