Monday, August 07, 2006

The In T View: The Readers Of Iraq The Model Sound Off: Don Cox

Mug by DerekB - Flickr

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 Don Cox from England, who has had a long term presence commenting on many Iraqi and Mideast Blogs and is a strong advocate of a Democratic Mideast. Take it away, Don Cox...

MG: How did you become aware of Iraq The Model and decide to comment there?

Don Cox: The first Iraqi blog I found was Where is Raed? I can't remember how I came across ITM, but it would be a couple of months later.

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

Don Cox: Yes, but I now think it will take longer. The Islamists have got their fangs into Iraq, and it will take a few years to get rid of them. The coalition was too optimistic, and did not move fast enough to lock down the country. Al Qaeda took advantage of this.

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

Don Cox: As Ali has his own blog, there are still posts to read from all three.

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?

Don Cox: I think the claims that they are not Iraqis or not living in Iraq are absurd. Certainly they are Pro-American, but so am I, so that is OK by me. It would be more accurate to say "Pro-Democracy", though. The USA is not the world's biggest democracy.

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?

Don Cox: Mainly insights into how some Iraqis think today. You have to read a number of blogs to pick up the range of opinion - and even then, we hear only from the people who are computer users.

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

Don Cox: It's too soon to say if it has been a success - it may be 30 years before we can see these events clearly - but I am certain the endeavour is worth while. Even if it fails and Iraq sinks back into tyranny, it was worth trying. Also, remember how Greece was liberated from the Nazis, then had a civil war, then later on had an episode of dictatorship, before finally settling down as a democratic state that is a member of the EU. It can be a hard road. The invasion did remove a big road block on the route to freedom.

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

Don Cox: Don't know, I hardly see them, except for the BBC news web site. That doesn't seem to be very accurate.

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

Don Cox: Either.

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?

Don Cox: No, but a few more incidents like the Adhamiya battle and it could be.

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?

Don Cox: Yes.

MG: The Recent Loss of the Omar, 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?

Don Cox: Yes, and the same applies to other regular bloggers such as Najma or Hammorabi. It is a good way to get to know people that you would otherwise never meet.

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?

Don Cox: Just "Thank you".

MG says: Our thanks go out to Don Cox!

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