) An Iranian diplomat was seized by men carrying Iraqi Defense Ministry identification. (Defense Ministry may mean Sunni, but who knows?) A second car involved was stopped, but the other car with the diplomat got away.
At this point, the Iraqis themselves are unsure whether the men still work for the Defense Ministry or whether this was a government operation, amilitia/insurgent operation or both.
) "One Iraqi government official also said the diplomat was detained Sunday by a special Iraqi army unit that reports directly to the U.S. military. But a military spokesman denied any U.S. troops or Iraqis that report to them were involved."Also
, we're getting more "information" on the Sadr aide killed in Diyala on Sunday. The US maintained that Khazim al-Hamdani had gone rogue from Sadr's movement, but a Sadr spokesman says that isn't true.In the NYTimes today
, the US claims that he had been supplying information on other militia bombers with the intention of lowering US-Mahdi conflict. (In a statement Sunday
, the US military said he was responsible for attacks on US troops and "kidnappings and assassinations.")
The Iraqi police report says he was shot trying to flee, but Sadr's people say he was bayonetted
. So, which faction dominated the unit that killed him, Sunni, Shia? Sadr's faction? Another Shia faction?
(Another local Sadr leader was killed
in a driveby shooting. Who was behind that? Are we seeing another Shia militia taking advantage of Sadr's militia being off the streets?)And
, do we know what happened to the five soldiers killed in Karbala yet? Do we know who was behind that?My point
in all this is that we have no idea what is happening day to day even on the level of fairly basic events. Who is on what side? Where the Iraqi government forces end and militias/insurgents begin?
US forces are trapped in this hideously complex political-war environment far more difficult than Vietnam's Vietcong/civilian distinction. Tribalism, sectarianism, factionalism, local militia group, shifting loyalties..... Who the hell are American soldiers supposed to shoot at?
Anyone that shoots at them? That's hardly a way to win a war no matter how many troops you "surge."
) "Also on Monday, the United States military reported that two American soldiers had been killed the day before."