Friday, July 14, 2006

Israeli bombardment of Lebanon continues, also news from Baghdad....

Juan Cole posts about the effects of the Israeli bombardments of civilian infrastructure in Lebanon. The price of oil is up above $76.00 per barrel, the Bush administration gets as critical of Israeli actions as it can possibly get in an election year, etc.

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Browsing a favorite bulletin board I came across a chilling article about conditions in Baghdad for Iraqis: Baghdad starts to collapse as its people flee a life of death, which triggered another first hand observer to post a quick account of daytripping in Baghdad:

From a post by Robert Young Pelton at The Black Flag Cafe



I drove through AlHamidya a couple of days ago. No police, no army, no yanquis, nada... hardly any traffic. Just guys running into the mosque to get their cel phones and a look of disbelief on their faces.

Went across another bridge, saw a minibus with four gunned down people, they stopped shooting just as I drove up. woman and four men, obviously civilians gunned down by Iraqi Police.

Dora, Sadr City and al Jihad are movie sets. Ten minutes you get a free thrill show. Anybody driving north of Taji gets hit. No more of this 50 per cent or 20 percent chance. You get hit. They are using RPG's, PKMs and now they are daisying chaining EFP's (shape charged IED's that melt through armore p late and glass.)

The word fucked up would mean that there was something normal that was fucked up. Anarchy reigns here and the us response is to do hits from bases and let the Iraqis take all the car bombing. The gate where I meet my local guy was blown up a couple of days ago. Its all about the timing I guess.

You gotta see the Iraqi Police blasting down the street sirens wailing, guns flying. Yesterday I saw a friggin 14.5 anti aircraft gun bolted to the rear vehicle for use against traffice and fast moving cars.

They might have to send in Somali peacekeepers...... Right now the coalition of the willing is the dregs of the third world. Georgians who can't speak English, Ugandans, Macedonians, a handful of fly speck countries licking whats left of the trough.

The government lives in Disneyland here...sprinklers, waterfalls, lakes, while the people cook in 120 degree heat. They are making IED;s here that are formed insite a block of the concrete or asphalt and then they cut out a corresponding block and replace it.

other than that I hear the skiiing in Kurdistan is fine....



The good news for U.S. forces in Iraq is that our casualties are down significantly, as they sit hunkered down in their fortifications. This month the death toll is 11 so far, and the last two months each had 60+ deaths of U.S. servicemen. At some point they are going to have to do something, whether that is redeployment over the horizon, or disarming the militias, those units of the Iraqi police and military that are participating in the Sunni vs. Shia bloodletting, and re-establish some semblance of order. Casualties at that point will go up.

More good news: In the relatively peaceful southern Iraqi province of Muthanna, Iraqi forces are taking over security responsibilities for a whole province for the first time. This probably frees up the Australian and British forces from that area to redeploy to Afghanistan, where things have also been getting hotter and harder.

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