Sunday, November 28, 2004

I had the best day!

I really really had fun!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


The shooting incident from Fallujah mosque is blogged about from the journalist that shot the footage. A very disturbing account. All I could think off was, war is hell.

Kevin Sites, the journalist in question is worried that the American troops he has been embedded with are upset at him for providing the footage of the shooting to the media, he is worried he will be perceived as some anti war activist. He starts he post by the following

Since the shooting in the Mosque, I've been haunted that I have not been able to tell you directly what I saw or explain the process by which the world came to see it as well. As you know, I'm not some war zone tourist with a camera who doesn't understand that ugly things happen in combat. I've spent most of the last five years overing global conflict. But I have never in my career been a 'gotcha' reporter -- hoping for people to commit wrongdoings so I can catch them at it.

I wonder if Kevin Sites would write a letter to the family of the shot man, what would it say?

Dear Family of shot man, I made sure not mention the names of the soldiers involved in the shooting in order to protect their privacy, in your son's case I didn't mention his name because I never bothered find out what his name was. I worried for hours about how the footage broadcast would effect the morals of the soldiers and their families back home, but really I didn't spend one second considering how seeing the last few seconds of your son's life would effect you. Afterall, your son chose to live by the sword and he died by the sword. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. I do hope that all the American troops return home safely soon. When people like you commit acts of savagery, I have no problem showing them to the world and generalizing that all your people and your religion is to blame, when one of us acts in the same manner we ensure to explain the horrible strain the poor fellow was under and the circumstances that might have led the person involved to "lose it". I am American you see and I work for NBC, you hate us already so we don't bother with your feelings. I would like to report that while your son was being killed I performed my duties proudly, I kept rolling the camera and did my job. I watched and never lifted a finger to save your son's life.

I don't support the insurgents nor do I support their criminal activities that are killing mostly Iraqi civilians, but it bothers me to see Iraqi life treated with such disregard.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Sunday Special

Oop, nearly forgot. Sunday Penpal feature. This week, Vaughn ~

Hello, I am a 23 year old music student from West Virginia. With the various media biases in the United States, I have a hard time knowing what is truly going on in Iraq or what perceptions are of this war and of my country.

I'd love to write back and forth with someone from Iraq just to get an honest glimpse into the life and culture of one person. Let me know if you can help!

thank you!


Hmm, you sound like a nice guy Vaughn. If anyone'd like to contact weekly sunday featured penpals just send a brief email with a bit of a blurb about yourself to and it'll be forwarded to the penpal you desire.

(Ps need a new word for penpal really. Who writes these days, with pens?)

Shakomako ?

OMG. Guys. I can't believe you have been linking to mechanics and elbow farters when you could be linking to this.

shakomakoNET *Iraq's First Electronic Magazine*

Features, articles, interviews, competitions and even, could it be ? Yes... it looks like... a blog "coming soon" anyway (will be watching for it).

Shakomako say;

After an absence of more than three years, the staff of shakomakoNET couldn't resist coming back to cyberspace after all that has happened to Iraq and Iraqis. We also couldn't sit by idly and let millions of Iraqis waste their precious surfing hours at sites that do little more than reprint other people's news and offer low quality music.

Er, thinking last bit perhaps slur on bloggers (who though equipped with simple technology have NOT been sitting idly by). We will chose to ignore such slanderous suggestion. It is a groovy site.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Things that don't suck

Here is something better than the guy that fixes cars, a guy that does nothing

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you

The Unrepentant Leftist

Friday, November 19, 2004

Check this out!

Hey hey hey check out this site, new guy with some REAL skills (Reality skills not VR skills like some of us computer geeks here - if you don't think you're a geek, you're NOT, I didn't mean anyone by that other than MYSELF, ok? don't go riding my back over this one- )

anyways welcome to all newcomers and please check his site. mean pics!
Bump 'n' Grind

see ya round.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Just as his soul was about to leave his tired body....[read the rest of the story]...


