Posts from April 11, 2004

All you need to read

All you need to read
: The headlines over the August 6 White House memo tell the whole story … the whole story of the media spin, that is.

Cori Dauber points us to two headlines regarding this same story in the Washington Post: On the story itself, the headline reads, “”Declassified Memo Said Al Qaeda Was in U.S.” That’s true. But the headline on the Washington Post’s home page says: “Bush Warned of Possible Attacks Before Sept. 11.” That’s high RPM.

From Iraq

From Iraq
: Zeyad has a pained and blunt view of the state of Iraq — and Iraqi leadership — after a year:

A whole year has passed now and I can’t help but feel that we are back at the starting point again. The sense of an impending disaster, the ominous silence, the breakdown of most governmental facilities, the absence of any police or security forces, contradicting news reports, rumours everywhere, and a complete disruption in the flow of everyday life chores.

All signs indicate that it’s all spiralling out of control, and any statements by CPA and US officials suggesting otherwise are blatantly absurd….

It is becoming increasingly evident from all the violence we have witnessed over the last year, that a proxy war is being waged against the US on Iraqi soil by several countries and powers with Iraqis as the fuel and the fire, just like Lebanon was during the late seventies and eighties. The majority of Arab regimes have a huge interest in this situation continuing, not to mention Iran, and Al-Qaeda. I am not trying, of course, to lift the blame from Iraqis, because if Iraqis were not so divided the way they are, these powers would have never succeeded. I never thought that Iraqis would be so self-destructive, I thought that they had enough of that. But with each new day I am more and more convinced that we need our own civil war to sort it all out. … If the ‘resistance’ succeeded and ‘liberated’ Iraq, the country would immediately be torn into 3, 4, 5 or more parts with each faction, militia, or army struggling to control Baghdad, Kirkuk, Najaf, Karbala, and the oil fields. It will not be a sectarian war as many would imagine, it would be a war between militias. We already have up to 5 official militias, not to mention the various religious groups and armies.

It is the most foolish and selfish thing to say “pull the troops out”, or “replace them with the UN or NATO”. Someone has to see us through this mess to the end. Only a deluded utopian (or an idiot peace activist) would believe that Iraqis would all cosily sit down and settle down their endless disputes without AK-47′s, RPG’s, or mortars in the event of coalition troops abandoning Iraq. Please please don’t get me wrong, I am not in the least saying that I enjoy being occupied by a foreign force, I am not a dreamer who believes that the USA is here for altruistic reasons, I am not saying that I am happy with what my bleeding country is going through, believe me when I say it tears my heart every day to witness all the bloodshed, it pains me immensely to see that we have no leaders whomsoever with the interest and well-being of Iraq as their primary goal, it kills me to see how blind and ignorant we have all become. Iraqis are dying inside every day, and we are committing suicide over and over and over. Some people call me a traitor or a collaborator for all the above and for speaking the truth as opposed to rhetorical, fiery speeches which have been our downfall.

He also says regarding the hostages:

I also received an incredible number of emails and appeals from Japanese citizens and organizations asking me to spare the lives of the Japanese hostages (do they think I have something to do with the kidnapping??) and to tell the ‘mujahideen’ that the hostages were all against the war (as if that would make any difference to the kidnappers).

: Nabil is a teenager who wanted to write about sports on his blog. Instead, he’s writing about living in the neighborhood of war:

Yesterday was a huge day it was full if fighting, full of bombing, full of dead people and was a scary day too.

When I waked up I saw the American soldiers blocked the streets and there were a big battle between the soldiers and fedayeen and as what the fedayeen said they destroyed four tanks and four humer and killed about three soldiers. It was a horrible day to me because (think about it) wake up in a middle of the fighting….

we thought that its over but suddenly a huge sound and a lot of bullets after from the American side and another one in about 20 minutes we all get in the house and we saw a big queue of a big tanks and a lot of American cars and soldiers the and the last car stopped facing my house I told every one in my house we all goanna die but the fedayeen when the saw the big queue they just stopped and leave the place and every thing now is alright but in 9 pm I was out of my house with my friends which they are my neighbor and another sounds of bombing and shooting we all gets inside our house and we didn’t leave our houses for all the day and I hope I will never see a day like this day.

: Omar just keeps blogging:

The strike -that the terrorists called for- didn’t take place the way they desired; I wandered a lot in Baghdad today and I can assume that more than 50% of the shopkeepersrefused to submit to the thugs’ threats but in A’adhamiya, the situation is different, almost all the shops are closed today as there were intense clashes between the fedayeen and the coalition troops, heavy gunfire and explosions were heard in the morning.

The traffic activity in Baghdad is normal and the whole city is quiet except A’adhamiya, even that Ali and I today met a journalist and a photographer from the (USA today). We spent more than 3 hours together during which we had a lot of conversation; we had lunch in a restaurant in Karrada and they made an interview with us about the Iraqi blogs. Later we all went to an internet cafe’ to show them more details about our blog work.

: Things clearly vary neighborhood by neighborhood. Firas had a good day.

: Faiza is angry.

:Raed apologizes to the people of Japan because of its hostages.

:Says Alaa:

I hope you all realize that a major objective of the enemy is to produce defeatism in the U.S. and allied nations home front, counting on the democratic process to force the hand of policy makers. The War in fact never stopped from the first day of the fall of the Icon….

One thing is fundamental though: Once you start exercising firmness it will be disastrous if you falter and show weakness again. Diplomacy and politics are essential of course, but the arguments of the strong are always much more convincing.

: To find out what’s happening in Iraq, Roger L. Simon is reading the Iraqi blogs instead of the L.A. Times.

: An American in Iran says the news in Iraq is getting less attention in Iran than she would have thought. And she’s relieved.

Hostage

Hostage
: I don’t get it: The story of the American hostage in Iraq is top-of-the-screen news on British sites — the Telegraph, the Guardian, and the Independent — but it’s buried on the big American sites. Aren’t we all fearing a replay of Beirut? Shouldn’t it be even bigger news here because the man is American and because Americans are at risk in Iraq and because we have such a painful history with hostages in the region?

: Update: I picked up my NY Post and Daily News and Star-Ledger and they all played the story properly. I just can’t figure out the underplay from the Times and Post (online, at least).