Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Acknowledging Good Reporting

I feel compelled to issue a fatwa: Whereas in the past, the only New York Times reporter writing about Iraq that was worthy of praise, in my erudite opinion, was Sabrina Tavernise, I must say that the recent (...that is, past few months) bylines by Sam Dagher, Rod Nordland, and Campbell Robertson, have indicated a far more sober and reasoned reading of what is going on there. They sometimes write stuff that I take issue with, but on the whole it is very, very good. Certainly far better than what the paper gave us in the past.

Marc Santora, also of the NYTimes, does not measure up, and don't get me started on Ernesto Londono of the Washington Post, and pretty much the rest of the WaPo's coverage which lends itself to sensationalism and cynicism. The Los Angeles Times has never really registered with me as a must-read on Iraq, probably for good reason.

Even though I disagree fundamentally with his blatant activism, I would also take Nir Rosen's reporting (as opposed to his opinionating) very seriously. It is good to know that Hannah Allam (McClatchy) is back on the Iraq beat: depite a few misses, she's a stellar and highly credible reporter, which is why an error on her part gets magnified in my view. I can also trust that Eli Lake, over at the Washington Times, will always report the heck out of an Iraq story, and do it very well.

I don't watch much TV, so I don't know how the Iraq story is being reported there. I'd imagine it is shallow and superficial, given the target audience and air-time constraints.

Kenneth Pollack's most recent piece in the National Interest is thoughtful and compelling, even though I disagree with some of its key insights and recommendations. I always had good things to say about Colin Kahl, but unfortunately he has joined government (DoD), and his views will be far more guarded. Micheal O'Hanlon at Brookings is another person I disagree with often, but I'd think long and hard before refuting his well-contructed arguments.

Furthermore, I have a sense that as the Iraq debate becomes less of a shouting match, important nodes in the US government, even in such hopelessly partisan institutions such as the State Department and the CIA, are beginning to look at Iraq with calm and wise reflection. I've noticed a significant change in my daily interactions, and I am far more hopeful that this will result in a nuanced, far-reaching policy that understands what the New Iraq means to the rest of the region.

Among Iraq-focused Western bloggers, I haven't seen much improvement, or humility. Although Michael Collins Dunn at the Middle East Institute blog never fails to alert us to excellent arguments. Another emerging authority is Joel Wing (Musings on Iraq) who does a masterful job of compiling a narrative about Iraq that makes sense.

Most established Op-Ed writers don't seem to get it. The notable exception, of course, is Bret Stephens at the Wall Street Journal, who's skill, insight and wit make me fume with envy. Moreover, one should always pay close attention to the writings of Salameh Nematt at The Daily Beast; no one has a better feel for emerging trends in the region than he does.

Needless to say, the beautiful words of Fouad Ajami and Bernard Lewis should be learnt by rote. What they offer is scripture, and I see myself a lowly disciple. There are also a crop of young academics writing about Iraq who I have very high hopes for. They shall revolutionize the field, and bring back honesty and modesty to scholarship. Andrew Exum (Abu Muqawama) comes to mind, as does Thomas Heggehammer, Truls Tonnessen and the rest of the Norwegian Mafia. Thankfully, there are many other to keep an eye on.

I'm issuing this fatwa because I don't see this blog surviving beyond the upcoming January elections. And so begins the process of me recommending other commentators for the loyal readers who'll continue to have a need for an Iraq kick. That doesn't mean that I will stop writing, rather I will be writing in Arabic for an Iraqi audience on another website.

It's a mixed bag, but at least the tone has changed in an important publication such as the NYTimes, and it can be relied upon to get a balanced story on Iraq in the future.

Fingers crossed.

Note: sometimes one takes for granted some of the people one admires, and in that vein, I like to include Bill Rogio (Long War Journal), Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Lee Smith in this fatwa.


Blogger Jason said...

What do you see for the future of Iraq after the January elections in terms of its politics, democracy, security, stability, relations with neighbors?

12:10 PM, September 08, 2009

Blogger Joel Wing said...

Thanks for mentioning my blog. I'm always amazed who reads my stuff. Joel

12:54 PM, September 08, 2009

Anonymous amagi said...


Say it ain't so! Your commentary has been, at times, the only credible source of information on Iraqi current events, well, anywhere. I understand the need to turn your attentions elsewhere, but I hope you will continue to pop up here to dismiss bogus reports, etc., if the need arises.

1:06 PM, September 08, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Nibras, for all you've done. You've been a rare sane (and uniquely informed) voice on Iraq for a long time.
You don't owe anyone anything, but if you quit the blog completely, you will only cheer those who have been rightly chastened and embittered by your words over the years. Maybe a post or two a month? Whatever you choose, thanks.

