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Tue

12

Jun

2007

Who's On First?
Tuesday, 12 June 2007 09:08
by Stephen P. Pizzo

By now you are probably confused. Don't feel bad, it is getting a bit complicated. But I am sure there's a well-oiled plan behind it all. Let's see if we can figure it out.

The minute I picked up my morning paper I just knew millions of Americans will be wondering if maybe this was misprint:

U.S. Arming Sunni Insurgent Groups in Iraq

BAGHDAD, June 11 (UPI) – U.S. forces in Iraq are reportedly expanding a strategy tried in Anbar Province of arming Sunni Arab groups to fight against militants linked to al-Qaida... According to the newspaper, U.S. commanders held talks with Sunni groups in at least four areas of central and north-central Iraq where the insurgency has been particularly strong. Many of the groups have had past links to al-Qaida but grew disillusioned with its tactics, particularly suicide bombings that have killed thousands of Iraqi civilians, the newspaper says. In exchange for U.S. backing, the Sunni groups have agreed to fight al-Qaida and halt attacks against American units. (Full)
Yes, it was the Sunnis that started the post-Saddam insurgency, killing US troops and thousands of Iraqi Shiites. And yes, it was Sunnis that teamed up with al-Qaida to fight the US occupation. But that's so yesterday. Now the Sunnis have added al-Qaida to their enemies list. And, as our Commander-in-Chief likes to say, “we adjust.”

This “adjustment” was triggered (excuse the pun) when the Sunnis figured out that, should they actually force Shiites out of Sunni areas of Iraq with al-Qaida's help, al-Qaida intended to run the show in those areas, not the Sunnis.

That left the Sunnis caught in their own “Triangle of Death,” between Shiites that want all Sunnis dead, the Americans who wanted Sunnis to get used to being an oppressed minority in the country they once ruled and al-Qaida, that considered Sunnis just a source of food, shelter and cannon fodder.

So the Sunnis turned to the only one of those three that's managed to work itself into as big a jam they had – the Americans. Like two drowning swimmers they've glommed onto to one another hoping that, together, they can figure out a way to avoid going down together.

A deal has been struck. The Sunnis “promise” to stop killing and blowing up American troops if the Americans help Sunni tribes cleanse their areas of foreign al-Qaida fighters.

Admittedly, it's a novel idea. After all, Plan A hasn't worked. There was some kind of reverse double whammy thing going on with US tactics against  al-Qaida-in-Iraq. The more US troops we put in to fight al-Qaida, the more al-Qaida fighters showed up to shoot them. (It was almost as though al-Qaida's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, meant it when he encouraged the US to send more troops to Iraq so his men could kill just that many more “infidels.”)

Just a few weeks ago the idea of the US arming Sunni insurgents would have been considered madness. This morning it's US policy.

Of course this new US plan does have it's detractors – like the majority Shiite population for example. The Shiites have been busy stalling for time while it uses US money, training, guns and “democracy” to bulk up for the mother of all civil wars against the Sunnis.

Mahdi militia looks to isolate Sunnis

McClatchy Newspapers: BAGHDAD – In the past 10 days, the fiery Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's militia has resurfaced in force, making a push to roust Sunnis from Baghdad and to isolate Sunni enclaves in the west of the capital from their brethren in the south...Mahdi Army militiamen in the Shiite dominated neighborhood of Bayaa were reinforced by other Shiite fighters and men in civilian clothes with weapons have cordoned off the area. In the past 10 days Mahdi Army activity has escalated, intensifying in the past two days with the capture of two Sunni mosques, residents and police said... The push appears to be part of a strategy by the Mahdi Army to control swaths of the once Sunni-dominated west bank of the Tigris River.  (Full)

The last thing the US-supported, Shiite-dominated Iraqi government wants is to have their own personal trainer helping the Sunnis bulk up too. As they see it, all that's going to do is make it harder for the Shiite's to reach a “final solution” to sectarian violence once Americans leave.

Okay, you with me so far?

That's the situation in central Iraq. Up north things are also getting a bit confusing. But not to worry. The White House says it's not the way it looks. The Kurds have been the administration's poster children of good Iraqi behavior. They have a nice little thing going up north now that Saddam is gone. In fact, for all intents as purposes, their own little country up there, at least in everything but name. (Though the Kurds have nicknamed the area “Kurdistan.”)

But the Kurds figure they left something behind in Turkey and Iran – like more country. Their definition of “ours” seems to extend further west and east into areas that Turkey and Iran define as “theirs' and have the international deeds to prove it.   To which the Kurds reply, “We don't need no stinkin's deeds,” and so are pressing their claims... with guns.

The Turks were not amused.

