October 16th, 2003


Unexpected email...

Recently, I emailed Riverbend, a 24-year-old female programmer in Iraq, who asked in her weblog recently:

Why is no one covering this: Parallel Government Finds Support?!

She's got a point. There is a shortage of news articles out there covering this. However, there were some, so I emailed her with links to several, some of which I used in my last post.

She was nice enough to email me back, and had several interesting things to say...

- She put the number of his supporters at 1-2 million. This is much higher than the numbers I have heard in the past, and equates to roughly 5-10% of the Iraqi population.

- She has seen very little coverage of Al-Sadr's shadow government on either CNN or the BBC, but it is a huge, looming issue for the Iraqis.

- Educated, secular Iraqis view Sadr as young, rash, and unqualified to lead so many people. His militia is seen as violent, repressive, and frighteningly loyal to him.

Obviously, arresting Al-Sadr could become a very big deal. Meanwhile, US forces have already started raids on his followers...

Bend it, like, broken...

Finally got the chance to see Bend It Like Beckham, which was very good, and it was a nice surprise that it featured Santa Clara University in the storyline.

The sad part, however, is that professional women's soccer/football in the US seems to be dead. Something tells me that Bend it Like Beckham came out about a year too late....

The Santa Clara Broncos really are a national powerhouse when it comes to soccer, having won the national championship in 2001 and competing on an equal level with the country's biggest universities. Looks like they're playing a home game against Loyola tomorrow night and against Pepperdine on Sunday. Both games are sold out, too... which means you can probably get tickets for $7 at the event if you arrive early enough. Hopefully we'll see more of the Broncos in the NCAA finals!

I don't normally root for anyone, but in this case, I will make an exception.

Go (insert local team)!