Interior Minister Narrowly Avoids

Interior Minister Narrowly avoids bombing;
Bush faces Choice of Withdrawal or Draft

The Bush administration’s call-up of 2500 US Marine reservists who have already given 4 years of service shows how desperate it is becoming for military manpower in Iraq. A veterans’ organization maintains that this sort of thing is unsustainable, and that Bush will have to move to a draft or else begin a drawdown of US troops soon.

Ellen Knickmeyer updates us on the current status and activities of the Mahdi Army and Sadr Movement of Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq. The state of the movement is strong.

Iran wants to help southern Iraq with internet technology. Can you say “back door” in Persian?

The US installation of Iran-linked Iraqi religious Shiite parties in power has made Iran the key power in Iraq, according to a British think tank.

As the US Battle for Baghdad has put an extra 3500 US troop in the capital in an attempt to make an long term impact in reducing guerrilla and militia violence there, the guerrillas have been moving their operations elsewhere.

The troops were brought south from Mosul, giving the guerrillas greater freedom of movement in Iraq’s second city. So, a suicide bomber with a bomb belt detonated his payload near a police station, killing 2 persons and wounding 8, including policemen.

Reuters reports other incidents of civil war violence:

“BAQUBA – Eight people, including two policemen, were gunned down in different incidents in the religiously mixed city of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.” . . .

Iraqi police pulled out six bodies from a small river near Latifiya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad on Tuesday, police said.

BAGHDAD – A civilian was killed and another wounded when a roadside bomb went off in the southern Saidiya district of Baghdad, a source in the Interior Ministry said. ‘

A roadside bomb in the Dura neighborhood of Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed 2 persons and injured 5, including traffic policemen.

The bomb narrowly missed the Minister of the Interior, Jawad al-Bulani, whose convoy was passing through. The Interior Ministry is in charge of internal security for Iraq.

The article continues:

‘ AMARA – One British serviceman was wounded and two others slightly hurt during a prolonged mortar barrage on Tuesday on a British base near Amara, 365 km (230 miles) south of Baghdad, the British military said on Wednesday.

FALLUJA – Three civilians and three traffic policemen were wounded by a roadside bomb near a U.S. patrol in Falluja, 50 km (35 miles) west of Baghdad, police said. ‘

British troops had made a raid into Amara in hopes of catching a major terrorist figure. They were fired on as they withdrew.

The Pakistan Tribune/ wire services add:

“Police in Amara said two civilians were killed in crossfire between British forces and Mehdi Army militiamen.”

Joe Lieberman agrees with a rightwing radio talk show host on Middle East policy.

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