Blogs of War
A Review of Alternative Sources for Iraq War
by Paul S. Piper
Librarian, Western Washington University
and Miguel Ramos
Library Technician, ILL, Western Washington University
For better or worse, the information coming out of
war zones has increased and accelerated. Along with
other technological advances in war fighting and surveillance,
the Internet, specifically blogs, has driven this evolution.
Blogs, essentially interactive online diaries
or journals, have liberated the "common person," giving
them the ability to speak and perform eyewitness journalism.
No longer are professional journalists and media conglomerates
the exclusive information providers
in times of conflict and, specifically to this article, the Iraq War. Currently,
anyone with an Internet connection can read and witness the graphic descriptions,
complex emotions, and varied opinions of bloggers in Iraq. These bloggers range
from professional journalists who want to duck the censorship of large media,
to Iraqi citizens, to the soldiers themselves.
The beauty of blogs lies in their immediacy and interactivity.
Readers can respond to posts immediately via the comments
link and see their responses published automatically.
Any blog author will attest that this immediate feedback
provides fact-checking, stimulates discourse and debate,
and adds extensive content. In the case of Iraqi blogs,
both soldier and civilian, these posts also send love,
comfort, support, and advice to and from friends and
The blog that achieved mainstream attention during
the early phases of the Iraq War, entitled "Where Is
Raed?," came from a man known as Salam Pax. He was
both irreverent and optimistic, scathing in his hatred
for both Iraqi and American leaders and what they were
doing to his country. His graphic portrayal of daily
life, his fear of dying or being maimed, his love of
Western pop culture, and his effervescent humanity
forged identification with thousands of readers.
One must keep in mind certain aspects of blogs, especially
with regard to war blogs. The anonymity of the author
often has strong bearing on what is written and how
it is presented. Although knowing an author's identity
can add to a blog's authority, the ability to mask
one's identity through the use of a pseudonym can also
free up the writer from worries of retribution for
telling the truth. Knowing that the author of a blog
from Iraq is a 13-year-old girl adds poignancy to the
pictures of kittens that she posts or her stories of
being hungry. Salam Pax was a pseudonym used by an
author who feared retribution from Iraqi authorities.
Demographic information, when available, can also add
to the richness of a blog's contents. Unfortunately,
with war blogs, this information is often omitted.
The reasons are often related to safety and issues
of national and international security. Several soldiers'
blogs have been shut down because the content was deemed
classified or dangerous to the U.S. mission.
By their very nature, blogs that graphically deal
with a wartime situation are raw. They often contain
political opinion, profanity, brutal images (both textual
and photographic), and can ramble on "unprofessionally." However,
the war blogs often reflect "street truth" undiluted,
uncensored, unfiltered words and images. By nature,
many of the soldier blogs are volatile with their Web
presence dictated by troop movement, job placement,
governmental lenience, and, tragically, injury or death.
We have attempted to select those sites that appear
to be the most stable and of the highest quality. The
sites we have chosen are in no way comprehensive. We
intend this article as an introduction for interested
journalists, historians, political scientists, writers,
information professionals, and citizens.
General Directories of Iraqi Blogs
The sites listed and described below provide excellent
starting places for investigating the scope of Iraqi
blogs and bloggers.
The Future of Iraq Portal [http://www.justinalexander.net/iraq/] is a large collection of categorized, unannotated links
to sites that deal with Iraq. It links to nearly 100
Iraqi civilian and soldier blogs. The portal goes far
beyond blogs, including links to Iraqi media, Iraqi
political groups, NGOs (nongovernmental organizations),
mail groups, civil and social groups, and even recreational
sites. Created by Justin Alexander of Development Gateway,
the site is kept very current. At the time of writing, The
Iraq Blog Count [http://iraqblogcount.blogspot.com/
2003_12_01_iraqblogcount_archive.html] had 83 blogs recorded and at least partially described.
