Thursday, August 05, 2004

And things were going so well in Iraq.

The news this morning: renewed fighting in Najaf, with a U.S. helicopter down. To Shiites in Iraq and elsewhere (the group formerly singled out for particular oppression by Saddam, so they were supposed to like us) this is roughly the equivalent of dropping bombs on the Vatican. And bragging about avoiding mosques is roughly like dropping bombs on the Vatican and then bragging that you didn't hit St. Peter's.

That news story, and others I've seen, quote the U.S. as saying that Sadrist militia started it. Then again, as I write, I'm hearing on the radio that the Sadrists claim that the U.S. forces started it. But Shiites the world over won't give a damn who started it. (And given that, is it too much to suggest that the Sunnis of al-Qaeda might be playing "let's you and him fight?)

By the way, if you thought things really were going well in Iraq, Riverbend, off a long hiatus in Baghdad, begs to differ. And Jeanne D'arc has pointers to a few more of the news stories you missed. Oh, yes... and if you thought we'd kicked the Taliban out of power for good in Afghanistan, think again...

More: Juan Cole says that tensions between the Sadrists, the police, and the Marines in Najaf have been escalating quite a bit all on their own...


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