Friday, November 14, 2003

Brewing for quite some time, emigre senses an explosion of noise on the verge of eruption...the blogstorm is reaching Iraq. One at a time, typists begin to whisper at keyboards, screens begin to briefly flare. If you listen you can hear these voices, the anguish, the technical difficulties, and voices of support, of debate, from around the world.

I do not believe that military might has bought these people freedom of speech, and I wonder that this may have happened eventually anyway, in a different perhaps more desperate and fearful way, under the regime of Saddam.

I do not verify the sources of these blogs. I do not agree with or even endorse the content. I simply count.

I am aware that at this point these are also the voices of people who have internet access, and that there must be many people in Iraq just struggling to survive who have not the means or even the inclination to write.

I am not counting soldiers blogs, although links to many of these can be found in Iraq blogs. Soldiers blogs are another phenomena in themselves, and I think there are many more then I could even begin to count alone. I have read only a few of these - my impression overwhelmingly is of a lost people, some quite clear - they aim only to get back to normality, others confused and dealing with contradictions that I would wish on no-one. Soldiers and military blogs seem to be two distinctly different types. The military blog strikes one immediately as a morale boosting propaganda campaign, while soldiers blogs are more like lone voices in the dark. Some of the most forthright anti-war sentiments are voiced in soldiers blogs. I would be unsurprised if over time more blogs from disenchanted ex-service people appear.

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