Christmas Eve Update
I didn't think I'd have time to do anything PC-related today. But Mrs AtBendingTruth is thoughtlessly putting a big damper on all my holiday plans by lying in bed late at the moment trying to sleep off a heavy dose of the flu. Women, eh! I don't know...
So anyway I cast a glance over the Asian Web Awards, Best Iraqi Blog and noticed that Riverbend is doing extremely well but that for some reason the smearblog no longer featured at all. Had my insidiously persuasive arguments about the fake site misleading voters finally swayed Phil? Well apparently not. I found this conversation in the comments section:
Niloo said on Wednesday December 24, 2003
There are two questionable situations in the Iranian and Iraqi blog contests.
"River's bend" is also a cheat blog immitating riverbendblog (baghdad burning) which is even been written by non Iraqis.
Phil said on Wednesday December 24, 2003 : url
Right - I will rephrase something again. Nationality is irrelevant - an Asia blog is permissible by nationality, geography or subject matter. Technically a blog about Iraq counts, however the "cheating" blog you mentioned has been removed as the site no longer appears to be work.
I find Phil's rational slightly questionable here - by any sane standard what comes up on my screen currently at the url www.riversbendblog.blogspot.com is miles and miles better than, and equally "about Iraq" as what was there a few days ago, and it has a much greater claim to being the "best Iraqi blog", but I'm certainly not arguing with his decision to remove it.
And as Colleen points out in the comments section riverbendblogS appears to have been removed as well. Again I don't know why or if this is a permanent development but it is obviously one I cautiously welcome.
Just to clarify something Ken Bell said in the comments, I believe that Salam Pax received an email from Riverbend months ago and posted it on his blog. Certainly he believed her credentials and his have been established beyond doubt. As far as I know though Salam Pax has never claimed to have actually met or spoken with Riverbend in person.
And thanks for the Chrismas wishes - all the best to all my readers as well.
I am hesitant to tear a leaf from Karl Rove's script but, since it's been four days now, I will in the holiday spirit cautiously unfurl the following banner across this page over the holiday period: