This was an interesting surprise. Listed with other defense information, the Australian Ministry of Defense's newsletter includes:
OUR POSTER GIRL, BECCY COLE
In the last edition of Defence Direct, I referred to Beccy Cole and her song, Poster Girl (Wrong Side of the World), which was written in response to the harsh reaction she received from a fan for having gone to entertain our troops in Iraq.
Poster Girl had already received a lot of attention, having topped the country charts earlier this year. It now appears to have a second wind and a new audience, after the short passage in Defence Direct was picked up by Melbourne blogger, Andrew Llanderyou, which was the source of Andrew Bolt’s Herald Sun blog, which in turn was the source for some American blogs like Blackfive, from which Poster Girl appears to have “gone viral”. The spread of Poster Girl across the internet caught the attention of the Australian newspaper and even the Toronto Sun.
A flurry of visits to Beccy Cole’s website in the final week of October produced, I am told, an eight-fold increase in traffic volume over the previous month. Judging from the quantity and quality of messages on her guestbook, many more people are proud to have Beccy Cole as their “Poster Girl”.
The fact that a simple, monthly e-mail service with a modest number of subscribers can provide one ripple, which along with others can help build a wave and help a good idea (in this case, a fantastic song) be heard around the world, is testament to the power of free and open communication.
Under Saddam Hussein, Iraqis did not have access to free and open communication. By May 2006, Iraq had 54 commercial television stations, 114 commercial radio stations, 268 independent newspapers and around 200,000 internet subscribers (not including internet cafes).
This new right, of everyday Iraqis to hear diversity of opinion and voices from around the world, is itself a powerful reason to defend this new democracy.