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Archives: December 2004

Tsunami Toll Rises Above 125000 On

Tsunami toll rises above 125,000 On very early Friday morning, Reuters was reporting that the death toll in Sunday’s tsunami had now climbed to 125,000. I have a feeling that it will…

Death And Death Threats In Iraq Some

Death and Death Threats in Iraq Some 15 Iraqis were killed in various violent incidents on Thursday, and two Lebanese businessmen were kidnapped. Dawn reports: “Three border policemen were gunned down in…

Pipes Favors Concentration Camps That

Pipes Favors Concentration Camps That the Revisionist-Zionist extremist Daniel Pipes has fond visions of rounding up Muslim Americans and putting them in concentration camps isn’t a big surprise. That a mainstream American…

Platform Of United Iraqi Alliance

Platform of the United Iraqi Alliance The Iraqi newspaper “al-Adalah” published on Dec. 23 the platform of the United Iraqi Alliance, the mainly Shiite coalition sponsored by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani. It…

Christian Muslim Violence In Egypt In

Christian-Muslim Violence in Egypt In upper Egypt, a Muslim young man is dead after clashes between Muslims and Christians in a village in Minya province. There are said to be 20,000 Muslims…

Clashes In Mosul Samarra Massive Bomb

Clashes in Mosul, Samarra The massive bomb in Baghdad that killed 30 persons and wounded 25 the night of Tuesday- Wednesday turns out to have been an ambush. Guerrillas contacted the Iraqi…

Bush And Tsunami Transcript Of

Bush and the Tsunami The transcript of President George W. Bush’s remarks on the Tsunami is now available. After days of silence and invisibility, Bush finally came out on Wednesday to address…

Tsunami Toll Nearly 70000 And Rising

Tsunami Toll Nearly 70,000 and Rising Where’s Bush? The known death toll from the tsunami keeps rising so rapidly that a daily weblog cannot hope to keep up with it. Early Wednesday…

Dozens Killed In Iraq Early Wednesday

Dozens Killed in Iraq Early Wednesday morning, a huge explosion rocked West Baghdad, flattening several houses and killing 28, including 7 policemen. Iraqi police were raiding the building, a suspected safe house…

Bin Laden Votes In Iraq And Shoots

Bin Laden votes in Iraq and Shoots himself in the Foot Usamah Bin Laden’s latest video was broadcast on al-Jazeera on Monday, in which he commanded Muslims to boycott the January 30…

Iraqi Islamic Party Withdraws Dispute

Iraqi Islamic Party Withdraws Dispute over Theocracy among Iraqi Shiites The near assassination on Monday of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, a leading Shiite cleric and politician, raised new fears of sectarian strife in…

Arato Guest Editorial Iraqi

Arato Guest Editorial: The Iraqi Constitution The Iraqi Constitution: A Modest Proposal Andrew Arato Iraq is on the verge of a disaster that is ultimately of our making. The United States has…

Tsunami Foretaste Of Global Warming

Tsunami a Foretaste of Global Warming The horror of waves caroming across the Indian ocean at 500 miles an hour (the speed of a commercial jet liner!) and then crashing into beaches…

Suicide Bomber Kills 9 Wounds 39_27

Suicide Bomber Kills 9, Wounds 39 Outside Home of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim A carbomber detonated his payload Monday morning outside the home in Baghdad of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, killing at least 9…

How To Save Iraqi Elections Reprint

How to Save the Iraqi Elections (Reprint Edition) The following piece appeared in the Detroit News in early December: Sunday, December 5, 2004 Bush policies set off skirmish on fate of Iraqi…

Iraqthemodel On December 12 Just

IraqTheModel On December 12, just before I went off to Japan on a trip, I drew attention to a web log entry by Joseph Mailander at the Martini Republic, which raised questions…

Bombings And Assassinations Mar

Bombings and Assassinations Mar Christmas Day in Iraq Douglas Ireland of the LA Weekly has a fine piece on the problems with the coverage of Iraq in the US media, and offers…

Study Of Arabic In Us Harry Levins Of

Study of Arabic in the US Harry Levins of the St. Louis Post Dispatch has an interesting article on the lack of Arabic speakers in the US. He says that a little…

Hiding Christmas In Iraq Us Christian

Hiding Christmas in Iraq The US Christian Right has been loudly complaining about the alleged exclusion of Christmas from the US public sphere. (There isn’t really any evidence of it.) But Iraq’s…

At Least 30 Killed Dozens Wounded In

At Least 30 Killed, Dozens Wounded in Iraq Violence AFP and other wire services report that violence in Iraq on Friday killed at least 30 persons (including 24 guerrillas in Fallujah) and…

