Memo to US LT General Ricardo Sanchez, occupation ground forces commander in Iraq: Don’t allow the Polish troops to get involved in any air defense, or even any air defense training. He would be wise to draw that lesson from an incident from last month recently uncovered by Zycie Warszawy; today’s update is entitled Su-22 w strefie razenia, or “Su-22 in in the Danger Zone.” (The Su-22 is a Soviet-developed attack aircraft, apparently the export version of what in the Russian Air Force is known as the Su-17. I’ve found a hobby enthusiast’s website about it here, if you’d like to look into this airplane more.) (more…)
The day has finally come! – and even passed! I mean the day when the Polish occupation sector in Iraq officially came under Polish command, obviously a crucial event for our “Poles in Iraq” series.
Fortunately, I grabbed the relevant URLs while I still was in the US, so that I can still access the articles in the Polish press even if they are a day or two old. And now I am back at home-base in Amsterdam and can check out what they say.
Interestingly, the best account of the hand-over ceremony – and the issues surrounding the start of the Polish command – I find in the Krakow-based Dziennik Polski, in the article which appeared a few days ago entitled W Wiezy Babel, or “In the Tower of Babel.” As we will see, that reference to Babel is not just some headline-writer’s facile trick, taking advantage of the fact that this is all taking place in the area where the original Tower of Babel was said to have been built, but actually has some present-day relevance as well. (more…)
That bomb-blast in Baghdad that killed UN special envoy to Iraq Sergio Vieira de Mello also tolled an early end to this summer’s “silly season,” i.e. the period when nothing much of note happens. (Not that we had much of a “silly season” anyway, what with the thousands of abandoned elderly in France – and elsewhere – dying of the extreme heat at the beginning of August, an occurrence covered in EuroSavant here.) That blast brought into sharp relief the question: What to do about Iraq? Riding this theme in the typical €S way, yesterday I presented some reporting and commentary on that question from out of the Dutch press, and today I turn to the German. (more…)