with war against iraq looming ever closer, the country, its leader and his ongoing battle with America and the United Nations have long dominated news headlines. It's no different online, except in Iraq itself. A report by the organization Human Rights Watch claims that Iraq is the only nation in West Asia without any Internet connection. Iraqi authorities blame this on the lack of telephone infrastructure since the Gulf War, but they're also quick to condemn the Internet as "one of those American means to enter every house in the world."
Some elements of the Iraqi media, like the newspaper al-Zawri, have established Web sites outside the country (www.iraq2000.com/zawra), and those hoping to keep up to date on the wide, wild world of Iraqi sports can go to http://iraqsport.com/, but punch in www.iraq.com and you'll get nothing.
Yet while the country's official online presence may be muted, there are hundreds of other Web sites willing to explore the current political situation. Sites in English are plentiful, but you'll need to configure your browser to read Arabic to get the full picture.
As close to an official Iraq site as you can get, and featuring a helpful biography of president Saddam Hussein.
The Iraq Information Network, an Arabic news site offering constantly updated info on the battle with Bush.
Looking to invade Iraq? The CIA has published this primer on the country, complete with maps, information on climate, the economy and the government.
The English home of a non-profit organization promoting human rights and democracy in Iraq.
Helpful backgrounder on UNSCOM, the UN's weapons inspectors.
A long-running site dedicated to ending the ongoing battle with Iraq.
A constantly updated weblog indexing anti-war stories and demonstrations from around the firstname.lastname@example.org