Wednesday, July 13, 2005

blogging in baghdad.

This week’s Guardian Weekly (we only get it once a week here in Oz) supposedly contains an excerpt from a “Girl blog from Iraq”.* The blog, written by Riverbend, is worth reading to gain some an impression of what living under US occupation is like.

For example:
“Detentions and assassinations, along with intermittent electricity, have also been contributing to sleepless nights. We’re hearing about raids in many areas in the Karkh half of Baghdad in particular. On the television the talk about ‘terrorists’ being arrested, but there are dozens of people being rounded up for no particular reason. Almost every Iraqi family can give the name of a friend or relative who is in one of the many American prisons for no particular reason. They aren’t allowed to see lawyers or have visitors and stories of torture have become commonplace. Both Sunni and Shia clerics who are in opposition to the occupation are particularly prone to attacks by “Liwa il Theeb” or the special Iraqi forces Wolf Brigade. They are often tortured during interrogation and some of them are found dead.”

You may want to contrast this with Chrenkoff’s schlock about how good things are in Iraq. Of course, he is able to say how good things are in Iraq on the basis of his experiences ... with the Australian Liberal party, possibly in Brisbane (?).

Maybe it is worthwhile to recognise that not everything that goes on there (Iraq, not Brisbane) is terrible, and that there is hope for progressing beyond occupation. But if I am seeking commentary on the situation in Iraq I am always going to go to someone writing a blog from Baghdad over someone trawling media releases for anything that appears remotely responsive to positive spin. And her writing is so much more enjoyable.

Anyway, am going to keep on reading...

update: The Guardian entry is here. It is an extract from a forthcoming book. An introduction to the Chrenkoff blog can be found here.

* I say supposedly, because I have only heard about it being in the paper — someone may or may not have run off with my Guardian before I got to that bit.


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