Friday, December 31, 2004

More great moments...

Another little wonder from 2004 ~ "And that's how the story goes on..." go on, go add a paragraph, just for old times sake - you know you want too...


Well, seeing as it's the end of an old year and the beginning of a new, I thought I'd post a little momento to all the blogs we've loved before. To all the blogs that have come and gone, perhaps leaving in their wake a little hope for the world.

In no particular order...

The Other side - Joshua Kucera. Became famous after he stopped blogging, when his editors pulled the blog plug (ya, ya, way back in 2003 but hey, am just reviewing here). Baghdad - THE g.
G. in Baghdad FotoBlog - G's photo's
Ishtar Talking - Ishtar talked a little
Some of what - a soldier thought a little
Iraq 2.0 - Omar blogged daily, for a day or two.
Just Another Soldier - Jason violated operational security (and returned later - momentarily anyway, getting the old "forbidden page" on his second site right now).
Dear Raed - Salam. All around charismatic icon of inspirational inspiration. Iconically.
Enzo Baldini - Rest in Peace Enzo. You gave your life to blogging, where the rest of us give lip-service.
Askari Street - she met us around the corner...
Live from Baghdad - it was Khaki coloured, it was live, it was from Baghdad. It was Ayad, serving purpose, for a time.

And just to finish off, a few lyrics from Lesley Gore. Who summed things up for women 40 years ago and sums things up with sublime subversity for bloggers, right here, as dawn breaks on another new year. (Hope you know the tune, it's all in the tune... )

You don't own me
I'm not just one of your many toys
You don't own me
Don't say I can't go with other boys

Don't tell me what to do
Don't tell me what to say
An' please, when I go out with you
Don't put me on display

You don't own me
Don't try to change me in anyway
You don't own me
Don't tie me down 'cause I'll never stay

I don't tell you what to say
I don't tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That's all I ask of you

I'm young and I love to be young
I'm free and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want
To say and do whatever I please...

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


what can I tell you about them?
it IS the biggest event, not only in this year, not only in this after-war-under-occupation period, but its gonna effect the future of Iraq, probably for ever.
lets have a quick preview!

Having the Spirit, AGAIN.

I did this before, I'm posting it again.. I did not compose it myself, got it off email (and later found out the original source, thanx to Emigre here and a Mr. CharlesWT) so like, Its not my b**ching, this time it doesn't count! (and please go visit the source, very amusing, very good!)

Christmas wishes from Iraq....
What is the typical Iraqi Christmas wish list (I won't list 'peace', 'security' and 'freedom' - Christmas miracles are exclusive to Charles Dickens), let's see:

1. 20 liters of gasoline
2. A cylinder of gas for cooking
3. Kerosene for the heaters
4. Those expensive blast-proof windows
5. Landmine detectors
6. Running water
7. Thuraya satellite phones (the mobile phone services are really, really bad of late)
8. Portable diesel generators (for the whole family to enjoy!)
9. Coleman rechargeable flashlight with extra batteries (you can never go wrong with a fancy flashlight)
10. Scented candles (it shows you care- but you're also practical)

When Santa delivers please make sure he is wearing a bullet-proof vest and helmet. He should also politely ring the doorbell or knock, as a more subtle entry might bring him face to face with an AK-47. With the current fuel shortage, reindeer and a sleigh are highly practical - but Rudolph should be left behind as the flashing red nose might create a bomb scare (we're all a little jumpy lately).

See ya next year, thanx for the holler!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

New Blog

Democracy In Iraq ~ by Husayn. I am sooo sure when I was reading Husayn's site yesterday his blog was green - I guess he must be having a bit of a template fiddle. (It is kind of hard not too, I can't tell you how many colour changes IBC's been through, I think it started out a sort of ineligible browny background with violet text and rainbow coloured links).

Anyway, Husayn is a bit of a mystery man.... rather then steal his thunder and repost quotes I'll let you follow the link.

New Today: 1
Total: 89


Comments. Not just comments. Iraq blog comments. I have never seen a ruder more opinionated team of commenters in my life.

Sure, there is the odd smattering of sincerity from a small group of people who really are interested in dialogue, and people are going to disagree at times - but for the most part comments on blogs blogged from Iraq resemble a goddamn propaganda war. You know, I have no objection to war being fought with words (in fact being of peaceful inclination I prefer it over bombs and tanks and guns and dubious interrogation techniques) but I have every objection to manipulative plants, crank trolling and over-effusive insincere praise.

