Friday, February 27, 2004

Torso contemporary Swedish politics and Iraq in Swedish media, from Blogist (another Iraqi, blogging in Swedish) plus, a link tip from Blogist ~ Federation of Iraqi Associations in Sweden (FIAS)

(While one part of me is suppressing a mild fit of giggles the other part is drawing to the conclusion that Iraq is not only inside Iraq, Iraq is also outside Iraq. It is becoming apparent that Iraq is much more then simply a matter of geographic, or ethnographic, or even religiographic boundaries. While on the one hand Iraq's physical borders are transgressed, on the other hand Iraq begins to surpass the physical realm. Is this the road to enlightenment? Do we need a map?)

New Today: 1
Total: 33

Saturday, February 21, 2004

"Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was intrinsically evil, but because it was flawed. It allowed too few people to usurp too much power. Twenty-first-century market capitalism, American-style, will fail for the same reasons. Both are edifices constructed by human intelligence, undone by human nature".

Quote ~ Arundhati Roy The Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire

How may we overcome this undoing of ourselves?

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Lim (as in Shekoo Shmakoo Lim) has already mentioned frontlines Beyond Baghdad doco. E-mail dispatches the production team sent while they were on the road filming are also available as are film makers and producers of other related frontline programs live online.

Almost as soon as i began this blog my email address became subject to large volumes of not-quite-fan-mail from (some of you may be familiar with it) which at first were a welcome change to the usual plugs for various forms of silicon enhancement etc. So regular and reliable are the thoughtful updates from this spaddress that i today actually opened one of the messages and replied;

Dear Havenperez

I have been in receipt of your messages for quite some time now, and while being sympathetic to your cause and tolerating your mail as such, must advise you that it all goes directly to my junkmail folder where i scan only the subject titles before your missives are, well, dismissed if you will.

I must urge you towards greater creativity with your titles, as i am thinking of taking up spam poetry.

(wouldn't it be ironic if this ends up in your junkmail)



Sunday, February 15, 2004

Sophia arrived in Baghdad last week. She has some interesting observations concerning traffic congestion.

Meanwhile Zeyad publishes news scoop; several Muslim clerics have banded together to issue a collective fatwa addressing road rage.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Brooklyn to Baghdad a tourist in Iraq, yep really. He has posted this quote...
"The United States is the most powerful among the technically advanced countries in the world today. Its influence on the shaping of international relations is absolutely incalculable. But America is a large country, and its people have so far not shown much interest in great international problems, among which the problem of disarmament occupies first place today. This must be changed, if only in America's own interest. The last war has shown that there are no longer any barriers between the continents and that the destinies of all countries are closely interwoven. The people of this country must realize that they have a great responsibility in the sphere of international politics. The part of passive spectator is unworthy of this country and is bound in the end to lead to disaster all round."

if you visit his blog you might be surprised (i was) to learn when this statement was made, and by whom.

(history? repeat itself? repeat itself? repeat itsel...)

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Friday, February 13, 2004

Iraqi Passport ...and the 32nd Iraq blog is the blog of two filmmakers...

New Today: 1
Total: 32

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

(re recent posts).

Just changed something, in the interests of, um, simplicity, unity and in acknowledgment of diversity. Hope this is ok with everybody.

(peace etc, salaam etc, united we stand etcetera etcetera...)

New Today: 2
Total: 31

Monday, February 09, 2004

Iraq Blog Count has very rightly been taken to task for making provocative statements.

The issue is this, should bloggers who desire recognition as Kurdistan bloggers be counted as Iraq blogs or not? This is, believe it or not, part of an issue Iraq blog count crops up against often, and inevitably ends up making a vague decision about guided only by a sort of vague instinct. For instance, on discovering Soldiers blogs:

- Oh no! what to do! I hadn't expected soldiers to be blogging, well i can't ignore them, but to begin counting them, - there are thousands of soldiers deployed all over the world right now - where could it possibly end!

Or on linking journalists blogs:

- is G's blog an Iraq blog or a journo blog? Well, technically, maybe a journo, but on the other hand, Salam & Raed and G were sort of Iraq blog catalysts, for a time Salam and G seemed to be the only Iraq bloggers - Iraq Blog Count couldn't just ditch G's blogs when more showed up - it'd be like starting to count backwards.

And then, those peaceworkers blogs - what of those bloggers? They are blogging one minute from New York or who knows where, and the next from Jordan or Baghdad - where do they fit the picture? Not to mention civil affairs, "Peace Corps" reconstruction workers who are activated from army reserves. Then there was that guy who is sounding very British and seems to have British parents, but seems he was born in Iraq (or at least spent his childhood there) and is blogging about Iraq from the UK. And those Iraqis who are blogging from Dallas and from Canada! These are just a few examples , but you get the picture. Yeeek, how does one deal with all this! People! You are all just being so individualist! So diverse! So, so, rich and varieteous and mixed up, and, well, so human really.

