The article title and subheader are, to put it mildly, somewhat exaggerated. "Web Chaos" is caused by things like the NIMDA worm. And "huge web spat" is hardly how I would describe the Martini Republics 15 seconds of fame last year, better descriptions might be "storm in a teacup" or "mountain out of a molehill".
Iraq the Model, a weblog detailing the more positive aspects of the US-led occupation of the country, is one of the most popular Iraq sites on the web.
But some anti-war activists said it was a CIA-sponsored propaganda tool.
The brothers strongly denied the claims, but the row has led to severe ructions in the online Iraq community.
So perhaps we could have some background on the "anti-war activists"? One blog in LA made the claim which was then echoed, without any more evidence being provided, by a raneg of the usual suspects. And you know just maybe, if it cause web chaos and a huge web spat perhaps the BBC should actually repeat the "evidence" the "anti-war activists" presented to make their claim. No on second thoughts better not to, because it they did then the world couls see just how laughable the whole thing was. In fact the list of " RELATED INTERNET LINKS", while containing the Iraqi blogs, unaccountably fails to link to any site that made the initial accusation or to the NY Times article that seems to have inspired this. This seems to take coyness to a whole new level.
The blog, written by Baghdad-based brothers Mohammed and Omar, who are dentists, and doctor Ali, first surfaced in November 2003, a few months after the war in Iraq ended.
Ali told the BBC News website in a phone call last year that he and his brothers had developed the blog because they wanted to send out a more positive message about events in their home country.
Love the quotes around positive message in the title. Of course this is what the bloggers said but from the tactical use of the quotes it looks like the scare quotes you get around non-credible allegations.
"More than 90% of major media outlets have a rather negative agenda, and what's the benefit of us doing the same?" he said.
"They [the media] ignore pictures of good relations between the Iraqis and the coalition, and the good interaction between both sides."
Such as the BBC perhaps? After all the comments at the BBC Arabic website gets regularly translated by the ITM bloggers but not by the BBC itself - could this be because the comments seem to be rather more positive that the BBCs coverage?
Its popularity spread to such an extent that two of the brothers, Omar and Mohammed, attended a blogging conference at Harvard University in the US and even met President George W Bush.
I suspect this is intended to bolster the case that the bloggers are CIA or Bush government shills. After all the great Satan, President Bush never ever meets with anyone that he hasn't already taken the soul of.
But soon detractors began posting on the site, accusing the brothers of being frauds and of disseminating false propaganda about the situation in the country.
Some even claimed the brothers had been coached by US intelligence officials to put a positive spin on events in Iraq.
So we repeat the claim and again manage to avoid producing anything that could remotely count as evidence. You know it wouldn't kill you to explain that the whole BS was built on about two seconds of "whois" research without apparently even the additional step of reading the blog archives to discover if the point is answered. And it might be good to present the rebuttal too? except for the fact that the rebuttal would make clear that the whole thing was a complete smear job.
These "stupid conspiracy theories", coupled with his brothers' US visit, proved the final straw for Ali, who posted a message on the site announcing he was leaving the blog and hinted darkly that he intended to "expose" those Americans who had made him feel "on the wrong side".
Well ah maybe the you should quote from the new blog then where he does indeed address these points instead of using scare quotes to make it look like either he was a paranoid fantasist of that he was silenced for saying what he did. Talk about smears and innuendo, could it be that maybe the you, BBC, is one of those trying to make him feel "on the wrong side"?
He later explained in posts on his new blog he had been angered by his brothers' trip to the US, because he felt that by speaking to the American media they had endangered their family and allowed themselves to be used.
Now we sort of get a quote but it not only doesn't represent the whole explanation - which ends unequivically with "I believe in free and democratic Iraq and I believe in America, the coalition and all those who are helping us." - it also helps to set up another smear a couple of lines later
The fight has raised the issue of identity and misrepresentation in weblogs, where often it is nearly impossible to verify if the person "blogging" really is who they claim to be.
And as for Ali, he has since told the New York Times newspaper that he has reconciled with his brothers, although they still do not quite see eye-to-eye.
"My brothers have confidence in the American administration. I have my questions," he told the paper.Ah yes that final smear. Omar and Mohammed are credulous fools but the smarter, less gullible Ali, despite being formerly a stalwart supporter of the invasion can see that actually the whole thing was a big mistake and that Saddam Hussein should be restored to power IMMEDIATELY.
However, questions have to be asked about what happens after the election if the fighters, mainly Sunni Islamists and nationalists, continue their attacks.
If they do, they and the likely winners of the election, parties representing the majority Shia population, could come into conflict. This in turn could lead to a possible civil war.
Shia leaders have called for talks with Sunni representatives in the hope of averting such a scenario.
Nobody has as yet openly called for the withdrawal of US troops as the price of ending at least the nationalist part of the insurgency. But the idea could arise at some stage.
Matters post-30 January would be made worse if there was a low turnout in the Sunni areas because there would then be at best only a weak voice for a powerful section of Iraqi society and the one supporting the current fighting.Picking holes in this is pointless the whole thing is vacuous and negative in the extreme. Compare it with (for example) the Strategypage.com analysis on the violence which provides a level of perspective and balance that would seem a prerequisite for actual analysis