Iraqi Bloggers Roundup

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Obscure Iraqi Blogs # 2

Obscure Iraqi Blogs # 2
by littlewhy

Everyone reads Iraq the Model, Healing Iraq, etc. The smaller blogs need love too, so, here is IBR's second roundup of the little dogs in the Iraqi Blogosphere pound:


Often one gets tired of non-Iraqi Muslims and their blind hatred of the U.S., their silly conspiracy theories, etc. So it is hilarious and uplifting when Sami tells us of the time he bitch slapped a naive Pakistani girl in his university:

I had had a bad day I guess I can’t remember why when a Pakistani girl
(no disrespect to Pakistinis I am sure they are not all this way) comes round to the table me and a bunch of people were sitting down at and she is like I am invitttttinggggg you and allll offfff youuuuu tto a rrrrrally to get US troops out Iraq ………..I got filled with rage…… I was like what? Are you kidding me?

She said she just wanted the Americans to stop killing Iraqis. I said where were you for over 20 years? Why do Iraqi lives all of a sudden mean so much to you? What about the innocent Pakistinis being brainwashed into murderers? Then she gave me the line I have heard a million and one times ‘Yes Saddam was bad but US is worse’. I swear I wanted to punch her right then and there…… but of course I didn’t …. I said to her if it wasn’t for the West you wouldn’t be here in this country, Canada free to wear your hijab free to express your opinions and free to organise rallies, why do you want to rob the Iraqi people of the same privelges?


Iraq Today by Ibrahim Khalil:

Ibrahim Khalil tells us of the recent press conference of the mayor of Mosul. (How's that for a job?) Apparently the mayor has had it up to here with the Sunni Imams:

But the news in his press conference was that he also blames some of the religious men in some mosques who were calling for "Jihad" during the last crisis...
In fact what made me to write about this matter is that it is not easy for a mayor to blame religious men, especially in this city where most people are religious...
Here in the city, and even in Iraq generally, many people follow what the religious men say. I hope that this will pass safely and with no hard reactions. However, we need to wait the next few days to see if there will be any reaction for the mayor's blaming the religious men...

Again, I say, why is it that Sunni Imams who call for violence are not arrested? We threatened to arrest Sadr for the same thing (although we failed to carry through with that threat, more's the pity.)


Where is Dr. Said at Iraqi Humanity? He hasn't posted for a month. We here at IBR hope all is well and that he'll post again soon.


A great deal of the so-called 'resistance' is nothing more than what the American military calls FRE, or Former Regime Elements. Here at IBR we call them by their right names: terrorists, thugs, murderers, thieves, criminals, etc. If you'd like to see a sample of the Ba'ath thugs organization and involvement, go read Great Iraq. I read once on the Model that Baathists were all ignorant retards; well, this guy proves that with his blog's color scheme: monkey-shit green and puke pink.


Ibn Al Rafidain, the son of the Two Rivers, tells us of the Mafia-style control the thugs have established in some neighborhoods:

Iraqi individuals are focusing on their everyday worries. Nothing positive and tangible on the ground is taking place. Threats, of different kinds, are spreading. People feel that their enemy is invisible. Menacing slogans are written on the walls. Death threats are made against students if they attend school or college. Threats are made against teachers, doctors, officials …etc. Some take it seriously; others consider it as a joke. A coalition consists of Saddamians, fundamentalists, baathists, Arab insurgents backed by forces work from abroad, considers the election as a challenge between them and the government.

Because of such troubles, Al Rafidain says that Iraqis tend to ignore big political events like the debt relief and the elections, since they have to worry about who is trying to kill them.

Two newspaper articles:

1. good news about the Iraqi cops:

2. bad news about cooperation


The Rose of Baghdad tells us some encouraging facts about the attitude of the ordinary people of Fallujah:

As I heard from people living in Fallujah, they had enough from those terrorists , but they could not do any thing against them because the terrorists would kill them with their families. I heard that some of the terrorists forced many families to have them at their homes and I heard that many of those families were killed during some attacks by the US forces. And that’s why the people of Fallujah want to put an end to it. Many of Saddam’s loyalists ran away to Fallujah and stayed there after Baghdad’s fall and I think they made some connections with other groups and co-operated with them. especially Saddam’s inelegance, because as I know most of them ran away to Falluja and I became surprised when I heard (during the war) that they escaped there, but now I understand why. One of the kidnapped people whom I know from far away said that they took him to Fallujah after kidnapping and he said the kidnappers were so organized...

I'd like to say here that Rose is on our side and is one of the good people, yet when she's offered some mild criticism in her blog, she's been jumped on in the comments by the chickenhawks. I hope she doesn't let these people keep her from blogging.


