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Soi Rambutri, Bangkok, Thailand

A quiet middle aged Aussie and a loud young American argue about Iraq. Guess which one is pro-war?

I’m in a cafe on Soi Rambutri, the older and more sedate version of Khaosan Road, the main touristy area.

Just been on the internet. The web server’s down – the one that hosts mine and a number of other peoples’ websites. I phoned 1&1 support and the guy said that one of their support people had taken the server down but he didn’t know why. He said he’d email me within the hour, so in the meantime I’m having some beer and doing some writing.

You say that the Iraq government killed Kurds and then you try to deflect that blame by saying they were supplied by someone else, the American says. I can’t hear what the Aussie is saying but I think he’s arguing that Saddam was bankrolled by the US government. It sounds like an argument I’ve had and heard many times before. It’s become a boring argument.

The Farang sitting in front of me looks over at them and smiles. I guess he’s heard it before as well.

I was watching BBC News 24 this morning in the hotel. They had a woman on there who was a soldier in Iraq who’s written a book about her experiences. She talked about how she was called into an interrogation session, initially she thought because they were interrogating a woman and wanted to be sensitive, but then found out it was because they were interrogating a man and wanted to humiliate him.

Finally the American gets offended and calls for the bill. Walking out he says to the Aussie: I wish you the best, thankyou. The Aussie now gets congratulated by an English guy with a mohican. I would’ve hit him, says the English guy. No no, he’s a nice guy, says the Aussie.

The American returns and sits down. He wants to start up the argument again. Now there’s an argument about the argument. You must have a dipstick in your head to think all the. The American stands up. A tribal street vendor is there making a clicking sound with one of the things she wants to sell. Sell it to him, he says, pointing to the Australian, because he’s full of shit. He’ll pay 5000 Bahts for that thing.

The American meets another American in the street. I think the other guy’s American. He’s tall, and they seem to be friends.