October 5, 2004

On The Ground

It's so hard to know what's really going on in Iraq, and almost impossible to stay up on the overall War on Terror, even for Internet addicts like me. We get next to nothing from the Bush administration, least of all any admission that things might be going less than swimmingly. The idea there may be to try to counterbalance the all-quagmire-all-the-time theme of major media coverage, but I'm afraid that doesn't work. Bloggers offer some of the best resources available. Here are a few that help me.

Command Post does a good job on their Iraq Page of collecting and presenting major media stories as they appear. And Arthur Chrenkoff has become absolutely indispensable with his "Good News" series, which by the way is anything but a pro-war sugarcoating of the situation in the Middle East. It is serious, it is exhaustive and it is balanced. If you read only one news resource on Iraq, make this it.

I have long been a fan of Dan Darling's Regnum Crucis blog. Dan has an encyclopedic grasp of the players, trends and events in the War on Terror, and his commentary is always an education for me. Dan recommends reading Iraqi blogs as a way to get a feel for life on the ground in Iraq. He has a whole blogroll section devoted to them, and advises us to "read them all", and for good reason. They range in tone from fiercely anti-war and anti-Bush to sincere gratitude to America, to utter frustration at the challenges and dangers of just living in such a chaotic place. Darling notes that we don't really know if all these blogs even originate in Iraq, but it's hard to imagine some of this gut-wrenching testimony being phony.

A good place to start might be a site called Iraq The Model , one of the more widely read of the genre. Alaa of The Mesopotamian relates that a close relative is kidnapped for ransom, an increasingly common event in a country still largely devoid of civic order. They paid, they got their loved one back. It's happening hundreds of times a day. Incredible. And I think I have stress when my favorite football team is behind in the 4th quarter.

Jihad Watch is another good WOT information resource that is becoming a habit for me. And make Belmont Club a regular stop for Wretchard's unique perspectives on the war and other stuff. Enough? Enough.

Posted by dan at October 5, 2004 8:24 PM