I've written elsewhere about what a tremendous strain it must be emotionally to be an Iraqi after thirty years of Saddam, three wars, etc. Poor Sara in New Zealand has put up a poignant post about the emotional boomerang of being an Iraqi right now:

I just believe you have to understand that an Iraqi like me, is lost with the war on Iraq. This war is doing both good and bad, this is not the case where an Iraqi can say "YES! The war on Iraq is good" or even if it was bad. We can NOT yet know whether the war on Iraq will bring a good future. I fear for the future of Iraq. I honestly do want to go back home and I don't even know if that will ever happen. I am afraid of an actual civil war since I do know most Iraqis are angry people and they don't have the great ability to control their emotions so well heh!.

but she also has some words of encouragement:

Remember, your soldiers are not only in Iraq to kill the 'evil guys'. Your soldiers have a duty to fill; a duty to welcome Iraqis to the new welcome Iraqis in a world filled with hopes and dreams to fulfil, a world where they, the people of Iraq can have more control of their country. And for that, this is what I call the incredible achievements many soldiers are attempting to accomplish... May God bless all the soldiers and Iraqis who have done a great deal of good in trying to stabilize the cradle of civilisation, Iraq.


So that is all for the obscure blogs this week. If your favorite blog didn't make it, don't worry because they're all being scrutinized. In the meantime, provide some traffic and some support and friendly, respectful comments for our small cheeses in the Iraqi blogosphere.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Iraqi Blog Inspired Ramblings

This week I offer an assortment of links and discussions from the comments pages of our favourite Iraqi blogs, which I found interesting and encouraging. A heartfelt apology to those who want to wallow in negativity, but I just don’t do that.

First of all, the really good news: The Paris Club agrees to 80% Iraqi debt forgiveness.

Second, a novel approach to the problem of naïve young men who sign up to do the dirty work for their evil masters. Saudi father to sue jihadist scholars. I hope it catches on.

Third, after calling it quits due to government crackdown on freedom of expression, the Bahraini blogger, Mahood, reconsiders, citing a flood of emails supporting him, proving once again there is hope for this old planet and its inhabitants. God’s speed, Mahmood, and stay safe!

And then there was this story from an eyewitness, an American military man right there in the thick of it, about the thoughts of Fallujah’s ordinary citizens. Warning, lefties!! This could be a source of deep disillusionment.

And finally, the sweetest piece of the week, from Iraq the Model, Ali’s coup against one of the masters of the PC movement among elitist academics, Juan Cole.

Now, on to some other stuff: One of the big debates of the week centered on the merits of the concept of moral relativism. My take on this thing is that the concept is both stupid and dangerous, providing, as it does, an excuse for mass murder and terror. Philosopher Jonathan Dolhenty does a good job of dissecting the idea in this essay, calling moral relativism a myth. And here’s an interesting interview with the same dude, which I think is highly relevant to the whole issue that we Iraqi blogger fans are witnessing.

Then there was this intriguing bit about sarin gas discovered in Fallujah (# 2 in photo gallery).

And last, but certainly not least, Ibn Al-Rafidain captures the essence of the whole darned thing, quoting Tony Blair:

The people want the freedom (referring to the Iraqis). What we recognized, I think, today, is that we're not going to have our security unless they get that freedom

Ibn AlRafidain makes it very clear. There is a direct relationship between freedom, human rights and global security. The comments he received in response to his posting also suggest there is no turning back. The power of the Internet - and, in particular, of blogs WITH COMMENTS ENABLED (you hear that Riverbend?) - is just beginning to exert its influence. These tools not only advance the cause, they create genuine bonds of friendship and support between people in widely separated parts of the globe. We ain't seen nothing yet, but I am truly impressed and inspired!!

Louise - the Iraqi blog addict

Friday, November 19, 2004

Link Wars

Both Iraqi bloggers, and the people who read them, provide a vast array of links to secondary websites that support their views. Many of the links, of course, have a particular bias, and if a reader disagrees with the points made on the linked website, a customary response is to denounce the source or, never mind reading it, simply dismiss it because of its source!

In any case, the links do provide readers with a rich source of background reading that is undoubtedly turning many Iraqi blogger fans into a highly informed and discriminating group. Readers frequently demand a link from commenters who fail to convince, implying that a point of view backed up by a link carries more weight.

Whether the links support or detract from one’s position, they illustrate the power of the Internet, the robust nature of freedom of expression and what can happen when the two intertwine. Inadvertently, perhaps, Iraqi bloggers can be credited with being the leaders of the pack in demonstrating this particular strength of the Internet. Just as television is said to have influenced the outcome of the Viet Nam war, the Internet, with bloggers as intermediaries, are influencing this one.

Some of the links spawn completely new tangents to the thoughts presented by the blogger, like the one TaSS provided arguing in support of the marine who shot a wounded Iraqi 'insurgent'. Days later, the debate about the ‘rules of war’ (the ultimate oxymoron, if there ever was one, IMHO) continues and by now the reader has been provided with numerous secondary sources, which they can read.

