Morning Report: May 23, 2005

Wolf Brigades score victories; Iraqis suffer losses. Iraq's elite Wolf Brigades struck a blow to terrorism, according to Iraq the Model: 'According to Al-Iraqia TV, the Wolf brigade's intelligence elements successfully infiltrated the terrorist groups in the Abu Ghraib region and the information gathered this way paved the way for the latest operation which was done in two waves; the 1st raid was accomplished yesterday while the 2nd one started at 5 in the morning today and has just ended as Al-Iraqia reporter at the scene in Abu Ghraib said. The successful raids which represent the largest operation performed by Iraqi forces so far had resulted in arresting 450 suspected terrorists. The brigade depended mainly on its intelligence personnel who recognized the suspects' faces and pointed them out one by one. The Wolf brigade did almost all the job with the multinational forces providing backup when needed. Among the detainees was an "Amir" i.e. someone who beheaded at least 10 Iraqis. Also it's believed that the terrorist who lead the latest large attack on the prison in Abu Ghraib was also among those detained. Abu Ghraib area has a special significance in the plans of terrorist groups and it's the joint between Baghdad and Anbar province (which includes Ramadi, Fallujah and Qa'im). This area hasn't tasted peace since the terrorists began their operations against Iraqis and coalition troops two years ago. The area also hosts one of the biggest camps of the former Iraqi army; a factor that made it easy for terrorists to possess weapons and ammunition. The raids ran smoothly and were clearly very well planned and implemented as no casualties happened among the soldiers of the Wolf brigade.' On Monday, four people were killed in a bomb attack apparently targeting security forces, Fox News reports. (ITM, Fox)

Belmont Club on Galloway: Style vs. substance. Most who observed British MP George Galloway's performance before the US Senate found Galloway's presentation impressive. Wretchard at The Belmont Club is more interested in what was asked and answered during Galloway's 47 minutes of fame: 'The really striking thing about the Galloway's testimony as transcribed by the Information Clearing House is how the Senators and the Member of Parliament for Bethnal Green and Bow were pursuing a non-collision course. Galloway had come to score press and public relations points at which, by all accounts, he was successful at doing. But Senator Coleman and Levin seemed totally uninterested in responding to Galloway's sharp political jibes. It was almost as if the Senators were deaf to his political posturing. Instead, they focused exclusively and repeatedly on two things: Galloway's relationship with Fawaz Zureikat and Tariq Aziz. Zureikat was a board member of Galloway's Mariam foundation who is also implicated in the Oil For Food deals. Tariq Aziz was Saddam's vice president. ...' In light of the Senators' utter indifference to Galloway's provocations, and the curious disappearance of his testimony from the Senate Committee's website, Wretchard concludes: 'The Senators were building a causal bridge to something, but to what? I am in no position to say, but will guess that Galloway's testimony and its disappearance from the Senate website can only be understood in the context of what Coleman and Levin were trying to achieve. My own sense is that the investigations are cautiously nearing far bigger game than George Galloway; but that his evidence or his refusal to give it is somehow crucial to achieving this larger goal. ...' Read the full article at the link. (Belmont Club)

Kuwaiti women get the vote. Morning Report belatedly notes this important May 16 news item: 'Kuwaiti lawmakers approved political rights for women Monday, clearing the way for females to participate in parliamentary elections for the first time in the Gulf nation’s history.' Nadz offers this analysis: 'And it's about time, too. The activism and hard work of Kuwaiti women has finally paid off - although as always, there's a catch: "fundamentalist Muslims included a requirement that any female politician or voter abide by Islamic law" So what does that mean, exactly? "Abide by Islamic law" could mean many things, from separate polling stations to women being told who to vote for by their husbands. You can be guaranteed that the conservatives will use this to restrict female voters as much as possible. It will take more action by Kuwaiti feminists to stop them. But there's no doubt that this is a clear step forward, and should serve as a reminder that there is much more to be done.' Nadz also writes about some important Arab/Muslim women: Nawal al Saadawi, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Amina Wadud, Hind al-Hinnawy, Irshad Manji, and Mukhtiar Mai. Read her post, and follow the links there for more information. And don't miss the current posts at Nadz Online. (MSNBC, Nadz Online)