Some of these were defunct even at press time, but
a lot of interesting sites remain, including a number
in Arabic. (We describe this blog in more detail below.) Blog
has a small but valuable category of Iraq blogs, which
are updated regularly. Yahoo!'s Iraq Weblogs [http://dir.yahoo.com/Government/Military/
is a large collection, but the organization of links
is somewhat haphazard since many of the blogs are not
government/military sanctioned. Still, the Yahoo! folks
provide a timely collection, each with a brief annotation.
And last, but certainly not least, comes Google's
Weblog Directory (via the Open Directory Project)
Although the directory has no discrete Iraq blogs category,
a search in its Weblogs category retrieved 608 hits
on Iraq. These require sorting and scrutiny, but you
can still find some excellent resources here.
General Iraq War Blogs
While not all technically blogs, these sites provide
a variety of background and analysis, political, social,
and economic, as well as reference material on the
Blogs of War [http://www.blogsofwar.com/] is an Iraqi war blog featuring news, analysis, political
commentary, military events and news, along with an
extensive collection of military and Iraqi links, posted
by John Little. The site features a "Research Center" with
categorized links, including Iraq and Terrorism. The
section called Blogs of War "Hot Spot" pages collects
Internet resources for countries that are flashpoints
in the War on Terror, including Iraq. This site leans
to the right. Military Photos [http://www.militaryphotos.net/frontdoor.html] features extensive photographs of the Iraq War, as
well as a forum for discussion [http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=7].
The Iraq Coalition Casualty Count [http://icasualties.org/oif/] collects news and statistics on killed and wounded
coalition members, while the Iraq Body Count [http://www.iraqbodycount.net/] collects statistics on civilian deaths. These are both
very detailed and up-to-date.
Featuring posts by someone identified only as "wretchard," The
Belmont Club [http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/] combines military history, analysis, and links to
news stories. The site contains extensive archives
from April 2003. IraqNow Countercolumn [http://iraqnow.blogspot.com/] provides hard-hitting commentary and analysis by
Jason Van Steenwyk, who leans to the right, and provides
archives back to November 2003.
Iraq War News Blogs
News from Iraq has been considered troublesome from
the first. Every network and venue was accused of bias,
from the embedded journalists to Aljazeera. But more
than biased, a large percentage of the news was considered
packaged, diluted, and spun for tidy consumption. People
looking for authentic, unedited, eyewitness reports
were largely out of luck. Several blogs started by
reporters were shut down by their employers. Kevin
Sites, a reporter for CNN, had his blog shut down.
He is no longer with CNN, but his site is back up.
Joshua Kucera has not gone back on the air since Time magazine
editors demanded that he shut down his blog, The Other
Side [http://www.serendipit-e.com/otherside/]. While
he obliged, it appears he's switched jobs. The blogs
detailed here provide a look into what independent
journalists and news bloggers are witnessing, thinking,
The Command Post Iraq [http://www.command-post.org/iraq_index.html] is a blog for Iraq War news and puts a positive spin
on the progress coalition troops are making. Posts
are chosen from a variety of sources, including military
sources. This page is part of the Library of Congress
MINERVA permanent historical collection on the war
in Iraq. The posts are chosen by Alan E. Brain, an
Australian, and archived back to March 2003. Warblogging [http://www.warblogging.com/] was founded in July 2002 by George Paine. "The purpose
of the site is to provide another voice in the chorus
of Americans calling for a balanced and reasonable
foreign policy and a domestic policy that respects
the United States Constitution and the rule of law." While
this site leans left on certain issues, it attempts
to adhere to strict constitutionalism. The site is
not dedicated exclusively to the Iraq War, but the
war news section, Warstories:CC, is searchable by keyword
and can be limited to "Iraq and Gulf War Redux." The
site also offers date limiting. When I searched for
articles using the above limiter, the search retrieved
9,778 articles. Each article is posted in abbreviated
form, with a link to the original article, time, date,
source, and a feedback-post option.
The blog hosted by Christopher Allbritton, former
AP and New York Daily News reporter, is called Back
to Iraq [http://www.back-to-iraq.com/]. Allbritton
is currently freelancing on his third trip to Iraq,
where he has stationed himself primarily in Baghdad.
Allbritton was the first reader-funded journalist blogger.