Jason's blog was taken off line early in February this year after being informed that he had "violated operational security" (and additionally smeared his unit and the Army).

He is back now (with a whole new domain name). You can read his latest' at Just Another Soldier.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

A witness from Falluja..

online now, ask him your questions..

Sunday, November 14, 2004


Ok. Here we have it. A New Sunday Feature. Iraq Blog Count New Weekly Personals.

After having been inundated with requests from people outside Iraq seeking correspondence with people inside Iraq, Iraq Blog Count in it's own peacefully optimistic and foolishly kindhearted way will do it's best to facilitate the bringing together of mutual letter/email writers. Here is our first sunday special, featuring Ed.

I'd love to correspond with someone from Iraq. I'm 38, male & from New Hampshire. I want people in Iraq to know that we're looking for the truth about what is happening in their country. Only then can we really do something about it.

Please facilitate this if possible!!

Thanks & God Bless


If you would like to write with/reply/conduct private conversations etc with the loverly Ed (or the sweet natured Allison) please send an email to with a short intro 'bout yourself and it will be forwarded to your specified recipient. If you'd like to place an advert here as well, that's cool too.

Oh one other thing, Penpal Comment Policy. I think perhaps a separate comments policy for penpal publishing. From now on penpal post comments will be turned off. While I personally do not mind being abused by trolls and knee-o-kons and am fine about withstanding the whole tomato throwing at the stocks mentality of mob commenters, I do not expect dear sweet people seeking to advertise in IBC's new Penpal Classifieds to subject themselves to the ghoulish and delinquent among this blog's vocal readership (do they come here at all to read I wonder).

With love to you all.


Happy Birthday !!!

Iraq Blog Count has been counting blogs for exactly one year to the day !!! To eb (sic) precise, since 14 November 2003 !!! The close of one year and the beginning of another is a good time to review ones plans, ones technique, ones accountability, as it were.

From Iraq Blog Counts first post;

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.

Ah, how optimistic I (we) was (were) in those days. And here we are today, almost 365 days later having counted 85 Iraq Blogs, having grown from one blog counter to 12, having grown from no comments at all to several regular talkback partisan hacks. Having grown from a daily pitter patter to Salamalanchs and Healing Iraq site meter crashes and from spam to penpal requests (oh by the way, email address has changed to Such mighty changes have we wrought upon the blogosphere !!! Oh ok, enough with the rhetoric already, heaven knows there's enough of it without bloggers breaking into ardent manic spin. Ah heck, it's what we do best though.

Lonely was emigre, in her counting back then. Oh how she wished that some of Iraq's bloggers might one day build a really cool national directory of their own that she may lay aside her passion for linking and take a rest.

Thankfully (in about July or August) an inspired team of counters and commenters arrived to passionately link and discuss with ferver all things Iraq, all things Iraqi - and other things besides (and emigre was able to sneak away for a bit).

Oh look, remember this;

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

Ah yes and so it was, Iraq Blog Counts subheading for so long "emigre does not endorse or verify, emigre only counts".

Perhaps, I don't know, perhaps we ought to take a vote on this. In entering a new year of blogcounting as it were. Should we cast aside our generous and forgiving, our innocent and accepting, link natures? Ought we, to become a little more investigative? A little more, dare I venture, journalistic? Ought we to pause a moment, before linking, before counting, to consider source. How can I put this. Let me just say, that there are a few peppered deserts out there and frankly I would like to move beyond them. Creating fake blogs just to see if some sucker here is gonna count them would not be very nice game now, would it. You know, right at the very beginning I became gripped (for lack of better word) by this very same choice. At the time I suspended cynicism. But now? I think Iraq deserves better. I really do.

What do you think?

Anyway, we need a new description for the header. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Blog Counting

You are right. Absolutely correct. It is a long time since anything's been counted around here. And seeing as ihath just beat me to counting the only (as far as I know at this moment) new Iraq blog I shall resort instead to counting, in the communal spirit of community, the top 10 sites (apart from google) that send traffic this way.

