30 March 2008

Iraq News (30 March)

The Good: Successful military operations are being conducted by US and Iraqi forces to target militia goons throughout Baghdad. I had to pull this off an MNF-I press release, since the American media wouldn't dare discuss targeting criminals launching rockets (which usually kill civilians BTW). The American media is far too busy writing exposes after embedding with the enemy! Before the Washington Post takes the neo-Jane Fonda route, they should probably check their moral compass and realize that they are sympathizing with a bunch of thugs that take pleasure in dumping the bodies of Sunni families into the Tigris, drilling holes and cutting the flesh off people faces, planting IEDs that usually miss their target and kill nearby civilians, etc. Ah well, the article provides for an interesting read. It's also important to understand the adverasry.

The Bad: Some Iraqi Security Forces are defecting down in Baghdad and Basra to the Mahdi Army. Why is this not surprising? The curfew on Baghdad has also been extended. That's good for conducting military operations, but pretty shitty for most of Baghdad's citizens who have to get food, water, and other necessities. Update on ops in Basra aren't looking so hot if you read the NY Times. Hard to say what's really going on down there...

The Ugly: Sadr made his first public appearance in quite some time and came out with some rambling speech about the occupation, united resistance, blah blah. Somehow I don't think the Sunnis are too happy with that whole "ethnic cleansing" and deathsquad thing back in 2006 and probably aren't going to stand united. Sadr says he's still in charge of the Mahdi militia, but why have the rogue elements been wreaking havoc in Baghdad ever since the ceasefire was implemented in August 2007? It will be interesting to see how all this plays out. Right now things are pretty shitty in Iraq, but this can't go on forever.

It's a swell time to vacation in Basra


IrritatedVet said...

Defections of Iraqi forces:

Not a huge surprise to me. The IP's and Iraqi army-types we dealt with were well below just being untrustworthy.

We knew in 2004 - and could do nothing about the fact - that a lot of these guys were there for military training in American tactics so they could carry it back to their (Sunni, Shia, Badr, AQI, Mahdi...you fill in the blank) buddies.

Some of us, at least at FOB Bernstein in 2004, called the IP's 'Girl Scouts,' and did so because they had wouldn't fight unless their own lives actually depended on it - and even then, they usually ran.

One of the more comical incidents was when our guys had to spin up one night to pull the local IA and IP elements away from each other. They had a disagreement at a checkpoint, and it escalated into shooting AK's over each others' heads. I think they would have started to draw blood if a platoon of Bradleys didn't come roaring down there.

Defections? No, I'm not shocked in the slightest.

Anonymous said...

according to this mornings NPR news Sadr has asked the Mahdi army to drop their arms....so maybe they will all start talking...Liz

LT Nixon said...


I know a bunch of people who work for MNSTC-I (the transition/trainer people) and it has gotten better, but obviously it's still kinda shoddy. Thanks for the story, girl scouts...haha.


Yeah there's a ceasefire, more on this later...