Friday, March 28, 2008
Fortunately, George Bush II, is certain of G-d's backing of his decision to invade Iraq, "The decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision early in my presidency. It is the right decision at this point in my presidency, and it will forever be the right decision."
It is this kind of claim of absolute sureness, that a small "c" conservative; with a philosophy rooted in doubt and a healthy skepticism of faith based certainty, because of its inaccessibility to debate and reason, finds maddening.
Labels: Middle East
"They killed him here, look," recounts Salem Dhiab, pointing to the bullet-riddled gate where he says his neighbor, Ahmed Bayrouzi, was shot by a US sniper after venturing out Sunday in violation of the curfew to check on his sister who lives close by.
Nearby, two lone policemen sat outside and simply smiled when asked how they fared in the fight. The street was charred from the remains of burning tires that militiamen set ablaze.
Down Khairallah Street, US Stryker combat vehicles have taken up positions.
On this reporter's visit Monday, an explosion went off, sending smoke and dust in the air. Men and women carrying bags of food scurried for cover. Someone said it was one of the roadside bombs planted by the Mahdi Army.
Just one street down, on Alwat Jamila, deeper into Sadr City, the scene changed completely. No police or Army were seen anywhere. A police station looked abandoned and a section of the Jamila food market was completely destroyed in the violence. Stall owners used shovels to scoop up oranges and smashed bottles of soda.
A man who gave his name as Abu Mustafa described how he ferried the dead and wounded civilians and militiamen on his blue tricycle that he has christened the "The Sadrist Tricycle."
"We voted for a government to help us, not to do this to us," says an angry woman, who gave her name as Umm Jasem. She sold fresh eggs at the market. Her stall was reduced to a heap of charred metal. "Enough! Tell America enough."
Another stall owner, Balasem Mahdi, was busy cleaning up and repainting his shop. "We just want to get on with our lives," he said.
One side of the street was riddled with roadside bombs planted by the militia and covered up with heaps of garbage and barrels.
A trail of wires led to detonation boxes inside the alleyways manned by Mahdi Army foot soldiers.
One of those boxes was at the front gate of Amir Rahim's home. Some of the rockets aimed at the Green Zone over the past week were also fired from outside his home. "They will not be able to finish off the Mahdi Army," he says. "But it's us, the civilians, who are caught in the middle and just keep paying the price."
He asked how he can be expected to confront these foot soldiers if hundreds of policemen and soldiers in Sadr City simply abandoned their posts or handed their weapons to the militia over the past week. He says that most of those in the police and Army have great sympathy for Sadr.
Maliki more fight