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Thursday, August 26, 2004


You've got US soldiers and marines, supported by all sorts of ungodly firepower from above. You've got Iraqi troops, Iraqi police, the Mahdi army, and now thousands of Iraqis from all over responding to Ayatollah Sistani's call to march on Najaf.

And people are dying by the dozens. The mosque in Kufa was hit by a mortar attack, killing at least 27. Sistani's march apparently contained or was infiltrated by provocateurs of some sort who took a few shots at the Iraqi police in Najaf, who then apparently responded by shooting at everyone in sight.

Obviously, keeping up with all of this from Ann Arbor, Michigan is next to impossible, and I'm certainly not the best one here to do it (that would be Juan Cole). But I will say that it was completely predictable that starting a war in Iraq would lead to chaos--starting a war ALWAYS leads to chaos.

Here's yet another mind-boggling juxtaposition of paragraphs from the NY Times:
Both the interim Iraqi government and the American commanders had welcomed the announcement of his return, seeing in it a possible way out of the bloodshed and the political predicament.

The ayatollah's announcement came as American jets and helicopters on Wednesday pounded the area around the Ali Mosque, with some bombs exploding as close as 30 yards from the shrine.
Now there's a possible way out of the bloodshed and political predicament.