Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Look Back at Iraq and the Iraqi Blogosphere: 2007

Gen. David H. Petraeus and Abdul Sattar Abu Risha -- Ramadi, March 17, 2007.

Year in Review: 2007

On January 10, 2007, President George Bush gave a televised speech to the American people in which he admitted that his administration's previous plan in Iraq had not been succeeding. He then announced the implementation of a new plan, one that had been worked out during the second half of the previous year. It required sending more than 20,000 extra troops to Iraq, most of them to secure Baghdad. Also, instead of stationing them to the large American bases outside of the Iraqi cities, these troops would be sent directly into city neighborhoods to help stabilize the country, block by block, starting from Baghdad.

General David H. Petraeus, who had been central to the design of the new counterinsurgency strategy, was selected by President Bush to be the new commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and was confirmed by Congress on January 26, 2007. Eight months later, on September 11 and 12, 2007, General David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker returned to Washington, D.C., and testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the progress in Iraq, detailing the drop in violence due to the "surge" of troops, changed tactics, and the turning of the Anbar Sunnis against Al Qaeda in Iraq, with the help of local sheikhs like Abdul Sattar Abu Risha.

Senator Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the day before hearing the testimony by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, already dismissed the results. "I really respect him, but I think he's dead flat wrong," Biden said about General Petraeus on September 9, 2007. After two days of testimony, Senator Biden was still not persuaded that the new strategy was working. In an interview a few days after the hearing, Senator Biden said, "I give the strategy no chance of succeeding. Zero."

But the surge did succeed, and the decrease in violence that General Petraeus had shown and explained to the Senate Committee has continued, in fact, to this day, almost two years later.


New Iraqi Bloggers in 2007:

Zappy -- January, 2007.
BlogIraq -- February, 2007
Sheko Meko -- March, 2007.
Shaqawa -- April, 2007.
Great Baghdad -- April, 2007.
Kassakhoon -- April, 2007.
Mohammed (Last of Iraqis) -- May, 2007.
Sandybelle -- May, 2007.
Bookish (Mosul) -- June, 2007.
Gilgamesh X -- September, 2007.

In 2007 the new crop of Iraqi bloggers was thinner than in previous years. Zappy blogged from the United Kingdom, but posted his last entry on July 6, 2008. Sadly, BlogIraq was killed in Baghdad on April 11, 2008. Perhaps the most prolific and engaging of this class of Iraq bloggers has been Mohammed (Last of Iraqis). Mohammed, we should note, recently became a proud father. Bookish is currently engaged to be married to Najma, a member of the extended family of bloggers from Mosul. Gilgamesh X, an Iraqi exile living in Germany, had been a long-time commenter in the Iraqi blogosphere before starting his blog. Although he hasn't posted very much as of late, his entries and comments are always welcomed in the Iraqi blogosphere.


Complete Series:

Part One. A Look Back at Iraq and the Iraqi Blogosphere: 2003.
Part Two. A Look Back at Iraq and the Iraqi Blogosphere: 2004.
Part Three. A Look Back at Iraq and the Iraqi Blogosphere: 2005.
Part Four. A Look Back at Iraq and the Iraqi Blogosphere: 2006.
Part Five. A Look Back at Iraq and the Iraqi Blogosphere: 2007.
Part Six. A Look Back at Iraq and the Iraqi Blogosphere: 2008-09.

Selected Entries from IBC:

CP = Check out comments page for that entry.

