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Iraq: From bad to worse

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Dr.Gonzo+Apr 6 2004, 10:24 AM-->
    QUOTE (Dr.Gonzo @ Apr 6 2004, 10:24 AM)
    Originally posted by [email protected] 6 2004, 10:23 AM

  • #17
    But Reg, isn't it legitimate, at this stage, to ask the question, WTF are we doing there?
    You know the answer. They certainly fucked up the postwar planning, but the reasons why we went in are pretty clear. You may not care for them, but there they are, and here we are.


    • #18
      It's called the Bush Doctrine. The buck stops with him to make it work, no matter how much you wish to deflect responsibility.
      I don't have any problem with that. He's the man in charge; he gets the credit and he gets the blame. So far, there's been a pretty good share of both.


      • #19

        Wrong on budget management! Wrong on War Priorities!


        • #20
          Originally posted by Trigfunctions+Apr 6 2004, 10:24 AM-->
          QUOTE (Trigfunctions @ Apr 6 2004, 10:24 AM)

        • #21
          Originally posted by Iowa_Card@Apr 6 2004, 10:29 AM

          Wrong on budget management! Wrong on War Priorities!

          Has done a lot of fucking up, but he's still more popular than Kerry. What does that tell you about the best the democrats have to offer?
          Asked what he would do differently in Iraq, Kerry said, "Right now, what I would do differently is, I mean, look, I'm not the president, and I didn't create this mess so I don't want to acknowledge a mistake that I haven't made."


          • #22
            Originally posted by dvyyyyyy+Apr 6 2004, 09:25 AM-->
            QUOTE (dvyyyyyy @ Apr 6 2004, 09:25 AM)

          • #23
            Originally posted by BurnKU+Apr 6 2004, 10:29 AM-->
            QUOTE (BurnKU @ Apr 6 2004, 10:29 AM)

          • #24
            Originally posted by BurnKU+Apr 6 2004, 10:29 AM-->
            QUOTE (BurnKU @ Apr 6 2004, 10:29 AM)
            Originally posted by [email protected] 6 2004, 10:24 AM

          • #25
            Originally posted by BurnKU+Apr 6 2004, 10:30 AM-->
            QUOTE (BurnKU @ Apr 6 2004, 10:30 AM)

          • #26
            Originally posted by dvyyyyyy+Apr 6 2004, 10:32 AM-->
            QUOTE (dvyyyyyy @ Apr 6 2004, 10:32 AM)
            Originally posted by [email protected] 6 2004, 10:29 AM
            Originally posted by [email protected] 6 2004, 10:24 AM

          • #27
            Originally posted by lazydaze+Apr 6 2004, 10:31 AM-->
            QUOTE (lazydaze @ Apr 6 2004, 10:31 AM)
            Originally posted by [email protected] 6 2004, 09:25 AM

          • #28
            Originally posted by Iowa_Card+Apr 6 2004, 10:33 AM-->
            QUOTE (Iowa_Card @ Apr 6 2004, 10:33 AM)
            Originally posted by [email protected] 6 2004, 10:30 AM

          • #29
            Thought it was relevant, not an aha. I agree more troops could have been necessary, but I am not sure. It seems the strategy was to stay out of the way for the most part. Not sure if that is sound.

            Rumsfeld Backs More Iraq Troops if Needed

            WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld (search) said Tuesday that American military commanders in Iraq will get additional troops if they request more soldiers to fight a growing Shiite uprising.

            Commanders are studying ways they might increase troops in Iraq if should violence spread much more widely, a senior officer said Monday.

            Generals believe they have enough forces to handle the attacks that have been coming from various quarters, including the recent violence by a Shiite militia group. But they want to know what is available if the situation gets worse, said the officer, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.

            Rumsfeld, at an appearance in Norfolk, Va., said that he and President Bush frequently ask commanders in Iraq if they need more troops. He said commanders on the scene, including Gen. John Abizaid (search), the head of U.S. Central Command (search), are constantly reviewing the situation.

            "They are the ones whose advice we follow on these things," Rumsfeld said during the appearance in Norfolk with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

            "They will decide what they need, and they will get what they need," Rumsfeld said.

            At the moment, about 135,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq — "an unusually high level," Rumsfeld said. American officials had expected to go down to about 115,000 troops when a series of rotations of new troops into and older troops out of the country was complete, Rumsfeld said.

            "The commanders are using the excess forces that happen to be in there because of the deployment process," Rumsfeld said.

            Rumsfeld said there is a possibility that NATO will help in Iraq. The alliance has a peacekeeping force of 6,500 in Afghanistan and is expanding its work there.

