It had been such a welcome change to get news of Iraq directly from someone who actually lived there, that I felt the future of real news gathering and dissemination lay with weblogs. As of today, I’m absolutely sure of it.
On Wednesday, December 11, ten thousand people, including tribal leaders and polititians demonstrated against terrorism in Baghdad and no major publication picked up on this significant milestone in the rebuilding of Iraq.
However, a tiny counter-demonstration by a group of Al-Sadr supporters attempting to hijack the demonstration was deemed newsworthy by major media.
If not for Zeyad and other Iraqi webloggers, we would have never heard about this epic demonstration. Zeyad now has a digital camera and he has posted more than fifty pictures of the people at this demonstration. One thing I noticed is that this event was led, organized and protected by Iraqis.
Here is an excerpt from Zeyad’s post of December 11:
The rallies today proved to be a major success. I didn’t expect anything even close to this. It was probably the largest demonstration in Baghdad for months. It wasn’t just against terrorism. It was against Arab media, against the interference of neighbouring countries, against dictatorships, against Wahhabism, against oppression, and of course against the Ba’ath and Saddam.
We started at Al-Fatih square in front of the Iraqi national theatre at 10 am. IP were all over the place. At 12 pm people started marching towards Fardus square through Karradah. All political parties represented in the GC participated. But the other parties, organizations, unions, tribal leaders, clerics, school children, college students, and typical everyday Iraqis made up most of the crowd. Al-Jazeera estimated the size of the crowd as over ten thousand people.
You can find a list of some of the parties that we noticed there at Omar’s blog. At one point it struck me that our many differences as an Iraqi people meant nothing. Here we were all together shouting in different languages the same slogans “NO NO to terrorism, YES YES for peace”.
Visit his weblog and see the pictures for yourselves. You may draw the same conclusions that I did. We have given these people a chance for a better life and they are responding to it in a way that bodes well for their future.
I look to weblogs from now on for news of Iraq or any other issues that major western media outlets cannot report honestly. Interesting to note that a few regional papers in the US did carry this story. It’s nice to know that there are still a few professional journalists out there.
Chris Muir has captured the sorry state of American media perfectly.
Thanks to Instapundit for the link.
UPDATE No. 2: Chris had commented on another network earlier. You have to judge for yourself how close to the mark he was.
It may be possible that we will look back on this period and decide that the succinct summation of events by cartoonists gave us the most accurate, and memorable historical records of pivotal events.