Iraqi Bloggers Roundup

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Rumours and Eyewitnesses

I value Iraqi blogs because there is so much information available there that can't be found anywhere else. Unfortunately, like any media, the blogs contain a good deal of stuff that can't be taken at face value. I've noticed that Iraqis tend to give great credit to information they've received off the grapevine. Rumours get printed as fact in a number of blogs. They also like to blog information they've found in one of Iraq's immense number of newspapers, or off the Arab TV channels. I think they've become so hungry for facts after decades of B.S. from officials, that they accept anything they hear down at the coffeehouse. (I realize this is in no way a failing unique to Iraqis.)

Whenever an Iraqi offers up personal anecdotes to which he was an eyewitness, however, then that becomes a posting that I cherish. Some of Salam Pax's best posts were from before the war, in which he would describe things he saw and conversations he had. The same is often true now of many blogs, especially the Pep Boys at Iraq the Model, and also AYS at Iraq at a Glance. A fine eyewitness post was put up this week by Ferid the Great. (Who needs to stop calling himself a loser.)

9th of April and my life is the single best post Ferid has written. A couple small excerpts about criminals and Baathists:

"Dyala at that time didn't fall yet, at the same time we've heard heavy gun shooting and voices of people shouting from the prison next to the house, this prison was holding all prisoners that transferred from Baghdad, and there charges was only politic since saddam freed all criminals from prisons few months before war"

Now, just imagine what would happen in America if we emptied out all the prisons and jails. There would be a huge spike in violent crime. Saddam knew he could just round these guys up again if he survived, and that they'd make Iraq ungovernable if he fell. Why wasn't this obvious to our dear neocon leaders? From the first looting the common criminals in Iraq having been having a field day. Why weren't we prepared to deal with this? Anyway, whenever you ask yourself why Iraq is so chaotic and violent, remember that the felons were released.

Now about Baathists:

"...that day I saw the opposite thing at there eyes there were sadness and bitterness, we all were watching TV at the moment when the Iraqis and US forces was trying to get down saddam statue, I've heard them mumbling that those are just spies work for America and trying to describe them as bunch of criminals, I tried to open my mouth at that moment, but I saw my father blinking his eye to me then looking at the photo of saddam that they have put at there house, then I realized every thing....the sad fact that in Iraq there is still some people who love saddam"

Yes, there are many people who must have loved Saddam or he could not have stayed in power. Sometimes I wonder if Bush and Co. realized this. Sometimes I think they looked at this guy and thought that no one except his thugs really wanted him in power. But how could they fail to imagine that he stayed in power because he had millions of supporters? Perhaps they didn't all love him, but they at least saw him as one of their own. Riverbend once put up a sickening post about the "sovereignty and dignity" that they enjoyed under Baba Saddam. How many millions must have believed the crap about the strong leader who defied the West and the Zionists? (Remember how many Iraqis are under the age of twenty or so: How hard is it to fool the young?) If they didn't believe that, how many at least among the Sunni Arabs saw him as their bulwark and provider? Given this, why was it a surprise when a violent insurgency slowly grew? I think this, along with the criminals, are two good examples of Bush's 'miscalculations' that he recently admitted to.


Speaking of rumours: A few days ago Iraq the Model had a post about six Syrian terrorists who were captured by a mob of enraged Iraqis. If true, this would be great news and prove something important about the 'insurgency.' However, their source seems to be New Sabah newspaper and nothing else. I've searched all over and I can't find an independent source for the story. Why hasn't anyone asked the Iraqi government about those six Syrian terrorists? Wouldn't they have a lot to say about them, being that they are good proof of foreign interference in Iraq? But instead, nothing. I'm not saying the story is definitely false. I'm only saying it's a good example of being too quick to give credit. If anyone can find proof this story is true, that would be great.


By now everyone knows that as part of their quest to become ever more popular with ordinary Iraqis, the Zarqawi group blew up 35 kids. Apparently, they were traitorously receiving candy from the American infidels, who were celebrating a new sewage treatment facility constructed as part of their evil plans to subjugate and plunder Iraq. What's been less reported in the media, but noted by Fayrouz, is that they heroically bombed a Catholic nun's shelter for handicapped kids. Allah must be pleased. Not.