Friday, October 21, 2005

1. On his Persian language site, the Afghan blogger writing from Kabul, Sohrab Kabuli, has been writing up some lengthy posts detailing the atrocities committed by U.S. occupation forces inside of Afghanistan. Sohrab's English language blog, called Afghan Lord, however, is strangely lacking in such news, so much so that the english site attracts pro-war fans. If only they knew what Sohrab was writing in his Persian site!

Sohrab Jan, if you are reading this, please translate some of what you write on your persian site into english. Your English-speaking audience needs to read it as much as your persian readers do, if not more.

update: after leaving a comment on his post suggesting that he should translate his post and after linking to him above, it seems that sohrab kabuli has erased the post i was referring to above (the post i linked to now only contains a poem, whereas previously it contained a lengthy indictment of "American Gangsters" in Afghanistan. i find this sad and curious, and obviously wonder what led him to do this)

2. Among the links on Evil Assad's latest post are a story on Firefighting women in Iran and a contrasting one about a U.S. fire chief who wants to put restrictions on women firefighters on his crew. Read these and other links along with Assad's problem-solving analysis here.

3. It's true that my best friend writes a food blog, but that doesn't mean i really understand the concept of having a "food blog" or being a "foodie". Anyway, this new blog i've been occasionally reading called (re)definition is sort of "foodie", in the sense that the author clearly likes to cook and posts pictures of her delicious looking concoctions on-line. I've only just discovered the site thanks to the BlogsbyIranians page, but I've taken a real liking to the young woman who keeps the blog, so I thougt I'd pass the link along as a recommendation.

4. A journalist friend of ours lent us his copy of the first three episodes of the documentary Off to War, which chronicles the story of a Arkansas National Guard Unit that is sent off to Iraq. From what we've seen so far, it is a fantastic documentary, and I'll leave my extended commentary on the film to sometime later. But if you have the discovery channel, the second season of the documentary (which covers episodes 4-7, i think), is currently airing (showtimes available at the link I provided above). As for the first episodes, they are available on DVD, and maybe online too.

5. Contrary to still-popular claims about the democratizing nature of the internet and blogs in particular, i have to say that i personally have become less democratic and less tolerant as a result of my blogging experience. This is why I have found myself increasingly excercising the "ban" and "delete" features available on haloscan. Unfortunately, some people simply can't be dialogued with, so where is the point in allowing those individuals free reign in the comments section of my blog.

For example, take this type: the ones who put links to negative news stories about iran on every post I make, even if the post they are commenting on has nothing to do with iran or politics.

i mean, i could be writing about hot dogs and igloos and still some fool would flood my comments section about Iranian politics!

What, pray tell, is the relevance? (i'm asking the question rhetorically, of course, since the culprits of this kind of posting are probably already banned!)But still, I'm curious about the answer.

Is it because I, as an Iranian citizen, am somehow personally responsible for every terrible thing that is perpetuated by the Iranian government? If that is true, if I, as a citizen of what is called an undemocratic country, personally responsible for the crimes of "my" government, what does that imply for the citizens of so-called democratic countries? Should I go to the blog of every American citizen, no matter what topic they blog about or what their politics are, and post links about U.S. war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere?

6. Our friend, Joe Carr, a peace activist working in occupied Palestine, suffered a ruptured spleen during a peaceful demonstration against the portion of the Israeli Apartheit wall that is being constructed along the Palestinian village of Bil'in. You can read Joe's own account of what happened (with pictures)here.

The wall cuts through 2/3 of Bil'in, cutting off villagers from their prime agricultural land. The 1700 inhabitants of the village, along with their international allies, have been going on weeky peaceful demonstrations against the construction of the wall and the resulting theft of their land.

Less than a month ago, Amnesty International had issued a statement expressing concern that the wall was depriving the Palestinians of their land and livelihood, that the israeli occupation forces were using excessive force, and that their was serious cause for worry about the safety of peaceful demonstrators.

We wish Joe Carr a speedy recovery, and look forward to the day when all foreign fighters withdraw from the lands they occupy.