26 March 2008

Iraq News (26 March)

The Good: Route Irish, which connects the Green Zone to the Baghdad Airport and Victory Base Complex, used to be known as the most dangerous 6-mile stretch on the planet. Now, not so much according to this AFP article. I've been on Route Irish a few times and I can confirm this. Tough-guy contractor types who wear the "I survived Route Irish" after 2005 should probably get kicked in the sack.

The Bad: The Iraqi government has launched an operation to take down some of the criminal militia elements that run Basra. The government of Iraq is saying that they aren't targeting the Mahdi Army specifically, but criminal elements. Seems like a lot of confusion coming out of the southern city. I once heard Basra described in a similar fashion to 1920s Chicago, except oil is the stuff of racketeering and smuggling rather than booze. Keep an eye on this one. Baghdad is seeing increasing violence as militia goons wreak havoc in Sadr City. Rocket attacks were launched throughout Baghdad yesterday. Talisman Gate has some interesting analysis on this whole situation that is well worth reading.

The Ugly: Looks like we're in this Iraq thing for the long haul...or at least until the new president shows up. The ground forces level of 130K to 140K will probably hold at least until Bush is out of office. That's swell, but where are these troops going to come from, Mr. Commander in Chief?

Offensive in Basra


Anonymous said...

Where are the troops going to come from? Why, haven't you heard, you're being extended!!!

gage said...

LT, seriously. Keep your head down and stay safe, buddy.

LT Nixon said...

I'll be fine!

Christopher said...

You mention that the Iraqi government is not specifically attacking Mahdi elements in Basra. My question is, why not? What would be the good, bad and ugly of the Iraqi government going after Sadr?

gage said...

I know you'll be fine. Keep your head down and your butt covered anyway, okay? Check back soon and let us know you're okay.

Thus Spake Ortner said...

"I'll be fine!"

What's your definition of fine again? And how does this conform with watching Starship Troopers more than once? I would argue that right there is unsafe at any speed.