Wednesday, April 02, 2008

More remarks on the depopulation of the Green Zone

The lead editorial in AlQuds alArabi this morning lists a number of reasons why Bush's "good-news honeymoon" in Iraq is ending, including the sudden increase in deaths in the statistics for the month of March, the failure of Maliki to weaken the Sadrists, and what the editorialist calls the danger of a split in the Sadrist ranks, with one group devoting itself to combating the occupation forces. Then the editorialist says this:
But the most important phenomenon, which overshadows most of the other developments in Iraq, is the exposure of the Green Zone, the most secure location in Iraq, to daily rocket bombardments, something that has motivated many diplomats and journalists and parliamentarians who went there seeking safety, to flee from the Green Zone to outside of Iraq, following the fall of a large number of injured persons in this attack.
Note that this is a little different from the news reports in AlArab and AlQuds AlArabi itself, which talked about moving to safer locations within Iraq (the AlQuds news report referred to moves by American Embassy people to the big American base at the Baghdad Airport), not moving out of the country altogether.

In any event, the editorialist doesn't get into the question who is responsible for the rocket and mortar attacks on the Green Zone, but he does note the following:
The Maliki government is now fighting against two fronts: A Shiite resistance front represented by the Sadrist trend, and the Sunni resistance front, grouped around a number of banners, including Islamist and nationalist organizations. And there is AlQaeda among them. What this means is that it [the Maliki government] has suddenly lost its reason for being.
The latter remark meaning: The government not only doesn't have Sunni support, but now it has forfeited the supposed majority Shiite support that was its reason for being, and instead it now faces a double-barreled resistance, from both sides.

Arab reports on the Green Zone exodus so far:

AlArab on Monday and Tuesday March 31 and April 1, noted here, and here.
AlQuds alArabi front page today Wednesday April 2, noted here.
And this AlQuds AlArabi editorial, also today, noted above.

English language mentions of this, including by those who, in good times, aren't shy about using their excellent Washington contacts: