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Landing at the Iraqi Blogodrome

Welcome to my first weekly blog on Global Voices Online reviewing the Iraqi blogs. There are many and the variety makes it one of the most interesting areas to report on. As this is my first post I still need time to familliarise myself with all the bloggers out there. If you feel that I am missing one important blogger or another tell me! One thing I have noticed, whatever divides the various bloggers, no one is saying the result of the recent election is a good thing.

If you dont read any other blog post this week read this Rose of the renamed Diary of Rosebaghdad – and one of my favourite bloggers – is posting again! After moving from Baghdad to Dubai I had almost given up on her posting again. She talks about her view of the current situation in Iraq:

“Between you and me, the leaders now are doing exactly what Saddam had done to them, kidnapping, illegal arrests and torturing, and nobody could proof who is doing this and why.”

And she discusses how the Iraqis who have moved to Dubai have changed from those in Iraq.

“A strange phenomenon that I found among Iraqis and I find it very worrying is the increase of extremist Muslims between Iraqis. I know many Iraqis in Iraq started to become extremist after the war due to the circumstances we have, but I never thought that I found more here in UAE … But I was very angry … not because of me but for the other women who accept this from their husbands to treat them as nobody.”

Or this… Riverbend – provides a timely reminder of the 15th anniversary of the 1991 Gulf War and the following reconstruction. Complete with pictures and statistics.

“Immediately after the war, various ministries were brought together to do the reconstruction work. … The task was a daunting one because so many of Iraq’s major infrastructure projects and buildings had been designed and built by foreign contractors from all over the world …
Two years and approximately 8 billion Iraqi dinars later, nearly 90% of the damage had been repaired.”

And she compares this to the present day:

“Now, nearly three years after this war, the buildings are still piles of debris. Electricity is terrible. Water is cut off for days at a time. Telephone lines come and go. Oil production isn’t even at pre-war levels… and Iraqis hear about the billions upon billions that come and go. … And the country still in shambles.”

Truth Teller and Khalid Jarrar post an appeal to save Iraqi Academics. Khalid writes:

“A little known aspect of the tragedy engulfing Iraq is the systematic liquidation of the country's academics. Even according to conservative estimates, over 250 educators have been assassinated, and many hundreds more have disappeared.”

Several blogger note the offer of support by Muqtada Al-Sadr to defend Iran in the event of a war with America. Baghdad Dweller warns us against the power of the Fatwa. He notes: “With one word from the clerics in Iran they can mobilize every Shiia on earth to fight against the US.”. While Mohammed at Iraq The Model feels Iran is now an unstoppable force. “Now Mr. Chirac’s nukes which he spoke smugly about will be totally useless before the holy tide and heaven’s forces.” he laments. Truth About Iraqis notes “it's not surprising that Muqtada today visited Iran. Ostensibly, to receive his orders if the US manages to swing its coup in the Iraqi parliament.”

Nibras Kazimi reports on rumors of some backroom deals by America to shoehorn Iyad Allawi into the job of Iraqi Prime Minister. He also “shamelessly” takes credit for predicting the election result a month ago. Well, if no one is going to blow your trumpet, you may as well blow it yourself!

Iraq The Model keeps up its reporting of the aftermath of the Iraqi election. Mohammed points out in a detailed report that negociations to form a new government will take months. But the bitter taste of the loss of the secular parties in the Iraq election is still strong

“Poor Iraq, the new parliament will have 30 of the soldiers of the Mujahid leader, while those who carry PhDs like Kubba, Chalabi, Dabbagh or, or, or….got nothing… I can’t blame anyone for this because this is what a great percentage of Iraqis chose and I won’t blame those Iraqis for their choice since for decades, they didn’t enjoy a healthy environment that allows objective thinking.

Like on Iraqi journalist said; the defeat of the seculars is a great loss for those who won the elections.”

Treasure of Baghdad takes a walk through Baghdad and reports how some areas have been taken over by different militias. He writes:

What is happening to this beautiful city? These areas used to be the best before the “liberation”. They were full of lights, restaurants, shops, and clubs. But now they are full of people carrying weapons just to protect his “Excellency” and his “Samahat”. For God’s sake! If they cannot protect themselves, how come we expect them protecting us?!

Salam Adil (thats me) writes about Chirac's threat to use nuclear weapons against terrorist states. I pointed out that this was more likely a claim for European independence than a threat to Iran. I also gave a historical review of why the secular parties were so disappointed by the election result.

And finally…

After 16 months of blogging Emigre goes down in a ball of flames. “Today I stop blogging.” Emigre begins, “This is the end. Goodbye, I am leaving. This is my passive resistance. … You can all have your war, the war you all want. You can have your racists, you can launch your rockets at your Israelis, you can suicide bomb Baghdad. You can have your oil. … I am, from hereon in, mute. This is my vow of silence. My complicity.”

If I ever stop blogging that is how I want to go!

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