            "I suspect we'll see, would be delighted to see, NATO take a larger role ... in Afghanistan, then Iraq," Rumsfeld said.

            Un-Official Sponsor of Randy Choate and Kevin Siegrist


            • #30
              The battle the US wants to provoke

              Bremer is deliberately pushing Iraq's Shia south into all-out chaos

              Naomi Klein in Baghdad
              Tuesday April 6, 2004
              The Guardian

              I heard the sound of freedom in Baghdad's Firdos Square, the famous plaza where the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled one year ago. It sounds like machine-gun fire.
              On Sunday, Iraqi soldiers, trained and controlled by coalition forces, opened fire on a demonstration here. As the protesters returned to their homes in the poor neighbourhood of Sadr City, the US army followed with tanks, helicopters and planes, firing at random on homes, shops, streets, even ambulances. According to local hospitals, 47 people were killed and many more injured. In Najaf, the day was also bloody: 20 demonstrators dead, more than 150 injured.

              In Sadr City yesterday, funeral marches passed by US military tanks and the hospitals were overflowing with the injured. By afternoon, clashes had resumed.

              Make no mistake: this is not the "civil war" that Washington has been predicting will break out between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds. Rather, it is a war provoked by the US occupation authority and waged by its forces against the growing number of Shia who support Moqtada al-Sadr.

              Sadr is the younger, more radical rival of the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and portrayed by his supporters as a cross between Ayatollah Khomeini and Che Guevara. He blames the US for attacks on civilians; compares the US occupation chief, Paul Bremer, to Saddam Hussein; aligns himself with Hamas and Hizbullah; and has called for a jihad against the controversial interim constitution. His Iraq might look a lot like Iran.

              And it's a message with a market. With Sistani concentrating on lobbying the UN rather than on confronting the US-led occupation, many Shia are turning to the more militant tactics preached by Sadr. Some have joined the Mahdi, his black-clad army, which claims hundreds of thousands of members.

              At first, Bremer responded to Sadr's growing strength by ignoring him; now he is attempting to provoke him into all-out battle. The trouble began when he closed down Sadr's newspaper last week, sparking a wave of peaceful demonstrations. On Saturday, Bremer raised the stakes further by sending coalition forces to surround Sadr's house near Najaf and arrest his communications officer.

              Predictably, the arrest sparked immediate protests in Baghdad, which the Iraqi army responded to by opening fire and allegedly killing three people. At the end of the day on Sunday, Sadr called on his supporters to stop staging demonstrations and urged them to employ unnamed "other ways" to resist the occupation - a statement many interpreted as a call to arms.

              On the surface, this chain of events is mystifying. With the so-called Sunni triangle in flames after the gruesome Falluja attacks, why is Bremer pushing the comparatively calm Shia south into battle?

              Here's one possible answer: Washington has given up on its plans to hand over power to an interim Iraqi government on June 30, and is creating the chaos it needs to declare the handover impossible. A continued occupation will be bad news for George Bush on the campaign trail, but not as bad as if the hand-over happens and the country erupts, an increasingly likely scenario given the widespread rejection of the legitimacy of the interim constitution and the US- appointed governing council.

              But by sending the new Iraqi army to fire on the people they are supposed to be protecting, Bremer has destroyed what slim hope they had of gaining credibility with an already highly mistrustful population. On Sunday, before storming the unarmed demonstrators, the soldiers could be seen pulling on ski masks, so they would not be recognised in their neighbourhoods later.

              The coalition provisional authority is increasingly being compared on the streets to Saddam, who also didn't much like peaceful protests, or critical newspapers.

              In an interview yesterday, Iraq's minister of communication, Haider al-Abadi, blasted the act that started the current wave of violence: the closing of Sadr's newspaper, al-Hawzah. Abadi, who is supposedly in charge of media in Iraq, says he was not even informed of the plan. Meanwhile, the man at the centre of it all - Moqtada al-Sadr - is having his hero status amplified by the hour.

              On Sunday, all these explosive forces came together when thousands of demonstrators filled Firdos Square. On one side of the plaza, a couple of kids climbed to the top of a building and took a knife to a billboard advertising Iraq's new army. On the other side, US forces pointed tanks at the crowd while a loudspeaker told them that "demonstrations are an important part of democracy but blocking traffic will not be permitted".

              At the front of the square was the statue that the Americans put up in place of the toppled one of Saddam. Its faceless figures are supposed to represent the liberation of the Iraqi people. Today they are plastered with photographs of Moqtada al-Sadr
              2005 Mandatory Loyalty Oath: I love America, our troops, baseball, Moms, and certain pies. I want no harm to come to any of those institutions, nor do I take any glee in their demise.


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