21 May 2008

Iraq News (21 May)

The Good: So far so good with the Iraqi-led Operation Salam (Operation Peace) that is taking place in the Sadr City district of Baghdad. Michael Gordon of the NY Times has the details from a tactical perspective, the LA Times has the perspective from the district's citizens (they were mostly welcoming of the Iraqi Army), and AFP states that the Sadrists in Najaf have okayed the operation. Iraqi media reports that 100 IEDs have been taken off the streets of Sadr City, and one of the concerns of the operation was that most of the main thoroughfares had been mined by the Mahdi Army. The trial of Tariq Aziz continues as he stands accused of ordering the execution of Iraqi merchants during the Saddam-regime.

The Bad: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer discusses the detention of minors in Afghanistan and Iraq and relates it to the imprisonment of juveniles in the U.S. (hint: it's all Bush's fault according to the Op-Ed). This Egyptian editorial in the Middle East calls the Shi'ite-dominated Iraqi government a "Frankenstein Monster". Iraq is DFL in the Global Peace Index for 2008.

The Ugly: The President has apologized for the bullet-riddled Qu'ran incident, which will have the unintended consequence of dragging it out in the media cycle. But that's more productive than the White House flipping out at NBC for an interview with the President. When did it become the job of the government to publicly express rage at the domestic media? Military public affairs would never do that, and I don't see why the White House would be any different over an issue like Iraq (note: I understand I frequently flip out on the media, but I don't pretend to speak for the DoD). Admiral Mullen warns Congress about Iran and says violence is on the rise in Afghanistan.
Regulators...mount up (From Al-Jazeera English)