Today’s comic mostly just keeps the story rolling more so than delivers any real jokes… but it is all the set-up for tomorrow, the final chapter. However, it does point out one facet of life that keeps getting lost in the talk about the extremist movements that operated in Iraq– they were as likely to be terrorizing the locals as they were trying to terrorize the allied forces– and many times, they considered local factions to be more important targets.
The Iraqis really just wanted all the foreigners to go away and leave them alone, and that went as much for the Arab/Muslim and other “freedom” forces that claimed to be working for them against foreign imperialists as it did for the “foreign imperialists”. Shi’a groups would charge in to terrorize Sunni groups, and Sunni groups would charge in to terrorize Shi’a, or Kurds, or whoever. Hakim has been pretty consistent in wanting foreign fighters to go away, but he has also had to face the fact that from time to time he needs to deal with them in whatever expeditious matter he can to maintain what peace he can find.
No sooner does a village get some sort of benefit from the allied forces, when a warlord or thug of some sort shows up and demands it all be handed over to “keep the peace”. Hopefully, though, with the arrival of the 213th Engineers they can reverse the situation.