Well, for a while Iraq Blog count got away with things, "Iraq" in the end just seemed to sum it all up (after of course mild title-agony; Iraq or Iraqi Blog Count? Blogs or Bloggers?) And then, just when things looked like sorting themselves out, uh-oh, some guys show up blogging from Kurdistan! What? Is that like Northern Iraq? Or is it Kurdistan, a state? Or is it some kind of new virtual territory in the Blogosphere? Now what is a blog counter to do! To count as Iraq? Would that be ignoring the issue? To not mention at all? Well, that'd be ignoring an issue too, and the principle here has always been to be inclusive, to attempt the bigger picture, to be peaceable, and to also face challenge.

So, eventually, a clumsy decision was made and a brief post probably lacking in tact and diplomacy published. Well, that post is still there - just down below, to remind everyone (and me) of my human failings and inept use of discretion. Iraq Blog Count still is a little unsure how to resolve this, and apologises to anyone who may have been offended.

Essentially Iraq Blog Count operates on the premise that bloggers support each other, and support each others differences, especially during these times. As the number of Iraq bloggers increases (small increase as it is so far) so increases the need to keep some record of who is blogging. For, among other things, knowing who is blogging is also knowing who stops, and if they are ok.

So please, if you have something to say about this, email Iraq Blog Count with your advise/thoughts/feedback. Maybe need to get comments here also (which is another issue that has been delayed).

Well, thats enough controversy for this week. Did have a couple of other contentious posts in the drawer, but just feeling the way here and not sure this is the place for them.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

New Links:

- Beginning a completely new sidebar section - Kurdistan Blogs. Iraq Blog Count supports Kurdistan as an independent identity. Strength to Iraq and surrounding regions through diversity and peace.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Just noticed Iraqi Lady in the links over at Hammorabi. Iraqi Lady is worth clicking around, there are a range of sites there, from Artist's and Writer's to Princess's and Queen's. Some of these sites are multilingual, so if you are language deficient (like me) you'll be happy to find, with a bit of a look about, some english and also soothing visuals if you can't read the script.

Iraqi Lady also has a range of news links, from Arabic CNN & BBC to Aljazeera.

Iraqi Forum for Democracy is also worth checking.

Iraqi Lady is now in the sidebar Online Culture links, and Iraqi Forum for Democracy in the reference links if you're looking for them later on.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Ok, this is a bit off topic, but it is scandalous and has implications for all bloggers, and also for many who don't blog.

There is an outrageous suggestion that has been floating around for a while, and seems to have resurfaced after the recent Mydoom episode - that of paying to send email. The spin is that charging to send email will cut down on spam, and that spammers will be turned off spamming if even 1 cent were charged per sent email. This is a really quite ridiculous assertion. Old-fashioned paper mail costs almost a dollar to send including stamp and envelope plus ink, paper etc - and our good old fashioned letter boxes are still laden with junkmail. Paying to send junkmail does not deter the sender.

If one were to examine the contents of ones oldfashionedpapermail letter box one would probably find a good deal of junk mail from supermarkets, discount warehouses and fastfood outlets. What does this suggest to me? This suggests to me that the sender/s own a chain/s of stores and certainly have the available capital to print copious amounts of glossy four colour, if tacky, brochures. The postage cost is no deterrent.

I once house shared with someone who actually LIKed reading junkmail, she would sit down with a cuppa and laugh at it all, you know, the vibrating pillows and the face massagers shaped just like - well never mind, the point is that it didn't annoy her that much. And spam doesn't annoy me that much either. In fact, some people even compose poetry from spam... even spammers themselves are reportedly becoming, increasingly, poetic.

And for those who are annoyed by junkmail; spam, like paper junkmail, can be filtered from an inbox by the e-quivalent of those "No Junkmail" stickers that some people used to stick on their boxes.

Charging for email is a moneymaking scam and more revolting in its sales pitch then spam itself. It is another attempt to control and censor virtualspace with money, in line with recent attempts to charge for Linux and to sue for free music downloading.

I am incensed.

Monday, February 02, 2004

The Iraqi Agora An assembly of Iraqis inside and outside of Iraq... *NEW* with special debut appearances by *Hurria* and *Torshe* Includes *Celebrity Bloggers*.

Quick definitions (Agora)
# noun: a place of assembly for the people in ancient Greece
# noun: the marketplace in ancient Greece
# noun: 100 agorot equal 1 shekel

Shlonkom Bakazay? Shekoo Shmakoo? Shinu hal tar'baga? Shinu hal ulooj ya mah'flooj? *NEW* from Liminal (alias Mister Bakazay) who also features on the Agora.

Iraqi Spirit The thoughts of an Iraqi living outside Iraq about the whole situation. "There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect" *NEW* published by the mysterious and philosophical "O".

New Today: 3
Total: 29

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