Updating From Iraq

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Feb 23, 2006 7:29 AM

Zeyad at Healing Iraq looks like he's updating frequently on the tense situation in Iraq:

UPDATE 2: It's almost 3 am and I can still hear gunfire in the neighbourhood. Word of the street in our area is that Sunni neighbourhood watch teams are patrolling several Sunni districts in Baghdad, such as Adhamiya, Ghazaliya, Khadhraa, Adil, Dora, Amiriya, Bayaa, Mansour and Al-Jihad. They say if any Interior ministry forces (read Badr brigade) enter the area, local mosques will shout three Allahu Akbar's through loudspeakers as a sign for residents to defend themselves.

He also has maps showing where attacks took place, here and here.

24 Steps to Liberty, in Baghdad, highlights how moderate Shiites and Sunnis cooperated in the aftermath of the bombing, and collects quotes from moderate leaders (read the whole thing):

I was shocked today when I read the news in the foreign newspapers. No one emphasized the marvelous cooperation and solidarity between the Shiites and the Sunnis in Iraq yesterday after the bombing of one of the most respected and visited holy sites in Islam...

The first reaction to the bombing which “targeted a Shiite” shrine came from the Sunni residents of Samarra. The first demonstration to condemn the attack was held spontaneously by Sunnis in the area where the shrine is. Almost all Sunni leaders went on TV to condemn the attack and show solidarity and unity with the Shiites...

I was amazed how only the provocative and civil-war-style quotes were published today in the newspapers. Almost no newspaper showed how great, it appeared to us, the solidarity among Iraqis was yesterday. It is true that Sunni mosques were attacked by unknown men yesterday, and some Sunnis were killed. But that wasn’t the only thing happened as a reaction. Newspapers should have been neutral, as we were taught, and show both sides. Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, Arabs, Christians, Sabians, Turkumans, and others publicly condemned the attack, but no one wanted to show the truth.

I am not saying there will be no riots in Iraq to react to the shrine attack. I am not saying there weren't mosques that were attacked yesterday and burned down. I am not saying that Shiites and Sunnis kissed and hugged after the attack yesterday. All what I am saying is that the news made Iraqis look like if they were fighting each other widely in the streets, which is not true. The news only made Iraqis sound like barbarians killing each other. There are barbarian Iraqis, like other people in the world, I am not saying all Iraqis are perfect and compete with angels in their manners. But why when anything good happens, they show the bad side of it too in their stories, but when any bad thing to happen, they only write about it and not the good sides around it?

A Free Iraqi thinks aloud about the prospect of civil war.