February 06, 2004


Baghdad is the scene of ferocious graffiti wars, reports the Christian Science Monitor:

"They write from the heart to the wall, without any hesitation," says Amir Nayef Toma. "And they usually write in the night, in the shadow of darkness. So you can guarantee that all of them express the real thoughts and feelings of the people."

The main battle identified in the article is between a writer who favours ocher colours and his blue-painting foe. Itís kind of an Iraqi version of Crips and Bloods:

Ocher throws down the gauntlet, declaring "Death to the traitor Saddam Hussein."

This salvo flushes out ocher's enemy. An unseen hand tries, unsuccessfully, to scratch out the word "traitor" and lamely retorts, in blue paint, that "Saddam Hussein is more honorable."

"The Baath Party is the party of filth," exults ocher.

"Long live Iraq, long live Saddam, and long live the honorable Iraqi resistance," comes the blue Baathist's frustrated reply.

"The Baath is the party of pimps," retorts ocher. To this, the blue scribbler has no reply.

"Come out, you Baath, and let the hate wash over you," taunts ocher, perhaps a little disappointed. But blue is silent; the battle is over, at least on this wall.

Canít wait until these guys discover comments boxes. And imagine what might happen if they see 8 Mile ...

Posted by Tim Blair at February 6, 2004 01:45 PM

No! Show them "You Got Served". Imagine, hundreds of Iraqi breakdancers... It'll be Breakin' 3: Electric Sistani.

Posted by: scott h. at February 6, 2004 at 01:57 PM

My comments boxes have been discovered by a bunch of would-be graffiti artists, which is proving to be a lot of fun.

Posted by: Marty at February 6, 2004 at 02:02 PM

Fuck, liberation wasn't worth after all.
Soon they'll get the mindless taggers, scrawling their stupid monikers on every wall.

Posted by: Vanilla Ice at February 6, 2004 at 02:02 PM


Posted by: lb at February 6, 2004 at 02:17 PM

I prefer a tidy, orderly dictatorship to graffiti.

Posted by: Vanilla Ice at February 6, 2004 at 03:30 PM

This from a guy who rocked the mic like a vandal. (Lit up a stage and waxed a chump like a candle.)

Posted by: scott h. at February 6, 2004 at 03:45 PM

How long before we here " Well yes, Saddam was bad but at least we didn't have kids writing on the walls..... Why in my day kids had more respect blah blah blah"

Posted by: Jake D at February 6, 2004 at 03:47 PM

Well Jake, you asked for it:

Yes, Saddam was a monster, but...


Probably paid for by Haliburton.

Or was the graffiti plastic? Who knows.

Posted by: Quentin George at February 6, 2004 at 04:12 PM

Come on, Tim. You call that unbiased journalism? That writer was totally taking sides. Just look at those verbs!

Posted by: Joe Geoghegan at February 6, 2004 at 04:22 PM

It's not grafitti, it's a Legitimate Urban Art Form, worthy of grants and shit.

Posted by: Steve in Houston at February 6, 2004 at 04:47 PM

Hopefully one of the Iraqis will make a tidy sum of money by using the graffiti as a focal point in some book that tells some of the story of life in post-Saddam Iraq. I'm waiting for an 'ordinary-everyday-type' Iraqi who has been wanting to be a writer all his/her life to publish such a book.

I want to read about the good, bad, and the ugly concerning Saddam and his ouster from an Iraqis' point of view. Someone who isn't an ex-pat, but who suffered under Saddam and is now in a position to write about their, and their fellow Iraqis', experiences.

Perhaps one of the talented Iraqi bloggers will write such a book? I know suggestions have been made to at least one of them to write a book. (The Iraqi blogger who wrote about the pro-West demonstration that wasn't covered much here .. he comes to mind.)

Perhaps they could put just the graffiti into one of those graphic novel books, with explanations for non-Iraqis so we'd get the jokes too?

Posted by: Chris Josephson at February 6, 2004 at 05:33 PM


Now write it down a hundred times. If it's not done by sunrise, I'll cut your balls off.

Posted by: Spiny Norman at February 6, 2004 at 06:20 PM

More likely that the dissaffected Iraqis will discover internet billboards and blogs. They ended my grafitti career. Cleaned up community college campuses all over America too!

