Iraqi Bloggers Roundup

Monday, October 18, 2004

Of Sam and Sami and the American Elections

There’s a new kid on the Iraqi bloggers’ block named Sami. Check out his informative postings at An Iraqi's Thoughts.

For some reason I took a shine to this young man, almost the minute I discovered his website. He’s about the right age to be a ‘baby brother figure’ to my two kids and could even be a role model for them. He attended university in the West - in my country, in fact, which may be why I connected - in a field of study that will be immensely useful to the future of his country.

He made his debut only a couple of weeks ago, and already I have learned so much from him. He emailed me his honours thesis on the Lebanese civil war, which he has promised to post on his site. The thesis contends that the Lebanese conflict has strong parallels to the current one in Iraq and I think his analysis is spot on.

He has also promised to translate occasional bits of information from Arabic language newspapers and postings on various Arabic-only blogs, a suggestion that came from several of his readers. (This young man understands the principles of good marketing!) An Iraqi's Thoughts is definitely worth bookmarking.

Elsewhere in the Iraqi blogging world, the comments have pretty much mired down to a mud-slinging contest between “Demons” and “Repugs”. Take JohnL's comment, for example:

"If I have to choose between a golden-tongued Senator with a history of defeatism and a tongue-tied President with a record of achievement, I'll definitely go with the latter, and I think most Americans will end up doing the same."

Many posters have offered the theory that Bush has been waiting until after the elections before letting the lions out of the cage. Alaa at The Mesopotamian made an impassioned and masterfully crafted plea to his American readers as voters, urging them to re-elect Bush. Responses from both sides of the political spectrum filled the comments page and left no doubt in my mind that it matters not whether the lions are loosed by Republicans or Democrats, as far as blog fans are concerned, mission one will be - post haste - get the job done! Kris, in Seattle, for example, stated emphatically that American voters will not allow their president, no matter who he is, to leave before Iraqis are ready. Not to slight you at all, Kris, but I remain skeptical that Kerry will heed that advice and I'd rather you didn't take the chance. In case I turn out to be wrong, do save my email address so you can send my words back at me and watch me eat them. Kris's comment is too long to quote here, but it's another that is certainly worth reading as I'm sure it represents the views of a large percentage of Democrat leaning Americans who are genuinely concerned about Iraq's welfare.

It’s also heartening to learn, via Sam at Hammorabi, that serious and productive discussions concerning forgiveness of Iraq’s odious debts are FINALLY happening! The United States has proposed a 90% - 95% writeoff of Iraqi debt and Japan has stated its agreement with that position. Should they follow through on that, it will be a well deserved slap in the face to the terrorists/extortionists who kidnapped three Japanese citizens earlier this year.

I was disappointed there wasn't more discussion about this part of Sam's posting in the comments. I'll forgive the neighbours as they are understandably a bit preoccupied at the moment, and for what it's worth, I'll offer my 2 cents to fill the gap. This rightoff of odious debts will be a monumental signal to the tyrants of the world and to the countries and people who prop them up. It's both bad business and bad Karma. Equally important, is the message to the tyrants: If you want foreign aide and investment, clean up your act.

While the world holds its breath, waiting for November's crucial election, other things are moving forward. Against the backdrop of yet another of Saddam Hussein’s mass graves, this one filled with the remains of pregnant women, their unborn babies and toddlers clutching toys, there is a very large community of nations taking care of issues and working to see that Iraqis WILL HAVE their freedom. If America, with George Bush at the helm, had not led the way, none of this would be happening, and for my part, I'd rather not see the momentum interrupted. In any case, whether he wins the election or not, the cowboy from Texas, speech impediment and all, will be my hero for the rest of my life.

Finally, my nomination for the best rant of the week goes to Kat from Missouri. Kat, speaking with her pajamas on, of course, gave a stellar performance in response to the Bush Lied Party's Information Minister. Well done Kat. May you live long and prosper.

Louise – the Iraqi blog addict