Michael Yon called on his satellite phone to talk about what's going on in Iraq. I recorded it and it's up here for your listening pleasure -- nothing fancy, just a quick recording posted less than 20 minutes after it happened. Click here to listen.
A few key points: (1) It's likely to get worse before it's better; (2) No one seems to doubt Iranian backing for the violence; (3) This isn't about religion, it's about money and power; and (4) Unlike Al Qaeda in the north, this isn't so much a fight to the finish as violence as a negotiating tactic. It's not a civil war. Take a listen, and then take a moment to marvel at today's technology, which lets me do this stuff from my basement at the spur of the moment.
Meanwhile, Michael has a book coming out, Moment of Truth in Iraq. If you buy it through his site, you can get an advance copy shipping Monday. Otherwise it'll be out in a few weeks. (Bumped to top, since a lot of people may have missed it last night).
UPDATE: A reader who asks for anonymity emails:
Michael Yon is the same man who said that the sectarian strife after the 2003 invasion and before the 2007 surge was actually a civil war between Sunni and Shiite groups (I didn't entirely agree with him, but I wasn't over there as he was and is now), so for him to say that the current conflict in the south is not a civil war is a pretty big deal in my opinion.
Yeah, I assumed everyone knew that but I suppose it's worth pointing out.