Reading the links sometimes produces unintended outcomes. From Belgium, The Outlaw, Michael Cosyns, for example, provided this link to a Canadian website which advocates a return of Vietnam War phenomenon of draft dodgers and conscientious objectors fleeing to Canada. The site actually contains an enormous amount of excellent information for any skilled worker wishing to work in Canada. Since there is a critical shortage of skilled workers in my neck of the woods, despite its left leaning orientation and intent, I say to Americans, whether lefties or neocons, visit that site if you have marketable skills, and think it over. I like my country. And not withstanding the numerous stereotypes we have of each other, I think you will, too. Be advised though, I don’t think whining and supporting dictatorships in the name of defaming the US qualifies as a marketable skill, at least not where I live (Insert ‘shameless plug’ link here.)

And then there are the indispensable utilities provided by Brian H. Each of these offers the serious blogger and commenter alike, the tools to improve his or her skills and keep Brian happy, thus avoiding his hostile attacks, at the same time.

For example, need practice with that ever vexing series of keystrokes required to produce a live link? Try this.

Or even easier, use tinyurl.

Need to make sure you're using the right word? Well, there’s this one.

Spoiled by word processing's spell check feature and wish Haloscan had the same? This site is for you.

Now let me repost some of my favourite links from the last few days. Maybe these will spark a link war right here and we will actually get some hits on this blog!!

From PeteS, a definition of peace.

Kat in Missouri, a hat tip to you and to someone else, whose name I forgot to record (sorry), for reminders of what this war is all about:

Reminder 1.

Reminder 2.

Then there are two articles that discuss the hot topic of the week, the Marine who allegedly committed war crimes:

This one from Christina, Montana, USA.

And this, posted by ‘moi’. (That's two, count 'em, two, shameless plugs, for the price of one.)

Being a librarian by profession, I thought I’d ply my trade and plug - er - offer a few of my own links here. First, the original document governing the rules of war, since those rules seem to figure prominently in the debate of the week. We might as well have informed debate, while we're at it:

The Geneva Convention.

And an assortment of guides on how to evaluate the quality and authenticity of a website.

Cornell Library
Berkeley Library
New Mexico State University Library I
New Mexico State University Library II

I’ll close by showing one link, also from PeteS, which, after having been subjected to the aforementioned analytical techniques, is now in the trash can. fuck-canada. Thanks PeteS! I’m plotting my revenge.

Louise - the Iraqi blogger addict

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Most Important Matter...

by littlewhy

So the battle in Fallujah is almost over. We all knew the Marines and Army would win this battle, as it was obvious that this was in no way similar to the siege in April. With close air support from the Navy and Air Force, the issue was never in any doubt.

The really important matter at hand is: how will the Iraqi security forces perform? It's hard to get good information about this, but there are hints in the Iraqi blogs. The message is very mixed, some very good and some very bad.

During the April battle in Fallujah, Iraqi and foreign Arab opinion was wildly pro-terrorist. The battle was portrayed as a revenge for the four guards who were murdered and hung from the bridge. It was made out as an American slaughter of innocents, a collective punishment, a war crime. (Let us be serious. If we really were targeting civilians deliberately, there would be no one left alive. Ask the people of Darfur what really happens when civilians are deliberately targeted.) This time, the Arab media seems confused about Fallujah. Maybe the terrorists wore out their welcome with their behavior? Not that the Arabs suddenly like us at all. They still hate us, but maybe they're lacking someone to cheer for?

Zeyad of Healing Iraq as usual has the most honest and objective report, in which things are like the war in March of last year. His post paints a picture of police and National Guard units hard pressed, but at least putting up a fight this time. But the thugs are still powerful enough to disrupt life completely: electricity is cut, water is cut, gasoline deliveries are nearly cut off. Even the black market is out of gas. Zeyad barely avoided being killed in a firefight. They can still bring the city to a halt and force everyone inside. So the good news is the security forces are actually fighting, but the bad news is they cannot control things. Why does this seem dire for the future in Fallujah? Because eventually the U.S. forces there will have to move on, and the Iraqis will have to control it themselves...


Alaa the Mesopotamian tells us about the Triangle of Death south of Baghdad, and how seriously those people are trying to cut off Baghdad from the Shi'ite south. He and Hammorabi Sam mention this area often, of Mahmoudiaya, Latifiya, Yousifiya, and Iskandariya. The IP are mostly helpless here--Alaa has several times said that the IP are unfairly handled, with not enough weapons and deployed in a traditional manner that makes them easy targets. The U.S. will probably have to strike this area like it did Fallujah, since it seems to be an independent rebel state in the same way, which makes it all the more worrisome--Uncle Sam can't be everywhere at once.

