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Last updated on March 5th, 2018 at 01:33 pm
Columnist Kathleen Parker breaks the media silence on a good news story out of Iraq:
Regular travelers of the blogosphere, that rare and wonderful new universe on where bloggers post news, commentary and other ruminations on the Web, may be familiar with the names Omar and Mohammed.
They, too, are bloggers. In Iraq with brother Ali, they created a blog called Iraq the Model, through which they�ve kept the blogosphere abreast of events from their native, on-the-ground perspective.
Last week, Omar, 24, and Mohammed, 35, both dentists, came to the United States to meet their American blogging counterparts and to shake hands with someone they hold in high esteem � President George W. Bush. They wanted to thank him.
The two Iraqi brothers, who are Sunni, came to the United States under the sponsorship of Spirit of America, a nonprofit organization founded by technology entrepreneur Jim Hake that helps Americans serving abroad improve the lives of others.
Several bloggers have posted reports of last week�s historic human intersection that began in cyberspace. Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine wrote: �They have tremendous courage doing what they are doing: They grab onto free speech like men dying of thirst who finally come upon the oasis. They use their free speech with a gusto we should all admire and aspire to. They use it improve their nation and their future.�
Damn straight. Revolting Juan Cole is suspicious of Iraq the Model, however; Jarvis responds appropriately. So does Ali:
I’ve exposed you once Dr. Cole and so I did to you precious Riverbend, but I, and my brothers have great expectations for our country and we spend most of our time trying to make them come true. However, if you ever insult my brothers again, I’ll make sure to make time for you with a free bonus to your Riverbend. So don’t let me put you on my mind or else you’d better focus on something other than Iraq. Talk about Lebanon, or Yemen. Yemen is good! You haven’t messed up with a Yemeni blogger I assume? Or if you can’t live without talking about Iraq, then keep it poetic. It saves my time and your reputation.
UPDATE. Another Iraqi wants to meet the Prez.
UPDATE II. Roger L. Simon meets Omar and Mohammed. So does Patterico.
UPDATE III. Judith Weiss has your complete Omar-and-Mohammed US journey roundup.
I’ll hazard a suspicion that Riverbend is a fake.
Note the following:
* a significant amount of fairly detailed comment on American politics;
* some fine day-to-day detail missing about Iraq – for example, we are conveniently told about relatives from Falloojeh, but where in Falloojeh do they live?
* links to Dilbert and Slashdot – what you would expect from someone working in IT in a large corporate environment – what would be the appeal to an Iraqi?
So my guess is:
a lefty working in IT somewhere in corporate America, far away from Iraq.
I find the reasoning behind believing the brothers are connected with some US ‘op’ very amusing. If you have time, read the linked article (above) at Cole’s site. Also look at the site Cole links to.
(LGF, Roger Simon, and Jarvis all have very amusing follow ups.)
Don’t take anything at face value when some sort of US sponsored ‘op’ explanation will do. Cole’s classes must be very amusing. I feel bad for his students and their parents who help pay this guy’s salary.
Academia in the US. A wonderful bastion of anti-Americanism.
In the comments to this thread an alum of the university where Cole teaches relates a conversation he had with some university people about Cole.
Right-Wing PlotPosted by CJosephson on 2004 12 15 at 11:09 PM • permalink
is it just me or is “juan cole” a poncey name. john cole is boring but ok. juan sanchez makes the surname match the first name, etc. john sanchez wouldn’t be out of order either. but “juan cole” just doesn’t work, like putting pineapple on pizza sort of not working.
plus it sounds like “wank hole”Posted by benson swears a lot on 2004 12 16 at 02:18 AM • permalink
btw that buzzmachine dork jarvis is a dork. if he’s so pro iraq freedom why the hell was he a kerry supporter. what a girl. might want to get your shit straight next time jeffy boy.Posted by benson swears a lot on 2004 12 16 at 02:20 AM • permalink
Riverbend, according to the bros themselves, IIRC, comes from a Ba’thist family whose prosperity came from actively supporting Saddam. Taking her as an example is the same as it would have been if the New York Times had published a sob-story like this in 1946 to highlight postwar European hardship…
“Ever since the damned Amis invaded Stuttgart Uncle Fritz has lost his job as the neighborhood gauleiter. Now he just sits in the corner switching the lamp on and off, staring at the stitching…”Posted by richard mcenroe on 2004 12 16 at 03:41 AM • permalink
Well, Juan Cole translates as “John Cabbage.” I take that to mean he’s either not real and bragging about being paid off, or he is real and is being paid off. After all, cabbage has long been slang for big money. (In his case, maybe millions of pre-invasion dinars.)Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2004 12 16 at 11:56 AM • permalink
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Bah, must be another CIA plant!