Whisker is otherwise occupied today. -- C
Reported Security Incidents
Roadside bomb attack on a U.S. patrol, U.S. forces cordon off the area, no report on casualties. Wait a minute -- a U.S. patrol? But I thought . . .
Other News of the Day
President Obama, in his weekly radio address, affirms the end of the U.S. combat role in Iraq. I am truly confused.-- C
PM Nuri al-Maliki warns Iraqis to expect intensified violence by al Qaeda and Baathists in the days ahead.
$1.9 million worth of computers donated by the U.S. for Iraqi schoolchildren are auctioned off for $45,700 by the head of the port at Umm Qasr. "The U.S. press release was a rare public admission by the military of the loss of American taxpayer money in Iraq and an equally rare criticism of Iraqi officials with whom the Americans are trying to partner as the military hands over more and more responsibility and withdraws troops. "
Moktada al-Sadr apparently alleges that the recent bomb attacks "show that terrorists are reckless they also prove that they are agents for the occupier and they are acting this way to give him the pretext to stop its fake alleged withdrawal." This is a highly partisan Shiite news service and the English is not great, but this is what they report, for what it's worth. -- C
NATO reports the deaths of 3 ISAF soldiers on Friday, 2 in the east and 1 in the south, without providing further details.
Taliban attack Forward Operating Base (FOB) Salerno and nearby Camp Chapman in Khost province, are repelled, suffering heavy losses, according to a NATO statement. TOLO News reports 2 NATO soldiers wounded in these battles.
Another poison gas attack on a girls' school, this time in Kabul, sickens 20 girls and their teacher. Reuters says 48 girls were sickened in the attack.
Reuters also reports ISAF said its forces had mistakenly killed two private security contractors after one of its patrols came under fire from insurgents in Wardak province, west of Kabul.
Quote of the Day
It seems we are once again walking into the same trap, the same nonsensical assumptions of wars won, missions accomplished, troops withdrawn, and jolly soldiers carrying cardboard signs of heart-warming messages like "Lindsay & Austin … Dad's coming home." . . . So what if the US army downgrades its military presence in Iraq and re-labels over 50,000 remaining soldiers? Will the US military now stop chasing after perceived terrorist threats? Will it concede an inch of its unchallenged control over Iraqi skies? Will it relinquish power over the country's self-serving political elite? Will it give up its influence over every relevant aspect of life in the country, from the now autonomous Kurdish region in the north all the way to the border with Kuwait in the south, which the jubilant soldiers crossed while hollering the shrieks of victory?