(Possibly interesting sidenote: Iskandar is Arab for "Alexander" as in The Great, so you see how old a city Iskandariaya must be.)


Nabil is at least honest about the opinions of Iraqis he knows. Some fervently against the attack on Fallujah, and some strongly in favor.


Since this blog has Cry Me A River as its grandfather, we have to look at Riverbend. As usual, Uncle Sam is a cold-blooded murderer. As usual, River speaks for all Iraqis. Our subject is the Iraqi security services, so here's her take:

How do people feel about the Iraqi troops? There's a certain rage. It's difficult to sympathize with a fellow-countryman while he's killing one of his own. People generally call them "Dogs of Occupation" here because instead of guarding our borders or securing areas, they are used to secure American forces. They drive out in front of American cars in order to clear the roads and possibly detonate some of those road mines at a decent distance from the American tanks. At the end of the day, most of them are the remnants of militias and that's the way they act.

Yup, all those guys standing in line, risking suicide bomb attacks, all to keep River from being some muji's fourth wife, they're 'dogs.'


Remember Gee in Baghdad? He's now the Iraqi jounalist with the big brass ones. Look at these articles he's written from inside Fallujah:

Article one

Article two


Of course the worst news was the near takeover of Mosul by a determined attack of Islamist thugs, probably Ansar al-Sunna, the thugs who threatened the Christian women of Mosul to wear the hijab or else. The Mosul police melted like butter.

Here's the news from Rose of Baghdad:

Mousle had been almost fallen in the hand of armed insurgents. there is NO presence for police or the national Guard, and not even the American army. My sister lives there. The police station near them has been taken and burned. She said that there are many fighters carrying RPG and other weapons in their street and no one could do anything. My sister in law lives in Mosul too. She said we see many armed fighters but no one there to stop them. there are battles from time to time but it seems that the fighters are handling the situation not the government.The house of Mosul governor was also burned. Some lootings happened in some places there too.My sister was terrified to death, she said the fighters are shooting some rockets near her house and she was afraid that the American will shoot them and her house and she did not know what to do.


Ibrahim Khalil lives in Mosul, and here's his post about the fighting. He also explains his opinion about the police:

The new government allowed many of Saddam's former systems to join in the police system and this became a very big problem in my opinion. I can not understand why they accepted some of those who were members in Fidaeen which were the most Saddam's honest to join in police. I know many of those who were in Fidaeen and then after the liberation they joined to the police system.
I know that now if the local government will chuck all those policemen who left their position in the last events, then most of them will join in the resistance. but I still think that it is better than to accept them in police system.


It seems that the police quit but the NG fought in Mosul--apparently because the NG up there are Kurds. When the Sunni Salafis attacked the local Kurdish party HQ, they got smacked but good, so we know that if the security forces had put up a real fight Mosul could have been adequately protected. Isn't it maybe time to give up on the Sunnis in Mosul? Perhaps the security up there should just be turned over to Kurdish units and be done with it?

Poor Aunt Najma is in great distress. She's mixed up and has conflicting feelings, plus I think some of the adults around her are filling her with ideas about 'resistance.' She's just a kid, but she's taking a lot of crap in her comments page from red-blooded chicken hawks. Unlike the Jarrars or Riverbend, she has the courage to open her comments, and actually read them. So she has mixed feelings, so what? She's under huge stress and is very young, so lay off her.

Her post is worth reading, because it shows how a civilian guerilla organization works to turn the population over to their side, by driving a wedge between the people and the MNF.


Why is it that all the Iraqi bloggers are in Baghdad or Mosul? Very occasionally we get reports from Basrah when one of the dentists has to pull duty down there. It would be nice to have a regular eyewitness in Basrah, or Kirkuk.


So the situation is unclear with the Iraqi security. For every story that shows them fighting and clearing mosques and houses, there is another story of failure, desertion, or collaboration. We'll never get out of Iraq until they can fight on their own. But will they? A Vietnam veteran in my local club has said to me in the past, with a sad twisted smile, "You just can't fight for people who won't fight for themselves."

by littlewhy
(Note: please notice that there are three contributors to this blog. Louise and Torchbearer might not agree with everything I write, and vice versa.)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Lovely Ivory Coast

by littlewhy

So the long-awaited final attack on Fallujah has arrived. Anyone puzzled by the timing? There was no reason we had to wait until a week into November before this high-risk attack was attempted, was there? I think this should have and could have been done months ago, but apparently it was more important to protect Bush's re-election chances than people's lives. I know it could be argued that we had to wait until sufficient Iraqi forces were ready to go--but are they really that much better than they were a month ago?