Turkey is Poised for War against Iraq's Kurds

Turkey is dangerously close to launching a full-scale war across its eastern border into northern Iraq. The aim would be to wipe out the bases of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), destroy once and for all the party's separatist ambitions, and put an end to cross-border terrorist attacks and hit-and-run raids by the PKK, which have inflamed nationalist opinion in Turkey... (But) Far from quelling Kurdish separatism in Iraq, the war might revive it in Turkey itself, home to some 15 million ethnic Kurds. Turkey fought a bitter war against the PKK from 1984 to 1999 which resulted in 35,000 dead and the displacement of some 2 million. (Full)
The Iranians, who the US has been trying to freeze out influence in the region, area having a field day with all this. The Iranians have assured the Turks that, should the Kurds become troublesome, “you guys hit -em and we'll hold-em.”

And of course the Iranians already pretty much call the shots in the Shiite south of Iraq, and they pull the strings of the largest Shiite political and militia forces in the rest of the country.

Oh, and how's this for coincidence. Guess who else is giving guns and explosives to the Sunnis – Iran. Why? Because the Iranians want al-Qaida out of Iraq just as much as the Americans do. And the Iranians know that once the Sunnis chase al-Qaida out they will quickly turn their weapons back against occupying US troops. (Sure the Sunnis will also fight Iranian-supported Shiites. But in the Bizarro World that is the Middle East, Iran sees that as the least of the post-Saddam/post US era in Iraq.)

I understand that the uninitiated might see all this as evidence that the US is losing ground in the region – big time. But we are just, in the words of our Command-in-Chief, “adjusting.”

It's against this backdrop of “adjusting for success,” that administration supporters have decided that this would be the perfect moment to administer a giant dope-slap to the Iranians.

Lieberman Backs Cross-Border Air Attacks On Iran

June 11, 2007 9:40 a.m. EST: Washington, D.C. (AHN) - Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the independent from Connecticut who was formerly a Democrat and who strongly supports the Iraq War, has said he backs cross-border attacks on Iran if that nation doesn't stop training Iraqi insurgents... "I think we've got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq," Mr. Lieberman said in an interview yesterday on the CBS News. (Full)
And, hey, how about those Sudanese? Remember when Bush said that “you are either with us or you are against us?” Well the Sudanese, it turns out, are with us:

Sudan helps US spying in Iraq: report

11 June 2007: WASHINGTON - The government of Sudan, regularly accused of backing atrocities in Darfur, has secretly allowed its spies to gather information about the insurgency in Iraq for the United States, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday...Citing unnamed intelligence officials, the California newspaper said Sudan has become increasingly valuable to Washington since the September 11, 2001, attacks because the Sunni Arab nation is a crossroads for Islamic militants making their way to Iraq and Pakistan. (Full)
Hey, what's a little genocide among allies? The Sudanese, you see, are Sunnis! Which dovetails nicely with the new tactics in Iraq. Sunnis in Iraq now get to kill just about anyone they want, with US guns and explosives even, as long as they kill al-Qaida fighters and not US troops.

And the Sudanese can continue exterminating non-Muslim blacks in Darfur – as long as they continue to snitch to the CIA on al-Qaida.

Meanwhile, back in Iraq, we learned another thing about the administration's well-oiled plans. Sure we are giving guns now to Sunni insurgents, and sure the Shiites are unhappy about that, and sure it's going to make the inevitable civil war a lot more bloody that it otherwise would have been. And, when all that bloody shit hits the fan, US troops will have a front row seat:

US Plans to Keep 40,000 Troops in Iraq

June 12, 2007: The US military is planning for a long-term presence in Iraq even if there is a big troop withdrawal early next year...The White House press secretary, Tony Snow, declined to comment on reports in The Washington Post at the weekend that outlined a Pentagon plan for a post-occupation force of about 40,000 soldiers... Thomas Ricks, the Post's military correspondent, said the plan involved four components: a 20,000-strong reinforced mechanized infantry division, assigned to guarantee the security of the Iraqi Government; a training force of 10,000 troops to work with the Iraqi military and police units; a small but significant special operations unit; and finally a command and logistics unit of about 10,000 troops. (Full)
Just what 40,000 US troops will do in Iraq while Sunnis and Shiites slaughter one another around them, is unclear. Ostensibly they will simply be there to keep an eye on al-Qaida, and not to intercede on either side in a civil war. Iran will side with their Shiite cousins, Syria will back their Sunni/Baath Party brethern, Turkey and the Kurds will be duking it out up north, a war that will threaten the cohesion of NATO itself.

Of course, by then this administration will safely hunkered down it's own Green Zone, Crawford, Texas from where they can blame the whole mess on the Democrats.
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a guest said:

0
Wow
You spent a lot of time wirting a bunch of crap. Good job.

Dude in Kirkuk
 
June 12, 2007
Votes: +0

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