Sunday, March 01, 2015


So it's Tikrit.

In case you missed it, "Iraq's army and Shi'ite militia" (Dominic Evans, Reuters) are attacking Tirkit.

Tikrit is a small city (approximately 250,000 people) and Sunni dominant.  As BBC notes, its the hometown of the late Saddam Hussein.

In other words, it's a bloody stump waived in front of a school of sharks.

If that's not clear, note these words from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to the residents of Tikrit, "This is their last chance. If they insist on staying on their wrong path they will receive the fair punishment they deserve because they ... stood with terrorism."

With those kind of remarks, do you really think the Sunni population is safe in Tikrit?

Or that they'll be helped by either the Iraqi army or the Shi'ite militias?

What precautions are being taken to protect the civilian population in this assault on Tikrit?

Clearly none.

By the words of the prime minister, they are all guilty -- the civilians -- unless they provide some action to demonstrate otherwise.

Zaid Sabah (Bloomberg News) reports, "Daoud Salman, a resident, said Iraqi forces have started to shell the city, which is located about 150 (95 miles) north of Baghdad."

The forces can't succeed in Mosul yet but maybe this assault will whip up a frenzy?

That is the real point of it, right?

The unspoken point.

There are so many outlets today -- big media, small media, beggar media -- and yet no one seems to represent the civilian populations.

Maybe that's where the actual embedding of reporters should take place?

Maybe if it did, they might show the same support and love for the people as they do for combat?

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

 The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4494

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