I certainly hope this works out in the end. As I write, the Marines and some Iraqi elements have already pushed a kilometer into the city. There won't be any more negotiations or any more cease-fires (at least I hope so.) Maybe this time we'll have learned the meaning of the word "surround" and we won't have flocks of thugs escaping, as happened in Samarra. No Al-Jazeera is inside the city this time, broadcasting live pictures of the latest civilian deaths. Also, the Arab world is for some reason fascinated by Arafat's death (who cares?) and are less interested in Fallujah.

Nobody is more excited than Alaa the Mesopotamian, who has put up a flurry of posts:

It should also be finally realized that providing security is something different from military action and much more difficult. This was the problem right from the start. The American and allied forces are superb as fighting forces against visible enemies, but when it comes to maintaining security and civil order; well, we have all seen what happened!

Oh, he is so right. Will we learn from the past? There aren't enough troops to provide tight security and conduct combat operations elsewhere. Eventually these forces will have to leave and fight in Latifiyah, Baqouba, Ramadi, etc. The Iraqis will have to control Fallujah, with minimal help. The trouble will be this: the fighting will end and the city will have to be opened for refugees to return, and for commerce and aid and reconstruction to flow. That will make it easy for the thugs to sneak in and a situation similar to Mosul will arise. Alaa puts it best when he says:

in the final analysis it is a political problem and if military action is necessary its successful outcome can only be assured if a political solution is found after breaking the back of terrorism and insurgency.

So will we have the sense this time, to keep order and provide major humanitarian help? I hope those refugees from the city aren't all squatting in an open field somewhere with no one to turn to. We're Uncle Sam, damn it, and the poor and huddled and whatever should always be able to turn to us.

Zeyad put up a post about Fallujah as well, but unfortunately referred to it in a skeptical manner as "The Final Solution." Yikes! I guess he doesn't know what that means? Perhaps he does know and used it ironically, because he reports the frightening information that Shi'ites would be happy to see Fallujah razed to the ground.

He also tells us of the laughable 'negotiations' that were going on with the Anbar thugs. They wanted all the Shi'ites kicked out of the government, and all the Ba'ath security apparatus reinstated: the secret police, army, ministries, Republican Guard, everything. It reminds me of something I read once on an Iraqi blog (I think it was Hammurabi Sam) that Ba'athists never negotiate until they realize that they're all about to die--then they suddenly want to talk!

Notice that the Iraqi Islamic Party has withdrawn from the government to 'protest' the assault on Fallujah. Apparently they felt that the thugs had some reasonable demands? Or maybe they thought that the suicide car bombs were just a way of saying thanks? If the media makes a big deal of this, ignore it. The IIP is just another name for the Muslim Brotherhood, the same people who brought you the Ansar Al Sunna, Hamas and Al Qaeda.

Please pay attention to the fact that absolutely everything that Imperialistic Uncle Sam is doing in Fallujah is exactly the same as everything currently being done by those defenders of soveriegnty, the French. The French always have some criticism of Iraq, Fallujah, etc. They always have some great plan, like including the Ansar Al-Sunna in the Egypt conference. But faced with the same situation in the Ivory Coast, suddenly military force is the answer! The Legion is right now smashing the thugs in Ivory Coast with all the subtlety and care of a sledgehammer. More power to them, but let's not hear anymore about Uncle Sam's careless use of massive firepower.

Why is it that the members of the Association of Muslim Scholars are not arrested? They've declared the assault on Fallujah "an illegal and illegitimate action against civilian and innocent people." They also said that "the gassing of Kurds was merely the destruction of traitors" and "the massacre of Shi'ites was merely justice for apostates" and also that "Saddam was the lion of Islam who dealt death to the enemies of Allah and Bush is a big pooh-pooh head."

Okay, I made those last three quotes up. But why can't Allawi use his emergency powers, which he finally invoked, to put these guys behind bars?

Hilariously, Zarqawi says victory will come in Fallujah with Allah's direct intervention. Maybe the giant spiders will be back to help! I'm not making this up. During the siege in April, it was commonly known across Iraq that angels on horseback, genies on magic carpets, and giant spiders appeared to attack the Marines. I swear I'm not making that up!

I hope Zarqawi is caught in the city, but it is probably wishful thinking. There was plenty of opportunity to escape with all the refugees, and that could not be helped. Like Osama bin Laden, he's always eager for someone else to die in jihad.


I'm still suffering from the Blue State Blues, so soon I'll be putting a post in Winter Soldier in which my invisible friend Harvey explains the election results. In the meantime, please see the post Time and Chance, which is a comparison of Iraq the Model and Riverbend.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

John Kerry rocks!!!

John Kerry rocks because he performed one of the most principled actions a politician can ever take. He graciously and wisely conceded to his opponent, having considered the impact that contesting the election results would have had on his country, on his party and, although I wasn't privy to his thoughts, I would imagine he also considered its impact on the world. Although it was obvious during his concession speech that he was profoundly wounded in spirit, he nonetheless took the high road, an action I hope may prick the conscience of many of the world's most brutal dictators and of those would-be potentates of what ever persuasion (Islamism, Arab Nationalism, Socialism, whateverism) who aspire to replace them in order to impose their own particular "ism" brand.

