Iraq - The new Wild Wild West

NY TImes article here here

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 10 - Armed men entered Baghdad’s municipal building during a blinding dust storm on Monday, deposed the city’s mayor and installed a member of Iraq’s most powerful Shiite militia.

But the war’s over! democracy has been lauched in Iraq! and Intelligent Design is a burning issue for our fearless leader hanging in Crawford again

If they wind up having a giant mechanical spider, I’m calling Will Smith.

On the Mad Max bridge, smoking is allowed only inside cupped palms; smoking in the open might attract snipers. Between silences and the sound of tobacco juice being spat, the huge black sky over the date palms and the minaret of the village mosque pushes the conversation far out beyond the gun trucks and the sand-filled barriers. On a long night watch, the darkness seems to level everything; it feels as if a soldier could be anyone, anywhere, in any time.

[i]Rodriguez: The Iraqi newspapers are saying there’s a giant spider in Fallujah that’s eating American marines. That and a pair of winged horses taking our guys away.

Krebbs: We need to decipher that shit if we want to understand these people and win this war. You have to understand that it’s all metaphor. Nobody’s that fuckin’ stupid.[/i]

Sorry, still on vacation but I couldn’t resist.

I have smith on speed dial. Selma is busy though.

You better get to him fast. This is one hungry spider.

WASHINGTON - The National Guard and Reserve suffered more combat deaths in Iraq during the first 10 days of August — at least 32, according to a Pentagon count — than in any full month of the entire war.

More broadly, Pentagon casualty reports show that the number of deaths among Guard and Reserve forces has been trending upward much of this year, totaling more than 100 since May 1. That ranks as the deadliest stretch of the war for the Guard and Reserve, whose members perform both combat and support missions.

There is little evidence to suggest that part-time troops are being specifically targeted by the insurgents, since the Guard and Reserve troops are mostly indistinguishable from — and interchangeable with — regular active-duty troops.