Knight Of The Mind

I'll do my best to present a philosophical and generally conservative look at current events and life, the universe and everything. Readers are invited to take all that's posted herein with a grain of salt. or if they prefer, a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

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Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Greetings and welcome. My name is Steve, I'm 35 years old and I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst. Hence my blog title Knight Of The Mind.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The Saint Goes Marching In

Ayatollah Al-Sistani has decided that he and his followers should vote with their feet. He is calling upon the Shia population of Iraq to rise up and march to Najaf to save the Imam Ali Mosque from continued fighting. He hopes to broker a peace settlement that will leave the holy city intact.

Predictably, Muqtada Al-Sadr breathed a deep sigh of relief. The presence of thousands upon thousands of demonstrators effectively relieves the siege against the Mahdi Army.

An al-Sadr spokesman, Hazim al-A'rajy, welcomed a non-violent demonstration.

"Let them come," al-A'rajy said. "We welcome a peaceful process. We welcome anything to stop the conflict.

This touching desire to negotiate ignores the fundamental fact that Al-Sadr started this uprising. He picked the fight and is only negotiating to stave off a condign horse-whipping.

Al-Sistani's motivations are remarkably less clear. Muqtada Al-Sadr has accepted a lot of support from Hezbollah and the Theocracy in Iran. Yes, the Iranians are Shia, but in no sense would Najaf cease to be occupied.

Al-Sistani may think he is saving a holy shrine, but he could ultimately steer Najaf one step closer to his doom.

Update I: Patrick of Freedomstruth speculates on the possible outcomes of Al-Sistani's march on Najaf.

Update II: Iraq The Model describes Al-Sistani's political manuevering from the prospective of an Iraqui citizen.

"Reciprocals"

As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

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