Tuesday, August 07, 2007


A recent Gallup poll shows Bush's Iraq war surge policy gaining support (from 22% to 31%), perhaps because we've been in the middle of the summer doldrums and spectacular insurgent attacks and high U.S. casualties have abated somewhat. The administration claims progress is being made in Iraq and there is little doubt that the "Petraeus Report" will say that U.S. troop levels must be maintained in order to capitalize on the "progress" we have been making

Nonetheless, does this sound article from the Washington Post sound like we're making true progress?

BAGHDAD, Aug. 7 -- Iraq's political crisis deepened Monday as five more ministers withdrew from cabinet meetings, delivering a major blow to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's fractured unity government and efforts to reconcile Iraq's warring parties.

Hours earlier, a truck bomb in a Shiite village near the northern city of Tall Afar killed 31 people and wounded scores more, striking an area that was once hailed by President Bush and U.S. military commanders as an oasis of stability, following U.S. operations against insurgents there. Six children were among the dead, police said.

The U.S. military also announced the deaths of nine American soldiers, including four killed in an explosion Monday in volatile Diyala province, where U.S. forces are engaged in a major offensive against Sunni insurgents. The blast injured 12 other U.S. soldiers, the military said in a statement.


The latest boycott by the five ministers, a mix of Sunnis and Shiites loyal to former Iraqi prime minister Ayad Allawi, followed last week's decision by the top Sunni political bloc to pull its six ministers from the cabinet. Monday's action left the government, at least for the time being, without any politicians from Sunni factions in the Shiite-dominated cabinet.

Legislators loyal to Allawi said the ministers would continue to run their ministries but not attend any cabinet meetings. They cited as reasons for their action a lack of progress on issues such as the status of Iraqi detainees, the repatriation of displaced Iraqis and the return of former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party to government jobs.

"This act is not an escalation, but it is an objection to what the government is doing," Alia Nusaiyef Jasim, a legislator in Allawi's secular Shiite al-Iraqiyah bloc, told the al-Jazeera television network. "The Iraqiyah bloc participated in the government on the basis of sharing in the decision-making, but the bloc is marginalized in the government."

The government is falling apart, American casualties continue, insurgent activity continues...

This is progress?

UPDATE: Via Mike at Crest, CBS News reports that 26 American troops were killed in Iraq this week.


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