Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 deadliest year? Someone tell Little Media

AP calls 2007 "the deadliest for the U.S. military since the 2003 invasion, with 899 troops killed." It's doubtful Little Media will have a thing to say on that. They've got the Cult of Saint Bhutto to chew on for at least another week, or maybe their daughter's having a party and they want to write about that or some reality show, but in 2007, week after week, they've demonstrated that Iraq is not "their" "issue."

In the New York Times this morning, Stephen Farrell offers "For Iraqi Street Cleaners, Scraps Include Human Flesh:"

It falls to Baghdad's street sweepers to pick up the fingertips and scraps of flesh left behind after the emergency workers haul away the torsos and heads of bombing victims. They do the job without gloves, in all but the coldest weeks of winter.
If the attack comes while they are off duty, they get roughly $8 extra for cleaning up. Despite the grisly work, and the sadness at the deaths, that is a welcome sum when they are each paid about $6 a day. There were many such bomb bonuses paid in 2007, though markedly fewer than in past years.
But on Sunday, at year's end, two municipal street cleaners, Imad al-Hashemi and Laith Mahdi Latif, said the bonuses would be something they could happily live without in 2008.

Lloyd notes Walter Pincus' "Iraqis Authorize Big Jump in Forces" (Washington Post) which digs into the Defense Department's latest report to discover "that the Baghdad government is now responsible for setting the size of its security forces, and that it has authorized a level of 550,000 military and police forces -- an increase of more than 40 percent over the level that the U.S.-led coalition reported just three months ago." Citing the report, Pincus notes that the report notes "a jump of more than 150,000 from three months ago". What's going on?

Gee, why would the central (puppet) government in Baghdad want to rush into "rapid hiring"? The so-called Awakening Councils. You can also explain the desire for this new power through that as well.