This blog deserves an explanation of its reason for being. A manifesto, a public declaration of my intentions toward it, to remind me of the principles to which I gave life in committing nearly a full 27 seconds to signing up for and establishing this little corner of the internet while watching How I Met Your Mother.
The idea is this. I'm an American recently moved to Iraq without a significant background in middle eastern -- much less specifically Iraqi -- politics, history, or language. It is a blindingly bright new world here, and yet seductively easy to try and navigate without ever making much of an attempt to see. It is easy to be here day to day with no broader context and no examined sense of the politics. As an individual I find this unsatisfying. As a humanitarian aid worker I find it unnerving.
The purpose of this blog then is to learn through writing. It is not to expound on things I already know. I make no claim to expertise. It will be a layman's notes on Iraqi news and politics, broadly defined. It may be riddled with inaccuracies and errors, or offense given through ignorance. It may explain the obvious or gloss over the nuanced. Such is life. My hope is that it will provide me a focal point for reading and thinking about Iraq and, in doing so, make it a little easier to see.