When we asked Allbritton about the experience, he confirmed
that he was "no longer actively soliciting donations.
I'm now a stringer for Time magazine and others
... I had to move my career forward." The site contains
reportage, commentary, and occasional graphics and
video clips. It is extremely well-written, insightful,
and contains extensive archives back to November 2003.
Allbritton claims to have a daily readership of around
Kevin Sites of Kevin Sites Blog [http://www.kevinsites.net/] is a freelance solo journalist currently on assignment
for NBC News in Iraq, but this site is his personal
blog and is not affiliated with or funded by NBC News.
It contains archives back to March 2003. Sites is currently
embedded with the Third Battalion, First Regiment Marines.
His reports detail daily life in that unit, as well
as overviews of the war and general situation in Iraq.
His insights into the young men fighting this war are
poignant and incisive, as the following quote demonstrates: "They
switch from playing imaginary war games on an Xbox
in the base rec rooms to living and fighting in a real
war. They flip from astounding maturity, trusting each
other with their lives, brotherly bonds, to head-shaking
juvenile antics belittling each other's manhood,
intelligence, and haircuts."
1000 Words from Iraq [http://wordsfromiraq.blogspot.com/] features posts by an
embedded journalist who calls herself Buffbabe220,
and currently resides in Mosul. As an embedded journalist,
she has witnessed almost every aspect of military life
and traveled extensively within Iraq. Her posts are
honest and often brash. The site features archives
back to July 2004 and contains a commanding list of
war blog links. Stuart Hughes, a world news
producer for the BBC [http://stuarthughes.blogspot.com/2004/06/blogging-exclusive-must-credit-beyond.html],
kept a blog that seemed defunct as of June 28, 2004,
but still contains a rich archive starting in February
2003. Stuart lost his leg from a landmine on April
2, 2003, while covering the Iraq War in the Kurdish
north of the country; his companion journalist was
Designed to provide an overview of Gulf War redux,
as well as the American government situation and civil
liberties issues in the U.S., Warblogs:cc [http://www.warblogs.cc/] is a left-leaning site. A Soldier's Blog [http://www.brandonblog.homestead.com/] features items clipped from news sources, as well as
references provided by Patti Bader. This site has a
distinct right-wing Christian and optimistic flavor. Daily
War News [http://dailywarnews.blogspot.com/], defiantly
anti-war, keeps track of war casualty stories, pulling
from major news sources and networks. It also has a
collection of maps of Iraq topographical, political,
ethnic, oilfields as well as several maps of
Milbloggers (Soldiers' Blogs)
The idea for this article came after reading Jarhead by
Anthony Swofford, which told the story of a marine
who fought in the Gulf War. Reading his words and insights
led to an interest in U.S. soldiers' stories coming
out of Iraq via the Internet. At the time of writing,
there were far too many of these to document, so we
have chosen what we feel is a representative sample
with respect to quality. These blogs function in many
ways, serving as communication conduits for family
and friends, soapboxes, personal diaries, confessionals,
and centers of discourse. The writing styles and abilities
of these young men and women vary, as do their political
beliefs, their passions, their perceptions, and their
experiences. The blogs are a mirror held to the hearts
and minds of the soldiers fighting and serving in Iraq.
Certainly one of the greatest features of blogs is
their interactivity. Many of these blogs have substantial
readerships, and each post often generates a large
number of responses, some of which lead to passionate
Certain soldiers have been pressured to close down
their blogs. The reasons vary, and, while there does
not appear to be any large-scale overall filtering
of soldier blogs, sporadic censorship does seem to
exist. The Operations Security (OPSEC) prohibits disseminating
information on exact troop location, troop movement,
weaponry, intel, and anything else that could potentially
compromise the effectiveness of warfighting and cause
loss of lives. Many soldier bloggers choose to remain
Most of the blogs mentioned here contain links, sometimes
copious, to other soldier's blogs, as well as Iraq-related
blogs and Web sites.
Finally, as one soldier pointed out in his blog, "It's
true what they say that the first casualty of war is
innocence. You watch war movies about the heroes that
fought in previous wars and wish you could have been
fighting with those brave men. Until you live it for
real. I've found the hard way that war is not glamorous.
