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Cry Me A Riverbend II

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Ali At "Iraq The Model" Calls It Quits

While his brothers Omar and Mohammed were on their US tour (including meetings with President Dubya), the third brother, Ali, was calling it quits.
I'll give the quote, but some background is necessary. Iraq the Model was completely ignored by the Unrealists since its inception. Ali noted this silence only a few weeks ago:

Speaking of the sides of the blogosphere, I wanted to say that I only knew about the left side of the blogosphere months after we started. I thought that the right side was the whole thing, as in the beginning I thought we were just posting our thoughts 'into the darkness' and get lots of visitors without having any idea were they come from except Iraqi blogs. Later we found about the major blogs such as Instapundit, Andrew Sullivan, Buzz Machine, LGF, Tim Blair, Roger Simon, Right Wing news…Etc and for long months I thought these were the only major bloggers! I didn't know because these were the sites linking to us and from were we get lots of visitors and when I used to go to their sites I would find a somewhat similar list. It turned out to be that the other side top bloggers rarely if ever mentioned us or other Iraqi blogs except for the very anti-American [Iraqi blogs]. I realized lately that the blogosphere was divided into two major parts with very few bridges.

But when they arrived on American shores they seem to have become impossible to ignore anymore -- even for experts at ignorance. The ITM boys became the subjects of nasty little slurs that they were CIA fronts for some secret PR plot to undermine the Anti-Liberation effort -- most famously by the ferret-faced Juan Cole. I won't go into that story any more than to direct you here, here, here, and here where the subject was tracked in depth.

The upshot is that the Unrealist Juan Cole made a very bad mistake in slurring the ITM boys and comparing them unfavorably to Riverbend. This was a bad mistake because A) Ali was doing the blogging at the time and, B) unlike the weasel-mugged Dr. Cole, Ali has a very firm grasp on a long gnarly Reality Stick and he knows how to wield it.

This whole event almost seemed to be a set piece because both Riverbend and Mr. Wiskers himself have previously been put through painful vivisections by Ali for spreading lies.

Ali set about here and here to introduce Dr. Cole to Reality in a manner likely to permanently alter his appearance (for which he should be grateful).

Note: Among the myriad of deficiencies Ali notes in the quack Dr. Cole's post is that when he compared Riverbend to Iraq the Model, he provided a hyperlink to Baghdad Burning but (oops!) neglected to do so for Iraq the Model. All part of a pattern for the Unrealists apparently.

But just as the blogosphere formed a circle around Ali and Cole, and as it whirred with the chants of "Fight! Fight! Fight!", Ali posted this enigmatic message:

This is the last time I write in this blog and I just want to say, goodbye. It's not an easy thing to do for me, but I know I should do it. I haven't told my brothers with my decision, as they are not here yet, but it won't change anything and I just can't keep doing this anymore. My stand regarding America has never changed. I still love America and feel grateful to all those who helped us get our freedom and are still helping us establishing democracy in our country. But it's the act of some Americans that made me feel I'm on the wrong side here. I will expose these people in public very soon and I won't lack the mean to do this, but I won't do it here as this is not my blog. At any rate, it's been a great experience and a pleasure to know all the regular readers of this blog, as I do feel I know you, and I owe you a lot. Best wishes to all of you, those who supported us and those who criticized us as well.

So Ali was quitting the blog. He reaffirms his alliance with America, with Americans, and with the democratic cause in Iraq; so what does he mean by these "Americans that made me feel I'm on the wrong side here"? He promises to "expose" these Americans but he won't do it on Iraq the Model. Will he start his own blog?

There has been a lot of speculation. Andrew Sullivan implied that he thought it had to do with Abu Ghraib.


So why did Ali quit? There were rumblings about this only a week prior. On Dec. 11th Ali said,

We were all invited in the beginning and I was very excited to meet our friends that we met through this blog, and I wanted to be able to say "Thank you America" in America, but I decided few days before the trip not to go (for reasons that I'll discuss in the future, probably). However, my invitation was cancelled even before I tell the people who set up the trip about my decision. So I asked Mohammed and Omar to go ahead, as I thought it might be good for our project "Friends of Democracy" and Iraq.I still hope to visit America some day, but I would love this to happen normally, and not through exceptional procedures and I would be so happy to meet all my American friends and to say thank you to the American people. More on this in the future, probably.

I still hope to visit America some day, but I would love this to happen normally, and not through exceptional procedures and I would be so happy to meet all my American friends and to say thank you to the American people.More on this in the future, probably.

Can his brothers provide any illumination? No. Not yet, anyway. Omar posted an equally strange non-explanation a couple days later:

Ali's decision to leave the blog is a personal decision that neither I nor Mohammed want, or have the right to interfere with, but I'm sure that he had his reasons which he preferred to keep for himself, at least for now. Anyway, he only left the blog because he thinks he can serve his country in a better way through doing other things but we still hope that he will reconsider his decision.

The really weird thing about this post for me is that Ali seems (so far) to be unwilling to elaborate on his reason for quitting the blog to his brothers.

It's too bad about Ali. I miss him already. I hope his brothers won't take this as a criticism when I say that I enjoyed his posts the most. They were orderly, analytical, and God help those who earned his wrath.

