NEWSFLASH! – Mosque slightly damaged

U.S., al-Sadr forces spar over damage to shrine

The battle against Darth Sadr has picked up steam, and the unthinkable has happened:

Qays al-Khazali, chief spokesman for al-Sadr, who has led a bloody rebellion against the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, showed the damage — four holes in the shrines golden dome — to journalists after six hours of heavy fighting.

If I were Qays al-Khazali, I’d be more worried about preventing holes in my own golden dome.

The mosque in question is the Shrine of Imam Ali.

In all this talk of mosque damage and offense to Muslims and holy sites, I haven’t seen two things

1 – This is the same shrine that 101st Airborne soldiers did not return fire into when they were attacked by gunmen inside last April.

2 – This is the same shrine where close to 100 Iraqis, including prominent cleric Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, were killed by suicide bombers in August.

The Shrine of Imam Ali seems to be a magnet for bad guys.

Why don’t some of these reporters go visit the US troops currently fighting in Najaf and ask them to please be more careful so as to not offend local sensibilities while engaged in urban combat? Are they afraid of a little “friendly fire”?

An important holy shrine in an important holy city has been damaged during a battle. That’s news. It deserves a little coverage. But let’s get the whole story out there.

The military’s record with this sort of thing is pretty good. They have exercised caution above and beyond what anyone should expect, including risking the lives of our soldiers, in order to minimize damage to places and things deemed holy by the natives. Have we been perfect? Of course not. Will some Iraqis decide that we’ve insulted them and their beliefs? Of course they will.

But if I want to hear slanted, incomplete stories about irreverent Americans damaging holy sites in Iraq, I’ll tune into Al Jazeera. Why can’t the American media be a little more even-handed?


  1. I talk to people all over country and my conclusion is that most of us want the troops to have their hands untied, I mean you get a few that are not for it but most want us to win, and to do that you got to go full tilt and not worry so much about global opinion. Personally I think they should blow the mosques up if the are using them for miltary purposes. You have to let those people know we mean business.

  2. If you are so very concerned with fairness in the media, maybe you should be fair yourself. Where are the pictures of the captured Iraqis being abused by American soldiers? You seem quite happy to put pro-American pictures up, but where are the anti-American pictures? That’s bias, whether you like it or not. It seems to me as though you are a fan of exercising one of the traits of great and successful Americans: Hipocracy.

  3. That doesn’t hold much water, Friend of Robo-Serb. The pics of the abused Iraqis have been all over the US media for two weeks. All over the place. Everywhere. I’ve also written some about the issue and have denounced those that committed the abuse and called for justice. That being said, this ISN’T an unbiased site and it isn’t meant to be. This is an opinion site. Read my tagline. It’s the major news outlets that have a responsibility to balanced and unbiased reporting. Not the opinionists, big or small.

  4. Okay then I take back my comments about unfairness. You are entitled to your very own opinion, and if that is what you are broadcasting on this website, then so be it. From the format of you’re website, I was under the impression that this was some form of news-reporting website. I sincerely apologize for attcking the credibility of you’re website. I just don’t agree with most of your views. They’re a little too right-wing for me.

  5. Robo-Serb’s Friend: I thank you for responding. You do yourself credit by doing so and listening to my position. I would like to see more of that on both sides of the aisle. This is a ‘here’s my take on the news’ website. I do sometimes just throw news out there, but a little site like this doesn’t have the resources or the exposure to break stories or get any scoops. News and opinions definitely mix, and a lot of folks make their living by opinionating about news. Rush, Hannity, Dowd, etc. The weblog format lends itself to ‘up-to-the-minute’ opinionating, which is more or less what I aspire to. Obviously, my goals aren’t all that lofty. I definitely lean rightward, though I’d hesitate to call myself a ‘right-winger’. I’m far too moderate for most right-wingers, and far too Rightie for most Lefties. I’m in no-man’s land, and often a target of snipers on both sides. As for the anti-American pics, I imagine you mean things along the lines of the prison abuse photos. Part of the reason I don’t post such things here much is that they’re usually already front and center in the ‘big media’. It’s the stuff that big media doesn’t show or tell that I want to help get out there. So, I DO report some news, but it’s usually stuff that isn’t getting the attention that I feel it deserves, or that is being reported in a way that I feel is biased. The prison abuse issue, for instance, is getting all the attention it deserves and then some, so I don’t have a lot to say about it other than to get my position on the record. Given my personal opinions and beliefs, I am much more likely to rail against what I consider to be Leftist bias than Conservative bias. I make no bones about that. I almost always put my two cents in. If people appreciate the items I post and agree with my take, they’ll be back. If not, they won’t. Fair enough. I think that’s part of the appeal of the blogosphere, though it can be a double-edged sword as well. Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

  6. My original impression of you and this website was originally pretty bad. However, the professional manner in which you have dealt with me has prompted me to change my opinion of you. First off, I will admit that I am a Canadian, and I am proud of it. I’m also only a high school student, who tries to be politically aware. In addition, my real name is Paul. In Canada, we have certain stereotypical views of narrow-minded Americans who only care about themselves. However, the manner in which you and I have conducted this ongoing conversation has shown me that not all Americans are as self absorbed as they seem. Sorry again for slandering your website. I sincerely take back everything I said, and I hope you continue providing the frequent users of this website with information such as you have.

  7. Blowing up prominent Islamic and Shiite mousques is a great idea if you want to create more of a problem for American soldiers.

  8. Aaron: You are totally correct. Despite the fact that militants constantly use mosques and other holy sites as sanctuaries and bases of operation, to directly attack those sites would be detrimental to the standing of American forces in Iraq. As far as I can tell, American units continue to (mostly) avoid firing on such sites. I’ve read that Iraqi forces are going to be conducting the raids against these sorts of sites. This, too, will be unpopular with many, but it will have to happen at some point.