December 16, 2005

And Over To You, Readers...

For some time now, I have been questioning the value in continuing this blog.

My main aim when I started out was twofold: to bring public attention to the forces which control our lives, and to educate myself in the process. Specifically, the blog became anti-Bush because of the Iraq War lies, which really shone a spotlight on the dangerous liaisons between Western governments and Big Business. This has become something of an obsession as I have learned more and more about what is going on in today's world. It has been an alarming, sometimes exhilirating, endlessly frustrating, but ultimately educational experience.

We have come a long way since the days when every second post here was considered a "conspiracy theory" and Bush supporters were regularly threatening violence against me for even countenancing such thoughts. Let's consider for a moment what has been achieved since I started this blog:

- Despite successful re-election campaigns, Bush, Blair and Howard are now polling at near- record lows,
- More than half the voters in the USA are now aware of the Iraq War lies,
- A procession of whistle-blowers have been encouraged to come forward with evidence like the Downing Street Memos,
- US politicians are now openly calling for a withdrawal from Iraq, with strong public support,
- Bush's GOP is engulfed in scandals - DeLay, Frist, PlameGate and more - as they head into the 2006 elections,
- Resistance from ordinary Iraqis has frustrated US efforts to seize Iraqi oil and spread a military presence across the region,
- This resistance has also helped dispel support for the neocon myth of the USA playing the role of an un-challenge-able global empire,
- US atrocities in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, secret torture centres and rendition flights have been brought to light,
- The UN has resisted US efforts to control its agenda, and the IAEA head (whom the USA sought to remove) was awarded the Nobel Prize for peace,

There is much more, of course... and I am not taking credit for all of them!

But with Bush now being described as a "lame duck" President for the next three years (his backdown on McCain's torture bill was a glaring example of how little political power the White House now exerts in Washington), with Cheney hiding from the lights in his bunker and Rumsfeld set to be replaced in the coming months, I feel that the main aim of this blog - to bring public attention to these things - has now largely been achieved. I feel that it is now up to Americans - not an Aussie like me - to continue the reform from here on in.

Having said that, I do enjoy the journalistic aspect of blogging and plan to continue with it in some form or other. In the coming week or two, the blog counter below should hit 50,000. That's a lot of hits (even if half of the visits may have been mine!). I really do appreciate the constructive feedback I have had over the years, and I am glad to have served as a source of information for countless search engine requests.

So this post is to solicit your feedback as I ponder how best to expend my energies in the coming year... What do you all like/dislike about this blog? How do you think it could be improved? How do you think it fits within the larger picture of the blogosphere - is there a need for blogs like this when we already have valuable sites like antiwar.com, alternet, working for change, ICH, etc?

I will be eager to read any comments (and if there are none, that will tell me all I need to know).

8 comments:

Anil said...

I have bookmarked your blog for a long time now and have really appreciated the passion and the insight you show in your posts as well as the sources you linkup and cite.

A lot of horrible blogs end up as "popular" blogs and a lot of excellent blogs rise and disappear into the night due to lack of traffic. Sad, but such is the nature of the still unruly beast that is the blogroll.

I hope your blog has enough visitors to enable you to continue and I hope you continue to write even if you cannot continue to maintain your own blog.

I do wish you to know that I, for one, have really appreciated my visits here.

Wadard said...

Gandhi,

Your journey has been my journey and I regularly check you out. I agree, I think Bush will slowly bleed to death by a thousand cuts over the next few years. It would be a good outcome if people learned the lessons of how stupid as well as wrong expeditionary war really is.

My vote is that you keep blogging - you did well uncovering the Hake and Spirit of America and Iraq the Model linkages. ITM readers thought you were a conspiracy theorist, but as we all now know - there are highly active covert pr exercises in the Iraqi media pushing the "good news in Iraq" storyline that ITM sang so true for. It was you arguements with the ITM regulars which drew me to your site, btw. You style has changed for the slightly better - you are more dispassionate.

I think you strength is investigative blogging and you should explore this a bit more.

Oh - and please link me to you blogroll. I was inspired by you to blog about something I feel strongly about, and to educate myself in the process: Global Warming Watch. I would be honoured if you had a look and gave me feedback.

Exadios said...

I agree with the other posters. I think you should continue - maybe at a lower intensity and more issue based.

BTW What ever happened to Spirit of America? They seem to have dissapeared from the face of the earth.

olivia said...

gandhi, I've been stopping by and reading your blog for a long time now. I really appreciate your writing, and like others above have posted, your passion. Your posts are full of links and good information. Your work on the whole ITM/Spirit of America issue was very interesing. You touched a lot of nerves, and drew many angry people (which was very telling). I think your investigation on that issue was really impressive. I agree w/ you that there comes a point when the US has to demand the answers and hold their elected reps accountable.

I know how hard it is to keep a blog when it doesn't seem like it is effecting change. Also, burn out can be a problem for bloggers, especially writing daily on the issues you have (torture, war, etc.)

In terms of different content, I would enjoy learning more about your country. Maybe you could put up some posts on current events and your thoughts on them. You do have a knack for investigation though, and this is something I thing you should continue.

In any case, I hope that you do continue writing.

gandhi said...

Thanks for your feedback, folks.

If anyone is wondering why erstwhile commentator Winter Patriot has not posted a comment here, I had an email from him saying that he is also planning a break (maybe a permanent one) from the Net. If you are aware of his online efforts, including the Whispering Campaign (link on the left), you will appreciate the loss to the anti-Bush campaign. I'm sure you will join me in wishing him well wherever he goes and whatever he chooses to do.

As for me, well, I couldn't resist posting again after Bush had the gall to public admit he was breaking the law repeatedly. I mean, that says it all doesn't it? If America is not prepared to do anything about THAT, well what the hell will it take? I mean, really!!!??! I don't mean to sounds pessimistic, just realistic. There is hope for change, but it rests with the people of the USA now, not with me.

Generally, I am thinking that I will keep this blog going. Hey, it says BUSH OUT, doesn't it? So I'm going to stick around at least until the bastard is gone! But I will be adopting more commentary/analysis and less of a "newshound" flavour. And I would like to do some longer, publish-able (hopefully) reporting pieces, particularly involving investigative work.

For example, this while story about the USA paying for news pieces in Iraq has barely been scratched and people are already "moving on" - I think there is a lot more that could come out, I am just not sure anybody will care about it when it does, or that anything will change.

Largely uncharted in this blog has been my own country's sad but steady decline into the trough of militant Fascism, and that is also something I want to focus on a bit more in the coming year, maybe on another blog.

More anon...

silentmajority said...

I have a news item on my blog regarding the lincoln group and the rest of the propoganda situation in Iraq. I don't do my own investigating or reporting I just find items I like from mainstream sources and good spots like democracy now and raw story. I believe the posting contains hyperlinks to more information. You can find me at www.nakedstory.blogspot.com I just changed the format to show only one posting per page so you have to poke around. I think the title of the post I'm referring to is "Psyched About Psy-Ops". Keep up the good work.

elendil said...

I've been interstate on business, hence the delayed response. I reckon the other comments here speak for themselves, but aside from the service to your readers, I reckon you need to blog for yourself. They say it's not healthy to bottle up rage, and I don't know how many friends and family-members you have that are willing to have you vent about this stuff. Here, you provide a service, get it off your chest, and like-minded people tell you that no, you're not crazy to feel this way, because we do too.

gandhi said...

elendil,

Hey I can quit any time I like! Any time...

I mean, really I can!

Any... time... I ... like...!

But not today.

:-)

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