Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Good news, bad news

The Good News

FALLUJAH, Iraq -- Clean water should flow to 80 percent of Fallujah's homes this fall, and by summer's end a planned wireless network will provide phone service and Internet access to thousands, a technological leap unimaginable just months ago.
The Los Angeles Times:
Rather than gauge success by blocks cleared, military officials here take heart from softer measurements — neighborhoods that have become safe enough for garbage collection to have resumed, stores that have reopened.

"When we did Fallouja, everything shut down," said Army Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, the chief spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq. "In Ramadi, it is the exact opposite. Shops are opening up and commerce is increasing."

With both Al Qaeda and Sunni nationalist groups intent on asserting influence over Ramadi, the military cannot afford to draw down its forces in the city.

"The trap lines, the foreign fighter flow from Syria to Baghdad, goes right through Ramadi," Caldwell said.

Yet, the seemingly fragile Iraqi government would be unlikely to allow a Fallouja-style assault, particularly in Ramadi, which has 400,000 residents.
The Bad News

The Los Angeles Times:
"The security has deteriorated in a serious and unprecedented way," Kurdish lawmaker Saadi Barzanji said in a televised session of parliament, which convened Tuesday in Baghdad's heavily protected Green Zone. "The security plan has proved to be a failure."

Much of Tuesday's violence was centered in the poor, religiously mixed neighborhoods of south and southwest Baghdad, including the troubled Dora district, already under extra security and a dusk-to-dawn curfew.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I think that garbage collection is a pretty good, if novel, metric. It bears on safety and quality of life.

3:23 PM  

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