Saturday, May 17, 2003

Baghdad and blogdom

Ottawa Citizen article by David Warren opining that Salam Pax is "playing Americans for fools":
One of his constantly repeated warnings is that the U.S. occupiers are fools if they do not take all those talented former-Baathist officials in from the cold, and put them back in business; that "al-Chalabi's de-Baathification plans don't solve any problems."
I'm inferring that Warren had particular trouble with this section of SP's blog:
There are of course unforgivable atrocities committed by a number of Ba’athists but there is no need to get every single Iraqi who was one into house arrest. That would mean we would have no teachers in schools, no professors in universities and everybody who worked in a state company will be made to quit his job.
and this
A friend was telling me when the bus came to take him to his work place one of them turned around to one of the Ba’athists who worked there telling him that if he is coming in the bus he will have shoes thrown at him and kicked out of it, there were other Ba’ath party members on the bus but everybody knows who was the bad apple.

thinking it means S.P. is a Baathist apologist. It seems to me SP is making a reasonable argument. And it's not exactly powerful apologism either. (but read the article yourself)

Personally I find Salam Pax's perspective much more believable than Santa Claus or immaculate conception or statements from G.W. Bush.

of course, I was the one that thought SARS would be here forthwith, and that a little Baghdad looting is to be expected, nothing to get all excited adjust the weblog credibility meter accordingly.

What is sad is that regardless of the sincerity of S.P., [I predict] we're going to be inundated with fake weblogs when the next conflict rolls around. A large and growing community of people who have no ax to grind or product to shill for, and who tend to believe each other, is just too tempting a target for the spin- and product-mongerers. these are the glory days for blogging but they will not last, the immune system will prove sadly inadequate to deal with mass invasion - just as a large software company (sorry, can't find link) once paid people to pose as just-plain-folks (who happened to love the product) in Usenet newsgroups, so too the fake blogs will infiltrate and overwhelm. Popularity goeth before the fall.

to look at weblogs from a marketer's point of view, take Deborah Branscum out of context:
Oh those wacky advertisers! They just won't be happy until they've pissed in every pond and then wonder, in astonishment, why there's no clean water to drink. Or, as they'll most likely put it, "How can we rise above the clutter of competing messages?"

Salam Pax addendum - via Kausfiles, here's a much better defense.

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