I hold a dim view of most "news" outlets, both tradtional media and websites. Their purpose is more often to persuade than to report.
Shortly after the Invasion of Iraq, I started looking for blogs by Iraqis. I didn't yet know how many people in my life would end up participating in the war - it was still for the most part an interesting study for me, and like most people I formed opinions of what was happening, and what should happen. Then Iraq became the country Kimberly Hampton died in - in Fallujah, in 2004 She became America's first female pilot killed in action.
Then Habbiniayh, Iraq became the city that David Lindsey died in. Whenever I hear the phrase "refueling aircraft", or "mortar strike", I now think of Zandra Walker - killed in Iraq... her twin sister was also in the service, at the time, in Kuwait.
It seems odd to me, a Marine who's active service was in the early nineties, that two of the three people that I know from around here that got killed were women - YOUNG women, almost young enough to be my daughters And both absolutely beautiful, with very girly personalities. The WMs I knew were for the most part psycho, with a few noteworthy exceptions, and most definitely not girly, with even fewer exceptions.
I started out looking for Iraqi blogs by millitary age men writing about the war, but the only one I follow to this day is by a girl, who was 14 when she first started. She calls herself Sunshine.
Granted, she's far from a typical Iraqi. She's from a rich family, well educated, and her family is Muslim, but of a more modern, "reformed" fiq - to poorly transpose a christian analogy. Her life perhaps very closely paralleled Kimberly's.
Through the years, I've followed her life - and strange to say, I've come to love her, in a big-brother kind of way - though I've never written her.
I think it's a good practice to read the blogs of civilians in the war zones we are deploying to. It really has for me put a human face on the Iraqis. If I'd never "seen" that face I might form my opinions about Iraq less thoughtfuly.
Any blogs you have followed?