Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Slogging Toward.... What?

Iraq is a "country" of tribal factions, cobbled together by colonial rulers, and, until the U.S. invaded, held together only by the choke hold of maniacal strongman Saddam. So.... "As British Leave, Basra Deteriorates, Violence Rises in Shiite City Once Called a Success Story." (WaPo)

The International Crises Group recently reported that Basra is plagued by "the systematic misuse of official institutions, political assassinations, tribal vendettas, neighborhood vigilantism and enforcement of social mores, together with the rise of criminal mafias that increasingly intermingle with political actors."

Sounds lovely, doesn't it. The question becomes.... can you by the force of arms make centuries-warring people into Golden-rule, latte-drinking citizens?

As a senior U.S. intelligence official said recently in Baghdad, "The British have basically been defeated in the south."

All Bush administration propaganda aside, Iraq has fatal fractures, and, is splintering and becoming more tumultuous each day that the political realities aren't addressed.

"Iraqi Crises Deepens as 5 More Ministers Quit Cabinet Meetings, U.S. Announces Deaths of Nine Soldiers, Four Killed on Monday in Diyala Province." (WaPo)

The five ministers who resigned are a mix of Sunnis and Shiites. Shiite-leaning Prime Minister al-Maliki's government now has no Sunni ministers whose resignations are a protest against their marginalization in the Bush-propped-up Maliki government.

Besides the awful loss our our nine brave troops, yesterday a truck bomb in a Shiite village near a northern city killed 31 people and wounded scores more... Bush's "oasis of stability".... and, south of Baghdad a roadside bomb exploded in a bus station, killing 8 people and wounding 10.

In this mounting turmoil our troops are paying the price for Bush's ill-conceived and ill-executed occupation, and stubborn insistence on "winning" a war against Iraqis locked in the medieval mindset of centuries-old tribal and religious blood feuds.

It's bad enough our depleted and over-extended military are caught in this relentless crossfire, but get this.... "Weapons Given to Iraq Are Missing, GAO Estimates 30% of Arms Are Unaccounted For." (WaPo)

That's right, the Pentagon has "lost track" of 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005 because as the GAO says, distribution was haphazard and didn't follow established procedures when given to Iraqi forces for training by..... none other than Gen. David Petraeus, who now commands all U.S. forces in Iraq.

Our soldiers are now looking down the barrel of this negligence... and the fingers on the triggers are, for example, the Fallujah brigade which "quickly dissolved in September 2004 and turned its weapons against the Americans."

The Bush administration keeps us mired in the shifting quicksands of Iraq, allowing our country to be sucked ever further into its abyss of hatreds.... criminally unwilling to change course and commit to a political solution.

No comments: