24 June 2008

Iraq News (24 June)

The Good: The new report to Congress on Iraq is available from the DoD, and it shows a huge decline in violence over the past several months. However, the report mirrors warnings from the brass about extremists still maintaining the ability to conduct spectacular attacks and that infrastructure is still bad. Anbar province, once known for its violent insurgency in Fallujah and Ramadi, is to be turned over to provincial Iraqi control (the 10th of 18 provinces) with the U.S. military in an overwatch role. This transition is crucial to get the U.S. military out of Iraq. The Prime Minister announces a new offensive in the volatile Diyala province. Fox news reports progress in Mosul following the Mother of Two Springs operation.

The Bad: A disgruntled city council member has gunned down two of our troops and wounded three in Salman Pak. This town, just south of Baghdad, was an Al-Qaeda stronghold but was purged of many extremist elements during the surge strategy of 2007.

The Ugly: William Kristol goes for the jugular against the MoveOn.Org "Not Alex" ad saying that they are insulting the troops in his NY Times Op-Ed. Azzaman discusses international oil companies hitting a snag as quarrelling still exists in Iraqi Parliament about the Hydrocarbon Law. Speaking of Parliament, the problem of low water levels in Iraq's reservoirs does not appear to be solved. Part 2 in WaPo about Al-Qaeda's propaganda apparatus, As-Sahab, which the article suggest Al-Qaeda is conducting an effective communications campaign.

There's Lies And Then There's Statistics. Violence way down in Iraq.