Friday, August 24, 2007

More Positive Iraq News Rolling In

Civilian Reconstruction: Iraqi Infrastructure Gets Major Boost- Electricity Situation Improves- 33 Schools Built:

The ministry of building and housing has built 33 schools in a number of provinces. These schools are part of a group of 70 elementary schools planned in various areas. This ministry has also completed 80% of housing project ‘Sebaa Ibkar’ in Baghdad. This project contains 48 apartment buildings, schools, commercial buildings and parking lots.

Fighting al Qaeda: IA General: 537 Al Qaeda Killed Or Captured Since June 19
Diala, Aug 24, (VOI) – A total 237 gunmen were killed and 300 wanted others arrested in security operations Arrowhead Ripper and Lightning Hammer in Diala province, 57 km north of Baghdad, since June 19, an Iraqi security official said on Friday.

More bad news for AQ from Strategy Page: Al Qaeda Fades From Iraq
the most compelling bit of new on al Qaedas demise in Iraq is the changing composition of the hostiles there. At the beginning of the year, about 70 percent of terror attacks were by al Qaeda, and their Sunni Arab allies. Now, only about fifty percent of , a lower number of, those attacks are al Qaeda. The rest are Iranian supported Shia Arab groups, who are also trying to establish a religious dictatorship in Iraq (one run by Shias, not by Sunnis, as al Qaeda wants.) Al Qaeda is taking a major beating because so many Sunni Arab tribes have turned on it.

More reasons to stay: “Our troops have earned more time.” Democratic Rep. Brian Baird, fresh from Iraq:
The invasion of Iraq may be one of the worst foreign-policy mistakes in the history of our nation. As tragic and costly as that mistake has been, a precipitous or premature withdrawal of our forces now has the potential to turn the initial errors into an even greater problem just as success looks possible.

to walk away now from the recent gains would be to lose all the progress that has been purchased at such a dear price in lives and dollars. As one soldier said to me, “We have lost so many good people and invested so much, It just doesn’t make sense to quit now when we’re finally making progress. I want to go home as much as anyone else, but I want this mission to succeed and I’m willing to do what it takes. I just want to know the people back home know we’re making progress and support us.”

And the icing:

The new comfort zone for many politicians and leader-writers appears to be the notion that if Britain withdraws its troops from Iraq and sends all the freed-up forces to Afghanistan, then all will be well. Siren voices are insisting that honour would be satisfied by such a move and we would still be pulling our weight in what Gordon Brown refuses to call ‘the war on terror’ or ‘the war against Islamist extremism’. Afghanistan, say those voices, is the crucial place to be engaging al-Qa’eda. Iraq is a sideshow.

This is no comfort zone at all. The war against Islamist extremism is indivisible. ‘The thought that Afghanistan is somehow a more righteous war is absurd,’ General Jack Keane told me this week. Keane is the soldier who helped devise present US policy in Iraq and has been critical of the British performance in southern Iraq.

Al-Qa’eda is an international criminal organisation that declared war on the West in the 1990s, and is determined to subjugate us. If we cut and run from one crucial battleground, it will be a betrayal of our allies in both America and Iraq and a victory for all Islamist extremism, Shia as well as Sunni. Moqtada al Sadr, the Shiite leader in southern Iraq, was crowing in the Independent only this week that his militia had driven the British out.

~ Liberal British journalist William Shawcross

(Via PJM)

Not bad for a day's worth of news.

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