Blogging in Baghdad

Yesterday, I wrote about how amazing it is to get news from all round the world via the internet. (I won’t mention that the i-net was first brought to the grateful public by DARPA, the Pentagon shop that most recently won fame by sponsoring the Return of John Poindexter and Total Information Awareness. I put that fact in the category of “unintended consequences”, aka “collateral benefits”.)
But here’s an even more amazing thing: blogs from Baghdad. And in the lead-up to this terrible juggernaut of a war…
The one I’ve been reading is ‘Where is Raed? by Raid Jarrar. What I like about Raid’s blog is how immediate, how quotidien, yet how vivid some of his writing is.
I guess some people up to 120 yrs or so had ham radios they could use to communicate across front-lines in a war. When I lived in Lebanon in the 1970s, many people would speak by ground-line phone across that front-line. (My husband at the time, a Lebanese national, had family on both sides of the “Green Line”.) I also remember at the beginning of the Very First Gulf War– the one that started when Saddam invaded Iran, back in 1980– that my then-spouse was covering the Iran side and I was covering the Iraq side, and we would occasionally communicate by telex, through a helpful operator in Kuwait who would re-key our messages from one machine to another. (Kids today don’t even know what a telex is??) Cumbersome click-clacking that was, too.
But now, with cyber-comms, we can get almost real-time communications, multi-media, that cross “front-lines” even halfway around the globe… And in the run-up to such a potentially disastrous war…
What does this mean about the human condition? I’m still trying to figure this out. All help appreciated.
If you don’t have time to go to Raid’s blog, here’s a small excerpt from a Jan 31 posting that for some reason I found very poignant:
“a car ride to al-mansour to get sandwiches, late at night.
10 new sandbag protected trenches seen on the way. appetite totally ruined by thoughts of who will use them and what will happen along these roads.
maybe exploration journey tomorrow to see what else is being done to baghdad.
I am either angry or scared i can’t make up my mind.