Those who love some commerce after a US occupation

A grimly fascinating tale in the New York Times about an enterprising Lebanese man who has opened a flash restaurant in Baghdad:

Mr. Hage, 51, is the most updated version of an old Lebanese story, that of a diaspora known for its willingness to follow commerce where it leads. Simply put, for a decade, he has trailed America’s imperial pursuits. After helping build an airport in Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan, he stopped in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. For six years, he has come into and out of Iraq, where so many fortunes were made, via the American government, in construction and services.

“Wherever the Americans are, we are,” he said. Then he smiled, flirtatiously. “Next,” he said, “we’re looking to go to Iran.”

There are countless men and women across the world, in the West and East, who thrive on America’s never-ending war machine.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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