You quickly lose the idea of being a man fighting for
his country when you have to carry your comrade who
has been wounded in a gun fight. That nobility is lost
quickly. When I go back to Iraq or even when I was
there, it quickly went from freeing a people and fighting
for my country, to just plain trying to stay alive." [http://bootsonground.blogspot.com/] The power of the observations and commentary in the
following blogs ranges from the mundane to the truly
Live from Iraq
In News from Baghdad [http://newsfrombaghdad.blogspot.com/],
a soldier named Jay shares his "views on my day-to-day
life in Baghdad. Just some personal views on the politics
and public views in this war that has been too oftentimes
tainted by the sensationalism of the media." His reporting
of life with his platoon is heartfelt. The Questing
Cat [http://www.thequestingcat.com/blog/index.shtml] features introspective, up-to-date reports by a soldier
serving in the northern sector. Although preferring
to remain anonymous, he serves in the 1st Infantry
Division, is 22 years old, and has served in the army
on active duty for a year and in the National Guard
for about 4 years prior. The blog features archives
back to April 2004. A Candle in the Dark [http://www.patriotfiles.com/blogs/index.php?blog=12] comes from a soldier who calls himself Combat Doc.
He is currently a medic assigned to an Infantry battalion
in Mosul with the Army's new Stryker Brigade. This
blog is largely a soapbox for the author's views on
military and American politics, and how they intersect
with this war. He is, however, an intelligent and articulate
writer. The author of Iraq Calling [http://phlebotomus.blogspot.com/] is also in the medical field. He is married and, while
in Iraq, missed the birth of his fifth child. The author,
an accomplished writer, has seen a lot of action. He
is studying Arabic and Iraqi culture, so his posts
often contain information about that environment seen
from a Western perspective. The archives stretch back
to March 2004 and he typically posts at least once
A different venue for information out of Iraq comes
in the form of The Greenside [http://www.thegreenside.com/],
where the father of Lt. Col. David Bellon, USMC, posts
his marine son's letters. These letters are up-to-date
reports of warfighting and daily observation and retain
the intimacy and personality of letters. Another site
that uses the format of letters is Letters from
A soldier who calls himself "kuri" sends information
on his deployment in the form of letters home to his
wife. These letters contain details of a soldier's
life in Iraq that one would share with a spouse. While
there have been no posts since August 11, 2004, the
site contains extensive archives beginning in February
Dagger Jag [http://daggerjag.blogspot.com/] details a soldier lawyer's life in Iraq with the 1st
Infantry Division's 2nd (DAGGER) Brigade. The author
is literate, articulate, and includes numerous facts
and details about Iraqi culture, military law, and
daily life in Iraq. The site contains archives starting
in January 2004. A different take on Iraq comes from
a soldier who has clearly not found God in a foxhole.
The Atheist Soldier [http://godlesskinser.tblog.com/] signs his posts "kinser." While primarily analytical,
the blog carries numerous links to statistics and continual
rebuttals of media claims. He makes a grand attempt
to debunk what he considers the myths of this war and
emerges as a truly independent thinker.
A Line in the Sand [http://www.missick.com/warblog.htm] is the blog of Chris Missick, a sergeant with the 319th
Signal Battalion of the U.S. Army Reserves. He previously
served in Afghanistan and, while serving his National
Guard duty, was shipped to Iraq. He remains a committed
soldier and hosts an archive extending back to April
2004. OIF [http://meadowsoif.blogspot.com/] features posts by SPC Joseph M Meadows, 449th AG Co.
The blog contains good detail and insight into daily
military life. A quote of Meadow's demonstrates the
power of these blogs, and the two-way communications
medium they establish: "The support of Americans, even
those who may not agree with the war, for me and my
comrades, is amazing." SPC Meadows posts frequently
and often includes photographs. The site contains archives
starting on December 7, 2003. Whitney Deployed [http://www.whitneydeployed.blogspot.com/] contains posts by Michael Whitney, a noncombat officer
(NCO) with the Army who listens to System of a Down,
has a wife and three children, and is deployed in Taji,
Iraq. The site contains archives back to June 2004.
