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A preview of the upcoming issue of Left Turn magazine. Due out in the next week.
The Shia Rise Up
by Rami El-Amine

"What is striking is how much has changed in a week - a week. No one can talk about the Sunni Triangle anymore. No one can seriously talk about Sunni-Shia fragmentation or civil war. The occupation cannot talk about small bands of resistance. Now it is a popular rebellion and it has spread."
-Wamid Nadhmi, a political science professor at Baghdad University

It's still too early to assess the impact of the April Iraqi uprising against the US occupation but one thing is for sure, things will never be the same again in Babylon. The tenacious resistance that the mostly Sunni fighters put up in Fallujah - more than 600 Iraqis (mostly women and children) and around 60 US soldiers were killed in the first week alone - rightly became the rallying cry of the rebellion. But Fallujah has been bearing the brunt of the occupation from day one.

What was different about this uprising was that large numbers of Shia rose up against the occupation forces. Suddenly the US and its allies were no longer just facing small pockets of armed resistance, concentrated mostly in the "Sunni triangle" northwest of Baghdad, but a major rebellion that killed more than 83 US soldiers in the first two weeks and took control of a number of major cities. US-trained Iraqi police units not only refused to put down the rebellion but in some places joined it. A battalion of Iraqi Civil Defense Forces refused to go to Fallujah "to fight Iraqis." ... (link for complete article)



Shia Backgrounder: A History of Oppression
by Zein El-Amine

When the media started reporting on the US military's first entry into the city of Karbala around the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, Shia around the world wondered if the US had any idea about what this invading army was trampling on. A few days later, the front pages of the papers were full of images of millions of Shia on their pilgrimage to Karbala - the site of the battle that forged their sect of Islam and set off a centuries-old quest for justice. In the spirit of that quest they chanted, "No to the US, No to Saddam, No to Israel, Yes to Islam."

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