3 GIs Killed;
Over 80 Dead in Violence;
Poll: Iraqis want US out Now
WaPo reports on new polls in Iraq that find that a clear majority of Iraqis want US troops to leave, and to leave by the end of the year. Even among Sunni Arabs, who have begun to feel vulnerable to attacks from Shiite death squads, 57 percent still said that they wanted the US out– a majority. The general numbers outside Kurdistan are much higher, as high as 70 to 80 percent.
Now the United Nations has issued a report that sees Iraq as a major generator of anti-Western terrorism.
The UN report stressed the negative impact of the Iraq War on developments in Afghanistan:
‘ The report by terrorism experts working for the UN Security Council said al Qaeda was playing a central role in the fighting in Iraq as well as inspiring a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan, several hundred miles (km) away.
“New explosive devices are now used in Afghanistan within a month of their first appearing in Iraq,” said the report. “And while the Taliban have not been found fighting outside Afghanistan/Pakistan, there have been reports of them training in both Iraq and Somalia.” ‘
Meanwhile, the British Ministry of Defense think tank commissioned a study that has now been leaked, which called the Bush-Blair Iraq War a “‘recruiting sergeant’ for extremists across the Muslim world.” The Guardian reports:
‘ “The war in Iraq … has acted as a recruiting sergeant for extremists across the Muslim world … Iraq has served to radicalise an already disillusioned youth and al-Qaida has given them the will, intent, purpose and ideology to act.”
On Afghanistan, the paper said Britain went in “with its eyes closed”. It claims that a secret deal to extricate UK troops from Iraq so they could focus on Afghanistan failed when British military leaders were overruled. ‘
So that’s what happened to those plans to deploy British troops in south Iraq instead to Afghanistan. You wonder who exactly did the over-ruling. Dick Cheney?
The report, which MoD says doesn’t reflect its own views, is harsh toward the Pakistani government and the Inter-Services Intelligence which had in the 1990s and early zeroes been dominated by radical fundamentalists in the mold of Hamid Gul. It is widely believed that Musharraf has purged those elements by now.
Back to Iraq. A top US general implicitly criticized the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki for not having dealt with the problem of Shiite militias:
‘ “We have to fix this militia issue. We can’t have armed militias competing with Iraq’s security forces. But I have to trust the prime minister to decide when it is that we do that,” said Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the second-highest-ranking American military official in Baghdad.
Chiarelli’s comments to a gathering of reporters were a part of a growing chorus of concerns from U.S. political and military leaders about the Iraqi government’s ability and willingness to tackle corruption and militia-run death squads. They suggest that top American leaders are growing frustrated with the pace of reforms and may even be starting to argue for eventual U.S. withdrawal. ‘
Reuters reports 83 persons killed and dozens wounded in political violence throughout Iraq. Major incidents:
Sabrina Tavernise of the NYT reports on how Muqtada al-Sadr has lost control of about 1/3 of his fighters. They are upset at Sadr’s joining the political process and moderating his actions toward the Americans.
‘ ANBAR PROVINCE – A U.S. marine and a soldier died on Monday in separate combat incidents in the restive western province of Anbar, the U.S. military said in statements.
BAGHDAD – A U.S. soldier died after being shot in southern Baghdad, the U.S. military said in a statement. . .
BAGHDAD – Ten people were killed and 11 wounded when gunmen opened fire near the Sunni Mashaada mosque in the Hurriya district of northwestern Baghdad as people were going to evening prayers at the end of the daily Ramadan fast . . .
BAGHDAD – Police recovered a total of 35 bodies, mostly bound and tortured, in Baghdad in the 24 hours to Wednesday evening . . .
SUWAYRA – Nine bodies were recovered from the Tigris river at Suwayra, 45 km (30 miles) downstream of Baghdad, police said. . .
BAQUBA – A U.S. raid and air strike killed eight people [four of them women], including seven members of one family , and wounded two others in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, the U.S. military and police said. The U.S. said the four men in the family of seven were suspected of having links to al Qaeda.
BAGHDAD – A car bomb exploded near a busy market in the mostly Shi’ite district of Bayaa, southwestern Baghdad, killing five people and wounding eight others . . .
BAGHDAD – Nima al-Yaseen, the sister of Shi’ite member of parliament Liqaa al-Yaseen, was shot dead on Tuesday as she headed to work in western Baghdad, a spokesman from the politician’s party said.
Al-Zaman [Ar.] has more on the bombing of the family in Baqubah. “A young girl said, weeping, ‘I was inside preparing the meal to break the Ramadan fast. I heard explosions and gunfire, and I ran. When I returned, I found all of my family killed. My father, four women and three men. All of them, including my brother and his pregnant wife. They took to members of our family, a man and a woman, who were wounded.
WaPo says that the new police academy building is a huge disaster and so poorly built that parts may have to be torn down. Sewage is leaking so cadets get feces and urine raining on them.