1:33 PM, September 08, 2009

Anonymous gilgamesh x / exile - iraqi said...

Mr. Kazimi,

what do you think of the insights given by Reidar Visser in historiae.org.

It is a glimpse in Iraq that makes a difference

1:47 PM, September 08, 2009

Blogger Nibras Kazimi نبراس الكاظمي said...

Hi folks,

Thank you for your kind words, and I'm sure to be riled up by something from time to time that would prompt me to comment. The blog will remain up, for archival purposes. I feel by recommending these names, then I'm leaving you in competent hands.

Gilgamesh: Visser and others did not make this list for a reason. ;)



2:23 PM, September 08, 2009

Anonymous Bill Roggio said...

Thank you for the kind words, Nibras. I am honored to make the cut.

Talisman's Gate is a daily read for me, your insights are indispensable. I am hoping you might decide to hang in after January. If you decide to go, you will be sorely missed.

9:56 AM, September 09, 2009

Anonymous gj said...

Nibras, this is nothing short of disaster. Am sure I speak for many people when I say you were the one who kept me going through 2006.

As for your list of recommended replacements, can you itemise please:

(a)who among them speaks Arabic.
(b) who among them writes with authentic knowledge and understanding of the shia?
(c)who among them has Iraqi communist parents?
(d)who among them supports the arabs right to enjoy the democratic freedoms and protections available to those in the west?
(e) who among them debunks charlatans and hypocrites without fear or favor?
(f) who among them is proud to be a neo con?
(g) who among them has ever said that the overthrow of the Baath regime and its replacement with the first genuine democracy in the arab middle east was not just a triumph for all of those who participated in it but a momentous turning point in history and the modern world?

I could go on. But you get the message. Your voice is still needed.


3:49 AM, September 10, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you've been a blessing to all again,& thanks also for this.
When you move to an Arabic outlet,
is it possible we can find translations ? mit

7:24 PM, September 12, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice information. Thanks for this. Please come visit my site Lexington-Fayette City Directory when you got time.

10:30 PM, September 26, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future. Please come visit my site Las Vegas Business Directory when you got time.

10:31 PM, September 26, 2009

Blogger Brian H said...

Bah! How can we have any respect for someone whose prose is so ungrammatical and who's unable to distinguish "whose" and "who's"????



Tell us, who is your audience in Arabic, generally, and what kind of response are you getting and hoping to get?

4:30 AM, October 02, 2009

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the north facethe north face
north face jacketnorth face jacket
north face jacketsnorth face jackets
north facenorth face
north face outletnorth face outlet
North Face Mens JacketsNorth Face Mens Jackets
pandora pandora
pandora bracelets pandora bracelets
pandora charms pandora charms
Pandora BanglePandora Bangle
pandora charms braceletspandora charms bracelets
charm bracelets pandoracharm bracelets pandora
pandora bracelets ukpandora bracelets uk
links bracelet links bracelet
links london bracelet links london bracelet
links london charms links london charms
links charms links charms
charm bracelets charm bracelets
links bracelet sweetie links bracelet sweetie
charm links bracelet charm links bracelet
sweetie bracelet sweetie bracelet
links of london links of london
links london links london
ugg boots ugg boots
As Seen On TV As Seen On TV
Video Game AccessoriesVideo Game Accessories
Laptop Batteries Laptop Batteries
ed hardy clothing ed hardy clothing
Abercrombie And Fitch Abercrombie And Fitch
tiffany jewellery tiffany jewellery

1:50 AM, April 15, 2010

Anonymous nike shox said...

(Had she waited until nike shox about 6 p.m. Jordan Basketball Shoes, she could have been the recipient of 42 of the biggest baby Michael Jordan Shoes in the nike air max 90 of baby nike dunk shoes. Heck, Joe Gibbs Racing might have even bought her a winter nike air max in the jordan shoes. Instead, she'll have to settle for the standard baby nike sb dunks and rattles as the mid-week birth means that Johnson won't miss any seat time at Chicagoland this weekend.) .. Buy cheap Jordan 1 shoes here! We sell Jordan 2 online. Do you like Jordan 3 shoes? This is a Jordan 4 shoes ! Get your Jordan 5 now! Cheap Jordan 6 for sale! Buy Jordan 7 on line! Who have Jordan 8 ~~? I love Jordan 9 shopping! Here my Jordan 10? Are your Jordan 11 here? Cheapest Jordan 12 store! Buy this Jordan 13 now. Discount Jordan 14 for sale! Buy my Jordan 15 now. My friend's Jordan 16 here! A pair of Jordan 17 shoes there! I lost Jordan 18 tomorrow! I picked your Jordan 19 shoes. Do you find Jordan 20? Here my Jordan 21 shoes! They sell Jordan 22 there! Buy Nike Shox NZ from USA. Buy discount Nike Shox OZ in UK? Wow , look Nike Shox R4 !I love Nike Shox R5 so much! I can wear Nike Shox TL3 everday! Can I keep Nike Shox R3 today?

