Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Sunday, March 05, 2006
In wrestling, a reversal is worth two points.

In international affairs, a reversal can be quite dangerous (via Juan Cole):
The LA Times says that the ongoing violence in Iraq is changing Sunni and Shiite attitudes toward the US. At first the Sunnis wanted the US out immediately, now many insist it stay and restore stability. Shiites initially welcomed US forces, but now increasingly want them out of their areas.
Sunnis are finally getting the picture that they are, indeed, a minority. The recent battles in the Iraq civil war have highlighted exactly how vulnerable they actually are. Now Sunnis are contacting the Americans for protection.

Unfortunately, the majority Shiites turning against the U.S. means that an even larger number of Iraqis are against our occupation. In a nutshell, they're saying, "gee thanks for arming and training our militias for us. Now go away and we'll take care of this pesky little Sunni problem. We've some some gettin' even to do ...." Increasingly the power broker in all this is Moqtada al Sadr, the ubiquitously labeled "radical Shiite cleric".

And note that Iran and Iraq have agreed to a $1 Billion economic assistance deal as well. The Iranians have played this one just right. At the end of the day, the U.S. will leave with a greatly enlarged Shiite Islamic fundamentalist presence in the Middle East.

In the meantime, anyone in academia who speaks out against the U.S. occupation and/or the Iraqi government appears to get the ax:
Al-Naas is not the first academic to be killed in the mayhem of the "new Iraq". Hundreds of academics and scientists have met this fate since the March 2003 invasion. Baghdad universities alone have mourned the killing of over 80 members of staff. The minister of education stated recently that during 2005, 296 members of education staff were killed and 133 wounded.


Their research shows that the victims have been men and women from all over Iraq, from different ethnic, religious and political backgrounds. Most were vocally opposed to the occupation. For the most part, they were killed in a fashion that suggests cold-blooded assassination. No one has claimed responsibility.

Like many Iraqis, I believe these killings are politically motivated and connected to the occupying forces’ failure to gain any significant social support in the country. For the occupation’s aims to be fulfilled, independent minds have to be eradicated. We feel that we are witnessing a deliberate attempt to destroy intellectual life in Iraq.
Nice government we've installed, eh? The Iraqi government trying to keep dissent quiet? U.S. CIA hush program? Iraqi Shiite fundamentalists paving the way for a philosophically "clean" Iraq post occupation? In all the chaos and with all the armed militia's, it could be all of the above.

Since everything Bush turns to shit and goes in the opposite direction .... if only we could get Georgie to support Islamic fundamentalism and popular uprisings .....