Tuesday, July 18, 2006
The In T View: The Readers Of Iraq The Model Sound Off: Mike H.
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 Mike H., a former military man, who still fires a mean rifle. Mike exhibits great pleasure in astronomy, and there are rumors that he may work for one of the government space agencies, but he's a modest man and is not going to brag about such things. Take it away, Mike H....
MG: Hi Mike H., how did you become aware of Iraq The Model and decide to comment there?
Mike H.: I was curious about how the Iraqi people viewed the war and whether they were going to try to reclaim their country after Saddam was deposed.
MG: Are you as optimistic about Iraq now, as when you first started reading and commenting at ITM?
Mike H.: Yup, I think the people will finally come to grips with what they need to gain freedom. It will take a while but they will see the value in establishing supremacy over gov't. That's just my myopic view.
MG: Did you find that ITM was better when Ali was involved with the blog?
Mike H.: I think that, as with any siblings, there are differences even in comparable world views. Ali should have a place to give his opinion with the slant that he as a thinking individual would have.
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?
Mike H.: Wait a minute, they signed a Statement of Intent with me, that included a no jobs with the CIA clause. If I find out that they've accepted a position with the CIA, I'm suing. Where the heck did I leave that piece of paper! I'll sue doggonit.
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?
Mike H.: Finding out what a culture considers important is necessary to the process of formulating a plan of assistance. The other part of the answer is that the feedback was crucial in maintaining the atmosphere needed to support the troops. The third half of the answer is they're still needed for guidance on electoral policy.
MG: Should the US have involved itself in Iraq? Has it been a worthwhile endeavor?
Mike H.: When an individual who initiates a coup, creates a thugocracy, the populace needs a little help getting rid of him. When the living standard increases, and the freedom to live in in a self designed lifestyle in a compatible manner with ones cultural kin occurs, it will be adjudged to have been worthwhile.
MG: Does the World Media (Television, Radio, and Newspapers) present an accurate view of what's happening in Iraq?
Mike H.: Huh? The Lame Stream Media? Do you mind if I digest you an answer?
MG: Which ITM Brother -- Omar or Mohammed -- would you like to give a hug to or have a beer with and why?
Mike H.: Umm, I... Uhhh..... Not to be disrespectful to Omar and Mohammed but I don't hug nobody that can grow a beard. I only do the smooth faced set. And my poison of preference is Crown Royal. The answer is I'd have to go broke buying both of them a bottle of Canada's finest IMO.
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?
Mike H.: The people of Iraq have responded in a manner beyond that which any people could possibly be expected to absorb. Good on 'em, as Peter would say.
MG: Do you have a Favorite Poster at ITM, who you like or admire, and can you tell us why?
Mike H.: Andy, because of the yellow things that she uses for spaces.
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?
Mike H.: In about 15 years to see what has developed from this necessary experiment.
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?
Mike H.: Yes there is a community that has been built, which is why I would use the term empathy which connotes a more personal sense of loss from the unhappy event. If it brings together feuding siblings then it has to be a heavy hit.
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?
Mike H.: If I catch you two working for any gov't agency I'm suing, I've got the paper around here somewhere, you hear? ;)
MG Says: Thanks to Mike H.!