ARTHUR CHRENKOFF has more underreported news from Iraq. “The latest poll of 5,000 people in and around Baghdad suggests that an overwhelming majority are prepared to make a clean break with the past and pursue democracy–now.” Read it all.

Meanwhile, here’s an interesting article from The Guardian on the explosive growth of Iranian blogs — and guess who’s involved:

In September 2001, a young Iranian journalist, Hossein Derakhshan, devised and set up one of the first weblogs in his native language of Farsi. In response to a request from a reader, he created a simple how-to-blog guide in Farsi, thereby setting in motion a community’s surreal flight into free speech; online commentaries that the leading Iranian author and blogger, Abbas Maroufi, calls our “messages in bottles, cast to the winds”.

With an estimated 75,000 blogs, Farsi is now the fourth most popular language for keeping online journals.

Very impressive, and it bodes well for the new Arabic blogging tool being supported by Spirit of America, and Iraqi bloggers Omar and Mohammed.