This is to let everyone know that with increasing commitments at work, I will not be making any attempt to update this blog regularly in the near future. I'm gratified by the 1200 or so visitors that have come by here each month, and if you have a blog on Iraq, it is likely I'll be checking you
out eventually. I'll do some occasional profiles on Iraqi bloggers, and I'll post some new pictures and links I've been gathering on Kaddaffi's all-girl bodyguard (here here
), but I'm not going to be very active on this blog or others.
Anyway, it looks like I'm not very much needed anymore. Why should I fisk Riverbend, when there are 100 Iraqi blogs that can reveal her as a liar just by writing the truth. After Riverbend's last post and also Raed's and Khalid's latest posts, and with the results of the elections, it has been increasingly clear to me that the Unrealists
There are reports that average Sunnis are upset with Association of Muslim Scholars for calling a boycott since A)
by listening to them and those like them, the Sunnis feel like the train left without them and B)
the AMS now says they will "respect" the results of the election
the vote the AMS is willing to accept the elections -- ha ha ha). Also, the Ayatolla-supported UIA party failed to capture 50% of the vote so they will have to work with the secular Kurds to form a constitution. And both the Kurd and Shi'a leadership say that they consider including Sunnis in the constitution process to be "vital
". Sistani may
attempt to influence the constitution process, but that ship has sailed -- there will be no theocracy. If Sistani tries to force one or even one by another name, he will be marginalized. If he doesn't, then he will only lend credibility to the process.
So it looks like everything is going to work out. There are going to be some bumps, but the possibility of Iraq becoming a failed state becomes more remote each day and nothing seems likely to change the momentum. The Ba'athists have lost (Riverbend's family
), the Islamists are losing, Tehran is going to lose Eastern Kurdistan (IMO), Sen. John Kerry -- who claimed the Iraqi liberation was a mistake but he would send Americans to die there anyway -- lost, Michael Moore -- a pariah now even among Unrealists -- lost, Juan Cole has been revealed as a joke over and over again. Can you see the smile on my face? Ear to ear, my friends.Zarqawi and his group have openly declared war on democracy, and the other terrorists are kidnapping retarded children and forcing them to be living bombs. Why would anyone need me to explain to them that the Iraqis are fighting a war against the most sinister evil? And if they do, what more could I say to persuade them?In advance, I morn and honor those Iraqis who will die this year at the hands of abaddon-minded dead-enders. But I can see now that the future of Iraq is entirely in the hands of Iraqis and the Mult-national force will more and more play the role of assistant rather than partner.
Riverbend has gone back to telling drama-queen fiction
breaking out in tears because (supposedly) some stranger said she ought to wear a skirt:
No one could talk that way before the war and if they did, you didn’t have to listen. You could answer back. Now, you only answer back and make it an issue if you have some sort of death wish or just really, really like trouble.
Oh, come now, Riverbend. Of course they didn't talk to you that way. Confronting someone with close ties to Saddam's government could get you in trouble. In fact, many reported feeling just the way you describe now:
The problem with defiance is that it doesn’t just involve you personally, it involves anyone with you at that moment- usually a male relative. It means that there might be an exchange of ugly words or a fight and probably, after that, a detention in Abu Ghraib.
Now I ask you Riverbend fans, have you ever read Riverbend acknowledge that that this was a constant fear for the vast majority of Iraqis in the good ol' days of Saddam
? Has she ever acknowledged that people seem to have felt the same worry when talking to her
once upon a not so very long time ago?
All this presumes Riverbend isn't blowing the event way out of proportion or making it up entirely. I'd love to see a blog devoted to instances of the enforcement of conservative dress on Iraqi women or on the harassment of women who wear pants or don't cover their heads. Until now, it is only Riverbend who talks about it, and she is no one I would believe about anything anymore. She's a Rejectionist by her own words now. And she's been shown to be a liar in the past.
? They're blogs have been a fountain of the most pathetic blatant rumor-mongering. If they were Americans, they would be called "black helicopters types": people who will buy any conspiracy theory that views the world in terms of powerful hidden forces and weak mind-controlled robots/huddling victims.
What does Khalid say?: The elections were an exoneration of Rejectionists like himself. Yes. He he did write that yesterday
. Raed seems pretty much through with Iraq. If he's not reiterating some bizarre conspiracy theory, he's railing against newly elected Palestinian Authority leader Abbas for acting to keep the cease-fire with Israel, or against the government of Jordan. Hmmmm....He doesn't like elected leaders and he doesn't like secular monarchies. The only government that atheist communist
Raed seems to like is the Iranian theocracy
I still have this faith in the Iranian government, that has better potentialities of having internal revolutions and evolution, a government that can produce a real national democracy in the long run.Faiza
still complains, but she is really uninterested talking about the legitimacy of the New Iraq anymore. She's in Jordan now, and who knows if she'll ever go back? She says she will. She says she wants to do something to help Iraqi women. That sounds admirable.
So I don't have time to update this blog regularly for the next few months, and frankly, why bother? The terrorists, the Rejectionists, and the Unrealists are getting the message out for me.
I'll see ya'll when I see ya. You can still reach me by email and Yahoo! IM.[UPDATE]
I can't help it! Saudia Arabia religious police crack down on the observance of Valentines Day
, even among husbands and wives...the color red is banned for clothes and flowers:
...Religious authorities call it a Christian celebration that true Muslims should shun.
Each year shortly before Feb. 14, the country's religious police mobilize, heading out to hunt for - and confiscate - red roses, red teddy bears and any signs of a heart.
Valentine's items descend underground, to the black market, where their price triples and quadruples. Salesmen and waiters avoid wearing red.
"Female voices demand the re lease of the red rose," read a headline in Sunday's Asharq al- Awsat. Women complained to the paper that no one had the right to ban flower sales.
In a town outside Riyadh named Thumama, Sheik Abdullah al-Dakhil, head of the muttawa, or religious police, told Al- Eqtisadiah newspaper that "despite awareness campaigns and the confiscation of flowers, chocolate and other items, there were 15 infractions" for Valentine's Day indiscretions last year.
Does anyone believe that a majority of Iraqis are going to sign up this sort of nonsense?