Turkey Invades Iraq; Sadr Renews Freeze; Bombings in Baghdad, Green Zone

I review the news below and don’t somehow conclude that the US occupation of Iraq is a success story. I know we are paying a lot for our presence in Iraq. I can’t figure out what the average American is receiving for the money. It isn’t increased security, since Iraq is a training ground for terrorists who will likely hit the US or US interests in future. It isn’t extra petroleum, at least not for us ordinary folks. Maybe the US oil majors will do well out of it. But even they say they can’t do business in Iraq without oil legislations. And petroleum prices held above $98 a barrel on Friday. The Turkish invasion of Iraq was cited as one reason for the price increase. Instead of asking “are things hopeful in Iraq?” or “is there progress in Iraq?”, the American media and public should be asking, “What are we getting out of all this?” That is the question the US Right fears most of all, which is why they ask the ‘progress’ question all the time. They only have two settings, “slow progress” and “progress.” A burned out hulk of a city like Falluja? A sign of “slow progress.”

Turkey, the NATO ally of the US, invaded Iraqi Kurdistan with between 3,000 and 10,000 troops and is facing heavy opposition from Kurdistan Peshmerga forces and from the Kurdish Workers Party paramilitaries. The Turkish military said in a statement 24 PKK rebels and five soldiers were killed in clashes in Iraq. It also said at least 20 rebels were killed in separate aerial attacks.’

The PKK has killed scores of Turkish soldiers in the past six months, and the Turks consider them a terrorist organization.

Muqtada al-Sadr extended his freeze on militia activities of the Mahdi Army through August.

Since the US is finishing off his hard line Sunni Arab enemies for him, and is restoring discipline to the Sadr Movement by arresting rogue elements not loyal to Muqtada, it is hard to see what the down side is for him in accepting to renew the Mahdi Army freeze.

A rocket barrage struck the Green Zone where the US embassy and other American offices are located.

As Solomon Moore of the NYT explains, Basra is a security mess rife with Shiite militias, assassinations, murders, kidnappings for ransom and gasoline smuggling on a vast scale.

Reuters reports political violence in Iraq on Friday:

‘BAGHDAD – A car bomb blew up in Baghdad’s central Karrada district, killing one person and wounding four.

NEAR BAQUBA – Three mortars landed in a village of Buhriz, 60 km (36 miles) north of Baghdad, killing one child and wounding eight people. . .

NEAR FALLUJA – A suicide bomber killed at least six policemen and wounded nine others when he detonated a vest packed with explosives outside a mosque near Falluja in western Anbar province, police said.

GARMA – A suicide bomber on foot attacked an Iraqi security checkpoint, killing two people and wounding three in Garma, near Falluja, 50 km (32 miles) west of Baghdad, police said.

TIKRIT – A suicide car bomber killed three policemen and wounded eight others at a police station in Tikrit, 175 km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

ISKANDARIYA – Two bodies with gunshot wounds and signs of torture were found in Iskandariya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

ANBAR PROVINCE – One U.S. Marine was killed in a battle with gunmen in Anbar province on Thursday, the U.S. military said.

NEAR FALLUJA – A roadside bomb killed Brigadier-General Abdul Jabbar al-Juboury, head of the Iraqi army’s Falluja Brigade, and his driver on Thursday south of Falluja, police said.

BAGHDAD – A bomb killed at least one person and wounded four others in Karrada district, central Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD – Five bodies were found in different districts across Baghdad on Thursday, police said.

NEAR FALLUJA – A parked car bomb killed one man and wounded two others on Thursday near a market in Falluja, police said.’

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