18 June 2008

Did Iraq Get Better?

I've really been out of the loop on Iraq in the last two weeks, and I apologize. The Economist has an article about the dramatic decline in violence in the war-torn country. The Maysan province has had a very small footprint from both the Iraqi government in Baghdad and coalition forces, but now things are ramping up for a large-scale offensive by Iraqi security forces. The Mahdi Army may be weakening, but the Sadrists are showing their desperation in possibly boycotting provincial elections, which could leave large portions of the Iraqi population disenfranchised. Sadr is playing a political game by whipping up public support by denouncing the American "occupier". It's very difficult to distinguish the strict religious zealots of the Mahdi Army and the militia thugs that commit crimes for money (often from Iran) and power. It's all so confusing. I wanted to play the Jermaine Stewart Classic "We Don't Have to Take Our Cltoehs Off" as a celebration for the drop in violence, but nothing in Iraq is that simple...and poverty and strife continue. Aw to hell with it, here's the song anyways.