I'm reeling of these past couple days, but let me address a disturbing development. First Professor Juan Cole of Informed Comment:

Al-Hayat: Marines have arrested Dr. Muthanna Harith al-Dhari, son of the leader of the Board of Muslim Clergy, a fundamentalist Sunni organization. Muthanna was interviewed on the Lebanese Broadcasting Co. harshly critiquing the way the delegates were chosen for the national congress to be held in mid-August. He later discovered 5 humvees heading toward his living quarters at the Umm al-Qura Mosque in Baghdad. He was taken into custody.

If Muthanna committed a crime, for which he was being arrested, it should have been announced to the press. Otherwise, the Allawi government looks as though it is sending the rather thug-like signal that political figures who refuse to cooperate in the national congress and who are critical of him will be arrested. If that is what is going on, it is sad to see the US Marines deployed for the purpose of these political arrests. It is also a shame that the US ban on the military arresting civilians hasn't been extended to Iraq.

Okay folks...this is the beginning of what will probably be many arrests made in the name of a powerless puppet government trying to keep the lid on until January. The problem is that it could ultimately backfire on Allawi and the puppet squad. Here is the Jazeera article...who else is reporting this?

"We were on our way to the headquarters of the AMS, going out from the studio of the LBC (Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation), where Dr al-Dhari had given an interview.  

"A US patrol emerged suddenly and stopped our convoy. They searched the cars, and then asked us to step aside and called for reinforcements.

"A number of Humvees arrived with detecting devices. They gave us body scans, and told us that Dr Muthana and two of his companions were to be arrested because the device detected remains of explosives on Dr al-Dhari's hands." 

Is Al Jazeera inciting violence because they report something of enormous significance? This is no joke. And here's an article about the Marine who was in the film 'Control Room' who was recently silenced. Even his wife was told she could not give any more interviews. ...

Sabah Ahmad, the technical manager of the al-Basaer newspaper, told Aljazeera.net the staff condemned the arrest of their editor which they considered an illegal act.

"Journalists in Iraq condemn the arrest of Dr Muthana and we will ask media unions inside and outside Iraq to interfere and call on the US to free him.

"It appears that he was arrested for saying something in a broadcast interview that the US occupation authorities did not like," Ahmad said.

What a splendid message to send to the Iraqi people. And I hope some people pick up on this (at least) in the British Press...I haven't checked if they have, but I feel like nobody will. Thanks for such a great start to using US forces to implement a de facto dictatorship. We've already been here...this is what we're supposed to be moving away from, I thought. Good job. Way to represent the United States in its best interest. All such behavior is going to have the opposite effect. I wish the morons making the decisions to do such inately retarded things will wake up and realize they are in a supposedly FREE Iraq. If not, they will have millions of people wishing to see their backs a lot sooner than they wish & and this freedom shall remain a myth to 'liberated' Iraqis.