Monday, 26 February 2007


Usually I don't watch Foreign Correspondent because it makes me angry. It's the same reason I don't watch the news - so many horrible things happen in the world, and it always seems to me that there are more people trying to profit from that, than there are people actually trying to make the world a better place. I. just. don't. get. it.

Anyway, I watched FC last week by chance, and there was this amazing short documentary made by an Iraqi doctor in his Baghdad hospital. It kind of made me angry, but mostly it just made me cry. A lot. It was an amazing thing to watch though. Not that I've really made an effort to keep up to date with the situtation in the Middle East, but it was the best thing I've seen. It really seemed to give a good insight of how terrible things are getting for ordinary people over there, and how really most people are just ordinary people, just trying to get by, trying to get along with everyone else, who have been caught in terrible indiscriminate violence perpetuated, not by ordinary people, but by small groups of extremists. Seeing doctors doing their best to drain a child's lungs with adult equipment and no anaesthetic kind of puts things into perspective. And it was good to see something made by an Iraqi person, not a foreign journalist, and something which did not appear to be influenced for or by the media. This doco was not about politics, but just about real people. Refreshing.

I wanted to post a link to the video here, FC usually makes their videos available on their website but this one hasn't popped up, but you can read the transcript here which I know is not as good, but it's still pretty powerful stuff. It seems like it's been shown around the world - in the US and Britain as far as I can tell, which I suppose is a good thing.

In searching for this video, I came across a couple of blogs written by Iraqis both still living in Iraq and those who've fled. Of course there are blogs. I didn't really think about that. You always hear about how blogging is providing an alternative to mainstream media, and giving a real insight into people's lives, but I never really thought about what that meant, until I read bits of these blogs where real people discuss what is happening in their neighbourboods in the middle of war-torn countries. Whew. Heavy. Anyway. Here are links to a couple of the blogs that I came across. These two are brothers - the former is student pharmacist living in Baghdad but soon leaving for New Zealand, and the latter is a dentist studying journalism in New York. Both of them have long lists of other Iraqi blogs that I haven't had a chance to look through.

FYI: this article from the NY Times estimates that current US spending in Iraq is 300million A DAY, and that total expenditure could top 1.2 TRILLION. Oh. My. God. How is it even possible to spend that much money and not be doing more good?

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