Here they all are, partisanship equitably laid aside, these staunch supporters of Iraq Blog Linking;

1. Live From Dallas. Most Popular Referrer !

2. A Star From Mosul. 2nd Most Popular Referrer ! Mosul !

3. Nabil's Blog. 3rd Most Popular Referrer ! Baghdad !

4. Iraqi Bloggers Central. (Yes I know he's stopped blogging, but evidently somebody is still visiting his site) !

5. Baghdad Dweller. Stationed in The Netherlands !

6. Deans World. Requires no byline !

7. The Politburo Diktat. Subversively in at 7 !

8. Latest Editions. Non-Blog Referrer ! Audio material !

9. Mark Glaser. Online Journalism Review !

10. Future of Iraq Portal. Never have I seen so many links about Iraq in one page !

Phew. Am all linked out now.

New Blog: Latest News

Tareek Al Sha'ab a newspaper issued in Baghdad and run by the Iraqi Communist Party has started a new blog in arabic to report a stream of daily news. They seem to focus on the upcomming Iraqi elections. Its been a while since we found a new Iraqi blog.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

I am back...

I am alive, I don't know about the kicking, but I know that I am definitely alive...
am I?
my heart is bleeding, my soul is burning, I die every time I see the news...
but the stupid scientists insist that since I have heart beat, I am still "alive".
well, I am not perfectly good biologically good either, this stupid flue is keeping me half-drunk, maybe its better to keep it this way for now...
I just decided yesterday, who is the person I hate most in this world, it is definitely Allawi, I wont call him names cause I know that many young fellows read this too, but I really need to, so give me one minute, I will go curse and scream, and I will be back.
ok, much better.
over 75% of the families left Falluja, some people decided to stay with their families, the prefer to die on the soil of their beloved city, under the the walls of their own houses...IF its true that people of Falluja asked Allawi, ok I need another minute here-ok, if its true that they asked him, like he said, to go invade Falluja to liberate them from the Zarqawi, how come we NEVER saw ONE person out of the 75% who left the city, on TV saying this?
How come that we have never seen ONE person from Falluja saying that in real life? In newspapers? In radio? How come?
How come that EVERY single person we see on TV, in real life and in the newspapers, curses Allawi, and says that there isn't any Zarqawi, at least not in Falluja?
The man they set his house to the ground in Falluja, and killed his baby son, carried him in front of the camera and said: This is Azzarqawi, I am sure this is Azzarqawi, why else did they kill him?
the young man who just came back from the mosque, right after the sunset prayer, which is the time to break the fasting everyday day, was supposed to find his father and mother, sisters and brothers sitting around the table, waiting for him to eat with them, but he found them dead, all of them, the house that was bombed, fell on them...
Two churches were bombed in Baghdad yesterday, while Falluja was in the middle of a battle that needs every man and every weapon, is it still possible today to accuse this city of these terrorists acts?
Isn't Azzarqawi busy defending himself?
while you are reading this and enjoying the silence in your houses and offices, people in Falluja are dying and burning, screaming, 12 000 soldiers are trained and sent to kill them, for no crime except that they have pride, except that they wouldn't accept to be occupied, except that they swear to live with honor, and die with honor...
Close this window, get back to your life and enjoy it, I hope you all get nice sleep at night, and don't bother thinking of us, or pushing your administration, they are just "bad people" getting killed and you are liberating us, long life Red America!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Change of Emotions

We thought they were like the energizer bunny. We thought that they would just keep going and going and going and going, but alas! they have paused.

On different fronts. Riverbend is poetic, Raed doesn't know if he should laugh or cry but decides that he doesn't care, Nabil is happy and Emigre is feeling optimistic.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Restored Comment !!!

