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    16 June 2004
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    This piece from the Washpost (subscription required so I'll quote the stuff I'm speaking of) provides one of the best looks into the 51st state of Iraq that I have scene from the mainstream print media or TV media in a while. That is, if you can even put them in the same group. Note the Historical context provided, if you don't know Iraqi history this occupation/resistance cycle is a common one in the past couple of centuries even before the black gold:

    Although no bloodier, Monday's blast in the capital carried significantly more political meaning than its predecessors. It erupted from the point where Saadoun Street flows into Liberation Square, a central Baghdad traffic circle laden with the history of modern Iraq, from heroic sculptures commissioned by the country's former dictator, Gen. Abdul Karim Qassem, after he overthrew the British-imposed monarchy in 1958 to the spot where, one decade and several coups later, Saddam Hussein had 14 Iraqi Jews hanged on espionage charges.

    U.S. soldiers, backed by Bradley Fighting Vehicles, had returned and closed off the area by midday, while forensics specialists combed through the charred wreckage. The cordon caused a giant traffic jam as cars spilled off Jumhuriyah Bridge into the square. And it presented passing Iraqis with the spectacle of four U.S. soldiers -- kneeling in the unforgiving sun, their M-16s ready, concertina wire coiled in front of them -- just under the looming panel of carvings that Qassem ordered up to depict Iraq's emergence from foreign domination.

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