12:16 AM, July 09, 2010

Blogger weddingdresses said...

The Sol Surf Series is returning to Mount Maunganui after a one-year hiatus.
Thanks to naming rights sponsor, power balance bracelet, the Power Balance Pro will see the biggest names in New Zealand surf head to the event to compete February 12-13.

11:16 PM, December 21, 2010

Blogger Unknown said...

The many types of vbaghnm wrapa Oakley Frogskins get not deserted their fashion along with acceptance. This summer, your wrapa Oakley Frogskin using complete along with fine design and style happens returning straight into fashion yet again, containing depicted your riches along with high-class involving girls frankly. Firmoo's give back along with repayment insurance would likely create your current obtain using Firmoo risk-free. examine out and about each of our $8 Cheap Oakley Sunglasses, $10 along with thirty greenback Oakley Jawbone support frames to suit your funds along with sight requires. Since first design Oakley Jawbones, these are acknowledged by simply numerous men and women.

2:26 AM, July 26, 2011

Blogger Half X Oakley said...

You may want to track vgebhty down nicely made Oakley Sunglasses Cheap using excellent skiing conditions helmets Half X Oakley for you to supplement his or her sporty search. There exists merely one Oakley Sunglasses Discount pertaining to shopper decide on as part of your past Sale Oakley Sunglasses ages. Effectively, the idea tend not to visual appeal that will desired somehow. Nevertheless Oakley Jawbone right now, customers employ a a lot superior alternative: Oakley Stpl Jawbone. Half X while their concept demonstrates could make the thing is that evident though preserving way up your current sight via Oakley Sunglasses Outlet highly effective sun rays.

11:37 PM, July 26, 2011

Blogger Unknown said...

Oakley Sunglasses Cheap feature associates designed bghviyr just like teardrops. These kinds Half X Oakley of associates are usually a bit convex, as opposed to simply smooth. this sort of Oakley Sunglasses Discount associates are usually supposed to offer enough defense to your eye-sight and also fantastic eye-sight Sale Oakley Sunglasses defense. The particular associates regarding this sort of Oakley Jawbone are typically gray along with mirrored. The particular earpieces inside substance casings Oakley Stpl Jawbone are usually produced to fit perfectly guiding your hearing. Half X have got lengthy recently been popular together with each and every affiliate marketer employees Oakley Sunglasses Outlet and also law enforcement officials.

12:24 AM, July 30, 2011

Blogger Unknown said...

which will be recorded this weekend,so lotro gold and hopefully available online early next week. I have been listening to these two teachers from Kansas City, MO, for quite awhile now. wow gold cheap

2:41 AM, October 29, 2011

Blogger Unknown said...

The information you convey very nice, finally after I browse to and fro to seek information about this, I also find it on your site.
Thank you very much, nice to meet you and success always

Obat Abses Payudara
Cara Menambah Nafsu Makan Anak
Penyebab Tukak Lambung
Obat Herbal Kanker Paru-Paru
Obat Herbal Kanker Rahim

12:08 AM, April 28, 2016

Blogger Fangyaya said...

kobe 11
fitflops sale clearance
ray bans
lebron 12
christian louboutin outlet
timberland boots
kate spade handbags
nike uk
louis vuitton
michael kors outlet clearance
coach outlet online
coach outlet online
coach factory outlet
ralph lauren polo
coach outlet store online clearances
oakley sunglasses
adidas outlet
longchamp handbags
jordan retro
true religion outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
louis vuitton outlet
ray ban sunglasses
retro jordans
tods shoes
hollister clothing store
burberry outlet
michael kors handbags
coach outlet
rolex watches
louis vuitton outlet
christian louboutin outlet
jordans for sale
coach factory outlet
mont blanc pens
kate spade handbags
nike air max
ralph lauren outlet
louis vuitton outlet
coach outlet

1:20 AM, July 25, 2016

Blogger Unknown said...

reebok outlet
cheap nfl jerseys wholesale
the north face
michael kors outlet
boston celtics jersey
chicago bulls
ravens jerseys
hollister clothing
nike free 5
michael kors handbags

2:26 AM, March 27, 2017

Blogger raybanoutlet001 said...

michael kors handbags sale
miami heat jersey
coach outlet online
ugg boots
ralph lauren pas cher
cheap ray bans
red valentino
eagles jerseys
washington redskins jerseys
christian louboutin shoes

6:06 PM, June 12, 2017


Post a Comment

<< Home