Thursday, June 02, 2005

Islamo-Feminism Alive and Well in Basra

Steven Vincent visits an Islamo-feminist in Basra.
After giving Layla a warm greeting (the girl seems to know everyone in town!), the GC member ushers us through the house into a rectangular room--furniture pushed, Arab-style, against the wall--and we sit on sofas beneath framed Koranic inscriptions and pictures of Imams Ali and Hussain, in addition to the late Ayatollah Hakim. A young boy pads in with the inevitable Pepsis (my sugar intake has tripled since I came here) and we begin to talk. It's rather...peculiar, I guess is the appropriate converse with a human being who is essentially peering through a narrow gap in a fabric wall, but not half as strange as I find the woman seated beside Haifa, who is completely covered in black--face, hands, feet, not an centimeter of flesh exposed, looking for all the world like something out of Lord of the Rings.

Read the whole entry.


Recently the two estranged Hitchens brothers, Peter and Christopher, got together on stage to talk to each other after years of silence. Throughtout the talk, they refused to look directly at each other, instead letting their words knife at each other. At the end an audiece member spoke up and made a request.
Audience member: You've been casting furtive glances at each other throughout the whole event but you've never yet made eye contact. Would you for this final moment, look each other in the eye?

CH: You don't know what we've just been through. We were asked by James Naughtie to do an on-radio handshake, [and] I thought it was a handshake made for radio.

Audience member So will you do it?

[CH and PH look briefly at each other]

PH: They want everything to be all right.

CH: They want a happy ending - that's their problem.

Heh heh. That is BEAUTIFUL.

Of course, I hope this doesn't happen to the Fadhil brothers.


A few weeks ago USA Today printed an article on the Milbloggers. They spoke with one of my favorite writers, Jason Van Steenwyk, about the increase in bloggers in the military.
Also driving the growth: The feeling among some troops that the "mainstream media" aren't telling the whole story about what's happening in Iraq.

"Look at the run-up to the Iraqi elections," says Jason Van Steenwyk, a captain in the Florida National Guard who writes the blog Countercolumn. He served in Iraq from May 2003 to February 2004.

Before the Iraqi elections, Van Steenwyk believes, TV networks and newspapers focused on the potential for violence and low turnout. "But the soldier blogs," Van Steenwyk says, "were pretty optimistic. The people who weren't surprised when the elections went off as well as they did were the soldiers and the Iraqi people."


Nadz has one of the best Memorial Day tributes I've read. Short and simple and heart-felt.

She also addresses the Iraqi soldiers:
And to the new Iraqi army, especially those fighting insurgents in the new operation, thank you and good luck. You are the true Iraqi freedom fighters.


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