Friday, July 14, 2006

The In T View: The Readers Of Iraq The Model Sound Off: Andrea

Rosa multiflora
Rosa Multiflora for Andrea, 2006 Photo by MG

Generally, I In T View bloggers, journalists, writers, human rights advocates, and soldiers, but this time I thought I would expand the horizons a bit and In T View the readers of of one of the most popular and beloved Mideast and Iraqi blogs, Iraq The Model, and let them sound off, share their views, about ITM and Iraq.

Iraq The Model comes complete with a strong and loyal readership and a feisty crew of articulate commenters offering their thoughts on Omar's and Mohammed's evaluation of events in their country, the Iraqi conflict, politics, terrorism, Islam, and the actions of the Coalition Forces.

In this In T View, we feature Andrea from Minnesota, who works in the retail sales buisiness. What can you say about Andrea? There's no more loyal a friend or reader of Iraq The Model and Omar and Mohammed than she, or someone with a bigger heart and spirit for Democracy, Freedom, and American values. Take it away, Andrea...

MG: Hi Andrea, how did you become aware of Iraq The Model and decide to comment there?

Andrea: Hi Mister Ghost, and thank you for asking me to do this. I became aware of ITM, after going nuts with a year going by without hardly any "GOOD NEWS" from the media.I did not even know at the time what a blog was. I had just learned a few years before what the internet was. Just got a computer at home a year or so before 2003. Anyway, I believe it was April 20th, I was again looking for some good news from Iraq through the USA Today paper.. By God, about the 4th page, they were interviewing Iraqi bloggers from a cafe.They said something about one blog first but Iraq the Model struck my mind...the very next day was my first post ever on a blog. It was Mohammed's birthday. I was so inspired by this man's words, u could say I was "hooked".hehehehehehe....That it was okay what we did. I felt hope that we got rid of what I call "insane man".

MG: Are you as optimistic about Iraq now, as when you first started reading and commenting at ITM?

Andrea: I am very optimistic Mister Ghost!!!!!!! I will not give up yet on freedom... these brothers want it, feel it. I will support them the best way I can.

MG: Did you find that ITM was better when Ali was involved with the blog?

Andrea: Ali had spunk. Of course I miss all 3 of them together. Some of this is none of my business to say because they are a family and they never asked my opinion.

MG: Has it been a learning experience reading ITM? You likely know more about Iraqi politics now, than you did before reading the Brothers' Blog, but have they also given you insights into other facets of Iraqi Society such as culture and history?

Andrea: I am trying to follow along the best I can with their politics...As far as I see it, it's a new birth. I am learning everyday about a new culture that I was not aware of before. I am still trying to catch up.

Laurel, I Think
Laurel, Perhaps, 2006 Photo by MG

MG: Should the US have involved itself in Iraq? Has it been a worthwhile endeavor?

Andrea: Yes!!!!!! it's been a great endeavor!!!! Before 9-11...I was a stupid American and call me selfish too. My brother was involved with Desert Storm, and I had no idea back then what exactly he was really doing. I did not even know who"insane man" was.Yes, I also feel bad for the men and woman on all sides who have lost their lives.

MG: Does the World Media (Television, Radio, and Newspapers) present an accurate view of what's happening in Iraq?

Andrea: The media sucks!!!!!! So much doom and gloom... What happened to the good stories?.You have to go looking for them today, and there is plenty out there to find. And I can not be on this box all day to find them, and thats sad...I have not been on CNN OR CBS for almost 2 years now... Everybody does not have cable or the internet, so I am sure why many feel we should not be over there. Ps, i do not read the USA today anymore...they gave reins to Michael ass Moore before the elections here......and tossed out Ann Coulter... hsssssssssssss...........

MG: Which ITM Brother -- Omar or Mohammed -- would you like to give a hug to or have a beer with and why?

Andrea: I will say right off the would be Omar (no offence Mohammed) when I first started posting at ITM, it took a bit for people to warm up to me. The first person corrected me on my spelling, so I will not call that the first person to talk to me. The very 1st person to talk to me was....... Drum roll please............... Omar...Just only a month since I came aboard... He is soooooooooo sweet as a human being and a man, wink, wink.. I hope to have a beer with him some day!!! And I love his zest for life and freedom. It makes me want to live even more.

MG: On February 20, 1258 A.D., the Mongols overran Baghdad, plundered and destroyed the city, and conducted a massacre of the residents that claimed 800,000 lives. Things don't look as bleak for the Iraqis now, still the topic of an Iraqi Civil War is being bandied about in the Media every day, and I have to ask: Is Iraq currently involved in a Civil War?

Andrea: I really do not know if they are in a civil war? I am not there. I am still learning. If they are? I just hope they can find some peace!!! What I do not understand is to blow yourself up???????????? So I believe it's not all Iraqis doing this.

MG: Do you have a Favorite Poster at ITM, who you like or admire, and can you tell us why?

Andrea: This a somewhat tough question in a way MG... You ALL have meant everything to me in these past 2 years...I have learned more from all of u, then I did before finding ITM!!!! If I had to pick just one person??? There is only one...wink,wink........ And I do not want to put this person on the spot.

MG: One of my escapist fantasies is to walk the length and breadth of Iraq from Southern Kurdisitan down to Mosul, though due to my blue eyes and practically albino skin, they'd likely be using me for target practice before I made it out of Mosul, certainly I'd be in trouble in Fallujah LOL... When conditions become safer for travel in Iraq, would you like to visit the country?

Andrea: Yes I would like to go over there... I said a long time ago, the palaces should be turned into a bed and breakfast/hotels. I hope the brothers continue to provide us with more pictures which I have enjoyed so far.

Nice Rhododendron
Nice Rhododendron, 2006 Photo by MG

MG: The Recent Loss of Omar's, Mo's, and Ali's Brother-in-Law elicited many outporings of sympathy from ITM's readers and commenters, similar to if the readers/commenters had lost a member of their own extended family. When you post at ITM, is there a sense of being part of an extended family?
Has a bond been established, both between the posters themselves and Omar and Mo?

Andrea: Oh, I am still very sad about their loss of a good friend and brother in law. I guess when you cry, they are, we are, an extended family. There is for sure a bond there. I was amazed at all the new names coming in and giving them support and all the old timer poster's too! They make you feel welcomed, just as if you were sitting on their living room couch.

MG: Having come to know Omar and Mo through their writings these last few years, what is the one thing, you would like to say to them?

Andrea: Dear Omar and Mohammed, please do not stop blogging! Take a break when needed. I love you 2 both very much and I hope to meet you one day, and I regret not coming to Los Angelos... I hope we can still have a blogger party one day as we talked about it last year!!! These have been the best 2 years of my life!!!!

MG Says: Thanks to Andrea!

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