19 March 2008

Iraq News (19 March)

The Good: Tina Susman's latest in the LA Times on the Iraqi affinity for electronics (she usually writes pretty interesting stuff that focuses on Iraqis). A piece focused on the ups and downs of doing business in Baghdad. Dick Cheney is schmoozin leaders in Baghdad and Kurdistan in hopes that they pass key legislation in a rapid manner. Here's a set of interviews in WaPo with a cross-section of American and Iraq society on the Iraq war 5 years later (be sure to read Paul Rieckhoff's).
The Bad: Foreign Minister Zebari (an Iraqi leader whom I trust) warns against an abrupt US withdrawal and acknowledges that the last 5 years were full of "Tears and Blood". Zebari's comment urging against a US retreat were notably absent from Iranian media's take on the matter. It was mentioned earlier this week in the NY Times that the enemy was smuggling oil to generate funds for their brutal campaign, well now they're smuggling Iraqi antiquities too. Maybe next week it will be kidneys (hopefully not mine, of course that'd be a poor quality kidney).
The Ugly: The reconciliation conference taking place in Baghdad is quickly degenerating into a fiasco. The main Sunni bloc, the Iraqi Accordance Front, says they "never got an invitation". Allawi's secular bloc, the Iraqi National List, didn't show up, and the Sadr bloc guy walked out after the opening speech. Aw geez. This is worse than Tom Arnold doing stand-up at the Laugh Factory on ladies night. A British article about the controversial death toll of Iraq (ranges from ~90,000 to over a million). The author says the awful propaganda bureau at the Pentagon isn't releasing civilian casualty numbers. Well maybe he should look a little harder, because they are available right here. I've had to follow the daily death toll everyday since I've been here during my routine duties, and while violence is, tragically, way too high, it does not support the 1 million plus count that anti-war zealots are fond of citing. Just a thought.
Prime Minister Maliki, wondering where everyone is at


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 03/19/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.