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Old 07-23-2006, 07:11 PM   #1
Dagobahn Eagle
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Baghdad Burning - the Iraq blog discussion thread

"Girl Blog from Iraq... let's talk war, politics and occupation."

Baghdad Burning <-- Added. I got back to this thread after posting it and realized I hadn't actually put a damned link to the blog itself up.

"Riverbend" is a woman in Iraq writing on the state of her homeland after Operation Iraqi Freedom ****-up. I just got into reading her blog after being refered to it by a speaker in this debate on Guantanamo and Abu Grahib (highly recommended watch), and it's quite a powerful read. I know I should've gotten into it sooner, but hey, better late than never.

Reading "Riverbend"'s blog makes the Iraqi Hell situation a lot more real and close, and a lot less alien and unreal. "Riverbend" writes in a tone that captivates me, conveying her hatred of Bush ("the world's first mentally challenged President"), the despair over the deaths of her loved ones, and the grief of the state of her hometown. "Rage" is the word that comes to mind when I read her writings. I think it fits 100%.

I think I heard of some blog being published as a book. Could it be this one? Edit: Yup. As I read in her blog.

Quote:
At nearly 2 pm, we received some terrible news. We lost a good friend in the killings. T. was a 26-year-old civil engineer who worked with a group of friends in a consultancy bureau in Jadriya. The last time I saw him was a week ago. He had stopped by the house to tell us his sister was engaged and he'd brought along with him pictures of latest project he was working on- a half-collapsed school building outside of Baghdad.

He usually left the house at 7 am to avoid the morning traffic jams and the heat. Yesterday, he decided to stay at home because he'd promised his mother he would bring Abu Kamal by the house to fix the generator which had suddenly died on them the night before. His parents say that T. was making his way out of the area on foot when the attack occurred and he got two bullets to the head. His brother could only identify him by the blood-stained t-shirt he was wearing.

People are staying in their homes in the area and no one dares enter it so the wakes for the people who were massacred haven't begun yet. I haven't seen his family yet and I'm not sure I have the courage or the energy to give condolences. I feel like I've given the traditional words of condolences a thousand times these last few months, "Baqiya ib hayatkum… Akhir il ahzan…" or "May this be the last of your sorrows." Except they are empty words because even as we say them, we know that in today's Iraq any sorrow- no matter how great- will not be the last.
Poor girl.

Have anyone else here followed this blog? Are you following blogs by other civilians or soldiers in Iraq? Any recommendations?

PS: The site links to some rather good music. I particularly liked this one.


Last edited by Dagobahn Eagle; 07-24-2006 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 07-24-2006, 02:47 AM   #2
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Interesting blog... I couldn't help chuckling, however, looking at the links on the right side:

The BBC, New York Times, and Al-Jazeera in the same catagory. She forgot CNN, right rccar?
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:20 AM   #3
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This Kurdish friend of mine (who's also her #1 hero for her work against forced marriage and circumsition (sp.?)) at my school actually hates Al-Jazeera. She calls it an American-licking piece of ****. What she bases that on, however, I don't quite know.

Those recipes look fairly good, too. I have to try those Iraqi kebabs (I love cooking, and I love foreign foods ).


Last edited by Dagobahn Eagle; 07-27-2006 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:59 PM   #4
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Thumbs down Enter the morons

Gawd... I just read some of the user reviews childish rants about Riverbend and her book, and some of them are just scary. Let's not get into "Sherri"'s conspiracy theory on how Riverbend's an undercover democrat pretending to be an Iraqi. That's for the conspiracy theory thread and possibly for some humouristic thread. But come on...

Quote:
Riverbend and her Sunni family are from a previleged class in Baghdad. She now laments for her family's lost power and fortune.
Riverbend probably is from Iraq's upper class (I noticed her above-average position in Iraqi society myself when I read the blog), but to say she's upset just because her family has lost power and fortune is ridiculous.
Quote:
Riverbend anquishes over the sporatic supply of water when it is her own Sunni compatriots that blow up the water supplies. She complains that the electricity is only availabe a few hours a day. It is her friends that repeatedly blow up the transmission lines. She also complains of the "uniformed" people that recently assassinated a Sunni cleric and his two sons. She neglects to mention that the assassins are also Sunni, wearing uniforms taken from murdered police.
Pure racism. Sharing a religion does not equal to sharing a political agenda. Comparing the two is like me condemning all Christians on the grounds of what Timothy McVeigh did.

It sickens me how they're compared. I'm simply disgusted by how people demanded that innocent imams in innocent mosques around Norway publicly declare that they do not condone the terrorism in London. In comparison, how many priests and bishops had to publicly come forward and declared that their church was not a terorrist-loving faction? None. Did the media even mention that Timothy McVeigh was a Christian radical, member of a ditto organization? No.

Two words: Racist bigotry.
Quote:
The cleric was killed for cooperating with the coaltion forces (she calls the Americans the occupation).
They are an occupation. You don't have to be an evil Communist regime to occupy someone.
Quote:
Riverbend would have been shot if she had opposed Saddam's regime. In this new government, she is allowed to say what she wants. This is called biting the hand that feeds you.
Except it isn't. Yes, they've gained freedom of speech (on paper, mind you - you run such a very high risk of getting assassinated by some radical group if you speak up too loudly now that I'm surprised Riverbend's still alive), but they've lost so much that it just isn't worth it.

It's like treating someone for an eye infection and then cutting his main arteries. Yup, his eye's OK, and his arteries will stop gushing blood eventually (maybe even without killing him!), but come on - is he better or worse off?

As a side note, I'm glad the average number of people who found the reviews helpful is about 10%. There are a few decent people in the world after all.

Quote:
Clearly, her upbringing was protected, as she has no complaints about her society before the dastardly Dubya ruined it.

In her on-line blog of July 1st, she complains about the Iraqis dying in Iraq today, but seems not to know of the hundreds of thousands killed and buried in mass graves during Saddam's regime-which she defends for its clean streets and running water. She seems to be unaware that the carnage is perpetrated by Iraqi and other Muslim fanatics, not by the United States which, with its own and Iraqi soldiers, is striving to quell it.
Who's to say she has no complaints? She's not writing about how things were before the invasion, but that doesn't mean she liked Saddam's regime.

Instead of imagining her being "ignorant" because she dislikes the invasion and occupation, maybe it's an idea to actually start considering the fact that she thinks them negative things. Could it, God forbid, mean that it actually did make things worse?

Let's take the eye-infection-and-cut-arteries-analogy again. If you treated my eye infection and cut my arteries, would I spend too much time being grateful for my eye being mended? Nope, I would be ranting about how I was bleeding to death. But that doesn't mean I didn't know my eye was infected, does it now?

Didn't think so.

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