Fragmentation begins?

I can't believe that Bush is yet again hanging out at the GOD DAMNED RANCH. Because God knows he did such a good job managing threats from there last time.

I have found a huge array of information today, so let me summarize:

Mesopotamia Aflame: DEBKA is not my idea of a serious source, but their Iraqi battle map is what you have to look at. Don't necessarily believe their report about Sadr, (nor Hamas) but it's interesting.

There is emerging information that a U.S. translator says that the government had all kinds of 9/11 evidence in its possession. And lo and behold the U.S. media won't pick it up.

There are Sunnis and Shiites marching from baghdad to Fallujah with humanitarian supplies, and they have been overrunning American checkpoints. Could go badly.

In the Irony Department Richard Perle says there wasn't enough planning. WHAT THE HELL MAN?!

Justin Raimondo on Sadr, "The New Saddam." Because the U.S. always needs someone to hate? Hmm...

More of Asia Times: One year on, from liberation to jihad by Pepe Escobar. Meanwhile it's time to reconstruct Islam!!! The Shiite voice that will be heard. Baathists on the bandwagon! But wait, its not a second war?!?!? Ahh hell...

The very paranoid site WHATREALLYHAPPENED.COM is having a field day! (a paranoid report on whether or not a plane actually hit the Pentagon). I don't really need any more conspiracy theories, so regard these as questionable but entertaining. Pepe Escobar at Asia Times online is going off about 9/11. A mellow theological scholar publishes a book asserting that the 9/11 story was faked.

Al Jazeera on Asian hostages.

Command Post has continuing updates. More hawkish places are asserting that Iran is propelling matters. This piece does have a lot of nice background, though.

These are extremely graphic pictures of dead Iraqis in Fallujah from Al Jazeera. Asia Times on the uprising: When fear turns to anger.

Iraq Anarchy by Robert Fisk, a man whose early pessimism about the war turned out all too correct

Anarchy has been a condition of our occupation from the very first days when we let the looters and arsonists destroy Iraq's infrastructure and history. But that lawlessness is now coming back to haunt us. Anarchy is what we are now being plunged into in Iraq, among a people with whom we share no common language, no common religion and no common culture.
...
Dan Senor, the occupying power's spokesman, wouldn't tell anyone exactly what the evidence against Sadr was - even though it has supposedly existed since an Iraqi judge issued the warrant some months ago.

The US military response to the atrocities committed against four American mercenaries in Fallujah last week has been to surround the entire city and to announce the cutting off of the neighbouring international highway link between Baghdad, Amman and Damascus - thus bringing to a halt almost all economic trade between Iraq and its two western neighbours.

What good this will do "new" Iraq is anyone's guess. Vast concrete walls have been lowered across the road and military vehicles have been used to chase away civilians trying to by-pass them. A prolonged series of Israeli-style house raids are now apparently planned for the people of Fallujah to seek out the gunmen who first attacked the four Americans - whose corpses were later stripped, mutilated and hanged.
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And all this, remember, began because Mr Bremer decided to ban Sadr's trashy 10,000-circulation weekly newspaper for "inciting violence."

Here is something of significance: In the former capital of the Islamic Caliphate, Samarra, the uprising has arrived, according to AFP. I have said before that Samarra is a sort of 'magic' place in the logic of Al Qaeda, in the sense that they are trying to rebuild the caliphate, which would hold a special logic within this ancient city.
From the 9/11 commission this morning, Bob Kerrey said:

"I believe, first of all, that we underestimate that this war on terrorism is really a war against radical Islam. Terrorism is a tactic. It's not a war itself. Secondly, let me say that I don't think we understand how the Muslim world views us, and I'm terribly worried that the military tactics in Iraq are going to do a number of things, and they're all bad. ... I think we're going to end up with civil war if we continue down the military operation strategies that we have in place. I say that sincerely as someone that supported the war in the first place."

"Let me say, secondly, that I don't know how it could be otherwise, given the way that we're able to see these military operations, even the restrictions that are imposed upon the press, that this doesn't provide an opportunity for Al Qaida to have increasing success at recruiting people to attack the United States. It worries me. And I wanted to make that declaration. You needn't comment on it, but as I said, I'm not going to have an opportunity to talk to you this closely. And I wanted to tell you that I think the military operations are dangerously off track. And it's largely a U.S. Army -- 125,000 out of 145,000 -- largely a Christian army in a Muslim nation. So I take that on board for what it's worth."

