Posts from May 2003

Salam updates

Salam updates
: Note that Salam is back today with a new post and, boy, is he pissed.

He’d better get used to controversy — especially now that he’s writing for the Guardian.

: Nick Denton is offering to help Salam get a book published. I emailed him sometime ago also offering help. I suspect he doesn’t need it. He’s media-savvy and he got himself a Guardian gig. I’ll just bet the movie negotiations are going on right now.

: Says Ken Layne:

There’s no doubt Salam is a guy who lived pretty well in part because his family wasn’t a vocal enemy of the regime. But dead guys post no blogs.

I’m suffering from blog elbow

I’m suffering from blog elbow
elbow.jpg: Just got back from the doctor; annual physical-humiliation day. One of my complaints is a sore spot in my right arm; it limits my movement; it can be very painful. (And, yes, I’m a hypochondriac and a complainer.) Doc said it’s tendonitis.

I couldn’t think of what caused it until I returned to the office and talked to my real doctor, Coach Hauck, who explained that tendonitis comes from repetitive activity. So here’s what came out:

(1) I’ve been blogging a lot more during the war. (So you could call it my war injury.)

(2) I’ve been blogging from the couch, now that I have wi-fi. (So you could call it wi-fi elbow.)

But you put the two together and it starts to make sense: I’m holding my right arm in a certain angle because the laptop is on the lap and my lap is on the couch and I’m holding it in that position more than I would if I were merely typing because I’m doing a lot of trackpad mouse-moving and a lot of clicking: I’m blogging.

Thus, I suffer from blog elbow.

I’m calling the New England Journal of Medicine.

: Update: Glenn Reynolds is in worse shape than I am.

We’re going to found the Home for Old Bloggers.

Salam joins the Guardian

Salam joins the Guardian
: The Guardian’s story on Salam Pax has run at last — and with it the announcement that starting next week, Salam will write a fortnightly column called the Baghdad Blog for the Guardian (under what byline, we wonder?).

The story says surprisingly little, tells us nothing new, does not dig into Salam’s stories or opinions, and does not identify him (only saying that Salam is his real first name).

There is a shocking edit in the story. The Guardian quotes the story of the Guardian interview from Salam’s own blog but deletes choice words — as if we’re not going to look at the blog and find this dubious edit.

Blog version:

A day before that I sold my soul to the devil. I talked to Rory from the Guardian.

Look, he paid for a great lunch in a place which had air-conditioning and lots of people from foreign. It was fun talking to him but when Raed saw me after

How to blog

How to blog
: Heiko Hebig points us to a super primer on how to blog using Movable Type, out of Tokyo. So when you are asked, you now have an answer…


: 20six, the impressive weblog tool that started in Germany and then started moving west is now in Britain, which means it’s now in English.

Chance, the blogger

Chance, the blogger
: I’m struck by all the quoting and dissection and analysis and argument over one young man who suddenly has the ear of media big and small just because he was at the wrong place, Baghdad, at the wrong time, in a war, and he had the connections that let him start a weblog and speak to the world.

But reading more of Mark S. Meadows’ interview with Salam Pax at Tekka (someone put a link to this part in the comments), I’m struck by the rhetorical meandering in unsuccessful search for a point:

I asked him, “What are the Americans pushing for?”

“Bigger markets. Politics. Soft Drinks. Making sure they will be successful — financially successful. How could one nation have such influence on the whole world? These days you have to please the USA to make sure your country succeeds. I don’t know

New York, on drugs

New York, on drugs
: The smoking ban spreading slowly across the globe is having an odd impact in Holland:


At last

At last
: It took Muslims killing Muslims to bring earnest condemnation and discussion of suicide bombing but at least it is happening. See this at Alt.Muslim:

But the power that suicide bombing brings with it is intoxicating, and as recent attacks in Morocco, Chechnya, and Saudi Arabia have shown, the line between civilian and combatant, Muslim and non-Muslim, has been all but obliterated. (Even Muslims celebrating the Prophet’s birthday in Chechnya found themselves a target.) Now that the carnage of suicide bombing is claiming more Muslim than Western lives, scholars who were silent about (or even approved of) the use of suicide attacks are trying to put the genie back in the bottle. “Bin Laden’s war is not with the US,” said Abdulmuhsin Akkas, a member of the advisory Shura Council. “It is against the Muslims and the Arabs. Bin Laden’s form of Islam is a violent way of life, and the Riyadh bombings showed us that.” Open debates about Wahabbi schools that “breed extremists” appeared in the Arab press. Even jailed leaders of the Egyptian Al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya (Muslim Brotherhood) called the recent terror attacks “religious mistakes.” But even a march of hundreds of thousands of Muslims against suicide bombing might not be enough to halt the bloodshed, as the tactic is spreading to new countries, genders, and targets.

Yes, just how will the genie be put back in the bottle? Can it be?

Katie Couris asked former Israeli PM Ehud Barak this morning whether suicide bombing will end even after peace with Palestine; there’s no answer to that, not yet.

It is an evil coming out of the Muslim world today and it can be stopped only by widespread condemnation of the act and its supporters (including, I will repeat, Yasser Arafat). They must be repudiated the way a war criminal is.

Germany was deNazified. Iraq is being deBaathed. The Muslim world must be de-terrorized.

: See this, too:

Al-Azhar, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, warned Monday that Muslim rage does not justify suicide bombings, such as recent deadly ones in Riyadh and Casablanca.

“These savage and blind attacks have terrified the whole Muslim world … and are in clear violation of many Islamic principles,” Al-Azhar’s theological research committee chaired by the institution’s top cleric, Sheikh Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi, said in a statement.

“Taking Muslims’ sentiments of frustration and injustice in other parts of the world” to justify attacks “is erroneous,” the committee said.

It’s a start.