190,000 Guns Go Missing in Iraq

Juan Cole: The Bush Administration is clueless as to where 190,000 machine guns and pistols went, and believe it or not, that may be one of their smaller problems in Iraq right now.
This post, written by Juan Cole, originally appeared on Informed Comment

Republican candidates on Iraq Sunday:
"They are making progress, and we are winning on the ground," said Senator John McCain of Arizona. "We must win. And we will not set a date for surrender, as the Democrats want us to do." . .
"The reality is that you do not achieve peace through weakness and appeasement," said Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York. . .
Mr. Romney said: "I think we're pretty much in the same place. It is critical for us to win this conflict. It is essential, and that's why we're going to continue to pursue this effort."
Could they please define "win this conflict"? What would that look like? Whose ox would they gore to achieve it? How exactly would they pull it off?

A suicide bomber hit a Shiite neighborhood in the northern Turkmen city of Tal Afar Monday morning. Initial reports gave the death toll as 25 and the wounded as 22, but the tolls are expected to rise.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani denied that Iran is supporting Shiite militias in Iraq, saying that the idea was probably based on old intelligence.

Juan Cole teaches Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan and is author of the forthcoming "Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East."
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