July 13, 2008

Stand By

I wasn’t terribly productive with my writing during the past week. There were too many domestic duties and distractions -- including a family reunion and my 20-year high school reunion, which was great fun. My next dispatch is just about ready, however. Look for it here Monday night. In the meantime, use the comments box for an open thread. If you read anything interesting over the weekend, feel free to share.

And be nice in the comments. Don't make me pull over the car.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at July 13, 2008 11:44 PM
Comments

Micheal, any comment on this bit in NRO from Michael Rubin? It seems to paint a rather unflattering view of Kurdistan, at least with regards to press freedom- which I realize isn't a highly cherished principle in that part of the world:

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YjFmMmU0NjUxZDgzOTkwMmQ1OTBmOGQyNWViZTY2NzM=

According to Kurdish websites, Barzani's militia has summarily detained and executed journalists who had critically reported abuse of human rights and corruption. Jalal Talabani's aides and militia have harassed the independent newspaper Hawlati using Saddam-era laws. Just recently, in rhetoric borrowed from Iran, Talabani's aide has accused independent journalist of acting as spies. Ironically, more than five years after U.S. forces liberated Iraq, media in Iraqi Kurdistan is now LESS free than in neighboring Iran.

Posted by: Hollowpoint Author Profile Page at July 14, 2008 5:50 PM

Hollowpoint,

Michael Rubin is chronically more critical of Kurdistan than anyone else. Sometimes I know what he says is true, other times I'm skeptical.

According to Kurdish websites, Barzani's militia has summarily detained and executed journalists who had critically reported abuse of human rights and corruption.

I very seriously doubt that is true, whatever Kurdish Web sites may say. I have Kurdish friends in Iraq who are journalists, and I've had deeply off-the-record talks with them about this stuff. I know there is sometimes harrassment, and I know of one case where a reporter was briefly jailed for bogus reasons. But I also know Kurdish journalists who consistently criticize the government and have no problems whatsoever.

I'll look into it, though. It has been a while since I have been there.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten Author Profile Page at July 14, 2008 5:57 PM

Thanks for the reply Michael- Rubin's article didn't seem to jive with what I've read from people who've actually reported from there. Here's hoping that his article is an exaggeration as opposed to a turn for the worse in Kurdistan.

Posted by: Hollowpoint Author Profile Page at July 15, 2008 2:08 PM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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