Sunday, April 20, 2003

Two good articles from Barry Rubin: this one argues that the Shiites now pose the first "real" crisis for the US in Iraq: following "the worst Middle Eastern tradition", the Iran-tilting Shiite leadership sees no reason to make compromises and is not hewing to previous understandings with the US. This one surveys the career of arrested Palestinian terrorist leader Mahmoud Abbas.

A somewhat sympathetic Israeli tagged along with a group from the International Solidarity Movement to act as a "human shield". He was eventually instructed to leave for his own safety when rumors began to float around Nablus that an Israeli was present. His description of the experience includes some interesting details about the ISM mentality (basically they sound like shrill Bay Area types who have adopted the Palestinian "martyrdom" jargon) and how they train their volunteers to lie to Israeli border guards, stay on message with the media, and avoid getting hurt. The account confirms reports that the ISM sheltered a Hamas fugitive, but says that the IDF now agrees that he was not armed.

Jpost publisher Bret Stephens apparently reads blogs - this piece on responses to the Iraq victory in the liberal media quotes mostly from articles that have already been discussed around the blogosphere.