Sunday, December 17, 2006

Bush's Occupation of Iraq Will Not Hold: Goons & Thugs Rule

We Should Re-Deploy Out of Shiiastan and Sunnistan . . . Now.

Saturday's Conference of Reconciliation turned out to be a bust.

Bush promoted the gathering of political leaders inside Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone. It was billed as a conference of reconciliation, a key initiative to bring the mostly Shiite and Kurdish factions face-to-face with former Baathist adversaries.

But few extremist Shiite or Sunni factions responsible for most of the violence attended the closed-door meeting.

None of the 20 or so former Baathists and ousted generals expected to attend showed up, and none of the exiled Baathists thought to hold sway over some insurgent groups attended, even though the government offered to pay their way and provide security. Only about five former Baathist officials among the 200-300 or so attendees.

That's because they don't feel safe! Conference coordinator Nasser al-Ani cited security concerns as the biggest factor in keeping them away:
They don't feel safe. The situation is unstable, and there's a lot of mistrust. This is one of the missions of the conference, to build trust.
Najib al-Salihi, a former army officer who heads a political group called the Free Officers and Civilians Movement, said he fears the reconciliation offer comes too late to bridge the vast divide that has emerged between a government dominated by religious Shiite parties on the one hand and an insurgency dominated by Sunni religious extremists on the other.

The political bloc loyal to anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, who is allied with al-Maliki and whose militia is blamed for many of the killings, boycotted the meeting, refusing to sit down with Sunni extremists.The Sadrists control 30 seats in the 275-member parliament, which makes them one of the three largest forces in Mr Maliki’s Shia-led coalition but belies their true strength as what is almost certainly Iraq’s largest mass movement.

Hadi al-Amiri, the head of the Badr Organization, the second-largest Shiite militia, said he doubted the reconciliation initiative would help end the violence soon.
We hope this conference will achieve good results, but that doesn't mean there will be an effect right away on the streets. Reconciliation . . . could take months, or years even.

One Sunni-led group represented in parliament, the National Dialogue Front, also boycotted the session, saying it would not "sit down with the people who are killing hundreds and hundreds of civilians every day," said the front's leader, Saleh al-Mutlaq.

The Iraqi National Accord, headed by former U.S. favorite Ayad Allawi, walked out of the meeting, saying the government had not extended invitations to enough political groups to make the conference worthwhile: few attendees had influence over the many armed groups constituting the insurgency.

Ayyad Jamaladeen, a member of parliament from a secular political bloc called the Iraqi List, said that before there could be reconciliation between warring factions who refuse to be a part of the political process, there has to be broader agreement between those in the government.

Leaders of the hard-line Sunni Muslim Scholars Assn. condemned the conference, releasing a statement that called it "a card played by Maliki in order to save Bush's face." Suleiman Harith al-Dhari, Iraq's leading Sunni cleric, is wanted under an arrest warrant issued this month for inciting sectarian violence, accuses the government of bias.

Salih Mutlaq of the National Dialogue Council, a Sunni Arab slate that includes former Baathists, said in a statement that the group would boycott the conference until the government dissolved sectarian militias, released detainees and restored former officials to their jobs.

The Congress of the Iraqi People of Adnan Dulaimi (fundamentalist Sunnis), boycotted, also.

Guerrilla leader Abu Wisam al-Jash'ami did not have a representative attending.

Abu Mohammed also did not represent the Iraqi Regional Command of the Baath (IRCB) at Bush's National reconciliation conference. The leader of the IRCB, Izzat Ibrahim, Saddam's former vice president is still a fugitive with a $10 million bounty on his head.

Nothing is said of Abu Deraa. As the self-appointed defender of his Shia kith and kin, his nom de guerre is "The Shield". But to his Sunni foes – and many of his own people – only one name does justice to the savagery with which Abu Deraa wages Iraq's sectarian war. His real name is Ismail al-Zerjawi; that's only one of the reasons he's thought of as the Shiite version of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi: his speciality is the electric drill through the back of the skull rather than a sword to the neck. Rumors persist recently of his death, but his current appearance is not known.

Nasir Ani, a parliament member on the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party slate, said he would urge former army officers to apply for military jobs so
we can make use of their expertise. . . We should help those who initiated this process. It is a step toward success.
But the Iraqi army opened its doors to former officers more than a year ago, with no effect on the violence, and its ranks now are almost full.

And what about this army available to Maliki's control? In a countryside where there is no shortage of motivated and experienced - if undisciplined - armed groupings, militias, and criminal gangs, the so-called Iraqi army and the so-called Iraqi police have no armor or high tech capabilities. Their personnel have enlisted to serve and sustain massacres and mass kidnappings only because joining mass unemployment is the alternative. Money talks, but when the fighting starts, they walk.


