Thursday, July 27, 2006

July 27th 2006 Mid-Morning

I expect today to be bad. Juan Cole has saved me the trouble of giving a prècis of this article in Al-Zaman [Arabic] really you need to read whole thing, the situation in the south of the country is coming very badly unstuck for the green zone government. In particular this statement by Grand Ayatollah Bashir al-Najafi is ominous:

"We fear the coming of a day when we cannot restrain a revolution of the people, with all its unsavory consequences."

Al-Najafi is often thought to be second most important of the four Grand Ayatollahs living in Najaf with Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani being "primus inter pares" (the fifth Grand Ayatollah Kazem al-Hairi lives in Iran.) Al-Najafi's office would not under any circumstances have issued that statement unless the Grand Ayatollahs (who act collegially) were of the opinion that their ability to restrain their followers was slipping. Please note the scale of the attacks.

I also expect today to be dire in Baghdad.

Why do I expect today to be dire? Because yesterday night there was heavy fighting on Haifa Street. Why is Haifa Street important? Well if you look at a map of Baghdad it's the big street pointing like a dagger right into the heart of the green zone. It's been "pacified" oh a couple of hundred times by now. At the time of writing (just gone 11 a.m my time) the death toll in Baghdad from what seems to be a particularly well coordinated set of combined mortar/bombing attacks is at least 25 including children and rising. I wonder will the Syrians give al-Maliki political asylum again … … … maybe, if Dubya asks them really nicely. That's if he stumps up their price for extracting his buddy Olmert from Lebanon of course … … … Oh by the way the movement of more American hostages body bag occupants soldiers ordered by the Cheney Bush administration is well underway. The Cheney Bush administration bringing an entire new meaning to the expression "charlie fox."


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