Iraq

Iraq Update

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The latest from Iraq:

Dozens of Shiite villagers in the north were massacred by Sunni extremists, two officials said Tuesday, while a car bomb exploded across the street from the Iranian Embassy in the heart of Baghdad and killed four civilians.

Meanwhile, Shiite legislators loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr decided to end their five-week boycott of parliament, one of their leaders said. The Shiite protest along with a separate Sunni boycott had blocked work on key benchmark legislation demanded by the U.S.

Police Col. Ragheb Radhi al-Omairi said 29 members of a Shiite tribe were massacred overnight in Diyala province when dozens of suspected Sunni gunmen raided their village near Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad. The dead included four women, al-Omairi said.

Al-Omairi said he had not seen the bodies and it was unclear whether they had been retrieved.

An Iraqi army officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not supposed to release the information, said the attack occurred in the village of Diwailiya and that at least 10 bodies were mutilated in the hour-long raid.

The village is in the same province as Baqouba, where fighting escalated Tuesday. U.S. and Iraqi troops regained control of western Baqouba last month, but al-Qaida and other Sunni insurgent elements remain active in the rest of the city. The al-Qaida front Islamic State of Iraq had declared Baqouba its capital.

More here.

Here's a rare moment of unity among U.S. pols:

While Republicans and Democrats remain divided over the best way forward, both parties are increasingly united in their disapproval of the Maliki government.

More here.

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  1. Dozens of Shiite villagers in the north were massacred by Sunni extremists

    This is a classic example of subtle bias in reporting – the writer is describing a conflict (er, “massacre”) and telling us who the good guys are (“villagers”) and who the bad guys are (“extremists”).

    Reminds me of how they’re terrorists if they’re on the other side, freedom fighters if they’re on yours…

  2. While Republicans and Democrats remain divided over the best way forward, both parties are increasingly united in their disapproval of the Maliki government.

    Ah, yes…blame the Iraqi’s!


  3. Ah, yes…blame the Iraqi’s!

    Exactly…”we bombed the hell out of you guys, destroyed your government and infrastructure, and this is how you repay us?”

  4. Dan T.-

    Perhaps it is not an example of “subtle bias” but rather an example of accurate reporting? Maybe the slaughtered really were nonmilitant civilians and the Sunnis were the type of extremist who just might slaughter them? There seems to be lot of that going around in Iraq these days.

  5. Dan T.,

    Uh, no, we liberated them from a brutal dictatorship that was degrading infrastructure through neglect for 24 years, and who began destroying the infrastructure deliberately after they were removed from power, bombing oil pipelines and transmission lines. Meanwhile, we’re spending $20 billion to rebuild infrastructure, and hundreds of billions more trying to establish security so Iraqis can have a decent life.

    Here’s a roundup of military action:

    http://billroggio.com/archives/2007/07/iraq_report_major_of.php

    And from Michael Yon, who’s in Iraq:

    “I will speak for my son who right now is bored out of his mind in Ramadi, because he hasn’t heard a shot fired in combat now in about six or seven weeks,” Bruce said.

    Most of al Qaida’s leaders and many of its foot soldiers escaped from Baquba, and probably will try to establish another “capital” elsewhere. But they’re running out of places to go.

    “They can’t go south to (overwhelmingly Shia) Basra,” Mr. Yon told Mr. Hewitt. “There are only a few places they can go to in Anbar, and these are drying up. There’s fewer places in Diyala, and what’s left is drying up. They certainly can’t go to the Kurdish regions, because they will be killed.”

  6. This is a classic example of subtle bias in reporting – the writer is describing a conflict (er, “massacre”) and telling us who the good guys are (“villagers”) and who the bad guys are (“extremists”).

    Yeah, I remember the same subtle bias on 9/11. The “extremists” were killing “Americans.” How dare the media draw any moral distinctions!

  7. I was expecting someone at Reason to respond to this article from today’s WSJ:

    http://opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010344

  8. Ha ha, TallDave still thinks we’re winning.

    Think I should start posting old comment threads?

  9. joe, some people think we are winning because they want us to win. Other don’t, and for a similar reason. No big deal.

  10. And some of us can even draw appropriate conclusion from objective information without our feelings coming into it.

    Hence the term “reality-based community,” and its detractors.

  11. How about what Michael Drummond, – embedded, of the Charlotte Observer – reports,

    “We’ve settled into the third house we entered, the soldiers having booted the family. Tonight, I’m pitching a bedroll on the roof – where the family of four, including a small boy, intended to sleep before the patrol told them to leave.
    They had no idea that tonight it would be their turn to turn over their home. Members of the patrol say it’s unfortunate that some families have to be inconvenienced. But it’s the price… “

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