May 16 Fighting in Diwaniyah, 8 civilians wounded, one soldier and one policemam (Reuters)
May 17 Three civilians killed and four wounded in clashes between militia and security forces (Iraqslogger)
May 18 Three Iraqi security forces from a army-police "emergency contingent" wounded by "gunmen" (Iraqslogger)
May 19 Latvian Defence Minister Atis Slakteris visits our troops in Diwaniyah(Delfi)
May 20 Another IED attack near Diwaniyah. One US soldier killed, two wounded (BBC)
May 25 Three offduty Iraqi soldier killed in Diwaniyah (Reuters)
May 30 IED kills two and wounds two police (Telegraph)
On the one hand its now summer and just too damn hot for casual insurgents, but on the other hand the Iraqi security forces appear to have got their act together, which is a quite remarkable development. I opined it would take a fresh elite Iraqi brigade to secure the place after the US surge left, and from the reports above it appears that some kind of Iraqi force ("emergency contingent") has been put into place, and so far getting the job done. The mainstream media of course completely fails to report this, happily reporting casualties and fighting while refusing to them in any perspective.
Good news is no news, right CNN/Reuters/AP?
In other news which the MSM does report : There are reports in the Arab press that the Americans are threatening by helicopter dropped pamphlets to build a base in the center of Diwaniyah (Iraqslogger), though that whole story sounds pretty damn unlikely. It is now widely reported that opium poppies ares being grown ino the fields around Diwaniyah (The Independent among others). Iraqslogger gleefully reports that "Shi'a Rivalries Succeed Where Al-Qa'ida Fails", which gives some idea of the can of worms we opened by invading Iraq. The WaPo explains that "Iraq's Sadr Overhauls His Tactics".
Last word today to one of the neocons (that is to say one of the idiots who got us into this mess) Frederick Kagan: in this article he mentions Diwaniyah and has met the local Iraqi army commander :
On a recent trip to Iraq, I saw the human stakes in this struggle. I spoke with the commander of the 8th Iraqi Army Division in Diwaniyah, Major General Othman. He is a Shia, commanding a heavily Shia unit in an entirely Shia area. I asked him what was the most serious challenge he faced. He answered at once: Shia militias. General Othman stands strongly for an Iraq ruled by law, in which the government holds a monopoly on the use of force, and in which Sunni and Shia are treated equally. He has put his beliefs to the test of battle. When he saw that members of Moktada al-Sadr's Shia militia, the Mahdi Army, had taken control of the city of Diwaniyah, he conducted a large-scale clearing operation with the help of American forces and drove them out. General Othman now holds Diwaniyah, where the people can breathe free again, subject neither to that militia nor to any other. There is no turning back for General Othman. The Mahdi Army is determined to kill him and his family, and they will do so if we do not continue to support him. The life of this decent man is in our hands.Good luck General Othman, you gonna need it.