Alert to all factions of dissent. Political masochist's and machoists, the malign, the magnanimous, the malevolent and the benevolent. All typists from all degrees of the political spectrum are called upon to visit Ladybug who, in the spirit of goodwill and freedom of speech has chosen to rescue fragments of deleted comment from Iraq Blog Count's ruthless oligarchy and post it With Comment Facilities on her blog (click here).

Go see Ladybird and get your goat on.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Seeking ...

Maybe need to start personals feature. Have another request from college student seeking penpal. If anyone is interested in contacting Allison either leave a (named) comment for her here or if you prefer anonymity send an email to and your address will be forwarded to her.

Here's Allison;

I was searching the internet looking for a way to find an Iraqi penpal and I found your website. I'm a young college student living in Virginia and I'd like to speak with somebody from Iraq. I know that I, or any American for that matter, don't really know what all the facts are about this war and who is right or who is wrong. Even though I can't do much about the war, I want to at least know someone over there and treat them as a friend. I'm sure almost all Iraqis cannot stand Americans but I'd like to know one person from there who knew that we weren't all bad. I also would like to talk to someone about their culture and how they feel about things. Do you think it is possible? Thank you very much.


She sounds nice, huh ?


Ibn Alrafidain (son of two rivers).

New Today; 1
Total; 84

Monday, November 01, 2004

Where is Report

Has anybody seen /heard Khalid?

Last seen dressed in simple blue and white blogskin with black text doing good deeds and singlemind/handedly taking on soldiers armed with nothing but flashlight. Last known blogger to speak with Khalid reports poor net access in Khalid's locality at that time, several weeks ago. Known for his buoyant and bubbly nature in the face of all dissent and 24/7 online habit, it is unusual for Khalid to disappear without prior notice. Mainstream (reliable) media sources report a recent increase in general violence and military operations lately.

He is a worry.

One Hundred Thousand cont'd

Oh dear, I was waiting. Rebuttal. Thank you Charles WT for providing this valuable opportunity. You can't possibly be telling me you place any faith in all those partisan links? Let me begin with Shannon Love's post. I will use the Q A format, two answers for each question.

Q; Shannon observes; "Most other sources put total combined civilian and military deaths from all causes at between 15,000 to 20,000". Shannon then asks "The Lancet study is a degree of magnitude higher. Why the difference?"

A 1; Most other independent sources do not have the resources to conduct an in depth study to the degree that The Lancet has undertaken. Specifically, most other sources have not recently conducted studies in field. The last in field study was very near the beginning of the conflict. There have been many more occasions for loss of life during conflict since those early days. It is no surprise that the death rate has increased since that first and as far as I am aware only other in field study.

A 2; Most other non-independent sources although possessing the resources to conduct comprehensive casualty studies, do not have the inclination to do so. In fact most other non-independent sources possessing the resources to conduct comprehensive casualty studies have an interest in suppressing such data.

Q; Shannon calculates that; "100,000 deaths over roughly a year and a half equates to 183 deaths per day" and then speculates "With that many people dying from air strikes every day we would expect to have at least one or two incidents where several hundred or even thousands of people died" before asking "Heard of anything like that?"

A 1;
183 deaths per day spread throughout areas of conflict in Iraq does not neccesarily amount to mass incidents of hundreds or thousands of deaths. Let us take six well known areas of conflict in this war.

  • Baghdad. Major civilian center subject to air raids.
  • Basrah. Another major civilian center subject to air raids.
  • Fallujah. Subject to "insurgency containment".
  • Tikrit. Saddam's "home town". Subject to severe military "operations" during the hunt for Saddam.
  • Mosul. In Northern Iraq/Kurdistan. Subject to notable conflict near the wars beginning.
  • Ramadi. Of particular focus in recent planned strikes.

I have mentioned only six areas of conflict and already if one divides 183 by those 6 mentions one has a result of only 30.5. A result of 30 and a half casualties per day spread over only six cities. When one looks at the number of towns marked on this map showing CPA presence in Iraq - oop, map diversion. Take a look at that CPA map. CPA North, CPA South, CPA Central and CPA Baghdad. The whole bloody country is occupied by the goddamn CPA. Is that a map of Iraq or is it a map of some new occupied territory named ah, "CPA"?. But as I was saying. When one looks at the number of towns marked on that map and divides 183 by them all, one can see how incrementally easy 183 deaths per day can accumulate in a war-torn country.

A 2; Well yes Shannon, with that many people dying each day you could expect at least one or two incidents where several hundred or even thousands have died. In fact, you can find those incidences recorded right here, on Iraq Body Counts site. Isn't that good of them to have been so diligently keeping track of things. Sorted by largest entry first, a few Iraq Body Count excerpts;

19 Mar 2003 -
09 Apr 2003
- 19 Baghdad hospitals - - 1482

4 Apr 2003 -
31 Aug 2003
- Violent deaths recorded at Baghdad city morgue - 60 per cent from gunshot wounds 1214

20 Mar 2003 -
24 Apr 2003
- Municipality of Baghdad - - 778

20 Mar 2003 -
06 Apr 2003
- Nassiriya - various 633

05 Apr 2004 -
30 Apr 2004
- city of Falluja 'insurgents', incl. those responsible for the killing of four US security contractors air attacks and ground battles 572

20 Mar 2003 -
20 Apr 2003
- Hospitals in Najaf, Karbala, Mosul, Samawa, Madain, Diwaniyah, Kut, Tikrit - various 484

01 Sep 2003 -
30 Sep 2003
- Violent deaths recorded at Baghdad city morgue - Over 55% by gunfire 362

Please note these are only a few excerpts from Iraq Body Count. Iraq Body Count provides a minimum and maximum figure where different media sources report different figures. I have quoted the conservative minimum estimate. Larger entries are sourced from hospital morgues. It is reasonable to consider that most dead bodies are buried rather then taken to hospitals, hence it is highly likely that these reports are only an "iceburg tip". A time delay can be expected between the occasion of conflict and the gathering and accumulation of bodies in morgues, hence the date spans on these items. Also worth noting that some hospital casualty records were deliberately confiscated and destroyed early in the conflict. Sorry this sounds so cold and grim but that's the way war is and I see no reason to sugarcoat it.

Oh, one other little thing. With that many people dying each day it is surprising that anyone might be left standing to report such incidences at all. Probably there are a fair few unreported incidences where either a journalist was not present to record it or no one was left alive to report it or someone was left alive but they had getting the hell out of there more on their minds then finding a journo to report too.

Only two paragraphs through Shannon's obviously bogus discourse, and so much more to answer. However, one step at a time. To be continued, probably.

One hundred Thousand

A new study points to 100,000 civilian deaths in Iraq as a direct result of the current war. This is a much higher civilian casualty rate then anyone else has estimated (anyone else being an extremely small and dedicated group of people collecting data in an extremely large and messy conflict). The results of a cluster sample survey were published last week in The Lancet, a British Medical Journal (if you visit the site you'll need to register to read the article, registration is free). Most of the deaths are attributed to air strikes.

Researchers concluded that the risk of violent death was 58 times higher than before the war. And most of those killed were women and children. -rfe/rl

The study does not include data from Fallujah, an area which has unarguably suffered following insurgency "strikes" and "containment".

The figure, 100,000, may come as a shock to some. Iraq body Count, a study measuring deaths reported in the media is reading a casualty rate of 14,219 to 16,352 at the moment I am writing this. The new data published in The Lancet supports an oft repeated observation of my own, that if Iraq Body Count's data is a mis-estimate, it is more likely to be a gross undercount then an overcount. Iraq Body Count measures deaths reported in the media, and obviously not all deaths can be reported. The study published in The Lancet was conducted in field.

research teams led by scholars at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University interviewed 1,000 Iraqi families in 33 locations. The families were asked about deaths and births in their homes in the 15 months before the March 2003 invasion and in the 18 months since.

It is incredibly valuable having data from two quite different and independent studies in helping to understand the impact of war.

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