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Posted: 12/15/2003 9:05:32 PM EDT
Some of these guys get linked of Command-Post.org fairly regularly. There a good on the ground source of data. Also, without them nobody would've heard of the big protest last week that only earned two lines in the NYT, an expected report by Fox News, and nearly no press anywhere else at all (Command-Post has the details)
The formating fucked up when I copied and pasted, but you can just follow the link

www.spokesmanreview.com/brea...=20031214203532


Iraqi bloggers celebrate Saddam's capture
Online journals offer personal accounts of everyday life

Ryan Pitts
Staff writer


With Saddam in custody, life is different today in Baghdad. But then, it’s been different for a while.


Few things represent the new reality so well as a small group of blogs, written by Iraqis eager to share with anyone who will listen. These bloggers capture daily snapshots of Iraq simply by keeping online journals of their everyday lives. They write about what they experience: marriages and electrical outages, jobs and jokes and terrorist attacks.


They also write with unflinching honesty about what everyday life was like before, when Saddam was in power.


Just being able to blog, they say, is one of the biggest changes between then and now. These days Iraqi citizens can open a conversation, unfiltered and unafraid, with the rest of the world. Some are even turning into impromptu journalists: A 24-year-old dentist named Zeyad used a digital camera sent to him by an American friend to document an anti-terror demonstration in Baghdad last week. He used an Internet café to upload his pictures and thoughts to anyone who would listen. Zeyad’s observations were the first – and ultimately some of the only -- news about the march, which drew thousands of people.


Not every blog post coming out of Iraq is sympathetic to U.S. operations there. One blogger in particular, who writes as Riverbend (and at this point, hasn't commented on Saddam's capture), is consistently anti-American. Most of her peers aren’t, though; they write with excitement about Iraq’s future, and they credit America for giving them a chance to help mold it.


Most of all, these Iraqi bloggers are invested in their own country. They want to see it flourish, and they don’t want to wait for time to put distance between Iraq’s present and its past. And so for them, Saddam’s capture was a singular moment for celebration. Sunday bubbled with anger and great joy.


Following are these bloggers’ own words upon hearing that Saddam was in custody, excerpted from their individual websites.


At 3 a.m. Sunday morning, an Iraqi blogger named Sam was the first to trumpet the news:



It is a victory for the victims of his regime and the righteous people of Iraq and the WORLD at large. ...


CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL AND HAPPY NEW YEAR (2004) WITHOUT THE TYRANT!

It is a VICTORY TO ALL OF US.”



“The Mesopotamian” is a blog written by an engineer named Alaa. Just after 4 a.m. Sunday, he'd heard rumors of something big:

Friends,
If the news we are just hearing about the capture of the Monster is true then I thank God for letting me live to this day to see this.

Then at 6:50 a.m., he wrote this:

Before this, I prayed the traditional prayers of thanksgiving. That I, and the Iraqi people should see this day! This, surely, is the mother of all days for us. The heroes of our valiant Pesh Mergas, and the heroes of the U.S. Fourth division have done it. Now is the time to unleash the Iraqi Counter Terror; now is the time to go for the kill. Let us go after them. Don’t lose this moment. They want to recant and live in equality with the people? they have a chance - otherwise they will have to go. ...

A few hours later, Alaa described the celebrations in the streets:

The Ululation of Gunfire again; you should all be here now. What fireworks! You should be here. The Baghdadis are expressing what they really think again.

A.Y.S., a dentist in Baghdad, keeps a blog called “Iraq at a glance.” On Sunday afternoon, he wrote:

I don’t know what to say.. I am confused.. no … I am very happy.. I am very happy.. .. I am very happy...

This is the end of tyranny.. congratulations .. a great day.. for Iraqi and all the good people.. share us our great day.. I can’t express my feelings.. thanks to the coalition forces and all the honest people who helped in that great operation….thank you thank you thousand times..


Omar, another Baghdadi, signed in at 6:32 p.m. He called his post “The big brother in a small hole”:

It's the justice day. I'm speechless. I'm crying.

The tyrants' hour has finally came. I went down to the streets to share the joy with my brothers. This is our day, the day of all the oppressed and good people on earth.

Tears of joy filled the eyes of all the people. Saddam, the coward, hides in a hole, shaking in fear from being captured. ... Yes, he should be prosecuted in Iraq. We will not allow anything else. We want to see him in a cage bending more and more, humiliated more and more, just as he forced all the Iraqis to bend to him, like they were his slaves. But we will not be like him, we will give him a fair trail, and he will get just what he deserves, although I have no idea what does he really deserve. …

Thank you American, British, Spanish, Italian, Australian, Ukrainian, Japanese and all the coalition people and all the good people on earth.

God bless the 1st brigade. God bless the 4th infantry division. God bless Iraq. God bless America. God bless the coalition people and soldiers.

God bless all the freedom loving people on earth.

I wish I could hug you all.



Here's another good article from The Weekly Standard on Iraqi bloggers:
weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/494vhvue.asp?pg=1
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 9:30:35 PM EDT
I'm starting to think that the importance of Iraq may be bigger than we all realize, in a world where everything seems predicated on making a fast buck and taking advantage of someone else, is this the last truly noble effort? To free millions of people from the bondage of enslavement? Whether it was the reason for going in, or just a happy byproduct, how we act will set the standard for the next century, and might just earn us the respect of untold millions around the world. I'm almost starting to think that Germany & France's negativity might be more out of their own inadequacy in dealing with the problems that beset the world. Worried only about themselves, do they fear being seen only as selfish merchants? The radical clerics, and ruthless leaders around the world are going to have a hard sell to their masses if we can make this work for Iraq.
Link Posted: 12/15/2003 10:01:23 PM EDT
Hmph. Bush lied, PEOPLE DIED!
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 6:31:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Merrell: I'm starting to think that the importance of Iraq may be bigger than we all realize, in a world where everything seems predicated on making a fast buck and taking advantage of someone else, is this the last truly noble effort? To free millions of people from the bondage of enslavement? Whether it was the reason for going in, or just a happy byproduct, how we act will set the standard for the next century, and might just earn us the respect of untold millions around the world. I'm almost starting to think that Germany & France's negativity might be more out of their own inadequacy in dealing with the problems that beset the world. Worried only about themselves, do they fear being seen only as selfish merchants? The radical clerics, and ruthless leaders around the world are going to have a hard sell to their masses if we can make this work for Iraq.
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Very interesting point of view, let's hope your right!!
Link Posted: 12/16/2003 6:52:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Merrell: I'm starting to think that the importance of Iraq may be bigger than we all realize, in a world where everything seems predicated on making a fast buck and taking advantage of someone else, is this the last truly noble effort? To free millions of people from the bondage of enslavement? Whether it was the reason for going in, or just a happy byproduct, how we act will set the standard for the next century, and might just [red]earn us the respect[/red] of untold millions around the world.
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What makes you believe that?? American blood has brought Freedom to MILLIONS of Foreigners over the years.. They HATE us for it!!!
I'm almost starting to think that Germany & France's negativity might be more out of their own inadequacy in dealing with the problems that beset the world. Worried only about themselves, do they fear being seen only as selfish merchants? The radical clerics, and ruthless leaders around the world are going to have a hard sell to their masses [red]if we can make this work[/red] for Iraq.
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It won't work in Iraq, any more than it's worked before. We are NOW, trying to correct mistakes made by the Western powers when we FIRST carved up the middle east. We cannot give freedom to others, when we don't have it at home.
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