Militiamen deployed a powerful roadside bomb to kill the governor and police chief of Qadisiya Province, the capital of which is Diwaniya. Gov. Khalil Jalil Hamza, of the Badr Organization and police chief Maj-Gen Khaled Hassan were returning to Diwaniyah from a funeral. This kind of incident is one reason for which I am very suspicious the Pentagon story that Iran is providing roadside bombs to militias in Iraq. Look, the Badr Corps, the paramilitary of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, was formed in Tehran in the 1980s, trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and may still be in some part on the Iranian payroll. So Iran is sitting pretty, with a Badr commander as governor of Qadisiya province. And having gotten their guy into power, they would kill him in cooperation with scruffy anti-Persian Mahdi Army goons— why? That roadside bomb did not come from Iran; if Iran was going to give such bombs to anyone, it would be the Badr Corps itself, not the enemies of Badr.
Salafi Jihadi radicals took out two Sunni figures Saturday. : “In one, militants bombed the northern Baghdad home of a moderate and highly regarded Sunni cleric, Sheik Wathiq al-Obeidi, who had recently spoken against al-Qaeda. He was seriously wounded and three relatives were killed.” In the other, “a local tribal leader in Albu Khalifa, a village west of Baghdad, was gunned down by militants who broke into his home late Saturday, police said. Sheik Fawaq Sadda’ al-Khalifawi had recently joined the anti-al-Qaeda alliance in Anbar, . . .”
The Washington Post says, “The U.S. military has paid $548 million over the past three years to two British security firms that protect the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on reconstruction projects, more than $200 million over the original budget, according to previously undisclosed data that show how the cost of private security in Iraq has mushroomed. The two companies, Aegis Defence Services and Erinys Iraq, signed their original Defense Department contracts in May 2004. By July of this year, the contracts supported a private force that had grown to about 2,000 employees serving the Corps of Engineers.” I see. So our soldiers are being guarded by paid civilian security men and we are having to pony up extra payments to them because of their cost over-runs.
The Guardian writes, “Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day. …”
British officials and officers reacted with cold fury to the allegations of Anthony Cordesmann that the British failed in their mission in the south and are now intending to turn Basra over to local Mafias.
Reuters reports political violence for Saturday.
Will blog more later on Sunday.