Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Monday, June 07, 2004

Back to work!
Written by: Beck

It has been at least two weeks since I read or heard anything likening Iraq to a quagmire. As such, I can only conclude that virtually all of the news coming out of Iraq has been good, inasmuch as good news is the one thing reporters don't like to report. Kind of calls into question why they call them "reporters," but that's a discussion for another time.

But there's still a little noise out there if you dig long enough to find it. Perhaps the biggest item is an agreement to disband nine of the militias currently operating in Iraq. What people often fail to realize is that most of the militias operating in Iraq originated as opposition movements against Saddam, and have been working with the coalition ever since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. Under the new agreement hammered out by Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, existing militia members will either join the Iraqi armed forces or return to civilian life. Basically, what you have is a peaceful solution to a non-problem executed well and uneventfully. Not a quagmire. Just keep repeating it.

In other news, the Al Sadr's militia, not one of the nine being disbanded mind you, has managed to club conventional wisdom over the head like a baby seal yet again. You see, their whole "reason" for opposing American occupation was that our presence in the nation housing Shia Islam's holiest sites was offensive to god. Furthermore, to avoid offending the sensibilities of a whole host of hypersensitive hacks, we couldn't even go near many of the holiest mosques.

A cease fire between Sadr's al-Madhi army and coalition forces has actually been in effect since Thursday, so no fighting has been going on. We've known all along that mosques have been used as shelters and weapon storage for enemy combatants, yet have had our hands tied by our own policies preventing us from going in, confiscating weapons, and kicking al-Madhi ass. And today, Sadr's boys managed to set the damned Kufa mosque on fire. Big surprise--it was full of objects containing a flammable object known as "gunpowder."
Explosions rocked the compound surrounding the Kufa mosque on Monday after ammunition used by fighters loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr apparently caught fire, witnesses and Shiite militia members said. At least nine people were hurt.

Flames and smoke rose above the building. Firefighters and ambulances raced to the site, where fighters in al-Sadr's al-Madhi army had been holed up.
What's more, when Iraqi police rushed to the scene to attempt to discover what was wrong, Sadr's boys shot at them. Great work guys. Some of the Iraqis claim to have heard the "whoosh of a missile," but the US denies it, and guess who I'm inclined to believe? Then there's this:
Al-Madhi army members were gathering outside the mosques Monday, some armed with rifles, and stopped reporters from approaching the mosque.

One of the militiamen in the hospital shouted at reporters and officials, threatening them if they released any information.
Any time the occupation forces screw something up, reporters are virtually dragged to the spot bodily so that the world can see the latest example of American "atrocities." Yeah, I think we can figure out what happened here, and we're smart enough to understand the broader implications of what it means for these people's religious sentiments and genuine motivations.

One last, interesting note. The story about the mosque fire comes from Yahoo! News via the AP, but I looked for more information on What I found was quite possibly the briefest article I've ever seen from CNN. Perhaps they're planning on adding more later, but the story's already 14 hours old, so I kind of doubt that. Their entire article is five sentences long (though they've broken up each sentence into its own paragraph). Essentially, CNN reports as little as possible inasmuch as the news is extremely damning to, you know, the bad guys. Can't have that.

(H/T: Captain's Quarters)

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