After having read the simple and chilling posts in Thoughts From Baghdad, I looked out at my daughter playing in the yard. She got on her bike and rode off down little side street which the huge pickups and SUV's too often speed down. Across the way, my neighbor, a Normandy vet, mowed, displaying the perpetual and inscrutable grin he wears while he works on his lushly planted shady acre. My daughter returned, let the bike fall and tried throwing her homemade boomerang. A stray cat screeched and came flying down a tree, birds squawking at it from the leaves overhead. I thought of Fatima, walking to the store with her 10 month old, deciding which way to go safely; furtively photographing her neighbors razor wire fence, fearing her camera would make her a target either as a foreigner or someone wealthy enough for kidnapping; not daring to stop and chat in the street. Small world, huh?What that more of us could slow down long enought to make connections like these.
AS SURE AS NIGHT FOLLOWS DAYA long anticipated security crackdown in bloody Baghdad is underway.
About 50,000 Iraqi security forces and 7,200 U.S.-led troops are now deployed across the city and have set up checkpoints.
I would like to be wrong, but this operation is too little too late. There will be running clashes between Sunni rebels and the security forces. Lots of people will get killed and hurt. Sooner or later the commanders will declare that there is a semblance of order and order troop withdrawals. And as sure as night follows day, anarchy will again descend upon the capital.The time to insure that Baghdad was safe and stayed that way was at the outset of the occupation, not three years later when the inmates are running the asylum and have no intention of relinquishing control.
A GRIM MILESTONEThe Pentagon has confirmed that 2,500 U.S. troops have died in the Iraq war since it began more than three years ago.
There have been 1,972 service members killed in action in Iraq, and another 528 died from other non-hostile causes. There also have been 18,490 troops wounded in action, including 8,501 who did not return to duty.