The big story today is the attack on the al-Askari shrine in Samarra. The situation is ripe with danger and possibility and, like the wedding bomb in Jordan, I think it may have repercussions in the Islamic world at large. Iraq the Model and The BBC have more. IMHO, this is the major news event. As I understand it, it is like Al-Qaeda flying an airplane into the Sistine Chapel. Perhaps it is even more inflamatory, given the current religious tensions and unsettled government in Iraq. Let's not get distracted by the P&O purchase and the perfidy of academics.
Bill Roggio has an excellent post on this event. Belmont Club weighs in.
Free Iraqi has a long and interesting post, he almost sounds relieved at the prospect of civil war being waged in the open instead of under the covers. Fayrouz seems to share some of the same fatalism. I'm waiting for Hammorabi to post in order to get the viewpoint of a devout She'at.
Zeyad says the situation in Baghdad is tense with US helicopters and aircraft flying overhead. Scroll down and read Avoiding Iraqi Death Squads For Dummies to get some other background. I suspect this coming Friday will be an interesting day in Iraq.
Zeyad has posted an excellent rundown with maps. He says, "The Interior ministry forces and Mahdi militiamen are having a field day." The Sadrists are apparently making a power grab. I have had long running doubts about the interior ministry, a position always ripe for abuse, and had hoped that a new government would put Allawi in charge as part of a settlement. I don't envy the US commander in Iraq tonight, it will be a tricky job to balance the political and military aspects of the situation, let alone figure out wtf is going on. The unrest will need to be brought under control soon or it could avalanche in the most remarkable way. We shall see.
Daniel Drezner points to Dan Murphy's story in the Christian Science Monitor.
More from the London Times. And that's it for tonight.