Monday, July 17, 2006
The In T View: The Readers Of Iraq The Model Sound Off: Tom C.
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 Tom C., a Southern Gentleman with a background in Auto Racing and Sports Cars. Tom, who has family members in Iraq, runs the very nice Tom's Rants blog and would like for y'all to drop on by and say hi. Take it away Tom C...
MG: Hi Tom, how did you become aware of Iraq The Model and decide to comment there?
Tom: I was surfing on a cold, wet, winter day. I saw some real characters commenting, and being trashed by some coarser elements.
MG: Are you as optimistic about Iraq now, as when you first started reading and commenting at ITM?
Tom: Yes I am. I have family and friends in harms way. Believing in the potential of the nation of Iraq, and her people eases my worry.
MG: There have been criticisms directed towards ITM and the brothers that they are too Pro-American or American Agents, Working for the CIA, not really Iraqis or located in Iraq, etc. How do you respond to this?
Tom: I very seldom get a comment past the monitors now, so they don't seem to be Pro-Tom C. Based on what they write, and the way I perceive they think, I believe them to be a couple of brothers trying to get along in a world not yet of their choosing.
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?
Tom: Yes, as a mater of fact. I would like to read some more about daily lives before and after the war. I also enjoyed the pics taken from vacation. It is unfortunate that the political arena has to take up so much space right now.
MG: Should the US have involved itself in Iraq? Has it been a worthwhile endeavor?
Tom: I believe with all my heart we did, and are doing the right thing. The truth is, history will be the final judge.
MG: Does the World Media (Television, Radio, and Newspapers) present an accurate view of what's happening in Iraq?
Tom: They present a side. I like to think of it as a flower, the beauty depends on which point of view you have, and what type of flower.
MG: Which ITM Brother -- Omar or Mohammed -- would you like to give a hug to or have a beer with and why?
Tom: I have no favorites, and I'm not a hugger, so beers it is for both.
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?
Tom: Not yet, and god willing they won't be. If it comes down to that, then I endorse pulling our people out of harms way to a close location.
MG: Do you have a Favorite Poster at ITM, who you like or admire, and can you tell us why?
Tom: Yes while there are many that I learn from, I like the wit, and life experience of Stephenkeln. While one has to be careful, I've also learned from some that I don't like, and like some that I don't agree with.
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?
Tom : The land of The Garden of Eden? In a skinny minute!
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?
Tom: As much as one can have, yes. Some of us have met, and others will. I pick on him a lot, but Scott from Oregon received my best wishes for the recovery of his Mom from her illness. Sometimes with all the bickering, I think we must be family. I also speak regularly through e-mail, and blogs with a number of commentors that I've come to see as friends. The loss of the Brother-in-law is felt in more then one way. On the one hand, he is family, on the other he was a good man with valuable skills Iraq, and Iraqis needed. His blood watered the tree of liberty in Iraq. In this he hasn't died alone, and we pray not in vain.
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?
Tom: One thing? I guess it would have to be "Thank You." Thanks for being our eyes and ears, and helping us to understand.
MG Says: Thanks to Tom C.!