This Girl's Voice

Sunday, March 16, 2003  

••Introducing: 2 New Blogs From the Front••

with the onset of an inevitable pre-emptive war perhaps mere days away, i wanted to introduce voxpopgirl readers to two fascinating if not mysterious blogs that i stumbled upon about 3 weeks ago at completely unrelated times while i was surfing the web; i have taken the liberty of adding them to my right side column of links under the heading "From the Front?", for your easy access and edification.

Where is Raed? is apparently written by a young Iraqi who goes under the name Salam Pax (does anyone know if this translates into Hello Peace?) from Baghdad as Salam and family members prepare themselves for the inevitable, making their home as safe as they can by taping up the windows, digging a new well that can be used with a "manual" pump since they anticipate that the electricity will go down, stocking up on food, heating supplies... and Salam's personal commenting on the general calm contrasted by the certain anticipation that Salam and everyone living there have been through during the daily routines of their lives.

LT. Smash appears to be written by a U.S. reservist whose name is not LT. Smash, who was called to duty a while back and is now writing "live from the sandbox" about the daily routine of preparations and training he and the unit he appears to be heading, from the moment he first heard that he was called to duty, to his arrival at an "undisclosed location", the stories about the sudden desert windstorms, the smallpox vaccination he and everyone had to get a while back, and wondering aloud what their mission was going to be;

who knows about Where is Raed?. maybe it's the real thing, maybe it's not. Where is Raed? seems awfully hip to pop culture and how is it that Salam has access to what would likely be an internet connection with undoubtedly prohibitive costs? it's hard to tell; although in some earlier posts, there are entries at Where is Raed? that mention that access to Russian sites have now been been denied, and how when using Google one day, access had also been denied to certain British newspapers;

however, i do wish to add an additional link to a specific entry at Where is Raed that i think is worth taking the time to read and mull over: it's an entry that notes that "fresh trenches" had recently been dug around the outskirts of the city parameters and had been filled with what seemed to be crude oil.... Salam's family had been wondering what the purpose of that was for, and a sudden overwhelming amount of comments have flooded in with "suggestions" and "warnings". Salam, who often refers to Saddam Hussein as "SH" is both anti Saddam and anti-war.

at LT. Smash, some of the earlier entries have been particularly riveting because the posts included entries as early as when he first received the news that he had been called to duty and had to go in and notify his boss at work... and the story continues from there; there have been other entries where he wrote that he did not want to fight this war, however, what is odd, is that none of those earlier entries are there, as the blog has no archived entries; so it's easy to speculate that "LT. Smash" may indeed be a propagandist tool created by the Rumsfeld Pentagon -- i mean, how is it that this guy appears so able to write so freely, and do so, from a U.S. military camp in the desert in the middle of nowhere halfway around the world (of course, he's not disclosing any military secrets or revealing their missing plans). However, what has made LT. Smash stand out is that it hasn't been peppered with any jingoist language by the writer; although, within the last week, it appears to have now taken a turn in that direction - not by the blogger per se, but by the sudden flood of flag waving, "lefty-hating" Limbaugh dittoheads who have posted in the comments window within the last week, who credit Limbaugh for having sent them there to "support" LT. Smash.

it's impossible to determine the legitimacy of both these blogs and i have to say there's reason to be skeptical about them, but i thought i'd let you know about them, so that as the Bush administration takes the world to where none of us have gone before, you can read Where is Raed? and LT. Smash in real-time, and judge for yourselves.

posted by voxpopgirl | 3/16/2003