A bit has been going on these last few days. American administrators are due to hand over sovereignty to a new transitional government in Iraq by June, and the pressure seems to have accelerated this week. If you scroll all the way down the bottom of the side bar you'll be able to see the most recent posts from Iraq bloggers on the situation. Superficially, it seems violence has flared up following the gruesome deaths of four Americans employed by a security company (unclear about details of the company), the arrest of a Sadr aide in connection with the murder of a rival cleric last year and the shutting down of a pro-Sadr newspaper last week. I say superficially because of a sense that there are also other deeper tensions distorting events, and i don't really know enough about them to be any clearer.
Zeyad blogs from almost onsite "I wanted to take some pictures but my father and uncle both said they would shoot me on the spot if I tried". Raed has been posting daily since Sunday, while Riverbend blogs on Riots/Demonstrations by Al-Sadr's followers in Baghdad and Najafby, and then resorts to stargazing. What else can one do? Ruin ourselves on earth we might, illuminated by the spectral light of suns already expired. Chris, on Back to Iraq 3.0, has comprehensive coverage "Sunday was bad. Very bad.", and Salam talks straight; Every body, even the GC is very careful how they formulate their sentences and how they describe Sadir's Militias. They are thugs, thugs thugs. There you have it.
This blog has also posted a link about what is going on. Not an Iraq blog, but worth checking the links he posted on Monday and Sunday. David is also, quote, "not wasting bandwidth repeating anyone's party line", and has a hip template (even if it's not his).
And, from outside Iraq, way over the other side of the world...this morning on the radio I heard part of an interview with the editor of an independent news paper which was pulling out of Iraq. The paper was called Iraq Today, and the editor decided after receiving death threats that it was time to go. Unfortunately it was early, I was sleepy, and that was all I heard. I found this though, and i think this might be the paper.