Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. This briefing is brought to you by Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended and Andrew Olmsted of Andrew Olmsted dot com.
- The fighting in Najaf is on again, apparently now withgreater intensity than previously. Al-Sadr's people claiming U.S. fire damaged one wall of the Imam Ali shrine in which Sadr is hiding. Will U.S. forces finally kill al-Sadr, or will he escape to incite again? It's a tougher question than most would prefer, as it involves the biggest crisis facing the nascent Iraqi government.
- Wretchard examines the siege in Najaf and notes the generational conflict between Sadr's and Sistani's followers. In response to questions about the number of Islamic holy cities the U.S. seems to be finding in the war, he also points to a partial list of holy cities of other religions. Alaa at The Mesopotamian meanwhile examines the fighting in Najaf to try and sort out who the real desecrators and defenders are.
Other Topics Today Include: kidnapping reporters becomes a new Iraqi pastime; Iraq's National Assembly gets fisrt reviews; Sistani takes a vacation; Italian troops prepare to rotate; Iraq's soccer team makes two statements; humor from Iraq.
REPORTS FROM THE FIELD
- An American reporter was released from captivity Sunday, but two French reporters and an Italian reporter have now been reported missing, as kidnapping seems to remain a popular sideline for Iraqi terrorists.
- Ali, at Iraq the Model, discusses a strange, new experience inside the Iraqi National Assembly. The freedom to have open discussions and elections for the new Iraqi National Council. Zeyad from Healing Iraq has some thoughts as well.
- Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani is leaving a London hospital, but remaining in England as he recovers from heart-related treatment. Al-Sistani is considered the most important moderating force in post-war Iraq and his departure from Iraq is seen by many as disapproval of Muqtada al-Sadr's activities.
THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE
- The Italian Friuli Briagade and 'Pozzuoli' unit will soon be "Changing the Guard" in Nasiriyah. The Trieste-based Friuli Briagade is due in Iraq on 27 August.
- Arthur Chrenkoff examines some recent U.S. polls regarding the war in Iraq and comes away confused.
- Iraq's soccer team stunned Australia with a victory in the Olympic quarterfinals, and dealt a rebuke to President Bush as well for his campaign's ad mentioning their presence at the games.
- SSG Grant, a reservist combat engineer with Company B, 458th Engineer Battalion at Camp Victory-North has created quite a following with his cartoon series - Bohica Blues. For Milspeak-challenged individuals, BOHICA is the acronym for Bend Over Here It Comes
Again. Hat Tip: Intel Dump
- The troops are still there. So is the Winds of Change.NET consolidated directory of ways you can support the troops: American, Australian, British, Canadian & Polish. Anyone out there with more information, contact us!
- Don't forget Chief Wiggles' Toys for Iraq drive!
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