Speaking of hoaxes, there's a big Is He Or Isn't He argument going on about Salam Pax, that Where is Raed guy. Columnist David Warren is quite miffed about his assertion that Pax was really a Ba'athist spy. Even though I have had my own suspicions that Pax wasn't being 100% truthful with us (duh, ya think?), it seems to me that Warren is being a little over the top here.
There's a lot more informed opinion on this at Winds of Change. I'll just say that if he was a spy, what exactly was blogging supposed to accomplish? Disinformation? Well, I seriously doubt that the administration was using his blog as a major source of info about Baghdad. To foment antiwar sentiment? From what I have seen from commenters to his blog, and elsewhere, most peoples' war sentiment, whether pro- or anti-, was already set in cement, and those who admitted to being fence sitters changed their opinion one way or another for reasons other than sympathy for one blogger's personal plight.
In any case, to claim that all bloggers have swallowed his story hook, line, and sinker is something of a canard. Questions about the veracity of his blog are by no means a new phenomenon -- there have been other bloggers who opined last year that he might be a fake, long before any big pundit even knew his blog existed -- but now that the war is over (more or less) and Saddam is out of a job, presumably at one point or other we'll find out the truth.
(PS: I realize that Where is Raed is not just Salam Pax's blog, but I use "his" for purposes of brevity.)Posted by Andrea Harris at May 16, 2003 10:02 AM