18 May 2008

Iraq News (18 May)

The Good: U.S. forces have foiled a car bomb attempt in Mosul, while the Iraqi portion of the offensive continues with encouraging results as over a 1,000 have been detained. The buzz in the media seems to be that many of the senior Al-Qaeda leaders have fled Mosul, but these detentions will be a major blow to their propaganda, extortion, and car bomb networks. Violence in Sadr City has plummeted as most Mahdi Army members have laid down their arms, and the Iraqi Army has rolled into the heart of the Shi'ite slum dismantling IEDs on its main thoroughfares. Gulf Times reports that Iraq is still seeking more investment from multi-national petroleum corporations.

The Bad: Turns out a RAF Hercules, once regarded as some sort of accident, was actually shot down by the insurgency last year in Maysan province and was damaged beyond repair. Controversy is brewing about how the U.S. releases detainees after there has been a ruling from the Iraqi Judiciary. A suicide bomber targeted Sahwa members in Baqubah yesterday.

The Ugly: The clowns in charge of the Iranian regime are accusing the United States of being behind the Shiraz mosque bombing last month in Iran that killed 14 civilians. Iran should probably shelve their cornball propaganda campaign against the United States and realize that Al-Qaeda actively seeks their destruction and that terrorism doesn't have border restrictions. Some knucklehead of a Staff Sergeant used a Koran as target practice and scribbled "Fuck Yeah" on it. Unfortunately, the local Iraqis discovered this and, as you can imagine, they were pretty pissed. Maj. Gen. Hammond, commander of operations in Baghdad, made a formal and public apology to the tribal sheikhs and their people amidst an angry protest. This was the right thing to do (I guess that's why he's a General), instead of the Army initially denying the incident and launching some long-winded investigation, while the local community seethed with anger. The soldier has since been sent back to the states. Also, Pelosi did not get a warm welcome from the Iraqis, and more on that later.

Iraqi Army on the Streets of Sadr City (photo from AP)