There has been a debate for months now about what begat what in Iraq. Was an era of comparative calm in Baghdad and Basra the result of the “surge,” or was it the result of a cease fire called by Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr? And was the cease fire caused by the surge?
It appears we’re about to find out. Over the last day or so fighting has intensified between Iraqi forces and the fighters for al-Sadr.
McClatchy Newspapers Baghdad bureau chief Leila Fadel has just posted an update to her excellent blog, Baghdad Observer, after returning from some time away. She suggests that people in Baghdad could feel something coming…
But before we left he looked at me and another foreign reporter and warned in Arabic that times had changed. It’s good that we were wearing scarves and the long black Abaya, this is a good cover, he said. People had changed in the market. Their minds did not work the same way, he said. He offered us juice and asked us to come back for a meal at his home.