About this blog

Blogging Baghdad aims to provide a dynamic look at the story behind the story of covering the news in Iraq. Online entries – from text to video blogs – will detail the realities of daily life for ordinary Iraqis, American troops and the media living and working in a 24 hour war zone.

Regular contributors include NBC News correspondents, producers and staff on assignment in Iraq.

Click here to read more about the journalists behind Blogging Baghdad.

Saddam execution - time to move on

Saddam Hussein was executed last Saturday -- now almost a week ago. But it was only yesterday, Thursday, that -- for the first time -- we were not filing around the news cycle on the insidious fallout from ''the cell phone video."

Why? It was the perfect video storm: 2 minutes 36 seconds of grainy, shaky imagery had captivated the world's media organizations and galvanized anyone and everyone who had an opinion on the war. And -- especially -- against the war.

There was Saddam, once America's bulwark against the turbaned theocracy to the East, standing tall, head high, composed, taking verbal salvos from several unseen agents of the Shiite-led government America had supported, indeed -- created. The off-camera chants of "Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada" quickly became a mantra for America's final moral -- if not yet military -- defeat in Iraq.

Wasn't al-Sadr the very man who commanders had claimed was the biggest threat to U.S. interests in Iraq? What was going on here? "If this is a sectarian struggle over there, how did we get to be Shiites?" bellowed MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on the Today Show.

Enough. It's time to step back and digest some of the feedback we've received from viewers and bloggers who -- in sum -- complained about our voyeuristic obsession with the death of a tyrant at the hands of his victims.


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Arab world reacts to Saddam's execution

X_arab_reax_070104VIDEO: NBC News Richard Engel reports on the ongoing reaction on the Arab street - from Baghdad and Fallujah to Damascus and the West Bank - to the hanging of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

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An iconic moment destroyed in 2:36

Many Iraqis wanted Saddam to be executed in public. Thanks to a single cell phone, they got it.

But three words spoiled the execution the U.S. administration and Iraqi government hoped would be a unifying moment for Iraqis: "Muqtada, Muqtada, Muqtada!"

A guard yelled Muqtada al-Sadr's name at Saddam just moments before he was hanged.

A witness recorded it on a cell phone.

The two minute, thirty-six second video was leaked to the media.


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Slide Show

  • Life beyond the violence
    Suicide attacks and murders due to sectarian conflict continue around Iraq. See how residents live their lives amid the attacks.

More Conflict in Iraq coverage