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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Watson: "Quotes on Iraq"


Thanks to Watson for gathering these recent quotes on Iraq - THANKS WATSON!

Here are a couple of recent takes on Iraq that Steve might agree with:

"Maliki will be the fall guy and a new Washington/Green Zone-engineered "coalition", led by perennial favorite [Iwad] Allawi, will usurp his power in Parliament. This coup-in-the-making has been rumored in Baghdad for months. At least this is how the ideal Bush administration scenario develops.

"From a Bush administration point of view Allawi's legitimacy is a minor issue - as most Iraqi members of Parliament would rather legislate by remote control from London anyway. In real life the masses, Sunni or Shi'ite, despise them and totally ignore them. The really popular leaders in Iraq are, religiously, Grand Ayatollah Sistani and, politically, Muqtada al-Sadr - whose reach also includes a great deal of moderate Sunnis.

Sadrism, apart from the excesses of a minority, is in essence a nationalist liberation movement. Thus, for axis-of-evil cheerleaders, inevitably it is as dangerous as Hamas or Hezbollah."

- Pepe Escobar, The Asia Times, 3/12/07

How will they engineer the switch? According to Juan Cole on 3/11/07, it may take the form of a 'judicial coup' initiated by (a perhaps unwitting) Maliki:

"Parliamentarians from the Sadr Bloc vowed that they would resist
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's plans to dismiss 5 out of 6 cabinet ministers from their party. The Sadrists have 32 seats in the Iraqi legislature, and their support was key to the election of al-Maliki last spring.

" reports in Arabic that al-Maliki gave an interview in which he said that high judicial authorities are preparing indictments against members of parliament for involvement in militia and death squad activity. Maybe al-Maliki thinks he does not need the Sadrist MPs because so many of them will soon be in prison.

"Indeed, the scale of the indictments against sitting Iraqi representatives and officials hinted at by al-Maliki suggests a judicial coup.'

- Juan Cole, Informed Comment

- posted by Watson