19 May 2008

Iraq News (19 May)

The Good: The interrogation of detainees from the Mosul offensive (Operation Mother of Two Springs) continues as Iraqi security forces seek to round up Al-Qaeda thugs. There are some reports that many terrorists have fled the Mosul area. The Chicago Tribune reports that much of the anger from Iraqis about the Qu'ran shooting incident has been alleviated due to Maj. Gen. Hammond's formal apology. The Al-Qaeda operative, that was responsible for the death of Chaldean Archbishop Rahho in Mosul two months ago, has been sentenced to the gallows by the Iraqi Central Criminal Court. Persecution against the Christian minority from extremist thugs has been an ongoing problem in Iraq, and this sentencing sends a message that Iraq's justice system is committed to protecting them (note: this is good in my mind, even though I don't support capital punishment).
The Bad: A U.S. soldier has been killed in Salah ad-Din province. Four people were killed in Sadr City despite the ceasefire and agreement for Iraqi forces to be allowed into the militia-controlled Shi'ite district. The AP is bringing up the ACLU's outrage against the 500 youth detainees in Camp Cropper (U.S.-run detention center in Baghdad), but I already mentioned why this was bullshit.
The Ugly: One of Saddam's henchman, Tariq Aziz, is scheduled for an Iraqi trial, but his lawyers still can't get into Iraq due to visa issues. Glad to see us low-level types aren't the only ones caught up with bureaucratic hassles. Tina Susman of the LA Times attempts to set the record straight about a blog item on Iranian weapons in Iraq. Keith Olbermann ran some story about how we shouldn't believe BushCheneyCo's lies about Iranian weapons and we would be better off believing his lies about extortion of money from the public to pay for socialist health programs, schools, and bicycle lanes (probably not an accurate depiction of KeithO, but that's how I see it!).
And Now For Something Silly...Iraqi Police Dancin' (from Al-Sumaria)