… is today.
Over the Christmas of 2002, my son Tarek said to me a number of times, “Mom, you really should start a blog.” I said, “A what?” (not surprisingly)… And then as he told me more about the concept, I became more and more intrigued.
Long story short, he helped set me up JWN… first on Blogger, then on MT (and I even have a plan to move over to WordPress sometime, not yet implemented.)
So here was my very first blog post, from February 6, 2003. In it, I gave my evaluation of the really terrible, mendacious and war-preparing presentation that Colin Powell had just made to the U.N. You remember, the one that included all the allegations about the “aluminum tubes” and the alleged presence of Al-Qaeda operatives in areas of Iraq under Saddam’s control…
Over the days that followed, I tried to do as much truth-squadding as I could regarding those completely unfounded allegations. (I also did a little at the Christian Science Monitor.) And over the six weeks that followed February 6, I did what i could to use my blog to warn against the many dangers that a U.S. invasion of Iraq would, in my analysis, almost certainly lead to.
On March 19, 2003, I blogged the way I’d learned about the start of the invasion by writing this post, which featured my 17-year-old daughter Lorna.
Lorna is now an accomplished and lovely young woman of 25 who’s deep into a doctoral program here in the U.S.
And what has happened to that whole generation of 17-year-old Iraqis meantime???
The anti-war movement failed to halt the onrush of that war. We failed to halt Israel’s assaults against Lebanon in 2006, and against Gaza in 2008.
We failed to halt the U.S. escalation in Iraq in 2006, and in Afghanistan last year.
Now, however, I submit, the dysfunctional (or even, clearly counter-productive) nature of all those attempts by the U.S and Israel to solve their problems by the application of massive amounts of military violence has become clearer than ever. Military violence is not a sustainable or even, at any level, a logical path to greater peace and human wellbeing.
And I think more and more Americans are understanding that now?
… Anyway, it’s been a huge eight years in world politics, in my engagement with world politics, and in my life as a blogger.
If you want to see the extent (and the rough balance) of the things I’ve been blogging about, go to the blog’s front page, if you’re not there already, and scroll down the left sidebar till you come to the “Topical Index”. When the categories have become too big, I have tried to break them down, by calendar year or even (for Iraq for a whole period there) by quarter. I see the biggest category is “Palestine 2009” with 165 posts tagged there.
Over this period, I have also built up some great relationships with other bloggers. And even last year– acting partly on another suggestion that Tarek had made a while earlier– I got the idea of founding Just World Books as a way to bring the work of these bloggers in a better way to a broader reading public.
I love being a book publisher! But it’s been a lot of work, founding a company– becoming a businesswoman, for goodness’ sake!– learning all those new skills that I never knew I’d ever have any need of! Then, over Christmas (again), I decided it was time to restore a bit of work/blog balance to my days; and that I needed to reconnect with my voice as a blogger.
Just in time, eh, before this amazing new wave of uprisings started busting out all over the Middle East!
I should note that another of the pleasures of blogging has been to host the forum that the commenters here all contribute to. Having this conversation across national barriers, time-zones, and worldviews has really been amazing. Back when I started doing it in 2003, it felt even more amazing. I don’t want to lose that spirit of wonder and appreciation about this aspect of the blog.
… Where will we all be in another eight years, I wonder?
… is today.