Yup. That “Surge” sure is working-
Anxiety Rises Over Vulnerable Housing In Iraqi Green Zone
By Sholnn Freeman, Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 8, 2008; Page A08
BAGHDAD, April 7 — A little after sunrise on Easter Sunday, a mortar shell or rocket crashed into Paul Converse’s trailer inside the Green Zone, the rigorously defended seat of U.S. power in Iraq. Converse, who once told his brother he felt safer in Iraq than on American freeways, died the next day.
Converse’s death has underscored the vulnerability of housing facilities in the Green Zone to artillery and missile attack, spreading fear among thousands of security contractors, interpreters, American soldiers and embassy personnel.
A 56-year-old government auditor, Converse was the first of four Americans to die in Green Zone shelling in the past two weeks. Four days after Converse’s death, Mazin Zwayne, a 62-year-old American civilian working for the Defense Department, was killed in a shelling attack. On Monday, shells killed two American soldiers and wounded 17 others. It is so far unclear whether the others were also killed in trailers, in part because the U.S. Embassy, citing security concerns, generally refuses to give details of where shells and rockets hit.
Crackdown on Militias May Add to Instability in Iraq
By JAMES GLANZ and STEPHEN FARRELL, The New York Times
Published: April 8, 2008
BAGHDAD – A crackdown on the Mahdi Army militia is creating potentially destabilizing political and military tensions in Iraq, pitting a stronger government alliance against the force that has won past showdowns: the street power wielded by the radical cleric Moktada al-Sadr.
But the badly coordinated push into Basra has unleashed a new barrage of attacks on American and Iraqi forces and has led to open fighting between Shiite militias.
Figures compiled by the American military showed that attacks specifically on military targets in Baghdad more than tripled in March, one of many indications that violence has begun to rise again after months of gains in the wake of an American troop increase. Overall attacks on Baghdad more than doubled, to 631 in March from 239 in February, reflecting new strikes against the Green Zone, the fortified headquarters for Iraqi and American officials, as well as renewed fighting in Sadr City between the Mahdi Army and American and Iraqi forces.
So let’s bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran-
Next Hot Topic In U.S. Campaign: The Iran Question
Sharp Differences In Viewpoints Echo Discord on Iraq Issue
By YOCHI J. DREAZEN and LAURA MECKLER, The Wall Street Journal
April 8, 2008; Page A3
WASHINGTON — Iran might end up sharing center stage when Gen. David Petraeus and the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, testify Tuesday before Senate panels featuring the three presidential candidates.
Iran is emerging as a hot-button campaign issue, with the candidates differing sharply on what approach to take toward Tehran and its hard-line leadership. Likely Republican nominee John McCain, who has been delivering warnings on Iran, told reporters ahead of the hearing, “I think you’re going to hear more about the Iranian influence, the arms they’ve provided, the money, the training, particularly the extent of their influence in southern Iraq. It’s pretty extensive, and I think he’s going to be talking about that.”
The three candidates differ over Iraq, but the disagreements about Iran are just as striking. Sen. Barack Obama has offered to negotiate with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions. His rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton, has described Iran as a threat to U.S. interests across the region and voted in favor of labeling Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist force. Sen. McCain favors tough sanctions against Iran and has hinted that he would use force to prevent the country from acquiring nuclear weapons.