What are your favorite blogs/news sources/analysis on Iraq?
November 3, 2009 8:08 AM   Subscribe

I'm heading to Iraq in several months and I'm looking for great sources of information on the country. This could include: - Political, cultural, etc blogs - Blogs from servicemen/civilians working in Iraq - News analysis - Iraqi blogs (they can be English or Arabic - I read both!) - Backgrounders or historical analysis Be creative! What do YOU read to find out about Iraq? I'd love to hear about it. Thanks for your input in advance!
posted by torietorie to Law & Government (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Modern history:

Fiction: The Sirens of Baghdad

Reality: Imperial Life in the Emerald City; Generation Kill.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:17 AM on November 3, 2009

Baghdad Burning was perhaps the most prominent blog during the invasion, and it's still up and running. "Girl Blog from Iraq... let's talk war, politics and occupation."
posted by Beardman at 8:18 AM on November 3, 2009

The Sandbox has some great milblogs - both Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by rtha at 9:22 AM on November 3, 2009

For historical background, The Shi'is of Iraq by Yitzhak Nakash is excellent and has been reissued with a 2003 introduction; you can investigate it at Google Books.
posted by languagehat at 9:46 AM on November 3, 2009

I liked this article on the destruction and rebuilding of Baghdad's historic bookselling street (and the literary culture of Iraq).

I don't know if music is relevant to you, but I recently discovered this blog on the Iraqi maqam, a style of traditional music. For a sample of Iraqi music you could check out vol. 4 of the amazing Music of Islam series.

A great Iraqi album in a different style (solo oud improvisation, sort of like classical guitar) is Le Luth de Bagdad by Naseer Shamma, which tells a "story" from the Gulf War without lyrics. (There's quite a lot of him on YouTube as well.) His teacher was the great Munir Bashir, who was a bit like the Ravi Shankar of Arabic music.
posted by k. at 7:26 PM on November 3, 2009

Iraq doesn't exist in a vacuum - I suggest picking up some books covering regional issues. Its relations with neighboring countries, particularly the Iran-Iraq war are a big part of the political arena there. Robert Fisk's "The Great war for Civilization" is worth reading, particularly the parts detailing the US's support of Saddam during the 1980-1988 war. Also pick up a few books on the US-British coup against Mossadeqh in Iran in the mid 1950s. There's a good selection available on Amazon.
posted by thewalrus at 7:37 PM on November 3, 2009

Also on YouTube, Al Jazeera English has this documentary on the effect of religious conflict in Baghdad (from April '09) and lots of other stuff that I haven't watched.
posted by k. at 7:41 PM on November 3, 2009

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