First, regarding the 'baby bomb' incident. Iraqis have been talking about it since Friday. Nobody has either denied or confirmed it officially. I also read about it in Azzaman, an independent Iraqi newspaper published in Iraq and the UK and edited by Sa'ad Al-Bazzaz a highly respected Iraqi journalist. Saddam's Mukhabarat agents tried to assasinate him more than once in both Jordan and the UK. They never print urban legends or rumours. It is currently the number one newspaper in postwar Iraq. I highly doubt they would publish such a story without sufficient evidence. I tried hard searching for other sources but without any luck.
I didn't make up the story. And I would never put propaganda on this blog. You can check it out for yourself on their October 25 edition (if you can read Arabic).
Having said that I must reiterate that I am not a journalist. I'm merely trying to give you an idea on how the average Iraqi think about such events, or what kind of stories are circulated on the streets. And since I hear about these incidents from colleagues at work and people in my neighbourhood I may err sometimes. I don't claim that what I write is the ultimate truth. You should investigate for yourself, follow the news, look at other Iraqi blogs, and then decide for yourself.
Second, some people in the comments section pointed out a blog http://riverSbendblog.blogspot.com, which seems to have been around for a while. I only heard about it yesterday. I am not affiliated with it at all. It looks like an Iraqi or someone from the CPA writing his own perspective on current events. Interesting to read I would say if the author didn't post under Riverbend's name.
And while we are discussing Riverbend I wish that readers wouldn't email me any insulting and inappropriate remarks about her. I won't reply to any of these. I don't want to blindly defend her since I'm sure she wouldn't do the same. Her writing had a huge influence on me. I emailed her before I started this blog commending her effort and asking for her advice and she ignored me. Someone recently forwarded me an email from her in which she expresses her doubts about my Iraqi identity. I was sad to hear it but fine with me.
Nevertheless she has her viewpoint and it shouldn't be disregarded just because it doesn't conform yours. Her anti-american or anti-war tone doesn't make it less important. She is the only Iraqi woman writing a weblog at the moment. I don't know anything about Ishtar or where she is right now, I just hope she is safe and will return to blogging. There was another Iraqi woman Zainab who started a blog at realwomenonline.com a while ago but stopped after people mercilessly attacked her. I'll be trying to get more women to blog from Iraq. But in the meantime you have to read all the Iraqi weblogs you can find to get the whole picture. Remember differing views are normal and not a bad thing. No two Iraqis think the same, but everyone wants a safer, stable, prosperous and democratic Iraq I'm sure.
Third, regarding my links to the ADL or the MEMRI. If you don't like them, don't link to them. I'm getting bored of emails bitching about them. I do not necessarily agree with everything on these sites, but nonetheless they are good sources of information on middle eastern and Arabic media. My linking to them doesn't mean I'm: anti-arab, anti-islam, Mossad agent, CIA psyop, Israeli reporter, Bushie, Zionist conspirator, American conservative,...etc. Whatever. People are reading TOO much in between the lines. Enough of that.
Four, when I started this blog I didn't plan to be anonymous. I have posted a profile of myself as a seperate page to give some background. Note that I am not doing this in order to 'prove' anything to anyone. Just to put an end to the endless questions so we can move on to other important matters.
Five, I don't claim my views or opinions to represent all Iraqis. Iraqis are an extremely diverse people on almost every issue. I can however safely assume that educated Iraqis agree with me on many many things.
Six, about the comments section. I will be asking a trustworthy friend to handle it. Just to filter the spammers and trolls. I'll make sure that he doesn't delete any post however negative it is. The comments will remain open for all and unmoderated. In return for this I only ask posters to try to stay on topic and to follow the most basic rules of civil discourse.
I have been noticing some wonderful and very active posters. Now I'm starting to recognize them by their names and know a bit about each one's opinions. Please continue this. I can't say I can respond to the comments all the time. Since I only get about an hour online every day. So I have to copy and paste the comments on a word file and read them all at home. Also I would like to take this chance to ask Wafa, Omeed, Muthana, Hadi, b d, zumzum45, and Ghaydaa (My Iraqi readers and friends) to post more often, and to try to respond to any questions other people may post in the comments section. I would greatly appreciate that.
Seven, I do try hard to reply to most of the emails I get, but its becoming impossible. Please understand this. Healing Iraq is occupying a significant amount of my life day by day. My family and friends here are complaining. Usually I'm an extremely lazy person 'tanbal'. I am trying not to exhaust myself. At the same time I wouldn't even dream of leaving it. It has become a very addicting habit. And I don't regret that at all.