Look what you guys are doing. Take a young blogger. A teenage kid who has every right to ordinary teenage comments exchanged with ordinary teenage mates, as most teens online get to do. But oh, no, this young teenager is in Iraq, and as such is inundated by routine hoxhax from adults who know damned well better. The Mosul Star has turned her comments off. I hope anyone who reads this who has over-used her bandwidth feels ashamed. But I very much doubt it, shame knows no boundaries apparently.

I had to get that out, just take a look at the post beneath this one. 100 comments and all for the most part from the same two or three people. If someone writes asking about participating in this blog, what do I say? I say "- sure!" "Go ahead !" But frankly, when people write asking that these days I tend to feel a little embarrassed because I haven't had time to clean out all the downright plain rude foulmouthed language that some commenters just can't seem to help dropping.

As N says, you want that kind of talk - you have a forum.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Un-national guard

I missed you guys, and I missed blogger, it was very nice to log in to my blogger account again, I almost forgot my password;)
I have been busy lately (ya I know, like always) with uni, and with life.
actually I want to tell you a bit about Iraq! so fasten your seat belt, throw that cigarette, yes I am talking to you, and litsen to me:
first of all...In the last two years, we were trying.........
didn't I just tell you to throw that cigarette away?
That's it, enough is enough, I am not finishing the post. .
ok ok, I accept your apology, I am finishing it.
So: I will tell you about Iraq nowadays, when you are graduated from any uni, and while you are so happy and making plan for the future and the princess in the charmed castle, you go to search for any work in the public sector, that's what Iraqis do, you get a job and a fixed salary, then you get promotions and stuff till you are retired and the government of course will keep giving you a salary for ever, and you might get lucky and the government might give you a small piece of land, or a house or a car, or you might take a lone and build your own house, or get married with it and live happily ever after.... that's how things used to work until the nighntees, where salaries become too small to cover the transportation money from your place to the ministry or whatever place you work in, in things got too ugly and bad things happened but yet...Iraqis never stopped loving to get a job in the government.
now, after the "liberation" and in the new "free" Iraq, things are a bit deferent.
ministries are divided between deferent parties, if the ministry of foreign affairs was given to a Kurdish minister, then don't hope to get a job there if you are Arab, the ministry that was given to a minister from the Dawa Shea party, wouldn't hire you unless you belong to them, if you go the ministry that was given to a minister from the Islamic revolution shea party, you wouldn't get a job unless you have a recommendation from their political office or someone from them, the same for sunna too, the new divided Iraq, still have much that you didn't hear about, wait and read: still, if you want to get a job, any job, you pay a bribe of $200-400, depending on the job, which usually gets you a salary of like $200 a month or less. the engineers that used to be my friends in uni and graduated in the last two - three years, are all either sleeping in their houses, or working in jobs that doesn't match their qualifications, construction workers, secretaries, etc... the numbers of unemployed people is huge.
one magical solution is to, join the national guard!
what? The national guard? You mean for the American nation guard?
no! no! The new Iraqi army is called the "nation guard" too, isn't that nice?
Lets start signing, sing with me guys: we all live in America..We all...
the national guard, which -conveniently- has the same name of the American "national guard" (we never used that name before, completely new to us) who are the loyal sons of the American occupation, once you join that, you get a cool weapon, you get unlimited authority, and you get 400 000ID, about $275 a month, isn't that just nice?
now lets talk about the nice "national guard":
in Arabic, they are called "haras watani", exact translation, haras is guard and watani is national, people in the streets call them haras la watani, which is: un-national guard, or call them haras wathani, conveniently, by changing one letter, it becomes infidel instead of national (wathani instead of watani).
if you were on the traffic light and heard bullets right next to you, don't panic, its just one of the national guards telling people that he is "there" and that they must clear the way to let his majesty move. if you are sleeping in your house, and somebody started to shoot in front of your house, and almost broke your door knocking, don't panic, its just them searching, and get ready, you are about to lose things form your house, beside dignity and security, mobile phones and any jewelry or anything that is light and expensive, and any gun, even a licensed one, they take it too, and of course give you no papers to prove they took anything from you.
site: my uncle's house time: 5 am event: national guards knocking brutally on the door, they left after minutes of ssearching, leaving a mess behind them, and scared people. few days before that, 2am another house, they broke in, they stole not only mobile phones, but also $4800 and a CAR!!!! few days ago, they decided suddenly that a hair dresser shop is "suspected", so they broke in, and "Searched" all women's bodies. couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine was in the line of a gas station, and one of the national guard didn't like the way he was parking, so he just broke the side mirror with his AK back, and when my friend objected, he also damaged the size of the car and called other national guards to tie my friend's hands and send him to jail, he was so lucky that one of them knew my friend and released him immediately, otherwise he would have spent a longtime, God only knows where and for how long, oh..I forgot to say, they cover their faces, cause they are too afraid to be known so my friend never knew who released him. few weeks ago, they made a check point, and a police patrol was in the street, they made the police get off their car, and they searched it, one of the policemen had a high rank, but it obviously meant nothing, the authority of the national guard is above everyone. they curse people, they use very dirty words with people, and no one cans say a word, they are armed, and they have unlimited authority. they great national guard, was used also to kill people in Najaf and in Falluja too.
now do you wonder why people attack them?
I can go on and on for ever, but I think that what I said was enough.
those are Allawi men, and the occupation men, those are the fruits of the Allawi-Bush government, a scary version of Saddam's gang.
now light that cigarette, and reflect on it.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