More on this from salon.com.
Haaretz weighs in on Iraq: It's a war waged for prestige!

The rightwing Tacitus says something insightful, but also portentious of doom, as those hawks are wont to do:

Consider that if you are American, there is no open road to Baghdad from any of Iraq's neighboring countries. For the moment, CPA resupply is a triumph of airlift. Something to chew on. It's not the result of any one tragically wrong decision or miscalculation; rather, it's the end result of a year of accumulating bad calls and wishful thinking: disbanding the army plus not confronting Sadr plus giving the Shi'a a veto plus the premature policy of withdrawal from urban centers plus the undermanning of the occupation force (and the concurrent kneecapping of Shinseki) plus the setting of a ludicrously early "sovereignty" date plus the early tolerance of lawlessness and looting plus illusory reconstruction accomplishments plus etc., etc., etc. In short, the failure of the occupation to be an occupation in any sense that history and Arab peoples would recognize. Bad calls of such consistency are the product of a fundamentally bad system.
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As you read this in the cold, comforting, wan glow of your screen, United States Marines are adding Fallujah to the roll call of honor that stretches from our young nation's first defeat of jihad in North African sands, to the beaches of Tarawa and Saipan, to Hue, and beyond. And soon, the men and women of the United States Army will emerge from their embattled base camps to conquer the ancient valleys of the Tigris and the Euphrates for the second time in a year. What they are doing is right and just; the enemy they fight is manifestly base and tyrannical. There is no question on this count, and there is no doubt of their battlefield victory. What is in doubt is whether their victory will last, and whether the price paid for it will be worthwhile. These magnificent instruments of our national will, soldier and Marine alike, are unstoppable by any insurgent, any jihadist, any fanatic, or any guerrilla.

Juan Cole on point as always. Also he illustrates the truth about the role the U.S. has played in influencing the growth of post-Saddam Iraqi militias:

Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor, who has often attempted to peddle frankly false stories, was at it again on Wednesday. He said Muqtada al-Sadr was targeted because he maintained a militia. Let's see: In April of 2003, the US Department of Defense flew Ahmad Chalabi into Iraq with over a thousand of his militiamen, actually transporting them in US troop carriers. They brought a militia to Iraq.

Just published, Robert Reich asks us to visualize what a second Bush administration might feel like.

A book review about The Rise of the Vulcans, a book I got but haven't read much of yet about the personal histories of Bush officials. It is not very polemical; the section about Wolfowitz's path from math to Wohlstetter's political science is quite good.
I already posted this before, but once again a book review from the Times about Bush's psychopathology:

the Schweizers quote one unnamed relative as saying that George W. Bush sees the war on terrorism "as a religious war": "He doesn't have a p.c. view of this war. His view of this is that they are trying to kill the Christians. And we the Christians will strike back with more force and more ferocity than they will ever know."

Someone advised me today to keep an eye on CounterPunch. Not a bad idea.

Riverbend in Iraq is still going. Another Iraqi blog, Iraq-Iraqis.

...A united militia with the same uniform should be created grouping all the guards and armed people from the parties’ members and the followers of the GC members to enforce order in streets. It’s their duty and our duty would be to defend our democracy and freedom against terrorists and trouble makers and kayos lovers.

Lawrence of Cyberia, another nice blog. Reading A1 is another blog that criticizes the New York Times.

I just mentioned it below, but again Billmon's Death of a Dream is worth reading for its insight on neo-cons, Israel and anti-Semitism in the Middle East. This is the Arabic blog which the original mujahideen conversation apparently comes from.
Compare this press release with what actually transpired in that poor nation.
The casualties are piling up rapidly. This site is authoritative.

NY Times reporter John Burns was briefly captured by a Shiite militia.

Michael Lind wrote this last year about "The Weird Men Behind George W Bush's War," and I might be more skeptical of it if Lind wasn't a former neocon, and editor of the National Interest, himself. (Good info about PNAC in here) I ran into some old paranoid pieces about the war running beyond control. Another old piece by a Palestinian professor about how the war is supposedly ultimately to Israel's benefit. Ah, for those heady and speculative days.

