Fogge of War

A few follow-up points to that last post, based on a midafternoon survey of the news:

  • One report has the uprising as having broken out over attempts by Iraqi irregulars to conscript civilians as human shields. Interestingly, the the actual resistance seems to have started only after the execution (by the Iraqi military) of a local Ba'ath official, which outraged other Ba'athists, who then took to the streets.
  • Another version says that the British "seized a senior regional Baath party leader" as a deliberate impetus to anti-Ba'ath revolt. This article quotes British officials as saying both that they don't know "where [the uprising] will take us" and that Iraqis are waiting for coalition support before they rebel.
  • Other accounts have no uprising at all, or just "disturbances." Here, we hear that coalition military presence near the city has been limited to particularized raids and artillery support.
  • Or, perhaps the British have Basra surrounded, are engaging with an Iraqi armored column attempting to leave the city, are delaying entering the city to avoid killing civilians, and are downplaying suggestions that events in the city constitute an "uprising."

Thus, some questions:

  • What is going on in Basra?
  • By the British standard, would the anti-war protests in the West qualify as "uprisings?"
  • Why are there no decent maps of what's going on? I have yet to see a single news organization even attempt to draw a map of Iraq with the usual lines and arrows showing troops and their movements.