I was going to write a long post on withdrawing from Iraq, on Biden and Bush stealing others thunder, on Allawi saying Iraq is worse than under Saddam and such...then discovered The Heretik has done it all better in two posts than I could hope to.
Go read "Blind Faith" and "The Biden 2005". You'll be glad you did.
Today, though, there is one really nasty bit of news I wanted to draw your attention to. From the UK's rightwing Daily Telegraph comesthis story:
A "trophy" video appearing to show security guards in Baghdad randomly shooting Iraqi civilians has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the internet, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
...The video, which first appeared on a website that has been linked unofficially to Aegis Defence Services, contained four separate clips, in which security guards open fire with automatic rifles at civilian cars. All of the shooting incidents apparently took place on "route Irish", a road that links the airport to Baghdad.
Contrast this with claims reported in the WaPo at the start of the month that Route Irish was now the safest road in Iraq. I said at the time that was crap. Now there's confirmation - it certainly isn't the safest for innocent Iraqis, it seems.
This story also raises questions about private security companies - which neither the US or the UK have immediate control over - and their role in the fiasco that is the "hearts and minds" program in Iraq. With obviously Western gunmen shooting up civilians willy-nilly, its almost inevitable that at least a portion of the antagonism felt by Iraqis to the occupation is down to these security companies. The leap from Westerner in camos and Hummer with machine gun to US or UK troops is almost certainly an easy one to make for those being shot at or with dead relatives.
So I've a couple of questions.
Will the rightwing rabid dogs who castigate those who want to withdraw as coward be just as harsh on these gung-ho mercenaries who have done so much to make withdrawal a neccessity or will they make apologies for them while secretly thinking that the only good moslem is a dead moslem?
And, when the US and UK forces finally do announce a detailled withdrawal plan, can they make a clear undertaking to take these privatised, market-forces murderers-for-profit with them?