My name’s not Jonah. Nor is it Pedro. But it’s a way to begin.
tl;dr: A bunch of sports fans on the internet try to figure out what’s happening in Syria.
This blog began as an online discussion of the conflict in Syria on a message board where baseball is taken very seriously, which is warning enough for the experienced reader. The language is not infrequently profane, though not obscene or gratuitously so-probably not even enough to warrant being benched for the first series. But it reflects the way we talk, and at the end of the day, it is what it is. We’re on to Cincinnati.
But we talk about other things too. Like the war in Syria which, when Trump announced the US’s withdrawal on Oct 6, few of us knew much about.
This blog evolved out of that discussion. More than 75 people participated directly and more still did so with comments and ideas from the outside. People with different backgrounds, skill sets, and knowledge bases pooled resources and exchanged knowledge and our understanding, though it remains limited, began to grow. Increasingly, by dint of knowing less than some but more than others and, frankly, having clearly the most free time on my hands, I became the focal synthesizer of information for explaining back to the thread what we were coming to understand. This conversation, among others, continues in the forum to this day.
This is not the story of Rojava. That story is not ours to tell-we are just a band of idiots though we’ve been called worse. It’s certainly not my story to tell. This blog is the story of a bunch of sports fans attempting to use the skills they have honed from frittering away really tremendous amounts of time a day on the internet to try to understand a complex problem from far away. More specifically, then, this blog is my attempt, with the help of friends, to tell the story of what we’ve learned about the civil war in Syria, so it’s necessarily incomplete and rife with errors, being observed as it is, through a smartphone darkly. I don’t even have a single paid news subscription. Indeed, until I began migrating the work to this blog, on Nov 15 or so, everything I had written was done on an iPhone from my big comfy chair, which is where these posts are still researched and outlined partly written, but more recently the formatting has gotten out of hand without a laptop. But for the most part, this is a function of having a smart phone, which is insane, but we live in the future, so, yeah, it is what it is.
Errors will not be corrected nor writing revised, as I wish to retain the character of confused groping about and discovery, for as much as this story is about Rojava, it is the story of figuring out what the heck Rojava is since it wasn’t in any of the frickin’ papers until recently. This is the story of the conversation quite literally as it happened; it is a journal of the conversation, indicating how it evolved and developed. It is highly sourced, because internet folk are a skeptical bunch, and we’re all about the links. I mean, this isn’t weighing deflated footballs, there’s no game here. But disirregardless, we still try to Do. Our. Jobs. Because that’s how we do. You might say it’s our way.
Ultimately, though, while the strengths of the blogs are collected from the many, I ended up “on point” so to speak, and the decision to put the conversation-with permission from my league of dorks, of curse-is mine. I am grateful for the help I have received and the extraordinary work of some of my fellow ball and stick aficionados. The responsibility for any and all errors lies with me.
Basically, a bunch of us were having a conversation online and a couple of people were like, You should totally be blogging this, and I was like, I dunno how to blog, and then we’d go back to whatever, until one day one guy said, Why don’t you just throw it on to WordPress? And so I did. And now here it is.
Also, FWIW, SBC, but my nom de guerre is a “real” nickname given to me in college by a guy on the baseball team. I didn’t Black Mamba myself with my own callsign or anything; if you’re reading this, it’s likely that you understand.
I hope you might get, if not as much as I have, something out of the sharing.
Thank you for reading.