26 June 2008

Iraq News (26 June)

The Good: President Talabani is visiting President Bush in Washington and has thanked him for liberating Iraq. Not surprising since President Talabani is a Kurd, and Saddam waged a brutal campaign of genocide against the oppressed Kurdish people during the 80s. He was also there to discuss the Status of Forces Agreement beyond 2008, which Al-Jazeera English has some details on. 14 militia thugs have been arrested in the southern province of Nasiriyah. A retired Airman is trying to send a whole bunch of Chicago-style pizzas to the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Tony Soprano is selling some items from the Sopranos to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and Brangelie have donated $1M to Iraqi kids. This blog is defiantly anti-celebrity for a variety of reasons, but this is an example of Hollywood doing some good. Money talks and bullshit walks.

The Bad: 10 U.S. soldiers have been killed since Monday, with three soldiers and an interpreter killed Tuesday night in Ninawa province. An IED in the holy city of Karbala has killed one child.

The Ugly: Whoever thought war would be so damn expensive? The Pentagon needs $100B to repair worn-out equipment, and Rep. Murtha claims it will come from personnel cuts. The LA Times suggests that the fear of being called a "flip-flopper" is preventing the presidential candidates from developing a viable Iraq strategy. I agree. There are a lot of moving parts and complexities with foreign policy in Iraq and trying to stick with positions from 2003/2004 when the whole reality on the ground has changed is foolish. Brooks writes a NYT go-Bush-go piece in which he describes the surge success due to the Prez, describing his position as "courageous", even though Bush hid behind Petraeus/Odierno the whole time and has been afraid to craft any future policy beyond the surge...which is almost over.

Mr. Talabani Goes To Washington