Saturday, April 24, 2004


I have wanted to post this for a long time, but now seemed the best as all of those that frequent the Iraqi blogger sites, and the sites that support them could read it as well.

I started out before we (the US) went into Iraq listening with my husband to exiled Iraqis over here. Their tales of terror, fear for their family, their appreciation for the freedoms that they have here. There was in particular a debate on the radio one evening right before the "rush to Bagdhad" that had an Iraqi in exile debating a young woman about whether we did or did not have the "right" to go into Iraq, whether we should, etc. We were literally cheering for the Iraqi man by the end of the broadcast, who was so well spoken, and gracious and hopeful and gave us hope. He said that he still had family there, aunts, uncles, cousins, and others that yes, he was afraid could become casualties in the war. However, he said, even they were willing to take that chance because living like they had been wasn't really living at all. This is what we believe in America, live free or die. It is why we have the largest unconsripted armed forces in the world. It is why mothers send their sons, and wives go without their husbands, and most of all it is why children grow up without fathers, as my husband and his three brothers did, they sacrifice for all of the rest of us, indeed for the betterment of the world.

Then we began reading sites with comments from Iraqis on them here and there. Then a blog was born. Zeyad's Healing Iraq was the first one that I read, with Alaa's right behind. Then Omar started Iraq the Model, and AYS began blogging. Freedom was blossoming. Voices were screaming to be heard. And I was addicted to it all. I read these posts with a mixture of awe, hope, and shame. Let me explain. Shame, because many of these Iraqis were able to write in English in practically prose like language, better than many of our own high school graduates. Many more thankful for their mere existance than our own children who have not had a reason until 9/11 to even think about what they have, and why they have it. So I started posting in the comments section. I found many other people like me, in America, in Belgium, in the Netherlands, in Iraq, Iran, the UK, Ireland, all over the world.

My husband is still eligible to be called for Navy duty for 2 more years. His two brothers are in the Army, serving another 6 and 8 years, one of our best friends is a Commander in the Navy and has flown missions tracking terrorists "over there". What had I done? Yes, I was using my voice, but could I do more? So I started working on this idea. From this idea a larger one flowed. Free media. For Iraq first. For Iran, for China, for Cuba and North Korea. But I would start in Iraq, because of the voices of who I had come to regard as my Iraqi friends. Zeyad was having a difficult day one day and I told him what I truly felt, I said, Zeyad, my eyes are on yours, and they are full of tears, but I will not turn away. I was committed to doing something, however small, to help spread the voices of the Iraqis.

We started corresponding, and that is when I truly found what a gift the internet is. Zeyad and I exchanged e mails about my son's gerbils, and his ducks, about food, family, and life. Omar and his brothers, Ali, and Mohammed, I also became fast friends with. I am still overwhelmed by their desire and love of freedom that has come so strong in a land of uncertainty. Michael Cosyns (who posts on this site for us on EU issues) and I wrote back and forth marveling at their ability to still have the flame alive after so much oppression. Inspiring is not enough of a word to describe these men and how they have made an impact on my life. When I put out my idea for laptops, the response was great, but the reality of accomplishing a feat with the Patriot Act is another story, not to mention that I was not a "non profit" organization, which you must be in the US for the most part in order to get large companies to work with you on charitable programs. I won't go into the long story of the ins and outs of getting done what we have so far, because that isn't what this is about. What this is about is the following:

Jeff Jarvis at Buzzmachine taking time out of his busy schedule to help me make this work.
Glenn Reynolds keeping the eyes of his readers on Iraq bloggers as well.
The folks at NRO listening when I e mailed them relevant posts and posting them on their site in the Corner.
Tom Villars for working on the paypal end of things, and conversing with me about how else we can help.
(Insert bleg here for continued contributions at Omar and AYS sites for shipping costs which were quite expensive!)
Soldiers and contractors from the US and UK e mailing and offering all kinds of assistance. Here were guys already laying down their lives, saying "how can we send money for this?"

It is about Iraq, and America.
It is about new friends, and new alliances.
For me it is about new brothers and sisters.

Here are just a few excerpts of e mails that I have recieved during this project (These don't include the scads of e mails sent back and forth between Jeff Jarvis and I trying to figure this whole thing out. Jeff was truly invaluable. ) :

thank you so much and Happy New Year;

I believe that as long as there are good people in iraq and as long as there are good people from many other countries helping the iraqis, the evil will never win;

the news about the computers are really great, as for the software, i think that they're pretty available in iraq and you don't have to worry about that point, however i think that Zeyad has more experience than i do.

i wish you and your family all the best;

your's Omar.

