I ran into today's blogger accidentally, while I was checking out some of the blogs listed at the IBC. I've run into Ibn Alrafidain and have had some glances at his blog. The blog description reads " Thinking Loudly To Be Heard By The World" which is interesting and tempts the onlooker to take a look at the blog. That interest doesn't last for long though, and I can guarantee that you could go for Jazeerah-English news for similar results, maybe phrased differently. Thinking, it says, but to think he does not.
The most recent post, of August 5th, titled Maliki, is one of those posts where you find Ibn Alrafidain listing all the headlines of the first week of August. You read through and mutter "I know. I know. Tell me something I don't know!". There are also loads of quotes that might as well be there to make the torture of reading through more extensive, or perhaps to help the blogger with feeling like he's written a post. There's also the usual pinch of ego where he would go like "I said this before, I said that before. I told you so!". I don't know what he thinks of his blog, but I know that it doesn't say anything about his thoughts. Even when he is actually thinking, there is no much opinion to be make things more interesting. This is an example:
"Change, sometimes, needs time. An Iraqi politician attended a conference in Israel (I think in 2004) and he was very frank in declaring it. The visit caused him lot of condemnation and he was kicked out of the Iraqi Congress Party of Ahmed Chalabi. Personally, I thought the man had politically finished. The surprise was that Mithal Alusi, the politician speaking about, managed to be a member of the Iraqi Parliament, while Ahmed Chalabi couldn't. It means that 1/275 of the Iraqis do not oppose normal relations with Israel (the Iraqi Parliament consists of 275 members)."
Any traces of opinion? There's also this cartoon which doesn't tell much of an opinion, and neither does Ibn Alrafidain explain why the cartoon is there. You just have to sort your way through the quotes, random facts, and a cartoon. The only opinion that is there is that he's Anti-American, period. No reflections upon anything whatsoever.
I've spent an exceptional amount of time digging in the archive for something slightly different, more interesting, but to no avail. I have had enough of reading news that I've heard already, on the hope that I might find a lost piece of mind somewhere, and found absolutely nothing but more news.
I took some leaps in the archive thinking that maybe sometime his style might have been different, but it wasn't. Another old example of his monotonous writings is the May 12th 2005 post, titled Another Lesson. It's a reasonably short post, ever so passive and kind of acid post. There was this irrelevant piece at the start where he said:
"My phone line is still out of order. The whole phones in the district are out of order since 11th March. And for that I do not interact with my blog regularly. Generally speaking, there wasn't any tangible development deal with the infrastructure within the past two years."
One would expect some reaction upon that, but there is none. It kind of makes you wonder whether there is a real person with some notions and emotions behind that blogger ID.
The opening is like another piece of news which lead Ibn Alrafidain to three questions, none of which sound mystifying enough to be asked really. These are the three questions:
-Are we ready, the Iraqis, to accept & integrate democracy into our culture?
-Could it be possible to burn stages of social & political development?
-And, would it result in stable society or state?
The answers, in order, could easily be predicted back in March 2005, as "No", "No" and "Isn't a stable society a result of a stable state and vice versa?". I haven't yet got a clue of what's bewildering him. The post is concluded with this statement:
"The Iraqis could not look after the state which the British established for them in 1921. They ate it away so the Americans had nothing to do but blowing out the rotten state. It has been dismantled so easily in 2003. It seems that something, maybe many things, is wrong with our collective conscious. "
I don't know what he'd had in mind at the time when he was writing this post. But I can tell that this termite-like description wasn't quite necessary, and he could have phrased things in a better, less acid way. Acid and lack of opinion are one bad combination.
Ibn Alrafidain could either do some thinking for a change, instead of the story-telling irksome manner of his, or drop the thinking bit at the top of his blog, because it's quite decieving for people to think that he's thinking while all he's doing is story-telling. If he's not that capable of writing something of his own, perhaps he shouldn't have been writing in the first place. The internet is infested with news websites to have a person borrowing them and posting them on his own blog, everybody might as well just go and read the news first-hand elsewhere.
I can bet my money that everybody is more interested in knowing his own point of view, or knowing about his own life, instead of reading a recap of CNN/Jazeerah news with bits of other forms of media like newspapers et cetera. Call it opinion, call it attitude, call it whatever you please, it's just not there on Ibn Alrafidain.