June 30, 2004


This week’s Continuing Crisis column in The Bulletin comes direct from Baghdad and is written by Ali, Omar, and Mohammed Fadhil, of Iraq the Model.

Australian readers should take a look at the print edition, which has photographs of the trio and an alternative Arabic-script column heading supplied by Ali; according to Bulletin fact-checkers, it translates as "big trouble all the time".

Also in The Bulletin: Patrick Carlyon reviews Margo Kingston.

UPDATE. Jeff Jarvis says nice things. So does Will Collier.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 30, 2004 06:07 AM

Why, these guys are obviously plastic Iraqis.

Posted by: ushie at June 30, 2004 at 06:40 AM


What do you think of the battle between Michael Moore and author Darren Hunter?


Posted by: Belinda at June 30, 2004 at 06:56 AM

A brilliant article critical of the Washington Post’s reporting on Iraq (hat tip VodkaPundit)

The whole article is at www.commentarypage.com/johnson/johnson062904.php


The Untouchable Chief of Baghdad By Eric M. Johnson

“Iraq veterans often say they are confused by American news coverage, because their experience differs so greatly from what journalists report. Soldiers and Marines point to the slow, steady progress in almost all areas of Iraqi life and wonder why they don’t get much notice – or in many cases, any notice at all.

Part of the explanation is Rajiv Chandrasekaran, the Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post. He spent most of his career on the metro and technology beats, and has only four years of foreign reporting, two of which are in Iraq. The 31-year-old now runs a news operation that can literally change the world, heading a bureau that is the source for much of the news out of Iraq.

Since I saw Rajiv Chandrasekaran's integrity up close, I haven't believed a word he writes, or any story coming out of the bureau he runs. You shouldn't, either. “

Posted by: Michael in SC at June 30, 2004 at 07:33 AM

Would this make you Mr one hundred percent, Tim?

Posted by: Andjam at June 30, 2004 at 10:14 AM

It is good that you feature Iraq the Model. They are the not so secret rising stars of the blogisphere. Insiteful , positive, and always on the front, because they live there. If Omar Ali or Mohammad don't mention it in their blog, with a straight forward, honest, unflinching view, unencumbered with partisan political bullshit, then I don't believe it. Period.
Actually Tim, with the traffic they get, they might give your blog a plug or two.

Posted by: Papertiger at June 30, 2004 at 10:33 AM

Both articles should be required reading by all, particularly those who read the SMH.

Posted by: nic at June 30, 2004 at 10:42 AM

(This was what the "Mr ___ per cent" reference I made was based on)

Posted by: Andjam at June 30, 2004 at 11:03 AM

Ali Fadhil is given a detailed by-line, though, Andjam. Ramsay's by-lines, if honestly credited, would usually be lengthier than his articles.

No fair!

Posted by: CurrencyLad at June 30, 2004 at 02:14 PM

Well that's a breath of fresh air. I'll be adding those guys to my home links later. Given my cynicism of local news on Iraq, Iraq-the-model gives a more balanced view of day to day life for average city dwelling Iraqis.

That should be your next junket destination tim. Seriously.

Posted by: JakeD at June 30, 2004 at 02:25 PM

It would make me Mr one hundred percent, Andjam, if I was using Ali, Omar, and Mohammed to simply fill my column.

But this is their column.

Posted by: tim at June 30, 2004 at 03:59 PM

JakeD, these might also be interesting.

Posted by: Mike H. at June 30, 2004 at 04:26 PM

Thanks Mike, I appreciate it.

What's the Mr 100% thing?

Posted by: JakeD at June 30, 2004 at 04:56 PM


In this post by Tim, he notes criticism of Alan Ramsey, and amongst Alan's misdeeds was borrowing stuff from other people to fill his column. I was asking if he was guilty of the same thing, and Tim has answered the question.

Posted by: Andjam at June 30, 2004 at 11:11 PM

Carlyon's piece is poetry.

Posted by: chap at June 30, 2004 at 11:34 PM

It's great these guys are getting the exposure they deserve. Can't understand why the mainstream media don't have some of the better Iraqi bloggers writing a weekly column.

I would think having Iraqis reporting from Iraq would be something various news organizations would want to have. I guess I must be missing something because except for the one who now writes for one of the UK papers, no other paper seems interested. That's why I was so glad to see these guys. It's a start, at least.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at July 1, 2004 at 12:20 AM