2004 Weblog Awards

The voting will end at the 2th of January.. 4 Iraqi blogs are now in the top ten list, and you can vote for them in here:

The Iraqi blogs nominated here are:

You can vote once every 24 hours.. Please do!

Thanks in advance,

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

More Kurdish Bloggers

New Blogs ! Kurdish special;

Kurdistan Youngs
~ Yad, he has an "about me" bit here and does that postinginadifferentcoloureverytime thing (kids !). He has links to some other Kurdish bloggers too...

Turkish Delight ~ Delal, blogging from Utah US quote "On the surface I am one of those super nice people, who isn't a threat, and who everybody wants to be their mom. However..." (sweet on the outside, erm, we are not sure we want to delve beneath the surface... on the other hand ...)

Peshmerga Woman ~ Emmunah, she says "Tyrants of the world I'm putting you on will lose...we will win!" and then proceeds with Dire Straits lyrics ! (feisty on outside, sugar underneath?).

and Hajir ~ by Mohammad who seems to be trying to make sense of situation with every tool available from blog to Quran. Mohammad's post about three arrested Iranian bloggers who have apparently "confessed" (renounced their evil wicked web ways) is a potent reminder. We play a lot of silly games online and blog a lot of silly stuff but evidently having fun disturbs the autocracy.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

New Blog

A soldiers Blog ~ Reverse Retna. A soldier sooner or later anyway. At the moment Dave still seems to be in Alexandria VA US - dreaming of Bruce Willis. He works in communications and will be in Iraq by Jan.

(Weird. I tagged along with a mil guy to a Bruce Willis chatroom once...)

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Email Exchange

Another email from someone who'd like to proactively foster discussion, and perhaps eventually peace and understanding, by writing across the webwaves. From Paul...


My name is Paul, im 30 yo from Ballarat Vic. Like so many others I am devestated although hardly surprised by the mainstream media coverage of the invasion and ongoing occupation. The use of the media as a weapon by corporate interests and our wonderful open honest and accountable government have sickened me to the core. More frightening is how effective and easily digested it is by the majority of Australian people. I realise it's nothing new but the use of language and image to dehuminise and demonise the iraqi people in western media is an absolute outrage. It's particularly the word "liberated" that interests me; what, we're drawing comparisons between Fallujah and WW2 Paris?? Anyhow, I feel as one who can see throught he shit, that I have a responsibility to gain further insight and hence actively convey that knowledge. To facilitate this it would be great to have dialogue with an iraqi pen pal, It is important for me to gain the first hand experience of life in Iraq and to hopefully build a friendship. Would greatly appreciate it if you could..



If you'd like to reply to Paul he's happy for you to have a whack in the comments. Alternatively, email and your email will be forwarded to him.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Bias ?

