operations by Iraqi government forces seem to me more designed to establish front lines than to re-take territory. I'm assuming that
they are looking to dig into a defensive line northwest of Baghdad, in order to
hold on to as much of the capital as possible and perhaps also to preserve the ethnic cleansing back in 2006 of much of the west side of the city. Stable
front lines also have a way, with the passage of time, of becoming lines of
As for air strikes in Tikrit, that just seems like revenge hits, the
result of the apparent feeling of Maliki and some of those around him that
Tikritis deserve everything that happens to them as payback for being Saddam
Hussein's homies. Kind of the way General Sherman felt about South Carolina
during our own civil war.
While we are on
Iraq, James Risen of the New York Times
has a good story on Blackwater. But I just can't fathom some of the tweets
coming out of that newspaper's Baghdad bureau.
Hey kids, looking
for a good dissertation topic?: How about Iranian intervention in Iraq as a model of a modern training and advisory
campaign? Low profile, high impact: Compare and contrast.
MOHAMMED SAWAF/AFP/Getty Images