'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Nir Rosen 

If you haven't read it yet go read freelance journalist Nir Rosen's first-hand account of Fallujah after the seige that's in the current New Yorker. Stories like the above make one realize just how crappy most coverage of Iraq has been -- we all know very little of what's going on there. Also, here's a Nir Rosen (with Mark LeVine) piece posted on beliefnet.com about the state of Islam in Iraq. Its primary thesis is that the main result of the occupation has been fostering Shi'ite-Sunni unity:

Now that America has turned over sovereignty to Iraq, most of the world is talking about nation-building amid violence. A more unexplored question, however, is how Sunni and Shi‘i Muslims understand the events of the last year. What do they envision for a new Iraq?

The structure of Iraq’s politics during the Hussein years, when the minority Sunnis held power and the Shi‘a were an oppressed majority, laid the foundation for what could have been a civil war once the regime was toppled. Yet this hasn’t happened--and the reason is not necessarily encouraging. What has largely united Sunnis and Shi‘a is the increasingly intense opposition to the U.S.-led occupation. In fact, most Iraqis believe the United States’ major accomplishment since removing Hussein from power has been unifying Iraqis against what most of them believe is an unjust occupation.

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