Posted by: Papertiger at February 6, 2004 at 10:45 PM

have the squeegee guys appeared yet?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at February 6, 2004 at 10:46 PM

Yo - yo - yo - yo ...

Yeah, we got camels
nuttin' but animals
'cept when its cold at night
then you mad-infidel you hit that tight

camel ass!


Posted by: Bill at February 7, 2004 at 01:07 AM

That's what your ma got,
You coward you see the Jews and you ain't take no shot,

I set off on you like a biggety-biznomb!
And the Imam say Saddam is busy bangin' you mom,


Posted by: Bill at February 7, 2004 at 01:11 AM

I'm goin' back ta Bagdad, Bagdad, Bagdad...
I'm goin' back ta Bagdad--

Excuse Me-- I don't think so!!!

Posted by: Jerry at February 7, 2004 at 03:28 AM

Yo, Dick Cheney! Let's kick it!
Allright, stop. Collaborate and listen
Saddam is back and he's in detention
Soldier...grabbed ahold of him tightly
Now he's in a cell both daily and nightly
"Where's the WMDs? Yo, I don't know!
Turn off the lights, and they'll glow."

Lice, Lice, Baby. Checkin' him for Lice, Lice, Baby.

Posted by: ocher at February 7, 2004 at 04:17 AM

Don't call me a terrorist!
I been here for years
When Reuters calls me a militant
it puts Charles Johnson in tears!

I'm gonna knock you out.
Hamas said knock you out!
so I'm gonna knock you out
'cuz Hamas said knock you out! HUNH!

Posted by: blue at February 7, 2004 at 04:22 AM

Damn Ocher, that was so funny I had to publish your rhyme at my blog.

Posted by: Bill at February 7, 2004 at 05:13 AM

Open your eyes, wake up foo,
Damn kid, ya breath smell like bacon,
And ya ma is a Joo!

Don't step up to da mic,
You must be blind can't ya see,
Step up and I will drop you like -
an - I.E.D!

Yup, yup. BOOM!


Posted by: Bill at February 7, 2004 at 05:26 AM

Dang, now they're going at it in my comments.

Posted by: dorkafork at February 7, 2004 at 07:11 AM

Yo! Mad Props to the MC's kickin' it here!

Yallz my homies.I raise my 40 to y'all!


PS-- the Lefties told us for years that "taggers" were artists. Maybe now they'll endorse the liberation and give them an Art grant and lionize them like they did the (overage) dick-in-the-mouths who marred the Sydney Opera House.

Posted by: JDB at February 7, 2004 at 10:40 AM

Blue sounds like a troll. Make some pissweak attempt at an argument, then slink off to annoy someone else

Posted by: Johnny Wishbone at February 7, 2004 at 11:07 PM

The blogmire loves the sound of democracy in the morning.

I wonder, will the UN be deemed "irrelevant" again if it says Iraq can have it own elections?

Or will the UN only show it's relevance by bending over for its biggest donor and biggest debtor, rubber-stamping Bush's plan for unrepresentative causcuses for Iraq.

Of course, it's understandable that a man elected President by a minority of votes would view the will of the majority as "undemocratic".

Posted by: Miranda Divide at February 8, 2004 at 01:05 AM

Misandrist, dear, it isn't up to the UN whether Iraq can have democratic elections or not. And considering their pathetic performance in that country to date, I'd advise the Iraqis to ignore any of that thug club's pronouncements from now on. But you go right ahead bending over and spreading your nether cheeks for those hot diplomats and dictator helpers. Who knows, maybe you'll get a cushy job out of it and you'll be able to leave your cardboard box.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at February 8, 2004 at 01:46 AM

I know you've taken it upon yourself to be my little sir echo, but do try to keep up bloghead.

Your hero president has just spent months pleading for the irrelevant UN to return to Iraq and verify/rubber stamp his considered view that Iraq isn't ready for simple democratic rul by the majority. No it isn't up to the UN whether Iraq can have democratic elections or not. It isn;t even up to the iraqis.

It's up to your big swinging dick of a president, the one trailing Kerry by 5 to 7 points. That one.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at February 10, 2004 at 06:34 AM