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Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Baghdad Blogging

Many of us lament the loss of Riverbend of Baghdad Burning fame as a perceptive voice for what is "really" happening on the ground in Iraq. While it's not a one-for-one replacement, I've just stumbled upon something well worth keeping an eye on - a blog entitled Baghdad Observer, which is written by Leila Fadel, McClatchy's Baghdad bureau chief. Fadel is a young Lebanese-American woman, following in the footsteps of an earlier McClatchy Baghdad bureau chief, Hannah Allam, also a young Arab-American (Egyptian if I recall correctly) reporter (who also has a blog, written from her current station in Cairo).

Fadel's blog contains all sorts of interesting stories. The Sept. 18 post, for example, discusses the question of how many people have died in Iraq. Unfortunately, as discussed below under the title "Holocaust deniers by the dozens," her thoughts on the subject didn't reach the readers of McClatchy newspapers. In that same post, she reports (again, just to her blog readers) about a U.S. General who tried to get her to stop reporting that Sunnis and Shiites were killing each other, the facts be damned. Another post, also unpublished (so far, anyway), has her interviewing juvenile prisoners in Iraq, noting how they all showed signs of abuse (torture if you prefer), and that none knew why they were in prison.

Check it out.

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