At the same time, I am disturbed by the rancorous diatribe that continued, even until this morning, in several of the bloggers comments pages. Much of it centered on Bush’s supposed “born again” Christian faith, the role it allegedly plays in his life and in his decisions as America's Commander in Chief. As a foreigner I have no say, nor should I, in domestic American issues, but I am confident that American voters realize the character of the men and women who are at the helm in their capital has enormous influence on global affairs. It is a situation that perhaps many Americans wish they did not have to confront, as very often, international affairs and domestic politics require very different approaches.

No sane person living today, for example, can suggest that any American leader has been responsible for massive numbers of extra-judicial executions, disappearances and the extermination of entire towns and villages within their own country. However, the government in Washington DC, the office of the President included, must concern itself with just such things, which can and frequently do occur in far off places. They must make decisions, weighing all the pros and cons, which will have future consequences for their own country and for the world. And what those consequences may be, only those with crystal balls can anticipate.

The commonly held theory, promoted unfortunately by academics as well as by political figures, that past American policy has created the present situation, is such a boring yawner I can hardly stay awake when I read it. SO WHAT? The past always creates the present and it is never as simple as the past actions of only one nation. Such interpretations are - well – contrived by the devious for the consumption of simpletons.

History and politics have always been about the interaction of competing self-interests and even though the USA is now, irrefutably, the one and only superpower in the world, it is far from being the only nation on the global stage motivated by self-interest, nor has it ever been.

To my American acquaintances whom I have met on the blogs, whether friend or foe, I understand that you may feel very uncomfortable with your superpower status, but you need to get used to it and deal with it wisely for it is all the more reason to expect your elected leaders, and even yourselves, to act in a principled manner.

Blogger readers had plenty to say regarding this momentous election. One of the earliest comments came into Iraq the Model from USCit. He posted a URL which points to this Reuters report. There is a tiny little gem embedded in that Reuters report, which is probably referring to the same poll that Big Pharaoh refers to in his blog of November 3rd. In a virtual online poll, Iraqis in Iraq supported Bush.

Here are some of the other comments which accurately captured my take on the global import of this election. As usual, I have corrected typos and, although I tried, I have obviously failed with the keeping-it-brief part. Some of these statements brought tears to my eyes. I begin with one of most highly principled participants, himself a Democrat, for whom I have a very large soft spot in my heart:

ModDem: “Which are the gracious winners and which are the breast thumpers. Which are the magnanimous losers and which are vitriolic. For our nascent politician hosts, I hope they take some good notes on these speeches too. In politics, no one wins every election.”

Sami: “My cousin in Cleveland and his family voted Bush! So I know that from what he said, the small Iraqi communities there voted bush.... better to stick to what we know than try something new....”

RSN (Speaking of Big Pharaoh’s entry): “Bush is certainly not racist, and he has done nothing but given the Arab world a chance for democracy. No wonder 80% of Iraqis in that poll are for Bush. That 42% for the rest of the Arab world is pretty significant, too.”

Annieburd: "alaa, please don't let these "sour grapes" spoil your joy or eclipse the fact that Americans voted to continue to stand with you yesterday. I'm not sure why kagehi believes the rhetoric that suggests President Bush is a religious zealot - it is a liability to be principled, I suppose - but the suggestion that the votes of some Americans are somehow more valuable than the votes of others is revealing, and rather ugly."

Ed Ski: “George Bush is a man of strong faith. That does not mean he's a religious fanatic. It does not mean that he's on his knees in the Oval Office waiting for the "hot line to heaven" to ring with instructions. Faith isn't like that. Faith in God comes from learning about God, putting those lessons into practice every day of your life, and having faith that you have made the right decisions based upon your continuing search for God's truth.

There is nothing to fear from people who invoke God's name. It is the fanatical heretics who believe they are on a mission from God that you must fear. I do not believe that George Bush is like that. I know many people who have faith in God - I am one - and there is nothing to fear from them, or me. Just as I do not fear the Muslim tradition of saying 'God willing.'

I also believe a good portion of the time Bush invokes God when talking about foreign policy is because he will not cede the moral high ground to fanatical terrorists. They proclaim in video tapes from secret locations that they are doing God's will, and then kill innocents. I believe Bush is merely saying: 'Hey - we believe in God too, and God would never condone this type of activity. You do not own God, no one does. We believe in God and we are following what we feel his truths are, and that means stopping you.'”

