Today the US military announced: "One MNC-I Soldier was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated next to his vehicle during combat operations in Baghdad Saturday." The announcement brings the ICCC total to 3633 US service members killed in the illegal war with 54 of those for the month of July thus far.
In the New York Times this morning, Alissa J. Rubin's "Oil Law Stalls in Iraq as Bomb Aims at Sheiks" continues the recent trend of acting as if there is only one oil law and it's about revenue sharing:
Efforts to achieve national reconciliation in Iraq received a double blow on Sunday.
Lawmakers acknowledged that there were still many differences on a proposed law to manage oil revenue, the country's most lucrative resource, making it unlikely they would approve a law before September, when the Bush administration must report to Congress on Iraq’s progress toward meeting certain legislative benchmarks. The report is expected to have an impact on whether Congress continues to support the Iraq war.
In addition, a suicide truck bombing north of Baghdad was apparently aimed at a meeting of Sunni tribal sheiks who recently agreed to oppose extremists allied with Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a Sunni Arab group with some foreign influence. Five people were killed in the attack and 12 wounded, Interior Ministry officials said. It was unclear whether any sheiks were victims.
Revenue sharing? That may be a nice way to refer to the theft of Iraqi oil. The Iraqi's would be "sharing" by given as much as 70% of the profits over to foreign companies. Rubin will go on to mention the Kurds' problems with "the" oil law (it's two laws). You really have to bundle the two laws together and stamp it with a happy face to allude to Kurdish objections while you're pretending to focus on the oil law that addresses revenue sharing within Iraq. Rubin's not the first at the paper to do this. It's been going on for a bit now (including yesterday's article co-written by Oppel). It's sad but interesting to realize that an allegedly foreign law, allegedly designed by Iraqis has to be lied about in a US paper.
Rubin notes that with the August break (due to the intense heat), it's doubtful that anything will pass by September and that Ryan Crocker's going on about how that doesn't matter (now). Left out is the fact that the Parliament is under intense pressure to meet next month despite the intense heat.
I'm summarizing a number of topics here, search them if you want info. Early reports indicate the elections in Turkey yesterday were a victory for the party already in power. US Senator Russ Feingold is again calling for a censure of the Bully Boy. Since the censure had no support last time that might be time better spent calling for impeachment. Not implying that would find much more Congressional support but Fiengold's tried the censure tactic before. Iran and the US will hold meetings in Baghdad. Just as the whispering campaign that Chinese weapons made it into Iraq via Iran (Proof! We have proof! -- only they don't) gets underweigh. Did anyone miss the two big press briefings last week? No proof. No proof. No proof. Apparently that will need to be repeated constantly. Of course when US generals are tossing out the rumors, as they did in the Thursday and Friday press briefings, and are only forced to admit there's no proof after they do so, it's no surprise it still gains traction.
AP's Robert Burns reports:
In a move that could portend a strategy change, the commander of U.S. forces in northern Iraq said Sunday he has proposed reducing his troop levels and shifting next year to missions focused less on direct combat.
Army Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon told The Associated Press that if current trends hold, he would like to begin this troop reduction and change in mission in Ninevah province, where he said Iraqi army forces already are operating nearly independently. He has proposed shifting the province to Iraqi government control as early as August.
That could be sop to tap down on public outrage or a way for Bully Boy to extend the illegal war. It's not about troops coming home or ending the illegal war. And in Iraq already today, the violence continues. From Sinan Salaheddin's "Car Bombs Killed at Least 12 in Baghdad"
Three parked cars exploded within 30 minutes in a predominantly Shiite area in Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 12 people, police said, the deadliest in a series of bombings and shooting attacks nationwide.
Iran's ambassador to Baghdad, meanwhile, confirmed that the United States and Iran will discuss the security situation in Iraq on Tuesday in Baghdad, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
Finally, when you're Big Business, you don't worry about the costs. From AP:
Millions of dollars' worth of gear, including combat boots, helmets, vests and aircraft parts, is being junked by the Pentagon rather than stored or sold as surplus to suppliers who sometimes sell it back to the military.
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the new york times
alissa j. rubin