04 March 2008

Iraq News (4 Mar)

The Good: Brig Gen. Thomas says slow steady progress in Mosul that may take months to flush out the Islamic State of Iraq (aka Al-Qaeda in Iraq). This comes as no surprise to anyone except the press who was hoping for all the heavy fighting of a Fallujah-style offensive to get some Pulitzer winning photo shots. Mosul is Iraq's third largest city with a complex make up of ethnicity and sects. Progress will be measured by kinetic operations followed with reconstruction/reconciliation initiatives much like what was done last year in Baghdad. It might not play out like a Hollywood movie, but remember that war is boring. It should be stated that this is as far north as the insurgency can flee, since the Peshmerga have things pretty under control in the autonomous Kurdish region. Their only option is to surrender, flee the country, reconcile, or get dead.

The Bad: A mass grave was unearthed near Samarra with bodies that were bound and shot in the head. Two car bombs went off in Baghdad yesterday, despite a heavy security presence for the Ahmadinejad visit. Also, the ex-Ministry of Health officials must have had the resurrected Cochrane on their side, because they have been acquitted. The charges were funneling money to the Mahdi Army, executing Sunnis, using ambulances to schlep around weapons, and other sectarian crimes. Something doesn't feel right about this trial, and the Sunni Vice President, Tariq Hashimi, was not happy.

The Ugly: Iraqi youth are cynical about their religious leaders due to power-hungry thugs exploiting religion for criminal purposes (never seen that before in history /sarc). Also, don't expect US forces to be drawing down in large numbers anytime in the foreseeable future according to El Presidente.

Battle of Mosul to take some time


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 03/04/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.