Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Iraq Slogger -- New to the aggregator

Iraq Slogger is a recently organized group blog/news source. I saw it first when Zayed noted at his blog that a post was cross-posted at Iraq Slogger. Today it showed up on Blogsnow and I added it to the aggregator. At a glance it looks pretty hot. Already I have learned from the maps link that the Saddam hanging was not staged in the Green Zone but at another Baghdad location.

Why the name "IraqSlogger"?

We wanted a distinctive, memorable name, and Donald Rumsfeld provided us with inspiration. In one of his legendary "snowflake" memos -- one that was leaked and reported by USA Today -- he referred to the war in Iraq as "a long, hard slog." We agree. Thus, everyone involved in and concerned with Iraq is a slogger. Your editors blog and slog and serve up the best we can offer on Iraq. Hence the name IraqSlogger.

Who produces IraqSlogger?

The founding team includes Eason Jordan, Robert Young Pelton, Nir Rosen, Zeyad, Amer Mohsen, and Anna Shen. Our contributors include 50 Iraq-based correspondents, experts, and tipsters; and reporters and Iraq analysts in the U.S. and elsewhere. If you want to learn more about our founding team, most of us have links to our personal Web sites in the "links" section of the IraqSlogger home page. IraqSlogger is a service of Praedict, about which you can learn more by clicking on the "AboutUs" heading in the category bar just under our logo on the home page.

I report, you decided. Here is a sample of what I found.
My friend is a 21 year old Sunni Turkmen. He works in his father's shop in the industrial district of Kirkuk. One day he was kidnapped from his home near the local municipal government building. The kidnappers asked for a ransom of one hundred thousand dollars. The kidnappers called my friend’s family every day and tortured him so the family could hear his cries over the phone. They threatened to send one of his fingers for every day in which the ransom was late. On the eighth day my friend escaped by bribing one of his kidnappers, buying him a car. He said that every kidnapper received $1000 for the kidnapping and did not know where the rest of the money went. After he escaped my friend found a patrol of Iraqi police fifty meters away from the house where he was being held captive. All the gang members escaped save two. The police knew the identities of the other kidnappers. One month after the kidnapping the kidnappers sent threatening text messages to my friend’s cell phone. They threatened to plant bombs by the door of his home and threatened to kill him if he did not give them two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. My friend’s family saw no other solution other than to flee Iraq permanently.

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