Mudcat Café message #1376314 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1376314
Posted By: Amos
10-Jan-05 - 09:01 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
The following, a different perspective, is from the Washington Post
(Full article found here.

Iraqi Bloggers, In the News And Critiquing It

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 20, 2004; Page C01

Omar Fadhil says the media are painting far too dark a portrait of Iraq.

Outsiders "think there is fighting at every corner, people can't walk the streets, the economy is devastated and people are starving," he says. "No one is showing the good news coming from Iraq. That's usually ignored. Things are difficult, but life is going on."

Fadhil, 24, is a dentist in Baghdad. He and his two brothers are doing more than just griping about the coverage; they are at the forefront of the first wave of Iraqi Internet bloggers, engaging in a form of expression that was impossible under Saddam Hussein.

On a visit to Washington earlier this month, Omar and his sibling Mohammed, 35, who is also a dentist, found themselves ushered into the Oval Office for a meeting with President Bush after a last-minute invitation. The president asked their views on Iraqi politics and assured them that the United States will not leave until the job is done.

Pretty heady stuff for two men who had never before been outside their country.

In an interview, Omar and Mohammed described their excitement at being able to say what they think and reach about 7,000 people each day. Their English-language blog, IraqtheModel, is part journal, part travelogue and part political soapbox.

"In 35 years under the Saddam regime, we learned to protect ourselves" by not speaking out in public, says Mohammed. In fact, he hid from authorities for six years after refusing to join the Iraqi army. "Now we want to say in a loud and clear voice that we welcome American troops and consider this a liberation, not an occupation."