Sunday, January 01, 2006

All Good Things...

Several months ago I informed all the Iraqi And Afghan bloggers I would be discontinuing my services in collecting donations on their behalf on Dec 31st, 2005. At this time all the blogs' PayPal button have been removed. The links to the donors and this site will only remain at the discretion of each site's owner. This site will remain as a historical artifact of what transpired.

There is still some money left in the blogger's accounts. I'll be making arrangements over the next few weeks to have this money distributed to the bloggers or where ever they see fit. Although I don't anticipate any major issues, if something does come up I'll be sure to post status updates on this site.

The reason I have decided to stop is that the mission has been accomplished. In the early days, the donations made had a real impact on the ability of the first bloggers to continue blogging from within their home countries. Besides the internet fees, the fact people were willing to pay made it clear how important this all was. Having first person accounts available for people to read is what the blogosphere is all about and it is hard to imagine a place that needed this more than Iraq and Afghanistan.

My one regret is I wasn't able to attract a wider range of views of the Iraqi experience. I made several attempts to get Riverbend on board and Zeyad, but was unsuccessful. In Riverbend'’s case it appears she pursued other channels so good for her. But the way groups polarize into different camps even on a medium that was made for talking confuses me. With little to no risk of physical confrontation why do people do this? Without dialog how do opposing sides ever reconcile or at least admit the other side isn't 100% evil. I had hoped that blogs will allow dialog between opposing sides, but it appears at best they provide easier access to information for people in the middle of an issue to make up their minds.


When I started this blog, I said no politics was allowed. As I've obviously violated this rule I guess that's my queue to close up the site and move on. It's been a pleasure working with everyone that I came in contact with.

All the best,

Tom Villars