Tuesday, January 08, 2008
When I get in trouble with language, the fate of the world is what's at stake:
Say what you will about the Sunni Awakening Councils/Concerned Local Citizens/U.S.-sponsored militias, at least they're free of euphemism.
One day last month, Hadi's men were stationed at nearly every intersection. They checked vehicles at the entrances to the neighborhood [Adhamiya], which was protected by tall blast walls. Elsewhere the fighters were much less visible. "Under Saddam Hussein, there was no army in the streets. He used intelligence men, his Baathists, he was controlling everything, like what we are doing now," Hadi said.

Salvation: a return to Baathist subtlety. Now that's an awakening.

Too bad Hadi's bluntness doesn't translate to The Washington Post. To say Adhamiya is "protected by tall blast walls" is rather anodyne. Another way of putting it is that Adhimiya is walled off from the adjacent Shiite neighborhoods.

Update: And here's the writing on the wall:

Scrawled on a wall, near graffiti that hailed the "Adhamiyah Heroes," was an ominous sign of a future battle: "Death to the Mahdi Army."

Further Update: That euphemism crack shows what a jackass I am. This Post piece is fantastic. Seriously, check this out:

When asked about Abu Abed, Rasheed Jubair, a senior Anbar Awakening leader, said: "If he does something wrong, I will break his back. We don't accept anyone to go beyond the law."
No irony! You dream of a quote like that.
--Spencer Ackerman