The Reality of the Iraq War Today

What we understand about the Iraq war comes from two sources, those we find outside the mainstream media, and regular media, which must be taken with a filter to see if it is fanfare for someone patting themselves on the back or real news, the kind that isn’t always what you want to know.

The United States Government is notorious picking the wrong side to back when it comes to other countries. I make no judgment when it comes to Israel, though with as long as their wars have been going on, one has to wonder if they really want peace or not. More to the point are men like Saddam Hussein and Castro. Both of these men owed their original standing to dealings with the United States. Sad, but true. How can there be any hope for US involvement with Iraq? And while they debate the issue in Congress, our young men and women die along with untold thousands of Iraqis.

Five Things You Need to Know to Understand the Latest Violence in Iraq

By Joshua Holland and Raed Jarrar, AlterNet. Posted March 27, 2008.

Heavy fighting has spread across Shia-dominated enclaves in Iraq over the past two days. The U.S.-backed regime of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has ordered 50,000 Iraqi troops to “crack down” — with coalition air support — on Shiite militias in the oil-rich and strategically important city of Basra, U.S. forces have surrounded Baghdad’s Sadr City and fighting has been reported in the southern cities of Kut, Diwaniya, Karbala and Hilla. Basra’s main bridge and an oil pipeline connecting it to Amara were destroyed Wednesday. Six cities are under curfew, and acts of civil disobedience have shut down dozens of neighborhoods across the country. Civilian casualties have reportedly overwhelmed poorly equipped medical centers in Baghdad and Basra.

There are indications that the unilateral ceasefire declared last year by the nationalist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is collapsing. “The cease-fire is over; we have been told to fight the Americans,” one militiaman loyal to al-Sadr told the Christian Science Monitor’s Sam Dagher by telephone from Sadr City. Dagher added that the “same man, when interviewed in January, had stated that he was abiding by the cease-fire and that he was keeping busy running his cellular phone store.”

A political track is also in play: Sadr has called on his followers to take to the streets to demand Maliki’s resignation, and nationalist lawmakers in the Iraqi Parliament, led by al-Sadr’s block, are trying to push a no-confidence vote challenging the prime minister’s regime.

I think, at this point, that it is clear this man is not going to remain leader of Iraq. You would need blinders, ear plugs, an under-ground bunker with no access to the outside world, and no other forms of communication not to see this coming. I’ve known it for the past year. And yet the war machine over there just keeps grinding away. < shaking head > What’s it going to take for this governor in the White House to pull his head out of his collective assets and figure this out? And why do so many others have to pay with their lives for it?

The conflict is one that the U.S. media appears incapable of describing in a coherent way. The prevailing narrative is that Basra has been ruled by mafia-like militias — which is true — and that Iraqi government forces are now cracking down on the lawlessness in preparation for regional elections, which is not. As independent analyst Reider Visser noted:

On closer inspection, there are problems in these accounts. Perhaps most importantly, there is a discrepancy between the description of Basra as a city ruled by militias (in the plural) … [and the] facts of the ongoing operations, which seem to target only one of these militia groups, the Mahdi Army loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr. Surely, if the aim was to make Basra a safer place, it would have been logical to do something to also stem the influence of the other militias loyal to the local competitors of the Sadrists, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq [SIIC], as well as the armed groups allied to the Fadila party (sic) (which have dominated the oil protection services for a long time). But so far, only Sadrists have complained about attacks by government forces.

So we have all these gangs down there able to protect themselves with some impressive guns because our guys and gals are dying too. But still gangs, (for simplification). And the USA has backed one guy against the rest of them. A guy who isn’t impressing anyone!

Now, if the USA left, that country would sort itself out in no time, I’m sure of it and to THEIR satisfaction. But, being the USA, we are bigger and have more to throw at your enemy than the smaller gangs do, so we pony up to one of these gang leaders, a not impressive gang leader but a co-operative one, and tell him we’ll give him a country if he and his buddies gives us…..??? Sound about right? Or is that being overly simplistic?

We’ve made an awful mess down there but those people can well rule themselves, even if it is different from our way. It’s pissing them off that we are there and backing up this wimp. Our continued presence in that country is NOT helping. As with Vietnam, when you are in over your head, you best get your butt out!

The conflict doesn’t conform to the analysis of the roots of Iraqi instability as briefed by U.S. officials in the heavily-fortified Green Zone. It also doesn’t fit into the simplistic but popular narrative of a country wrought by sectarian violence, and its nature is obscured by the labels that the commercial media uncritically apply to the disparate centers of Iraqi resistance to the occupation.

The “crackdown” comes on the heels of the approval of a new “provincial law,” which will ultimately determine whether Iraq remains a unified state with a strong central government or is divided into sectarian-based regional governates. The measure calls for provincial elections in October, and the winners of those elections will determine the future of the Iraqi state. Control of the country’s oil wealth, and how its treasure will be developed, will also be significantly influenced by the outcome of the elections.

Just bet me bush isn’t wringing his hands over THAT!!! Oil is what this has been about from the beginning. But there are still too many left in certain gangs and so a few more need to die. The cannon fodder die, our side and theirs.

It’s a relatively straightforward story: Iraq is ablaze today as a result of an attempt to impose Colombian-style democracy on the unstable country: Maliki’s goal, shared by the like-minded allies among the Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish communities that dominate his administration, and with at least tacit U.S. approval, is to kill off the opposition and then hold a vote.

To better understand the nature of this latest round of conflict, here are five things one needs to know about what’s taking place across Iraq.

1. A visible manifestation of Iraq’s central-but-under-reported political conflict (not “sectarian violence”)

2. U.S. is propping up unpopular regime; Sadr has support because of his platform

3. “Iraqi forces” are, in fact, “Iranian- (and U.S.-) backed Shiite militias”

4. Colombia-style democracy

5. Chip off the old block: Maliki’s attempt to criminalize dissent

But you will have to visit the website to see WHAT these have to say about each of them. There is a lot and not always what you might think. And it is GOOD! Really worth reading.

Number 5 should stand out very bright for all of us. It seems that is what Congress and the bush administration have been after in HR 1955. So we should really take a good hard look at what our government is really trying to do down there. 10 to 1 it isn’t what they have told us.

Being informed means you don’t get blind-sided. You see what is happening around you, even if what is around you doesn’t touch you personally. Because according to 6 degrees we’re all related.


~ by justmytruth on April 3, 2008.

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