|Monday, April 05, 2004|
Citizen's media: Iraqi blogger Zeyad is reporting from Baghdad.
A coup d'etat is taking place in Iraq a the moment...Shi'ite neighbourhoods in Baghdad...have been declared liberated from occupation. Looting has already started at some places downtown...News from other cities in the south indicate that Sadr followers (tens of thousands of them) have taken over IP stations and governorate buildings...policemen in these cities have sided with the Shia insurgents.
No one knows what is happening in the capital right now. Power has been cut off in my neighbourhood since the afternoon, and I can only hear helicopters, massive explosions, and continuous shooting nearby. The streets are empty, someone told us half an hour ago that Al-Mahdi are trying to take over our neighbourhood and are being met by resistance from Sunni hardliners. Doors are locked, and AK-47's are being loaded and put close by in case they are needed.
Glenn Reynolds: "Zeyad appears to have another scoop...I'm not seeing anything about this elsewhere yet."
Dave Winer, in late 2000: "I hope in the next war there are people with weblogs to let the world know what's really happening."
6:14:51 PM comment 
I've already won my NCAA pool, so I'm free to root for GaTech tonight over UConn, even though I picked UConn to win it all...I'd root for the ACC team anyway, of course, as long as it wasn't Dook. The keys to my bracketology success: not believing in Kentucky, and picking Tech and OK State to make the Final Four. I had UConn over OSU, but I'm still uncatchable by all those suckers that picked Duke or KY...
6:05:21 PM comment 
Reuters: "Shi'ite Militia Rules Streets of Baghdad Slum."
That "slum" has about two million people in it, by the way.
More than a year ago, John Robb ended a scary post on urban warfare by saying, "Let us hope that Saddam and his commanders have not given up pretensions of fighting this war as a conventional army."
Fortunately, Saddam fought the wrong war.
But eleven months after Bush proclaimed "mission accomplished," we are facing the worse scenario anyway.
1:14:16 PM comment 
Gretchen Morgenson: Expensing options is not enough. "With the expensing of stock options looming, the professors fear that companies will cut lower-level employees from option plans."
She quotes approvingly corporate governance guru Robert A. G. Monks: "Executive compensation is the cancer of corporate America. C.E.O.'s have too much power and it has been directed at their own enrichment."
Here's how I put it in a newspaper column on expensing options in July 2002: "The spread between CEO pay and everyone else's pay has grown to the point of absurdity, not because the market values executive brilliance but because the executives are getting something for nothing."
1:02:16 PM comment 
The U.S. occupation of Iraq is a debacle not because the government did no planning but because a vast amount of expert planning was willfully ignored by the people in charge. -- The Atlantic, Jan/Feb 2004
I posted quotes from the richly detailed James Fallows article back in January, concluding, "If things go badly in Iraq through much of 2004, this story will loom large in November."
You can read the whole thing online now.
The real lesson of the 9/11 hearings isn't that we could have prevented the terror attacks (which only great luck would have allowed) but that we were preoccupied (pun intended) with Iraq. We rushed to war without an adequate plan for the peace, and we're paying the price now, both in Iraq and in the opportunity cost to the larger war on terror.
Bush is accountable for that. As I asked yesterday, is Kerry ready to do better?
8:59:09 AM comment