Not Pretty. A Reporter Remembers Basra in 2003

July 6, 2016 6:26 PM

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Not Pretty. A Reporter Remembers Basra in 2003

The Shiites had a keen sense of history. I lost count of the number of times that I was stopped on the street by Basrawis who wanted to tell me that they were proud of their ancestors’ rebellion against the British during the colonial era in the 1920s, and that they saw no need for the current British troops to remain.

I happened to be in Basra in January of 2004 when Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most senior Shiite cleric in Iraq, objected to the timetable laid out by the American proconsul in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, for a handover to Iraqi rule.

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