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Peace breaks out. War surrenders!

Peace breaks out. War surrenders! Grand Ayatollah Sistani has returned to Iraq, and is leading a nationwide march to the holy city of Najaf to peacefully resolve the conflict. Moqtada al-Sadr's people have called upon their supporters to join the march too. Will Sadr and his Mahdi Army walk away free men? Double secret probation, maybe?!
posted by insomnia_lj on Aug 25, 2004 - 4 comments

The Battle for Najaf

The Battle for Najaf -- a first-hand account by the only Western reporter in Najaf as major fighting broke out this week.
posted by gwint on Aug 7, 2004 - 7 comments

Let our cities be our swamps and our buildings our jungles

Let our cities be our swamps and our buildings our jungles After witnessing the Pentagon's inconclusive retreat from both Fallujah and Najaf without achieving the "success" of pacification or elimination of the local resistance, it seems that apart from incidentally killing several thousand Iraqis, causing lots of property damage, uniting Shias and Sunnis, and promoting minor clerics into major resistance leaders, today's Pentagon forces are quite ineffectual within dense urban areas. I am reminded of the words of the ex-Deputy PM of Iraq, Tariq Aziz, on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq: People say to me, 'You are not the Vietnamese. You have no jungles and swamps' ... I reply, 'Let our cities be our swamps and our buildings our jungles.'.
posted by meehawl on May 27, 2004 - 48 comments

the irony

the city of najaf is no longer under coalition control, ahead of an important pilgrimage. the secretary of state: "people who are considering engaging in the pilgrimage ought to very carefully calculate because we're not in a position to provide protection."
posted by coyroy on Apr 7, 2004 - 31 comments

Ayatollah Sistani survives assassination attempt

Najaf, Iraq - Iraq's most powerful Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali Sistani, survived an assassination attempt Thursday when gunmen opened fire on his entourage, a security official in his office said...
Of related interest from Juan Cole: Reformers implore Sistani to Intervene in Iran Crisis Ali Nourizadeh of the Saudi newspaper ash-Sharq al-Awsat reports today that more than 400 Iranian writers and cultural figures, along with some members of parliament, have penned a letter to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani of Najaf, requesting that he express his opinion on the "massacre of democracy and the transformation of parliamentary elections into a mere stage play."
See also The Shiite Surge for further background. We are living in interesting times.
posted by y2karl on Feb 5, 2004 - 15 comments

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