Operation Truth [http://optruth.org/main.cfm] is a nonprofit (501c4), nonpartisan Veterans' organization
that seeks to amplify the soldiers' voice in the American
public dialogue. This organization believes that American
servicemen and women have a voice that deserves to
be heard and that the issues and hardships troops face
Women Soldiers' Blogs
Women in the military are prohibited from participating
in combat, so the duties they are assigned run from
medical corps to mechanical. These blogs give some
insight into what they experience, think, and wish.
Life in This Girl's Army [http://sgtlizzie.blogspot.com/] features posts by a soldier who calls herself Sgt.
Lizzie. Her posts are heartfelt and perceptive. Archives
date back to August 2004. Deployed in Baghdad, Ambotchka [http://ambotchka.blogspot.com/] carries posts from a soldier who calls herself Amber.
She's been a blogger for a long while and has archives
going back to April 2001.
The name of her blog, A View from a Broad [http://www.livejournal.com/users/ginmar/],
portrays the brash sense of humor of the soldier who
calls herself "ginmar" and is on a 1-year deployment
in Iraq. The blog is a candid look at a woman soldier's
perspective from a self-described "Unabashed blue collar as
opposed to college feminist with an interest
in debate and/or bitching."
Desertdiet [http://desertdiet.blogspot.com/] features posts from a 27- year-old hospital corpsman
and laboratory technician. The posts are very graphic
and colored by the emotional tones of someone involved
daily with the injuries and casualties of war. The
site contains archives beginning in July 2004.
My War [http://cbftw.blogspot.com/] is a Web
site run by a soldier with the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry
Division Stryker Brigade Combat Team, who calls himself
CBFTW. He is actually Army Specialist Colby Buzzell.
The site has received a lot of press lately and was
finally closed down by the military. Currently, posts
are irregular and infrequent, and seem no longer written
by Buzzell, which is too bad, for Buzzell is a raw
and talented writer and had a gift for conveying the
verve and chaos of this war. A fellow soldier blogger
commented that CBFTW "captured the soul of what's actually
happening on the streets." An archive still exists
back to June 2004. leviraq [http://leviraq.blogspot.com/] states on his site, "Sorry folks, I've been advised
to stop blogging for the time being." The archives
have been taken down as well.
A national guardsman named Jason started the blog Just
Another Soldier [http://www.recognizant.com/myiraq/] and, in the author's words, was "informed that I
have violated operational security and additionally
that I am smearing my unit and the Army. I, of course,
strenuously disagree." As an alternative to his blog,
he started a mail list, and his archives are available
via e-mail. Recently, he has begun another blog [http://www.justanothersoldier.com] and re-posted his archives extending back to September
2003. e-rocky-confidential [http://www.e-rocky-confidential.blogspot.com] is another blog that received attention from the
press recently. Considering that the author discusses
and links, in his last post (August 11, 2004), to
two other blogs recently shut down by the military,
he has probably succumbed to the same fate. The author
is an anonymous outspoken PFC in the army. His archives
extend back through January 2004.
Back in the USA
The author of turningtables [http://turningtables.blogspot.com/],
identified only as a lower-ranked Army sergeant, calls
himself "moja" and is now back in the U.S. The blog
features archives from June 2003. Posts to this blog
are now infrequent, but reflect, as all these sites
do, the contrast between life in the U.S. and life
as a warrior in Iraq. Boots on the Ground [http://bootsonground.blogspot.com/] depicts the daily life of a soldier in the Army who
was stationed in Baghdad, returned to the U.S., and,
as of this writing, is scheduled to return to Iraq.
Posts are regular and typically no more than 7 days
apart. The site contains an archive dating back to
October 2003. Doc in a Box [http://www.docinthebox.blogspot.com/] is the blog of Sean Dustman, a Corpsman with a Marine
Helo Squadron. Dustman is no longer in Iraq, but this
blog features great archives dating from January 2004.
Many of the current posts, however, are fairly mundane
renditions of a day-in-the-life stateside.
