Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Bad to Worse
The more I read about the pending U.S. assault on Moqtada al-Sadr in Najaf, the more uneasy I get. We have 2,500 troops surrounding the city ready to attack it. And no matter how the operation goes, lots of things could happen as a result, and most of them are bad. If the U.S. kills al-Sadr, contrary to making Iraqis go home and wait for democracy to arrive, it will inflame people by the thousands, especially the young--al-Sadr himself is just 31. Najaf is a sacred city to Shi'ites, who don't like us very much now. Imagine how they'll react if we defile their shrines AND kill one of their prominent leaders. How many more young men and women--American and Iraqi--are going to die in this operation? If we don't catch or kill al-Sadr, we're just going to have to repeat it--causing more destruction, inspiring more rage, and killing more people--somewhere else in a few days.

So whose idea was this? Salon reports that the entire operation against al-Sadr is straight from the mind of Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi exile, the man who said we'd be greeted by Iraqi damsels throwing roses, the international sleazeball who's been leading the neocons around by the nose all this time while being demonstrably wrong on everything, and who apparently has Dick Cheney's testicles in a jar on his desk.

Get ready, folks. We are about to begin the transition from bad to worse--coincidentally, almost at the exact moment when our Maximum Leader is going to go on TV and prove once again that he's the leader of the blind, immune to persuasion and impervious to reason, sweetly complacent in his confidence. I am trying to decide if I should watch his press conference tonight, or if it would put my picture tube at too great a risk.

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