Sunday, December 19, 2004

Guerrillas detonated a huge bomb

"In contrast to the violence in West Baghdad and in the shrine cities, in Sadr City or the slums of Shiite East Baghdad, relative calm has prevailed for weeks, allowing the US to do some community development work, including clearing trash from the streets. The Sadr movement is strong in East Baghdad, but Sadr has declared neutrality toward the upcoming elections, while many Shiites are hopeful that they will produce a Shiite-dominated government that will pave the way for the end of the US occupation. As a result of these hopes, along with a past campaign of US bombing that made it clear it would not put up with armed militiamen patrolling the streets, the situation has been quiet in the vast slum.

I don't want to take anything away from these necessary development projects, but merely collecting the trash is not that big an accomplishment, and shouldn't be seen as a triumph this late in the day."
Juan Cole


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