The LA Times says that violence is down to a 4-year low in Iraq, which is obviously good news. Nevertheless, approximately 300 violent incidents were recorded last week. Obviously there’s still more work to be done there, which is why it’s important that the people who can make sure it happens – American troops – be allowed to stay there. Not a happy thing to write on Memorial Day, I realize.
The announcement appeared aimed at allaying fears that an uprising by militiamen loyal to radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr could unravel security gains since 28,500 additional American troops were deployed in Iraq in a buildup that reached its height in June.
U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker was quoted in wire service reports as saying Saturday that Al Qaeda in Iraq, a mostly homegrown militant group that American officials say is foreign-led, has "never been closer to defeat than they are now."
Driscoll agreed at a news conference that "they certainly are off-balance and on the run." But he cautioned that the group remained a "very lethal threat."
In fact, an unidentified group of "insurgents" broken up by military operations was found to have been training teenagers in Mosul to carry out suicide attacks.
The insurgents had threatened to kill the boys or their families if they refused to obey, Kamal said, adding that the group included the son of a female physician, the son of a college professor and four who belonged to families of poor vendors.
"They were trained how to carry out suicide attacks with explosive belts and a date was fixed for each one of them," he said.
Are we really supposed to leave Iraq to the likes of these killers?