Friday, November 28, 2003

OVERREACTION: Well, Tacitus wasn't the only one in overreacting to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani's objections to the CPA and Governing Council's plan to handover power. The New York Times, with its half-ass reporting, is partly guilty of misleading its readers into thinking that Sistani is out to set up the Americans, install Muqtada Sadr ("Muqty") as the leading ayatollah and create another Khomeinist-theocracy. The Post has a far better balanced report on this. The Financial Times confirms what Iwrote yesterday: that the Shiites are afraid of the secularization of Iraq.

(Speaking of the Post, it seems that Andrew Sullivan is quite angered by Dana Milbank's reporting on Bush's flight to Iraq, calling her "one of the most ferociously anti-Bush White House reporters." That's the same Milbank who broke the Lewinsky-story. It's called objectivity and accountability, Andrew. Furthermore, Walter Pincus is an excellent reporter. Just because he cares about accountability [he co-authored the "16 words" stories] doesn't make him a bad writer nor anti-Bush. Address the substance, don't attack the writers.)

The indispensable Juan Cole summarizes all the reports including from the Arab press.

I'll be on top of this story for the coming days. I also found out that Tacitus has been fooling himself all this time (see the comments section) by suggesting that an "Islamic character" won't be a part of the new Iraq. But that flies smack into the face of reality. Because Islam will be a part of the new Iraq, no matter what. It's what we call in America "the will of the people."

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