Report From Baghdad

REPORT FROM BAGHDAD….Riverbend writes about the mood in her Baghdad neighborhood:

It does not feel like civil war because Sunnis and Shia have been showing solidarity these last few days in a big way. I don?t mean the clerics or the religious zealots or the politicians ? but the average person. Our neighborhood is mixed and Sunnis and Shia alike have been outraged with the attacks on mosques and shrines. The telephones have been down, but we?ve agreed upon a very primitive communication arrangement. Should any house in the area come under siege, someone would fire in the air three times. If firing in the air isn?t an option, then someone inside the house would have to try to communicate trouble from the rooftop.

….I?m reading, and hearing, about the possibility of civil war. The possibility. Yet I?m sitting here wondering if this is actually what civil war is like. Has it become a reality? Will we look back at this in one year, two years…ten…and say, ?It began in February 2006…?? It is like a nightmare in that you don?t realise it?s a nightmare while having it ? only later, after waking up with your heart throbbing, and your eyes searching the dark for a pinpoint of light, do you realise it was a nightmare…

In related news, the Iraqi ministry of defense has promised to “crack down” on freelance militias and Sunni political leaders have agreed to rejoin talks about forming a government. Stay tuned.