January 7, 2007. Iraq's Civilian War. RhusLancia.
January 15, 2007. Where Did Saddam Get His Chemical Weapons? RhusLancia.
January 24, 2007. Resolution Unbound. CMAR II.
March 16, 2007. Democrats: No Surrender! RhusLancia.
March 20, 2007. VP Taha Yassin Ramadan Hanged. CMAR II. CP
March 22, 2007. Finger-Pointing Over at Treasure of Baghdad. CMAR II.
April 19, 2007. How Iraqi Are You? Jeffrey.
April 24, 2007. Whatever Happened to Waleed Rabia? Jeffrey.
April 26, 2007. Comments on the US Congress's Surrender Legislation. CMAR II. CP
April 30, 2007. Riverbend vs Jarrar (How Iraqi Are You II). CMAR II.
May 2, 2007. From the Comments. CMAR II. CP
May 4, 2007. Criminal Hatwear. Jeffrey.
May 11, 2007. We Are on the Same Side. Jeffrey.
May 13, 2007. Iraqis Outside Both the Red and Green Zones. Jeffrey.
May 14, 2007. How Would You Like Your 'Wall Resolution' Served?. RhusLancia.
May 16, 2007. I Pledge Allegiance to .... Jeffrey. CP
May 20, 2007. Basra Writ Large? Jeffrey.
May 21, 2007. Iraqi Bloggers Central: Three-Year Anniversary! Jeffrey. CP
May 27, 2007. RhusLancia: Five Month-iversary! RhusLancia. CP (Mohammed from "Last of Iraqis" visits IBC for the first time.)
June 2, 2007. Fatal Glass of Beer. Jeffrey.
June 10, 2007. Let's Catch a Wave. Jeffrey. CP (Jeffrey vs. Bruno)
June 23, 2007. Valentines for Saddam. Jeffrey. CP
July 9, 2007. Operation Arrowhead Ripper: Two Points of View. CMAR II. CP
July 24, 2007. Close Encounters. RhusLanica.
July 29, 2007. Congratuations Iraq. CMAR II.
August 7, 2007. How About a Strongman? RhusLancia.
August 21, 2007. TIA ... MIA?. RhusLancia. CP
September 14, 2007. Sunni Mourners: Al Qaeda is the Enemy of Allah. Jeffrey.
September 24, 2007. The Sons Of Blackwater. CMAR II. CP
October 10, 2007. Just Your Typical Rank Hypocrisy. Jeffrey. CP
November 15, 2007. Treasure of Baghdad: Deny, Deny, Deny! Jeffrey.
November 21, 2007. Layla Anwar Answers the Eternal Question. RhusLancia.
November 27, 2007. Iraq Punditry at Its Best. Jeffrey.
November 29, 2007. Maliki Loves "Family Guy" Jeffrey.
December 5, 2007. Baghdad: City of Neighborhoods. Jeffrey.
December 9, 2007. A Blog Entry in which I Agree with Adnan al-Dulaimi. Jeffrey.
December 18, 2007. The Al Askari Cascade
(or "the Persistence of Pessimism")
December 23, 2007. Madtom vs CMAR II. CMAR II. CP
December 27, 2007. I'm done commenting at 24StepsToLiberty. CMAR II. CP
December 31, 2007. Happy New Year from IBC! Jeffrey.


Selected Articles, Blog Entries, and Documents from 2007:

January 10, 2007. Text of President Bush's Speech on January 10, 2007.

Iraqi Mojo, "Sectarianism," Iraqi Mojo (website), April 30, 2007.

Mohammed, "The Complete Story Of Muqtada and Al-Mahdi Army," Last of Iraqis (website), June 20, 2007.

Hayder al-Khoei, "The Untold Story," Eye Raki (website), July 4, 2007.

Small Wars Journal (online), "General David Petraeus / Ambassador Ryan Crocker Testimony," September 11-12, 2007.

Mohammed, "Awakening," Last of Iraqis, November 16, 2007.

Iraq Pundit, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," IraqPundit: Observations of an Iraqi Exile, December 4, 2007.

Abbas Hawazin, "Konfused Kid Abandons Heavy Metal," Catharsis (website), December 31, 2007.


Books Covering 2007:

Michael Yon, Moment of Truth in Iraq: How a New 'Greatest Generation' of American Soldiers is Turning Defeat and Disaster into Victory and Hope (2008).

Bing West, The Strongest Tribe: War, Politics, and the Endgame in Iraq (2008).

Thomas E. Ricks, The Gamble: General David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008 (2009).


Books Published in 2007:

Ian Kraus, Elvis is Titanic: Classroom Tales from the Other Iraq.
David Bellavia, House to House: An Epic Memoir of War.
Dahr Jamail, Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq.
Mike Hoyt and John Palattello (eds.), Reporting Iraq: An Oral History of the War by the Journalists Who Covered It.
Ashley Gilbertson, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Iraq War.


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