SpiritofAmerica
Spirit of America is a somewhat grassroots, and quickly growing project to promote humanitarian aid in Iraq. It's interesting to note that both people for and against the war have signed on with their support. Dan Gillmor says, "Marc Danziger, a.k.a. the 'Armed Liberal' Web logger, supported the war in Iraq. Britt Blaser, a Howard Dean campaign adviser, did not." Both Marc and Britt are supporting this effort.

Dan also writes, "'It seemed if you could essentially aggregate requests and syndicate those to potential donors, mainly using the Net and electronic outreach, you could respond with speed and on a scale to really make a difference,' Hake said," in an interview with the founder. Jeff Jarvis says, "I have been wanting to bring more citizens' media to Iraq -- blogging tools translated into Arabic and free blog hosting, for example. I now hope we can accomplish this via SoA," which I think is interesting.

I think this is an excellent example of the use of technology and grass roots organization to see if we can do right, something that top-down methods seem to be failing at. It's also an interesting attempt at citizen-to-citizen communications. Lets hope it works better than leader-to-leader communications.

15 Comments

This is such a great idea. I hope that the citizen outreach won't be symied by conflict or exploitation by one side or the other.

The introduction of blogging tools sounds interesting. Were it not for the language barrier, you might have an intriguing situation where the citizens of the conquerors and the citizens of the conquered end up as pen pals.

I just hope that the goodwill behind the idea of "citizen-to-citizen" communications isn't misconstrued. Iraqis are hip to the fact that some Westerners view them as a commodity whose brain-space equals market-space and an ideological lab.

"Were it not for the language barrier, you might have an intriguing situation where the citizens of the conquerors and the citizens of the conquered end up as pen pals."

I think you are right, and this is not entirely without precedent. My Dad was had a penpal from postwar Japan.

I think this is perhaps one of the most constructive efforts I have seen. More power to them.

Wow, I am really impressed. One of the criticisms I had about the left and so called humanitarian agencies was that a lot of them while not supporting the war did not help out with any humanitarian needs.

This is a great idea and hope can bridge some gaps and stop the incessant nonsense for a couple of minutes. =)

Why "Spirit of AMERICA"?

If international donors want to help out, why on earth should we be complicit in giving a good name to America's colonial occupation army?

Spirit of the WORLD!

citicen to citicen comunication has far greater hope then leader to leader could ever be.it is the citicens children that die in wars not the leaders

Exactly. Simply as a communications pipeline, this seems ike a great idea. There's a growing distrust in America of the media, and I, for one, am starting to place a lot more credence in interpersonal communication, as transparent as you can get it.

I have been talking to americans and arabs for the last few months mostly thro bulletin boards and it has horrified me. The level of rascist, blood-lusting, hate-filled abuse is quite breath-taking. It does have to be said that 90% of this comes from Americans. More 'angels' need to challenge some of this filth by simply talking to others and opening eyes to interpersonal communication across borders

While my blog is not as worldly as yours, I am going to attempt to learn from you as much as I can.

Feel free to drop by my blog, or drop me e-mails, because I am, to be frank, intrigued and amazed by your words.

I am an American. But I do not believe that this should be labeled as "Spirit of America". There are different countries over there helping out in the aid of Iraq becoming a democratic partisan in their own kind. Just because USA is a dominant force there, doesn't mean that we are the only ones. Credit should be given when and where credit is due. I also feel that because Bush is labeling this as "America is doing this and that" yet he says the world needs to take action becomes a contradicting statement to other countries. Bush makes it out to seem that USA can and will do it all with or without the aid of other countries. What other country would want to help Bush when he acts so cocky about our stand in this war?? The war on terrorism is being sidetracked because Bush was out to get Saddam Hussein. I believe that there is terrorism out there, however Bush makes it out to seem that America will dominate all. Terrorism has been going on for decades, long before his own father came into the Presidency!! What else can one President try to have USA dominate before his own country becomes a fallen spirit? Send more military over there to keep the USA open to the terrorism, that is what it looks like. Let's take action all over the world, yet he can't even keep a lid on his own country. I know who I am NOT going to vote for this year in elections!

For Americans, citizen-to-citizen is preferable to leader-to-leader communications. This is because we can enunciate better than our President and our vocabularies are larger.

A cheap shot, but why keep the gloves on?

Why "Spirit of AMERICA"?

If international donors want to help out, why on earth should we be complicit in giving a good name to America's colonial occupation army?

Spirit of the WORLD!

You could say that America has the biggest obligation.

Hey, if you don't like "Spirit of America" go start your own "Spirit of France" or "Spirit of Germany" or "Spirit of Leftist Insanity," for all I care. Just don't bad mouth people for trying to help people. Americans don't have the biggest responsibility for the plight of Iraqis -- France, Germany, Russia, the UN, the Baathists, and Al Qaeda do. What are you Bush-haters going to do when he wins in November, hold your breaths until you explode?

Hey, if you don't like "Spirit of America" go start your own "Spirit of France" or "Spirit of Germany" or "Spirit of Leftist Insanity," for all I care. Just don't bad mouth people for trying to help people. Americans don't have the biggest responsibility for the plight of Iraqis -- France, Germany, Russia, the UN, the Baathists, and Al Qaeda do. What are you Bush-haters going to do when he wins in November, hold your breaths until you explode?

There was no badmouthing of people trying to help other people. There was praise of them.

Bush is a man whose limits make him unqualified for the position he presently holds. No more excuses should be made for him. I agree that the War on Terrorism (A euphimism for the war against Middle Eastern nihilists and other enemies of humanity) should be fought with forcefulness and conviction, but the Bush administration made a sophomoric error in strategy when they decided to invade Iraq. They considered it a "freebie" in the broader war and simply did not plan effectively before and after the event. Very bad management, dude.

A vote against Bush is not a vote for terrorism. The terrorists will be dealt with in time, because people wish to survive in comfort and prosperity. Their fate is sealed, it's just a question of when. Yet, thanks to Bush, the date of their demise has been pushed back.

If Bush is re-elected (which I think he might be) I won't explode. I'll shake my head and go on with my life. I wouldn't be overjoyed by Kerry taking office either. What would you do if Bush loses? Implode? Come on man, your mom would be ashamed of your knee-jerk behavior here.

How can people think to offer free blog hosting to one of the most richest country in the middle east ( oil ressources and farming possibilities ).

Why don't they make Halliburton stop looting Irak and leave the oil of the irakis for the irakis ?

With their oil, Irakis will be able to offer free blog hosting and translation to the whole world for the eternity !!!

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