Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Coup in Baghdad

Members of a Shiite militia took control of Baghdad today.
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 9 - Armed men entered Baghdad's municipal building during a blinding dust storm on Monday, deposed the city's mayor and installed a member of Iraq's most powerful Shiite militia.

The deposed mayor, Alaa al-Tamimi, who was not in his offices at the time, recounted the events in a telephone interview on Tuesday and called the move a municipal coup d'├ętat. He added that he had gone into hiding for fear of his life.

"This is the new Iraq," said Mr. Tamimi, a secular engineer with no party affiliation. "They use force to achieve their goal."
Baghdad is not only the seat of power in Iraq, it is also a symbolic position.

The coup happened under the nose of the U.S. forces which are hunkered down in the capitol.

This does not bode well for hopes of a democratic or even benevolent form of government. The proposed drawdown of forces in time for the 2006 mid-terms may lead into even more out-right fighting between factions. It happens already, of course, but the small U.S. presence may serve as a deterrent to all-out fighting.

- Murphy

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