Monday, August 06, 2007

Meanwhile, in Iraq...

A few important stories of what's happening in Iraq while everyone is on vacation...

From the AP-
Iraq's power grid is on the brink of collapse because of insurgent sabotage, rising demand, fuel shortages and provinces that are unplugging local power stations from the national grid, officials said Saturday...

..."We no longer need television documentaries about the Stone Age. We are actually living in it. We are in constant danger because of the filthy water and rotten food we are having," said Hazim Obeid, who sells clothing at a stall in the Karbala market.

Insert sarcastic reply about 'hearts and minds' and/or 'great progress' here.

And this alarming news, from the BBC-
The US military cannot account for 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to the Iraqi security forces, an official US report says.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the Pentagon cannot track about 30% of the weapons distributed in Iraq over the past three years...

That a) we've just left weapons lying all over Iraq for anyone to pick up, and b) the Iraqi security forces we're training are shady as hell, are hardly new news. It was reported way back in October 2004 that "nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives" had gone missing from an Iraqi facility under U.S. control. Not to mention all the U.S. cash that has also gone 'missing' in Iraq.

On a semi-related note, the Washington Post reports that "U.S. commanders are offering large sums to enlist [former insurgent fighters], handing them broad security powers in a risky effort to tame this fractious area south of Baghdad in Babil province and, literally, buy time for national reconciliation."

Because if there's one thing that sums up our Iraq policy... it's buying time.

[Related reading: Can Maliki Save His Coalition? (Time)]

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