Saturday 21st of May 2022

Blogger's passsion...

Selected quotes
from an
Interview: Iraqi blogger Riverbend

By Firas Al-Atraqchi

Sunday 09 April 2006, 11:41 Makka Time, 8:41 GMT

Riverbend's blog Baghdad Burning began to make waves in late 2003 and quickly became one of the most read Iraqi blogs. She offered an Iraqi woman's perspective on the US invasion and the first months after the fall of Baghdad.

Since then, her blog has been adapted into book form by UK-based publishers Marion Boyars and New York-based Feminist Press.

In March 2005, the blog was adapted into a play by a New York-based theatre production company.

Commenting on daily political and sectarian strife and "life under occupation", the blog has also won third place in the 2005 Lettre Ulysses Prize for Reportage and a 2006 Bloggie award.

The winner of the Samuel Johnson prize will be announced on June 14 in London.


... Q: But some of your detractors online have said you are unabashedly biased and anti-American and that you lament the ousting of the previous government. Is that true?

A: Unabashedly biased towards what? Iraq? One thing that bothers me is that many people equate being anti-occupation with anti-American.

I am not anti-American - I know many wonderful Americans and correspond and communicate with them regularly. I am, however, anti-occupation.

I don't wish for the "days of Saddam", if that's what you're asking. I am, however, completely against the presence of foreign troops in Iraq.

Q: Why do you refer to the current Iraqi government as puppets?

A: Because almost all of them are allied with one foreign government or intelligence agency or another. None of them seems to have Iraq's best interests at heart. They are all too busy lining their pockets in preparation for their comfortable retirement from the Green Zone to outside of the country.


Q: Blogging and journalism seem to be merging around the world. Are bloggers the new journalists?

A: Bloggers are not exactly journalists, which is a mistake many people make. They expect us to be dispassionate and unemotional about topics such as occupation and war, etc. That objective lack of emotion is impossible because a blog in itself stems from passion - the need to sit for hours at one's computer, slouched over the keyboard, trying to communicate ideas, thoughts, fears and frustrations to the world.

Q: What future do you see for Iraq?

A: Possibly several more years of chaos. As long as there are foreign troops in the country, there's going to be violence and bloodshed. I do believe Iraq will rise once more - because Iraqis have a history of greatness.

Read more at Aljazeera about it and everything elese

Freedom of the press to be bombed

Taysir Alluni: A reporter behind bars

Tuesday 25 January 2005, 12:36 Makka Time, 9:36 GMT

Taysir Alluni could never have suspected that the 9/11 attacks and the US war against Afghanistan in its hunt for al-Qaida and Taliban leaders would dramatically change his life.

Alluni, who began his career as an Arabic translator for a news agency in Granada, Spain, is credited as being the only journalist based in Afghanistan in October 2001 to show the world what the US war machine was doing to one of the world's poorest countries.

By then working for Aljazeera, Alluni was able to capture images of civilian victims in the destitute villages of Afghanistan and the miserable streets of Kabul. His coverage triggered international outrage over the US action in Afghanistan.

Alluni's work in that war-torn country came to an end when US forces bombed Aljazeera's Kabul office just hours before the Northern Alliance entered the Afghan capital. While many say the office was deliberately targeted, Aljazeera keeps an open mind, while still asking for an official investigation.

Read more at Aljazeera..

[Taysir Alluni is still in prison after a few stints at reporting in Iraq in 2003 and holidaying in Spain..]

Inflated propaganda...

From the ABC
US playing up Zarqawi's role in Iraq: report
The US military is exaggerating the role of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, possibly to help tie the war to the group blamed for the September 11, 2001 attacks, The Washington Post reports.

It has cited internal military documents and unnamed officers that Zarqawi's profile had been raised in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance.

The documents state that the US propaganda campaign aims to turn Iraqis against Zarqawi, a Jordanian, by playing on their perceived dislike of foreigners, the report says.

US authorities claim some success with that effort, noting that some tribal Iraqi insurgents have attacked Zarqawi loyalists, newspaper says.

For the past two years, US military leaders have been using Iraqi media and other outlets in Baghdad to publicise Zarqawi's role in the insurgency.

But the documents explicitly list the "US Home Audience" as one of the targets of a broader propaganda campaign, the paper reports.

The campaign has included leaflets, radio and television broadcasts, Internet postings and at least one leak to an American journalist, it says.

Although Zarqawi and other foreign insurgents have conducted deadly bombing attacks, they remain "a very small part of the actual numbers," the newspaper quoted Colonel Derek Harvey, who served as a military intelligence officer in Iraq, as telling an army meeting at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, last summer.

read more at the ABC