British Spies in Basra Fighting Weapons Smugglers
27 Killed, 62 Wounded in Violence
Those two SAS special operations troops captured by the Basra police last Monday were one of 8 such teams charged with disrupting weapons smuggling from Iran into southern Iraq. The Iranian weapons smugglers are organized and powerful throughout the world.
Among the more powerful Iranian arms merchants is Manucher Ghorbanifar, this one with friends in high places in Washington, who is trying to pull the United States into a war against Iran. War is good for arms merchants.
Guerrilla violence left at least 27 dead and 62 wounded on Sunday. One bomber killed 9 persons including police commandos on a highway in Baghdad; 9 commandos were wounded. Shiites were targeted in Musayyib. In Hilla someone blew up a music store.
Iraqi guerrillas robbed an armored convoy carrying large amounts of cash on Sunday, killing two guards and making off with almost $1 million.
Those wingnuts who circulate the talking points about all the good things happening in Iraq should add, ‘ Becoming more and more like a bad noire film, resembling in some ways the endlessly diverting “Oceans 11” movies. ‘
Iraqi bureaucrats concerned to fight embezzlement and corruption related to the oil industry have faced assassination attempts and at least one had a son killed. American observers in Iraq have commented to me that it is now the most corrupt system on earth. Al-Sharq al-Awsat quotes parliamentarian Hadi al-Amiri today saying that literally billions are missing from the Defense Department and with regard to reconstruction contracts. Al-Amiri is from the Badr Organization, the paramilitary of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
Al-Hayat reports that Muqtada al-Sadr has asked his fighters to stand down and not reply to the US/ Iraqi-government attack on Sadr City, which left ten Mahdi Army militiamen dead. Shaikh Abdul Hadi al-Darraji characterized the incursion as a “direct provocation.” US officials maintained that the mission had gone in search of elements that had attacked multinational forces.
It also says that the Kurdish cabinet members have sent a second note to Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari complaining that he is acting too high-handedly in making decisions all on his own that concern their portfolios.
The United Nations has finally managed to get some food and water to thousands of displaced Tal Afar families living in tents in the desert because they were kicked out of their city by a joint US/Iraqi assault. The US military assertion that no innocent civilians were killed in the attack is contradicted by local physicians. (Such blanket denials are not a good rhetorical strategy for the army. Can’t they say, “we have no information on . . . “?)
Iraqi physicians are fleeing the country in droves, leaving Iraqis with inferior health care at a time of national crisis and guerrilla war.