2003 May 10 Saturday
Salam Pax Is Back At Where Is Raed

Salam Pax survived the war in Iraq and is back posting on his Where is Raed blog. He has some lengthy posts which Diana Moon has received from him. If blogspot offset links are working (never a sure thing) then you can find his big war diary blog post here. Here's a great excerpt:

I still can’t bring myself to sleep upstairs, not that anything too serious happened after that night but I rather sleep under as many walls and roofs as possible, fist size shrapnel gets thru the first wall but might be stopped by the next, seen that and learned my lesson. So the million dollar question is of course “what the fuck happened?”. (Syrian/Lebanese/Iraqi) Fedayeen were somewhere in the area.

It has become a swear word, dirtyfilthy and always followed by a barrage of verbal abuse. Syrian, Lebanese and of course Iraqi sickos who are stupid enough to believe the Jennah-under-martyrs-feet rubbish. They want to die in the name of Allah, so what do they do? Do they stand in front of “kafeer infidel aggressor”? No they don’t because they are chicken shit. They go hide in civilian districts to shoot a single useless mortar shell or a couple of Kalashnikov shots which bounce without any effect on the armored vehicles. But the answer they get to that single shot is a hell of mortars or whatever on all the houses in the area from where the shot came. This has been happening all over Baghdad, and in many places people were not as lucky as we have been here in our block.

Sometimes you didn’t even know that those creepy fucks have moved into your street for the night. All over Baghdad you see the black cloth with the names of people killed during these things. It is even worse when the Americans decide to go into full battle mode on these fedayeen, right there between the houses. I have seen what has happened in Jamia and Adhamiya districts. One woman was too afraid to go out of her house hours after the attack because she had pieces of one of these fedayeen on her lawn.

Now whenever fedayeen are seen they are being chased away. Sometimes with rocks and stones if not guns. If you have them in your neighborhood you will not be able to sleep peacefully. The stupid fucks. For some reason the argument that if he wants to die then he should do it alone and not take a whole block down with him does not hit home.

His descriptions of life in Baghdad during the war show either how much journalists never find out or do find out but never bother to report. Occasionally I come across accounts of observers living in war zones claiming that many Western journalists stick closely to their hotel or just go out to interview major figures. Certainly there are aspects of Pax's account that strike me as things we should have learned in greater detail from the media. His above account about Baghdadi attitudes toward the fedayeen is a great example.

There are Iraqi reporters who are writing for local newly started newspapers. Western journalism organizations ought to look at what these journalists are writing in Arabic for Iraqi consumption and see whether some of it ought to be translated into English for our consumption.

What would be really great would be if some organization would provide funding for internet access to an assortment of Iraqis who would agree to do blog posting in exchange for their access. This could be done by paying for their access to some internet access cafe of the sort that will shortly be popping on in Iraq.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 May 10 01:23 AM  Media Critique


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