Shiite Muslim women and children rally condemning the previous day's attack on Shiite shrine in Samarra, in Baghdad, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
As Iraqis protest, seethe and hunker down hoping to ride out the storm in the aftermath of the mosque bombing, several recent developments in that unhappy region are in danger of passing unmarked.
Did you know that that U.S. forces have been bombing Baghdad? Neither did I. But reporter Christopher Allbritton, recently returned to Iraq, reports that last week, they did. He's more than a little surprised:
We've been hearing plans for U.S. forces to get off the streets and into their secure (permanent?) bases for awhile. Guess this is what a U.S. pullback looks like -- just bomb those hajis.
Did you know "the West" is drifting toward negotiations with "terrorists"? Salem Adil at Asterism reproduces a British Foreign Office letter urging such talks because "engaging with movements such as the [Egyptian] Muslim Brotherhood will help increase our understanding of 'political Islam' generally, as well as in the specific Egyptian context" and "we should be trying to influence these groups." It goes on to suggest the Foreign Office should try to get the U.S. and the rest of Europe to join such conversations.
Well, maybe. And maybe we're just reading a particular Sunni Iraqi point of view here. But fixed realities are shifting in and around Iraq -- and then some force decided to blow the situation sky high.
The same blogger provides a round up of Iraqi blog opinion about the mosque bombing at Global Voices. The one point of agreement seems to be that no indigenous Iraqi placed those explosives: it must have been one of the foreigners swarming around, whether U.S. operatives, Al Qaeda jihadis, or even Iranians.