British Officer serving here in the "deep South", MORE than willing to chip
in a few pounds/ bucks to promote blogging for Iraqis.

I check this site, (my E mail address every few days). Sort it out and my
cheque is in the post/ credit card on the net. In this war you bloggers are
"the front line", because this one we win or lose on the streets of small
town USA. Only two groups seem to have worked this out, our friends
(you guys) and our enemies. Guess whom I'm supporting.

God bless you all.
Pray for us. Ubique

Good news is that I can guarantee you that finding a reliable Brit liaison
soldier able to receive stuff for passing on to an Iraqi won't be so tough.
Brit army traditionally very good that sort of thing, mail etc.. etc

Happy to work a few phones if it becomes any sort of hassle

warm regards

Thank you for the encouragement and for everything you do. I'll be back in Baghdad next thursday and I'll check with my contacts there to see if they arranged any means for us to get the shipment. I'll keep you updated.

Best wishes to you and your family,


Hi, Kerry! It's been a few months since we talked, but
I just got an e-mail from Zeyad, thanking me for the
package with the America's Army game CD, and other
stuff. Thank you so much for doing this-- it just amazes
me, to think about this package arriving all the way to

"The Gamer of Baghdad"

Thanks again,


And last but not least, this one sums it up.

Dear Kerry,
tell your husband's brother that when he comes to baghdad he'll find our houses open for him and we'll be very glad to meet him and you of course if you may have the chance to visit iraq.
i'm going to basra tomorrow morning, so i'll leave the shipment subject in zeyad's hands.
i talked to zeyad this afternoon and he was so happy when he knew that the laptops are coming. he wasn't aware of that until i told him as he didn't have the chance to read his mail.
my best wishes goes to you and your family,
your friend,

Your friend.
My friends, thank you for allowing me to help in this small way. I look forward to the day when I could bring my sons to Iraq and walk the marketplace, and eat together, and take tea together, and most of all to look you in the eyes. The only thing I am not yet missing is hearing your voices, for those I have heard, in the blogosphere, and in my dreams.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Man I love the citizen soldier! Army re-enlistments are going strong. Oh, and I love the feeble attempt by the author to throw a monkey wrench into this: "Some contend a poor job market and re-enlistment bonuses worth thousands of dollars are keeping soldiers in the Army."

Blow me.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Oh great, another toothless UN resolution. These clowns can't enforce resolutions dealing with outside entities, so what makes anyone think that they're going to enforce a resolution that calls for all their members to cooperate in an investigation that is likely going to implicate many of them? Maybe we should follow suit and put the Jackson family in charge of the investigation of Michael Jackson.

It's clear that the UN Oil for Food program was seriously corrupt, but I don't see this investigation going anywhere. France and Russia have too much to lose, as does the balance of the political left. If their beloved UN was found guilty of such a crime their whole "Bush lied" universe would get all messy.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I'd like to hear reactions on this memo regarding the breakdowns in the CPA in Iraq. Thanks to Instapundit for the link (speaking of which, Reynolds also has a good post on there concerning the FCC's recently constrictive rules).

The first of seven packages that I just sent to the Iraqi bloggers got picked up at the Bagdhad FedEx yesterday, I expect to hear the news on the rest tomorrow. Then I'll have a long enough blog about Iraq with my own thoughts, so I'm putting this one out to the rest of you.
This was a close one for our friends the Brits (hat tip to Kim du Toit.) Somehow I don't see England running and hiding like Spain if they are attacked...

Monday, April 19, 2004


Tom, nice work getting rid of the Spanish flag. What a bunch of sissies. My niece is over there right now on a school trip, and her group has been getting constantly harassed by the locals because they are American, and of course they have a problem with our involvement in Iraq. She was even attacked by some guy, but apparently some of the boys in her group (this is a high school trip) overwhelmed him and eventually beat the crap out of him (like we needed more proof that these people can't fight.) If we hadn't paid for her trip in advance I would have definitely cancelled it. I don't care to have my hard earned dollars going to help support such a cowardly excuse for a country. My apologies to the few remaining Spaniards who haven't succumbed to the flaccid "post modern" ideology of Europe.
This story about our "silent war" with Syria is very interesting (and unsurprising).

Sunday, April 18, 2004

'lo out there. Am back. This is a test.

Polish Air Force MIG in mint condition