Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Baghdad Mayor Ousted & Elite Iraqis are Fleeing
Oh the news just keeps getting better day by day (NY Times): Armed men entered Baghdad's municipal building on Monday, deposed the city's mayor and installed a member of Iraq's most powerful Shiite militia. The man the group installed, Hussein al-Tahaan, is a member of the Badr Organization (the armed militia of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq aka Sciri). The problem w/the Mayor? He is secular: "This is the new Iraq," said Mr. Tamimi, a secular engineer with no party affiliation. "They use force to achieve their goal." He added that he had gone into hiding for fear of his life. Well, he might as well go into hiding. Why not? 1000s of educated Iraqis are fleeing (Telegraph News UK): Iraq is losing the educated elite of doctors, lawyers, academics and businessmen who are vital to securing a stable future. Their departure will leave a vacuum to be filled by religious extremists. Here are some quotes: 1)"It now is anti-religious to have free speech, liberal minds and civilization in this country." 2) "The streets are ruled by gangs, looters and goons." 3) "Under sanctions [imposed on Saddam Hussein by the UN after the Gulf war] we had no problems like this." And this: There are no land-line phones, water has to be pumped from a well and electricity is on for only 2 hrs a day compared with 21 under Saddam. In a country that sits on a lake of oil, the gas lines last up to 4 hrs. Ahh, sweet liberty.