23 May 2008

Iraq News (23 May)

The Good: The Egyptian online gazette is already discussing investment opportunities in Iraq now that Al-Qaeda is being badly defeated, while the Iraqi military continues the offensive against the despised terrorists in Mosul. General Petraeus appeared for his confirmation hearing for being appointed to head CENTCOM, and he mentioned that further troop cuts in Iraq will be likely this fall. The Prime Minister met with Sistani yesterday, and the Prime Minister said that Sistani approved of the Iraqi-led operation in Sadr City, which has met little resistance. ABC remarks on the "good news" about Iraq, since the offensives in Basra, Sadr City, and Mosul are all Iraqi-led. The Prez sez Iraq is seeing progress, but he probably should've avoided "going political" in front of the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg.

The Bad: A bombing has killed at least 6 civilians in the city of Fallujah. Anbar province was very calm for many months, but has seen an uptick in violence (most likely due to terrorists fleeing from the Mosul offensive, sounds like a bit of whack-a-mole). A NATO soldier has been killed in Afghanistan due to a protest that turned violent over the Qur'an shooting incident in Iraq. While Sistani supports the Iraqi-led operations, he may be silently issuing fatwas against the U.S. presence in Iraq. This has the potential to be disastrous for U.S. forces as Sistani is very influential and has been credited with keeping the peace. Juan Cole has more on this issue, in what Allahpundit calls "a turd in the progress punchbowl". U.S. forces announce that two children were killed in an air strike.

The Ugly: Soldiers aren't the only people who have trouble when coming back from Iraq to the states. Read about some NY Times journalists awkwardly re-adjusting to America. Also from the NY Times, a big, nasty article on how taxpayer money got misspent in Iraq (as if there was any doubt).

Did the reclusive Ayatollah declare jihad against the U.S.? (photo from AP)