Note: After a brief blogging-hiatus to complete some (paying) assignments (as in this month’s Reason, where I have an article on a topic only tangentially related to Iraq), I’ve decided to make some changes in Redzone’s format. Less original material, more links. Easier to read, easier to write, more user- and producer-friendly, etc. In addition, I’ll post material all through the day, to satisfy that web-surfing itch of mine, and no doubt yours.
And now, onto the day’s events…
Like reading too much Wahhabi propaganda
Everybody makes mistakes.
— Ahmd Omar Abu Ali, in a letter written to his parents from a Saudi Arabian prison.
As we know, the U.S. government has charged Mr. Abu Ali with plotting to assassinate President Bush and to carry out other terrorist attacks. According to FBI agent Barry Cole, the 23 year-old confessed to him while Saudi custody that he had joined an Al Qaeda cell and planned to hi-jack an airliner to use in a manner similar to 9-11. He allegedly gave Mr. Cole a letter to his parents, who live in Falls Church, Virginia, in which he acknowledged he would probably be sent to jail because of the terrorism charges.
For more thoughts on the Abu Ali case, see my post onChester.
Maybe now, after all that has happened in Iraq, we will take something political from the story of Hussein. Now the issue will take another route, because Shiites have started the growth of their political culture.
— Saudi Shiite Nabih al-Ibrahim
The headline for MacFarquhar’s article says it all: “Saudi Shiites, Long Kept Down, Look to Iraq and Assert Rights.” This may yet prove the most pregnant turn of events in the post-Jan. 30 environment. For my take on “Shia power,” go here and here.
Remember, it wasn’t easy in 1775 either
The plan is to open the national assembly next week [between March 6 and 10]. We will open the parliament whether or not there is an agreement.
— Jawad al-Maliky, deputy to Shiite candidate for Prime Minister, Ibrahim Jaafari.
With the business end of an M-16
The language used by the White House indicates a campaign similar to the one that preceded the attack on Iraq. We are essential for the peace process, for Iraq. Look, perhaps one day the Americans will come and knock on our door.
— Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, speaking to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica
(Eli Lake, New York Sun)
Things are starting to change. When the Sunnis talk to us now, they insist they are separate from the terrorists because they don’t want Iraqi blood on their hands.
— United Iraqi Alliance member Salama Al-Khafji
(Farnaz Fassihi, Wall Street Journal)
Posted by Steven Vincent