Wednesday, February 22, 2006

And Then The Civil War Starts....

I hate posting on Iraq, because everything is happening exactly as we knew it would; "we" being anyone who bothered to read a little bit on the geopolitical history of the area, "we" being all of us who actually demonstrated against this silly war launched on Walt Disneyesque theories of freedom and oil forevermore by people who had not bothered to read about the geopolitical history of the area. The "we" are totally worn out by all this, especially by the idea that each new step in the inevitable march towards anarchy is something worth commenting about, as if nobody had seen it coming. Like the levees breaking in New Orleans, I guess.

So, with a sigh of extreme weariness, I present you this:

An attack Wednesday that destroyed the soaring gold dome of one of ShiiteIslam's holiest shrines is being interpreted by most Shiites here as a direct attack on their faith - and has sharply raised sectarian tensions.

It's unclear if any people were killed in the massive explosion in Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad. But the destruction of the shrine may be the most emotionally charged of attacks on Shiite targets thus far in the war, and could set back already hamstrung efforts to form a government of Shiite and Sunni unity.

As citizens deserted the streets of Baghdad in the wake of the attack, many said they feared this could be a seminal moment in Iraq's low-intensity civil war.

"The war could really be on now,'' says Abu Hassan, a Shiite street peddler who declined to give his full name. "This is something greater and more symbolic than attacks on people. This is a strike at who we are."