Back to Poland, and on the news front there’s still little to report concerning the current deployment of Polish troops to the Middle East for eventual duty in the Polish security sector in Iraq. What I find today I find in Gazeta Wyborcza (and I confess that not everything cited here is dated 7 August). There’s this news item about further troops flying out: About 250 soldiers this time, of the Tenth Mechanized Battalion, flying out of Wroclaw, their commander proudly mentions that they’ve been well-trained for their mission, starting from the end of last year, peace-keeping, building-searching, convoy-running, yada yada. Much better is this: Been wondering exactly where the Polish sector in Iraq is going to be? Then check out this dynamite map on Gazeta Wyborcza‘s site (in .jpg format, and of course with accompanying Polish text). Looks like they drew the short straw: Their area straddles the Tigris and Euphrates just south of Baghdad, and includes such past trouble-spots as Karbala, Najaf, and al-Hilla. Well wait a second, this is in the mostly Shiite region, and I do believe that the Shiites have become more cooperative with the occupation lately, at least to some extent. (See my recent reporting from the German press about the plum cabinet jobs Shiite politicians are being assigned by the Governing Council.) Most violent trouble these days – or at least most reported trouble – seems to come from Baghdad and the “Sunni triangle” further north, places like Tikrit and around al-Fallujah.
If the news side is still sparse, on the commentary side we’ve hit the mother lode with Maciej Letowski’s piece for Gazeta Wyborcza entitled Nikt nie rodzi sie zolnierzem, or “Nobody Is Born a Soldier.” (more…)