Koka Sexton, an army reservist from the 341st Military
Police Company who has returned to California after
a 14-month tour in Iraq, is the author of A Walk
Through the Valley of Death [http://www.citizen-soldier.blogspot.com/],
a blog now dedicated to analysis and news of the war
and related issues, particularly terrorism.
Reflecting regular people's lives in Iraq, these
blogs offer insights into the daily situation of life
under U.S. occupation and the messiness of attempting
to transition from a dictatorship to a democracy. Most
of these bloggers reside in Baghdad, and all of them
appear to be well-educated, professionally employed,
upper-middle class citizens. From pro-American to highly
critical, these blogs offer unfiltered opinions and
accounts of life in a war-torn country.
Where Is Raed? [http://dear_raed.blogspot.com/],
the most "famous" Iraqi blog, was the first to come
to light. First launching on September 9, 2002, and
calling himself Salam Pax, the blogger claimed to be
a 29-year-old Iraqi architect and quickly won the attention
of thousands for his sense of irony and humor in the
face of extreme adversity. Peter Maass of Slate.com
calls him "the Anne Frank of the war...and its Elvis." The
site has not been updated since August 2004, but Salam
has collected many of his posts in a recently released
book entitled Salam Pax: The Clandestine Diary of
an Ordinary Iraqi. Salam was present in Baghdad
before, during, and after operation "Shock and Awe" and
his blog contains archives from December 2002.
The blog Iraq Blog Count [http://www.iraqblogcount.blogspot.com/] features contributions from 12 separate bloggers, providing
disparate views of life in and about Iraq. Not all
of these bloggers currently reside in Iraq. Those that
do are self-identified as students living in Baghdad
and Mosul. The site updates frequently and has archives
dating back to November 2003, as well as links to over
100 other blogs. Posts are largely anti-war in nature.
Written by three brothers, two employed as dentists,
one as a doctor, all born in Baghdad and currently
living in Iraq (Samawa City, Basra, and Baghdad), Iraq
the Model [http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/] is
frequently updated and features archives dating to
November 2003. One of the brothers recently helped
form and register the "Iraqi Pro-Democracy Party," which
will participate in the upcoming elections. The authors
are pro-American, pro-democratic, and very happy that
Saddam is gone.
Another of the better-known Iraqi blogs, Baghdad
is authored by a woman who calls herself "Riverbend." Riverbend
identifies herself as a 23-year-old engineer living
in Baghdad. She is a potent and articulate writer
and not sympathetic to the current military action
in her country. Archives are available from August
2003. A Star From Mosul [http://astarfrommosul.blogspot.com/] is the blog of a 16-year-old Iraqi girl living in
Mosul. She writes about her experiences in school
and her hopes for further study at a university,
as well as the disruptions of wartime life (the electricity
being shut off for 35 hours) and her take on the
current political situation. She also seems to have
a lively on-going dialogue with many of those who
post comments to her site. Baghdad Girl [http://baghdadgirl.blogspot.com/] is written by 13-year-old Raghda Zaid, a school girl
in Baghdad. This pink-colored blog is primarily full
of photos of cats and accounts of Raghda's family
and school life, punctuated every few posts by brief
accounts of what it's like to live in a war-zone.
The innocence of this site accentuates the violence
that surrounds her and other children in Iraq and
their attempts to remain ordinary kids.
Healing Iraq [http://healingiraq.blogspot.com/] is written by Zeyad, born of Sunni Muslim parents in
Baghdad. Currently a dentist in residency, his was
the first Iraqi blog to open a "Comments" section.
His stated aim is to present the positive side of Iraq.
He regularly posts eyewitness accounts of the chaos
and violence that surround him while he tries to go
on with his studies and his life. Another dentist blogger
authors Iraq at a Glance [http://iraqataglance.blogspot.com/].
