Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hotel Iraq

Impeach George W. Bush. Impeach him now:

Unfogged: The crack in the dam is spreading quickly: Posted by Apostropher on 11.25.06: The news coming out of Iraq tonight is very, very bad.

Followers of the militant Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took over state-run television Saturday to denounce the Iraqi government, label Sunnis "terrorists" and issue what appeared to many viewers as a call to arms. The two-hour broadcast from a community gathering in the heart of the Shiite militia stronghold of Sadr City included three members of al-Sadr's parliamentary bloc, who took questions from outraged residents demanding revenge for a series of car bombings that killed some 200 people Thursday.

With Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki relegated to the sidelines, brazen Sunni-Shiite attacks continue unchecked despite a 24-hour curfew over Baghdad. Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia now controls wide swaths of the capital, his politicians are the backbone of the Cabinet, and his followers deeply entrenched in the Iraqi security forces. Sectarian violence has spun so rapidly out of control since the Sadr City blasts, however, that it's not clear whether even al-Sadr has the authority - or the will - to stop the cycle of bloodshed.

As noted here, if you've seen Hotel Rwanda, that opening sentence just made you shudder. Neighborhoods are forming their own militias and digging trenches across entry roads. People are panic-buying ammunition because everybody believes all hell is about to break loose. If al-Maliki goes to Jordan to attend the summit with Bush, his government is likely to fall.

And there we stand in the middle of it all, without the faintest idea what to do.

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