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May 23, 2005

Iraq roundup

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

In addition my previous post on good news in Iraq(and in the below extended post), there's a lot going on that's indicative of the volatile situation in that country that continues to cause what seems to be ever-increasing incidents of suicide bombings and killings, usually resulting in the deaths of numerous innocent and non-combative men, women, and children. Add to that the deaths of our soldiers, sailors, Marines, security contractors, and the many contractors there just to help re-build that country.

Guerrillas "terrorists and mindless thugs" seeking to topple Iraq's new government exploded a suicide truck bomb outside a mayor's office and shot a security official on Monday, killing at least seven people in an escalating campaign of violence.

Three U.S. soldiers were killed on Sunday in two insurgent attacks in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the U.S. military said on Monday. Earlier, the military reported that another U.S. soldier was killed in a car bomb attack on Sunday near the town of Tikrit.

In a coordinated attack on a U.S. base in central Iraq at around 7:00 am (0300 GMT) "two car bombs were detonated at the perimeter of the base, killing their suicide drivers." As soldiers responded to the attack, a third suicide bomber, this time wearing a vest with explosives, walked up to the scene. Soldiers shot at him and he "detonated his explosive vest, killing himself" but causing no other injury or damage, the military added.

A bomb exploded at lunchtime on Monday outside the Habayibna restaurant located inside a three-storey building in Talibia, Iraq. (also covered here).

Contractors and U.S. officials say that Iraq's insurgents are conducting increasingly sophisticated and lethal attacks on the private security companies that are crucial to the nation's reconstruction and the eventual departure of U.S. troops.

From Arthur Chrenkoff we have some Iraq news of a different kind:

Tim Blair reports some chuckles in Baghdad at the sight of the semi-nude former great leader and notes: " 'The Sun' should launch an Arab-language edition. Looks like they'’ve got a large potential readership."

Meanwhile, "Newsweek" strikes back retrospectively, with the cover of its Japanese edition from 2 February featuring the American flag in a rubbish bin.

Expect deadly riots to break out throughout the United States at this act of sacrilege. Or maybe not. After all, flag desecration is protected by the First Amendment, and as far as the American media is concerned, trashing your own country - particularly for the benefit of the overseas audiences - seems to be also taken as a constitutional right, if not actually a sacred obligation.

Check out the rest of the report by the Riding Sun blog, which broke this story, particularly the way "Newsweek" promoted the same set of articles in the Japanese and the American editions (hint: the Japanese pieces have significantly more negative titles – see also here for additional translation).

As Ed Driscoll notes, American journalists engage in a lot more America bashing to foreign audiences than they do at home (via Instapundit who comments: "I suspect that the Internet will make that much harder, as people are starting to pay attention, and to compare this stuff.") You only have to recall that Eason Jordan’s comments were made to an international - and receptive, or at least unquestioning - audience.

But there's positive news too!

Seven Iraqi battalions backed by U.S. forces launched an offensive in the capital on Sunday in an effort to stanch the violence that has killed more than 550 people in less than a month, targeting insurgents who have attacked the dangerous road to Baghdad's airport and Abu Ghraib prison.

Yet there's much much more, again from Arthur Chrenkoff, it's a barrel-full of good news from Iraq - number 28! (also available at the "The Opinion Journal" and Winds of Change. Don't forget to check out the comments at Dean's World. Other coverage - Democracy Project.

Posted by Hyscience at May 23, 2005 10:20 AM

I found an interesting quote from the Grand Mufti in Saudi Arabia, more or less giving the kiss-off to Iraqi 'insurgents'

"…[T]he Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia in an open meeting refuted the claims that what is happening now in Iraq is really jihad. He has said: ‘Indeed, jihad in the cause of God is a great thing, no one doubts in its bounty or in its greatness, but the situation in Iraq differs. For our brothers in Iraq know the condition of their country and its circumstances and overall environment...he does ‘not
encourage young men of that (going to Iraq), and does not support the action, because what is happening in Iraq involves the shedding of blood wrongfully, and the blood of Muslims is precious, and so it is not allowed for us to tolerate this and throw our young men into places they are not familiar with..."

I posted the whole story on Gates at

What's amazing is the Saudi complicity in beginning this whole mess and then simply walking away from what they started. Does it get any sleazier?

Posted by: Dymphna at May 23, 2005 1:52 PM

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