Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Good News is the Bad News

[posted by Callimachus]

Sometimes you can be a liberator, greeted with roses ...

Private Goings, the gunner in the Humvee I rode in, threw one box of cookies after another. Kids and their parents received them ecstatically. We did this all morning, for four hours. Aside from a 20 minute dismounted patrol near a palm grove, all we did was drive around and throw cookies.

... and it's not necessarily good news:

American soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division shared the small outpost with Iraqi Army soldiers who lived, worked, and slept in the building next door.

“You mean the Iraqi Army unit here has been infiltrated?” I said.

He nodded grimly and took a pull from his cigarette.

"That's a bad reason for us not to be mortared," I said.

"Yeah," he said and laughed. It was obvious, though, that he did not think it was funny.

“How do you know this?” I said.

“Heard it from intel,” he said. “Getting information out of them is like pulling teeth, but sometimes they say stuff.”

Michael J. Totten -- who depends on your contributions to do this -- has put up one of his best pieces yet. Baghdad is -- this will surprise you if you only read the newspapers -- a wickedly complicated society.