Thursday, March 01, 2007

Ack! Iraq part III

Fact: President Jalal Talabani is in Jordan in a hospital and has been for almost a week.
Fact: Vice President Abdul Mahdi was injured when his enterage came under attack today at the Public Works Ministry.
Fact: Car bomb on Sunday killed 60 and wounded many more.
Fact: Today US forces began artillary attacks into Sunni areas of Baghdad

The bomb that was supposed to kill the Iraqi VP was placed in the ceiling of the room he was in. In other words this was a carefully planned assination attempt. 25 others were wounded in the bomb blast.

I am at a loss to understand how artillary barrages into southern Baghdad are supposed to calm things down? Clearly the US, by its own operations, is escelating the violence in Baghdad with the idea that more violence now means less violence later. God knows if this will work. Iraq is in the middle of a civil war and we are still along for the ride. From a military standpoint I am again at a loss to understand why the command allows its army to remain in an engagement it does not control?

In order to regain the initiative now would mean the reduction of Baghdad, or at least of sizeable areas of the city, resulting in massive colateral damage. The authorities are using militia to defend them and press their own agendas. The Prime Minister needs Sader to keep him alive, the President is not around either. So it is the hight of stupidity and foolhardiness to put our troops into such a hopeless situation. Who are they defending? What government? What part of the government? Is a Sunni death squad any more evil than a Shiite death squad? Are bathist sympathisers more trouble than the government rife with allies of Iran? It seems that there arre no forces in Iraq, other than the poor shleps on the road, who are worthy of one drop of American blood.

Now we are going to sit down with Iran and Syria to talk about Iraq. Talk to the Syrians who are terrified of Hezzbulah and the Iranians who actively seek an anti American islamic republic in Iraq. Oh yes by all means lets talk. But now, instead of talking to them from a position of strength, we are coming to the meeting hat in hand, not knowing where else to turn.

God help us.

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