Via Atrios a stunning little letter from a contractor working in Iraq:

Discipline is slipping in the forces and it reminds one of the Viet-Nam pictures of old. Instead of a professional military outfit here we have a bunch of cowboys and vigilantes running wild in the streets. The ugly American has never been so evident. Someone in charge needs to drop the hammer on this lack of discipline, especially that which is being hown by the Special Forces, security contractors, and "other government agencies". We won the war but that doesn't mean we can treat the people of this couotry with contempt and disregard with no thought to the consequences. Those contractors, just like the last ones who were killed, were out running free with no military escort. Armed or not, that is a breach of protocol and a severe security risk. While I grieve for the families of those persons I would like to see the person who decided that it was alright for them to convoy out there without the military brought up on charges, unless of course that person was in the convoy, in which case at least he won't be getting anyone else killed.

I'm angry about how we're treating peope here. I know it's not the entire military, in fact it is a very small, select group that believes they are somehow above the law of not ony this land but also the law of the military and those laws we hold dear in ouor own country. If someone were to try to treat our fellow Americans the way some of these people are treating the Iraquis the courts would certainly lock them away. I would phrase that last line harsher, but in light of recent events that would be cruel. Discipline is needed here, and I'm not certain that our current administration is prepared to take the steps necessary to crack down on all of this. In order for discipline to be restored I do believe Donald Rumsfield would have to admit that perhaps Powell's rules of war were in fact valid.

Inside the personal bubbles that the long-suffering Israeli populace inhabits:

Suicide bombings create small, self-enclosed worlds consisting of family, a few friends, and a tiny geography. You go to this supermarket which is not in a busy mall, this cafe which has an armed guard, drive your kids to school along this side road which isn't a bus route - and to hell with anyone you don't know or trust. This is your own personal bu'ah, your bubble, and no one who is not in it is above suspicion. What is happening in Gaza or Nablus - the curfews, the checkpoints, the terrifying incursions of troops, the targeted assassinations, the collapse of the social infrastructure, the malnutrition, the cages in which Palestinians are fenced off like zoo animals - could be happening in Bosnia instead of a 25-minute drive away, because no one goes there except your son the soldier or your husband the reservist, and he doesn't talk about what he's seen because he can't. He doesn't have the emotional language to express it, who among us does? He comes home and gratefully re-enters his bu'ah. If I were an Israeli businessman, I'd invest in escapism, the bu'ah's wallpaper...

If you ever wanted to understand what anesthitized language about cracking down on Palestinians looks like, read this from an Israeli terror institute.

Joe Conason observed in February that the president was oblivious.

Rummy admits it's serious! "Iraq's stability crumbling at a rapid rate."
This news report from Knight-Ridder looks grim:

Marine engineers patrolling near Ramadi on Wednesday reported coming across a mass grave containing up to 350 bodies of Iraqis who appeared to have been killed in the fighting. It wasn't clear whether the bodies belonged to combatants, civilians or both.
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Rumors, unconfirmed and unconfirmable, heightened the tension: Those involved in the insurgency said Sunnis, Shiites and even Palestinians would gather in a war summit in Sadr City on Thursday.

"The Sunni people, the Shiite people, we share the same God, the same suffering under the Americans and the same goal, to end the occupation of Iraq," said Said Ammer al Husainie, the Mahdi Army leader in Sadr City. "We have been working together, and will continue to work together, to see that our aims are met.
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-The BBC reported that Shiite fighters had entered a Sunni mosque Monday, recruiting volunteers to donate blood for the resistance. Once recruited, the volunteers "together agreed on a wide-range attack in the neighborhood on the Americans," the BBC reported.

-In Ramadi, a traditional Sunni stronghold, witnesses said Marines were fighting soldiers who were dressed like members of Mahdi Army.

-In southern and central Baghdad, traditional Sunni neighborhoods, pro-Sadr posters and literature were widely circulated.

Too funny to leave out: the dictator of Turkmenistan's dogmatic guide to better living: The Rukhnama. Radio Free Europe is a new news source. EurasiaNet has a lot of good news collecting going on. Don't forget the Argus.

If this whole post doesn't make any sense to you, it doesn't make sense to me, either.

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