The Null Device

Where is Raed?

Meet one of the people we're soon going to be bombing into dust in the name of God, Liberty and the right to cheap gasoline: Where is Raed?, a blog run by a young Iraqi. A combination of the usual blog trivia and joking, dispatches from Baghdad, astute and somewhat cynical observations, and an underlying anxiety about the small everyday details likely to be annihilated in the upcoming carpet-bombing. The author of the blog comes across as urbane, cultured and very much like us. In fact, you could imagine much of it having been written in East Berlin in 1988 (though, obviously, not as a blog). Interestingly enough, there is an open disrespect for the official lines of the Ba'athist dictatorship; perhaps a sign that Saddam's police state isn't what it used to be? Mind you, the Americans' intentions don't get off lightly. And then there are his most astute observations of anti-war activists:
Those foreigners are all over the place, I think I know what it should be called: War Tourism. betcha they will be out of here faster than you can say 'Iraqi-peace-team' when things get a bit too hot. It must have been a slow day for news people because the Mutanabi Street was full of them, or Iraqis selling second hand books have become important news items. At least three news teams were filming in that crowded street with their Iraqi minders shooing people away from the cameras. Later on I walked thru Al-Rasheed and Al-Sadoon and they were all over. Not news teams this time but the War Tourists, some of them even carrying backpacks which have [Iraq peace team] written on them in gold marker. And I guess we will be getting more tourists soon. Come on, have a couple of days on us. They will be accommodating you in Al-Rasheed Hotel for free and you get the official sight seeing tour, a couple of lunches with people you can tell your kids you met, when they are shown on CNN and you get to be on TV singing "give peace a chance" in front of the UN building in Abu Nawas (don't miss the excellent grilled fish - masgoof - while you are there, the restaurants have a good view of one of the oldest presidential palaces). I know they all mean well, but I really don't think coming here and getting photographed with Iraqi officials is helping their "cause". Do thy really want to stand up and risk their lives for this regime. If you are so in love with the situation here, be my guest let's trade places because if it is a "cause" for you, for me it's my life and the way I have to go thru it.

(Best of luck, Salam. Do try and stay out of danger, and keep blogging.) (via 1.0)

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