Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Test of Fire

Just as they slavered over the coming of the 2000th American death in Iraq, the MSM is breathlessly awaiting a civil war between Sunni and Shia in the wake of the Golden Mosque bombing in Samarra. When the question is asked as to who benefited from the bombing Al Qaeda and Iran come to mind, but the MSM is also riding that horse for all its worth. In a classic example of Media creating the news we have the Washington Post trumpeting its latest poll that 80% of Americans believe that a civil war is coming. Given that that is what MSM has been saying since before the smoke cleared the results are not surprising. In fact many pundits are being brought forward proclaiming that the war has already started. Words such as “low level civil war” and “continuos sectarian violence” are used to press the meme that Iraq is a lost cause. Of course the same could be said of any country that contains both Sunni and Shia populations. Where are the reports of civil war in Pakistan? I will admit that this was an extreme test of Iraq’s dedication to Democracy but I believe that instead of teetering on the brink of destruction Iraq has come through this and several positive things have come to light.

The most amazing thing I saw was that the Coalition was able to sit back and let the Iraqi Army quell the violence. Units comprised of Shia, Sunni, and Kurd did not disintegrate but instead performed well. Iraqi forces are stepping up.
Of the 435 company-level or higher operations conducted in Iraq last week, 31 percent were independent Iraqi operations, Army Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman, said at a news briefing.
Another surprise was that, just as in the Cartoon case, the riots were not spontaneous but rather politically motivated. Mohammed at Iraq the Model gives an eyewitness account.
As a person who lives in Baghdad I've been following the situation from the early hours after the attack; on Wednesday morning I was on my way to work when I heard the news on the radio and I began watching closely to probe the feelings of the common people. People were at work as they always are, clerks behind their desks, grocers looking after their goods and municipal workers picking trash from the streets and I haven't noticed any unusual feelings among the people I came in contact with. In general life was normal until noon in the Shia majority district of Baghdad and there were absolutely no signs of a crisis of any sort. But on my way home I saw the men in black take to the streets after Ayatollah Sistani issued his fatwa.
So…the protests were not spontaneous like clerics want us to think; in fact the only spontaneous protest was the one in Samarra itself!
I live here and I've seen the whole thing. The demonstrations in Baghdad began after the fatwa and I saw how shop keepers unwillingly closed their shops when the men in black with their arms and loudspeakers ordered them to do so "in the name of the Hawza" and I saw the sad look on the faces of people abandoning their only source of income for a time that could go indefinitely.
Calm has returned to Sammara, the spontaneous riot Mohammed refers to were Sunni’s condemning the act and calling for Iraqi unity. That was pretty much the case for most clerics and Government officials. That was pretty much the case for most Iraqis. Like its Fitzmass hopes it looks like the MSM is not going to get its civil war. Unfortunately since the American public still gets most of its news from the MSM and The Daily Show it may not matter.


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