24 Dead in Iraq
Women face Restrictions
PM Ibrahim Jaafari’s discussions in Tehran with the Iranian government have gone well. A number of economic deals were struck that will help Iraq recover its ability to produce electricity.
AP reports that guerrilla violence left 24 dead in Iraq on Monday. AP says that most of the attacks were with small arms fire and adds:
‘ However, a car bomb targeted U.S. and Iraqi troops in Rawah, 175 miles northwest of Baghdad, witnesses reported. At least one person, believed to have been a civilian, was killed, the witnesses said. The deadliest attack Monday was in the western Baghdad district of Khadra, where eight policemen died in a gunbattle with insurgents, police said. It was unclear if the insurgents suffered casualties. ‘
Guerrillas in Mosul shot a police major to death.
In Taji north of Baghdad, guerrillas killed two policemen and wounded a third by spraying their car with gunfire.
In the southern, largely Shiite city of Basra, gunmen shot the former chairman of the Department of History at Basra University to death. Professor Ala’ Da’ud (Alaa’ Dawoud) was a Sunni Arab and had been a member of the Baath Party (as had most senior academics). The more radical Shiites in Basra have allegedly been waging a campaign of assassination.
One Iraqi historian told me with some embarrassment that Saddam used to insist on coming to the meetings of the Iraqi Historical Association and giving a long-winded paper. The historians in attendance, of course, could not present any serious historical findings under such circumstances. This, even though Iraqi historians often had a first-rate training and some did serious archival work.
In Balad, north of Baghdad, on Sunday guerrillas used a roadside bomb to kill one US soldier and wound two others, the US military announced.
Lesley Abdela discusses the new restrictions on women in post-Baath Iraq.
Some Iraqis think the new media in the country is too open and salacious, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Newsday profiles the relative calm of the Shiite south and the resulting relaxed attitude of British troops in Basra. Without perhaps meaning to, the article helps explain how the British could hope to shrink their forces in Iraq from 8,500 to about 3,000 during the next nine months. The success of the British in southern Iraq has raised questions in the minds of some as to whether US rules of engagement, including using massive force in returning fire, have contributed to the insecurity in their areas. That is, are the British using better counter-insurgency tactics?
Barbara Bedway discusses insightfully and at some length why we do not see more graphic photographs in the US press of, e.g., wounded soldiers (there have been over 13,000 wounded in Iraq). Although there are some technical reasons, mostly it seems to be a matter of editorial choice. European editors are much more likely to pick up such photos when the wire services provide them than are their American counterparts. My own impression is that the US media are far less likely to show Iraqi wounded than are, say, the Arab satellite channels, as well. The net result is that the war is being sanitized for Americans, which I think is poor journalism.
Iraqis working as translators for the US military are engaged in ‘the most dangerous job in Iraq ‘ according to Domenico Maceri. Dozens of translators have been killed by the guerrillas.