April 23, 2008

Please, Let's Not Sleep


Well, I lost.

I had a bet with myself, dating back over a year now, that I wouldn’t come across a scrap of visual evidence of American bombing in Iraq.  On a roll, I was doubly-convinced about this since the Falloujah-inspired military recently trained its cross-hairs on Sadr City. (By the way, credit to the kid for protecting himself from having his head cut off by either our folks, or the Maliki brigades.)

And while I’m on the subject (vent alert), I should add that I’m disappointed with myself for having paid such short shrift to Iraq over the past couple weeks.  Even though The BAG has maintained a consistent eye on the war for at least the past four years, I have to confess that Iraq fatigue — having, yes, permeated down to the netroots — has lately sapped my motivation for tracking this blasphemy.  The omission is more noteworthy given the way the war has devolved, over this past month, into a desperately ugly post-surge phase, with the U.S. military fully engaged in a Shiite civil war, while laying siege to a large swath of poverty-stricken, civilian Baghdad under a steady stream of increasingly flimsy rationalizations and propaganda.

For all that, I recommend the Digby Post (Bring It On II) from yesterday noting how the thoroughly inept Condi Rice showed up in Baghdad with the remarkable capacity to make a bad situation that much worse.  I also direct you to Bob Hariman’s piece, or, more accurately, an Iraqi citizen’s appeal (“Have You No Sense of Decency?“), yesterday at No Caption Needed.  And, as a way to back-fill a little bit, I also refer you two revealing images over the past few weeks.  The first — showing Maliki as the two-bit puppet dictator he’s turned out to be — is paired with an article (“Secret Iraqi Deal Shows Problems in Arms Orders“) detailing how the Iraq government threw away billions on a secret, no-bid arms deal with Bosnia.  And, following that, take a look at the photo-documentation of Iraqi military (“Desertions in Sadr City“) refusing to fight in Sadr City, leaving the battle to Americans and more hard-core military factions loyal to the Shiite powers that be.

Please, let’s not sleep.

(image: Ahmad al-Rubaye/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images.  caption: In Baghdad, an Iraqi held the remains of an American bomb dropped during an overnight airstrike on the Sadr City neighborhood. At least 328 people have been killed in the fighting that has rocked Sadr City since late March, when Prime Minister Maliki ordered his forces to disarm Shiite militiamen. nytimes.com)

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Michael Shaw
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