Friday, August 29, 2003

A Few Notes

I have moved into my new apartment, and everything is good: Except the phone lines, which aren't working yet, and won't be until "sometime next week." That means in addition to no phone, I have no Internet access at home. So I still won't resume my normal blogging pace, despite all the things I have to talk about.

A couple takes, though:

This is not just an attack on "a Shi'ite mosque." It is an attack on the shrine of Imam Ali, burial place of the man whom Shi'ite believe was the successor to The Prophet as leader and guide for the Muslim community. Think of it as a Shi'ite version of the Vatican, which houses both the remains of St. Peter, believe to be the first pope, and the HQ of all world Catholicism. And the cleric killed as Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, whom I have discussed before. This is probably the biggest blow yet to allied reconstruction efforts in Iraq, though depending on who gets the blame, it could backfire on whomever did it and put the Shi'ites more firmly in the American column politically, at least for a time. That's not definite, as we get blamed for security lapses.

There has also been heavy fighting in Zabul as American and Afghan national forces attack the Taliban in that province, both with ground forces and bombing raids. I haven't had time to figure out details.

OK...I'm going to go forage for food...


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