And that's what our Anglo-American Coalition forces should do now. Walk, ride, fly back into deployment in Kuwait and Kurdistan. Or, as Rumsfeld would say, 'points east, west, south and north somewhat. . . .'

30 comments:

  1. The first three comments above, Vigilante, are crap. I suggest you toss'em!

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  2. Sadly, you have a point. Two are off subject, and one is anonymous and inflammatory.

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  3. This is an excellent capsulation of the Reconsiliaton Conference that I managed not to be aware of. Living in the household where the TV is turned on a 24 hour food channel has it's good points but to obtain information about the world events is not one of them.

    I have commented lately, to ad nauseam, about everything coming irritaitingly late to be of any use. That a conference like this took place makes all kinds of sense. That it happened now makes none. It is not just stand-up-comedy that requires perfect timing but basically all the human endeavours do. Yes, even sex.

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  4. Vigilante, you forgot to mention that former Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi attended the conference.

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  5. Pekka, researching about who didn't attend the 'Reconciliation Conference' has led me to conclude that Maliki is just deck furniture, and that there is plenty of loose and un-teathered ballast sliding around in the 'holds' below.

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  6. The best thing one can say about Al Maliki is his name is worth a lot of points in Scrabble:-)

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  7. This Iraq situation is less like the Titanic everyday and more like the Hindenburg. Someone reported recently that Bush wants to be a "consequential president" and have his presidency be remembered in history. He will have that in spades.

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  8. Is it too late to restore this thug back in power?

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  9. Don`t you think this site now has credibility issue`s with Food Blogger as asst. Editorial administrator.?

    As far as I can tell he cannot perceive the difference between crap or honey.

    Isn`t Vigilante just a pawn with his advocacy of mainstream political re-deployment to neighboring area`s.?

    Vigilante is an advocate now for the occupation , as he calls it , but just moving it a little.?

    La la, la la, la.

    I would suggest that this site is just another political disinformation site now.

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  10. Here's the absolute best comment I've run across on the so-called "Reconciliation Conference"!

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  11. What a mess. I wonder if Jimmy Carter still thinks there is "a ghost of a chance for democracy."

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  12. A new Defense Department report to Congress says armed militiamen affiliated with radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr pose the gravest danger to the security and stability of Iraq, surpassing Sunni Arab insurgents and Al Qaeda terrorists.
    Los Angeles Times

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  13. Well this here, I.P., is a real duhhhhh:

    If Muqtada Sadr really is certified as the biggest, baddest gangsta hood in all of Iraq, why don't we just leave with him running wild? He'll mop up the Sunnis & al Qaeda? Right? Let him deal with the I.E.D.'s! What's wrong with us? There's the fucking answer right in your face! We're outta there, like yesterday.

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  14. GetaLife, if Malicki is the deck furniture, Ahmad Chalabi must be the cocktail tray.

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  15. Wow, that really clarifies the governing mess for me.

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  16. UrbanPink, Bush is doing a 'heck-of-a-job' occupying Iraq.

    I don't know where I ran across this description of how the Iraq Study Group arrived in Iraq, but I felt it instructive enought to save:

    "For some members of the Iraq Study Group, the turning point came during four days in Baghdad in September. They found the trip so harrowing, they said, that they wondered if they could afford to wait to speak out about the disaster in Iraq.

    Like other visitors, they arrived on a C-130 transport plane that performed a plunging corkscrew maneuver to avoid insurgent fire while landing at Baghdad’s airport. Then they were bundled into flak jackets and helmets and rushed onto attack helicopters for the five-minute flight to the Green Zone, the military-controlled neighborhood that is sealed off from the city.

    There, they were placed in fleet of armored Humvees, each with a medic seated in the back to offer first aid in the event of a rocket attack. The roar of the Humvees’ engines could not mask the sound of explosions from car bombs outside the Green Zone. The security measures had been routine for most of the American occupation, but they were still jarring to these first-time visitors to the war zone.
    "

    It is what it is, after 3-and-a-half-years!

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  17. Speaking of re-arranging the deck furniture, Kirk Semple And Edward Wong of the NYT play around with themselves trying to come up with a parliamentary coalition which would marginalize Moktada al-Sadr. The big problem is, as Juan Cole points out, the Iraqi parliament is a paper coalition with powder-puff clout:

    The real problem is that Parliament isn't very powerful. Although the NYT blames Sadr's boycott for the failure of parliament to reach a quorum the last couple of times it tried to meet, in fact it is because many of the parliamentarians virtually live abroad (they like London) and just aren't around in Baghdad to take part in a vote.

