I would have posted previously, but I’m in the very last stretch of my time here in theater. Our relieving unit is here, we’re packing up and leaving, and that means a lack of time to post.
Ashoura (the Shi’a commemoration of Hussein [the third Imam] dying) passed by uneventfully. I’m now at LSA Anaconda, getting some medical stuff taken care of (normal wear and tear, nothing major).
The same can’t be said about Karbala and Baghdad, where groups unknown seem to be trying to spark up a civil war. I am referring, of course, to the horrific attacks on the Shi’a mosques there, attacks that killed 143 and wounded hundreds more.
Hopefully, that won’t happen, but it’s hard to say. Iraqi on Iraqi violence seems to be increasing every day, and that can only spell trouble.
It doesn’t help that we’re shifting more of the security burden onto the Iraqis themselves. I still don’t think that they’re ready to assume such a large task by themselves right now, and it’s showing in the increase on attacks.
We can argue that the security situation has gotten better vis-a-vis American casualties, but I think that’s more a function of a decrease in our patrols and our presence outside our fortified compounds. If we’re hunkering down, then the only way the insurgents are going to inflict casualties upon us is (realistically) through indirect fire–mortars and the like.
Just a few thoughts. I’ll be back with a bit more later, when I get the chance. Wish me luck.