Sunday, March 05, 2006

Where's the civil war in Iraq?

The New York Times is high-brow.
The New York Post is low-brow.
At least that has been my impression. Anyway, a reporter writing in the Post says he is having a hard time finding the civil war in Baghdad.

Rolling with the "instant Infantry" gunners of the 1st Platoon of Bravo Battery, 4-320 Field Artillery, I saw children and teenagers in a Shia slum jumping up and down and cheering our troops as they drove by. Cheering our troops.

All day - and it was a long day - we drove through Shia and Sunni neighborhoods. Everywhere, the reception was warm. No violence. None.

And no hostility toward our troops. Iraqis went out of their way to tell us we were welcome.
Instead of a civil war, something very different happened because of the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra. The fanatic attempt to stir up Sunni-vs.-Shia strife, and the subsequent spate of violent attacks, caused popular support for the U.S. presence to spike upward.
Think Abu Musab al-Zarqawi intended that?

In place of the civil war that elements in our media declared, I saw full streets, open shops, traffic jams, donkey carts, Muslim holiday flags - and children everywhere, waving as our Humvees passed. Even the clouds of dust we stirred up didn't deter them. And the presence of children in the streets is the best possible indicator of a low threat level.

Southeast Baghdad, at least, was happy to see our troops.

I have an idea that if he ventures into what they call the "triangle of death" further to the South he will be less cavalier in his writing. But in the meantime the article makes interesting reading.
(Ya think this is part of the reason for the low/high-brow distinction?)

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