When I noticed on my stats page that I was getting a rush of visitors from Sam's Hammorabi blog, I at first wondered why a single comment I left under one of his posts might have attracted so much attention. I attributed the new traffic to the popularity of the Iraqi bloggers, whom many of us consider the most welcome new additions to the blogosphere since the blogosphere was born, but last night, when I returned to Hammorabi, I was surprised and a little disbelieving when I saw my own blog enrolled near the top of the page. I immediately clicked on the link, just to be sure that there wasn't some other "The Whole Thing" out there that Sam had picked up.
It's hard for us who supported the liberation of Iraq not to see the emergence of these vital new voices as unambiguous proof that we were on the right side: If bloggers like Sam, Omar, Alaa, and Zeyad represented only 1% of the Iraqi population - indeed, if they were the only Iraqis exulting in their new freedoms - it would arguably be moral justification for America's best efforts on their behalf, especially in light of the moral debt that America and its allies owe Iraq after decades of compromises with Saddam, countless billions of petrodollars to his regime, more than a decade of economic sanctions that hurt average Iraqis before they came close to touching the supposed targets, and multiple betrayals of Iraqis who fought Saddam at least partly at our urging. I don't mean to suggest that any nation can base its policies on the fates of a handful of individuals - that would obviously be naive - but I strongly believe that these men stand for a better future, not just for Iraq but for all of us. I'm sure that, after getting to know Sam and his colleagues, most Americans would, like me, find the idea of abandoning them unbearable even to contemplate.
For these reasons and others, I have to say that I feel honored to have my blog listed so prominently at Hammorabi. (Even if it's some kind of mistake, then I still thank Sam for the new traffic accidentally sent my way!) For those of you who came here hoping to find another unique and invigorating Iraqi voice, and are perhaps disappointed, I hope you will look around a little anyway, get something out of whatever you find, and feel free to leave any comments, questions, or suggestions.
Salaam, Shalom, and Seeyalater