Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sectarian Violence Coming Back?

From NYTimes:

As many as 50 people were killed in what appeared to be reprisal attacks in Tal Afar after a double suicide-vehicle bombing there on Tuesday killed 85 people and wounded 150, Iraqi officials and a witness said today. Armed attacks broke out against Sunnis in the Sunni neighborhood of Al Wahda, with Shiite Iraqi security forces suspected of taking part, they said.
Tal Afar recall was last year hailed as proof of the new clear, clean, and hold strategy. Reprisal killings mean Shia death squads, infiltrated through police/army units.

Word is out that Barry McCaffrey, retired Army General and pro-surge advocate has written a memo based on his recent trip to Iraq. Story here from Tom Ricks, Wapo. McCaffery does mention some positive outcomes of the surge and some small reasons for possible optimism, but overall it is very downbeat.
"The population is in despair," retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey wrote in an eight-page document compiled in his capacity as a professor at West Point. "Life in many of the urban areas is now desperate."
Furthermore:

The government lacks dominance in every province, he added. One result is that "no Iraqi government official, coalition soldier, diplomat, reporter, foreign NGO [nongovernmental organization], nor contractor can walk the streets of Baghdad, nor Mosul, nor Kirkuk, nor Basra, nor Tikrit, nor Najaf, nor Ramadi, without heavily armed protection." Militias and armed bands are "in some ways more capable of independent operations" than the Iraqi army, he added.

I'm not sure "some ways" as a qualifier is correct/necessary.

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1 Comments:

At 9:27 PM, Blogger Ines said...

Hi its your old friend Ines! I'm sorry to not really comment on the blog- but would love to hear from you about your life...do you still have my email?

 

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