Thu. Feb. 23, Things are not good in Baghdad.

We woke up this morning to news that men wearing Iraqi security uniforms walked in and detonated explosives, damaging the mosque almost beyond repair. It’s heart-breaking and terrifying. There has been gunfire all over Baghdad since morning. We heard about problems in areas like Baladiyat where there was some rioting and vandalism, etc. and several mosques in Baghdad were attacked. I think what has everyone most disturbed is the fact that the reaction was so swift, like it was just waiting to happen.

All morning we’ve been hearing/watching both Shia and Sunni religious figures speak out against the explosions and emphasise that this is what is wanted by the enemies of Iraq- this is what they would like to achieve- divide and conquer. Extreme Shia are blaming extreme Sunnis and Iraq seems to be falling apart at the seams under foreign occupiers and local fanatics.

People are scared and watchful. We can only pray.

This is from Riverbend blog, written by a young woman in Baghdad. Her identity is not known, and her eloquence is obvious. This post is unsettling for a number of reasons. First, for the obvious descent into the Abyss that Iraq is staring at, and second, because this is one of her only posts where she wasn’t at least guardedly optimistic.

How would you feel if you lived in Baghdad and everything that was normal and reassuring in your life was vanishing? And none of it had to happen, nor would it have happened had not the neocons made shit up so they could invade a country that had not attacked the US. While members of both political parties either supported the invasion or did nothing to stop it, I might add.

See you March 18. Bring the troops home now! Then let’s indict Bush and most of Congress for war crimes.

P.S. DJ Mitchell, a friend who has lived in Sri Lanka on and off for several years volunteering with an organization working to end the civil war there, knows about such violence. It happens in Sri Lanka a lot.

Last year when a major governmental official was assassinated in his own house, I asked “Who might have done it?” He said, given the chaos and multiplicity of players, that it could be anyone from any faction. I would say that applies to Iraq now. Trying to determine who blew up the mosque is probably impossible at this time. Anyone could have done it.

Jeanne at Body & Soul has a long post about the bombing, most definitely worth reading.


  1. The festering marriage between imperialism and the corporate greed machine is without doubt man’s darkest hour. Its voracious appetite will destroy us as it devours itself. Escalating violence is its only method of prolonging its limited life. A revolution of consciousness is required among the ordinary people, a new awareness of the destructiveness of profit and power, a realisation that it is with co-operation that man moves forward, not competition.

  2. Let’s at least be clear on this: things were no bed of roses under Saddam. He did, however, serve the useful purpose of keeping the sectarians away from each other’s throats. What’s curious is that it never occurred to the neocons that the Shi’a would feel empowered for the first time upon removing the Sunni oppressor, and given the slaughter of the Shi’a in 1991 would be unlikely to go gently into that good night. Nor would the Sunni, seeing the end of centuries of privilege as a minority not that much bigger than the Afrikaaners in South Africa, be likely to give up without a fight. All this was obvious to anyone who knew anything at all about the demographics and history of Iraq. Given that the military let 250 metric tons of armaments disappear into the Iraqi populace in 2003, it’s amazing that it took this long. The neocons must be feeling like Stalin in 1942 after the German invasion: unsurprised, but unprepared, about the worst place you can put yourself.

  3. I don’t know why, but I found this a really interesting post. It shifted my mood.

    And I think these may be the dirtiest midterms ever, because if control of either the House or the Senate flips, the administration is in a whole lot of trouble. I don’t know if impeachment comes out of it, but certainly, all the dirty little secrets will come out, and we’ll see all sorts of administration officials taking oaths and being grilled before committees.

    So, I expect this set of midterms to get really bloody if they’re close in August September.


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