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stablizing Baghdad « Previous | |Next »
January 9, 2007

I see that Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stated that the Democrats would not give President Bush a "blank check" to continue the war in Iraq. Bush is now required to justify the spending on sending extra troops to Iraq. Congress should assert the principle of accountability and oversight. It has the authority to do so.

BushLeakA.jpg
Bill Leak

The news reports say the surge option (extra troop numbers of 20,000 to 30,000).The assumption is that a central reason for US failure to control Iraq was a lack of troops.It ignores the view that the Iraqis, like anyone else, do not like being occupied. So more US troops means more resistance.

The extra troops will open up a new front in Baghdad against the Shiite militia associated with the Iraqi Government headed by Nouri al-Maliki. The Iraqi Government is expected to help take on Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army in an attempt to clamp down on the sectarian war in Baghdad. It is a strategy to split the Shiites and isolate Moqtada al-Sadr to create a more moderate government. Presumably, the short-term surge to stablize Bagdhad could create a temporary window for the Shi'ite Iraqi forces to develop and take over and normalize the city. What if the Shiite Sadrists lie low while the US mops up the Sunni Arab guerrillas.

What does the new effort to stabilize Baghdad involve? Traditional, large-scale U.S. operations as well as nighttime raids by smaller, more mobile forces? The last time Moqtada al-Sadr's men fought the US, on two occasions in 2004, they lost a lot of militiamen but gained greatly in credibility in the eyes of Iraqis. Won't the new strategy likely result in an intra-Shia civil war in addition to Sunni-Shia war and the Sunni-US war.

So the US is now going to fight both the Sunni insurgents and the Shiite militia (ie., the Shiite Mahdi Army). Well, that strategy, which rejects the advice of the Baker-Hamilton review for a gradual withdrawal, should cause deep unease both in military and Congressional circles. What if the Sunni insurgents and the Shiite militia form a tactical alliance against the American occupation? I guess that's one way to reconcile the Sunni-led insurgents and their archenemies, the Shiite militias.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:15 AM | | Comments (7)
Comments

Comments

If George Bush manages to unite the warring factions in Baghdad then he'll have once again achieved the impossible. (He's already made Saddam's regime look like the golden years.)

it really amuses me that the American presidents seem to take on the role of the country....as though when elected they become the country... Bushians one and all....

wbb,
Bush's speech was pretty aggressive and it was more than the US attacking the Baghdad stronghold of the Shia cleric and militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr. Bush says:

These two regimes [Iran and Syria] are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

That extension of the conflict in Iraq into Iranian territory discloses what is really going on---the wider struggle for regional hegemony.

Shaymus,
that's an imperial presidency we have now in Washington now. America is empire. Bush defends empire. It is America's manifest destiny to reshape the world in its own image.

It's a heady brew.It means Washington is determined to keep US forces there for the long haul.

It will happen in our lifetime that oil becomes less of a commodity as technology advances towards economic alternatives.
Then it will be Catastrophe for a lot of countries in the region.

Taking on the Shiite militias now may be a good move if the real end point is an attack on Iran.

Everyone expects Iran to unleash the militias it controls in Iraq if it comes under US attack. So better to wipe them out now in relative calm than trying to do it during a hot war over the border.

It also explains why Bush, and now Cheney are talking up the nonsensical claims about Iran orchestrating the anti US, anti Iraqi government insurgency. It relies on most American's not understanding enough of the situation to ask why Iran would aid the mostly Sunni insurgents against its own Shiite proxies/sympathisers who make up the main group in the Iraqi government.

Of course this also means the Iraqi government will be the first casualty in the US/Iran war. So much for all the "democracy" BS.

Ian,
This paragraph is from an op-ed by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad in The Guardian. he says:

aghdad was now divided: frontlines partitioned neighbourhoods into Shia and Sunni, thousands of families had been forced out of their homes. After each large-scale bomb attack on Shia civilians, scores of mutilated bodies of Sunnis were found in the streets. Patrolling militias and checkpoints meant that men with Sunni names dared not venture far outside their neighbourhoods, while certain Sunni areas came under the complete control of insurgent groups the Shura Council of the Mujahideen and the Islamic Army. The Sunni vigilante self-defence groups took shape as reserve units under the control of these insurgent groups.

Militant Sunni Arabs of a fundamentalist cast still want to fight a two-pronged war against the Americans and the Shiites. Some dissent and think they should make up with the Americans so as to protect themselves from the Shiites.