First we come to this story from Reuters:
The U.S. military said on Thursday Iraq was moving away from the risk of civil war and insurgent and sectarian bloodshed would fall dramatically when a new government of national unity is formed.
Attacks on civilians had jumped 90 percent across Iraq since a Shi’ite shrine was bombed in February, but “ethno-sectarian” bloodshed had more than halved in Baghdad in the past week, U.S. spokesman Major General Rick Lynch told a news conference.
“We are not seeing widespread militia operations across Iraq. We are not seeing widespread movement of displaced personnel,” he said. “So we do not see us moving toward a civil war in Iraq. In fact we see us moving away from it.”
Then we get this one from the AP:
A sister of Iraq’s new Sunni Arab vice president was killed Thursday in a drive-by shooting in Baghdad, a day after the politician called for the Sunni-dominated insurgency to be crushed by force.
In southern Iraq, a bomb hit an Italian military convoy, killing four soldiers — three Italians and a Romanian — and seriously injuring another passenger, officials in Rome said. The bomb struck the convoy near an Italian military base in Nasiriyah, a heavily Shiite city 200 miles southeast of Baghdad, said local Iraqi government spokesman Haidr Radhi.
Elsewhere, a U.S. jet fired two missiles at insurgent positions in Ramadi, U.S. officers said. Fighting also broke out northeast of Baghdad between Iraqi forces and insurgents, killing several Iraqi policemen and civilians.
They both paint a totally different picture on what is happening in Iraq. The first story really has me perplexed. Anyone associating Iraq with civil war was quickly criticized by the military and administration. Now it is fair game to use the term when they can do it in their favor.
The second story shows that things are truly still in turmoil and we don’t know what the future holds for the region. April is already the deadliest month of the year in Iraq for US forces, with 70 KIA reported. Things are not improving, just the stories are. This is what we can expect here with an election nearing.