Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 





Annals of Liberation: Killers and Extremists in the Pay of Petraeus
Tuesday, 27 November 2007 10:19
by Chris Floyd

More news rolls in about the "successful tactics" being employed by the U.S. commandant in Iraq, General David Gaius Julius Petraeus. As we have noted here before, much of the relative drop in the death rate in the still-fertile killing fields of Iraq can be attributed to one of Petraeus' bold "counterinsurgency" innovations: surrendering whole swathes of territory to your enemy – and paying them handsomely for the privilege – in exchange for their promise not to kill your own troops for awhile.

Not since the Civil War days of George McClellan has an American general been so feted and trumpeted for his crushing defeats – although not even McClellan went as far as paying Rebel guerrillas like Bill Quantrill and his murderous bushwhackers to take over chunks of Union territory and run it as a personal fiefdom. But that is exactly what Petraeus is doing in Iraq. He is shelling out millions in taxpayer dollars to groups that only a few weeks ago were killing Americans and launching terrorist attacks with their allies in the extremist bands loosely grouped under the rubric "al Qaeda." (It's obvious that "al Qaeda" is losing its brand specificity and, like "xerox" or "zipper," is becoming a generic term applied to all manner of items beyond the original product.)

Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.

Of course, buying off your enemy is an ancient military tactic, and it certainly beats killing each other – and innumerable "collaterals" in the process. But Petraeus is not only paying terrorists and insurgents and death squadders to lay off the roadside bombs and sniper fire in the "Sunni Awakening" movement: he's giving them iron-fisted control over various walled enclaves, where – surprise, surprise! – they are lording it over the locals with brutal abandon, while American forces look the other way, or actively assist.

The latest report comes from the pro-war, Murdoch-owned Sunday Times: "American-backed killer militias strut across Iraq." It is one of a continuing series of stories in the UK press that go behind the glowing "surge" PR now dominating the American media. It begins with the story of Kahiriya Musa, whose husband was killed by ethnic cleansers 18 months ago, and who now refuses to join the trickle of Iraqis returning to their newly pacified neighborhoods. Here are your tax dollars at work:
Asked when she intended to leave this squalor and return to the comfortable family home, Kahiriya Musa, 30, is emphatic. “Never,” she declares. “They will kill me if I return.” While one of her husband’s killers has been arrested, she says, the other two have joined the Baghdad Brigade, a Sunni militia funded by the American forces which now holds sway in her old neighbourhood.

Members of the Baghdad Brigade receive $300 a man each month from the Americans, who also provide vehicles, uniforms and flak jackets. In return the brigade keeps out Al-Qaeda, dismantles roadside bombs and patrols the area, a task performed with considerable swagger by many of its 4,000 recruits.

The US military is delighted with the results achieved by the brigade in Abu Ghraib and by similar groups in other former “hot spots” of sectarian conflict that have seen a sharp decline in violence.
For Shi’ites such as Kahiriya Musa, however, a Sunni militia represents another potential source of terror in a country where millions have been traumatised by ethnic cleansing…

But even Sunni residents see trouble ahead. One pointed out former members of the Islamic Army – a group once closely associated with Al-Qaeda, whose atrocities included the murder of Enzo Baldoni, a kidnapped Italian journalist – among the knights. In an Ameriya school last week some of the knights showed that although they may have switched allegiances, they still hold the fundamentalist beliefs that drew them to Al-Qaeda in the first place.

Carrying their weapons, they went from one class to the next, looking for mobile phones with “unIslamic” ringtones. One child with a pop music ringtone was slapped and kicked in the legs as a warning to the others.

Meanwhile, the targets of ethnic cleansing continue to suffer. Habib Haji, a 65-year-old widower from Sab al-Boor, north of the capital, received a letter giving him three days to leave with his daughter Salwa, 15, or die. “I left immediately,” said Haji, whose 18-year-old son Mehdi had already disappeared after going out to buy some cigarettes. According to Haji, the death threat came from men who used to be Al-Qaeda members but now form part of the awakening. Even the militia commanders confirm that they have the Shi’ites in their long-range sights after a turbulent few months…

Abu Omar, an intelligence officer with the Baghdad Brigade in Abu Ghraib, was candid. “Of course the coming war is with the [Shi’ite] militias,” he said. “God willing, we will defeat them and get rid of them just as we did Al-Qaeda.”

