Sunday, July 12, 2009

Iraq at a glance

At the start of the week, we learned that police were being targeted in Iraq and that they were training . . . in Australia and South Korea.

Iraq map

Thursday US war resister Robin Long was released from the brig and Friday he held a press conference to explain he had no regrets for standing against the illegal war: "I had to do what I felt was right."

Wednesday US Admiral Mike Mullen declared at the National Press Club in DC, "Clearly we're at a point now, in Iraq, where the violence level is down -- dramatically so. In fact, it's the lowest level of violence since 2003, 2004." The words were still lingering in the air when word from Iraq was a double car bombing in Mosul had resulted in a reported 16 deaths.

Thursday saw twin suicide bombings in Tal Afar with at least 35 reported dead.

Also on Thursday, Lucas M. Bregg became the first announced death in Iraq for the month of July bringing the total number of US service members killed in the illegal war to 4322.

Same day, Marine General James Amos appeared before the US House Armed Services Subcommittee on Joint Readiness, Air and Land Forces and Seapower and Expeditionary Forces and explained, "We will be out of Iraq, the marines will be, with the exception of just a few, by this time next year, the equipment will be out of Iraq, being repaired and going to the home stations." With the exception of just a few. Since 2006, the marine leadership has made it clear they wanted out of Iraq (and into Afghanistan) and press reports this year have declared that the marines will all be out of Iraq by 2010. Yet Amos was saying something a bit different to the Congress.

Saturday the US military announced that Sgt. Miguel A. Vegaquinones landed a three year sentence, a reduction in rank and a dishonorable discharge following his guilty plea "in the accidental shooting death of Pfc. Sean McCune".

Thursday saw the US military release 5 Iranian diplomats they'd held for over two years to Nouri al-Maliki who released them to the Iranian embassy. And that's when UNESCO released [PDF format warning] "FINAL REPORT on Damage Assessment in Babylon" about the damages to the historical archaeological site as a result of the US' decision to construct a base on the site, Camp Alpha, which was running from April 21, 2003 through December 22, 2004.

Those are not all the events and they're not even just all the key events. But for those who've been busy or dependent upon broadcast TV 'news,' that's some of the Iraq news from last week.
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