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

Meanwhile, in Iraq

Impeach George Bush. Impeach him now. Juan Cole says the situation in Iraq is even worse than I had imagined:

Informed Comment: How bad the situation is in Iraq is suggested by this email I just got from a professional who used to be in Iraq but now is in a nearby country:

It is desperate in Iraq, worse then ever and there is no end in sight. I had lunch with [a former high ranking medical educator in Iraq] two days ago. [He]noted that Iraq no longer has neuro-surgeons, no cardiac surgeons, few pediatric doctors - they are all gone, killed or fled to neighboring countries like him. He was given seven days to get out or be killed. He is one of the lucky ones. He and his family have an opportunity for a new life in the US. But what about all the others. Where are they to go?

Another friend, a Sunni sheikh of the Shammar tribe noted to me that thousands of former officers are prepared to assault the G[reen] Z[one]. It is no longer a matter of can they do it, they are only mulling over the timing. The breach of the Green Zone security the other day was a test of their ability to get in, and not a real attempt at a coup, though it is reported as such.

Every Iraqi I talk to says unambiguously that the resistance attached to the former regime would take out the Shiite militias with barely a fight, but that the resistance will not commit wholesale revenge against the Shiite population. They just want to get rid of the "carpet baggers" from Iran.

And Juan Cole seems a little bit naive, writing:

Muqtada al-Sadr, the young Shiite nationalist cleric, is said to be afraid that he cannot constrain his Mahdi Army militiamen from taking revenge on the Sunni Arab community for Thursday's mass slaughter.

Hasn't Muqtada al-Sadr spent years building a situation in which he can ride a wave of murder to political power?

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