Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wayback Machine: The Original CMAR and his boy Jeffrey
I was planning to post this in May, but with the crap that's going on around Iraqi Mojo, I'd say now is the time.
The fourth birthday of Iraqi Bloggers Central is less than three months away. This makes IBC one of the oldest still-active blogs in the Iraqi blogger skyline. But IBC's birthday marks another landmark event that is closely tied to IBC's beginnings: the closing of the old Cry Me A Riverbend blog.
The original CMAR's site was intended to provide a central location for CMAR and and his readers to comment about blogs like Riverbend's and the Faiza Jarrar blog and those of her boys, none of which (at the time) provided comments. Me? I rarely commented. But I enjoyed reading the comments. The blog's comments were a random, free-swinging environment. I remember commenters like Original Jeff, DL, Bruno, and Leap Frog. But there was also this one totally mad S.O.B. Jeffrey -- New York, who stood out, even at CMAR's blog for his craziness and profanity.
Now a gang of thugs that didn't like CMAR's opinions, pieced together some of his references about himself and figured out who he was. Then they posted his address and place of work in the comments of the CMAR blog and in those of left-wing freak blogs. So CMAR decided the pleasure he got from his blog was no longer worth the risk. He shut it down.
They received many friendly "attaboys" at the freak blogs, including a special post from Raed Jarrar praising their success. For those who have followed him from the beginning, there is nothing ironic about this and Raed's "We Will Not Be Silent" campaign. Liberty has its limits, in Raed's opinion, which is the edge of his skin. I guess the cyber-punks were regretting that they couldn't join a gang in Iraq to shoot guys in shorts or beat women on the streets, and this was the best they had the guts to do. Different strokes for different folks. But I was thinking of Raed's praise for these punks when he contacted me, asking for my personal information so (he claimed) he could sue me. Raed has no fear of being public himself. He knows that the methods of his enemies are not those of his friends.
About 3 hours after the CMAR blog went down, I read about it, and immediately opened Cry Me A Riverbend II for no other reason than that I hate bullies. I sent an email to CMAR telling him about it and learned that Jeffrey -- New York had done the same thing for the same reason about 1 hour earlier.
I founded the Cry Me A Riverbend II blog with the idea that I would do everything to remain totally anonymous. Without a public identity, it could almost be like CMAR was still around. And no one could ever find a lever to make me shut down. Jeffrey took the opposite tack. His identity was already known, and when the punks tried to do to him what they did to CMAR, his response was "Bring it on".
As I said, I started blogging in a fit of indignation; not out of a desire to blog. I intended to only keep my blog running for a month or so just to make a statement. Jeffrey told me that he sort of felt the same way. After a month or two, he figured he'd drop the whole thing. It was a lot of work he said. He just enjoyed commenting, not blogging.
That was almost four years ago. Now IBC is a major gateway drug to Iraqi blogs in English.