18 March 2008

Iraq News (18 March)

The Good: A reconciliation conference is taking place today amongst leaders in the Government of Iraq. There is some potential for Shi'ite, Sunni, and Kurdish blocs to work together to get with the program on some key pieces of legislation such as oil-revenue sharing and what to do about Kirkuk. But the cynic in me says that this could be an exercise in futility as the Sunni bloc is boycotting the event (note: the main Sunni bloc is the Iraqi Accordance Front, not the "Concord Front" as mentioned in the link). Polling data of Iraqis released by ABC/BBC notes improvements across the board from last year. Some people have been detained on suspicion of being involved with the massacre yesterday in Karbala.
The Bad: Damn, way too much violence. Dozens of Iraqi and Iranian civilians were killed by either a bomb blast or a female suicide bomber (details are still sketchy) near the Imam Hussein shrine in Karbala. This is one of the holiest shrines to Shi'ite Muslims. What would you call an attack designed to kill civilians with no strategic military objective? I would call it terrorism and the nature of the enemy in Iraq. Abominable. Also, 2 US soldiers were killed yesterday while on patrol, and 6 children were killed in Baghdad during a mortar attack.
The Ugly: Dick Cheney still harps on abstract values and ideals such as "You and I know what it means to be free" during his Iraq visit. With all due respect Mr. Vice President, we need practical solutions and less pontification. And now Iraqis down south in Samawah are worried about another kind of threat: wolves?

The Horror in Karbala


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 03/18/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.