Iraq – Even More Deadly
Despite the many words oozing and stuttering their way out of the mouths of the
Information Minister…Tony Snow and El Chimperor…the President, respectively, Iraq is a mess.
There is no hope that the US is ever going to get Iraq under control because – well, let’s get real: The Iraqis hate us. Got it? 80% of all Iraqis want US troops out of their country. They aren’t going to work with us. They aren’t going to “stand up.” They aren’t going to do anything except continue attacking us and each other. What would be the difference in their lives if the US troops left? Other than having a few less targets each day, nothing.
It’s a civil war. One religious sect against another. Sunni vs. Shi’a. How many people know what the difference is? I didn’t, not really, until reading this post by TRex on FDL:
I realized that if someone asked me to explain the difference between Sunni and Shiite Iraqis, I wouldn’t be able to tell you much more. So, I enlisted the aid of up and coming young blogger Jebediah from the excellent blog Foreign Policy Watch to give us a primer on what our President was too busy riding his bike and clearing brush to learn before he launched his cataclysmic war.
From FP Watch:
The division dates back to the time after Muhammad’s death in 632, in the area which is now known as Saudi Arabia, when the next leader of the Muslim nation had yet to be decided. One group of people (who would later become known as the “Shiites”) believed that the ruler should be a member of the prophet’s family, while another group (who would later be called the “Sunnis”) believed that Muhammad’s successor should be chosen from amongst those who were most qualified. While Shiites desired the succession of Muhammad’s cousin “Ali” as the next leader, Sunnis opted for “Abu Bakr,” a close friend to the prophet. The Sunnis quickly prevailed and Abu Bakr was installed as Muhammad’s successor.
To break it down and possibly over-simplify it, the Shiia follow the bloodline of Mohammed and the Sunnis follow the Qur’an and the Hadith, a sacred Muslim text that details the words and actions of the Prophet Mohammed. Conflicts arose from this disagreement between the two sects culminating in a bloody civil war in 656. Differences hardened and the religion formally split five years after the outbreak of the war. [emphasis mine]
There was a chance, brief and fleeting, when Iraq might have turned out differently, but George and Dick and Condi and Rummy – and pretty much everyone associated with the White House blew that chance a couple years ago.
This is a war between two religious sects that has been going on for over a millenia!
Now, with about 1000 attacks on US and Iraqi army personnel and on Iraqi civilians a day, who in their right mind thinks this is fixable? Who agrees with the still-supportive Bush wingnuts like Michele Malkin that Iraq is no more dangerous than DC or Paris? (Has DC been hit with a lot of car bombs and mass kidnappings lately?)
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, George is making a big deal about taking his time to make a decision, about “listening” to his military commanders.
Anyone who’s fooled by that needs help. For the first time ever, George is listening to someone/something other than the ‘voice of God’ (as played by Dick Cheney) ? Yeah, right.
As we wait for the Decidererer to make up his mind and f*ck us all over – again – let’s remind ourselves how “stable” Iraq is:
Attacks on U.S. and Iraqi troops and Iraqi civilians jumped sharply in recent months to the highest level since Iraq regained its sovereignty in June 2004, the Pentagon told Congress on Monday in the latest indication of that country’s spiraling violence.
In a report issued the same day Robert Gates took over as defense secretary, the Pentagon said that from mid-August to mid-November, the weekly average number of attacks increased 22 percent from the previous three months.
A bar chart in the Pentagon’s report to Congress gave no exact numbers but indicated the weekly average had approached 1,000 in the latest period, compared to about 800 per week from the May-to-August period. Statistics provided separately by the Pentagon said weekly attacks had averaged 959 in the latest period.
American casualties, dead and wounded, rose from 19 to 25 per day, up 32 percent in the last three months.
For the first time, Shiite militants were blamed for more murders and executions than Sunni insurgents and al-Qaida. The report also said Iraqi police were complicit in the slaughter, allowing Shiite death squads to move freely and warning them of upcoming U.S. military operations. [emphasis mine]
WarMinister…Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said at his swearing-in yesterday that “Failure in Iraq at this juncture would be a calamity that would haunt our nation, impair our credibility, and endanger Americans for decades to come.”
Guess what, Bob? It already is a calamity. It’s already haunting our nation. It’s ruined our credibility around the world. Americans around the globe are endangered.
All because Dick and George, Condi and Rummi thought they knew how to conduct a war, but failed to plan for anything except the invasion.
What happened to “We’ll stand down as they stand up?” That’s worked real well so far.
Again, from msnbc.com:
The development of an Iraqi army and police is making progress, the report said, but much remains to be done.
It said, for example, that the goal of training and equipping an Iraqi army of about 137,000 soldiers is 98 percent completed, although it also noted that far fewer troops are actually available for duty on any given day due to absenteeism, casualties, desertions and leaves of absence.
Lt. Gen. John Sattler, the plans and strategy chief for the Joint Chiefs, told reporters Monday that of the approximately 322,000 Iraqi troops and police now trained and equipped, only about 280,000 are available for duty. [emphasis mine]
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