Friday, February 15, 2008


In forming an impression of what is going on in Iraq, of the ebb and the tend of the place, as opposed to a random swatch of statistics and spun language, I find the media mostly useless.

Without intending to do it, I've assembled my own battery of online sources, which combine in my mind in a certain recipe to give my impression of where things stand. Nearly all are people who are there. Some are American, some Iraqi. Some are in uniform. Few are in authority. They are in different jobs and different places. All want the place to succeed. All are skeptical about that, and about everything else. All are passionate, but wise.

Here is one of them. I won't say Iraq is a "success" until she does. A cosmopolitan Iraqi woman, she came home to help rebuild the place. That ought to be honor enough for one life. Since then, she's watched the stupidity of bureaucracy and politics, both American and Iraqi, from within the Green Zone.

Her blog is both personal and observant. It is not detatched. Real life is not detatched. Any claims of progress, or failure, in Baghdad that are made to serve domestic U.S. political purposes won't fly with her. And she'll tell you.

Hers is one view, not the whole view, but one that can't be ignored. If you want to read a smart, empassioned, skeptical Iraqi woman in Iraq, I recommend her in place of the Saddam-glamored Riverbend. Frankly, if she were in any town on the globe, I'd look to people like her to gauge whether the place is thriving or not. She just happens to be in Baghdad.

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