Salam Adil puts together a link summary of Iraqi blogs all in one post. From Riverbend to Baghdad Girl he covers the whole picture. There seems to be no hidden agenda to this collection.
If I go slowly and read each one separately I can identify and empathise with every one. When I allow myself to consider them all as a group I cannot imagine that they are all from the same place. I feel like one of the blind sages looking at an elephant.
The stream of consciousness from Neurotic Iraqi Wife captures the confusion as well as any.
The excerpt catches this:
Neurotic Wife is embarrassed for living in the Green Zone. She talks to some people from the 'real' Baghdad: "One of them gave me an evil smile and said sarcastically 'why dont you come out and see how we are living, see how the real Iraqis are surviving' he said it with such contempt that really hurt me...I didnt know what to tell him...I said I want to go out of this place and see the real Baghdad, but Im not allowed to...He then replied again with that sarcastic voice 'come and stay just for one day without electricity, come and stay and feel the fear we have everyday from getting killed for no reason whatsoever...' I stared at him...and said the only thing we all say here 'Allah Kareem' (God is generous' or Inshallah (God willing) things will get better...But yet I felt so lame...."...and more. But if you read the entire post you come to a much longer, more elaborate picture. She concludes with this:
On a last note...if you think a civil war is taking place here then you are wrong...Iraq has become a huge terrorist pocket....Sunni's, Shia's, kids, elderly, women, men, working with coalition forces,working with Iraqis, makes no difference anymore....Its you and your luck...Its you and your time...Its one of those "in the wrong place at the wrong time"....thats how it is....This is the reality of things....Wrong Place....Wrong Time....
Salam Adil is providing a much needed overview that more people need to see. It makes a lot of the political carping so very irrelevant. The war has torn the scab off an injury. The wound may have stopped bleeding but serious infections are setting in and no one has found the right medicine or combination of medicines to promote healing. Where is the credible voice that will be heard and trusted by all parties?
When I sense the unalloyed sweetness of Baghdad's student cat-blogger and try to imagine the life she sees around her it makes me want to cry.