Riverbend on Salam
As I mentioned in the comments here, at Ken Bell's suggestion I emailed Salam Pax to ask if he could clarify how well he knew Riverbend, and thus could he vouch once and for all for the fact that she is an Iraqi. This of course to counter the claims of a couple of pestilent commentors (who like to give the impression they are large in number by endlessly using different nyms).
As I suspected Salam has not (yet?) responded. But I did get a comment from Riverbend on the matter. Now I don't think this needs emphasising to my sentient readers, but it is one of the endlessly propagated myths of TeamTroy that I am some kind of "official" front for Riverbend; of course I am no such thing. Our correspondence is occasional though friendly - really I am just a fan of hers like most people who read this blog. And I know very little more about her than anyone who just reads her public output. All the "evidence" I have that Riverbend is/is not an Iraqi has basically appeared in this blog. I strongly believe she is, but I could not claim to 100% know it, any more perhaps than anyone reading this knows that I am based in the United States. You have my say-so, you don't really have any reason to disbelieve it, but do you really know it? Not really, I think.
Anyway Riverbend requested that I not reproduce her email in full as it might divulge information pertaining to both her and Salam Pax that should not be in the public domain but the gist of it is as follows:
Riverbend and Salam have not met or actually spoken. However Salam was, quite understandably suspicious (probably more suspicious even than TeamTroy!) when Riverbend first emailed claiming to be an Iraqi reader. He basically made her jump through a lot of hoops before he would accept it - asking her to describe small and ephemeral details of her location, and incidents that would not have made any news. Also of course the fact that they shared a language - and she had up to date knowledge of its slang was further bolstering evidence.
Basically Salam would have had his own credibility severely undermined if he had allowed an imposter to guest on his blog and he ensured this did not happen. Riverbend invited me to ask Salam to back up her version of events. I don't doubt he would if we were in contact; at the moment we are not.
OK my writing this here will not prove anything to anyone determined to be sceptical. William Boyd or Troy would say - Riverbend could be lying , or even *I* could be lying - maybe there never even was a mail from her (but obviously for she or I to lie so publicly would risk immediate exposure). And those same people, even if there was an email straight from Salam Pax, would say I forged it or indeed as TeamTroy(George) had suggested in the comments here that Salam himself may not be real! (Reports that Troy and William Boyd still believe the earth is flat may or may not be exaggerated)
Some people will believe (or pretend to believe) anything rather than admit they were wrong. (And of course face up to the fact that they wasted months on a laughable and slimy smearblog that served no purpose other than to bring shame and ridicule on them and the causes they represent)
Bottom line is as far as I'm concerned, if you believe Salam Pax is real then you basically have to believe either he's very easily fooled or Riverbend herself is real also.