Grim Milestone Reached

Yesterday the Multinational Forces in Iraq reached a grim milestone: The 1,000 military death was recorded.

Yesterday the Multinational Forces in Iraq reached a grim milestone: The 1,000th military death was recorded. The soldier, whose name has been withheld pending notification of his family, was injured Thursday night in an attack and died of his wounds Friday.
The total U.S. deaths in Iraq are 880, with Britain suffering 60 more and other members of the MNF-I sustaining 60 deaths. No one knows exactly how many Iraqis have died, but since the beginning of the war, the estimate of the number of Iraqis killed by Coalition/MNF-I actions ranges from 11,164 to 13,118, according to the Iraq Body Count.

Article in OJR on B2I

I’ve been swamped and the atmosphere is enough to make one want to lay down with a dry martini for much of the day…. Anyway, Mark Glaser of Online Journalism Review has a pice on B2Iwith some interesting comments from editors and readers. Somehow he has managed to sum up the challenges of juggling TIME,the New York Daily News and the blog better than I’ve been able to.

Hello all– Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I’ve been swamped and the atmosphere is enough to make one want to lay down with a dry martini for much of the day. Unfortunately, I have no olives.
Anyway, Mark Glaser of Online Journalism Review has a piece on B2I with some interesting comments from editors and readers. Somehow he has managed to sum up the challenges of juggling TIME, the New York Daily News and the blog better than I’ve been able to. I guess distance and perspective can help on that one.
I’m on a deadline today, but hope to have something up later tonight, local time, on the Interim Government’s first few days in office. Yesterday was a bad exception to the surprising peace of the first week.
UPDATE 0014 +0400 GMT Hey, the latest “TIME article”:http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101040712-660932,00.html is up. This was the embed I was on last week. I also had hoped to have something up, kind of a week in review piece, but I had two deadlines crash on me tonight. Tomorrow I’ll post, _inshallah_.

Moore Approves Fahrenheit 9/11 Downloads

The Sunday Herald reports that Michael Moore has expressed his approval of Fahrenheit 9/11 being downloaded through file-sharing networks…. I think copyright law has gotten seriously off-track, and if a creator wants to allow free distribution, then he or she should be allowed to do that. All I know is that Fahrenheit 9/11 has hit Baghdad in the pirated DVDstalls that line the lobbies of hotels and the concrete barriers along the Green Zone.

_The Sunday Herald_ reports that Michael Moore has expressed his approval of Fahrenheit 9/11 “being downloaded”:http://www.sundayherald.com/43167 through file-sharing networks. [Thanks to Slashdot for this one.]

“I don’t agree with the copyright laws and I don’t have a problem with people downloading the movie and sharing it with people as long as they’re not trying to make a profit off my labour. I would oppose that,” he said.
“I do well enough already and I made this film because I want the world, to change. The more people who see it the better, so I’m happy this is happening.”

I’m cheered by this, especially coming as it does on Independence Day. I think copyright law has gotten seriously off-track, and if a creator wants to allow free distribution, then he or she should be allowed to do that. It’s too bad my net connection is so damn slow that I can’t download it. But Fahrenheit 9/11 has hit Baghdad in the pirated DVD stalls that line the lobbies of hotels and the concrete barriers along the Green Zone. I’m curious as to what the reaction among the Iraqis might be to the film. I know there was some discussion of it at the Embassy shindig tonight.
The party itself was subpar. It was very hot, there wasn’t enough water and I got a bit of heat stroke, I think. All I know is that now I feel a bit sick and very worn out. Wish I could tell you more about the party, but it’s off the record… and frankly, there wasn’t much to tell, anyway. The one bit of excitement was the an IED/car bomb scare at the gates of the Republican Palace just as our group arrived to enter. Instead of getting to eat, we were kept waiting outside in the parking lot with no shade or water for an hour, maybe longer. The temperature, even at 7 p.m. was about 115 degrees. We kept being pushed back by Marines. I never got a definitive answer as to whether there was any real danger from an explosive device or not, but there serious action on this. I suspect there was something there, which means it was probably an inside job. The palace is deep in the Green Zone and security is tight enough that insurgents can’t just walk in. But who knows? We never got a straight answer.

Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day, America.

You know, I was going to write some long, ruminative entry on the nature of freedom, sovereignty in Iraq and whatnot (with a healthy dose of irony considering I’m in Baghdad thinking such Deep Thoughts) but then I thought, “Hell with it, no one’s going to be in the office until Tuesday anyway, and by that time something will have blown up rendering it all moot.” So instead, I’ll wish all of you in the USA a *safe* and happy Independence Day. Use it wisely, would you? For the Iraqis, it’s just Tuesday. (The work week starts on Saturday.)
As for me, I’m due tonight at the new U.S. embassy for a 4th of July picnic with the new embassy crew, including, I hear, Mr. Ambassador himself. I’m sure the New York Times will hog him all night, the party-poopers. Pity it’s all off the record.

Light blogging for a couple of days

Just got back from an overnight embed and I’m exhausted. No sleep for last two days (more or less.) And I’ve got to file for TIME and another draft due on a story I’m working on. So it will be light here for a couple of days.
Oh, and I just spent an hour deleting about 100 spam messages. Jesus, I hate you guys. You can’t get on the board, so just stop trying, OK?