Wednesday, December 07, 2005


For people who read this blog for the last two days, I'm sure you wonder what happened to the interview of Lisa Ramaci, wife of slain journalist and blogger Steven Vincent.

After I published the interview, Iraqi blogger Zan, not knowing the feud between Steven, Lisa and Cole, posted an article written by Cole about the influence of Iran and extremist Shia in Iraq. Zan knows Steven was killed for exposing those thugs in the media. But Zan, who doesn't have time to read every post on every blog on the internet, didn't know this was going to cause a problem.

The other commentators jumped on the wagon and started an argument with Zan, who still had no idea why he was attacked over the article. That's when everything started. People, who know I don't tolerate fights or abusive comments on my blog, started shooting back and forth.

This blog doesn't represent a full-time job to me. I have a busy life. Furthermore, I have no intention to be addicted to blogging. It means I don't have time to moderate every comment left on this blog. I want to believe readers can behave civilly. I also made it clear many times that fights between the left, right, Republicans, Democrats or Martians are not welcomed on this blog. I'm sure you can find thousands of other blogs to satisfy your appetite for that sort of arguments.

I worked hard to get the interview with Lisa Ramaci because I wanted "the Iraqis" who read this blog to understand the rumors they heard about Steven's murder are wrong. I wanted them to understand that Steven died because he wanted to expose these murderers to the world. Those were the people that needed to read the interview.

This interview was also meant to clarify Steven's murder to Americans who read this blog and aren't familiar with Steven's work. Americans should know when false allegations are written in some newspapers and blogs.

But, everyone lost their temper and didn't look at the big picture. I don't appreciate it at all.

Yesterday morning, Lisa requested I remove the interview. She asked me to replace it with a clarification letter, which I published yesterday. I removed the whole post before going to bed last night. I did my best not to cause Lisa any pain. The purpose of the post was done. Do I regret what happened the last two days? Nope. It's another lesson on how good intentions could be easily lost in translation.

And here's a story for you all:

A great Samurai warrior, now old, had decided to teach Zen Buddhism to young people. Despite his age, the legend was that he could defeat any adversary.

One afternoon, a young warrior - known for his complete lack of scruples - arrived there. He was famous for using techniques of provocation: he waited until his adversary made the first move and then swiftly counterattacked, skillfully taking advantage of any slightest mistake his adversary made. He had never lost a fight.

Hearing of the Samurai's reputation, he had come to defeat him, to increase his fame. All the students were against the idea, but the old master accepted the challenge.

All gathered on the town square, and the young man started insulting the old master. He threw a few rocks in his direction, spat in his face, shouted every insult under the sun - he even insulted his ancestors. For hours, he did everything to provoke him, but the old man remained impassive. At the end of the afternoon, by now feeling exhausted and humiliated, the impetuous warrior left.

Disappointed by the fact that the master had received so many insults and provocations, the students asked:

"How could you bear such indignity? Why didn't you use your sword, even knowing you might lose the fight, instead of displaying your cowardice in front of us all?"

"If someone comes to you with a gift, and you do not accept it, to whom does the gift belong?" asked the Samurai.

"To the one who tried to deliver it," replied one of his disciples.

"The same goes for envy, anger and insults," said the master. "When they are not accepted, they continue to belong to the one who brought them."

Have a nice day everyone.

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