April 05, 2004

Iraqis on Iraq

A lot of readers have written in asking me what I think about Iraq. I'll do you one better. Go to http://doc.weblogs.com/2004/04/04#rollingIraq and you can find out from Iraqis themselves what's going on. Some of it's good. Some of it's bad. All of it looks honest to me. I guarantee you'll find it better than CBS, the Washington Post, or CNN and the New York Times. I try to avoid having strong opinions about things I know very little about. And I know very little about what's going on in Iraq right now. I might be able to tell you what a textbook Marine Corps urban combat exercise would look like. But I can't tell you what's actually going on in Falluja. But there are bloggers in Iraq, and they can tell you what's going on. Bloggers aren't journalists in the pure sense. They're eyewitnesses...and if you know anything from watching the American legal system, an eye witness can provide both the most compelling and the most untrustworthy kind of evidence. What I prefer about bloggers to straight up journalists is the lack of pretense. Most bloggers don't try and pretend to objectivity. It's their ideas and opinion you're getting, not news analysis...or a reporter with a political agenda hiding behind the "credibility" of his newspaper or his supposed objectivity. That doesn't make bloggers superior. But it does mean that bloggers are better newsgatherers. There are other reasons to read blogs with a grain of salt. But they get back to what writing and persuasion is all about, you and me exchanging ideas in plain, simple language. And because these blogs come from Iraqis making sense of Iraq and not Americans making sense of Iraq...they deserve to be read carefully by any Americans who want to understand what's going on there.


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