When I agreed to do this column I was thinking – “well this can't be too bad” – “there is a level amount of new stuff posted every week” – “I can handle it”. But I did not account for a full-blown international conflict of cultures that set the Iraqi bloggers alight. Even Zeyad was goaded into breaking a four month blog-slumber. Otherwise, the Iraqi bloggers are still serving up their usual gems of wisdom. I have a bit of politics, word from the streets, and if you read to the end there is love at first sight.
Riverbend keeps her wit sharp. She posts her opinions on the elections and relates a vivid image of the current Iraqi prime minister.
“I was changing channels a couple of weeks ago and I came across Jaffari speaking to students from Mustansiriya University- one of Iraq’s largest universities, with campuses in several areas in Baghdad. I couldn’t see the students- he might have been speaking with a group of penguins, for all I could tell.”
“Timer; the explosive- sniffer that was in service close to the Palatine Hotel. I do not know how many times, Timer blocked us inside the hotel because he suspected there were explosives in a car or a camera; we were blocked waiting the American explosive teams to come to deal with Mr. Timer findings!!”
She also points out:
“In a study published when Oil for Food program became valid, the research wrote that the allocation for every UN dog was $1000 per month while the allocation for every Iraqi was $5 per month.”
Life can be cheap.
“When the first Stryker passed me, a soldier riding on top fired two shots in my direction. One bullet came in through the half-opened driver's window and hit the window of the opposite door, smashing it to pieces. Thank God, somehow it missed me.”
Iraq the Model blogs about politics and food:
“The key is food! namely “Quzi” and “Teshreeb” and our politicians are doing a good job utilizing the effects of Quzi to push the talks forwards and reach agreements on issues that were viewed as tough obstacles”
“Security needs money,
Money comes from oil,
Oil needs foreign investment,
And foreign investment wants security.”
Asterism (that's me) wonder's if Bush's recently published budget indicates that America is planning to withdraw from Iraq before 2007.
“So Bush plans to spend $70 billion less next year and nothing after 2007. So how is he going to pull this off?”
On to those cartoons:
Feelings are strong and varied. The first post I noticed was from Majed who asked his readers to sign a petition to be sent to the minister of foreign affairs in Denmark. “This petition is very important because [the cartoons are] an attack against one-fifth of the population of the world” he wrote.
A Family in Baghdad then posted a letter received in response from a Christian that was offended by the cartoons:
“I'm writing to tell you that, although I was born a Christian (I grew up Catholic, to be specific), I was very offended by the “cartoons”, or caricatures as I prefer to call them, of the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). You might wonder, how can I be offended if I am not a Muslim?”
Read on here.
Iraq the Model really did not want to join the debate – but could not resist because of “some of the most unacceptable reactions by some Muslims…more precisely by some Iraqis”. Omar goes on to criticize the transportation minister for announcing that Iraq is cutting off all relations with Denmark and Finland. “they are harming no one but Iraq and Iraqis.” and get to the point quickly: “What I want to say is that I think the reactions were planned to be exaggerated this time by some Middle Eastern regimes and are not mere public reaction.”
After a four month silence Zeyad linked to an archive of historical paintings and drawings of Mohammed and complained about the images of Muslim protests in London: “For the life of me, I cannot understand how the British police let those demonstrators get away with it. The protesters are blasting free speech in Europe, yet they are using that same free speech to call for murder and bloodshed.”
Baghdad Dweller points out that all three monotheist religions forbid idolatry.
An Iraqi Tear asks “why Allah is terrorist while God is not..” she goes on to explain: “When Ben Laden , here I should admit that I do not agree with Ben Laden and his style in defending Islam, said Allah ordered him to hit WTI became a terrorist but when Bush said that God inspired him to invade Iraq became a man for peace..”. She goes on to inform us “In Iraq there are hands behind the curtains made benefits from those bloody cartoons and attacked the churches..”.
Alaa from The Mesopotamian says “I am a practicing believer in the religion of Islam; so naturally I consider it offensive to show disrespect to Islamic religious symbols” but “there are those who wish to harm relations between the West in General and the Moslem World and more particularly we should not forget the contribution of Denmark to the allied effort in Iraq.” He also draws our attention to a statement from Al-Sistani that deplores the cartoons but “clearly lays the blame on the extremists and Takfiris for the harm done to the image of Islam in the World”.
Truth About Iraqis points out the hypocrisy of Arabs who demonstrate against the cartoons but ignore “the tragedy in Iraq”. He asks: “Where is the Arab valor and honor now? How many Embassies did the valiant Arabs burn when the horrific tortures of Abu Ghraib came to light?”
Word from the Streets:
Christopher Albritton revisits the Hamra Hotel that was bombed in November. “The building is being repaired, but it’s still grim inside. Bloodstains still adorn the walls where fleeing residents pressed their hands against the wall”. He also posts the video and analyses the method of the people who carried out the bombing.
Omar from Iraq the Model takes a short break from blogging on politics to give us his impression of the trial of Saddam Hussain and some background on the fuel shortage: “Right now the situation is like this; you go to one gas station and you find a line that is a mile long and you go to another one to see there's technically no line at all! … the reason is quite simple”.
Ibn_Alrafidain relates his thoughts about Saddam's Trial. “The majority of Iraqis, including me, have never seen similar trials before. The most famous trial in Iraq is (The Court of People). It is publicly known as (Court of Mahdawee) after the name of Colonel Mahdawee head of the court. This court had been held between the years (1958-63) to try senior officials of the monarchical regime ruled Iraq before 1958.”
Truth About Iraqis talks of ethnic cleansing of Sunni's: “Iraqi Sunni leaders have been for weeks calling on the international community to pay closer attention to news of Sunnis targeted and killed by the Iranian Iraqi Interior Ministry.”
Memo gives us a stream of conscience. I could not understand a word of it but its not my bag. If you are young and hip – I am sure it is worth reading.
From Me With Love! boasts an all new and seriously Pink design. Morbid Smile asks: “What do you think of love at first sight?” She goes on to confess: “It happened to me once, actually. But no! I wasn't the one who fell in love with someone at first sight. It was him who did! I was still at high school at that time, it was probably 1997…” Read on to find out more.
Someone please tell me what is it with girls and pink?