24 May 2008

Iraq News (24 May)

The Good: An injured female Iraq vet urges Michiganders to reflect on what Memorial Day really means. An LA Times correspondent visits Mosul and says the recent security offensive has brought about better stability, but it will need to be followed up by some serious reconstruction efforts (classic COIN doctrine). Basra's ports are much more productive now that the government is in control of them as opposed to militia thugs. Aswat al-Iraq refutes the AP article yesterday that suggested Sistani was moving towards jihad against America (h/t Gateway Pundit). According to the Sadr Trend, 300 "Sadrists" were detained in Baghdad by Iraqi Security Forces. Mr. Sadr's people aren't drawing a lot of water in this town right now, and these "Sadrists" were most likely militia. Operations are going so well in Sadr City, that the Iraqi soldiers are chillin' out by blasting Lebanese music. Of course, most Sadr City residents say that the trash needs to be collected and services need to be provided, posthaste. The Iraqi government really needs to push this aspect of the operation, or else the citizens will be sympathetic to the Mahdi Army for quite some time.

The Bad: Sunni Imams are still furious about the Qur'an as target practice incident, as reported from Friday's prayers. Damn, another attack in Fallujah...This time 6 Marines got injured and an interpreter was killed. One U.S. soldier was killed near Baghdad.

The Ugly: Joe Galloway of McClatchy says we need to help vets be able to go to college this Memorial Day, and coincidentally the War Funding/GI Bill just passed the Senate. Too bad that thing is probably DOA with a Presidential veto due to all the greedy pork and add-ons. Congress wants to shut down the military analyst program at the Pentagon due to the stink made last month by the NY Times. There's talk about splitting up the mega-KBR contract to cut in other corporations (DynCorp and Fluor) according to the NY Times. I thought this person's quote was pretty funny: "But what is KBR doing for all this money? They are slinging hash, washing laundry." I'd say KBR workers are, for the most part, just guys and gals trying to do their job, and I've been impressed with their service. But the way contracting is set up seems to favor a few richie-rich types back in Houston, and could provide justification to drag the Iraq war on endlessly. That and there is little oversight of the few bozos that commit crimes while serving in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan.