At the beginning of this year Salam Pax was just another typical oppressed Baghdadi, four of whose relatives had ‘gone missing’ (according to his Guardian biog.). But a couple of weeks in the company of Guardian editors and he’s been transformed into a note-perfect, sneering, metropolitan poseur, right down to the two-decade-old Rambo putdown. He sounds like a Channel 4 commissioning editor. Now you might think this is a tad ungrateful of Salam: some of that tomato juice on the rug is from his four missing relatives and, given that the Americans have seen to it that his own juice is no longer in danger of hitting the shagpile, it might be nice if he understood that, in the end, it’s in his interest to clean up the room more than Rambo’s. But personally I find it heartening: if the Americans can’t transform Iraq into New Hampshire, this snotty little twerp is living proof that you can at least turn it into Islington.

Harsh, but Salam was snotty. No sooner did I post this than a reader noted that he’s actually back in Baghdad as of a couple of weeks ago, though he wasn’t there when he was dissing Bush. Sadly, I don’t read Salam’s blog much any more — I find Zeyad, Omar,and the other, second-wave Iraqi bloggers far more interesting and useful these days. Perhaps now that Salam is back in Iraq his blog will become more interesting.