Let the people speak

Let the people speak

: Tim Blair, the most forward-thinking journalist I know, just did something great: He handed over his big-media Australian column to three Iraqi bloggers:

This week’s column is brought to you direct from Baghdad by Ali Fadhil, a paediatrician, and his brothers Mohammed and Omar, both dentists. Read more from the trio at http://iraqthemodel.com/.

How is life in Iraq? Depends on your point of view. A bunch of us were talking the other night; one friend, very angry, said: “Did you see what happened today in Antar Square? The Americans came, blocked the street and attacked the toy store. They were smashing kid’s bicycles!” Another friend, listening carefully, asked: “Was there a big loading truck with them?” Yes, came the reply. The second friend then told his version: it turned out he’d been at the store buying a bike for his son. “I was in the middle of tough bargaining with the shopkeeper when two Humvees and a truck stopped out front. One of the Humvees waved all the cars to pass. Soldiers from the second Humvee said they wanted to buy some bicycles. It didn’t take a long time, as they didn’t bargain, and they bought a huge number of bicycles and filled the truck with them and left.” Whom to believe? Here are two good friends and both were on the scene. As for me, it didn’t take a lot of effort to figure out who was closer to the truth. Those bikes have probably been delivered to a local school.

  • growler


  • growler

    Nermind. Here’s the link:

  • PJ

    Here’s an article by a Marine as to why the news from Iraq is so narrow.
    Be sure to check out the celebration pics from Ali’s colleagues at the hospital.

  • Pj

    Oops, just saw the story on a post below.

  • MortifiedPenguin

    Tim has a brilliant idea there. He’s one of my favorite bloggers and I would like to meet him and those Iraqi mates some day.

  • People might want links to the column and to Tim’s blog.

  • I think the most brilliant part of Tim’s idea was the fact that he got somebody else to write his column for him. I need to see if I can do that.

  • Pat

    Simply beautiful. I want to cry – for our soldiers, for the Iraqi soldiers, for Ali, Omar & Mohammed. I just want to cry because if I met the Fadhil brothers on the street, I’d look at them with suspicion and it never had to be like that. It’s just a crying shame. Go Iraq. Make something of the chance you’ve been given.