I’ve mentioned here before that I participate in the Usenet newsgroup (remember Usenet?) alt.books.george-orwell.
It turns out that another participant– a retired US military officer whose son was deployed to Iraq– has himself taken a Defense Department job there, and he has been posting to abg-o some very interesting first-hand observations. He reports a conversation with an Iraqi contractor who said to him, “Do you know an author, George Orwell? That book 1984, that was the way it was under Saddam.”