Monday, July 16, 2007

Updated: How Do We Measure Progress in Iraq?

More than two years ago, we were here:
That's what our de facto president said on Larry King's Live (20-Jun-05)

Here's where we were two weeks ago:
Joe Lieberman (29-Jul-07:
The enemy's on the run through the surge.Militarily it is working. The enemies that we face in Iraq are really being defeated and contained and being pushed...

Lindsey Graham (6-Jul-07)
The military part of the surge is working beyond my expectations. We literally have the enemy on the run. The Sunni part of Iraq has really rejected al-Qaida all over the country. We’re getting more information about al-Qaida operations than we’ve ever received.
Here's where we are today (11 July):

20 35 mortar rounds and Katyusha rockets struck the fortified Green Zone on Tuesday afternoon, killing an American service member and two other people in an attack on the heart of U.S. and Iraqi government facilities in the capital.

Those killed included an Iraqi and a person whose nationality was unknown, according to a statement released by the U.S. Embassy. About 18 people were injured, including two U.S. military personnel and three American contract employees.

The Green Zone, also known as the International Zone, is home to the U.S. and British embassies, Iraqi parliament and other foreign and Iraqi government offices. It covers about 4 square miles in central Baghdad on the west bank of the Tigris River.

A U.S. Embassy spokesman said he could not confirm whether the embassy was a target, and that the frequent attacks on the Green Zone are not a barometer of the security situation in the capital.
There's fire into the Green Zone virtually every day, so I can't draw any conclusions about the security situation based on that.
UPDATE (16-July-07): McClatchy Newspapers have punched through the Cheney-Bush cloak of secrecy.

State Department orders flak jackets in Baghdad's Green Zone

At least four mortar rounds hit inside the Green Zone about 1:30 p.m. Saturday, killing two Iraqi civilians, according to a U.S. soldier who could not speak for attribution because he's not authorized to talk to reporters.

But the really big news is the that dress code at the Blue Star restaurant inside Baghdad's Green Zone now calls for vest and hat. But that's Flak vest and Kevlar helmet, actually.

A State Department official, speaking without attribution, initially denying that State had ordered its 1,000 Baghdad personnel to wear protective gear. But he admit that a copy of the Department's order obtained by McClatchy Newspapers was an undiscussable security breach:
You're asking me to comment on an internal document? How did you get it? We don't talk to what our security posture is.
The embassy released its memo later on Saturday:
As a result of the recent increase of indirect fire attacks on the International Zone, outdoor movement is restricted to a minimum. Remain within a hardened structure to the maximum extent possible and strictly avoid congregating outdoors. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is mandatory until further notice. . . Public places that are not in a hardened structure - such as the Blue Star Restaurant - should be frequented only in conjunction with the use of your PPE.
Saturday's attack included a mortar round landed here in the Blue Star's compound. The blast severed a water line and the Internet cable. Another round hit where the compound's security chief resides.

Interestingly, while some 100 British embassy workers and about 55 United Nations personnel living in the Green Zone sleep in hardened housing, U.S. State Department personnel sleep in unprotected housing. Our unnamed State Department official declined to "characterize" this situation "as being a mixed message."

7 Moderated Comments:

Blogger DB Cooper said...

In four years of invasion and occupation, we still don't have secure ground transportation between the Green Zone and Baghdad International Airport? How many miles is that?

7/11/2007 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Commander Zaius said...

From Timesonline:

THE rare business traveller to Baghdad airport does not just walk out of departures and hail a cab to town. Waiting at the half-deserted airport will be a small convoy of armoured vehicles and Western gunmen to escort him on what has become indisputably the most expensive, dangerous taxi ride in the world.
The distance from the airport, on the southwestern edge of the capital, to the relative security of the coalition’s green zone compound in central Baghdad is only about 15 miles — but the fare is at least £2,750.

7/11/2007 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Question asked, and answered. Thanks, Beach!

7/11/2007 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Suzie-Q (S-Q) said...

Darth Dick Cheney is so evil he can't tell the truth!

7/11/2007 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Hmm, well, CNN is reporting that Al Qaeda is the strongest it's been since 9/11, so if we continue on the path we're on, 10 years from now won't look that much different than 2 years ago.

7/12/2007 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Sapo said...

Bush's lapdog seems to be yipping it up a lot these days.

Someone tell Bush to replace the muzzle.

Joe's making an ass of himself again.

7/12/2007 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Stella by Starlight said...

We measure progress as follows: today's dead Iraqi count: 975,610 and increasing. All for no reason.

"For the want of a nail, the shoe was lost; for the want of a shoe the horse was lost; and for the want of a horse the rider was lost, being overtaken and slain by the enemy, all for the want of care about a horseshoe nail."
~~Benjamin Franklin

I guess Rummy never read his history. Or just didn't care...

7/16/2007 06:10:00 PM  

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