Good news: Truck bomb detonated near Iraq's rickety dam

Yeah, that dam. The one ready to unleash a Biblical flood on Mosul and Baghdad and wipe out every last bit of momentum Petraeus has developed. Along with 500,000 people, incidentally.

I’m surprised it took them this long to come after it.

A truck packed with explosives blew up on Monday close to Iraq’s largest dam, partly destroying the main access bridge and killing a policeman, police said.

The blast caused no damage to the Mosul Dam itself, which U.S. Army engineers have previously warned is poorly constructed and in danger of imminent collapse.

An engineer at the dam, Abdul-Khalaq Dhanoon, said a section of the 250-metre long metal bridge, which is about 1 kilometre from the dam, had been destroyed in the explosion…

Jubouri said the bomber parked his truck near the bridge, telling police that it had broken down and that he need to fetch a tow truck. Shortly after he left the scene it detonated.

Maybe they weren’t targeting the dam? Seems like too much of a coincidence for them not to be, but if the goal was to take it down then why not barrel full speed at the bridge and try to get as close as you can to the structure before you’re taken out? This looks more like a shot across the bow, although the enemy isn’t in the habit of giving those so it can’t be that.

Speaking of disasters, read this interview with Basra’s new police chief about what the Brits and their “soft touch” approach in southern Iraq have left him with: “They left me militia, they left me gangsters, and they left me all the troubles in the world.” To date, he’s survived 20 assassination attempts. There was some dispute last month over whether Basra had quieted down or whether it was in fact decaying into an Islamist gangland. The answer appears to be both: Attacks on the British are down thanks to a brokered ceasefire by which the militias agreed to let them be if they withdrew from the city. That was the logical solution since they didn’t have enough troops to pacify the city anyway, and since they don’t have enough troops to restore order it’ll be equally logical for them to withdraw from the country entirely. Such is the propaganda victory for the Shiites that even Zawahiri is trying to leverage it as some sort of pan-Islamist triumph. Some on the left touted the “quiet” in Basra as evidence that following the Brits’ example and withdrawing from our own areas is the quickest way to “quieting” the rest of the country. How does that look today, especially with Sadr trying to consolidate his power anew?

Update: Patrick Lasswell puts a damper on my vision of Biblical catastrophe. He says he’s sorry to do it, but I don’t think he is.