Radical Militants On Planet Al Qaeda

Radical Militants on Planet al-Qaeda Wanted Bush to Win US Election Georges Malbrunot, one of two French journalists recently released by radical Muslim fundamentalists in Iraq, spoke to CNN on Friday: Malbrunot…

Four Us Troops Killed Guerrillas In Al

Four US Troops Killed Guerrillas in al-Anbar province killed 3 Marines on Thursday. In Baghdad, guerrillas used a roadside bomb to kill one US soldier and wound two others. Also in Baghdad,…

Sistanis Office Calls On Aides To

Sistani’s Office Calls on Aides to Encourage Voting Kurdish Troops to Guard Polling Stations? Al-Hayat: The office of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani called on supporters and aides of the Shiite religious authority…

Mosul Paralyzed As House To House

Mosul Paralyzed as House to House Searching Continues 10 Die in Samarra, Mahmudiyah Violence Az-Zaman: Schools, offices and shops were closed in Mosul, a city of over a million, on Wednesday as…

Going To War With Clothing We Have

Going to War with the Clothing We Have The Civil Air Patrol at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany is making a plea for help for wounded US soldiers sent there. I…

Iraq Digital Photo Archive At

Iraq Digital Photo Archive at Washington Post The Washington Post online is setting up what is essentially a digital photograph archive for the US soldiers in Iraq, called “Duty in Iraq.” This…

Racism And Orientalism In Israeli

Racism and Orientalism in the Israeli Academy I can’t see anything but racism in the discourse of either side in this court case in Haifa, which is considering whether a Palestinian group…

Press Roundup For Wednesday 1222 Josh

Press Roundup for Wednesday 12/22 Josh White of the Washington Post reports that US soldiers at a base near Samarra routinely take mortar and machine gun fire, and that an incident similar…

Brooks On Moment Of Hope David Brooks

Brooks on Moment of Hope David Brooks has a glib op-ed today in the New York Times in which he celebrates a moment of hope in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. He suggests that…

Mosul Attack Leaves 22 Dead 51 Wounded

Mosul Attack leaves 22 Dead, 51 Wounded The Guardian reports that a rocket and mortar attack on a US military base has left nearly two dozen dead and over 50 wounded. The…

Poll Shows American Public Wising Up

Poll Shows American Public Wising Up A new CNN poll shows that the views expressed here at Informed Comment on most issues related to Iraq and Donald Rumsfeld have become mainstream in…

Funerals For 67 Dead Draw Thousands

Funerals for 67 Dead Draw Thousands Fears of Instability Spreading Thousands of mourners came out in Najaf Monday to attend funerals for the 54 dead in that city from a massive bombing…

Ofac Reverses Censorship Policy

OFAC Reverses Censorship Policy Further to William Fisher’s guest editorial here on last Friday, good news! OFAC has reversed itself on several of its provisions for censoring manuscripts from Iran, Cuba Sudan.…

43 Dead More Than 95 Wounded In Najaf

43 Dead, More than 95 Wounded in Najaf, Karbala Ambush in Baghdad Guerrillas detonated a huge bomb near the bus station in Karbala on Sunday, destroying several minibuses and leaving dead and…

Voter Registration Stations Attacked

Voter Registration Stations Attacked Ayatollahs: Shaalan Must Go According to Reuters, guerrillas in Dujail, 30 miles north of Baghdad, subjected the local voter registration site to mortar fire on Saturday morning, killing…

Fisher Guest Editorial Us Squelches

Fisher Guest Editorial: US Squelches Shirin Ebadi RIGHT HAND, LEFT HAND By William Fisher Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe performs a genuine public service by calling our attention to yet another…

Secular Majority In Iraq Unlikely

Secular Majority in Iraq? Unlikely Stephen Farrell argues at the London Times online that opinion polling suggest that “secularists” will get about 60% of the vote in the upcoming Iraqi elections and…

Karbala Bomb Blast Bomb Blast Outside

Karbala Bomb Blast A bomb blast outside the holy shrine of Imam Husain in Karbala left Shaikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbala’i wounded with shrapnel in his legs and killed two of his bodyguards…

Fassihi On Muslim Jewish Relations In

Fassihi on Muslim-Jewish Relations in Prerevolutionary Iran Dr. Michael Fassihi writes concerning his own family’s experience of Muslim-Jewish relations in Iran: Today I came across the comment made via email to you…

Iraqi Jews Before 1948 Adam Ovadia

Iraqi Jews before 1948 Adam Ovadia Mansoor writes, with regard to the position of the substantial Iraqi Jewish population before 1948: ‘ I have one minor quibble with your assessment of Iraqi…

