19 June 2008

Iraq News (19 June)

The Good: Iraqi Security Forces launch major operations in Amara, which generally had a small government/coalition footprint and has been suspected of harboring smuggled Iranian weaponry and proxy fighters. This comes after some members of the militia surrendered in the southern Maysan province along with their weapons before the operation started. Iraq's Foreign Minister praises U.S. flexibility on the Status of Forces Agreement which would allow U.S. military forces to operate past 2008. Major Western oil corporations are in the final stages of negotiations with the Iraqi Oil Ministry on modernizing oil fields and infrastructure. A leader in the Islamic State of Iraq in Mosul (terrorist group affiliated with Al-Qaeda) has been detained.

The Bad: Baghdad and Mosul university attacks are under attack by Iraqi policemen according to the Iraqi newspaper, Azzaman. Militia thugs often masquerade or moonlight as Iraqi Security Forces in certain parts of the country and engage in violence, usually for money or strange religious beliefs. A Mahdi Army leader was behind the bombing in Baghdad that killed scores of civilians yesterday. This is not the first time that the militia has resorted to terrorism to justify its existence, as a crowded pet market in the Rusafa district of Baghdad was targeted last November that left over a dozen killed. Reuters has the round up of the deadliest atrocities in Iraq in the past year.

The Ugly: David Ignatius of WaPo says that Obama and McCain's plan for Iraq are both "unrealistic". I agree with Mr. Ignatius; unfortunately, a well-thought out plan for America's foreign policy in Iraq doesn't fit into a twenty-second soundbite. An IRR call-up, Matthis Chiroux, is openly resisting in DC. Sure, there have been a lot of IRR callups and many I served with weren't too happy about it, but when life hands you a bag of dicks you've gotta sort it out. I don't see how stirring up the pot with IVAW in DC is helping matters.

Cache Seizure By Iraqi Security Forces Near Sadr City (from AFP)