Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. This briefing is brought to you by Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended and Andrew Olmsted of Andrew Olmsted dot com.
- Operation Matador kicked off with massive airstrikes in the Qaim area and ended with a reported 125 dead insurgents and the militant stronghold cleared according to the U.S. government. Apparently, the enemy could not wait for US forces to launch Operation Matador, so they started without them.
- Following in her boss' footsteps, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice made a surprise visit to Iraq over the weekend, visiting U.S. troops and Iraqi leaders and asking Iraq's people to be patient with their new government as they attempt to defeat the insurgency. Rice also reassured the Iraqi government that the United States would remain until they were capable of fending for itself against the insurgents.
- Iraqi security forces, with help from the Shiite Muslim Badr Brigades militia, captured an Iraqi and four Palestinians who allegedly carried out a deadly Baghdad market bombing Thursday that killed at least 17 people.
Other Topics Today Include: more bodies in Baghdad; Operations Cobweb; Deuce Four in action; Al Qaeda in Iraq's organization; reconstruction highlights; Syrian interference in Iraq; continuing the state of emergency; Carnival of the Liberated; Saddam writes his memoirs.
REPORTS FROM THE FIELD
- Iraqi authorities discovered 38 bodies killed execution-style in three locations near Baghdad. The dead included members of the Iraqi bureaucracy, soldiers, truck drivers and soldiers, some of the many Iraqis the insurgents consider threats.
- The 1st Polish Brigade Combat Team, the 8th Iraqi Division, and the 19th Iraqi Brigade hit the terrorists in Wasit province with Operation Cobweb. Twenty-nine suspects rounded up, along with dozens of weapons and explosive materials. Also found were films of the murders of Iraqi Interior Ministry officials. Hat Tip: Mudville Gazette
- Michael Yon is embedded with Deuce Four and captures Iraq in a way that really highlights what our heroes are facing in Iraq. Thursday
in Mosul, he says, "We were surrounded by nine bombs (large artillery shells) all rigged to explode by radio control."
- MA Deuce Gunner has the doldrums - he's mostly almost not complaining, sort of - but realizes a lot of good has come from his deployment to Iraq. Amazing.
- Bill Roggio, of The Fourth Rail, got an opportunity to preview the organizational structure of Abu Massab al Zarqawi's Al Qaeda in Iraq.
RECONSTRUCTION & THE ECONOMY
- Here are some of this week's reconstruction highlights: The installation of water treatment units at four major power plants in Basrah nears completion. Work is 81 percent complete to rehabilitate the water and sewage treatment plant facilities serving rural, north-central Diyala Governorate. To ameliorate water shortages in Sadr City, Baghdad, a modern water treatment plant will be designed and constructed to increase the quantity and quality of potable water to the neighborhood.
- Work is continuing to prepare Iraq for accession to the World Trade Organization, which could happen as early as 2007. A total of 200,000 rodents have been collected in the past 30 days under a rodent control program supported by the MOA and USAID. USAID's basic education program is developing a television series to help Iraqi preschool children develop early childhood learning skills.
- Omar, at Iraq the Model, points to a Syrian official's involvement in smuggling ancient artifacts out of Iraq.
- The Iraqi government extended its state of emergency an additional 30 days in response to a spike in insurgent violence over the past two weeks.
- The latest Carnival of the Liberated is up at Dean's World.
THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE
- UK parliamentarian George Galloway is headed across the pond to defend himself from charges he profited from the UN Oil-for-Food program. Galloway is expected to insist that he defended Saddam Hussein as a great man from the conviction of his heart and not for any more venal reasons.
- Pundit Guy reports Saddam Hussein has begun writing his memoirs. There have been reports that Mr Hussein has been writing poetry in his jail cell.
- Simon Majak, a one of about 3600 Sudanese "Lost Boys" to come to America in 2000 and 2001 will join the Marine Corps to show his thanks to the country that saved his life.
- Do you have your GI Bracelet? Many military families fall into financial hardship when the breadwinner is injured or killed. The entire $5 purchase price of the GI Bracelet is donated to support our troops and their families! Please join us to give back to these brave people in their time of need.
- The troops are still there. So is the Winds of Change.NET consolidated directory of ways you can support the troops: American, Australian, British, Canadian & Polish. Anyone out there with more information, contact us!
- Don't forget Chief Wiggles' Toys for Iraq drive!
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