05 May 2008

Iraq News (5 May)

The Good: Michael R. Gordon has an extensive article about Hezbollah influence in Iraq, and how they train proxy militia operatives in Iran. This brings up memories of the 5 US soldiers murdered in Karbala in 2007 in their sleeping quarters by gunmen disguised as Iraqi Security Forces, which was later publicly disclosed as the work of Hezbollah. The spokesman for the government of Iraq has stated that there is "concrete evidence" of Iranian influence. All of this will put more pressure on Iran to halt their malicious involvement and encourage their more constructive roles (economic ties, religious ties, etc.) 9 terrorists were killed near Lake Thar Thar in Salah ad-Din province. According to Azzaman (an Iraqi newspaper), Iraqi Security Forces are massing near Mosul for a battle with terrorists/insurgents in Iraq's third largest city. An advance party from the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team has made it back to Fort Lewis, WA after 13 months in Baghdad and Diyala province. The rest of the soldiers in the brigade will follow in the next couple of months.

The Bad:
The wife of Iraqi President Talabani has escaped an assassination attempt in the Karrada district of Baghdad unharmed. A female journalist was killed in Mosul after she was pulled from a taxi by terrorist thugs. The Iraqi press has been frequently targeted by terrorists, insurgents, and militias in an attempt to intimidate their coverage of the atrocities they commit. It is a very serious problem.

The Ugly:
Despite the fact that the Nisoor Square incident was several months ago, there is still much dispute about how compensation to Blackwater's victims are going to be paid. That and people getting zapped by shoddy electrical work from KBR puts a serious question mark on what role contractors should have in Iraq. That debate is way beyond the scope of this simple news round up.

Homecoming (from KOMO)