Election News Iraqi Islamic Party

Election News The Iraqi Islamic Party, a Sunni group, appears finally to have gotten off the fence and decided definitively to contest the elections in January. Iyad Allawi’s decision to start trials…

Pentagon Threatens Germany Over

Pentagon Threatens Germany over Rumsfeld Suit The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and Berlin’s Republican Lawyers’ Association has filed suit in Germany against Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of 4 Iraqis…

Opinion Polls In Iraq My Allegation_15

Opinion Polls in Iraq My allegation that the IraqTheModel website is far outside the norm of Iraqi public opinion as measured by polling has caused a stir in the weblogging world among,…

Carbomb Targets Green Zone Again

Carbomb targets Green Zone Again Electricity Outage in All Iraqi Cities for Second Straight Day A car bomber struck the same Green Zone checkpoint again Tuesday morning as had been targeted on…

Access Problems For Mysterious Reasons

Access Problems For mysterious reasons, some readers in the past week have been experiencing difficulty in accessing Informed Comment. For others, the problem has cleared up. I checked with my server provider…

Have Arabs Or Muslims Always Hated

Have Arabs or Muslims always Hated Jews? I said a couple of days ago that I regretted that the actions of Israeli hawks in the West Bank, Gaza and South Lebanon had…

7 Marines Killed In Anbar Huge

7 Marines Killed in Anbar Huge Explosion in Baghdad Leaves Dozens Dead, Wounded Sunni Arab guerrillas killed 7 US troops on Sunday in separate incidents in al-Anbar province. Guerrillas detonated a powerful…

Assassination By Poisoning Chancy

Assassination by Poisoning a Chancy Matter The confirmation that Ukraine presidential candidate Victor Yushchenko has been the victim of a poisoning by dioxyn shows that he was the victim of an assassination…

Manipulation Of Blogging World On Iraq

Manipulation of the Blogging World on Iraq? [Addendum 12/27/2004: This posting contains errors and is superceded by this later statement. Joseph Mailander of the Martini Republic weblog has an extremely important posting…

Press Roundup For Sunday Guerrillas In

Press Roundup for Sunday Guerrillas in al-Anbar province killed a US serviceman on Saturday. Anthony Shadid reports that Abdullah al-Janabi, fundamentalist Sunni leader of the Muslim mini-theocracy in pre-assault Fallujah, claims that…

70 Parties Register To Contest

70 Parties Register to Contest the Elections Al-Hayat reports that the Iraqi Islamic Party has registered a full party list of 275 candidates. The party, led by Muhsin Abdul Hamid, has long…

Aipac Spying Case Heats Up Richard

AIPAC Spying Case Heats up Richard Sales, veteran UPI terrorism correspondent, reveals the explosive information that ‘ In 2001, the FBI discovered new, “massive” Israeli spying operations in the East Coast, including…

Press Roundup Reuters Reports On

Press Roundup Reuters reports on a growing Iraq fuel crisis that could lead to civil turmoil and harm the prospects for elections. How ironic, if lack of fuel should roil Iraq of…

Muqtada Elections Will Divide Iraqis

Muqtada: Elections will Divide Iraqis Sistani Rep: Beware of Voter Fraud Ash-Sharq al-Awsat: Shaikh Abd al-Mahdi al-Karbala’i, representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Karbala, said in his Friday sermon, “We affirm…

Al Dhari Explains Sunni Arab Boycott

Al-Dhari Explains Sunni Arab Boycott Hareth al-Dhari spoke out Thursday about the reasons for which his Association of Muslim Scholars urges a boycott of the Iraqi elections planned for January 30. According…

Shiite List Announced For January

Shiite List Announced for January Elections Sameer Yacoub of AP gives an overview of the unified Shiite list announced Thursday, The United Iraqi Alliance. It groups a large number of Shiite and…

Mark Levine Replies To Robert Spencer

Mark LeVine Replies to Robert Spencer Mark LeVine, Middle East historian at UC Irvine, writes AN OPEN REPLY TO ROBERT SPENCER. Dear Mr. Spencer First of all, thanks so much for titling…

Rumsfeld Military Irrelevance Of

Rumsfeld, the Military Irrelevance of Fallujah, and Retina Scans Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was called on the carpet at a meeting with troops in Kuwait, as Reuters reports. “Why do we…

King Abdullah Ii And President Yawir

King Abdullah II and President Yawir Worry about Iran and Shiism Robin Wright and Peter Baker of the Washington Post got King Abdullah II to say the most amazing things about alleged…

Controversies Over Middle East Studies

Controversies over Middle East Studies at Princeton The Daily Princetonian has a fascinating overview of controversies about Middle East Studies at Princeton University.

Churches Bombed In Mosul Reuters

Churches Bombed in Mosul Reuters reports that guerrillas in Mosul cleared two churches and then blew them up. There were no injuries, but extensive damage was done to an Armenian and an…

Elections Face Logistical Obstacles

Elections face Logistical Obstacles Mohamad Bazzi of Newsday reports that quite aside from major security problems, the January 30 elections could be derailed by poor preparations. In contrast to the 600 UN…

Character Assassination Yes Im Aware

Character Assassination Yes, I’m aware that Daniel Pipes of the so-called Middle East Forum sent some puppy out to slime me over at David Horowitz’s Frontpagerag. So this is the way it…

Shiite List To Be Announced Hussein

Shiite List to be Announced Hussein Shahristani, the Shiite scientist charged by Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani with cobbling together a big comprehensive Shiite list, said Monday that the full listing of candidate…

Clash On Street Called Haifa

Clash on a Street called Haifa Guerrillas on Haifa Street in downtown Baghdad fought a running battle Monday with Iraqi police or national guards, and killed one civilian working for the US.…

Carnage Becoming Routine In Iraq

Carnage becoming Routine in Iraq: Another Bloody Sunday ArabNews summarizes the carnage in Iraq on Sunday. Tikrit: Guerrillas ambushed a bus as it let off Iraqis working for the US military at…

Abu Ghuraib Redux Arabic Satellite

Abu Ghuraib Redux The Arabic satellite television programs showed the new Abu Ghuraib pictures repeatedly late last week, and they provoked a new round of disgust with the United States. Boing Boing…

Blogging Fallujah And Us Air War

Blogging Fallujah, and the US Air War against Iraqi Civilians Thomas E. Ricks has a characteristically piercing examination of the way in which a single blogger has been able to challenge the…

Arabkurdish Sunnishiite Violence

Arab/Kurdish, Sunni/Shiite Violence Flares, Killing Dozens The violence in Iraq on Saturday, which killed at least 40 and wounded many more, was particularly worrying because it was again characterized by a strong…

30 Killed In Tsunami Of Attacks Arab

30 Killed in Tsunami of Attacks Arab satellite stations are reporting mortar attacks on the Green Zone in Baghdad (where the US embassy and government offices are located), and showing thick columns…

Hollowness Of War On Terror Madrid Hit

Hollowness of War on Terror: Madrid hit Again Madrid was thrown into chaos on Friday when the Basque separatist organization ETA set off five bombs at gasoline stations around the capital of…

Card Wins Legal Action Against Pipes

Card wins Legal Action against Pipes Daniel Pipes and Jonathan Schanzer settled a libel suit out of court with University of Oregon instructor Douglas Card. They had accused Card of being anti-semitic…

More Violence In Iraq Associated Press

More Violence in Iraq Associated Press reports that the fortified Green Zone (US offices and Iraqi government buildings) in Baghdad took heavy mortar fire on Thursday. A car bomb wounded two US…

Psy Ops And News Los Angeles Timess

Psy-Ops and News The Los Angeles Times’s Mark Mazetti writes about a US military psy-ops campaign against the guerrillas in Fallujah in mid-October, in which military spokesmen convinced CNN that an attack…

Election News Al Hayat Says That Sunni

Election News Al-Hayat says that the Sunni tribal shaikhs with whom Prime Minister Iyad Allawi met in Jordan on Thusday pleaded with him to postpone the elections. The leader of the Sunni…

Brown Meeting With Yasser Arafat

Brown: A Meeting with Yasser Arafat Middle East expert Kenneth Brown shares the following guest editorial. (Iraq news follows, below.): A meeting with Yasser Arafat Kenneth Brown I first met Yasser Arafat…

Shiite Sunni Shiite Shiite No Civil

Shiite-Sunni, Shiite-Shiite No civil war and Massive Casualties There were major gun battles in Mosul and Samarra on Wednesday, and bombs went off on the road to Baghdad airport and at Iskandariyah…

Baghdad Car Bomb Wounds 5 Us Soldiers

Baghdad: Car Bomb Wounds 5 US Soldiers Baiji: Car Bomb Kills 7, Wounds 18 Guerrillas in Baghdad detonated a car bomb near a US convoy on the road to the airport, wounding…

Iraq Elections Negroponte Optimistic

Iraq Elections: Negroponte Optimistic; Shiites Enthusiastic for Reasons that would not Please Negroponte The Chicago Tribune’s Liz Sly is back in Baghdad and has two important pieces out. One describes the confidence…