Saturday, January 24, 2009

Iraq bombing claims at least five lives

I read your paper every day. Do your reporters? In his Jan. 13 front-page article, "New Paths to Power Emerge in Iraq," Anthony Shadid asserted that the war in Iraq "has all but ended." However, The Post reported Jan. 8 that our nation had lost seven service members between Dec. 20 and Jan. 6.
The Post also reported in its Around the World roundup Jan. 9 that eight Iraqi soldiers were killed by two roadside bombs. The Web site reports that we lost 14 service members in December, 17 in November and many more in the preceding months.
The war has not "all but ended." Dismissive, cavalier language does not honor our military's sacrifice.
My son served two deployments in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Please be sensitive to service members and their families. It's your sacred duty.
-- Fran Middleberg

The above is a letter to the Washington Post with the title "The War Is Not Over. Ask the Troops." And, no, the illegal war hasn't ended. But, yes, that is the push in the media. It does allow less guilt over the fact that so many are closing up shop.

Yesterday, General James Conway had a power-breakfast with the press where he noted that the floated for 15-months plan to pull marines out of Iraq and move them to Afghanistan should be a 'go'. Tony Perry covers that in a brief blog post at the Los Angeles Times' Babylon & Beyond:

"It is great symbology, he's on our turf," the Associated Press quoted Conway as saying. "More importantly, he gets to meet and shake hands with hundreds of people in all the services."
Click here for an earlier story on the Marines' plans for Afghanistan.

Meanwhile Fadhil al-Badrani, Tim Cocks, Michael Christie and Jon Boyle (Reuters) report a Garma car bombing that claimed the lives of 5 police officers and left fourteen people wounded (including five more police officers). They quote police officer Mohammed Abdallah stating, "We were just driving along the road when we heard this massive explosion. We were tossed upwards by the blast. When I hit the ground, I realized that Leiutenant-Colonel Mohammed was dead." Al Jazeera adds, "On Saturday, Iraqi election officials ordered transport bans and night-time curfews during the polls. Iraq's borders will also be sealed off, while all civilian airports and provincial borders will be shut from 10pm (19:00 GMT) on Friday until 5 am (02:00 GMT) on February 1, the election commission said." Provincial elections are scheduled in fourteen of Iraq's eighteen provinces for January 31st. The requirement that all airports be closed and the boraders sealed is, no doubt, yet another sign of 'progress.'

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