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Hans
04-26-2008, 02:15 PM
Things are so much better now it's almost amazing.

Violence overnight in Baghdad's Sadr City killed eight people -- including two children -- and wounded 28, Iraqi officials said, and insurgent attacks across Iraq killed six people and wounded 26.

"There were no 'fierce' clashes between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. involving U.S. forces or those Iraqi security forces we are partnered with," said Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad. "So we do not know who killed those women and children."

Three Iraqi soldiers were hurt when a roadside bomb exploded near their patrol in northeastern Baghdad's Sleikh neighborhood, an Interior Ministry official said.

Gunmen in a car opened fire 30 minutes later on traffic police in central Baghdad's al-Wathiq square, wounding five people, the official said.

Police said a roadside bomb blast wounded eight people, including four police officers in central Tikrit, a major Sunni city in Salaheddin province about 100 miles north of Baghdad.

In Diyala province north of Baghdad, three Iraqi soldiers died when a roadside bomb struck their patrol about about three miles east of Baquba, the Interior Ministry official said.

A roadside bomb explosion near a house in central Baquba's al-Hay neighborhood wounded two Iraqi civilians, the official said.

A police officer was killed when gunmen attacked a police patrol in the town of Sheikh-Saad, about 18 miles north of Baquba, the official said.

Later Saturday, in the western Baghdad neighborhood of Amriya, a suicide car bomb exploded outside the office of the local awakening council, killing two members and wounding eight others, an Interior Ministry official said.

Abu al-Abed, whom observers credit with stabilizing Amriya, was among the wounded. The members were attacked as they left a meeting around 1:30 p.m.

Al Qaeda in Iraq once controlled the predominantly Sunni neighborhood.

Awakening councils are mostly Sunni and sometimes are composed of former militants. The U.S. military has recruited many of the councils to fight against al Qaeda in Iraq.

In the western Baghdad neighborhood of Maamoun on Saturday, three gunmen shot and killed a store owner, an Interior Ministry official said.

When Iraqi security forces arrived minutes later, a bomb inside the store exploded, wounding 10 people, including two Iraqi soldiers, the official said.

In central Tikrit, a roadside bomb blast wounded eight people, including four Iraqi police officers, on Saturday, a police official said.

Five members of al Qaeda in Iraq were killed Friday evening in a U.S. airstrike in a house in al-Jilam, just north of Samarra, Samarra police told CNN.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/04/26/iraq.main/index.html

GenX
04-26-2008, 02:19 PM
Fifty-five percent of Iraqis say things in their own lives are going well, well up from 39 percent as recently as August. More, 62 percent, rate local security positively, up 19 points. And the number who expect conditions nationally to improve in the year ahead has doubled, to 46 percent in this new national poll by ABC News, the BBC, ARD German TV and the Japanese broadcaster NHK.

fewer report security as the main problem in their own lives – 25 percent, nearly half its peak last spring. Forty-six percent say local security has improved in the past six months, nearly double last summer’s level.

The number of Iraqis who feel entirely unsafe in their own area has dropped by two-thirds, to 10 percent. And with Sunni Arab buy-in, U.S.-funded Awakening Councils, created to provide local security, are more popular than the Iraqi government itself.

Even more striking is the halt in worsening views. In August, Iraqis by 61-11 percent said security in the country had gotten worse, not better, in the previous six months. Today, by 36-26 percent, more say security has improved. The new positive margin is not large. But the 35-point drop in views that security is worsening is the single largest change in this poll.

************************************


In fits and starts, political progress in Iraq is not only possible, but in small steps it is happening. That's the simplest lesson of the Iraqi Parliament's three notable moves on Wednesday. The parliament set Oct. 1 provincial elections, passed a $48 billion budget and also passed a limited amnesty for thousands of prisoners, including former insurgents — potentially significant steps toward reconciliation. Even New York Times editorial headlines are acknowledging the unexpected: "Making (Some) Progress in Iraq." This does not at all fit the unrelenting "Iraq is a failure" narrative favored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Out of Iraq caucus.

"Some" progress is indeed the correct way to describe the three actions. Bound together in a single bill to assuage Kurds suspecting a double-cross, they are not the gold standards of Iraqi political progress, which continue to be a realistic oil-wealth measure to meet the often conflicting demands of Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds, and a realistic long-term power-sharing arrangement. It is also worth noting that the three-person presidency council must approve the measures, and that implementation inevitably brings its own complications.

But their value as steps along the hoped-for road to reconciliation is the reason that Multi-National Forces Iraq Commander Gen. David Petraeus characterized them this way: "This is potentially a big moment." Certainly it would be difficult to imagine any of these moves happening in the absence of the troop surge. Certainly each comprises evidence that the "no political progress" campaign slogan is just that — a slogan — which misses significant facts on the ground. The case for a drawdown "pause" looks stronger by the day.

A reckoning is coming in the domestic war debate. At times, it seems as if Republicans and Democrats are speaking of different wars. As the facts change, watch the rhetoric. President Bush will almost surely leave a substantial Iraq commitment to his successor come January. Democratic presidential contenders each promise to end the war while leaving themselves realistic options should they be the eventual presidential winner. Increasingly, a wider circle of American observers believe that the surge has worked militarily. Now we are seeing evidence that it opens the door to political progress. This war is a moving target.

Wash Times

Hans
04-26-2008, 02:24 PM
I love it, limited Amnesty for those you are fighting and dying for. Makes sense eh?

GenX
04-26-2008, 02:27 PM
What are you talking about?

I never read your posts, so you'll have to explain.

Hans
04-26-2008, 02:28 PM
Well, I think you mean YOU never read YOUR posts...

A quote from YOUR post :

In fits and starts, political progress in Iraq is not only possible, but in small steps it is happening. That's the simplest lesson of the Iraqi Parliament's three notable moves on Wednesday. The parliament set Oct. 1 provincial elections, passed a $48 billion budget and also passed a limited amnesty for thousands of prisoners, including former insurgents — potentially significant steps toward reconciliation.

Hans
04-26-2008, 02:29 PM
See where it says AMNESTY?

GenX
04-26-2008, 02:29 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Hans</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Well, I think you mean YOU never read YOUR posts...

A quote from YOUR post :

In fits and starts, political progress in Iraq is not only possible, but in small steps it is happening. That's the simplest lesson of the Iraqi Parliament's three notable moves on Wednesday. The parliament set Oct. 1 provincial elections, passed a $48 billion budget and also passed a limited amnesty for thousands of prisoners, including former insurgents — potentially significant steps toward reconciliation. </div></div>

Yeah, that's real bad news /ubbthreads/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/lol.gif

GenX
04-26-2008, 02:29 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Hans</div><div class="ubbcode-body">See where it says AMNESTY? </div></div>

I do not.

Hans
04-26-2008, 02:32 PM
I thought your type of birds had perfect vision. I guess not...

GenX
04-26-2008, 02:33 PM
We have trouble discerning quality prose in posts that more resemble elephant dung than anything worth reading.

Hans
04-26-2008, 02:34 PM
So you finally admit you post elephant dung? Wow.

GenX
04-26-2008, 02:35 PM
Geez, Hansy, that was good.

Hans
04-26-2008, 02:37 PM
Was it?