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Middle east

Web hails US pullout from Iraqi cities

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-07-01

Today on the Web: Net users react to the withdrawal of US troops from Iraqi towns and cities; bloggers debate Bernard Madoff's sentencing to 150 year in prison; and Shaquille O'Neal challenges the world's best basketball player.



This US net user is overwhelmed with joy. In his video blog, he thanks President Barack Obama and celebrates the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. His message being: ‘Let’s not change our minds, it’s time our brothers and friends came home’.


Many online messages welcome the withdrawal of US troops from Iraqi cities. Since Tuesday, Iraqi forces have taken over security operations in Bagdad and other cities around the country.

A Massachusetts newspaper has posted this video of an Iraqi refugee, back in the US, after time spent working for the Marines in Iraq. The man applauds the work carried out by the soldiers, who trained the Iraqi army and is optimistic about the country’s future.


But others express their concern. In this video, an expert from a US conservative think tank lists the reasons why the US should, according to him, remain in Iraq. These include the need to reinforce the Iraqi army, the risk of a revival by Al Qaida, and the risk of a humanitarian crisis.


Meanwhile, the psychological state of soldiers leaving the country is often fragile. Social networks, especially those created by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of American association, seem to be playing a major role. Soldiers, who often return traumatised, can attend meetings to confide in others, share their experiences and discover the experiences of other soldiers.



‘Bernard Madoff got what he deserved! Thank you judge!’. This is the message posted by an American video blogger to his fellow citizens, following the announcement of the financier’s sentencing to 150 years in prison. A judgement long-awaited by the Web and welcomed with relief.


On the micro blogging site Twitter, many users have expressed their joy at hearing the verdict. For many, this decision signifies that justice has finally been done.


This blogger welcomes the announcement but deplores the fact that most victims will probably never be reimbursed. And according to him, the judge should have allowed each bankrupt person to slap Madoff across the face.


An idea shared by these Web comics, who have recreated the reading of the verdict in this animation video. Here the judge begrudgingly condemns Madoff to 150 years behind bars. He would have preferred to see the financier hung or shot.


And in recent weeks there was frenzied Web mobilisation, to request a heavy sentence for Madoff. Several music videos like these are circulating on the share sites and call on the judge not to be too lenient.

Other testimonies from those who lost all their belongings with Madoff’s scam were also available online. Here a young mother explains how she and her husband had to sell their home and she admits her fear of ending up on the street.




US basketball star, Shaquille O’Neal, has just announced via Twitter that he would like to come up against Bruce Manley, an amateur basket ball player, who claims online to be the best player in the world. Many videos of his exploits are available online. The clash between the 2 men is set to take place in July and will be broadcast on Youtube. The winner of the dual will win 1,000$.



An American student has used Second World War propaganda posters to promote several websites -- and in a broader sense -- freedom of expression and Web neutrality. An impressive piece of work, which can be viewed on his Flickr page.




Here is the video currently causing a buzz online. It is a version of "Stand by me" sung by Bon Jovi & Andy Madadian, an Iranian singer, in exile in the States since 1979. An initiative aiming to show the singers’ support for the Iranian people.


Date created : 2009-07-01