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The Internet

Rebuilding Iraq's Internet 876

Anselm writes "According to this article at, "The war has left Iraq's Internet infrastructure in shambles. Now, a British ISP hopes to fund the reconstruction through sales of domain names ending in .iq." While I have no use for an IQ domain, the article does make me wonder: Should geeks around the world take the lead in getting Iraq back online?"
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Rebuilding Iraq's Internet

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  • by privacyt ( 632473 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @01:25PM (#5703193)
    I'd like to know what happened to this Iraqi's web blog []. It was an interesting read at the beginning of the war.

    The Baghdad telecommunications got wiped out on the 25th, according to news reports. And as of last night, Baghdad still didn't have electicity. (Also keep in mind that as of today, the US only controls half the city, according to the latest from CNN.)

    So it could be awhile. I sure hope Salam is surviving the looting and anarchy. (He lives in a wealthy part of Baghdad.) It will be fascinating to see what he says when he is able to post again.

  • Re:GeekCorps (Score:3, Informative)

    by charlesbakerharris ( 623282 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @01:30PM (#5703251)
    I had dinner with Ethan Zuckerman, GeekCorps' founder, a couple weeks ago. He explained to me during a discussion of another underdeveloped region that GeekCorps was aimed primarily at places with almost nothing - places like Ghana and Mongolia that for-profit companies would not touch.

    Iraq has an internet infrastructure, a modern economy... There's money to be made there, and they are hardly backwater. They're not really GeekCorps territory at all, so don't expect to see them there.

  • Re:Won't work (Score:4, Informative)

    by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @01:32PM (#5703271) Homepage
    I think it's a mistake to take a short-term view when talking about rebuilding a country.

    There are obvious short-term needs which must be met, such as food and water. This is a no-brainer. The difficult part to rebuilding a country is taking advantage of the fact that you're essentially creating from whole cloth, and thus have the opportunity to either do things very right or completely cock it up.

    Therefore, this is the time to talk about rebuilding Iraq's internet, especially given that the sort of freedom allowed by the internet could conceivably be an effective force for continued liberty in that country.

    Iraq is a potentially wealthy country; I'd like to see that used for good things (net) rather than bad (weapons, oppression of its people, enriching Dick Cheney's friends, etc).

  • Re:Why don't we... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jhunsake ( 81920 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @01:46PM (#5703421) Journal
    The oil fields were captured so they weren't set afire again like in the first war. I'm so sick of people like you insinuating this war was about oil. The oil companies (especially those in France and Russia, who had deals with Saddam) were much better off before the war than they will be after. They had deals to get very, very cheap oil. Now Iraq's oil will be sold at market rates, and the proceeds will actually go to the Iraqi people. I've read >50 analysis by economists saying this war doesn't benefit oil companies (and interests) and not one that it does.
  • by KingRamsis ( 595828 ) <> on Thursday April 10, 2003 @01:52PM (#5703477)
    Yes :-) getting hit by shoe is in the arabic culture is an insult.
    it was not meant to destroy but to insult.
    Here in the arabic world it is an expression "I'm going to hit you with my shoe".
  • by Joey7F ( 307495 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @01:59PM (#5703535) Homepage Journal
    I have seen too many people making references to Iraq by appending other country's values to it. So read this from the CIA iz.html []

    It has information like literacy rates, religions, etc. I was surprised by a few things, for example, I thought all Iraqis were Arabs, but it turns out there are a fair amount of Turks, Assyrians etc.

    I hope they can become a shining example of democracy in a region that is dominated by dictators.

    After all, Italy, Germany and Japan have it pretty well now!


  • Priorities (Score:5, Informative)

    by 90XDoubleSide ( 522791 ) <ninetyxdoublesid ... t ['hai' in gap]> on Thursday April 10, 2003 @02:38PM (#5703940)
    Should geeks around the world take the lead in getting Iraq back online?

    Absolutely, but not before giving at least a small contribution to the World Food Programme [], which is in desperate need of funds to combat starvation in both Iraq and sub-Saharan Africa at the same time. Then there will be enough people alive to use the internet!

  • Re:Better! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Frymaster ( 171343 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @06:04PM (#5705828) Homepage Journal
    er... canada's kicked in $100 million via cida which is .3 of what the u.s. said they would contribute. since canada has about 10% of the u.s. population i would wonder where's the american's fair share?

    here's the sources: yIDEn/77388F7E8514D8BC85256C3E006EA557?OpenDocumen t yIDEn/ACC633007EE9CEC885256B8300688876?OpenDocumen t

    i bet the afghani's are ecstatic to be getting about 10% of what the u.s. gives to "impoverished" isreal.

  • by maelstrom ( 638 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @06:17PM (#5705933) Homepage Journal
    The shoe is considered dirty, so beating someone with a shoe is a grave insult reserved for servants. You would beat your family with a stick or your hand, enver your shoe. At least so says my online sources. I found this article [] enlightening.
  • by glesga_kiss ( 596639 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @09:51PM (#5707202)
    If they don't have Net access, they will continue to get their news from the likes of al-jazeera and Baghdad Bob.

    You do know that Al-Jazeera are not an Iraqi news service? And that Saddam had their reporters expelled from the country shortly after the war began, because of what they were reporting about the Iraqi regime?

    You see, they were only showing the truth, what war looks like from the ground. Very different to the sanitized news we receive, but if you believe in freedom and democracy, then you have to agree that having all sides of the story available is essential.

  • Re:Why don't we... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Iguanaphobic ( 31670 ) on Thursday April 10, 2003 @10:02PM (#5707243)
    Visit [] this link, read the article and then answer me a couple of questions.

    1. According to President Reagan, the U.S. government started shipping weapons to Iran in January 1986. Why then? (Hint: Saddam nixed the Jordan pipeline in November 1985)

    2. Why not get Saddam then?

    3. Why not get Saddam in 1991?

    4. Why now?

    Be sure to use the following words in your answers. Hypocrisy, propaganda and lies.

  • Iraqi Exploitation (Score:2, Informative)

    by LamerX ( 164968 ) on Friday April 11, 2003 @12:14AM (#5708007) Journal
    I love how it's not only the telecommunications industry that's going to be taken over by American or British companies. It's going to be EVERY Iraqi industy that gets rebuilt or replaced by American or British people. We go in and obliterate everything in Iraq, and then we send our companies in and get the credit for building the wonderful economy.

    That's not all. Since it's Iraq and not the United States, there will be no laws on labor like we have here. Companies will now have a new place to exploit people, and give them back the same job that they were doing before at 1/4 of the pay! YAY so much for Iraqi Liberation. More like Operation: Iraqi Exploitation.

FORTRAN is the language of Powerful Computers. -- Steven Feiner