Good news from Iraq about the death of the meat machine�s brats, Uday and Qsay. They were killed in a firefight, the radio is reporting. Patrick Cockburn, in Out of the Ashes, has a wonderful account of the attempted assassination by two Iraqi students of the miserable Uday � the man who played the part of Iraq�s subdeb Beria.

There�s a story in the WP about the revivification of the Peace movement. It is coalescing around, natch, the Bush lies. We are happy about the dogging of Bush; we are unhappy that the peace party wants to jump into the past with both of its boots on, however. The real problem right now is the War in Iraq, and how to extract the U.S. from its occupation of same. We think it is a big mistake to show no concern a., for the American troops that have been essentially shanghaied there, and b., to let the Bush agenda there get a simple pass. We�ve reached a moment in which pressure can make a difference: the administration is starting, vaguely, to look for an exit strategy � although of course the purebloods still want to invade Syria and Iran, privatize Iraq, and make the place into a sort of Chili on the Tigris. Still, no way the troop overstretch, plus the huge costs of this operation, can be ignored much longer. Which means the Bushies have a real interest in turning to the U.N. And a real interest in making the Governing council, which is admittedly as Governing as the three stooges at this point, into a real administrative body. That is all to the good � Chalabi has been essentially blocked as the Wolfowitz cat�s paw in the country, the mainstream Shi�ite establishment, at least if the reports in the Western press are even half right, is amenable to a secular government, and the mistake of dissolving the army and, as a corollary, Bremer�s laughable plan to replace it with a force of 40,000 soldiers is slowly dawning on the brilliant minds in D.C.

Of course, probabilities are that we are set for disaster, given the past records of the Pentagon people who have been running the show. They seem to think this is all about securing concord between an expansionist Israel and a free enterprise powered group of reconstructed nations � Syria, Iraq and Iran. That plan is ridiculous, and its pursuit is certainly dubious from the standpoint of American interests.

Still, the dogging of Bush is an essential part of injecting a heady breath of reality into the councils of an administration that is peculiarly insulated from it.

Oh, and by the way -- check out Juan Cole's blog. Cole is a history professor who actually knows something about the Middle East. His blog reports the latest casualties, and the latest gossip, from Iraq. Very interesting stuff.