Blogs are a familiar feature on the internet - where users post content in an accumulating manner, with comments, and search options, etc. They facilitate expression and exploration, and via attached comments, also debate and synthesis.
Reading and Navigating Blogs
Our blogs are quite powerful. Each writer can post, as is typically the case. Sustainers who have the option can also post, however. All Blogs appear in the blog system, and sometimes also in content boxes the top page of ZNet - and always via the left menu of the top page - and can be found via searches, etc.
Commenting on blogs follows the blogs, attached at the bottom, and blog comments, like all others, are also visible in many places that show comments including in the forum system. In addition, the entire blog system gathers content for everyone - but one can look at the accumulating content in many ways.
For example one can look at one writer's efforts - so one is seeing what is effectively a blog system for that one writer, or Sustainer.
One can also look at the content by topic, seeing blogs that are tagged as being about a certain topic - or place, as well. Thus, when doing that, it is a blog system about a topic, or a place, with many contributors.
One can look at only writer blogs, or only sustainer blogs, as well.
One can look at blogs for particular Groups, too.
All this is easily done using the left menu. Searches allow even more variables and refinements.
Creating Blog Posts
If you are a Sustainer with permission, and are logged in, you will see a link in the left menu for you to post a blog - and you can use that to post one, and then tag it various ways (such as with a topic or place, or a group tag), and once you do, it is in the system with you as the author.
You can also use the console button to the left to post a blog - anytime and from anywhere in the site, as long as you are logged in.
Meanwhile, enjoy the blogs - and, by the way, if you are a Free Member or a Sustainer with a ZSpace page, of course you can put one or more content boxes on it, pulling blog links of any sort you may want to filter for, for example, by you or by your friends or by others - and by topic, about places, for groups, etc.
It's pretty clear that the major Shiite parties have pretty close links with Iran.
The Badr brigades, which control large parts of the south were trained there. A majority of the influential clerics come from there (including Sistani). And links in general (trade, others) are becoming closer, it appears. I don't think that Iran is "pulling the strings," but the relationships are likely to grow. That's part of the reason why a sovereign and partially democratic Iraq could be a nightmare for Washington, which has been working hard to prevent it.
Could get worse from their point of view. The Shiite population in Saudi Arabia, door, is in the area of SA's largest oil concentrations, and might be encouraged -- probably already has been -- to resist the harsh repression to which they have been subjected and take some control of their fate, maybe also linking to the Shia complex that seems to be emerging. And it could get still worse, from Washington's point of view.
How the US would react depends very much on the popular mood here. That's the problem we should be facing. Speculation is idle.