blogging in baghdad

I found something on-line today that I think you might find interesting. It’s a weblog kept, in English, by a man that lives in Baghdad. It’s really incredible to see things through his eyes. It’s very good… He writes about the rumors that are swirling through his community, how his neighbors are behaving, how the ruling party is digging in for a fight, etc. He also writes of the day to day things, like getting food, whether or not the TV and telephones work, etc.

He, as do most Iraqis I would guess, wants regime change desperately, but not war. He feels as though we didn’t try hard enough to do it by other means.

It was very good for me to hear his voice/perspective.

It changes things for me a bit now that I feel as though I have a friend living in Baghdad.

I want to quote everything Ive read, but I cant. Ill copy a few bits here, but your really should check the site out for yourself.

Heres a quote:

To end this rant, a word about Islamic fundis/wahabisim/qaeda and all that. Do you know when the sight of women veiled from top to bottom became common in cities in Iraq? Do you know when the question of segregation between boys and girls became red hot? When tribal law replaced THE LAW? When Wahabi became part of our vocabulary?

It only happened after the Gulf War. I think it was Cheney or Albright who said they will bomb Iraq back to the stone age, well you did. Iraqis have never accepted religious extremism in their lives. They still dont. Wahabis in their short dishdasha are still looked upon as sheep who have strayed from the herd. But they are spreading. The combination of poverty/no work/low self esteem and the bitterness of seeing people who rose to riches and power without any real merit but having the right family name or connection shook the whole social fabric. Situations which would have been unacceptable in the past are being tolerated today.

They call it al hamla al imania the religious campaign of course it was supported by the government, pumping them with words like poor in this life, rich in heaven kept the people quiet. Or the other side of the coin is getting paid by Wahabi organizations. Come pray and get paid, no joke, dead serious. If the government cant give you a job run to the nearest mosque and they will pay and support you. This never happened before, it is outrageous. But what are people supposed to do? thir government is denied funds to pay proper wages and what they get is funneled into their pockets. So please stop telling me about the fundis, never knew what they are never would have seen them in my streets.

In another post, he devotes time to the rumors that are making their way through Baghdad.

It is being said that Barazan (Saddams brother) has suggested to him that he should do the decent thing and surrender, he got himself under house arrest in one of the presidential palaces which is probably going to be one of the first to be hit. Families of big wigs and his own family are being armed to the teeth. More from fear of Iraqis seeking retribution than Americans. And by the smell of it we are going to have a sand storm today, which means that the people on the borders are already covered in sand. Crazy weather. Yesterday it rains and today sand.

Its horrific and yet very compelling, and personal. (The guy even finds time to make fun of human shields.) It really is interesting to hear this voice. I hope he and his family come out of this alright. (I also hope that I never find out that this person was really a middle-aged man in Sacramento who lives in his mothers basement.)

In the last entry, he talks about hearing explosions.

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