Iris: “President Lincoln was also a religious man who asked for God's guidance and he is considered one of our greatest Presidents, if not our greatest. Most people who believe in God ask for his guidance. We pray that we do his will. That is the best man can do. I rather have someone who prays to do God's will, than to have someone who acts only if the UN approves. The men who created this republic, where mostly religious men. We have "In God We Trust" on our coins. That does not make us a theocracy. The government does not have an official religion nor does it impose a religion on anyone. But it is part of our character.”

Achillea: "I'm not a Christian and never have been, and I voted for Bush. Why? Because I know what he believes and that he'll stand up for those principles. I don't agree with all of those principles, but I don't disagree with all of them, either. Christianity has fomented great good as well as great harm. With Kerry, I could never tell what he believed, if anything. His philosophy seemed to be that he should let everyone else decide what he believed from one moment to the next. While it's important for a leader to listen to other and/or opposing viewpoints, Kerry's sort of spineless trimming has no place in the leader of the free world.”

Stehpinkeln: “I think there must be some sort of translation problem between Europe and the USA. We 'consult' with Europe all the time. Then when we are done consulting, we do what we need to do. What's the problem? Consult doesn't mean obey, it means talk with. If the Euros can't produce a valid argument for what they want us to do, that is their problem, not America's.”

Kamal: “The US and European and Arab Media as well as the leftists got a loud message this week. They all want the Kofi Anan/Chirac way of the world, let people die, lets not act on Iraq or the Sudan, or Afghanistan, let’s bury our heads in the sand and shoot insults to those who dare to care.

Karzai is the first elected (by men and women) leader of Afghanistan. In January elections WILL be held in Iraq, regardless of how many beheadings there are. Militant Islam is on the same path as flat world Christians 5000 years ago, their time is closing. Freedom ALWAYS wins in the end."

Well Kamal, putting aside the fact that Christianity isn’t quite that old (was that a typo?), I hear ya’ loud and clear, so let me close by quoting one of my own comments:

“I'm pretty much an atheist (although I'm not quite sure), I believe in a woman's right to choose, I support gay rights and gay marriage and I'm a passionate defender of freedom of expression for all except those who advocate such things as Holocaust denial. And I think Bush is the leader this poor old world needs.”

Since my friend Scott - the supposed tree hugger from Oregon who wrote me a gem of a poem earlier this week, giving me the gift of laughter - is taking a lot of flack just now (and dishing it out in kind, I might add), let me sum up by addressing him. In addition to what I have said in my quote above, I have been a strong supporter of the environmental movement for many, many years. Until recently I contributed a monthly donation, debited automatically from my account, to the David Suzuki Foundation.

I mention that, not knowing whether the “tree hugger” appellation legitimately applies to you. I simply want you and the rest of the readers to know that all of us are complex and have a wide range of views on a wide range of issues. There is no cookie cutter for churning out right-wingers, any more than there is for producing left-wingers.

Of all the issues I care about in the world, as it exists right now, during the time that I have on this earth, the situation in Iraq is far and away the most important. That is why I support George Bush and the Republican Party. Whatever else he and his team may represent to you or to any other American, I firmly believe he and his party are the best hope Iraq and Iraqis have. I’m very grateful John Kerry has decided not to let domestic political pettiness detract from that overarching issue. So, for the next little while at least, John Kerry will be at the top of this little right-winger's list of heros, and I offer a hearty salute to ModDem, a man of stirling character.

Louise, the Iraqi blogger addict

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Obscure Iraqi Blogs # 1

by littlewhy

Everyone reads Iraq the Model, Healing Iraq, Iraq at a Glance, etc. (And you're all reading Riverbend and the Jarrar blogs, right?) But who is reading Then Some? Or Iraqi Humanity? Or No Pain No Gain? Or the Rose of Baghdad?

So here's a new feature for IBR: A roundup of the little dogs in the Iraqi Blogosphere pound.

I'm sorry to report that things seem to be going from bad to worse in Mosul. All the Mosul bloggers have the same dismal story: explosions day and night, and the vicious shadow dictatorship of the Ansar al-Sunna. I'll start with Ibrahim Khalil of Iraq Today.

This Ramadan (the holy month for Moslems) which was very different than all the past ones for the Iraqi Christian women, because the commands of the Ansar Al-Sunna resistance army (an Islamic movement) which is a more effective authority than the government in this city at present time ... This horror is in everyone's heart in this city while they are seeing almost everyday at least one beheading or slaughtering of those who do not obey the commands of what is being termed "the Iraqi Resistance". Just this morning I started my day hearing from my friend that they found a man beheaded near their house at 7:00 am. The reason given as always: "working with Americans". This is leading more people to obey the Ansar Al-Sunna Resistance Army more then the local government ... Several flyers were posted everywhere in the city a few days before Ramadan. One of them was that all women must dress in the Islamic legal clothes or what we call the Al-Hijab. This means that even Christian women must obey this.