    Informed Comment

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  18. We stand together because we understand the only way to secure a lasting peace for our children and grandchildren is to defeat the extremist ideologies and help the ideology of hope, democracy, prevail. ...Sixty-five years ago this day, America was jolted out of our isolationism and plunged into a global war that Britain had been fighting for two years. In that war, our nation stood firm. And there were difficult moments during that war, yet the leaders of our two nations never lost faith in the capacity to prevail. We will stand firm again in this first war of the 21st century. We will defeat the extremists and the radicals. We will help a young democracy prevail in Iraq. ...I believe we'll prevail. Not only do I know how important it is to prevail, I believe we will prevail. I understand how hard it is to prevail. ...And I want to tell you, I see the threat and I believe it is up to our governments to help lead the forces of moderation to prevail. It's in our interests. ...As you can tell, I feel strongly about making sure you understand that I understand it's tough. But I want you to know, sir, that I believe we'll prevail. I know we have to adjust to prevail, but I wouldn't have our troops in harm's way if I didn't believe that, one, it was important, and, two, we'll succeed. ...I like to remind people it's akin to the Cold War in many ways. There's an ideological clash going on. And the question is, will we have the resolve and the confidence in liberty to prevail? ...I do believe there is a -- I know there's a change of attitude. And now the fundamental question is, can we help the moderates prevail?

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  19. Wow,

    Will Bush prevail in leaving office?

    lol

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  20. He prevails if he doesn't proceed directly to jail.

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  21. "We will defeat the extremists and the radicals."

    If he believes all this crap so strongly, we should have a draft and there should be 1,000,000 kids over there.

    I don't think he believes his own rhetoric.

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  22. I don't think he understands his own rhetoric. Regardless, he will not be impeached, he will not be arrested, much less charged. He will leave office at the appointed time and will go down in history as the worst president ever. People will write even more books, and the insiders will be wheeling and dealing with the Hollywood moguls for the movie rights. Sadly, thousands will have died in his war, and because of his war more will die long past his reign of terror. America truly is tarnished and it will take a great leader to polish it to the high sheen it once enjoyed. Merry Christmas!

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  23. There are no great leaders coming from within the power structure of this type of society now. A great leader would be a person that adopts a new system. This system is a failure. It will now self-destruct.
    Happy holiday.

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  24. FACT: You people put the same Monkey in power, TWICE!

    So why cry about it now?

    This isn't a hollywood movie, this is real life.

    Get a grip!

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  25. People are dying, Colin, for no useful purpose. You get a grip.

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  26. A U.S.-backed plan to form a political coalition of Iraq's Shiites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds - a glimmer of hope in a nation torn by sectarian violence - failed to win the crucial support of the top Shiite cleric Saturday.

    Lawmakers who presented the plan to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the holy city of Najaf said they were told the unity of Shiites, who have the largest bloc in parliament, had to come first.

    By shunning the coalition plan, al-Sistani sought to unite the Shiite's fractured 130-member United Iraqi Alliance. But his decision - which carries great weight with the country's Shiite majority - significantly weakens American hopes for a national unity government and strengthens the hand of the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
    Guardian

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  27. Juan Cole: (26 Dec)
    "The Iraqi "government" is barely functioning. The parliament was not able to meet in December because it could not attain a quorum. Many key Iraqi politicians live most of the time in London, and much of parliament is frequently abroad. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki does not control large swathes of the country, and could give few orders that had any chance of being obeyed. The US military cannot shore up this government, even with an extra division, because the government is divided against itself. Most of the major parties trying to craft legislation are also linked to militias on the streets who are killing one another. It is over with. Iraq is in for years of heavy political violence of a sort that no foreign military force can hope to stop."

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  28. Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army (Ret.): Six Brutal Truths about Iraq:

    #1: No "deal" of any kind can be made among the warring parties in Iraq that will bring stability and order, even temporarily.

    #2: There was no way to have "done it right" in Iraq so that U.S. war aims could have been achieved.

    #3: The theory that "we broke it and therefore we own it," with all the moral baggage it implies, is simply untrue because it is not within U.S. power to "fix it."

    #4: The demand that the administration engage Iran and Syria directly, asking them to help stabilize Iraq, is patently naïve or cynically irresponsible until American forces begin withdrawing – and rapidly – so that there is no ambiguity about their complete and total departure.

    #5: The United States cannot prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

    #6: It is simply not possible to prevent more tragic Iraqi deaths in Iraq.

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