Thursday, April 16, 2009

Attack in Al Anbar Province claims 16 lives

Today there's been an an attack on a US and Iraqi military base in Al Anbar Province. BBC maintains that there were no deaths but twenty-six people were wounded. Aseel Kami (Reuters) states 16 are dead with at least fifty injured, that a suicide bomber in Iraqi military garb took his own life and the lives of others by detonating "at the base's cafeteria". At the New York Times website, Steven Lee Myers reports "at least 15 Iraqi soldiers" dead and identifies the location as Tamouz Air Base.

In today's New York Times, Steven Lee Myers offers "Iraq Provinces Try to Overcome Political Disarray" which can be paired with Corinne Reilly and Ali Abbas offer "Kurdish-Arab tensions continue to grow in northern Iraq" (McClatchy Newspapers) and Liz Sly and Caesar Ahmed's "Establishment of Iraq provincial councils drags" (Los Angeles Times). Myers notes this morning:

Two and a half months after the elections, the 14 provinces that voted have only now begun forming provincial councils, the equivalent of state legislatures in the United States. Five provinces, including Babil, Najaf and Basra, still have no functioning governments, despite a deadline that passed last week, as party leaders squabble over the selection of governors, council chairmen and their deputies.
Elections that were supposed to strengthen Iraq’s democracy, unite its ethnic and sectarian factions, and begin to improve sorely needed basic services -- water, electricity, roads -- have instead exposed the fault lines that still threaten the country's stability.

The only thing I would strongly disagree with in the article is Myers notes the economic 'problems' of Iraq -- other countries have economic problems, the puppet government in Baghdad is rolling in the cash -- because the reality is the provincial governments aren't effected by that unless there has been major theft. The reason for that is none of them spent all their previous yearly budgets. They stockpiled that money. So were their budgets slashed, they'd still have the excess from previous years which they didn't spend. If they don't have that money, it's because someone or somones stole it.

Yesteday's snapshot noted the conviction of US Master Sgt John E. Hatley in Germany. In today's New York Times, Paul von Zielbauer covers the court-martial ("American Soldier Is Found Guilty In Iraqi Killings") and about the only thing I'm seeing of interest is this quote by James D. Culp ("former Army trial defense lawyer"), "When the first sergeant of a company snaps, taking a sergeant first class and a senior medic with him, it's a sign that they've just had too much." AP reminds, "Military cases go through an automatic appeal process, and his sentence also could be reduced in a clemency proceeding."

liz sly