April 14, 2008

In related news, JAM announces 1,300 new recruits

Yes, Abu Muqawama understands the usual blogging thing means he reads an article in the news he thinks is important and then provides some commentary, but in this case, Abu Muqawama isn't sure what to make of this news:

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi government has dismissed 1,300 soldiers and policemen who deserted or refused to fight during last month’s Shiite-on-Shiite battles in Basra, it said Sunday.

The announcement followed the admission that more than 1,000 members of the security forces had laid down their weapons during the fight, which Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki characterized as a campaign to restore law and order to Basra, a strategic and oil-rich southern city.

Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said 500 soldiers and 421 policemen were fired in Basra, including 37 senior police officers up to the rank of brigadier general. Police officials said the remainder were fired in Kut.

“Some of them were sympathetic with these lawbreakers, some refused to battle for political or national or sectarian or religious reasons,” General Khalaf told The Associated Press in Basra.

So this is a good thing. Right? It's good the Iraqi government is holding people responsible. But Abu Muqawama's question is, where will these 1,300 guys go? Will they go work in the local mill? Or will they stomp off to go join JAM or another militia?