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central scrutinizer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:32 AM
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"Opening the Gates of Hell"

Blog from Baghdad:

Report from Baghdad -- Opening the Gates of Hell
By Rahul Mahajan

Before the Iraq war, at a meeting of the Arab League, Secretary General
Amr Moussa famously said that a U.S. war on Iraq would "open the gates
of hell."

In Iraq, those gates are yawning wider than they ever have before -- at
least for the United States.

"Sunni and Shi'a are now one hand, together against the Americans," a
man on the street in the mostly Shi'a slum of Shuala on the west side of
Baghdad told me, as we conversed in the shadow of a burnt-out American
tank transporter. Those sentiments were echoed at the local headquarters
of Moqtada al-Sadr's organization, which had one day previously come
under assault from U.S. forces.

And, indeed, everyone in the area agreed that when those forces were
driven from Shuala, it was done by Sunni and Shi'a fighting together --
and by unorganized local inhabitants, not al-Sadr's Mahdi Army.

Whether or not the resistance here grows to a scale that the United
States cannot control -- and this is more in the hands of Grand
Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani than of Paul Bremer or George Bush -- it is
already clear that the events of the last ten days mark a critical
turning point in the occupation of Iraq.


The people in the Shia slums of Baghdad who are now furiously resisting the Americans hate Saddam with a passion to
this day. They suffered under his repression and they also suffered from neglect, especially under the sanctions -- scarce
resources and repairs went to politically more favored areas. They expected great improvements when the United States
took over.

Shaykh Sadun al-Shemary, a former member of the Iraqi army who participated in the 1991 uprising and now a
spokesman for the al-Sadr organization in Shuala, told me, Things are exactly the same as in Saddams time -- maybe

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anarchy1999 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:10 PM
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1. Excellent piece by Rahul.
Can also be found at today, along with several other good essays.

Rahul actually ran for Gov. in Texas in 2002. Was a graduate student at UT and has authored several books.

Kick back to the top for all who missed it.
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:48 PM
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2. All because of oil. All these dead bodies because of greed and oil.
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