From the Comments...
A Contstant Reader:
The detail Riverbend provides on daily life in Iraq is compelling and leads me to believe she is "real".
It would be difficult, if notimpossible, for someone who was not in Iraq to fake this. One can only consider how quickly any efforts to pretend to be an Iraqi woman fell apart on the fake Rivers sites.
And on this subject, one of Troy's apologists in soc.retirement has implied that Troy is claiming he did the fake blog to prove how easy it was to fool people - and to thus suggest that Salaam Pax and Riverbend herself may not be real.
Of course, as you point out, to anyone with a brain, it would be obvious that he proved exactly the opposite. It took basically *no* scrutiny whatsoever to figure out the blog was not written in Iraq. And it took only a little more to uncover the precise culprit.
Pax and RB have undergone scrutiny many magnitudes of the size Troy's blog has, and no one has been able to demonstrate they are not who they say they are. Thus if Troy set out to prove how easy a fake blog is, then he has been a miserable failure.
[NB. This is not to dignify the above notion by suggesting it is true - that Troy wanted merely to provide a lesson in the ease of internet fakery. If this was so, he would have picked a different identity - not tried to copy Riverbend. His malicious intent is also of course indicated by his attitude that Riverbend is a "bitch on the rag". Moreover he would have no need to carry on maintaining the site. Finally even if it was just such an attempt that is no excuse for what he has done. Any more than it's an excuse to murder to claim you were just trying to show how easy it would be to frame someone for it!]