The Daily Demarche
Monday, December 13, 2004
True Blogging Heroes: A Modest Proposal
Blogs are amazing things. They allow anyone with a computer, internet connection, and an opinion to publish their thoughts to the whole world. Everyone knows that bloggers were on the case when Dan Rather made what turned out to be spurious claims about George Bush’s Texas Air National Guard record. At the time, some parts of the MSM were quite disdainful of the so-called Pajamahideen. To a certain extent, however, they were right. Most bloggers are essentially people who sit behind a computer in the comfort of their own homes and write about things with great self-induced authority. Sometimes, the things we write about from such relative safety are, for people on the ground, matters of life and death.

That’s why I’d like to salute two people who I consider true heroes of the blogoshpere. Omar and Mohammed of Iraq the Model, one of the many Iraqi blogs, have briefly decamped to the United States. While we here at the Daily Demarche are absolutely thrilled when one of our entries racks up twenty comments, Iraq the Model posts routinely generate 300 or more comments. The bloggers seem to be having a good trip - among other things, they met with President Bush. Those members of our readership who would like to learn more about the two men’s trip and haven’t done so have a number of sources at their disposal, including Winds of Change and Jeff Jarvis.

What’s more, in addition to being bloggers and having a day job, they’ve founded a political party. I don’t know what their chances in the next election are, but that is almost beside the point. I encourage our readers to follow along with them as they make ready for an election that, despite the vehement opposition from many liberals who ought to know better, will be of crucial importance to Iraq and to the Middle East (for more on this, see this post).

There are a number of Iraqi bloggers, and to be sure some of them are anti-Bush, anti American, and so on, just as some of them, like Iraq the Model, are optimistic about the future of Iraq and quite pro-American. I’m going to spare our readers the old platitude about it being a good thing that these voices can now emerge thanks to Operation Iraqi Freedom (if only because I figure you already knew that).

What I’d like to highlight is that while our colleagues at the Diplomad, Dr Demarche and myself, as well as Glenn Reynolds, Andrew Sullivan, Atrios, Daily Kos, et al are sitting on our butts risking nothing more than carpal tunnel syndrome, these guys are right at the sharp end of the most pressing world issue of the day, at considerably greater risk. That they have the time and presence of mind to write down their thoughts and opinions and, in the case of Iraq the Model, take part in the nascent political process in this petri-dish environment is to me proof that courage exists. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to call these men heroes.

The Nobel Peace Prize Committee has given its “prestigious” prize to Yasser Arafat (the father of modern terrorism), Jimmy Carter (for nothing other than opposing the Iraq war), and some Kenyan lady (for planting a bunch of trees). Perhaps the Committee could redeem itself by considering some truly courageous individuals such as those at Iraq the Model. Heck, what about a prize for a whole group of Iraqi bloggers, spanning the entire political spectrum?

It’s the holiday season - I can make a wish, can’t I?


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dé·marche 1) A course of action; a maneuver. 2) A diplomatic representation or protest 3) A statement or protest addressed by citizens to public authorities.

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