Sunday, August 13, 2006

The In T View: The Readers Of Iraq The Model Sound Off: Monica from Philly

Something Red by Jessica Finson - 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 the very nice Monica from Philly, a homeschool mom from the City of Brotherly Love, a longtime commenter at ITM, and the proprietress of the intriguing Grizzly Mama blog. Take it away, Monica from Philly...

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

Monica: I saw a newspaper article about them - I guess it was a little over 2 years ago - and I checked it out. It was my first experience with a 'blogger'. I had no idea any such thing existed.

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

Monica: I am so much more optimistic after having read what those brothers in Baghdad have to say. When I first arrived at ITM I was very down and angry about Iraq even though I supported the invasion. I was being led to believe (by everything I heard and read about the campaign) that Iraqis were ungrateful and angry and always complaining about everything. For example I heard a story about a school teacher who complained about the color paint used in a school that the Marines had just risked their lives rebuilding. So that's what I went to ITM with: a lot of anger. Surely things are difficult and I didn't expect things to be easy and bright. The brothers are optimistic but honest about the hardships.

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

Monica: I miss Ali but I believe that they're still doing a bang-up job.

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?

Monica: I just laugh and laugh and LAUGH!

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 cultureand history?

Monica: Yes and yes. I have learned quite a lot - much of what the brothers say about Iraq and the people in Iraq is completely different than they way Iraqi are portrayed in our news media.

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

Monica: Absolutely. I believe that what I've seen of Iraqis shows that they are most worthwhile and deserving of the risks our government and mostly our military men and women take. God bless our men and women.. God bless the Iraqi every day - most have shown themselves to be brave and good and willing to stand up for their freedom. It's no easy task.

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

Monica: No. I point people to ITM a lot.

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

Monica: If I could, I would give them all a big hug and buy them all a beer and even treat them to a Philly cheesesteak. They saved me. Those brothers in Baghdad do a great job of giving us information that we would never know.

Mister White by hingeschmierter - Flicker

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?

Monica: It doesn't seem that way to me. The MSM has been crying 'civil war' in Iraq from the git-go. It seems that most journalists would love nothing better than to be able to report a civil war in Iraq.

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

Monica: A commentor? There are many and I hate to say because I may leave one out by accident. There are many.

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 conditionsbecome safer for travel in Iraq, would you like to visit the country?

Monica: I would love to visit Mesopotamia. I think it would make a great homeschool lesson - don't you?

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 Omarand Mo?

Monica: I think so. I would love to meet most of the people who comment there. There were a lot of beautiful words of condolence and I believe that they were sincere. A nice thing about blogging is establishing contact and trading thoughts and ideas to people across the globe. One connects on a certain level.

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?

Monica: Thank you to the brothers in Baghdad! God bless you and your beautiful country! You prove your bravery and goodness every time you speak out. Thank you again and again.

MG says: Thanks to Monica from Philly!

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