Like I said, all the Mosul blogs say the same thing, but the news also got down to Rose in Baghdad:

Diary From Baghdad

Rose in Baghdad seems to have had all she can take. She reports that she's no longer watching or following the news and doesn't want to talk about it in her latest posting, which is all about her daughter. But in some earlier posts she had this to say about the Ansar al-Sunna in Mosul:

Another thing I was discussing with my family, if I saw someone suspicious where should I go and tell the authority about him. The answer was no where. Because simply you don’t trust anyone, he might be one of the fighters or the terrorist so you might be killed or hurt, you or anyone of your family. So that’s why many Iraqi people are not giving any information about anyone because simply they don’t trust anyone in their new government. Till now many people had been captured while they were working in the new government and they were loyal to fighters groups or terrorists and they were giving information to their groups.So what shall we do to change these acts?

My sister (who lives in Mosul) called today and was very upset. The extremists put announcements in the streets forcing all women to wear the hijab (head scarf) even the Christians and this announcements was signed by five Islamic parties....

She said I don't want to force my daughter to wear something against her will and I don't know what to do? Her daughter became very angry, but there is nothing that she can do about...

What is making me nervous in all this, is the attitude of our new government against these acts. They simply don't do anything, why do they let them put these signs on all over the streets and do nothing about them, unless they are already agreed with these acts. Is this the freedom we are going to have? I think we will be a second Afghanistan and I don’t consider it faraway. I wonder what the president of the USA will say when he hears about this, this is his war against terror isn't it?

Yes, it is his war, and I'm mostly disappointed with his handling, as I've indicated earlier. Why should these people be living under the rule of these thugs? Sometimes it seems that neither the MNF nor the Iraqi security forces have the will to smash these guys...but a major assault on Fallujah seems to be in the air, soon. Is there reason to hope this will change the direction of Iraq?

Notice what Rose says about being unable to trust the police, since they're infiltrated with thugs. Why can't she go to the Americans? Why isn't there some way for her to phone in tips anonymously?

Given all this, it is not surprising that many Iraqis are having a hard time fighting off despair, like Sara in New Zealand.

the stories I hear from Iraqis and how my family isn't coping very well either, just like any Iraqi in Iraq right now. I think about Iraq and its people everyday that goes by no matter what; the more negative thoughts I have in mind, the more it's getting me nuts by the day. see his or her country getting destroyed by the hands of their fellow brothers and sisters is outrageous. I'm finding it very disappointing, sad and simply a shame.

So if you have time, drop by some of these blogs and try to give them some encouragement.


Here's a new blogger who needs more traffic, which he's getting thanks to Iraq the Model. He's Ibn Al Rafidain, which means "Son of the Two Rivers."

The son of the two rivers isn't always thrilled with the butt-monkeys around him who have lots of complaints, but not much action:

I can say that most of the Iraqis are not ready to listen to criticism or advice, even when they are in real trouble. Moreover, they find it very difficult (or impossible) to admit their fault.

Ah, al-Rafidain, take out the word "Iraqis" and insert any nation, group or individual you like and you'll be right most of the time...


Here's a new blog by a 20-year-old medical student, Said:

Iraqi Humanity

His latest post recounts how he missed being blown up by only a few minutes--twice. How does he keep studying? The guy has a lot of nerve. Anyway, he also tells of the day he heard thirteen explosions, and the conversations he had afterwards with his fellow med students:

One of the was ex-baathism, & he was very happy ( & I don't know why) he started to shout & saying that this is the end of Americans troops in Iraq. I left him in this mental condition & start to talk with others...

...Other friend told that those Americans might killed Iraqi people before so they deserve to die, but I told him in this explosion might hits Iraqi people in addition to those Americans, he answered that this is a war, & I answered him that it is a war so many Iraqi people might die in it & we must think that if 100 Iraqi people die daily we ought not to make them 101 people;

Said is obviously a very decent guy. (I think he might be a little unclear on the meaning of the English word "friend.") Notice the hypocrisy of his one 'friend.' If Americans kill civilians in the midst of combat, they deserve to die. But if Iraqis kill civilians in combat, why that's ok! It is a war, after all.

Like I said, Said is a decent guy, but he's also a tough guy:

a group of terrorism attacked 6 churches at the same time when our Christians brothers were just finished there prayers & prepare to leave, fortunately I was near one of these churches which lies in Al-Doraa & I helped with my friend in removing victims under blocks & glasses & it was really a terrible view.

Also there was a big traffic in the way back, so I entered the house in 3:40 pm & now as I am writing this, I am hearing a voice fire (bullet shot) near our house ,So I shall go now bcz it become serious :)


Here's a young fellow who usually just calls himself 13, and his blog Then Some has a great post about Christopher Reeve:


There are plenty more little blogs out there who need your hits. If the reading is getting you down, do what I do and always finish your Iraqi blog reading with Raghda, who has a new cat.