Abu Maroof, one of the brigade’s commanders, said that he regarded the Shi’ite militias, which include the Mahdi Army of the radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, as more dangerous than the United States. But he is also increasingly hostile to the government of Nouri al-Maliki, which is reluctant to absorb militia members into the official Iraqi security forces. “If the government continues to reject them, let it be clear that this brigade will eventually take its revenge,” he warned.
In this of course, the goodly knight is as one with Petraeus' masters back in Washington, who have obviously decided that putting tens of thousands of Sunni militiamen on the imperial payroll will help pressure their recalcitrant clients in Baghdad to play ball – or else. Antiwar.com quotes the latest Iraq Weekly Status Report from the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs:
Senior military commanders now portray the intransigence of Iraq’s Shiite dominated government as the key threat facing the U.S. effort in Iraq, rather than al-Qaida terrorists, Sunni insurgents or Iranian-backed militias. Several U.S. military officials have expressed growing concern over the Iraqi government’s failure to capitalize on sharp declines in attacks against U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians. A window of opportunity has opened for the government to reach out to its former foes, said Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the commander of day-to-day U.S. military operations in Iraq, but “it’s unclear how long that window is going to be open.”
In other words, if the Shiite factions empowered by the U.S. invasion don't get it in gear and let the American-backed Sunni militias get a slice of the pie, then U.S. employees like Abu Maroof will "eventually take their revenge." You could have a whole new round of civil war between Shiite and Sunni factions that are both backed by the United States: the usual win-win scenario, keeping Iraq supine, "justifying" a continuing U.S. military presence, and ensuring American dominance of whatever regime emerges from the mass bloodletting.

This is the reality that has always prevailed in Iraq, from the moment that George W. Bush ordered the international war crime of military aggression to begin to the latest "metric of success" in the Petraeus surge. This war has never been anything more than a low and dirty game of power politics for the benefit of a few elites – who are willing to pay anyone to kill for them, or see anyone killed, as long as their interests are served.
More from this author:
Immaculate Conception: A Squirt in the White House (18071 Hits)
George W. Bush's innumerable sycopants like to potray him as a down-to-earth man of the people: a man's man, tough and fearless, a good-ole-boy...
Thunder on the Mountain: The Murderers of Democracy (15663 Hits)
“Shame on your greed, shame on your wicked schemes. I tell you this right now, I don’t give a damn about your dreams.” -- Bob Dylan,...
War in Heaven: Woodward's Book and the Establishment Insurgency (17545 Hits)
Bob Woodward has long been the voice of the American Establishment – or of certain quadrants of it, at any rate. When Richard Nixon's...
Swing Blades: Don Rumsfeld Bats Both Ways (15807 Hits)
In February 2003, I wrote a column for the Moscow Times detailing Don Rumsfeld's personal – and profitable – connection with North Korea's...
Coming to America: The Disappeared (8500 Hits)
Kissinger and The Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina: America on the Brink of Horror. This blistering Buzzflash editorial deserves to be...
Related Articles:
Annals of the Damned Human Race: Liberating Afghans, Body and Soul (8502 Hits)
by Chris Floyd Let us turn once again to the other war, the "good war" in Afghanistan, where four years ago George W. Bush famously...
Wanted: Creative Extremists (5572 Hits)
by Mickey Z. "The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. The nation and the world are in...
Annals of Liberation: Bush Surge Accelerates Assault on Iraq Academics (7135 Hits)
by Chris Floyd 'Security Forces' Rob Baghdad Academics (Sunday Times) One of the most curious, and ominous, aspects of life in the Bush...
Annals of Liberation: Riverbend on the Rape of Sabrine al-Janabi (7018 Hits)
by Chris Floyd One of the truly courageous voices of the Iraqi war, Riverbend, the "girl blogger" from Baghdad, is back after weeks...
"No Mercy": Annals of the Afghan Liberation (7747 Hits)
by Chris Floyd Britain's arch-conservative Sunday Telegraph continues to be a source of some of the most revealing reports about George W....

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments (1)add comment

Dale Mastarone said:

So what's new?
It seems like a century ago that President Bush landed on that carrier and declared victory -- and we are still in Iraq. How many more lives must be taken before it is finally concluded that we were deceived by the man in charge? Probably the soonest we can be out of that mess we never should have got into in the first place is several weeks after President Ron Paul swears his solemn oath of office -- and lives up to it. "We just don't do those illegal wars anymore, bottom line." (paraphrasing presidential-contender Congressman Ron Paul's message of the United States of America government conforming to its Constitution.
November 28, 2007
Votes: +0

Write comment
smaller | bigger



Top 123