Living in Baghdad, this writer is optimistic about
Iraq's future and has some interesting analysis of
the influence of clerics and insurgents, the way that
American soldiers behave in Iraq, and the role of kidnappings
in funding terrorists. The blog's tone is one of hope
for Iraq's future. Written by an engineer in Baghdad, The
Mesopotamian [http://messopotamian.blogspot.com/] is also very pro-American and pro-democratic. Many
of the posts come in the form of offering advice for
the U.S. military, how best to use their forces, where
attention needs to be paid, and explanations of the
Sunni and Shiite relations. He advocates a military
approach to "quelling the armed and terrorist revolt."
Raed in the Middle [http://raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com/] is highly critical of the U.S. presence. Raed (the
same Raed who contributes frequently to Salam Pax's
blog) brings together news reports from diverse sources
and adds his own commentary to what is occurring in
the Middle East. Knowledgeable, informative, and opinionated,
Raed's blog offers a critical look at Iraq's state
of affairs. A Family in Baghdad [http://afamilyinbaghdad.blogspot.com/] is written by a mother and three sons (including the
Raed of "Raed in the Middle"). This blog is characterized
as a family's diary, though most of the posts are written
by the mother, Faiza. She links to her son's individual
blogs as well. Faiza is clearly a strong, independent
woman, and she writes both about the continuing war
in Iraq and about her daily life, such as moving from
one residence to another, or what it's like when a
bomb goes off near where you are buying vegetables.
Written by an engineering student, Sun of Iraq [http://sunofiraq.blogspot.com/] has infrequent posts and is unpolished in comparison
to other Iraqi blogs. This blogger is pro-democratic
and is trying to both understand and explain the tensions
in Iraq and the ways that his country can move forward.
And finally, Iraq Humanity [http://iraqidoctor.blogspot.com/] is a sparsely posted blog by a 20-year-old medical
student at Al-Nahrain University in Baghdadwho offers
an interesting view of life in war-time Iraq that
of the hospital. With reports of explosions, exam results,
and fellow student debates about the American presence,
this blog could prove of great interest as the U.S.
extends its stay. Hopefully Dr. Saif will write more.
Critiques of the Iraq War
These blogs look at the war from progressive or legal
viewpoints to offer critiques of the U.S. administration's
handling of Iraq, as well as other foreign policy decisions
Intel Dump [http://www.intel-dump.com/] features
military analysis on the situation in Iraq, written
by former Army officer Phil Carter. This blog offers
an in-depth, intriguing look at the military, often
from a legalistic viewpoint: "A daily record of America's
post-9/11 impact on the world."
The War in Context [http://www.warincontext.org/] consists of articles, often with comments from blogger
Paul Woodward, primarily about the war in Iraq, as
well as other locales in which America exerts its influence.
This blog serves as a compilation of reports and critiques.
Woodward's take is critical of the U.S. administration's
decisions and direction. With archives dating back
to October 2001, this blog offers a historical, focused
view on U.S. hegemony.
Informed Comment [http://www.juancole.com/] is written by a professor of history at the University
of Michigan. This blog clearly serves as a critique
of the Bush administration and "neocon" policies that
have embroiled the U.S. in war. Informed, passionate,
and provocative, this blog (winner of the 2003 Koufax
Award for Best Expert Blog) is a good place to check
out progressive thought on where the U.S. is headed
and how we got where we are.
As extensive as the preceding collection of Iraqi
blogs is, it represents only the tip of the iceberg.
The phenomenon of blogging is growing dynamically.
Ordinary people are motivated and energized by technology
that allows their voices, insights, observations, and
opinions to be broadcast worldwide. Given the short
time the Internet has existed and the oppressive controls
of conventional media outlets, blogging is truly a
miracle. And there is no question that it will represent
a significant journalistic force in future conflicts,
disasters, and events. Blogs have also begun to contribute
significantly to public discourse.
There is a refreshing lack of pretension and dishonesty
in most of these blogs. Whether one agrees with the
views of the authors or not, the candid depictions
can often be disarming. We found ourselves, again and
again, connecting with the authors as people and secondarily
responding to their viewpoints. We are optimistic that
the power of these blogs to galvanize us as human beings
and world citizens will allow us to respect even those
with whom we disagree.
Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there is no organized
archiving of this information. A task for librarians
and archivists and historians and news source devotees