Prev | List | Random | Next
On Iraq, the UK newspaper the Guardian has declared: "peace has come to stay".
Missed that, you say? Here's their story from April 28 2008:
Abdul Qadir told the colonel: "I have a brother who has a clothing factory. If you give me the money, then I can have 300 of these uniforms made in one week. It is hard-wearing and the design will be good for the Sahwa people all across Baghdad."The Headline? In weary Baghdad, reopening of bridge would mean peace had come to stay
The American soldiers laughed. "Why the rush?" asked one. The Sahwa commander replied that he wanted to be ready to stage a parade on the day that Baghdad's famous al-Aima bridge - the bridge of the imams - just a few hundred metres from his office, was officially reopened. "That is something that everyone here in Adhamiya hopes will happen very soon," he said. "It will mean something real for reconciliation and be the beginning of the end to this bad experiment in isolation."
The US officers shifted uncomfortably in their seats. "Everyone is working towards that goal," assured Capt Frank O'Connor, "but the bridge will open only when the time is right. Opening it too soon could cause problems for you. The [Shia] militias may take advantage."
It may seem odd that the 300-metre bridge bears the hopes of a war-weary population. But for the communities either side of the bridge, a reopening would speak volumes for the confidence that the security improvements of the past few months are sustainable.
Al-Aima bridge used to link Sunni Adhamiya on the mainly Shia east bank and the Shia district of Khadimiya on the mainly Sunni western side of the capital. But it has been closed since September 2005, after about 1,000 Shia pilgrims on their way to a shrine in Khadimiya died in the Tigris river after jumping from the imams' bridge as fears of a suicide bomber in their midst caused mass panic.
Its four lanes remain blocked by concrete barriers, barbed wire and Iraqi army checkpoints. "The only living things that cross this bridge are pigeons and rats," said Omar Qadir, a stall holder in the Abu Hanifa market in Adhamiya.
Sunnis and Shi'ites made an emotional reach across the sectarian divide on Tuesday, reopening a Baghdad bridge between the two communities closed since a 2005 stampede, the deadliest incident of the war.However, the Guardian hasn't yet reported the news.
The Bridge of the Imams connects the Adhamiya and Kadhimiya neighborhoods of Baghdad, named for mediaeval Sunni and Shi'ite holy men whose landmark shrines on opposite sides of the Tigris are surrounded by homes of members of the separate communities.
It had been closed since 2005 when rumors of a suicide bombing panicked thousands of Shi'ites crossing the bridge for a pilgrimage to the Kadhimiya shrine. About one thousand people died in that stampede, clogging the river below with corpses.
But on Tuesday Sunni children from Adhamiya raced to see their Shi'ite friends in Kadhimiya. Women from the two communities met up on the bridge, kissing and hugging each other with joy.
"When the faces met, the lips smiled, hands shook, bodies hugged, the tears flowed out of joy. This is the Iraqi citizen," said Sheikh Ahmed al-Samaraie, head of Iraq's Sunni Endowment, which runs Sunni religious offices and mosques in Iraq.
A banner across the bridge read: "The bridge of love and reconciliation between the people of Adhamiya and Kadhimiya."
I'm not going to offer quite the rosy picture the Guardian does, however. Outbreaks of violence will certainly occur. (Though in their defense, few could argue that there's a "war" in Iraq at this point in time.)
Some may recall Adhamiya from news stories like this one from the early days of the surge:
Anger in Baghdad as Americans finish wallAlthough they were generally ignored in contemporary "news" coverage, others expected a different result.
American forces have completed construction of a concrete wall around the Baghdad district of Adhamiya despite protests from the Iraqi prime minister and local residents who claim that they are now at the mercy of militants.
The wall was intended to help control the activities of militants in the predominantly Sunni Muslim district. But it remains a bastion of extremist al-Qa'eda linked groups. Parts of the district are so thick with armed militants that they are no-go zones to coalition forces.
Capt Mohammad Jasim, an Iraqi soldier manning a checkpoint on the Adhamiya bridge, said: "The Americans did not listen to us. We think this wall has made the area inside the wall more dangerous for people.
They have the same war in Baghdad that we have in LA or Chicago, local turf to control local fear and corruption/protection/distribution.Posted by brahma at November 12, 2008 07:58 PM
You have to stop pointing out things with facts,
reality, and verifiable sources. Obama-Nation
no longer requires this. We're on the no news,
just mantras and feelings, rotation now.
Bush lied, people died.
It's gone, out, vanquished.
Obama was sworn in Nov. 4th.
Did you miss that?
Iraq finding success, progress, and demonstrating
true hope and change.....those positive stories
wait until after Jan. 20th. Obama's War will be
The Guardian? NYT lite (and the NYT is already Obama-class lite).Posted by Da Coyote at November 12, 2008 10:03 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(3) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)