25 May 2008

Iraq News (25 May)

The Good: Ambassador Crocker, not normally prone to optimistic neo-con banter, has said that AQI is close to defeat. This is in no doubt due to the successful Mosul operations which have detained over a 1,000 in the past two weeks, and there are even reports that life is getting back to normal in the city that was held hostage by terrorist thugs. Iraqi military leaders are announcing that Al-Qaeda has been cleared from Mosul. Violence in Iraq, as marked by number of attacks, is at the lowest level since March 2004. Reconstruction in the mostly Shi'ite southern Iraq is progressing according to WaPo, but security gains in northern Iraq must be cemented with reconstruction as well.

The Bad: The detention of many Sadrists has led to some nasty rhetoric emanating from the trouble-making cleric's followers. They have denounced the Iraqi government amidst these detentions in Baghdad, and also the reported break-up of Friday prayers in Basra supposedly instigated by the Iraqi police. There have been 14 "honor-killings" in the Kurdish region in the first 10 days in May. This barbaric practice against women is a serious human rights issue.

The Ugly: The story from the San Francisco Gate about veterans going to school is good news. Sure college is swell, but the fact that many employers don't want to hire vets because they're afraid they will have to incur the health care cost of PTSD puts vets at a serious disadvantage in the civilian world. USA Today has an article about injured vets having emotional problems due to the lack of a love life. Reminds me of Born on the 4th of July, and it's sad.
Cleanup Crew in Mosul (from the AFP)