Words From Iraq. Another, what would you call it, "resource blog" I guess. This one is sort of an auto-blog with a kind of RSS auto-bot poster that publishes stuff (links and excerpts) from a selection of Iraq blogs. There is a kind of forum provision and the author, being an automated author, provides very little in the way of personal bias. It's a great idea, but personally this solution to neutrality feels a bit "cold" to me. I almost wish there was a bit of spark to it, even if it were a spark that really irked me. Here's from the "about the site" is maintained by; Chris Brunner and Alex Stram, in an effort to provide first hand information to the general public about the Iraqi conflict. By doing so, we hope to eliminate the trend for public opinion to be based on biased, bureaucratic media sources, and instead a more accurate, independent perspective.

Lol, I have to laugh. Not sure which exactly "biased, bureaucratic media sources" or "independent" ones they are talking about but I have to do my personal bit of myth-dispelling here. "Independent" media sources, in this case blogs, place very few of the traditional ethical constraints upon themselves that mainstream journalists are bound by. Because bloggers "blog for ourselves" and do just post "whatever we damn well feel like" they are perhaps the most (laughing) biased media source I have ever read in my entire life. (That's not going to stop me from reading them though).

Email Exchange

Well, I did say there was a backlog of stuff to post. Have another email from another person who'd like to exchange emails across the gulf - but seeing as the email exchange thing is a Sunday feature it'll be posted on Sunday (this is just a little scheduling note, you now, like telly has tv guides).


And while I'm counting, here's another very new link that's been languishing bookmarked in the browser... Free Iraq by Saleem. A little about Saleem;

iam saleem andraws hanna from iraq-baghdad.have two brothers and one sister. iam in the third stage of college of dentistry /university of baghdad.graduate from givted secondary school from baghdad

Saleem is a multi-fonting blogger, he posts in a different font every time.

New Now; 1
Total; 87


Another contentious new blog. I suppose it would be in keeping to ask (as one might ask of any blog) - is it or is it not bonafide ? What would the www be without such controversial puzzles as these to keep us on our alerted, um, alerts. Well I guess puzzlement never stopped me from linking before. And anyway, he wrote back this entirely nettiquette reply to ihath's enquiry (oh yes, flattery gets you everywhere).

Ok, is that enough build up ? Did I over-do it ? (Feel free to give performance feedback). Curiosity piqued enough to click on his (for I feel it is a "his") link ? ...

Introducing... (you may well know him already)... blogging since July ... The Pundit Blogger. The Iraqi Pundit Blogger... iraqpundit (all in lowercase, very cooelle) (and very contentious). Here's what he last (contentiously) had to say...

Hating Everybody

All Iraq is now united in one thing: Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and his band of psychotics are now targeting the members of every group in the country. There's an interview in the Iraqi press today with a Sunni cleric who says that to avoid assassination, he has been forced to change his manner of dress.... (continue reading)

There is nothing quite like controversiality to get a blog rolling.

New Today; 1
Total; 86


Every time I get ready to bail, something else turns up, another blog, Khalid posts again, someone asks to be blogrolled, someone's looking for a penpal... something always happens.

So I guess there is a niche this blog is filling, probably accidentally, until something more profound springs up in it's place.

And you know, if I were paranoid, I would say that evidently someone else thinks this site serves a purpose too. Because for the last week I have had severe problems trying to login to post to this particular blog. In spite of the fact that I can post merrily and to my hearts content on all my other insignificant sites, which have nothing to do with Iraq (much). I mean, if I were paranoid I might wonder if perhaps someone were trying to thwart us in covering all the real crucial stuff that needs posting about Iraq. I mean, real nitty gritty contentious material, like, um, penpal emails and stuff. Oh yes, we publish a lot of real top secret stuff here. Like, links to blogs. Lol. Top secret; "Khalid had kit-kats for breakfast again", that kind of thing. You know, the stuff that is a real threat to national security.

Oh yes, the vanguard of resistance is this site. All week long have I been trying to log in to post promised posts - but will the page open? No. Well, as I said if I were paranoid... but thankfully I am a simple soul, a trusting, forgiving, dependable, meek and mellow source, so I simply just keep trying.

Ironically, one of the few times I actually managed to log in here this week was to remove a top-secret message (um, something about chatting up strangers in bars) which we decided compromised our own security code, here at Iraq Blog Count.

Well, at least this time I got past the dashboard to the "create new post" page. Lets see if we can actually publish it now.

We have a saying where I'm from. Actually we have a few, about throwing the baby out with the bathwater, children overboard, so to speak (sorry, local reference, not everyone is gonna get it). So I guess this pixel thin danger is here to stay, a little bit longer anyway, just like the war, which doesn't seem to be going away either.

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