Hopefully, we'll hear more on this in the near future.

We have innocent men in jail,
The insane asylums are filled.
We've got unrighteous doctors
Dealing drugs that will never cure your ills.
- Bob Dylan

Ladel up a big helping of crow for me. I called Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com a liar for saying that Ali had identified "extreme conservatives" as the"some powers" trying to use Iraq The Model as a propaganda tool. I searched the ITM blog and found nothing but I didn't search haloscan.com and the quotes were in the Comments section of ITM. Furthermore, haloscan does not show any comments for Ali's posts although there are literally hundreds. I retract my statement and apologize to Justin. I've removed the comment from this post lest someone see it and not read this Update.

Here's what is known about why Ali quit. He says here:

The thing that upset me the most is that if there are some powers that are trying to use us and our writings as propaganda tool, you and other bloggers as well as some of the media outlets are doing the same with anti-American Iraqi bloggers yet still have the nerve not only to criticize all those who support us (who are not exclusively conservatives) but also insult us and apply the worst description to our efforts and hopes in building our country, many times going as far as disfiguring facts and using stupid conspiracy theories.

In the Comments, a reader Quentin said:
Don't you ever think that the war in your country has deep consequences for the people of the U.S. Tell me, do you?

To which Ali responded:
Yes of course I do. What I said is that I'm not going to support any party over the others, and that these parties should remember that it's not all about them. Some people just have forgot about us and deal with Iraqis as pawns to win more control inside the US. All they are interested in is news, not what these news mean in term of humans that are involved. They just look for news that support their stand; good news for the right and bad for the extreme left.

Then reader Lydia said:
I'm a little confused, Ali. Are you saying you're sorry that the trip was used and politicized by the MR blog and Juan Cole? Or that conservatives used it politically? Or... what?

To which Ali answered:
No Lydia, not conservatives but some group of extremist conservatives. I have nothing against American conservatives and I see them as true friends.

Lee C. commented:
Einstein claims the universe is finite (sorta "round"). You go far enough to the left and you wind up on the right.

And Lisa New York said:
Ali, I'm a little confused also and I think maybe you should clarify what you meant. Do you mean that you think your brothers were "used" during the actual trip, in who they met and what they did or do you mean that some people on the Internet or elsewhere used them by talking about the trip in a certain way. I think it's an important distinction.

To which Ali responded:
They were used during the trip, and Lee C is right. I have to wait for my brothers before I explain everything although I have no doubt what so ever about these people and their hypocracy. I was shocked when I discovered this as I truly thought they cared about us.

So who are these people -- these "extreme conservatives" -- that Ali says "used" his brothers during the trip? Spirit of America? They are the most likely candidates since Ali seems to have come to his decision about them before Omar and Mohammed even left for the states. His brothers don't seem to agree with him about them (whoever they really are).

Its difficult for me to understand why Ali would not feel comfortable "exposing" them on Iraq The Model but I don't claim to have insight into the dynamics of every family. What did they do that stepped over the line in Ali's opinion? Were the brothers given "talking points" or asked to limit what they said in some way?

It is increasingly difficult to believe that Omar and Mohammed do not know what happened to dissaffect Ali. It certainly seems that they don't agree on it, however. The two brothers could be staying quiet for one of two reasons:

  • They believe Ali's complaint has some merit or at least apparent merit and do not repeat it for fear of slandering them.
  • They (in their mind) are protecting Ali because they think revealing the reason would make him seem petty.

But if Ali starts a blog and "exposes" these "people", well, what then? Will the other two brothers come to their defense?

I think that if Spirit of America is not the people Ali is referring to then Omar and Mohammed should say they aren't. Because, it does look like they are the ones we are talking about. And if it is Spirit of America, then the brothers should lay out the facts and let the people decide rather than have everyone speculate on what horrible things they have might have done. Either way, their silence is not being merciful to Spirit of America.


  • Hey, I believe Ali has resurfaced. Check out:


    I've been following IraqTheModel since it began... my 'gut' is telling me that the partisan fisticuffs that happen regularly at ITM may have had something to do with his decision. I think Ali is really bothered by the 'anti-iraq-war' left in America and perhaps he's hoping to speak to them...unfortunately ITM (rightly or wrongly) has been tied to Bush supporters...

    Anyway, just a thought....your theory is interesting too and could very well be the reason.

    (btw, I'm as guilty as anyone over at the ITM comments section of participating in the left-right battles...)

    Enjoy your blog. Take care!

    By Blogger Glitch, at 7:23 AM  

  • Greetings,

    I don't know Ali's reasons for his exit. To be frank, I really don't want to know until he tells me. Its his life and his future. He can and should do what he thinks is best.

    All the conguecture (sp) on what is going on, is just with people with nothing else to do or seaching for their own guilt to confess to, or absolve themselves of.

    I say just leave it alone and don't worry about it. It is most likely nothing to worry about in the first place.

    The only thing people everywhere should be concerned and fearing is the coming war against the "Great Satan".

    This is my post

    Papa Ray
    West Texas

    By Blogger Papa Ray, at 9:18 AM  

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