anthem. march 2003.
that the american and iraqi administration were bosom friends back in the early 1980s is a well known fact. according to various sources on the internet (» the guardian, » znet, …) american companies sold components for chemical and biological weapons to the iraqi regime even after the iraqi military had used such weapons in their war against iran. that seems all well documented.
what not so many people know until today is that the friendship between the two countries was even much further developed. to show the world their unity saddam hussein (then dictator of iraq) and George H.W.Bush (then president of the usa) prepared to exchange the lyrics of their national anthems. that means the american anthem (» star spangled banner) was supposed to be sung with an english translation of the iraqi anthem (» land of two rivers) and vice versa.
unfortunately the two rulers could not come to terms on the invasion of kuwait in 1990. that ruined their good relation and also caused the fabulous anthem-project to be discarded.
in a similar manner as a journalist of the magazine ‘wired’ was able to » read the mailbox of saddam hussein nt and i were recently able to get our hands on at least a version of the (then planned) new american hymn which you can listen to here. interesting to hear that in the last verse the choir pronounced one of the words wrong. that proofes at least that the singers were no natives…
while listening to the hymn take a look at » the lyrics stand up and sing along. be honest. isn’t that deeply moving?