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Slaughter and Spin in the Battle for Najaf

by Chris Floyd

I. Rashomon in Babylon

It has been cast as a ferocious battle against a mighty opponent: a fanatical "apocalyptic cult" storming the holy city of Najaf with hundreds of warriors led by a self-proclaimed Islamic Messiah, their frenzy quelled only at the last moment by a massive intervention of American firepower. But as with so much else in the blood-soaked annals of the Bush Administration's disastrous Babylonian Conquest, it appears this neat story masks a far grimmer, grubbier truth: a mass slaughter of civilians, caught in the toxic fog of hair-trigger tension, sectarian hatred and violent political ambition unleashed by the U.S. invasion...............

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